March 25, 2012

Estée Lauder Shimmering Sands Illuminating Powder Gelée

I purchased a few things from the Bronze Goddess Capri collection, but let me start with the star of the show.

By now the Illuminating Powder Gelées from Estée Lauder are an auto-buy for me. Having missed out on Modern Mercury and having adored Topaz Chameleon, I snatched Shimmering Sands up faster than you can believe.

And it's freakin' gorgeous. Not quite as bling-tastic as TC with its reptilian print, but pretty lush all the same.




I won't go into too much detail about the particular texture of the Gelée, as I elaborated on it in the review for Topaz Chameleon. Suffice it to say that the texture is the same, though this is a shimmer rather than metallic. The pigmentation on this is almost as strong. It can be used as an eyeshadow, blush, bronzer or highlighter, depending on your skin tone and application technique.

Indirect natural light.

Artificial light.

I think Shimmering Sands pairs beautifully with a basic bronzer applied first for contour and depth, and then this swept on the top of the cheeks, at the outer planes of the forehead, and on the eyelids. The combination gives a burnished, deep-summer tan effect, like those luscious St.Tropez ads from the early 90s.

As an eyeshadow it's lovely for a light wash, or for warming up the crease of a smoky eye.

As a blush, the shimmer finish might prove a little challenging to the frost-phobic. In those cases, I would recommend using a matte shade as a base, and then buffing this in overtop for a gorgeous glow. 

Like Topaz Chameleon, it can be used with a fluffy synthetic brush for a more delicate application. Because of the deeper color, it won't work as a traditional highlighter on paler skin tones, but applied lightly it lends a beautiful radiance while adding a bit of color. The rose-amber tone could potentially be incredibly flattering on deeper skin.

Indirect natural light.

Artificial light.

Availability: On the www.esteelauder.com website (the Canadian version is now more complete and offers free shipping over 50$!) and counters at department store like The Bay and Sears. Price is 50$ CAD.

Pros: Knockout style and design, great pigmentation, unique color, versatile application possibilities.

Cons: Pigmentation, shade undertone and shimmer might make it a challenge to use as highlighter, bronzer or blush with some skin tones. (But for me personally I think the versatility outweighs the limitations.)

(I purchased this item at the EL counter at The Bay.)

8 comments:

  1. Gorgeous!!! But I'm not sure I could pull it off. I'd have to try it out first I guess! But it sure looks pretty!

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    1. It does look intimidating doesn't it? I tell you, the Cozette synthetic brushes make everything less scary. ;)

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  2. Every time I walk by the Estee Lauder counter I am tempted by this - it sure does look lovely! Thanks for the great review :)

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    1. Thank you kindly! =)

      I think the tester gets some serious love, all day, lol! Did you get anything from the Capri collection so far, or have you resisted all temptation?

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  3. Like you, I missed out on Modern Mercury - heck, I didn'e even know of its exitence, lol! I wasn't about to make the same mistake with Topaz Chameleon (which I love and have been using almost daily), and like you (again) picking up EL latest illuminating gelée is a no-brainer: MUST BUY! I haven't posted my review on it, but I have noticed several differences between this and TC, which is a good thing as there's nothing I hate more than duplicating a product! Lovely swatches, as always Maggie! :)

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    1. Thank you, Eugenia! :)

      I'm kicking myself for Modern Mercury because I WAS aware of it (swatched it at the counter, even) and STILL passed it by. Curses! And you're right, there are differences between all three versions, going beyond the color differences. From what I recal, MM was sheerer, TC had a more opaque and metallic finish, even when applied dry, and this one is more of a shimmer and between the two in terms of pigmentation level, though closer to TC. Thanks for reminding me, just added a note about that to the review. =)

      I can't wait to read your review!

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  4. This is a great review Maggie - I own this, and while I've been on the fence about it, I now feel like pulling it out and giving it more love just from your words! :) While I think it's quite flattering on me, I'm not sure why I don't love it...I guess I was really just looking for a fabulous highlighter, and while this gives me a great glow, it's just not what I was hoping for. My mistake! But it doesn't mean I still won't get great use out of it :)

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    1. Thank you, Toyarosie! I'm so glad you've gotten something positive out of my review. =)

      And I don't think you're alone in having expected something different. That "illuminator" name can be a bit misleading, because it does suggest a highlighter type product, doesn't it?

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