Summer vibes from By Terry, Kevyn Aucoin and NARS

Hi everyone, it’s been a long time since I’ve posted – but I’m back now with a review for several ‘summery’ products: three of the new reformulated 2018 Highlighting Powders from NARS, the 2018 version of By Terry’s Sun Designer Palette in the colorway ‘5 – Hippy Chic’, and Kevyn Aucoin’s gradient blusher in ‘Sunset’.

It’s been a huge struggle to take pictures of all these products in natural sunlight, because I am based in Scotland… 😛  When it’s cloudy, white-toned daylight just doesn’t do them justice. You need to see them in direct sunlight to appreciate just how gorgeous they all are.


NARS Highlighting Powders

So let’s first have a look at the NARS Highlighting Powders – I got three, in Fort de France, Ibiza, and St. Barths. They’ve popped up recently at a whole bunch of retailers in the UK – you can check the stock at e.g., John Lewis, SpaceNK, House of Fraser, Harvey Nichols, FeelUnique and LookFantastic. Of these, only John Lewis and Harvey Nichols seem to have ever carried the shade Fort de France, and it is currently only in stock at the latter. In other words… hurry if you want it. 🙂

These highlighters give more of a glowing sheen, but are a bit on the subtler side. This is not a drawback for me, it’s actually what I love about them – they just look like you’ve been in the sun and have healthy-looking, glowing skin. The effect is truly gorgeous, with no glitter whatsoever, and a very creamy, but not oily / heavy and silicony texture. I think NARS really found a winning formula for these powder highlighters!

I’m quite fair, so Fort de France (a soft champagne shade) works really well for me as a ‘traditional’ highlighter for the high points of the face. So you might be wondering why I also got the deeper shades, in Ibiza (a golden caramel) and St. Barths (a coppery bronze). I am using those a bit differently, thanks to the subtler glow they give to the face: St. Barths can be used as a bronzer if, like me, you are into non-matte bronzers (but beware, it’s very pigmented, so you need a very airy/sparse and silky brush that applies little product at a time). Then you can use Ibiza to soften the edges of St. Barths, and to blend it away into a golden caramel halo. I just love it! Another way to use these 3 shades together is to create a structured, gradient look, starting with Fort de France on the high points of the face, blend it into Ibiza below as a transition, and then into St. Barths.

Bottom line: Highly recommend these. I haven’t tried the other shades from the collection: Albatross, Capri and Maldives – so it’s worth swatching those if you can. But as for Fort de France, Ibiza and St. Barthes, they live on my vanity now and never get put back into my make-up drawers, because I pretty much use them on the daily. That probably says it all. 🙂

Here are some swatches:



Kevyn Aucoin Neo-Blush in ‘Sunset’

To be honest, I’ve been dying to have an intense vermilion blush for a while now. Recently I was in SpaceNK looking at the By Terry stand, when I noticed some new Kevyn Aucoin products on display too. Once I saw Sunset, I couldn’t really take my eyes off it.  It’s exactly what I had been picturing in my mind, so I grabbed it and have no regrets!

It’s a beautiful blusher which screams summer and heat. 😎  The pan transitions from one shade into another, similarly to various other Kevyn Aucoin products. In this case, on one side there is a warm-toned, slightly shimmery, sandy gold, and on the other side, there is an intense, matte, show-stopping vermilion. You can see swatches above for each of the extremes, plus the shade you get when combining the gold and the vermilion.

Bottom line: Absolute favorite ❤ . Despite being so pigmented, the product blends well, and you get options too – you can mix the shades in various proportions to your heart’s content. The effect is gorgeous: it warms up the face and brings your look to life, if that makes sense. Another plus is I expect it would work on a whole range of skin tones – from fair (if you apply a little), to deep. There also seems to be no overspray with this, so what you see is what you get. If like me, you’ve been on the hunt for a shade like this, or want to create warm-toned, summery looks, look no further!




By Terry Sun Designer Palette in ‘5 – Hippy Chic’

I feel like this year’s Sun Designer Palette from By Terry is as good as ever. I chose to get the blush palette in ‘5 – Hippy Chic‘ because the other newly available palette in the range, ‘6 – Happy Sun‘ seemed perhaps a bit too dark for fair skin, or at least that’s the impression I got. To be fair, the colors in ‘6 – Happy Sun’ do look beautiful in themselves, but maybe only for an eyeshadow palette in my case, rather than a face palette.

Now, back to the ‘5 – Hippy Chic’. If the colors speak to you, and you’re familiar with the shape of the pans, then you have nothing to fear in terms of quality: it is there. The texture is wonderfully soft and strangely enough for a powder, feels almost mousse-y to the touch. They blend like a dream and have good wear time. Plus, this single palette seems to contain a very good selection of summer blusher shades – get this, and you probably won’t need anything else for the entire season. (Though I think make-up is often less about ‘needing’ and more about ‘wanting’, but you get the point. 😉 ) I don’t think the individual shades have names, so I’ve just numbered each of them in the previous picture, and the two swatch pictures below.

A common critique of these By Terry Sun Designers is that the zig-zag pans are very narrow, and it’s a challenge to grab just one shade at a time with any regular-sized blush brush. The Hippy Chic is no exception. The entire palette is 15cm long, and about 6.5cm wide, with each pan being 2cm wide at the widest point, and 1cm wide at the most ‘pinched’ part of the zig-zag… So there are two options – either your plan is to mix the shades anyway, in which case this doesn’t matter, or… you’d need a very small blush brush.

I once reviewed a Chanel retractable blush brush and mentioned its head was unusually small… Turns out it’s perfect for these Sun Designer pans. Another option I’ve come across, and which I think performs better, is the Sonia G. Face Two brush. It is also quite small, but feels fluffier and is better at blending than the Chanel due to its flatter top – you see my review here for the Face Two.

Bottom line: If the issue with pan size doesn’t bother you, the shades are absolutely beautiful and perform well. They are also very varied in that one could double as highlighter (see swatch #1 below), others are pink-based (#2 which is iridescent, and #3 and #6 which are matte pinks), another is a vivid shade of coral (#4, matte), and there is also a shimmery golden peach (#5). Plenty to choose from and play around with over the summer!


Hope the swatches and comments were helpful. Are you planning to pick any of these up, or have you done so already?



  1. Wow, just gorgeous! I am surprised at how much I loved all the colours in the By Terry Palette #5. And thanks for the brush rec! All good quality products too. Many sunny happy faces to you this year!


    1. Same here! In all these face or eye palettes, there is usually at least one dud, or at least one colour you will never use that often. Not here though, it’s gorgeous through and through. And likewise!


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