Monday, May 30, 2011

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector and Luminous Skin Color

I was already a Becca fan when I first heard about the Shimmering Skin Perfector ($41), but I didn't know how to use it (I assumed it would turn me into a greasy mess) until I ran across a Lisa Eldridge review. She demonstrates how to apply the Skin Perfector below, starting at 04:05:

I immediately bought Pearl, applied it exactly the way she demonstrated, and I could not believe the gorgeousness. After that, I was encouraged to try it other ways. I'd mix a tiny dot into my tinted moisturizer or foundation or sometimes I'd dab a bit into the center of my eyelid over eyeshadow. I cannot recommend that method for a long-term look because the humectants in the highlighter will eventually cause eye makeup to slide off, but it looks nice for a short while.

I want to be clear that his highlighter, even though water based, does leave a slightly tacky feeling on the skin, so if your skin is oily (e.g., you use blotting papers on your cheeks by afternoon, not just on nose and forehead), you might not like how Shimmering Skin Perfector feels.

If you mix it into foundation or moisturizer, you need a tiny amount, about the size of a rice grain--you don't want your entire face to shine. For highlighting I use about the size of a pea and blend it in really well so there are no visible edges. The foundation brush eats up a lot of the product but I get a more flawless finish using a brush instead of my fingers.

I had also read great things about Becca Luminous Skin Color ($42). There are so many color choices--especially for pale (and cool!) skin tones, which is quite unusual. There are many brands where I cannot get a color match, as they are all too dark. I wrote to Becca customer service, and they recommended Cashmere, which is for fair complexions with neutral undertones. But I don't have neutral undertones. I have a decided amount of blue and pink undertones and beige overtones, so I chose Porcelain, which is recommended for light to fair complexions with pink undertones. It turned out to be a good choice.

Coverage is very sheer and quite dewy. Oily skins might not care for this, as it has quite a lot of slip. If you want your foundation to cover imperfections, this might not be up for the task. Luminous Skin Color is ideally for skin that hasn't got much to hide, as it, at most, blurs minor imperfections.

This tinted moisturizer contains broad-spectrum sunscreen (SPF 25), as well as vitamins that supposedly fight free radicals, enhance tissue repair, bind moisture, promote collagen production, and protect against environmental damage. The moderately gooey finish makes me wonder if this product contains some of the ingredients from the Shimmering Skin Perfector. Unfortunately, something in the ingredients reddens my skin. It could be the sunscreen or the fragrance or that the excess slip makes it hard to blend without streaking.

Below are swatches of the Pearl Skin Perfector and Porcelain Luminous Skin Color on the back of my hand. You can see liquid (silicones?) pooling around the Pearl splotch.

Pearl is a shimmering clear color; Porcelain is a pinkish beige

Smeared out

Blended a bit more

Bottom line: Lovely for that youthful summertime glow. Sensitive skins should try to sample first.

Ingredients: Water, Propylene Glycol, Homosalate, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Octyldodecanol, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane, Glycerin, Stearic Acid, Triethanolamine, Cetyl Alcohol, Isopropyl Myristate, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil Unsaponifiables, Talc, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Phenoxyethanol, Magnesium Myristate, Kaolin, Cocoglycerides, Tocopherol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Glyceryl Stearate, Cyclopentasiloxane, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Lactate, Sodium PCA, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Allantoin, Panthenol, Dimethicone, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Methylparaben, Ethylparaben, Propylparaben, Sodium Chloride, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetyl Palmitate, Glycine, Fructose, Urea, Niacinamide, Inositol, Sodium Benzoate, Lactic Acid, Fragrance, may contain: +/- Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides, Ultramarines, Red 36, Red 7


  1. I pulled out all my unused illuminators after that video as well! The Becca product sounds lovely.

  2. I swear we're in some kind of "make-up mind-meld" - I've just been trialling Becca luminous skin colour in porcelain (I like it btw, so much joy finding a good match when one's so pale), and bought the Rouge Bunny Rouge lipgloss in Coy and the Edward Bess ivory concealer nanoseconds before you blogged about them!
    Today I treated myself to a couple of Dior Addict lipsticks so if they crop up in your blogging shortly I'll know you've been stalking me :-P
    Love the blog, always interested to hear your views on a product and your photos are always great. I've learnt so much from you and other beauty bloggers - please keep up the good work, thanks Jo :-)

  3. Liz, it's really pretty, but I wish they packaged it in a smaller bottle. That blob I put on my hand in the swatch is enough for 2-3 faces! I use an amount no larger than a small pea, so that bottle will last years--especially now that I am using the Luminous Skin Color and don't need to add any more glow! You can often find both of these on for around $25 each.

