Fresh-faced review: Illamasqua Beyond Powder & Juvia’s Place Saharan Blush Palette

Illamasqua Beyond Powder & Juvia's Place Saharan Blush Palette

Juvia’s Place Saharan Blush Palette vol. II & Illamasqua Beyond Powder “Epic”

Juvia’s Place palettes have been winking at me for a while now, and as it happens, there’s a shop in my little godforsaken corner of Spain that carries them, so I don’t even have to go online… what was I to do? I first wanted one of the eyeshadow palettes, but on seeing this one I said: “Mine!”

And the reasonable part of my brain said: “Very pretty, but it’s a blush palette, and you know you don’t use blush much. Also, look at those two shiny pans, you’ll use those even less.”

Me: “I said: Mine.”

Juvia's Place Saharan Blush Palette vol. II

Juvia’s Place Saharan Blush Palette vol. II

Juvia’s Place Saharan Blush Palette vol. II

So I’m back to using blush again, after years of not paying much attention to them… in fact, I didn’t even have blushes left in my stash: whenever I felt like blushing, I just used a pinch of eyeshadow. I wonder why, they can do such good things to a face… besides, this is one of those rare cases where I use all of the colors in the palette, and I like them all; some more than others, of course.

Besides, if I’m packing my bag this is the palette that travels with me, to use as both blush and eyeshadow… just look at this pigmentation. Off the top of my head, I thought the ones I’d like less would be Yara, the toasty brown, and Bee (the dusty plum, and the only cooler tone of the palette), and it turns out that I really like them.

Juvia's Place Saharan Blush Palette II swatches

Juvia’s Place Saharan Blush Palette II swatches – L to R: Leena, Zoba, Bee, Tau, Sola, Yara.

Meanwhile Sola, the hot pink with golden sparks, and Zoba (the pink champagne highlighter) are also much more wearable that it looks at first sight, even if you’re not much for sparkle & shine; they both end up looking more satiny when applied, not glittery at all. As for Tau (matte orange) and Leena (matte coral pink) I knew they’d be a win from the start, and I wasn’t wrong. 😍

The thing is, their strong point can also be a problem if you’re kind of heavy-handed like me: less is more with these blushes. In fact, if you plan to use them as eyeshadow, keep in mind that a couple of the colors tints the eyelid somewhat: that happened to me with Bee and Sola; after removing my makeup, some of the color still showed in my lids.

Good thing I took the palette for light to medium-toned skin… I suspect that with her sister for medium to dark tones, the Saharan Blush vol. I – I almost took that one home too, those colors are so, so beautiful – I’d risk looking like a long-lost love child of Dee Snider with an 80s groupie.

via GIPHY
But anyway, to sum up, this palette is Love. If I didn’t have powders and paints to do an entire fashion show, front row faces included, I wouldn’t think twice of nabbing one of the eye palettes. Meanwhile, Juvia’s Place Saharan Blush II is one of the most used palettes in my makeup table, so it gets the full 5 points.

I’d have sworn I took a photo of the INCI in the box, but now I can’t find the photo nor the box… good thing a kind soul in the beautysphere had already analyzed this in CosDNA.

Illamasqua Beyond Powder “Epic” highlighter

The Illamasqua Beyond Powder was another of those impulse purchases that I ended up using a lot more often that I’d thought… highlighters are kind of a recent addition to my collection, long after becoming a staple for everyone and their mother in the makeup-sphere.

Illamasqua Beyond Powder

Illamasqua Beyond Powder “Epic” highlighter.

This isn’t to say I wasn’t drawn to them on the shelves, but whenever I’d reach for one, my inner voice would start screeching: “What ARE you doing, you oilslick? You don’t need MORE shine! What are you, nuts?

I do think it’s funny how glow is in at the moment, after spending half my life fighting tooth and nail for perfect matte-ness… what’s even funnier is that, now that a touch of shine is considered au courant, my aging skin is becoming less oily and more indecisive, going from shine-face in summer to dull and bleh when the cooler weather arrives.

Illamasqua Beyond Powder highlighter

Highlighter “Epic” Illamasqua Beyond Powder

If your thing is big, bright highlighters that can be seen from outer space, you’ll probably find that you need loads of Epic to get it to look that way; the Illamasqua Beyond Powder one is more for users like me who aren’t that big on highlighters, high shine, and going into battle blinding the opponent with luxury (Cap. America will be proud of you if you get that reference).

Anyway, this baked highlighter is suuuper silky, doesn’t emphasize skin texture (a big turn-off for me when it comes to this type of products), and I just love the rose gold hue: if you’re like me and these tones are your thing, this one is lovely for a soft-focus warm glow.

Would I buy the Illamasqua Beyond Powder again?

Hmm… it is pricey at 34 £, BUT, Illamasqua does have frequent sales and discounts, which is how I grabbed this highlighter (it was half-off or thereabouts, if I recall correctly).

Besides, there’s a pretty good amount of highlighter here, so it looks like it will last forever and ever; even with frequent use, it doesn’t show it. I’m really, really tempted to go get another highlighter besides Epic, and I might do just that sometime… it goes without saying that the Illamasqua Beyond Powder also gets 5 points.

"Epic" Illamasqua Beyond Powder

“Epic” Illamasqua Beyond Powder INCI: synthetic fluorphlogopite, dimethicone, hectorite, mica, ethylene/acrylic acid copolymer, octyldodecyl stearoyl stearate, benzyl alcohol, sodium silicoaluminate, sorbic acid, dehydroacetic acid, aqua; may contain: CI 77491, CI 77891, CI 77861, CI 77492, CI 77499. See analysis in CosDNA.

A summer memory

I know, completely unrelated to the subject at hand, but this was on my mind while packing my bag for another trip (because that’s how I roll: I have to do something else NOW? Ya know, this is a good time to write a blog post instead, ‘cos I haven’t done that in a while).

It’s been one month exactly since I was in Granada, which is one of my absolute favorite towns ever, and I made sure not to leave before touching this guy’s foot, since, as the story goes, whoever does this will return to Granada. Not that I’m superstitious, but you know…

Yehuda ben Saul ibn Tibbon

Yehuda ben Saúl ibn Tibbón /  Svenholly – Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0

Anyway, this personage with the parchment is called Judah Ben Saul ibn Tibbon, and he’s a somewhat obscure Jewish scholar from the 12th c. The statue got my attention, and while I sat for a drink on the terrace it stands, I decided to do some googling. I’m glad I did because he has a rather interesting story, or at least it interested me.

In a nutshell (search his bio!), Tibbon is remembered for his work as a translator, as were his descendants, although he was also a physician and a philosopher; due to the exacerbated anti-Jewish sentiment of his period, he eventually had to leave his hometown, and never returned to Granada.

According to the story, the only belongings Tibbon took with him were his beloved books, which were quite a few, and that hit me where I live: whenever I’ve had to move (I’ve had to do that a number of times, and rather far), my books are first in the order of preparation, and about the only thing I pack up with care, not dumping them willy-nilly in a box, the way I do with towels, cookware, and any of those things of value to practical minds…

Besides, over time Tibbon became a sort of “patron figure” of translators, and this is how I found out that there’s even an association of translators, called The Tibbonids (isn’t this name fantastic?), whose aim is to draw attention to the profession. I’m not a translator, but since mad, bad translations that are clearly the work of G-Translate are one of my frequent peeves, this got my attention… I think I would have liked to meet this gent and his circle in person.