A Luminous Summer Look

A luminous makeup look starts with the skin. Exfoliate, cleanse, hydrate and protect your skin to reveal your most radiant complexion. I always emphasize that it is “skin first, makeup second.” Once your skin is prepped, opt for creamy products with luminous finishes and natural ingredients to protect and nurture the skin as they further work to optimize your natural radiance.


Even Things Out: I am a big fan of self-tanning. If you are stuck in the old way of thinking that self-tanners just don’t look natural, think again! There are so many amazing formulas out there that deliver a natural looking tan, sans the damage. Having a bit of a tan will help to even skin tone, allowing you to use less product. Follow up with a lightly tinted, luminous moisturizer with SPF, like Pacifica Ultra CC Cream Radiant Foundation or Suntegrity 5-in1 Tinted Sunscreen.  I must mention I do not supplement any CC creams or tinted moisturizer for a moisturizer.

Cover: To conceal the under-eye area and other areas of the face that may need more coverage, the RMS Un-Coverup is an indigenous product. With the use of a damp Beauty Blender, strategically place extra coverage wherever you desire. The RMS Un-Coverup provides fuller coverage while brilliantly creating a dewy and luminous, skin-like finish.

Bronze & Blush: To create subtle definition and to promote a healthy summer glow, use liquid and cream bronzers for the most natural effect. Gressa’s Minimalist Contouring Serum is in a league of its own. Just one drop of this brilliant bronzing serum, rich in skin-healthy ingredients, creates the most natural tan. Use this beauty to add some subtle contour. Gressa’s Air Focus Foundation Brush is a must for seamless application. For some additional luminosity apply some RMS’ Buruti Bronzer to the high points of your face. Create a subtle flush to the apples of the cheeks with W3LL People’s Universalist Multi-Use Stick in #9 Nude Flush.

Eyes & Lips: Keep it simple on the eyes and lips and leave the focus on your skin. Create subtle definition on the eyes by using natural bronze and nude tones with the Pacifica Power of Love Eye Shadow Palette. Open the eyes, and make them pop with volumizing mascara, L’Oreal Butterfly Intenza Waterproof is a good one. For a natural glossy pink pout I simply adore Gressa’s Lip Boost in Bare.


Glow on girls.

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Dim Infusion – swatch & review

When Hourglass Cosmetics released their the Ambient Lighting Powders, the beauty world went into a bit of a tizzy. The all-over face powder received a lot of hype, and had people scrambling to get their hands on not just one, but several of the shades. Well Hourglass has done it yet again with their new Ambient Lighting Blushes. The blushes have been pre-released at Sephora and are currently exclusively available to VIB and VIB Rouge members. At this time the blushes have already sold-out online.


The Ambient Lighting Blushes from Hourglass infuse their popular Ambient Lighting Powder with an array of vivid hues to create their new blushes. Available in a selection of eight marbled shades, you can pair them with their complementary powder, or not.

  • Dim Infusion (a subdued coral blush fused with Dim Light to add warmth)
  • Diffused Heat (a vibrant poppy blush combined with Diffused Light for a subtle halo effect)
  • Luminous Flush (a champagne rose blush fused with Luminous Light to evoke a candlelit glimmer)
  • Radiant Magenta (a golden fuchsia blush combined with Radiant Light for a summer glow)
  • Mood Exposure (a soft plum blush fused with Mood Light to brighten the complexion)
  • Ethereal Glow (a cool pink blush fused with Ethereal Light for a moonlit luminosity).


If you’ve tried the Ambient Lighting Powders, you might be familiar with the varying shades available to complement your complexion. There is a lot of jargon used when reading descriptions of the blushes. There is the idea that a lot of science is behind the creation of these “hybrid” blushes, which contain a “multidimensional luminescence.” The ultimate reason that I was drawn to the product is the quality of the powder itself. Just as with the Ambient Lighting Powders, the Ambient Lighting Blushes are so finely milled and contain the finest shimmer which translates on the skin to a natural radiance.


The Ambient Lighting Blush contains 0.15 oz. of product as compared to 0.35 in the Ambient Lighting Powder. I picked up a Blush in Dim Infusion which marbles together the Hourglass Ambient Powder in shade Dim Light, along with a light peachy-coral. Hourglass described the shade as a “subdued coral.” The powder has a texture that is not ‘powdery‘ in any sense, but wears like a second skin. No matter what blush brush I used, the blush blended beautifully with the faintest effort. Dim Light can be applied as a sheer wash of color, or easily layers for a more intense finish. Cheeks are left with a believable natural flush with beautiful radiance.

hourglass-dim-infusion-swatches-4Look at that exquisite marbling!


