While some people are able to go away on vacation and continue to communicate with the outside world, I was pretty much MIA the entire time I was in New Zealand (there I go again!). Any time I wanted to access the internet, I had to pay for wireless or for computer time, and I was just not having it. In this day and age, it’s like paying for water (which also annoys me), so I pretty much forgot the whole idea except to periodically let my family and friends know I was alive.
However, when I got an email from Sephora’s PR giving me the opportunity to chose one of the sets from the holiday collections, I happily paid a few bucks in order to respond and select my set. Of all the offerings, the cream of the crop was most definitely Hourglass’ Best of Hourglass collection ($68CAD), which came with a travel size of their popular Veil Mineral Primer, a full size Film Noir Full Spectrum mascara in Onyx, a full size Extreme Sheen lipgloss in Ignite, and a deluxe sample of the new No. 28 Primer Serum. Hel-lo! How could I pass up on on these goodies!!?
As I had tried the Veil Mineral Primer before, in the travel size, and finished it, I was happy to have another small bottle to replace it (for a glowing, more thorough review on this product, see Liz’s post at Beauty Reductionista). The other three products were entirely new to me, and as anything I have tried from the brand has pretty much knocked my socks off, I was totally eager to get my grabby hands on them and play. First, let’s discuss the Film Noir Full Spectrum mascara:
To be clear, there is another Film Noir mascara that Hourglass makes, but it is the one that you paint on lash by lash. This is your regular bristle-brush mascara, and in reality the brush itself IS pretty regular. It doesn’t have any bells or whistles and looks pretty…normal, compared to every gimmicky brush that’s come out in the last few years. Don’t let that fool you, however! Though my pictures below don’t truly do it justice, this mascara is LOVELY. It separates my lashes perfectly while giving them some serious length as well as volume. It’s one of the few mascaras I’ve tried that I’ve actually gotten compliments on from people who aren’t bloggers (you guys count…but not in this instance because this is our BIZNESS, yo).
It’s a drier formula than I usually like, but I think it’s actually the *perfect* consistency – not really dry at all but not so wet that its glopping on and causing clumps. The brush really combs through the lashes each time, leaving them entirely clump-free. I didn’t have to separate my lashes in the photos above with a comb afterward at all, which is uncommon I find. It’s a total win. I would actually spend the $33CAD and buy this again! Note: There ARE parabens in the mascara.
Next, we have the Extreme Sheen gloss in Ignite, described as a ‘rose beige shimmer.’ I’d say this is more of a sheer shimmering gloss with a touch of beige more than anything, but it’s still pretty. To buy this separately would cost $33CAD so with that plus the mascara you’re almost have the price of the set alone – not too shabby! The gloss does have fragrance but it’s the last ingredient listed and it’s faint. I haven’t noticed any issues yet so hopefully it remains that way!
As you can see, the gloss is essentially colorless with a hint of shimmer. I typically like my glosses fairly opaque, but this somehow makes my lips look quite nice in the absence of pigment. It’s a nice way to punch up clear gloss, and it adds a subtle something extra layered over other lip colors. Surprisingly, the staying power is pretty decent even with its translucency, and it feels good on the lips – smooth and not sticky at all. I’d love to try this formula out in a few other shades.
Lastly, but far from least, is the No. 28 Primer Serum. I know it’s a cheap cop-out to put this marketing image versus the real thing, but to be honest – I don’t want to waste a drop of it’s precious contents. IT’S SO GOOD! And as much as I love you, I just can’t swatch this for no good reason. I’m hoarding it like crazy! At $75CAD for 1oz, you can probably understand why (though – I just saw that you can also get this in a travel size like the Veil primer – 0.33oz for $26CAD – sign me up!!).
Essentially the product combines the effects of a primer (reducing the look of pores, refining and smoothing the skin’s surface, and luminizing) with the treatment of a serum (strengthening skin’s moisture barrier, shielding against environmental aggressors, and hydrating). All this action means that the skin looks younger and dewier and AMAZING. It contains essential oils, lipid-rich plant oils, and vitamins to nuture the skin, while being free of parabens and fragrance.
DUDES. Not only does it sound amazing and make a whole lotta fabulous claims, but it delivers. I actually wore it for about 5 days straight (before remembering I can’t afford to buy the full size right now and hence it must be conserved), and my skin looked awesome. Not just while wearing makeup, but overall it was improving the look of my skin! It’s all sorts of YES PLEASE and believe you me I will be shelling out for this when the sample vial is finished. I love that it helps my makeup wear better. I love that it doesn’t make me greasy and in fact helps to control oil while still giving me a fresh, healthy look. I love that it doesn’t irritate my fussy skin one iota. The only thing I don’t love is the price, but I can get over that. When you think about it like a two-in-one product, primer + treatment, the cost doesn’t seem so outrageous. At least that’s what I’m telling myself.
So, basically, the moral of the story is, you need to buy this kit. Or if not the set itself, you need to try each and every one of these products at some point, especially the Primer Serum. I can’t imagine anyone NOT being happy with the collection, and it just reinforces my belief that Hourglass might just be the best makeup brand EVER. Just sayin’.
What do you think of Hourglass? Would you be willing to shell out for a product that produces results, or do you have a $$ limit? What makeup brand do you think is worth the hype?
*Product was sent for my unbiased consideration.