Dec 092014

NARS Holiday Face Compact01 copyThe Nars Laser Cut Eye, Cheek, and Lip Palette ($59) has some outstanding products within it, as well as some staples that are lovely to have on the road. As I prepare for an upcoming cruise, you can bet that this little party-in-a-palette will be sailing along with me.

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I love the clean format of this palette-it looks so gorgeous, like a lacquered box suitable for an end table. The wintry pattern, and the stark black sides, are so simple and timeless.

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Inside are some truly spectacular eyeshadows. Usually I’m wary of palette eyeshadows. But here the center shade is gasp-worthy–it is complex and does lovely, shimmery things in the light. The other two shades are very good matte neutrals. Yes, I know mattes in other lines can be patchy and difficult, but Nars has these two nailed down just right. The neutral vanilla is a nice All About Eve type color (a little more beige) that melts into the lid. I can use the matte army green as a liner or a outer corner shade. It’s a very good matte green, in a world that is full of other companies’ not-so-good ones.

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Inside are respectably large sized pans of Day Dream blush (reviewed here) and the lovely standard Laguna bronzer. Also, there’s a diminutive neutral Dolce Vita gloss, on of those colors that I’ve used all the way to the end.  It’s a perfect “my lips but better” shade.
NARS Holiday Face Compact07 copySwatches:

Nars face palette swatches1 copyOverall, this is a highly useful and well-executed palette. If you are on the edge, I’d have to say that the shimmery cafe au lait would put you over the top if you saw it in person. Plus, Day Dream is such a lovely blush (I’m so happy to see it in this palette!). In case you’d like to gift it, take it on vacation with you, or simply tuck it into your drawer for a perfect everything-palette, it is available at Nars online, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Barneys.

This palette was provided to Cafe Makeup without charge for consideration for review. This post contains affiliate links (for more information see About Cafe Makeup)



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Dec 092014

I’m obsessed with entrepreneurship. Of course, not everyone has access to venture capital funding, or is part of large company, and many cosmetic companies require a large (read: expensive) infrastructure to formulate cosmetics that meet all of the standards. Still, I can’t help but applaud “the little guys” who are out there swinging. It’s so easy to write  a blog that evaluates, it’s so much harder to really create something from scratch I think.

Anyway, I thought I’d write about a few “little guys” that caught my eye recently.

One Etsy company called PatentPrints that caught my eye makes artisan prints from issued patents. I asked them to make one of a Chanel handbag that could hang in my office (the price is so much more modest than an actual bag!). They did, and now they’ve put the print up for everyone to buy. This is in a chalkboard-styled print (they have other choices, like Blueprint, which I chose). How cool is this?


In the recent past, a few Kickstarter projects have caught my eye:

Bitch Beauty Box has a ways to go before meeting its goal (many Kickstarter projects don’t reach their goals, and so they are left to find funding elsewhere). Still, the idea is intriguing. They replicate on-the-runway shades, and send them out to customers within weeks of a show.

Sphynx is an on-the-go razor company is very close to their goal. Only ten more days to go! This product has a refillable water container, an all-natural organic soap that can be used like lotion, and two top-quality razors included in the case. Pledges at the $16 level get one of the razors, and at $28 get two (assuming that the product is ultimately made).

sphnx B+W sphynx- Twist.68(1)Thanks to all who have continued to check in on my little blog over the past few months. It’s been a rough transition, and I’m slowly starting to feel back to my old self again. I think we all need to guard against burnout and stress, it’s a difficult challenge. Especially if you love things to be perfect, which of course is impossible. I think doing these little posts is really getting my excitement back. I hope that you are doing well and trying to stay calm and even during this very busy (and sometimes stressful!) holiday season.

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Dec 092014

Here some things that have stood the test of time:
  • There aren’t too many products that promise brow growth–and who doesn’t love lush, full (and tamed) brows? Revitabrow Advance is a product designed to encourage growth. I was sent this as a sample, and used it for eight (8) weeks. For the first five weeks, I saw virtually no difference. At the sixth week, I was tweezing every day. My brows were noticeably longer, stronger, and much lusher.  One corner of my brow, which has not had growth for years, is sprouting baby hairs. Nordstrom is running a two-for-one pricing (2 for $110) for a set to carry you through for several months. All I can say is, be persistent (once or twice a day, every day), and it certainly worked for me. Make sure you have your tweezers ready. (Unlike my experience with Latisse, I did not have any skin darkening with Revitabrow.


