Aug 182014
 

simplehuman01Designer simplehuman has just released two Sensor Mirrors that are really worth a strong look. For the past several years, I’ve played with the idea of getting a lighted mirror installed in my makeup-application area. As someone who is into photography and really sensitive to light colors, crisp images, and good design, I’ve never found something just perfect. I’m so glad that I waited. Little did I know that the geniuses at simplehuman were  designing something that really is perfect for the job.

simplehuman03To digress a bit, I’ve owned a simplehuman trash can for at least six years, ever since my husband insisted that our dog stay out of our trash. Neither one of us having the bandwidth to watch him 24/7, I got one of simplehuman’s for its simple, functional design that meshed well with the brushed metal appliances in our kitchen. Although my husband balked at the price (“you spent what on a trash can?”), even he now admits it was money well spent. It looks brand new years later despite years of abuse, is easy to clean, and looks 1000x better in our kitchen than most of the others out there (and our dog has stayed out of trouble the entire time because, well, dogs will be dogs).

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This was originally shipped to my home in California, then to my home on the East Coast. I was worried about its fragility, but I needn’t have. This is shipped in a protective shell that absorbed every jiggle along the way.Do you know how terrible it is to be very excited for a new thing, only to have it arrive nicked or broken? Heartbreaker!  I’m sorry to be geeking out on the design but I have to hand it to simplehuman in the packaging arena-well done!   Also, the light comes with a five-year warranty. (Can simplehuman design a hair dryer right now?)

simplehuman04The simplehuman Sensor Mirror ($200) is sort of like the iPhone of beauty mirrors. This is the perfect weight and size–it’s extremely well machined, it’s heavy enough to stay put by itself, is intuitive to use, and provides the perfect amount and color of light for close-up, perfected beauty work. It’s adjustable in all the right ways, but not too much and without any gimmicky extenders or no-slip pads that just to attract dust and look terrible. It has a clean, beautiful design.

simplehuman07The simplehuman Sensor Mirror comes with everything. The light charges via either a USB input or wall plug. Which means you don’t have messy cords on your makeup table. Also, your light isn’t fighting with your dryer, straightener/curler, and Clarisonic for outlet space. Thank you! Although the company recommends a good seven-hour charge when it arrives, mine seemed to be fully charged after two (I left it charging overnight anyway, just to be safe).
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The light tilts and can be raised and lowered:

Simplehuman positions

The simplehuman Sensor Mirror has flat on/off button on the bottom that only needs to be turned “on” once, given that the light is motion-sensitive. There is an indicator light along the bottom:

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The light glows green when the “on” button is first hit, it flashes while the unit is charging, and it glows steady when the unit if fully charged.

simplehuman17The light glows red when the unit is first turned “off,” and also when it needs to be charged.

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I made this little video to show how the sensor light works. I’m sorry that the “light on” made my camera’s automatic mode freak out a bit, but this still gives you a good idea. I waved the light “on,” and then it automatically turned off in a bit when the light wasn’t being used.

Of course, the most important part of the simplehuman Sensor Mirror is the light. I’ve actually studied light a bit as a formal subject matter, and I can tell you that this description is both true and exactly what you’d want a makeup mirror to be:

At 600 lux, our tru-lux light system is more than twice as bright as the next best. We disperse the light evenly with a unique pattern of micro-reflectors throughout the ring — no light loss or hot spots.With a color rendering index (CRI) of 90, it closely simulates natural sunlight and contains the full color spectrum to show every detail. Looking good in this light means you will look flawless in any setting.

Here’s a video from simplehuman that explains the light:

The simplehuman mini version also comes in a mini-version ($130) that can be seen in this video:

I haven’t tried the smaller one. If I had to choose, I’m glad that I got the larger version. The mirror seems like the perfect size and shape. The surface allows me to see the entire look in the larger version. Unless you have a space/budget concern, I’d go for the larger size. I really like having the larger surface area.

