Marc Jacobs Instamarc Light Filtering Contour Powder

I have been hot and cold to contouring but mainly because it never worked for me. Another hypothesis (and a very viable one) is that I did not know how to do it well and have the right products. To end this turmoil and resulting muddy looking cheeks, I started on a quest – a quest to find the right contour for me and to learn how to apply it on MY face.

I have followed the craze of buying the multi-color palettes out there such as the Kat Von D Shade & Light contour palette, the Tarte Tartest Contour Palette, and the Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour palettes. I even ventured to trying the Nyx contour products. In the end, they all ended up not quite working as well as I had hoped OR only two of the colors in the palettes worked for me. Have you encountered this?

So…that is the history behind my pursuit of a contour palette. And, now, I ventured into a different quest. Contour palette – yes; but the focus here is on finding the compact that holds only the powders that I really like and work for me (sometimes those two goals are not mutually exclusive!).


IMG_0837It is beautiful, isn’t it? The case feels so rich and wonderful and who does not love that little button to open it? The size is quite large but it is so thin – sort of reminds me of my 13” Mac Book Air! And the mirror inside is wonderful and large enough to actually use! The feel of the compact reflects the price tag though – at $49 it is pricy – but on par with the other palettes that I had purchased and not used all the products inside (well the Tarte one is rather nice all around!). Okay, so the compact is divine but that is not what I bought it for, right? How does it work and how are the powders?


There are three different color options with this palette: Mirage Filter 40 – light gold/ light bronze; Dream Filter 20 – soft pink/ medium bronze; and Hi Fi Filter 60 – warm peach/ deep bronze. After consultation with the Sephora associate, I opted for the Dream Filter 20 with the subtle pink highlighter and medium bronze contour. This actually surprised me because I intended to purchase Mirage Filter; however, after trying them on we decided that the yellow toned highlight was aging on me! See, I told you I am not great at picking out the colors!

I was so excited to try this out on my own after seeing how wonderful the contour powder looked on my skin! And the powders were so smooth and blendable but still showed up on my skin without looking muddy. The real test though is whether I can make it look right as well and…it worked! I was so thrilled with the result of the contour! The highlight however works for me color-wise and helps sharpen up the color I apply under my cheeks (mega chisel look) but does not play well with my under eye area unfortunately. That is okay though as I am starting to shy away from applying anything to that delicate (and aging quickly) area.


Overall, I am very happy with this palette and can definitely see me using it and ALL of it! The size worries me a bit though in regards to traveling but I will see what happens there and let you know. Although I am thrilled with the Marc Jacobs Instamarc Light Filtering Contour Powder, I do have the Kevyn Aucoin Sculpting Powder on its way to me…the search has not officially ended I guess..

Here is my video review so you can see it in action too!

Thanks for taking part in this quest! What is your favorite contour palette or compact?

Birchbox Unboxing | My first one!


My very first Birchbox!

In case you are not familiar with Birchbox, it is a monthly beauty subscription box that sends five  beauty or grooming samples each month.  As with other subscription boxes, you complete a profile first that is then used to match products. This box is typically $10 a month, but you can get reduced prices at times (reviewing products, adding subscribers, etc.).  In fact, if you use the link below to sign up, you get $5 off your first box (it is easy to cancel when you want).  I also get some kudos for you using my link so do keep that in mind!  Click here for the link (and thanks!).

As I mentioned, I have had Ipsy glambag boxes for several months (click here to go to my recent review), but this is my first Birchbox – EXCITING!  So here is what I got this month:

Benefit Cosmetics – Giveme Brow in Light Medium – I already use and love thumb_IMG_0295_1024this product – a brow mascara – and adored this small travel sized sample!  Yea!



Dear Clark – Volumizing Tonic – This is a nice sizedthumb_IMG_0293_1024 sample since you typically do not use much at once but nothing extra special.  In the words, I have a few volumizing products that I use and this did not stand out in any way but it is a good travel size.


dr. brandt – pores no more cleanser – This is a nice cleanser that leaves my skin feeling tightened up and ready for makeup.  I am not sure that it is great for removing makeup but good for first thing in the morning.

Harvey Prince – Hello – Love the scent of this spritzer!  It is described as being a thumb_IMG_0296_1024cheerful citrus and floral blend.  I am terrible at describing scents but it did make me happy!




ModelCo Ultra Long-lasting Lipstick in Smitten – This is a very nice feeling lipstick – moisturizing almost but not gooey.  The color is a bit bright for me, but I still wear it a bit because I like the way it feels!


That wraps up my (first) Birchbox for this month.  I was very happy with what I received and will keep my subscription going (at least for a few more months).

Did you receive a subscription box this month?  If so, which one, what did you receive, and were you happy?

More on this next month!

Here is my YouTube video of the unboxing – please sub while you are there too – Thanks so much!

Contouring, Brightening, and Highlighting – Does it Make a Difference?

Half and Half  Thumbnail



Does highlighting, brightening, and contouring really make a difference in how you look?


That was the question I wanted to answer.  To do this, I opted to do a “half face” look with half of my faced being adorned with all the extra goodies and the other with only typical blush.  


Here is what I used on all of my face:


Foundation: Laura Mercier Silk Crème Oil Free Photo Edition Foundation – $48 –
Powder: Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder – $37 –
Blush: Tarte Amazonian Clay 12 Hour blush in Glisten – – $28


Shadow: Tarte Energy Noir Clay Palette Unearthed blush – – $38
Shadow Primer: Mac Paint Pot in Painterly – – $22
Mascara: Covergirl Lash Blast Volume Waterproof – – $8.99
Brows: Urban Decay Brow Tamer in Neutral Brown – – $20; Nyx Micro Brow Pencil in Taupe – – – $9.99; Milani Brow & Eye Highlighter in 01 – – $6.99


Lipgloss: bareMinerals Marvelous Moxie Lipgloss in Maverick – – $18


Here are the extra goodies I added to the left side view of my face (your left):


Bronzer: Nars Blush Bronzer Duo in Laguna and Orgasm – – $42


Contour:  Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Palette – – $40


Highlighterthe balm Mary-Lou Manizer – – $24


Brightening under eyes: Under Eye Cream: Pixi Color Corrector Cream – – $12; Under Eye Powder: Besame Brightening Violet Powder – – $22


And here is the result – Can you see a difference?  Is the extra time and money invested in products worth it?  Or is the extra pampering that results from you applying the products the underlying benefit?  



What do you think?  Do you see a difference?  I look forward to hearing your thoughts and comments and then I will add mine!

Here is my video of the entire process.