Dim Infusion is perfectly suited to my warmer complexion. I am smitten with the formula, shade and finish and find myself curious to discover more shades. I’m afraid to say that the new Ambient Lighting Blushes are a must-try, especially if your a fan of the Lighting Powders. I would also go ahead play with the shades and not pay too much attention to matching the blush shade with your complexion powder.


(wearing Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Dim Infusion)

Hourglass Ambient Blush $35

sephora.com, barneys.com, hourglasscosmetics.com

Have you tried the new Ambient Lighting Blushes?

Highlight, Contour, and Add Color with One Perfect Product. Edward Bess Quad Royale Summer in Capri 03 – swatches & review

The Quad Royale from Edward Bess is a “palette of four coordinated shades to sculp and highlight the face.” The four luminous shades can be used individually or swirled together for all-over color. Summer in Capri is one of the three variations of the Quad Royale palette and is described as a beige-pink. Also available is Monte Carlo 02, a golden coral (reviewed by mybeautysample.com) and South of France 01, a shimmery sand and the lightest of the three (reviewed by indigo-kir-royale.com)


The Quad Royale is a lengthy 4 1/2 inches to accommodate the included brush. I do like the shape of the brush but it is rather rough and does impart heavy pigment, so be light. I would personally rather tote along a separate brush for touch-ups.


The formula is exquisite and blends into the skin beautifully. The powder is incredibly soft and imparts strong pigment. The micro-shimmering particles leave behind a believable luminous glow. I do suggest using a soft brush and a light hand to slowly build up color to your desired intensity. A small soft contour brush is best for applying the colors individually.


Summer in Capri is a collection of peach, mauve, tan, taupe, and pale pink tones. Most often, I first apply the two deepest shade on to the contours of my cheeks and temples. I then apply all four shades swirled together onto my cheeks.


The swatches in both lights are true to their nature as they appear on my monitor. The photo with flash helps to show the gorgeous sheen that this powder possesses although not as well as it does in person. I am personally smitten with the formula and finish. In the image below please note that I have over-applied the blush to help show the color.


Edward Bess Quad Royale in Summer in Capri $45

available at sephora, edwardbessneimanmarcus 

Get the Look: Glowing Skin

The most important step to achieving a “glowing” look is a dedicated skin care routine, more on that later. While some of us have skin troubles, there are steps everyone can take to help them achieve a more luminous appearance.

Start by:

  • Exfoliating skin in the morning with a soft wash cloth or muslin cloth using a non-drying face wash avoid foaming formulas – think creamy! (this will get rid of dead skin cells that your skin has shed overnight)
  • Apply a toner like Caudalie Beauty Elixir
  • Use a serum rich in antioxidants (this is the first step in moisturizing)
  • Apply your daily moisturizer (if your skin feels dry after this, you are not using the right moisturizer)

The Makeup:

  • Tinted Moisturizer – choose a tinted moisturizer for a radiant/sheer finish, apply all over face using fingertips, I used Nars Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer, which is fantastic, see my review
  • Under Eye Concealer – choose a creamy formulation that plays with light and does not settle into lines, I used Bye Bye Under Eye Concealer by It Cosmetics (review) , also try Bobbi Brown’s Creamy Concealer
  • A Creamy Blush – the tip is to avoid powder products where you can, you want moist, sheer color- I used Korres Cheek butter in Philia Rose, also try Tarte Cheek Stains (amazing!)
  • Shadow – opt for a sheer shimmering shadow in a warm tone, I am wearing Too Faced Summer Eye Collection – colors sugar sand and cocoa beach
  • Highlighter – highlight cheekbones circling around to brow-bone, down the center of nose, inner corner of eyes, and on the bow of your lip – I used Jemma Kidd All Over Radiance Creme in Iced Gold, also try Benefit’s High Beam
  • Powder – with a very light hand apply a small amount of powder to your t-zone only, I prefer using a soft fan brush when doing this to apply the lightest amount, choose a Micronized transluscent powder (the tops for avoiding a powdery look) I used Laura Mercier’s, also try Tarte Smooth Operator
  • Set – further set the rest of your face with a makeup setting spray, I use Caudelie Beauty Elixer, or try urban decay’s all nighter
  • Lips – I avoid glossy lips when doing this look and just opt for a balm, please choose whatever you wish, I am wearing Korres Lip Butter in Pomegranate

Any thoughts or questions?