Overall, I’m beyond happy with this mirror. It’s a revolutionary in that it’s exactly what is needed. The line has really focused on the end-user (which is exactly how it should be). This is available at Sephora.

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This item 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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Aug 152014
 

Chanel Poesie1As nearly everyone knows, Chanel has released a new series of eyeshadow palettes ($61 each). Unlike the pressed powder versions previously released in the U.S., these are “baked” textures that are released in the same format throughout the world. Chanel’s new quads are available at Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Bloomingdales.
Chanel Poesie3As with Chanel’s past releases outside the U.S., the packaging is the same from the front. The little velveteen pouch, the size and the like is all identical of course.

Chanel Poesie2From the back, you can see that the pans are now all round and the weight/size of the eyeshadows is lighter. Although my prior quads all vary in their weight, most seem to be more in the 6 and up gram range. Of the numerous ones available, I chose Chanel Poesie, a limited edition palette that sold out very quickly.  I was surprised, because prior Chanel limited edition releases seemed to be available for a while before sellout.

Chanel Poesie4The colors are pretty and subtle–certainly these quads are well-behaved, work friendly combinations. Like Poesie, many of them are baked-shimmer. Poesie has no matte shades in the mix. The deeper shades are more complex than the two softer shades. Overall, they create a very pretty. softly colored eye. Swatches:

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Another set of swatches:

Chanel Poesie swatches1I’ve worn this several times and it’s very easy to create a fool-proof, work-friendly eye. These aren’t the most dramatic formulas. Sometimes Chanel excels at quiet little basics like a pretty ballet flat that goes with everything. Many Chanel lovers will adore this system makes a pretty eye so easy.  Others might add a dash of drama–for example, I added at touch of MAC Black Swan to the liner to add some pretty dimension.

Something in me hopes that we will see some astounding creativity in this format from Chanel, as we have seen in the pressed powder versions of the past. Certainly, some companies seem to be going through an eyeshadow revolution right now and it seems appropriate that Chanel issue some new colors right now as well. Still, I plan on picking up a few more–Gabrielle, Venitienne and Rivoli are calling my name. For now, we have a collection of eight easy pieces for everyday (and night) wear.

Chanel’s new quads are available at Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Bloomingdales.

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

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Aug 132014
 

liz in oprah magazineIf you are an O Magazine reader, you might look at the cover story of O’s September ’14 issue on page 140 for a picture of Cafe Makeup’s owner and editor Liz, who got a haircut makeover by the magazine in June.

Labelle Day Spa Palo Alto StanfordI’ve always wondered if those magazine makeover features were real, and in this case we can personally verify that, O yes!, this one certainly was. In June, Liz got a haircut that earned her the name “Mrs. Brady” around the office (the back was even worse!). So much for “take off an inch with just a few layers near the face,” right? She had it done at LaBelle Day Spa in Palo Alto. This clearly required Oprah-level intervention to save it. Liz took a redeye to New York to get expert assistance by Garnier hair stylist Tommy Buckett. The change is entirely due to the cut, there are no added weaving or extensions. What do you think of the result?

Liz O magazineThe makeup was by Andrew Sotomayor.

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Aug 102014
 

Skincare Sunday3I’ve been hearing about Charlotte Tillbury’s Magic Cream for so long, and am pleased to report that it is finally coming to the U.S. via Beautylish. There’s a 24-hour pre-order window today if you’d like to reserve one for purchase. Given that the cream has sold out internationally in the past, I suppose that it’s nice to know that yours is reserved. If you miss the window, I’m presuming that the product will be made permanent.

Skincare Sunday7I was fortunate enough to receive a review-sized version as a give from Wayne Goss (thank you Wayne!!). Overall, this is a luxe moisturizing multi-tasker that Charlotte Tillbury has been using on her clients for years. As she says:

The BioNymph Peptide Complex is a unique, patented anti-age ingredient that multi-tasks in the skin, fighting the ageing process on all fronts. It increases collagen & fibre levels, prevents fibre break-down, fights free radicals and stimulates cell energy to reduce the appearance of wrinkles, improve skin elasticity & generally smooth things over.

