Nov 282014
 

lips and boys tom fordThe Tom Ford Lips & Boys collection is now live and selling out.  The layout is helpful, although because I’m traveling on a slow internet connection is was a little tricky. Still, I loved the swatch layout and surprisingly personal experience.

The collection is based on men in Tom Ford’s life, yet it is difficult to shop without thinking about the men in one’s own.

The sheer volume of the collection begs for editing–no one would buy all fifty.  Therein lies the experience. It’s sort of interesting to consider whether to “add” someone to your cart. I felt a little pang when I went to  “remove” certain names of men in my life when my total went over my allocation. There was no possible way that, once my own brother’s name was in my cart, that I could remove him. You get the idea.

Sort of like the reasons that we choose to winnow, to make choices about relationships, hmmmmm. Well done, Tom Ford, well done.

My final list was:

  • John
  • Pavlos
  • Gustavo
  • Omar
  • Blake
  • Leonardo

Did you pick up any?  Which ones?

By the way, even though this post uses stock images, it was extremely useful in making choices. It shows the overlap with existing shades in the Tom Ford line. Thank you to the geniuses at Specktra.net for pointing it out.

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Nov 262014
 

A few weeks ago, I began testing Tom Ford Traceless Perfecting Foundation ($80). The foundation was released in Fall ’14, and is described by line as a “natural-finish, long wearing, humidity-resistant foundation” that hydrates and evens skin tone to create a “flawless, supple, and pore-less canvas on which to sculpt the features.” Tom Ford Beauty categorizes this as a medium-to-full coverage foundation with SPF 15 broad spectrum protection. Tom Ford Traceless Perfecting Foundation is available at Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Bergdorf Goodman.

Tom Ford Firming Foundation02 copyHere are my thoughts based on my testing:

  • This liquid is sold in a plastic bottle that is modern, unbreakable, sanitary and travel-friendly.

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  • There is a built in pump.

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The pump twists up, keeping the product spill-proof and sanitary.

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  • There’s a slight chemical scent to this liquid when first applied, which may be sunscreen ingredients. It fades quickly. I don’t detect any perfume scent.

 

  • Some report that this has a matte finish. On my skin, the finish is natural to slightly glow-ish (especially as the day progresses), probably because of its moisturizing ingredients. On application, the foundation does dry down to the point where it does not transfer. In my opinion, those looking for a true matte finish will want to powder down.

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  • The moisture-add does help my winter-stressed skin, so the description that the foundation includes helpful skin benefits rings true to me. Those with oily skin may notice a bit of a glow as the day wears on (when worn without any primer or powder).

 

  • The claim to a poreless finish rings fairly true to me as well.  This foundation did have a noticeable pore-minimizing finish.

 

  • Like Armani and Burberry (and some other) foundations, this layers beautifully. I can add just a whisper, or build up past medium toward full. I haven’t tried to go all the way to full.

 

  • The longevity was quite good for a moisturizing foundation.  The glowy-moisturizing aspects makes this a little tricky—there are few moisturizing foundations that truly last all day.  I get more wear time out of my long-wearing foundations that do not have any moisturizing properties, including the Tom Ford Traceless Foundation Stick, Chanel Perfection Lumiere (the standard and the velvet), MAC Pro Longwear. Nonetheless,  on me the Tom Ford Traceless Perfecting lasts about 70-90% of the time that the others named here do (rough estimate). Also, I don’t get any shifting or “looks like its lifting off” effect. As the day goes on, I notice that the coverage seems to lessen, and a glowy sheen starts to emerge.

 

  • Some may be wondering how the Tom Ford Traceless Perfection stacks up next to the By Terry Densiliss Foundation (reviewed here). Of course, both are premium liquid foundations that have skincare benefits. In my opinion, Tom Ford’s Traceless Perfection feels more moisturizing and behaves more like a standard layerable liquid foundation with the slight-glow foundation. In contrast, By Terry Densiliss feels a bit closer to a cream when applied, tends to dry down closer to a matte-satin, does not have the pore-control of Tom Fords, and lasts a bit longer throughout the day. In other words, those with dryer skin may prefer Tom Ford, while those with oily/combination skin may prefer By Terry.
  • The foundation includes Tom Ford’s Infusing Complex which helps diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. I can vouch for this–this does give me a beautiful canvas.

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After spending nearly an entire Spring and Summer in California, I was counter-matched to Tom Ford Traceless Perfection in #3 Fawn. On this snowy winter day, this is a bit warm and dark for my current complexion but still wearable. If I were to buy another today, I’d go a shade or so lighter (in Ivory or even Cream). Here’s a swatch of Tom Ford Fawn #3 compared to my MAC Studio Sculpt in NC15 for color.

