Jan 312011

Posting at Café Makeup will be pretty light for a few days, as non-blogging distractions are keeping me from playing with my makeup as much as I’d like.  I’m hoping that things will lighten up later this week so I can be back in blogging mode again very soon!

In the meantime, it’s my pleasure to introduce you to one of the most friendly and thorough bloggers that you will ever want to meet–Charlestongirl.  I’d really encourage you to check out her blog, The Best Things in Beauty for some real treats. She’s got some fabulous overviews of Dior, Stila and Armani Spring ’11, and lots of other beautiful things as well.

Here’s Charlestongirl’s story in her own words…

When did you start blogging and why?
I started blogging about beauty in the summer of 2009 (I had written a local political blog years before, when blogs were new). I had been reading beauty blogs and saw an invitation for guest bloggers on BeautyLuxe. I responded, and I wrote a few posts for Kimberly. I realized quickly how much I enjoyed writing about my beauty passion – and that there weren’t many beauty bloggers in my age group. Since I was a frequent flier at all the department stores, and I had closets full of beauty products, I knew my subject was a natural. I love writing. I had intended to major in journalism in college, but was snagged by psychology. I published the first Best Things in Beauty feature in July, 2009, and the rest is history.

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Jan 282011

NARS Nouveau Monde ($32) duo eyeshadow palette is new for Spring 2011, and is the perfect solution for  a very easy, sophisticated eye.  There are two medium-shimmer colors.  On the left is a soft, shimmery grey-lavender that adds luminosity without being jejune or overwhelming.  As a person with warm skin tones, I have to be careful about wearing lavenders, as it almost the opposite of my skin tone some lavenders can overwhelm or look cartoonish.  Fortunately, NARS understands colors so well, because there is not a hint of shrill tones–instead, this heathery lavender is very grown-up, very finely milled, and sets off my blue-green eyes perfectly.

The right green is a rich mossy-khaki green, that has a slightly more rich and soft metal tone.  It’s absolutely gorgeous, and quite complex.  It’s shockingly easy to do a very beautiful eye with these tones.  First, I tried a wash of the lavender on my lid with my MAC 217, then placed the green in my crease, smoked above it toward the brow bone.  It was perfect.

Another idea is to use the lavender as the lid color, and the green as a liner, smoked up in the outer corner.

Third, it’s quite easy to use the green as the main lid color, and a touch of the lavender in the center of the lid as a highlight.

Although these may not appear to be traditional pastel colors, they pair perfectly with the minimal neutrals that fashion is presenting this Spring.  Consider how gorgeous would this palette look with these soft, modern tones from Phillip Lim:

This is the type of palette that will carry into Summer:

Here’s some suggestions for coordinating the shade with other colors-here, with NARS Sex Appeal blush, OPI’s Not Like the Movies (Katy Perry collection), which goes really nicely with the lavender shadow of Nouveau Monde.  They both have a very silvery, light soft lavender glow.

Think about adding a peach or neutral lip (here, either Chanel Rouge Coco in Patchouli or Peregrina), or a very soft sheer cool pink, like Le Metier de Beaute Cap d’Antibes (not pictured, review to follow).  For me, the key is to keep the rest of the makeup luminous and with some sheerness, and keep in mind that the Nouveau Monde duo’s lavender side is a touch on the cool grey side.  I wouldn’t weigh this down with a bright or opaque tone, at least for my coloring:

Here are some swatches and comparisons–the lavender shade of Nouveau Monde with Chanel Lavande single eyeshadow.  For the mossy khaki green of Nouveau Monde, I compared this with MAC’s Scarab (from the Catherine Deneuve collection), Chanel Vert Khaki and Chanel Khaki:

The texture of Nouveau Monde is just perfection–the light shade is luminous and believable, the deep shade is rich and buttery.  Love this duo!

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Jan 282011

Chanel is due to launch a new line of 25 new Rouge Coco Shine lipstick shades that are sheer, moisturizing and range in colors from nudes, deep berries, corals, pinks and reds. KarlaSugar has a preview chart at her site here.  I’ve purchased Rouge Coco Shine in Boy and it is reviewed here, here and here.

From February 10 through 14th, a number of stores will be selling just one shade of the Rouge Coco Shine in Boy ($32) as a preview to this line.  KarlaSugar swatched these at her local counter here. After the preview, Boy will be placed off the sales floor, waiting for the formal launch of the entire Rouge Coco Shine line in early April 2011.