Sodium Hyaluronate forms a film of hyaluronic acid over the skin to seal in moisture, whilst extracts of Wild Pansy promote the renewal of hyaluronic acid in the skin surface to retain moisture. Skin is plumped-up and youthfully dewy.

A mix of rose hip oil, camellia oil and anti-oxidant vitamin E transforms a grey complexion into hydrated, mirror-shine skin, nourishing Vitamin A helps improves skin firmness and smoothness and energetic Vitamin C is able to promote collagen activity for more youthful skin.

Damask rose water and organic aloe vera stimulate skin regeneration, fighting the signs of ageing, naturally and gracefully.

Extracts of Frangipani, the symbol of eternity, form a soothing, purifying and hydrating comfort-blanket on the skin.

When Charlotte’s Magic Cream is applied to skin, it gives it a fabulous youthful glow.  Really, it’s very pretty by itself and adds a lovely glow under foundation as a primer. It gives a glow comparable to Tom Ford’s Illuminating Primer, but Charlotte’s Magic Cream is richer in texture (meaning that Tom Ford’s feels lighter, and not quite as deeply moisturizing). Certainly, Charlotte’s Magic Cream would work as an overnight moisturizer although with an SFF 15 rating (including UVA protection), it’s clearly geared for daytime wear as well. Tom Ford’s Primer is clearly, well, a primer. The Charlotte’s Magic Cream does have a scent, which is of course quite the norm for luxury products that are born in Europe.

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Overall, now that I’ve been introduced to this lovely cream, I’m going to continue to use this generous sample to look for longer-term results. For now, I would say that anyone with dry skin, or those looking for anti-aging benefits, should investigate this cream. It feels lovely, luxe, and illuminating.  Ingredient list (click to enlarge):

tillbury magic cream ingredients

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This post contains an affiliate link (for more information, see About Cafe Makeup). This product was gifted to Cafe Makeup without charge.

 

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Aug 092014
 

Temptu AIrbrush System1

We’ve always been curious about using airbrush makeup systems. Whether watching a pro, or watching a live demonstration, Liz and I have wondered whether airbrush system give a better result and how manageable such systems are. When Temptu offered us a chance to try their system, we took the chance. We opened up the Temptu Flawless Complexion Kit ($170). The company included two foundation colors (the lighter Ivory and medium Beige), Washed Rose Blush, and Champagne Highlighter.

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Neither of us had any experience with airbrush systems, but the Temptu was quite easy to put together.

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Basically, the air compressor (which runs from the power from the AC Adapter) pushes air through the brush’s nozzle, to give you a extremely even, controllable application. The air compressor has a hose which is stuck into the brush:

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The hose connection to the brush:

Temptu AIrbrush System6Liz had things up and running in just a few minutes. The next step was to connect the Ivory foundation to the brush/nozzle by placing it into the brush device.

Temptu AIrbrush System7There was a little cap on the foundation that had to be removed, which allows the liquid foundation to flow from the pod into the brush.

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The same procedure works for the blush and highlighter.

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All together now.

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Liz found the brush surprisingly easy to use. Se was able to control the application and color very intuitively.

Temptu AIrbrush System review04This was our very first attempt. Liz used the darker Beige foundation color to contour. The highlighter and blush were a breeze.

Temptu AIrbrush System review05Liz swapped out the blush and highlighter pretty easily. The final results:

Temptu 5Considering that this was Liz’s first try, I think the results are quite flawless.  Overall, although the Temptu is used by professionals, we thought that it delivered excellent, perfected results by a non-pro. The colors were light, layerable, and delivered true airbrushed results.  These units are available at Temptu’s website.

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Temptu sent these products to Cafe Makeup without charge for consideration for review.

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