Honest Beauty Reviews: Hourglass Concealer Brush, Nars AfterGlow Blush, + More.

By: Jen Shoop

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I bought a bunch of new beauty products as a part of the Sephora sale and couldn’t wait to share thoughts on them, along with a few other orders sprinkled in here and there.

+Hourglass Concealer Brush. Hands down the best purchase I made last month. This really works — dabbles/blends concealer seamlessly without picking up much product. The perfect angled/shaped bristles, and the perfect stiffness. Brushes are never exciting to buy but this is a worthy addition to your kit. I use it daily and don’t know why I didn’t upgrade sooner. I had been using the Merit brush but it was really too bulky to get into the inner eye, so I’d frequently use my finger. This solves that problem! Strong rec. All my favorite makeup brushes here.

+Nars Afterglow Blush in Dolce Vita. I bought this on the ecstatic recommendation of Tinx, and am…so so? It’s a sheer and buildable formula that I never seem to get just right. It’s either invisible or too much, and I don’t think it has great staying power. Wah! I wanted to love this so much. I’ll keep using and seeing if maybe it works better when I’m tan / when I blend with bronzer?

+Charlotte Tilbury Blush Wand in Pink Pop. Much more pigmented, with much better staying power than the Nars — use with a cautious hand. I really like this product and the sponge applicator, which I think makes application much easier — it’s like the perfect diameter to apply just enough and not too much with each dab. I still think I prefer the blush balms from Merit and Goop over this wand, but I will keep it in the mix. The color is a pretty coral-peach-pink that makes me feel fresh and summery. Overall, a solid but not “OMG RUN OUT AND GET IT” product.

+Sweed Miracle Powder. Oooh yes. I love this powder! I don’t always apply a powder, but for nights out and/or days I’m wearing a full face of makeup, this is a fabulous, translucent, glow-enhancing, make-up-setting wonder. I just noticed it’s starting to sell out. I take the fair color.

+RMS Hydra Bronzer (20% off through today only). I have been a decades-long devotee of Guerlain’s Terracotta bronzing powder but this is just as good, maybe even better because it has more glow/glimmer to it, which I like, and it’s about half the price. Very similar formulas that look super natural on. Cannot rec enough. I often wear this over the Chantecaille bronzing gel. (Also, if you’re shopping at RMS, take advantage of the 20% off sale and add this blurring SPF serum to cart. It is SO good and such an unusual product — I’ve never tried anything like it. It walks the line between skincare and cosmetics, offering a blurring / priming / glow effect while also offering sun protection.)

+Goop 72-Hour Hydrating Water Cream. You know I must try all new Goop products (all my favorites here)! This is a good, rich hydrating cream. I find it’s a bit heavy for me right now and often prefer the RMS luxe cream over it, so I put it in my second drawer to save for winter or any “omg, dry skin!” moments.

+Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer. Good, solid concealer. Offers decent coverage but I don’t know why it’s labeled “radiant” – I feel like it reads very flat/matte on me. I’ll use this until it’s done but I’ll continue to test for alternative everyday liquid concealer. I love the Cle de Peau but find that’s my favorite product for touch ups, undereyes, and redness around nose (it’s SO expensive — it feels wasteful to use all over?). I often want a liquid base to cover the entire eye area and lid and any other imperfections first, and then come in with the CDP as a top layer/final perfecting swipe. I think I’ll try either the Hourglass concealer or Saie’s new radiant concealer next. Probably Hourglass first, given how highly I think of their brush!

+Coco + Eve Bronzing Face Drops. I’m pretty scared of tanners (color always looks orange on me, plus hate the smell), but the Coco and Eve sent me a few of their products, and I surprised myself by liking this one and using it a few times this month, specifically when I was first breaking out a few sundresses and felt ultra-pale. The drop formula is lightweight and easy to use — without a strong smell. (I wouldn’t say it’s totally scentless, but it’s not the typical smell you think of.) I’ve used this a handful of times this month and have been pleased with the results: I blend two drops into my moisturizer and take my time working it all over my face. This feels like tanner with training wheels — not scary. They also sent me their bronzing foam and I plan to try for an upcoming event. Stay tuned! (Also, they offered us 15% off with code MAGPIE15.)

Currently testing these products or waiting impatiently for them to arrive — you can expect thoughts on all of these in my next installment:

+Mane Thermal Round Brush. Katie of Beach Reads and Bubbly has been loving this product, and she shared a screen grab from one of her readers who wrote in to say it’s changed her life — her day-old hair looked incredible! I was specifically pulled in because my biggest hair styling woe is that no matter how aggressively I use a round brush / round heated tool, and how much spray I use to keep it in place, the ends of my hair always get weird and either go jagged-straight or flip the wrong way, and I hate it so much! All I want is a smooth bend inward, and all my hair wants is…to not listen. And it’s not even consistent! 1/3 of my hair will bend outward, the other 1/3 inward, and the last 1/3 stick straight with no bend at all. Anyway, this is exactly what I’ve been looking for — a tool to tame my half-day-old hair, or day old hair, so that it bends back into place. A curling iron has never worked for me because it’s too…precise? Like, you have to just awkwardly curl the very tip under and then there’s a weird kink, or it’s too curled under. Anyway, stay tuned! I will report back.

+L’Ange Glass Hair Spray. (I just discovered this is also carried on Amazon!) I was totally sold on this product from this marketing video. Ordered on the spot.

+Queen Musia Mascara with Lash Growth Extract. I saw someone rave about this on Instagram and wanted to try. I was drawn to the fact that the lash growth ingredients are plant-based (plankton extract), and the mascara is clean.

+Roz Milk Hair Serum. All about the hair care at this time in my life! Have heard such good things about this and you know how I feel about Roz products — my favorite. 15% off with MAGPIE15.

Did you try any standout products because of the Sephora sale (or just in general, recently)? Please share reviews (good and bad) in comments!

P.S. More recent beauty discoveries and reviews here. Still loving those YSE exfoliating pads. SO GOOD. I’ve been using heavily the past week — needed to really refresh and wake up the skin.

P.P.S. Under-$20 beauty buys — this was a super popular post! Some great recs in the comments, too.

P.P.P.S. Catch and release — an essay on writing.

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4 thoughts on “Honest Beauty Reviews: Hourglass Concealer Brush, Nars AfterGlow Blush, + More.

  1. I got the Charlotte Tilbury lipliner and lipstick duo in Pillow Talk and the Ouai detox shampoo from the sale and have yet to try either. Will report back!

    Also, I completely agree about the Nars concealer. I have used it every day for 6ish years and it is an amazing formula, but radiant it is not! I have really dark undereyes (fair skin + genetics + lack of sleep) and it’s really the only concealer I’ve found that does the trick. Worth keeping in the arsenal for sure!

    1. OK, thanks for corroborating this observation on the Nars concealer! “Radiant it is not,” but it does provide great coverage and doesn’t look cakey.

      I know you’ll love the CT lip liner in particular!


  2. Thanks again for the Tower28 mascara rec! I think we have a winner. The curved brush took a minute to adjust to, but now I like it. My other Sephora sale score was Kosas wet stick in Malibu. It’s the perfect pink color for me and I like the texture. But it’s similar enough to my standard Honest Beauty tinted lip balm that I can’t justify spending more than twice as much on the Kosas. At least not regularly…speaking of Kosas, though – maybe give their concealer a try? I’ve been liking it all around my eye area. This is my first concealer in about 5 years though so I am by no means an expert!!

    1. Thank you!! Good to know on the Kosas wet stick — I’d been curious about that. Glad you’re enjoying the Tower28!!


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