Ok, so this is the second part and this is going to include some illuminators and illuminating finishing powders. Blushes as well, but like I mentioned before, I just tend to get blushes wherever without sticking to brand, high or low, so this is just going to be a list of the best performing lost cost blushes that I’ve found to date, with a few comparisons. I’m not sure that I’ll be doing lipsticks or not, because to be honest, a huge chunk of the drug store lip products that I’ve gotten just do not perform all that great. If I do wind up doing that, it’ll be a much shorter post.
Illuminating Powders and Illuminators.
Guerlain Meteorites Compact ($62)/Soap & Glory Glow Up Powder ($15)
These two are pretty different looking, but provide the same effect. Somewhat. For me they perform the same way simply because the Soap & Gory is a true peach powder. They both impart a luminous finish to the skin, and the Guerlain has the colour correcting properties. I actually prefer the Soap & and Glory powder though, because it’s more versatile as a finisher and highlighter, but mostly because it’s peachy.
Fresh Lustre Powder Rio Samba ($24.99)/Sleek Translucent Professional Loose Finishing Powder ($11.49).
These are both really good powders to add some glow to the skin. Personally I prefer the Fresh powder because it comes in about 12 different shades for different undertones and skin tones. The Sleek only comes in one. The Fresh has been discontinued but can be easily found on All Cosmetics Wholesale, Bridgette’s Boutique, Amazon and eBay that I personally know of. Because of that the price varies wildly from $9 to $35 depending on the colour. My shade Rio Samba is a golden tan lustre and is usually at the higher spectrum of prices, I paid $24.99 for it from All Cosmetics Wholesale and they also have the Cloudy Bay shade. I’d say the best bet for this is actually eBay or Amazon, since I’ve seen all the shades on both sites for much cheaper.
Jelly Pong Pong Illuminating Gel ($19)/City Colour Illuminating Cream ($8).
These were new for me. I got the Jelly Pong Pong is a sub box and I looked around to see if this was actually a thing. I found a few, but the City Colour one was the best. You can use these as traditional highlighters or illuminators under makeup. I like to use them under super matte foundations, or if I use a powder. The texture of these is slightly different, the City Colour is thicker and more creamy, but they finish mostly the same. I do prefer the JPP because it’s a lot more subtle and the other one can sometimes interfere with foundations because it’s a lot creamier, more opaque to start off and more champagne gold, whereas the JPP is more of a peachy champagne and translucent. The smell of the CC turns me off a bit too, it’s sort of chemically, the JPP has a pleasant scent, but I can’t really tell you what it is, just that it’s not perfumey.
Sephora Highlighter Stardust 01 ($14)/Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed Pearl ($38).
Not quite sure why these are showing up so differently in the pictures than they do in real life. Perhaps because they’re so heavily swatched. In fact they finish the same, which is a much more subtle version of what Stardust looks like. Stardust, more so than Pearl is a great dupe for Nars Albatross highlighter, my Albatross broke eons ago so I don’t have it to compare. I do prefer Stardust, I find it easier to work with in terms of finish and consistency, it’s not so powdery as Pearl.
Sleek Illuminator Pompeii ($13.99)/Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Topaz ($41).
In terms of highlighting or illumination, I prefer the Pompeii because of the thinner consistency. Topaz is really thick and I can always feel it on my face, and it has a slightly musky scent that drives me mad. Unfortunately, Pompeii does have some pretty large chunks of glitter that need to be worked out before it can be worn successfully.
Sleek Illuminator Cuba ($13.99)/Japonesque Liquid Light 02 ($28)/Philosophy Liquid Sunshine ($35).
These are all peach based illuminators. The Japonesque can feel quite heavy at times, but the Philosophy and the Sleek are very light illuminators that finish just about the same. Liquid Sunshine does have a more golden tone to the peach, but Cuba is a true peach. Like Pompeii though, it does have glitter that needs to be worked out.
Charlotte Tilbury Cheek To Chic The Climax ($44)/NYX Ombre Blush Nude To Me ($10).
These are dead dupes of each other. The CT is slightly more reddish brown, while the ombre blush leans more golden. When Applied however, those distinctions disappear. At least on my skin.
Burberry Lip & Cheek Blooms ($30)/Face Atelier Facade ($28).
It wasn’t until I was looking up the prices of the Facades that I realised they’re just about the same price as the Lip & Cheek Blooms. But, they were the closest dupes I could find in terms of consistency and performance. On the plus side, you can order $1 samples of the four Facade colours to try them and you can order as many as you like. Granted, I’m a blush hog, but the samples that I got lasted me a few months since they’re really pigmented and not for the faint of heart. The Facade colours are Chameleon a hot pink, Chacha an orange coral. Livid a raspberry red, that leans much more red, this is the favourite and Arabesque a mauve sort of coral.
Santee Mineral Blushes ($1) from Shop Miss A.
So these I got because I wasn’t really expecting much, but blush for a dollar? Damn right I was gonna get them. But they surpassed all expectations being very pigmented, long lasting and silky smooth to the touch. The picture is mislabelled below, that should be Rosy not Rose.
Rich On Silky Powder Blush ($1) from Shop Miss A.
Another set of stunners for $1. I mainly got them because of that beautiful pattern, I figured I could just toss them if they didn’t work. But they totally did, very well. They’re even more silky than the Santee blushes, and much much more pigmented, kinda scarily so.
City Colour Be Matte Blush Dragonfruit and Blood Orange ($4.99).
I prefer matte blushes, and these are some really great ones. They’re smooth if somewhat powdery, but also pigmented. The only thing that I really dislike is that you’re not really sure what colour your getting with them. Like I expected Blood Orange to be a red orange, but it’s a coral. And Dragonfruit, I was expecting a darker mauve shade. The also look really cool, but when I applied them, the looked much warmer almost on contact.
Inglot AMC Cream Blush 81 & 83 ($12 from Beautylish/Inglotusa.com).
I can’t even rave about these blushes enough. They’re soooooo pigmented, like be super careful with these. They are cream, but they last all day long without budging an inch, and they never really loose pigmentation. I don’t really use these too much because I’ll be honest, they scare me because my bathroom lighting it shite, and the first time I used 81, I completely overestimated how much of it I needed. Since then it’s been very careful application. 83 is easier to use because it’s more of a rose than the hot pink. Another Inglot blush that I swear by is the powder face blush in 41 (not the AMC powder blush), this was the first Inglot item that I owned and it made me fall in love with the brand. It’s the perfect brown girl brick nude, I wore it almost exclusively for an entire summer and most of the fall cause it was just so damn easy, just apply and go. Then I lost it, which is why it’s not pictured. Like the cream blushes, it’s super pigmented and holds up to the Georgia heat and humidity, and it’s best of all it’s only $13.
That’s it for this portion, I may do low cost lippies next…maybe.