Apr 262010

Chanel seems to have a tradition of micro-releases that are regional, edgy and sometimes ground-breaking.  Chanel’s Black Velvet nail polish ($25) (Le Vernis Nail Color Black Velvet 430) is part of Chanel Orient Extrême, an exploration of new textures.  I must admit that I have a high tolerance for just such experiments– for me, tried and true formulations evoke yawns and “I’ll catch it some other time.”  Makeup is all about play, excitement and trying something new.

Black Velvet is an unusual texture–not matte and certainly not  shine or shimmer.  To warn you (and to separate Black Velvet from the others Chanel’s in your stash), the bottle is a matte texture and uses a stick-on label with gold lettering, rather than the traditional painted-on white lettering.  All other aspects of the bottle are familiar–the same square shape and brush are the same as the rest.

The nail polish is  a black with soft, near-matte texture that evokes the same look at a soft leather or lambskin.  It’s going to look amazing with layers of textured blacks–perhaps a mix of patent black leather, wools or silks.  It looks both new, and soft, yet dramatic.  Is this appropriate for Spring?  Chanel doesn’t seem to care–those who are looking for something different will wear it anyway, because it’s all about making your own rules at this point.  Certainly, the color can wait for fall and winter for everyone else (although, unless its re-released, it will likely be sold out by then).

Comparison, with Chanel’s shinier Black Satin (U.S. version) and OPI for Sephora’s Where’s the Tire, Jack? (matte):

A few practical considerations:

  • This polish exhibits tipwear typical of black polishes.  Using a topcoat destroys the central value of the polish–the texture.  It does not seem more fragile (or more robust) than other black polishes, but unlike a sheer this black will not look pristine after three days of typing.
  • This polish did not apply well on a sticky basecoat (in my case, CND Stickey).  A smoother basecoat will be your best option.
  • This might be fun to try as a reverse french manicure with a gold tip.
  • Available now on Chanel.com and at Chanel Boutiques.  As with other Chanel highly limited edition releases, these are not currently available at department store counters.  (But I have to wonder, will these be back next Fall?)

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Guerlain Terracotta Teint D´Ailleurs Tinted Moisturizer- Blondes

 Bronzers, Foundation, Guerlain  Comments Off on Guerlain Terracotta Teint D´Ailleurs Tinted Moisturizer- Blondes
Apr 162010

I’ve been testing Guerlain Terracotta Teint D´Ailleurs Tinted Moisturizer ($46) in Blondes, part of the line’s Summer 2010 Terracotta collection.  I was originally skeptical of the product–one might look like one is wearing the wrong color foundation or went over-the-top with a spray tan.

I am a passionate believer in sunscreen.  I don’t use self-tanners, because my skin care regimen would exfoliate off the effect almost overnight. Instead, I’ve gone with powder or liquids applied in selected areas for a more natural look.  Still, I often envy the overall softly tanned look on some that I see.  Also, I thought that if anyone can make bronzer look good (or, at least, natural), it’s Guerlain.  So I ordered the lighter Blondes from Nordstrom.com to give it a try.

The tinted moisturizer comes in a luxe glass bottle with a gold-colored pump, and a simulated wood-textured plastic cap.  The application is somewhat sheer– I would say about one-half the coverage of a light foundation such as Chanel Tient Innocence Fluid.  This allows a bit of your natural skin to peek through.  As an aside, I used this with my physical sunscreen (Elta MD Physical 41), so combined I had sufficient coverage.

The texture is glowy, allowing the surface of the skin to have a bit of sheen.  Guerlain took the “moisturizer” in the product name seriously, it feels very luxurious, nourishing and moisturizing.  It lasted well through a ten-hour day on my combination skin.

As far as the color, it took my MAC NC15/Chanel Cameo Intensity 1.0 down a good two to three shades.  I got a few questions about whether I had spent some time in the sun from others, and I looked like I had.  I added a bit of darker powder bronzer on the cheeks to break up the “all one color” look, and of course a pink blush.  There were no orange tones on my warm skin, and no shimmer bits either.  It was sort of a sheer wash of color that looked liked I had acquired a light tan.

I know that some “embrace the pale,” but sometimes I enjoy adding some tan look to my skin.  I know that I’ll continue to use the Guerlain Tinted Moisturizer over the summer.  My sense is that it looks about as natural as a good self-tanner (again, the color looked natural not orange or brassy).  I’m going to give this a cautious positive recommendation, but this is very much a Your Mileage May Vary product, depending on your skin tone.  It’s worth looking at if you’d like a bit of a natural glow with a nice, moisturizing feel.  If at all possible, try before you buy so that you can tell whether you’ll like the effect on your skintone.

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Apr 152010

Lancome’s Summer 2010 Bronze Riviera Collection includes the incredible Tropiques Minerale Bamboo Bronzer ($45).  Some makeup products are so beautiful that I’m quite impressed just by opening the compact.

Tropiques Minerale was one of those products.