  4. Why oh why did I swap away Pearl a year ago??!! I barely even gave it a shot. *kick self in butt*

  5. Jo, thanks so much! I am incapable of shutting up about makeup, so I am glad you're enjoying my posts. No Dior on the horizon yet, but I have lots more RBR and more Becca, too. I really do need to get back to Dior. It was my first high end love back in the ... oh, a while ago. ;-)

    Aw, PP, there's not much worse than swapper's remorse. I swapped EB Intimate TWICE before I realized, yes, it is worth keeping. I also gave away my first bottle of Becca SSP. I have stopped swapping, partly because now that I am blogging I realize I will have to pull out an old favorite for a comparison swatch one day. You know what that means, don't you? I am about the enter the point of no return and get myself some serious makeup storage.

  6. I've had that Shimmering Skin Perfector in pearl on my to buy list for ages, it does sound really lovely, I guess I should just make sure to add it to my basket next time I do a Zuneta order ;) Thanks for the review x

  7. I picked up the SSP after seeing Lisa Eldridge rave about it as well! I have darker skin so picked it up in Gold and it is so gorgeous! I agree with you about the smaller bottle, this stuff will last for years!!!

  8. I'll have to check these out! I love Lisa Eldridge :)

  9. LOL yes I'm starting to feel that way too. I have such a hard time getting some things though that swapping is a great way for me to do so. I am finding it harder to let go of things though now. Right now I'm struggling over that darn Chanel Perlees de Chanel quint!

  10. Pearl looks gorgeous! I normally stick with using powder illuminators and highlighters because they last longer on my oily skin, I'm really tempted to try Shimmering Skin Perfectors though. The Luminous Skin Color sounds like a fantastic product too but it wouldn't provide a enough coverage for me at the moment. Thank you for the swatches!

  11. Nat, SSP is pretty bulletproof, but it does leave a tacky finish. I edited my post to make sure it says that. I do not believe I would have liked this 10 years ago, when my skin was much oilier. My favorite highlighting powders are still by Becca and Chantecaille, with a preference for Chantecaille because it's less powdery.

  12. The luminous skin colour is definitely on my list of things to try, i love a nice lightweight sheerish foundation :)

  13. Thank you for the review, I've been so tempted to try this foundation but I'm worried about the colour match, do you know how Porcelain compares in colour to NARS Sheer Glow in Siberia or Giorgio Armani Lasing Silk in 2?

  14. Anon, I am sorry I don't know. Have you looked at Temptalia's foundation matrix? It's very thorough.

    Also, if you contact Becca cosmetics and fill out a form on their web site (mainly about your coloring and the kinds of foundations you already wear), they will get back to you within a few days with a suggestion for your match.

    I know it's a lot to spend on a potential mistake, so I often watch for sales at They often sell Becca overstocks, and I can sometimes get their items that cost over $45 for around $25. Not this time, alas, but I lucked out with the color.

  15. This *is* gorgeous.

    Oh no! What am I doing?! One moment I'm riding high on my "restrained" makeup stash, the next I'm researching Becca SSP! I'm a goof.

    1. Beautiful, but if your skin is sensitive to chemical sunscreens, you might want to give it a pass. I like the Rouge Bunny Rouge liquid highlighters better,but when it comes down to it, I am still a powder girl.

    2. Thanks for the tips. I only have powder products. I've been getting the impression from online reviews that liquid products leave a more natural finish. Would you say this is true in your experience?

    3. Not necessarily. It really depends on your skin and the product's finish. Liquids and creams can look natural because they melt into the skin the way moisturizer does, but if the base contains glitter, all bets are off. Also, if you have large pores, I think liquids and creams can highlight them in an undesirable way unless you put primer underneath. And even then ... you'd have to experiment.

