Hourglass Cosmetics is a make-up brand based in California that's specially formulated to contain anti-aging properties using only ingredients from the Earth's minerals and leaving out harmful elements such as parabens, phthalates and sulfates. You can find it at any Sephora store or Barneys New York.
The reason why I wanted to try out this brand is for its mineral primer. I've been wanting to try mineral make-up in a while so this makes the first (although, I wouldn't say mineral make-up is really their forte, compared to other brands that really focus on it). I'm also looking to see if there's a better face primer other than Laura Mercier's...
So here are the samples they sent me. I like their packaging - very clean-cut and solid, doesn't seem like it would break easily, which is excellent and definitely shows good quality. You'd be surprised by the weight of the lipstick alone! ...very solid.
The 'Veil' Mineral Primer (SGD76) contains SPF15 which is a plus (better protect the face from the sun's harmful rays to prevent wrinkles!) and is made from Earth-derived minerals such as Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide.
The texture of the primer is smooth and velvety. It helped to minimize the pores, fill in wrinkles and gave my face a luminous glow with a slightly lighter appearance. The difference between this mineral primer and Laura Mercier's face primer is that it definitely made my skin more 'radiant'.
Both primers leave a matte, silicone finish, and protects your skin from the make-up for a more longer lasting coverage.
They sent me a sample of their 'Veil' Fluid Make-Up Liquid foundation but I'm only sampling their 'Illusion' Tinted Moisturizer because it's probably something I'd use more frequently as it's less 'heavy'. I try not to use liquid foundation on a daily basis so to let the skin breathe. Like the mineral primer, the 'Illusion' Tinted Moisturizer also contains SPF15, but what makes it special is that it contains INSTALIFT®, which is a natural plant-based glycopeptide which lifts and tightens the skin within an hour of application.
The texture of the tinted moisturizer isn't as 'liquidy' as I expected it to be (unlike most tinted moisturizers I've tried), instead, it was slightly thick, even more than my favorite Revlon ColorStay foundation (which I use almost everyday) but yet still not as thick as Shiseido's Lifting Foundation (See other comparisons here).
I much prefer liquid foundations that aren't too thick so my make-up doesn't feel or look heavy. Although, I must say, as a Tinted Moisturizer, it provides enough coverage on the skin, leaving a natural, radiant finish when used with the 'Veil' Mineral Primer, so you can skip the liquid foundation when using this one yet still get good coverage. Here I'm using the 'Sand' shade which was closest to my skin color.
I love the compact case for the 'Illume' Creme-to-Powder Bronzer Duo (SGD58) for it's flexible, 360° swivel rotating mirror. This 3-in-1 bronzer, highligher and blush gives you a streak-free, lasting finish when applied correctly. I'm not a huge fan of a cream-based blusher as I find powder so much easier to apply with a brush, however, I do like this one because it gives you a more natural look that's long-lasting so there's no need for touch-ups every few hours. That's the beauty of cream-based make-up (same for eyeshadow).
I applied the darker, bronze shade under my cheekbones as shown in the example below to create a slimmer face, followed by a touch of the pink blusher on my cheekbones to give a natural, rosy look.
I always use a lipliner to define my lips and to make the lipstick last longer. It's definitely an essential in my handbag and my colors of preference are nudes and light pink.
The 'Trace' Lip Liner (SGD41) is retractable so you save the effort of sharpening a lip pencil, and it comes with a brush applicator on the other end for convenience. You can also buy the cartridge refills which is sold separately should you need to replace it - which is what I like about it - eco-friendlyness!
Here, I'm using 'Bare'. I noticed that it says 'Made in Korea' on the applicator (while the rest of the products I sampled were 'Made in USA') - which should mean it's good because I've heard many good things about Korean cosmetics, but I found the lip liner to be slightly difficult to apply and didn't go on smoothly because it was too dry, so it's probably a good idea to dab a bit of lip balm before applying the liner.
Unfortunately, the 'Femme Rouge' Velvet Creme Lipstick they sent me melted probably due to the weather conditions during shipping and handling so luckily, I had the brush applicator from the lip liner! Here I'm using 'Grace', which is a very light, natural shade for the lips and matches the lip liner very well.
Top it off with some mascara and loose powder and you're set! You can achieve this natural look, perfect for everyday in under 10 minutes.