I remember reading a review on Shiseido’s Luminizing Satin Face Color a while ago and being really curious about it. I always hear rave reviews on Shiseido’s products, but for some reason the brand doesn’t quite get the recognition it deserves. I put both BE206 and RD103 on my “lemming list”, where it was quickly forgotten amidst all my other, more often-hyped or limited-edition products. But recently when I was at the mall (where I may or may not have been purchasing a few other cheek products…), I happened to walk by the Shiseido counter and remembered their Luminizing Satin Face Color powders. After swatching a few of them and falling in love instantly, I decided on BE206 Soft Beam Gold…for now.
Soft Beam Gold appears almost as a medium mustard-yellow hue in the pan but once swiped on the cheeks, it creates a truly seamless so-soft-it’s-almost-champagne golden gleam. Described as a “silky-smooth powder blush that provides long-lasting, true color”, these powders “create a multi-dimensional look…to add depth and glowing radiance.” They are said to contain Micromatic Color Pigment, Satin Smooth Pearl, Dual Optimizing Powder (an “ingredient sold as a component of cosmetics and makeup for the delivery of color and brightness” [source]), and Hydro-Wrap Vitalizing DE (a term trademarked by Shiseido–which is really just a moisturizer).
The product is housed in a sleek and simple black plastic compact with an accompanying applicator brush. Let me just say, the brush is amazing. Seriously amazing. I actually use it instead of my regular brush–not just when I’m on the go, but whenever I use this product. No joke, it is by far the best brush I’ve ever used that was included in a compact. It’s oh-so-soft and perfectly dense. The hair is long and flexible enough that it picks up literally the perfect amount of product and distributes an even, fine veil of powder onto the skin–definitely ideal for highlighter application. The brush works in perfect harmony with the silky-soft texture of the powder. Yeah, the compact is a bit of a fingerprint magnet (like most other black plastic compacts I own), but the quality of the brush more than makes up for it.
The powder itself is a ultra finely-milled and feels like silk going on. It’s somewhere in between a firm and a soft powder. It’s soft enough that it’s super smooth and pigmented, but firm enough that I have no problems with it kicking up dust in the pan. The shimmer is very, very soft and fine–very subtle and understated. When it comes to highlighters, the finer the shimmer, the more of a natural sheen it gives the skin. Well not only is there no obvious shimmer to be seen here, there is absolutely no shimmer to be seen, period! It has a flawlessly even sheen without a hint of frostiness–it just looks natural and oh-so-pretty. The powder is nicely pigmented, and just a single dab of your brush on the surface of the powder is necessary to grab enough product for highlighting your cheekbone area. I also find that the powder clings very well to the brush and the skin.
I get the best results when I apply a small amount onto my cheekbones and then work it into the skin with a kabuki brush. Less is more with this powder. When you apply it very heavily or fail to blend it out properly, it may result in the addition of some unwanted color/pigment. But applied sparingly and you’re left with a lovely gilded sheen. Still, it’s not the end of the world if you apply too much–you just have to make sure to blend it out thoroughly. Luckily, BE206 is an absolute dream to blend and almost seems to melt into the skin. It’s not at all like those obvious-looking powder highlighters that just sit on top of the skin. It’s incredibly fine–probably the most fine, even sheen I’ve seen from any highlighter. Upon swatching it at the counter, it was instant love. It made me look like I had the glowing, illuminated skin of some ethereal pixie–crappy department store lighting and all!
BE206 lasted about 5 hours on my bare skin and about 7 hours over foundation and set with powder. It’s not the longest a powder has ever lasted on my oily skin, but it’s definitely not bad at all. I’m very happy with the wear–and the texture and overall gorgeousness of the powder more than makes up for it. The Luminizing Satin Face Color is available in 6 different shades, though BE206 Soft Beam Gold and WT905 High Beam White are the only 2 real highlighters. The others shades, I would describe as “luminous, highlighting blushes”. From what I’ve tried (I played with all the colors are the counter), they all seem to have the same soft, smooth texture and perfect amount of pigmentation (not too sheer, not too pigmented. Just right!).
*Side note: anyone notice how freaking dark my arm is getting? Most of the color is from taking swatch photos outside for hours at a time (I don’t usually like to put on sunblock before I do swatches because it makes my skin greasy and slick–but obviously I really need to just suck it up! :/)
I know there may be a lot more “exciting” or “hip” brands out there, but Shiseido is a true gem. The Luminizing Satin Face Color is a real knock-out, as is their Shimmering Cream Eye Color (holy toledo, are they smooooth!), brushes (love my Perfect Foundation Brush!), and from–what I hear–their lipsticks (Temptalia recently raved about their Perfect Rouge, stating that they were “a joy to wear…”). For some reason, the first things I always think of when I hear “Shiseido” is skincare–but their cosmetics are truly phenomenal. Their beautiful textures and finishes are right on par with that of other, pricier brands I’ve tried (Burberry is the first that comes to mind, just because I’ve been on such a huge Burberry kick lately). If you haven’t tried anything from Shiseido: run, don’t walk. I really think you’ll be pleasantly surprised with what you find! I know I am…next on my list? The RD103 Petal Luminizing Face Color.
Pros: texture is super fine and soft with an almost creamy feel; blends like a dream; almost seems to melt into the skin; creates the smoothest, finest sheen I’ve seen, so the resulting finish is extremely natural and luminous; comes with a decent amount of product; accompanying brush is magnificent–and the mirror on the compact is nice and large
Cons: applying too heavily can result in the addition of unwanted color; wear time could be better–but that’s just for my oily skin (those with dry, normal, and combination skin shouldn’t have problems in this department); plastic compact does attract fingerprints
»»Pricing: $30/0.22 oz. (6.5 g.)
»»Recommended for: warm skin tones will find this the most flattering (as always, this is not to say those with cool tones won’t like this. Try it! If you don’t like it, I would suggest WT905 High Beam White)
»»Overall Rating: B+
So what about you–have you tried anything from Shiseido lately and fallen in love? Or do you already have a few favorites from the brand that you’d like to share? I’d love to hear your picks. I’m really digging Shiseido right now!