      Both the Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector and Rouge Bunny Rouge Seas of Illumination highlighting liquids are excellent, but in strong sunlight the shimmer is detectable. It's not sparkly, but it's there. Edward Bess makes a cream-based highlighter that isn't bad. His lightest color is Sunlight but because it's yellow, it didn't work as well for me. Sadly, the Becca products irritated my skin and caused rosacea flushes.

      As for powders, even though my skin is much less oily than it used to be, I prefer using this formula, as I have found some highlighting powders leave them most natural—glowy—finish on me, instead of shimmer, which I do NOT want. Some excellent and very subtle highlighting powders are Rouge Bunny Rouge Love Lights, Guerlain Meteorites, MAC Beauty Powder (though this one does contain more obvious shimmers in sunlight), and my favorite of all isn't a skin highlighter at all! I most often use Chantecaille Perle eyeshadow. Because it has a slightly metallic sheen, I can lightly dust it onto my cheekbones and then use my fingers to press it in so the particles lie flat. I also appreciate a product that is multifunctional, and I use it on my eyelids, down the bridge of my nose, and on my cupid's bow (much the way Lisa Eldridge uses the Becca SSP in the above-linked video).

      But finally, it comes down to skin. In my 20s, I would have run screaming from ANY of this stuff. No way could anyone convince me to wear it, even if I were 20 now, with all the product knowledge I have learned over the years. If you have natural oils in your skin, still, I say let them come through. Blot the worst off with a blotting tissue and powder around the areas, but leave the cheekbones and center of forehead glowing. I was on a militant search-and-destroy mission for all shine back then, and now I put it back with makeup, lol.

      Hope that helps!

    4. Thank you for sharing and teaching me. I'm bookmarking this page for future referencing. :)

    5. I had to write back because I had yet to express how much I appreciate your response to my questions. Thank you for taking the time to educate me and to share your experiences with products and your approach to finishes.

      It's funny because I used to be all about mattifying as well and now I'm embracing my natural "glow". Your last paragraph made some makeup realisations click for me. When I started exploring makeup (about 2 years ago), I limited myself to mostly drugstore items as I wasn't sure if my interest was transient and my budget was tighter. Glitter is rampant in drugstore products, and unfortunately it isn't used in the most elegant of ways. As a result, I largely shied away from shine (and always glitter) and was interested in only matte eyeshadows. (Of course some shimmery drugstore items did make it into my stash as I experimented).

      What you've helped me realise is that my taste has become more refined. I've learned a bit more of what works for me and, with the right formula, I don't need to be afraid of shimmer and glow. It need not be gaudy and that there are lovely products out there. Like Burberry's Pale Barley. And RBR Love Lights (you are right. It is heavenly. It is going on my dream wish list.) I doubt I'll become a glitter girl, but that aside... something in your response dropped a veil from my eyes... or...(I am struggling to find the words)...perhaps gave me the "license" to break out of my safety zone.

      ps re: Pale Barley
      Oh gosh. Gorgeous. I swatched it in store earlier this week and it buoyed my heart. (And what a materialistic heart it was at that moment!) I'll be saving my pennies for that one too!

      pps My cheap-o mattes haven't really been cutting it for me either. They're too chalky! It sounds like I'm looking for an overhaul. *sigh* I'll leave this last realisation for new day and for an entirely new bank account. :)

    6. Hi, BooBoo, I am so glad you found your prefect way! It feels so good when everything falls into place.

      As for Pale Barley, I am trying not to look. I have managed to avoid buying a single Burberry item this far (aside from non-makeup stuff) but that beautiful eyeshadow calls to me. It looks like it would be absolutely perfect for everyday.

      There are some gorgeous mattes out, with creamy, non-chalky/non-powdery finishes!

    7. What are you favourite matte formulas? Is RBR up there? (I'm afraid to check back to your response.)

      Oh, and Burberry Pale Barley is totally overrated. I was just talking out of my newbie bumhole earlier today. Don't bother checking it out. Don't ever listen to a newbie.

