Blush Eyeshadow NARS

Simplifying Travel Option: NARS Pro Palettes

January 27, 2017

Last year, NARS introduced their Pro Palette line of products and palettes , a way to pack an incredible way to re-experience the brand. Although I’ve always loved the brand, having the option to fill these slim, travel-ready palettes opens up the usability of their line exponentially.

The palettes themselves are very slim. They come in two sizes, small and large, and together you can take enough options to last you for months and months. Their magnetized backing allows you to re-arrange the items, so that you can select your favorites and take only one if you choose. I typically slip two of them into the same padded slot in bag as my Apple MacBook Pro, side by side. Easy, easy, easy.

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Perfume Uncategorized

First Look: Louis Vuitton Perfumes

January 6, 2017

This past Fall, Louis Vuitton expanded its luxury range to include Les Perfums, a series of fragrances. I was fortunate enough that a loved one gave me the Miniature Set ($290) for the holidays. As I’m living a bi-coastal life at present, this was particularly thoughtful because it gives me a variety of fragrances that I can keep in one home, while I have my larger perfume collection in another. The presentation box is quite understated.

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Lipstick NARS

NARS Audacious Rita (Holiday Edition) Giveaway….

November 12, 2016

nars-rita-2Those lovely geniuses at NARS sent us an AUDACIOUS gift–a Holiday-themed Audacious Lipstick in Rita (swatched here). It’s a gorgeous red in an amazing party-ready tube. Although Rita is a permanent color, the holiday-themed version is a Sephora Exclusive (no surprise, sold out). Although there’s a chance of a re-stock, no worries! Cafe Makeup is running a giveaway for U.S. readers that will end at midnight on December 2, 2016.

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Skin care

Nuxe Dry Huile Prodigieuse Paris Limited Edition

September 13, 2016

nuxe-paris-1_edited-1a

I’m in the process of getting my life back in order, and hopefully back to more regular blogging. I’ve missed it greatly.

In the meantime, I wanted to flag this too-adorable version of Nuxe’s Dry Oil, especially as the cooler weather approaches. I’ve loved everything about this body oil–the scent, the quick-dry texture, and the deeply moisturizing effect. Now I can be reminded of my favorite place in the world every time I use it.

This limited edition Parisian spray bottle is priced at $45 (3.3 ounces), which should last me well into next summer.

This item was sent to Cafe Makeup without charge for consideration for review.

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Chanel Mascara Primer

Review: Chanel Beaute des Cils Nourishing Mascara Base

June 5, 2016

Chanel Beaute des Cils 5 (1)

It’s been a while since I’ve loved a mascara primer as much as Chanel Beaute des Cils ($32).

Chanel Beaute des Cils is a white base that gives me dramatic length on application, and slightly more volume. I do not wait for the primer to dry before ap
plying a single coat of Le Volume de Chanel mascara. When using this method, I get lengthened and dramatic lashes that are perfect. No clumps, no smudging, and all-day lovely wear. I love this combination.

Chanel Beaute des Cils is available at Nordstrom, Chanel, Neiman Marcus, and Saks Fifth Avenue.

Chanel Beaute des Cils 16

Chanel Beaute des Cils 25

Chanel Beaute des Cils 32

Chanel Beaute des Cils 33

Chanel Lash Prime 1

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Highlighter

First Impressions: Anastasia Beverly Hills Sun Dipped

June 2, 2016

ABH Sundipped Glow Kit - 41a

Anastasia Beverly Hills Sun Dipped Glow Kit ($40) is a huge palette with four summer-appropriate shades. Mine just arrived. As this is a new product, I thought it best to post some early swatches.

The palette is, unfortunately, cardboard but the pans can be de-potted easily to place into a sturdier palette. These huge pans are buttery soft and satiny.  So far, so beautiful.

There are four shades:

  • Summer – Luminous sand with a white gold finish. This is very close to a pearly white color.
  • Moonstone – Radiant quartz with a pearl finish. This is slightly peachy-pink and quite pretty.
  • Tourmaline – Warm taupe with a rose gold finish. This comes off as quite cool-toned. It’s a very unusual color, quite beautiful. I don’t know of any other highlighter that has such a strong taupe tone.
  • Bronzed – Amber with a penny metal finish. Although this looks quite deep in the pan and in my swatch, this can be applied sheerly on more pale skin.

ABH Sundipped Glow Kit - 51a

ABH Sundipped Glow Kit - 74

ABH Glow Kit - 69

I started out using a fan brush to apply, to do light layering. Despite the very good pigmentation of these, I found that my standard highlighting brushes for my best look.  I’m going to keep playing with these. So far, I’m loving the combination of Summer and Bronzed. I can’t wait to try Tourmaline alone. I’m really curious to play with a warm taupe highlighter.