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This foundation is said to be particularly good in warm-to-cold conditions. Those who are running from the cold outdoors into overheated buildings will appreciate that the foundation does, indeed, seem to hold up well in highly varied temperature conditions (as well as those who get super warm due to, ahem, other reasons). I get this same quality from Tom Ford Traceless Stick Foundation, and the other long-wearing foundations in my stash including By Terry, Chanel Perfection Lumiere and MAC Pro Longwear.

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In addition to octinoxate and titanium dioxide for sun protection, the product includes the following: (click to enlarge):

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Unlike many foundations that I’ve tried recently, I’m not seeing alcohol listed here, which is a very good plus.

Overall, Tom Ford Traceless Perfection is worthy of the title premium foundation in its excellent finish, skincare benefits, and overall look. This has excellent buildability. Those looking for skincare infusion and moisture, especially in these drying winter months, may find that this is a favorite.

Tom Ford Traceless Perfecting Foundation is available at Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Bergdorf Goodman.

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

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Nov 252014
 

Continually updated…

NARS has a 20% off sale from November 28th through December 2nd.
Give & Take Event! Exclusive 20% Off - Give in. Take more. Shop It. Ends December 2nd.

 

Starlight Limited Edition

The Christian Louboutin Starlight nail polish is up for sale on Neiman Marcus priced at $675. In addition to the Scent Event Clutch (free with $100 purchase of fragrance or cosmetics), Neiman’s also has some intriguing Guerlain candles and French Kiss Eau de Parfum (” a glossy floral that celebrates the French art of kissing with a sexy rose, litchi and raspberry accord”):

NMC1RXW_mk NMC1SBZ_mk

 

Marc Jacobs will be featuring some exclusive items for #BlacquerFriday (the link is not live with product yet but will be):

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Shop the Marc Jacobs Beauty #BLACQUERFRIDAY Sets! Exclusively available online for a limited time only. Don’t forget to pick up the Holiday Sky Linder Eyeliner Set–you won’t regret it!

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Missha, the BB Cream masters, have a 40% off sale right now.

Becca has a 20% off sale for orders over $50 with the code GOLD20. It might be time to try those shimmering skin perfectors if you haven’t already.

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Also, I’m still loving the soufflé blushes that I got last summer. They had a beautiful, non-sparkling glow.

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Also, Laura Mercier is having a 25% and free ship discount through 11/30/14 with $100 minimum purchase (no code needed).

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Lenore Greyl is giving away a free Huile de Magnolia (value $57) with any $75 purchase (use code VIP). This offer is valid until Friday November 28th at Midnight.  This hair oil is perhaps Lenore Greyl’s premium, flagship product and so this is a very generous offer.23b0cb6b-c28a-46f2-997e-af396038c8e4

Chantecaille is giving away a yummy Macaron palette with the promo code HLDYSWEETS14 with a $125 purchase from November 26 through 30th (while supplies last).

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On Black Friday November 28th, Make Up For Ever Boutiques will have the following products on deep discount

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MAKE UP FOR EVER Aqua Shadow: 2 for $10- all colors
MAKE UP FOR EVER Aqua Eyes Lagoon Green: 2 for $10
MAKE UP FOR EVER Aqua Liner, Sepia Collection: 2 for $10
MAKE UP FOR EVER Make Up Artist Picks Set: was $300, new price $150
MAKE UP FOR EVER Artisan Brush Set: was $65, new price $34
MAKE UP FOR EVER Aqua Shadow Kits: was $38, new price $19
MAKE UP FOR EVER Extravagant Eyes on the Go Set: was $18, new price $9

Additionally, on Black Friday MAKE UP FOR EVER will be launching the “Get Glossy” kit exclusively in Sephora stores, featuring Lab Shine Lip Gloss in shades #D14 & #D16 for $10 (the glosses retail separately for $19 each). For readers, I am waiting for the PR to send me some images–if/when they arrive I’ll post them here.

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On Tom Ford’s Black Friday radar are fifty (50) new colors released under the Lips & Boys collection.  These are said to be “mini” in size and sell for $30 each. They can be previewed here.

lips and boys tom ford

Starting on Tuesday, November 25th, Kate Sommerville has a 25% off friends and family sale through December 1st with code FRIENDS2014.
Kate Somerville Friends and Family Event

I’ll update as more information comes in that I think will be interesting to you.

