Dec 232009
 

Look, more places to wear taupe–your nails!  Chanel’s Spring 2010 offering, Particuliere ($23), is not the first to make a beautiful taupe nail polish.  It gives you a rich, taupe cream in one coat.  In the picture below, Particuliere is applied with two coats just to make sure, but it wasn’t really needed.

Here’s a comparison to some other popular taupes on the market:

  • OPI for Sephora Metro Chic (thumb, in picture below):  A touch of mauve sets this taupe cream apart.  Note, however, that Metro Chic requires at least three coats to give you an opaque color.  Dear OPI:  Please add pigment.  I’m juggling some things here and don’t have time.
  • OPI You Don’t Know Jacques (middle finger):  A deeper brown.  Must have two coats with this one, if not three.
  • Orly Country Club Khaki (ring finger, two coats):  A light colored taupe, which is lovely for summer.
  • Zoya Pasha (pinky, two coats but only one is needed):  A shimmery light taupe.

These are applied over CND Stickey base coat, covered with Poshe top coat.

EDIT UPDATE:  More comparison pictures are here.

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Dec 222009
 

Illamasqua Chased ($23 at Sephora) is a lilac pink blush with an enormous pan and nuclear pigmentation.  The blush pan stretches a luxurious 2 x 2 inches across, with plenty of surface for the largest blush brushes.  The pigmentation took me by suprise–you can see in the swatch, below, marked “full intensity”  how it looks applied with a brush with densely-packed bristles.  Up until now, my most pigmented blush was Chanel Joues Contraste in Turbulent, but this award has easily been displaced by Chased.

The first time you apply Chased, you may wish to reach for your Duo Fiber (sometimes called “skunk”) brush for better control.

As you can see, Chased in nearly matte in tone.  You can see the difference in texture by comparing the swatches of Chased to the much more shimmery Chanel Joues Contraste blush in Narcisse to its right.  Of course, if you prefer you can add shimmer by layering a highlighter over Chased.

Illamasqua’s signature packaging looked at little “corner-y” at first.  However, after I purchased Chased, I found that the plastic case is well-machined and does not appear to have any potentially gouging sharpness. In fact, it seemed to fit well into my organization system and the shape makes the blush easy to locate among the others.

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Dec 212009
 

It may be difficult to imagine, during this week of snow and cloud cover, the warm spring days that lie ahead–when we’ll be wearing both bronzer and sunscreen and may want to add some glow to the face.  As always, the beauty industry runs a season ahead and I can imagine that Chanel had these days in mind when it designed the Emprient de Chanel (Chanel Imprint) Poudre Eclat Illuminating Powder (Radiant Glow Highlighting Powder) ($65).

As the name implies, the surface has an imprint of the iconic Chanel logo in gold, surrounded by a multicolored circles which are packed with shimmer.  Aside from a light surface overspray, which quickly wears away, the bulk of the product applies as a warm, peachy-gold shimmer.  Despite the name, the product does deposit some visible color to the cheek.  For all but the palest skin tones, this amount of color will not be sufficient to substitute as a blush.

There is a small brush included, about half of the size of Chanel’s typical powder brushes that come with bronzers or the like.  It is sufficient for travel, and was probably included to assist with precise placement.  You may prefer to use a larger brush, depending on the area you wish to cover.

Below, I’ve swatched this next to Chanel’s Les Tissages Lames de Chanel highlighter released for this holiday (two slightly different swatches).  Here are some differences that were apparent to me:

  • The Empriente de Chanel’s large double CC’s give the impression that the palette is primarily gold, however the background textured area is a warm golden peach with a barest hint of pink
  • The Empriente de Chanel is not as gold as Les Tissages
  • Les Tissages has more — and slightly larger– glitter bits, where the Empriente de Chanel has a multidimensional smooth sheen

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Dec 202009
 

I’ve been a fan of Chanel’s Ombre D’Eau Fluid Iridescent Eyeshadows for years, but it took me several days after purchasing my first before I really understood them.  Let me save  you some time.  Have you ever seen an actress who looks like she’s not wearing any makeup, and yet her eyelids seem to have an ephemeral glow?  That’s the effect that an Ombre D’Eau can have when applied very sheerly.  There are various luminous tones, including sandy shimmery beiges, soft orange and a multi-dimension taupe.

Torrent, Chanel’s Ombre D’Eau released for Spring 2010, is unusually pigmented compared to the others in the line (there’s a deep cranberry that is comparable).  As you can see from the swatch, it’s a remarkably deep and shimmery golden khaki green.  Hopefully my picture can capture some of its qualities.

The packaging is genius.  It’s a small vial (these pack well, but count as liquids for travel).  The cap snaps cleanly into place, and doesn’t shake loose over time.  There is a doe foot applicator inside.

  • First:  Shake the product well, because the pigment tends to settle at the bottom of the vial overnight.  There are tiny balls inside that help stir up the product.
  • Second, do one swipe of the doe foot applicator over the entire lid.  Do not use a primer first. You don’t need one, and a primer can make the application patchy.
  • Third, even out the application (if you need to) with your finger.
  • Fourth, add another layer (or more) if you want more color than the first layer gave you.

Once the product dries, you can add other eyeshadow colors –including powder eyeshadows that you already have in your stash.  I usually wear them solo.  They are sort of perfect on their own, they don’t need a lot of fussing to look glowy and amazing.

Can you tell I love this?  Click on the second picture, the swatch below to see the iridescence of this beautiful shadow.  Also, keep in mind that because of the water base, this can be very very easily sheered.

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Dec 202009
 

This is the last of a series of posts about holiday options. December can be one of the most demanding months, and I usually have less time to get ready than I’d like.  One quick way to add some shine is to use a creme eyeshadow, such as Laura Mercier’s Metallic Creme Eye Colors ($22).   I’ve been using this product for years, and it never fails to deliver.  Dab a little on your finger, then apply on your lid.  Touch up your liner and you’re done.  If you wear these sheerly, using a “dab” motion and less product, they work well for daytime.  They last for hours and hours, and don’t overwhelm.  Their range includes neutrals and understated colors such as Mercury and Gold, below.

If you don’t want to invest in shimmery looks, mineral makeup companies are a great option.  Bare Escentuals is the most accessible, available at Sephora, QVC, department stores and through its own boutiques.

For even less, you can buy from online retailers.  Typically, they  sell small sample-sized products for less than $5. These “samples” last for 15 through 30 uses–I’ve never used one up entirely.  One outstanding choice is Fyrinnae, which delivers an incredible range of high-quality products for about $3-4 per sample.  Thankfully, their website categorizes selection by finish and by color.

Here are a few mineral eyeshadow options, including three from Bare Escentuals (Queen Tiffany, True Gold and Queen Linda) and one from another good etailer, Aromaleigh (Aurelie):

P.S.:  I’m going to pick up some of Chanel Spring 2010 today (my local counter will get everything this week, I’m told).  Hopefully, I’ll have some pictures up here later today or tomorrow of the products that are already in!

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