  • I went through two generous samples of Chanel Lift Creme Riche ($165) before ordering a full size. It makes my skin look youthful, bright and clear. I’ve gone through an entire tub of Chanel Sublimage, and another of Chanel Sublimage Eye, and I did not like either one as much as Chanel Lift.



  • Perfumes are so individual, aren’t they? This time of year is a wonderful time to treat yourself, or your family member to a lovely, luxurious scent. Above, I’ve pictured some of my favorite lines, including Chanel, Guerlain and Hermes. Of course, I love all things French.


  • Winter can be so drying, and that’s not a lovely look. This year, I’ve turned to Clarins Tonic Body Treatment, which got rave reviews on Nordstrom’s website. It’s a gorgeous oil, as you might expect from this French company that knows its skincare. The scent is eucalyptus, which I associate with open-window drives through Northern California. It does fabulous things to wake me up and my skin feels baby soft after using it. If you do not like such scents, Caudalie Divine Oil is a nice choice. I also love beachy oils (like Estee Lauder’s), and Lush’s Ro Argan Body Conditioner (and while you are at it, pick up a Lush Rose Jam Shower Gel–it’s totally worth the hype).


  • My review of Chanel Rouge Allure glosses are here.


  • Anything L’Occitane this time of year feels perfect. I adore the Verbena line.


  • I’ve been enjoying my Wayne Goss brushes (original review is here).

I’d love to hear about any of your recent loves!


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Revitalash was sent to Cafe Makeup without charge for consideration for review. This post contains affiliate links (for more information, see About Cafe Makeup)

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Dec 092014

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Chanel Rouge Allure Lip Gloss ($34 each) (sometimes called Chanel Rouge Allure Colour & Shine Lip Gloss) is the latest from the line famous for the “click click” heavy luxury packaging and its delightful, depth-filled sheer Glossimers. This new line sits somewhere in between–the packaging is pared down a bit from the Rouge Allure Extrait de Gloss, and opacity is amped-up from the Glossimer line.  I see that the Rouge Allure Extrait de Gloss is no longer showing for sale on, so I am assuming that this line is the replacement (I’ve  had no official word). These are available at Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, and other Chanel sources.

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I tried a range–the nude Sensuel, the red Seduction, and the coral-pink Affriolant. These use the “click click” mechanism, rather than the screw-opening of the Rouge Allure Extrait de Gloss, and the packing feels lighter in weight. The texture of the three that I tried do not seem to have quite the complexity as some of my favorite Extrait de Glosses. These new Rouge Allure Colour and Shine Lip Glosses have a noticeable perfumed scent, which fades after several minutes.

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My favorite of these was the gorgeous red Seduction.

Chanel Seduction1 copy copyHere is the nude Sensuel.  Here, I notice that Chanel has worked its magic by formulating a perfect nude. Chanel seems to be a genius formulating colors with both warmth and coolness. I’ve seen it in their blushes for years, and now it brings this talent to Sensuel. Also, Sensuel seems to be a nude that will work for many, many skin tones. How do they keep doing it? This color can be built up to a good opacity.

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Affriolant seems to bring its own version of warmth. Now that winter is taking hold, I have to say I enjoy the subdued brightness of this color. It looks beautiful with greys, forest greens, navy, and other colors that seem to be popular in winter. I suspect it will be beautiful in the summer sun as well.

chanel affriolant lipsOverall, I’m looking forward to wearing these, and to more releases in this line. Sometimes we need a glossy look with some opacity, and the new line of Chanel Rouge Allure Gloss well worth exploring. The colors are simple, edited, and perfect.

These are available at Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, and other Chanel sources.

 This post contains affiliate links (for more information, see About Cafe Makeup)

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Dec 082014

Nars lipgloss1 copyJust a quick post tonight to take a quick look at the beautiful little NARS Tech Fashion Lip Gloss Coffret ($39). This is perfect for those gloss-a-holics in your life (or to treat yourself). This is limited edition and currently available at NordstromNars online, Barneys, Bloomingdales, Neiman Marcus, and Saks Fifth Avenue.

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This pretty little set of four mini’s uses Nars reformulated glosses. The shades are a light peach, pretty sheer red, deep burgundy, and shimmery nude.

Nars lipgloss5 copy As with all of the new Nars glosses, these use a doe-foot. Swatches:

Nars Laced with Edge LipglossOverall, this is a lovely set with a wide range of widely-flattering, sheer and flattering colors. Highly recommended.

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These are now available at NordstromNars online, Barneys, Bloomingdales, Neiman Marcus, and Saks Fifth Avenue.

These glosse were sent to Cafe Makeup without charge for consideration for review. This post contains affiliate links (for more information, see About Cafe Makeup).

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