So, what do you think?

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Laura Mercier Primer

Review: Laura Mercier Blemish-less Foundation Primer

June 1, 2016

Laura Mercier Blemish Less Primer - 1

Laura Mercier’s Blemish-less Foundation Primer ($36/1.7 oz.) is a relatively new introduction to the line. Generally, this is a gentle primer that is formulated to help clear and control oily skin. If you are battling the 3:00 p.m. glow (or even the 10:00 a.m. glow!) it’s nice to have a nice mattifying base to keep things under control.

This Blemish-less Primer dries evenly and clear, elongating my foundation time. It helps smooth pores and give my skin an even texture. I found that my skin did not get break-through oiliness throughout the day, even in warm weather. The product dries clear and doesn’t seem to have any scent. I did not detect any salicylic acid “sting” upon application, or any scent of it either.

The positive aspects of this primer are, indeed, very strong. Unfortunately, my skin didn’t handle the formulation very well and I did notice some spots appearing on the first through the third days of wear. I was actually very surprised by this, because Laura Mercier’s Loose Mineral Foundation is one of my go-to’s when my skin is acting up.  I thought Laura had this!

Laura Mercier Blemish Less Primer - 3

Laura Mercier Blemish Less Primer - 7

Perhaps I am sensitive to one of the ingredients, and you may have better luck. For now, I’m going to stay with MAC’s Prep and Prime Blemish Control Gel ($22/ 0.5 oz.). Given it’s diminutive size, MAC’s is far more expensive. Also, MAC Blemish Control isn’t a primer. Also, although it’s far gentler than the drugstore alternatives, MAC’s Blemish Control isn’t quite as gentle as Laura Mercier’s either.

MAC Prep and prime - 3a

Overall, I didn’t find Laura Mercier’s Blemish-less Primer a viable option for me. If you are interested, I would try to sample before you buy.

Laura Mercier Blemish-less Foundation Primer is available at Nordstrom, Sephora, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Laura Mercier online.

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Ingredient list: Water, Cetearyl Alcohol, Dimethicone, Adipic Acid/Neopentyl Glycol Crosspolymer, Silica, Glycerin, Squalane, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Xylitol, Coco-Glucoside, Polyacrylamide, Ppg-12/Smdi Copolymer, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Sodium Phosphate, Cocamidopropyl Dimethylamine, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Phenoxyethanol, Salicylic Acid, Caprylyl Glycol, Xanthan Gum, Disodium Edta, Tocopheryl Acetate, Laureth-7, Vp/Va Copolymer, Potassium Sorbate, Hexylene Glycol, Amodimethicone, Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose, Aminomethyl Propanol, Chlorphenesin.

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Blush Bronzers Brushes and Tools Highlighter NARS

Summer Loves: Nars Hot Sand Orgasm and Laguna Duos

May 30, 2016

NARS Hot Sand Collection - 17

It feels like this weekend has turned the corner from spring to summer. This is the perfect time to stock up on some summertime staples, NARS Hot Sand  – Orgasm and Hot Sand – Laguna powder duos. ($42 each). These slim compacts are full of summer goodness. Typically, I think of NARS staple highlighter as Albatross. For me, Hot Sand has a warmer, softer color that’s beautiful and very flattering. Of course, Laguna is an amazing bronzer that looks wonderful on a wide range of skin tones.  Of course, Orgasm is a glowing, flatter shade.

The formulations on these powders is superb.  As I go about my summer travels, these two will definitely be slipped into my carryon.  They’re gorgeous.

NARS Hot Sand  – Orgasm is available at Nordstrom and NARS online.

Hot Sand Palettes - 3

To go with these beautiful powders, this collection includes a limited edition brush, the NARS Hanamachi Kabuki Brush ($42). This fluffy, dense brush is designed to work with the Hot Sand palettes. It’s gorgeous, easy to work with and control. Here’s a comparison with the gigantic Givenchy Bronzer Kabuki ($50) and the MAC 182 brush ($53) (this one, from the Catherine Deneuve collection from several years ago).

NARS Hot Sand Collection - 14

The same brushes, set on their sides:

NARS Hot Sand Collection - 13

As you can see, NARS is a comfortable travel size but large and fluffy enough to provide a beautiful, diffused and blended looks.

The NARS Hanamachi Kabuki Brush ($42) is available at Nordstrom and Nars online.

Affiliate Links / These items were sent to Cafe Makeup without charge for review.

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