**if you're in a rush, scroll to the bottom where you'll find a bullet-point summary of this review**
Wow! This is a record; I'm actually posting swatch pics of something I said I would swatch in the very same day I said I'd post them (and not, like, 2 months later or...um...never)...
So here's what I picked up from the limited edition N.Y.C. "Summer in the City" collection I posted about earlier. On the left, we have Sun 'n Bronze powder in Sunsational; on the right, we have a Sun n Bronze highlighting powder called Heat Wave (both 4.99 at CVS)...ok I'm realizing as I look at this that I switched the lids on these 2 products by accident--doh. Just pretend the lids are reversed, k? Thanks! I also got the Peach Melba shade of Liquid Lipshine (2.99 and the Peach Sparkle "In a New York Minute" quick-dry nail polish (1.99).
This is the Sunsational bronzer. On my skintone, this doesn't really impart much of a 'bronzing' effect. It DOES, however, lend a gorgeous peachy gold glow.
Here is the highlighter powder, Heat Wave. This lends more of a true golden glow to the skin. It doesn't have the hints of peach to it like Sunsational does. Also, it has some larger gold shimmer particles that Sunsational doesn't have.
Here is my ATTEMPT at swatching these. Man were they ever a pain to photograph! You're gonna have to enlarge this and squint. The top swatch is Heat Wave and the Bottom swatch is Sunsational.
These powders both are VERY subtle and both of them function more as highlighters than as bronzers. I was amazed to see how well they blended into my skin, leaving behind only a hint of glow and, in Heat Wave's case, a bit of golden sparkle. It's very difficult, even in person, to discern the difference in tone in these 2 powders but the difference is there. Sunsational reminds me very much of my beloved old Wet N Wild Acapulco Glow bronzzer (long discontinued)--it has that same peachy glow to it that I love and the illumination it gives your skin is just gorgeous--not overly sparkly or even shimmery--just a beautiful sheen. I am definitely loving this powder and am considering going back to CVS to buy up the rest of this shade!
Heat Wave has a bit more fall-out than Sunsational does--probably due to the larger shimmer particles it contains. As a result, it's not quite as silky as Sunsational is. I DO like Heat Wave but it just doesn't seem to have the depth that Sunsational has. Also, the larger sparkles can be a bit much on the cheeks. However, Heat Wave would make a great eyeshadow, though and I'll probably end up using it for that more than as a highlighter.
Moving onto Peach Melba, one of the 3 Liquid Lipshine shades that are part of this collection. Enlarge this pic and check out those gorgeous peach and gold sparkles!
Here's an up-close shot of the Peach Melba on my arm. Photo taken indoors with no flash.
Here's another shot along with the bronzer powders (Heat Wave on top, Sunsational on bottom). I love how everything in this collection seems so coordinated. The nail polish I picked up is pretty much the exact lacquer match to the lip gloss. Everything has a gorgeous golden shimmer running through it, which is very 'sun goddess' & summery.
Peach Melba is consistent with the core Liquid Lipshine glosses--it has a thicker but not sticky or goopy formula and, like its core sisters, it has this delicious vanilla/coconut/macaroon scent that makes me just want to eat it. I've always found Liquid Lipshines to wear amazingly well for glosses. You can see AND feel them on for hours after application and I only find myself needing to re-apply after I eat or drink something (I do that with EVERYTHING anyway--I know I'm weird but I intentionally wipe off any lip product before I eat or drink something and then put it back on when I'm done. The only exception is if I'm sipping on something from a straw.)
The one thing I dislike about this and all Liquid Lipshines are these elongated paddle-type applicators they have. Maybe I'm old-fashioned but I actually LIKE the doe-foot dangit and I am so sad to see so many makeup companies ditching it in favor of these fuzzy stick things. I always feel like I end up with too much gloss on my lip line with these applicators and when I try to even things out, the gloss just migrates to either side of the applicator like Moses parting the red seas or something...ok rant over...
The last product I picked up from this collection is Peach Sparkle, one of 2 nail polish shades in the "Summer in the City" display (although now I am SERIOUSLY considering going back and getting Golden Glam, too. I can't stop thinking about those gorgeous gold micro-flakies!)
I was happy to see the subtle gold shimmer actually comes through on the nail. This polish seems to be one of those 'sorbet' type polishes. It's halfway between a cream and a jelly. The formula is a bit on the thin side. The above swatch took 3 coats. It's VERY pretty, though--it has that 'lit from within' quality that I love. Both nail polish shades in this collection remind me of something Zoya would make--they have a very Zoya-esque micro-flake-like shimmer & it is stunning! (OK, now I just for sure talked myself into going and getting that second shade!)
So to make an incredibly long story short:
- I LOVE LOVE LOVE the Sunsational Sun n' Bronze bronzing powder but AS A HIGHLIGHTER, NOT as a bronzer. It is my absolute favorite out of everything I bought, it reminds me of my beloved but long-discontinued Wet N Wild Acapulco Glow Bronzzer and I am actively resisting the urge to hoard it to fill that void.
- I like the Heat Wave Sun n' Bronze highlighter, but, due to its larger sparkles and overall consistency, I suspect it would make a better eyeshadow than a highlighter.
- Peach Melba Liquid Lipshine is peach and gold-flecked gorgeousness. Good long-wearing formula but I hate the applicator.
- Peach Sparkle is pretty--the nail polish version of Peach Melba but the formula is a tad thin.
Over all, I am happy with ALL my purchases. All of them are awesome quality for the price.