    8. Yes, I do like RBR matte formula, especially the new colors Sweet Dust Seriema and Bashful Flamingo. I also like Chantecaille Lasting Eye Shade formula (fav is Agate d/c, sadly), Prescriptives Mushroom, and I have several favorites by Shu Uemura that have been long discontinued. I recently rediscovered NARS and am loving D.Gorgeous, and I have always loved Bali. Jane Iredale also makes some really nice matte pressed eyeshadows. MAC is OK, but I only like their matte2 formula, and they aren't making enough colors in it; Copperplate is the best of the bunch.

      And thanks for killing my Barley lemon. Last thing I need is another brand to obsess over.

    9. Barley lemon! That's right! Yuck. I'm going to start calling it that too.

      I'm only a fan of MAC's Matte2 formula as well. I do have Copperplate and it's been a kind blending colour for me. I was considering Sweet Dust Seriema, but a blogger recently reviewed it and said that it seems like a lighter Copperplate. Is it worth it to have both?

    10. I'm not sure. I did not get the impression they were dupes at all, but I haven't swatched them side by side. I will take a look later. Copperplate is a muted grey on me, whereas Sweet Dust is a light cool taupe with mauve undertones. I don't think they are the same at all, but I'll look later when the light is better.

      Sorry about Barley. Did you actually buy it? It so, what a raging disappointment. What didn't you like about it?

    11. LOL! I just noticed that I had written "lemon" above. I meant lemming, but you say lemon fits, sad as that is.

    12. BooBoo, MAC Copperplate and RBR Sweet Dust are similar. Copperplate is far more pigmented in one swipe and it lacks the mauvish undertones that Sweet Dust has, but they'd actually look gorgeous together. I could see using Copperplate in the crease and then using SDS to blend out/soften the edges.

    13. *sigh*

      ZuZu, what are you doing? You're supposed to get me to drop something from my dream list, *not* encourage me! :) SDS is back on the list.

      I'm in the middle of a conundrum at the moment. I have an unopened Météorites Cruel Gardenia and I don't know if I should keep it. I've checked your archives but you haven't written anything about it. I would say that our shimmer/matte tastes run quite similar (if only we had the same colouring, I could got with all your choices!), so I was curious about your thoughts on the CG finish. Did you ever swatch it at a counter?

      I think having an eyeshadow as your HG highlight is ideal as: 1) the pan is more travel and palette-friendly; 2) the smaller size means you'll probably hit pan before you lose interest or find something better (versus a large pan of highlighter); and 3) it's cheaper than buying a large highlighter!

      I'm going to check out Chantecaille Perle the next time I'm downtown. I wonder how it compares to MAC Too Chic (my first and only highlighter, discounting Cruel Gardenia). I use Too Chic much like you use Perle. Aren't multi-purpose products fabulous?

    14. Multipurpose products are my favorite! I have never tried MAC Too Chic, but a similar color and finish to Chantecaille Perle is NARS Himalayas. If I press it in with my fingers I can make it look more pearlized than metallic or duochrome.

      Alas, I have not seen Météorites Cruel Gardenia. Is it not sold out? I was so tempted by one of the best bloggers/picture takers out there, Makeup Magpie. Check out her review. I believe her skin tone is more similar to yours.

      Here's another review from a blogess goddess. I think she's fair but warm, too.

      And you should consider joining the EDB forum. We talk about makeup ALL THE TIME, and we get and give tons of advice and tips!

    15. Wow, thanks for all the links and the EDB forum introduction. I think I'm going to have to join. But as soon as this dang paper is finished.
      Cruel Gardenia sold out pretty quickly in the States, but I think it was released a bit later in Canada. I got mine about two weeks ago -- I was caught off guard and succumbed to the purchase when the SA pulled two boxes out of the drawer. If you want, I can check if they still have it. It costs CAD $76 before tax though. Say the word and I'll pick one up for you.

    16. Thank you for your kind offer, BooBoo, but I am just going to pretend that I never ever saw it! *blindfolds eyes* I have a few highlighting powders that work well, and I am trying to practice a one-in-one-out policy, and since I can't imagine giving up my current babies ...


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