The following Nordstrom stores will be holding preview sales for Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in Boy.  If you like the shade and want to try the lipstick, you should call one of their Chanel counters and place a pre-order to ensure that you get yours.

  • San Antonio
  • Coral Gables
  • Northpark
  • Short Pump
  • Nordstrom Barton Creek Mall
  • Westfarms
  • Park Meadows
  • Portland Downtown
  • Michigan Ave
  • NordsScottsdale
  • NordsFashion Valley/Sd
  • Santa Anita
  • Ala Moana
  • Downtown Seattle
  • Mall Of America
  • Valley Fair
  • West County
  • Topanga Plaza
  • Oakbrook Ctr
  • Bellevue
  • Tacoma Mall
  • Corte Madera
As many Chanel aficionados know, Boy was the name of one of the first loves of Coco Chanel’s life, British Captain Arthur Edward “Boy” Capel, who died too young during their early years.  He was a supporter of her fashion design house which started her career.
Chanel.com will be carrying Boy, selling it from February 10th through 14th–you can sign up online for an email reminder to order.
I have heard that Rouge Coco Shine in Boy will be available at some Neiman Marcus stores, but I do not have any details on the release there.
NOTE:  Please read the comments if you are interested in this lipstick–several readers are reporting more information from their local stores.

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Jan 262011

The other day, Liz and I were playing around with some pink lipsticks, and we noticed how the difference in texture and tone affected final impact of the look. On one hand, we used RMK Irresistible Lips B in Pink (#04), which I obtained from a beauty blogging friend kind enough to ship it to me from the UK. In case you are unfamiliar RMK is a very high quality brand from Japan. This sells for approximately $40 on Ichibankao.

RMK Pink has an absolutely gorgeous, moisturizing formula.  It feels like a light, luxurious balm, and the moist look translates to the lip, imparting a gorgeous fullness and glow.  This is a very soft warm watermelon pink that is absolutely flattering on warm skin tones.  It has a touch of sheerness, that lets some of the natural lip color to show through.

For contrast, we played with MAC’s Nicki Minaj Pink Friday ($14.50), a rebellious cool, flat pink that Liz stole for her own stash.  This one sold out instantly, but is rumored to return.

I suppose it is not surprising that I preferred RMK Pink, and Liz preferred Pink Friday?  At any rate, I could not get over how the different textures and formula really were.

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Jan 262011

Yesterday at the Chanel 31 Rue Cambon location, Chanel held a couture show for Paris fashion week.

Chanel Couture Invitation

Fortunately for those not in Paris right now, Chanel has placed a video of the show online for our enjoyment.  Thank heavens, because I live for this! Backstage, Chanel’s Creative Director of Makeup Peter Philips used winged black liner to provide a definition to soft, luminous and lightly pink looks.  This look is designed to compliment the pastel, sparkling looks that pervade the show. Vogue Paris provides this backstage look at the makeup:

Peter Philips, Genius

Some of the backstage makeup–it looks like there was a pearl-woven highlighter-type product used:

More of the color products–all soft, lovely tones to compliment the weightless fairy-magic of the clothing.  The eyeshadow duo appears to be the current Gris-Subtle, which seems to be featured quite a bit by Chanel:

Chanel Rouge Coco Shine, Euro brushes, Pearl-textured palette in back

Creating the looks, with a heavy liner, barely-there eyeshadow.  The lids look softly pink and iridescent, the brow bone seems to have a soft touch of light cool gray:

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Jan 252011

From the Telegraph.UK, a brilliant summary of Dior’s backstage and runway looks. I’m assuming that the “Pat” referred to as the makeup artist is Pat McGrath.

The lipstick is Dior Ara Red, also seen here on Karlie Kloss on IntotheGloss.com

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Jan 252011

This time of year, some notice that their skin looks a little dull. You can reach for higher coverage foundation and a highlighter, but another option is to exfoliate your skin.  I typically do some type of deep exfoliation at least once a week, in addition to cleansing thoroughly with a Clarisonic almost every day.

Recently, I stumbled across a trial pack of five Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Daily Face Peel, that I must have picked up as a gift with purchase along the way.  Sephora.com sells a ten-pack for $28, although there are 30-packs and even larger quantities sold in jars if you wish.

