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.

All you have to do is enter a blog comment that tells us what you’re loving right now. If you really, really want it, you’ll also get a point by tweeting about your entry (maximum one tweet per day).

Remember–tell the Rafflecopter form what you’ve done so we can keep track.

Thank you for reading! I’ve missed you all so much!

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

This item was sent to Cafe Makeup without charge for consideration for review. Our gain could be your gain!

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Skin care

Nuxe Dry Huile Prodigieuse Paris Limited Edition

September 13, 2016

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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).

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The same brushes, set on their sides:

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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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Skin care

My Thoughts: La Roche-Posay Anthelios Clear Skin SPF 60 Dry Touch Sunscreen

May 27, 2016

LRP Anthelios Dry Touch - 3

A few years ago, I decided it was completely unacceptable that a product that was supposed to save your skin could also create breakouts. Since then, I’ve been on a quest to identify those that don’t. A few of my go-to success stories are:

I’m now adding another — La Roche-Posay Anthelios Clear Skin SPF 60 Dry Touch Sunsreen ($19.99/ 1.7 oz./available at Ulta).  This one has all the right boxes checked. This products against UVA/UVB, it absorbs moisture, is water-resistant, stays matte, and it works well under foundation. I’ve worn it to the gym, during long days, and during times when I’ve been battling cystic acne.

I happy to report that this one works, gorgeous. I used it as a primer, and found that my foundation stayed shine-free all day while the SPF protection kept those damaging rays away. The texture is a white cream that dries clear almost immediately (unlike Institute’s Estederm’s No Sun, which takes a good twenty minutes for the white cast to fade away. La Roche-Possay’s Clear Skin worked under a few different foundations without separating, balling up or clogging pores.

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The one issue that I have to note is that there is a sunscreen-like scent upon application. It fades pretty quickly, and it doesn’t seem to be artificial or perfume-like, but it’s something that I wish wasn’t there. Otherwise, I really love the formulation. It dries quickly and doesn’t feel “heavy,” although it does apply as a cream. It’s very pleasant.  Definitely worth a look if you are looking to play out in this sun this summer!

La Roche-Posay Anthelios Clear Skin SPF 60 ($19.99) is available at Ulta.

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Bronzers NARS

Review: NARS Laguna Liquid Bronzer

May 20, 2016

Nars Laguna Liquid - 1 (1)

NARS Laguna Liquid ($40/1 ounce) is a beautiful addition to your summer beauty routine. If you are new to liquid bronzers, you are in for a treat. Laguna works beautifully for a natural, no-streak, softly shimmering summer glow. The effect is so beautiful. As if Languna would get any better… and then it does. 

This liquid is housed in an opaque bottle that’s got a controllable pump. I had no problems getting just the perfect amount out of the container without over-spill. This easy-to-use liquid can be mixed into your foundation to add a touch of summer warmth to your typical look. But my favorite way to use it is to dab a touch onto the bronzing points of my face (where the sun would naturally hit), and blend.  So I put a touch across the tops of my cheeks, the bridge of my nose, the top of my chin, and the top of my forehead.  The effect of using a liquid bronzer is that it tends to melt into my foundation for a more natural, believable look. Yet the ever-so-slight touch of gold adds a little bit of richness that’s absolutely beautiful.

A few thoughts…

NARS Laguna Liquid starts out as a sheer liquid. I found NARS Laguna more sheer and slightly more liquid and lighter in tone compared to Giorgio Armani Maestro Liquid Summer Bronzer 100 (originally reviewed here, and the same bottle is still going strong despite heavy use). Both are quite easy to use, and the NARS Laguna builds up nicely and easily using small washes.  Of course, NARS Laguna is extremely long lasting (thank you for being a professional makeup artist, Francois Nars!) for an all-day bronze glow.

NARS Laguna liquid has a very hard to detect scent, light a slight tropical coconut, that I’ve really got to put right under my nose to detect. It’s lovely, actually, and slightly relaxing if you love the beach (who doesn’t?).

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NARS Laguna liquid - 10

Overall, NARS Laguna Liquid is an A+ top-of-the-line bronzer. It melts into your foundation (or skin), so it doesn’t add any perceptible texture to the skin. I cannot feel it applied to the skin, it simply delivers a soft was of glowing health that is my must-have during the summer months. I typically add a powder or liquid blush as usually, and a highlighter as well. Wonderful and highly welcomed product. I love a new innovative formula, don’t you?

NARS Laguna Liquid is available at NARS online, Nordstrom, Sephora, Barney’s New York, Barneys New York, Bloomingdales, Saks Fifth Avenue, Lord and Taylor, and Neiman Marcus.

Affiliate links. Product sent to Cafe Makeup without charge for consideration for review.

 

 

 

 

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Perfume

Review: Cartier La Panthère Eau de Perfume

May 18, 2016

Cartier Pathern Perfume 1

Cartier La Panthère Eau de Perfume ($55 and up) is a statement scent. I love it days when I need every bit of confidence. Walking into a room full of people, where I’d like to lead a wonderful impression, takes a great lipstick. From here on out, I’m adding some a spray of La Panthère as well. It literally gives me a soft lift that, although not overpowering, adds a bit of assertiveness that’s both lovely and entirely appropriate.

There’s a floral touch, some fruit, and a bit of musk. The blend synergistically combines to create something new–it doesn’t smell like anything specific but there is something familiar about it. Introduced in 2014, I’m happy to have discovered it now. The bottle has a highly styled panther carved into the glass.

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It’s a gorgeous, heavy presentation with a large, flat spray top. It’s gorgeous.

There are floral notes (gardenia, predominately) in the scent, but they do not predominate. In other words, I don’t find that this has the overall impression of a floral scent. It may be because they are mixed with fruits, as well as musk and oak moss. It’s lovely and assertive. It’s feminine but not erotic. I believe the best way to describe it is to say that it’s one of favorite scents to wear when I have to meet important people, and to come across as confident and ready to lead.

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There are scents that are made for relaxing, and others for a casual day. Cartier La Panthère Eau de Perfume is custom-made for days when you are pushed outside your comfort zone. Don’t worry–you can totally do this. Which is true whether or not you’re wearing Cartier, but still. It’s nice to have it along with you.

Affiliate link. Product sent without charge for consideration for review.

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