How beautifully done is this?  It has that golden shimmery goodness.   This is so gorgeously implemented that I’m going to happy to open this on summer mornings to come.

Unfortunately, I’m completely overwhelmed with non-blogging obligations until Monday, so I won’t be able to swatch this until next week.  First, this bronzer is quite large–a good 5″ or so across the pan–so that it can easily be used as a body bronzer.  Second, although I’m quite sure that the top is just an over-spray, the shimmer is done beautifully.  I’m not usually drawn to bamboo patterns, but this one is pretty enough to get me excited to try this–I’ve heard wonderful things about Lancome’s summer bronzers.

Compare the size of the Lancome to a MAC Mineralized Skinfinish, below:

Have a wonderful weekend, beauties!  Okay, just one more…can’t resist!

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Apr 142010

Since I’ve been ordering Chanel products like mad lately, I was pleased to see the most adorable sample included with my latest purchase from a Chanel boutique.  As Sabrina at The Beauty Look Book observed, Chanel can deliver some lovely samples.

This one, a sample of the perfume Cuir de Russie is one that I’ve become familiar with (and enjoy) via a set of re-releases that Chanel did a few years ago.  It is part of Chanel’s Les Exclusifs collection that populates an intriguing corner of its boutiques, and is also available online.  The order also included a handwritten thank-you card embossed with a line drawing of Coco Chanel.

I must admit, it’s lovely to hear a “thank you” from time to time, especially in the form of such a lovely perfume.

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Apr 142010

Chanel’s Summer 2010 included three lip products that fall within the category of neutral lips.  With a soft beige, peach and golden tones, these evoke a sophisticated glow that will look good on many shades of warm-toned wearers.  I’m less certain that cool-toned skin types will love them just as much.  Here’s a look:

Chanel Glossimer in Bikini Peach ($27) is a warm, sheer peach with golden glitters.  This has the typical Glossimer-gel feel, it’s easy to wear for those who do not want a strong color.  This gives a nice sophisticated glow either alone (my favorite way to wear a glossimer) or over a lipstick.  However, you would need more than one coat to see a strong peach color come through.

Single coat lip swatch:

Chanel Aqualumiere Gloss in Bondi Beach ($27) has a much sheerer feel and wear compared to the Glossimer.  You get a more neutral beige tone, but these do tend to wear off somewhat quickly.  I have also had a few Aqualumiere gloss caps and containers split over my years of use, so you might be a bit more careful with the packaging on these.  If you tend to toss your glosses into your beloved Birkin/Marc Jacobs/LV/(insert bag of choice here) and head out for the day, you’ve been warned.

I like this gloss. On my pigmented lips, it tends to knock down the color down and add a layer of shine and a creamy-beige tone.  The Aqualumiere glosses are undeniably pretty, and that’s what makes me keep buying them despite the fact that I’m unhappy with the packaging.

No one is more surprised than me to report that of all of the neutral lip products from Summer 2010, I liked the Aqualumiere lipstick in Bondi ($28.50) best.  I don’t typically like Chanel’s Aqualumiere lipsticks–they feel dry to me and some of them have had flakes of glitter in them.  Yeah, ugh.  Fortunately, Bondi is a nice, neutral glowing lipstick that I’ll use frequently over the next few months.   Yes, you can layer this with the gloss–but I prefer easier looks for summer. Bondi works well with a single swipe, which is wonderful if you’re going to sipping water (or something else?) all summer long.

Swatches, swatches, swatches:

Chanel’s Summer 2010 Collection went up online at Chanel.com yesterday.  The lack of eyeshadow and liner products is curious, I don’t think that I’ve ever seen Chanel skip over those for a summer launch.  Chanel’s counter display has a repromote with the Demure quad shown, which makes me want to buy Demure (how did I miss that one before?) but that’s not a new quad.

There are two limited edition bronzers in the collection–Terre d’ore and Terre Halee ($50 each). I was able to play with these at a a counter over the weekend, but didn’t buy them (at least yet). Terre D’ore is a light golden bronze for the palest skin tones.  It’s a barely-there bronzer.  Terre Halee is a deeper color than Terre Epice, despite the appearance of the swatches on Chanel’s website.  It’s a pretty, neutral tan that’s going to work easily on the NC35’s and higher.  I’m paler than that, but I’m fearless when it comes to bronzers.  I didn’t purchase either because I have three other Chanel bronzers that will never end, including Terre Epice which is right in between the other two.  Seriously, I’ve had one of them since 2005 that I’ve use every day for months at a time and the level of product seems almost unchanged.  I can’t justify buying two more but we’ll see.

What will sell out first?  Nouvelle Vague nail polish and the Rouge Allure in Genial are my predictions.  What are yours?

Chanel’s site also added the three nail polishes from the Orient Extreme Exclusive Collection.  For the U.S., this will be a very limited release, only online and in the Chanel boutiques.  Where is the Jet – Gold eyeliner duo?  Why didn’t Chanel post that as well?  Who knows–the mysteries of Chanel’s online site have eluded many of us and will continue to do so. I called a Chanel boutique to get one of the eyeliners shipped to me.  Here’s some advice, if you get it use it wet.  It’s meant to be used wet.  No, seriously-go ahead, dab that brush in something before you dip!

