As a dry-skinned gal in the winter (and fall, and some of spring...) I have no time for such nonsense as mattifying primers or setting powders. I prefer to over-moisturize and use a neutral foundation, rather than using a moisturizing foundation that can oil up around the sides of my nose or become patchy as the day wears on. My best bet is to use a long wearing foundation that holds another powder product whose main job is to illuminate the skin.
Hourglass powders are a hit or miss for many people, but they are a definite hit for me. Some people say they are like the emperor's new clothes; does absolutely nothing but at least it looks fancy and you feel good applying it right?? My first powder was Ethereal Light, which gave my skin a soft-focus look that was very dreamy. I picked up Diffused Light ($45 retail at Sephora) to use as a setting powder for foundations that like to stray or look too matte.
Then, in order to really highlight my cheekbones and bring about a warm bronzed glow, I chose Dior Shimmer Star (sounds like a stripper's roll on glitter...) in Amber Diamond ($45 retail at Sephora.) I was expecting a lot for its price point and it definitely delivered as well as UD Naked Flushed's highlighter or Benefit's Watts Up.
That is to say, it's very uniquely warm but doesn't blow anything else out of the water. I like the luxe packaging and texture of the powder. It isn't chunky, but it's very obvious. Applied with a brush, it gives a healthy sheen from talking distance but GLITTERS if you stand too close to me. I don't use it on my cupid's bow/nose bridge for this reason. Glittery nose. Yum.
You can see the Dior highlighter on top and the Diffused Light powder on the bottom. These are very heavily swatched twice so that they would show up.
Here is another view for you. The highlighter is very apparent without being gaudy imo, and the powder is nicely yellow. Seems like the warm girl's alternative to Dim Light.
They are both blended in here. If you apply the highlighter to such a large area (god bless your cheekbones) you can definitely see that it's almost bronzed. Meanwhile the setting powder dissolves into oblivion.
Look closely, however, and you will see that my skin on the Hourglass side is eerily smoother.
So there you have it, two products that can be workhorses for your winter season's parched skin. I wouldn't say that they are absolutely must-haves, but very fun splurges that could make your skin look "even better" even when you're hacking up a lung and sore all over.
I've just gotten over a bout of the flu (and the "man flu" after giving it to my dear baby husband) and don't feel great without perfecting my base every morning. I don't even feel the holiday season in full effect yet except for crazed nouveau riches shopping for presents at South Coast Plaza.
How's your holiday month going? I can't wait to get in the car and drive back to San Jose!