I must precede this review with this caveat–your mileage may vary. Honestly, there are few things as personal as skincare, your individual skin type, needs and sensitivities are probably totally different than mine.  Generally, my skin is not very sensitive, it easily breaks out but rarely reacts to some products that others find harsh.

Dr. Dennis Gross’ Alpha Beta’s Daily Face Peel is gentle enough to use every day, although I used them only once every week.  They are two parts–you use the cotton square enclosed in each foil pack as a two-step system.  First, use Step 1 all over until its dry;  second, do the same with the second.  I experienced no stinging or redness, and afterwards my skin felt glowing, exfoliated and very clean.  I did not notice any other significant changes, such as any lightening or fewer lines of any kind.  In other words, these are a very pleasant, gentle and effective way to exfoliate.

And a much better alternative to heavy foundation.

According to the manufacturer:

This quick, easy, gentle microexfoliation formula instantly firms skin and eliminates dullness revealing a luminous look that lasts all day long. It treats enlarged pores and calms redness with soothing botanicals. Patented two-step technology creates radiant results, for all ages and skin types, in two minutes—no recovery time necessary.

Ingredient list:
Step 1 Ingredients: Purified Water (Aqua Purificata), Alcohol Denat., Glycolic Acid, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Leaf Extract, Potassium Hydroxide, Salicylic Acid, Polysorbate 20, Lactic Acid, Malic Acid, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Achillea Millefolium Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Soy Isoflavones, Disodium Edta, Copper Pca, Zinc Pca, Sodium Benzoate, Fragrance (Parfum)

Step 2 Ingredients: Purified Water (Aqua Purificata), Octoxynol-9, Sodium Bicarbonate, Ascorbic Acid, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Retinyl Palmitate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Achillea Millefolium Extract, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Soy Isoflavones, Peg-12 Dimethicone, Tetrasodium Edta, Copper Pca, Phospholipids, Retinol, Zinc Pca, Phenoxyethanol, Diazolidinyl Urea, Methylparaben.

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Jan 242011

The last few days of January are winding down, and I have a feeling that we’ll be seeing some exciting things released in February.  For now, I have a few things from the Spring collections to review for you, but also letting  a few collections pass me by.  Armani, Clinique and Estee Lauder have released things over the past week or two, but I haven’t seen anything very exciting that is a “must have” from a number of lines for me this time around.

Am I the only one that thinks that some of these lavenders are going to start looking a little tired by May?  I don’t know, maybe on some they will keep going.  I have to keep lavenders and violets  either very sheer, or very greyed-down, or they look over the top.

And if I’m not excited looking at it, my view is that it’s not for me.  Makeup should be fun.

In the meantime, I’m playing with some of my current products, going to the gym and taking care of some interesting things I’m doing outside of the blogsphere.

With a few exceptions–and one of them is the subject of this post.  Over the past few months, drugstore beauty company Wet n Wild been busy reformulating new eyeshadow palettes, including two for neutral lovers–Walking on Eggshells ($2.99) and Silent Treatment ($2.99).

According to one of my favorite drugstore beauty experts, Noveau Cheap, Silent Treatment looks like a drugstore “must have”:

Attention all taupe fanatics! You NEED Silent Treatment. I could just stop there, but I’ll go on. My pics do NOT capture the beauty of this taupe. It’s got a rose-gold sheen to it that you must see in person.

Well, when a fellow beauty blogger writes something like that, how can you ignore it?  I’ll tell you how–you can’t! Plus, she’s been giving very high praise for Wet n Wild’s new 8-pan palettes that sell for around $5 (are these octo-pans? for $5? what?).  It sounded exciting enough to investigate, so I did.

My local Rite Aid had none of the 8-pans/octo-pans, but it did have the three-pan beauties in stock so I thought I’d take them out for a spin.  Shall we?

Here’s Walking on Eggshells, which I believe was released before the holidays.  It includes a creamy white highlighter, a medium soft brown-gold and a peach that has a tendency to go frosty.

Certainly, Wet n Wild saves some money by providing bare-bones packaging and tiny sponge-applicators.  All of the focus is on the quality of the powder. Wet n Wild gets extra points for having stickers that peel off without leaving a mess, or breaking a nail, yet keep the product sanitary and untested:

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