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

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Nov 202014
 

Armani Friends and FamilyGird your loins!  It’s the Giorgio Armani Friends and Family Sale, which is 20% on all orders over $75 through December 7, 2014. In my mind, Giorgio Armani is one of those lines that always has my back. When I’m heading for a challenging day, or making an important first impression, Armani is absolutely a go-to line. It’s products are beautifully formulated, long-lasting, and enhance my natural features. I cannot resist calling this sale to your attention, as well as listing a few of my favorites. The sale code is FAMILY14.

Armani Light master primer

The Giorgio Armani Light Master Primer ($57) is one of those products that has to be seen to be believed. I tried this one day, bought it immediately, and never looked back. It gives my skin a noticeable luminosity when worn under makeup, and it increases my foundation wear time exponentially. The effect is noticeable but not obvious. If you want to look like someone turned a light on under your skin, without any noticeable shimmer or glitter, this one will become a staple. This gives a little “something something” that makes all the difference.

Armani Lumious Silk Foundation Seriously worth the praise, Armani Luminous Silk Foundation ($62) looks amazing when applied. This is a gold-standard, the one to beat. It photographs beautifully, the texture is sublime, and it lasts beautifully in all kinds of challenging conditions. This is my third bottle, but that’s because I returned one and then gave another one away because I did not understand this foundation on my first two attempts. This is truly a foundation that professionals love, but of course professionals know how to work with foundation and I did not. First off, this foundation must be fully removed at the end of the day with an oil cleanser. Second, this looks best applied with a foundation brush. This is one of the only foundations on the market that can be anywhere from light to full coverage, because it’s miraculously buildable. The brush makes coverage controllable, so I can cover my problem areas with a few more brushstrokes, and leave other areas with with the lightest coverage possible.

Armani Liquid Summer3

I am still using the Giorgio Armani Maestro Bronzer ($64) every day. To be honest, part of the reason for this is much of my makeup is still in storage as my new (well, new to me) home is being torn up and renovated, and this is the bronzer that I chose to be in my temporary sized-down working stash. As it turns out, it was a smart choice. This melds to foundation (or directly on skin) and looks completely natural. The Maestro texture is undetectable, and the color is layerable and controllable because of this texture. Completely awesome, and an ideal winter (and summer) bronzer.

Armani Liquid Summer2

I’ve been wearing the Armani Eye & Brow Maestro ($34) in my brows for the past several weeks, and find that the color and texture work well. It has texture that looks natural all day, and can be used to hold the brow in place (as well as swept across lids as a matte eyeshadow). I was matched at a counter to #6 (Medium Blonde) which is a good match. Although I prefer the convenience of a brow mascara (like the NARS one, which has good grey-toned choices), Armani’s is an excellent, excellent choice.

Armani Eye & Brow Maestro I might pick up Armani’s brow brush as part of the sale. Then again, I might not. One trick I’ve learned that if I use the MAC brow brush in the photograph, above, I need to brush through the brows again with a clean spoolie to even out my application. So I’ve switched to the Nars Brow Defining Brush #48 ($26), pictured below:

Nars 48a Brow Defining Brush

Seriously, I don’t know why the NARS brow brush works better than any others I’ve tried. Get it. It’s a great brow brush. The Armani Palette Clutch ($100), has caught my eye because, oh my, just look at it.

armani clutch

I am also planning to pick up another color from the Armani Luminessence CC Cream ($50). I was counter-matched to #4, but now that I’m living in an East Coast winter wonderland, the time has come to switch to #2. My paleness (and a few go’s with Makeup Artist’s Choice Fade Peel) have made this any easy decision.

Armani CC Cream13

Also, this seems like the perfect time to try more colors from Armani’s Lipstick and Gloss lines. A little Rouge D’Armani? Why yes! As you likely know, Armani products are beautiful, flattering, and some give your lips that little extra “Armani something” that looks so beautiful.

Rouge D'ArmaniI wanted to try some of the Armani Ecstacy CC line, but I found that the colors from the Rouge D’Armani line seemed to work better for me. I already own #102 and #103, now is the time to branch out. I also want to play with Armani Lip Maestro collection–as a reminder, her is #400 Lip Maestro on Liz (an epic color!)

Armani Maestro Lip11a

The Armani Fluid Sheers are heavenly, in case you haven’t tried them. I love all of the ones that I have–these are sophisticated highlighting at its best.

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There are a few more in the range that I need, so this looks like the right time to pick them up.

GA Fluid Sheer Swatches2a

Hopefully this gives you a good starting point for the Giorgio Armani Friends and Family sale–do not forget to use the FAMILY14 code!

This post contains affiliate links (for more information, see About Cafe Makeup). The NARS brush was provided to Cafe Makeup without charge for consideration for review, and has since become a beloved part of my everyday routine.

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