Finally–the latest rumor that I heard about the new Chanel duo eyeshadows is that it will be released with the Fall Collection, although I have also heard that it would be earlier.  Hopefully, we won’t have to wait until July but that might be the case.  And yes, according to the Sales Associate at my local counter, the current Irreelle duo’s are being discontinued.

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Apr 132010

Chanel’s Summer 2010 collection includes the “it” polish– Novelle Vague ($23) (Le Vernis Nail Color), which has a refreshing blue look that blends in a touch of green and silver for summer nails.

After wearing this for a few days, I’m loving its refreshingly different take on the summer classics.  Based on the French phrase that connotes “new wave,” this polish attracts attention.  The polish color does not go so far as some of the more striking neons available this summer, rather, it’s a soft-yet-strong blue that evokes the freshness and classicism of a Tiffany (or perhaps even robin’s egg) blue.  The silver microsparkle gives the polish dimension so that it does not look flat or cartoonish.  Although it’s a brighter shade, I feel completely confident wearing this without being concerned that its over the top.

I’ve read that this color is similar to China Glaze’s “For Audrey” polish, although For Audrey is a less dimensional creme formula that lacks any sparkle or shimmers.

Although Nouvelle Vague is a strong, light color, I found application was quite easy.  Nouvelle Vague requires 2-3 coats to reach full opacity, although it seems slightly more pigmented than last fall’s Chanel Jade.  Nouvelle Vague is going to look nice with a lot of the colors that I wear for summer–pinks, peaches, khaki’s, bronzes and greens.


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Chanel Summer 2010 – Gloss Fluo de Chanel in Pop and Laser

 Chanel, Lipgloss  Comments Off on Chanel Summer 2010 – Gloss Fluo de Chanel in Pop and Laser
Apr 122010

Chanel’s Summer 2010 Pop Collection includes two Gloss Fluo de Chanel in Pop and Laser ($27 each).  As with Chanel’s Fluo glosses released in the past, these two are very lightly pigmented, high-shine glosses with the familiar Glossimer gel feel.

In the tube, the colors look like electric jelly.  Despite the brightness, these are easy summer glosses, or at a minimum, as fun as a Chanel product gets (why do I imagine Coco Chanel wearing pearls to the beach?)  You can keep one in your beach bag or summer purse.  Pull them out, they’re fun little flashes of color that look great when you touch up your lips poolside.  They deposit a “just bit into a popsicle” touch of color and glow–barely any color, just full glossy lips with the faintest touch of tone.

The gel texture gives the lips a moisturized and deeply shiny look.   These will not give you an over-done or heavy lip.   The doe-foot applicator, which is visible through the sheer gloss in the tube, delivers a wash of glossy shine.  There is no glimmer, shimmer or sparkle.

Laser (#407) is a deep pink and Pop (#427) is the bright coral-pink.

Fair warning–if you’d like versions of these shade with opaque pigment, then buy the Rouge Allure lipsticks in Super and Genial.  These Fluo are not designed to apply with the same brightness as the tubes.

I think of Chanel’s Fluo’s as fun little accessories.   The tubes are pretty, unique and eye-catching.  They are in the distinctive Glossimer tube that says “Yes, it’s Chanel.”   The result is a sheer, glossy and summer-casual effect.  If you like, try these over a lipstick for a completely different, high-shine plus pigment effect.

Here are the swatches:

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Apr 102010

Here are two swatches of the new Chanel Rouge Allure lipsticks ($30 each) just released.

Genial, used on the Paris runways:

And the very pink Super:

I did my best with these working somewhat quickly–my “model” and I were headed out to go to lunch and shopping so I did my best.  I hope that these help you decide one way or the other!

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Apr 102010

Chanel’s Summer 2010 includes two new Rouge Allure lipsticks in Genial and Super ($30 each).  I received these late yesterday and wanted to post pictures of them as soon as possible.  Hopefully, I’ll have time to swatch them later this weekend.

Genial is an incredible coral shade:

Here is Super, a vibrant pink:

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Apr 092010

Dior’s Summer 2010 collection includes a beautiful palette, Crush Glow ($58) (Palette Fards à Paupières Lumières Vibrantes #659), that has all the signs of being one of my summer favorites.  This is a warm-toned palette with beautiful light colors, together with one gorgeous deep-toned option.

I love neutrals and golds, so I’m head over heels for Crush Glow.  There is a very light, almost highlighter gold, a shimmer-chrome pink, a mauve-taupe that is so light and airy it’s quite different from others that I own, a center shimmer-peach and a warm, dimensional deeper brown.  How summery is this palette?  I want to book airline tickets, throw this in my bag and go live on a beach right this minute, that’s how summery this is!  Where are my car keys?!?

Okay, on to the swatches! Click if you’d like to enlarge:

Different light to show how the iridescent shades reflect light:

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