Feb 252011
 

Shobha is a line of salons in New York City that specializes in that one aspect of women’s makeup routine that rarely gets treatment on beauty blogs–hair management.  Yes, I went there.  Welcome to the Cafe!

Shobha’s salon experience with waxing, threading and beautifying “that which some prefer to tame” has led them to develop and sell products for at-home use.  Like several other products reviewed on this site, Shobha focuses on maximizing natural ingredients in their products while still maintaining effectiveness.  Fortunately for many of us, this means fewer allergic reactions and minimized chemical exposure.

Shobha’s press relations sent me a few products to try, including two brow pencils, one in Sand (for blondes) and another in Earth (for brunettes) ($16, sold at Shobha’s online site here).  Both are packed with handy sharpeners in their caps.  As a traveller, I love that feature.

I found that Sand was the perfect shade for my NC15/Chanel Cameo skinetone and light brown hair color.  For those familiar with this blog, Sand would be the right shade for Liz as well.

Shobha’s pencils apply very smoothly, and lay down plenty of pigment.  I found that the pencils released pigment with less pressure on the pencil compared to Chanel eyebrown pencils, for example.   Those who are familiar with Shu’s Hard Formula brow pencils will find these quite different.  Shu’s pencils are formulated to cling only to the eyebrow hair, which makes them challenging to use if you are attempting to reshape or fill in thinner areas.  Shobha’s pencils go one with full-on color, so that fill-in work is easy to do.

Heavy-handed users may find that they get small strokelines in their brows, which can be easily brushed away using a standard eyebrow brush.  In fact, I use an eyebrow brush even when applying these very lightly, because, well using a brow brush is like brushing your teeth. It’s the right thing to do in so many ways.   Swatches:

Overall, I found that the lasting power of Shobha’s pencils was excellent, on par with other pencils and longer than powder.  Well-priced at $16, convenient with the inner sharpener.  Supply your own brow brush to polish the look.  Highly recommended.

Ingredient list:  simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) seed oil, cera alba (beeswax), bis-diglyceryl polyacyladipate-2, copernicia cerifera (carnauba) wax, caprylic/capric triglyceride, squalane, tocopherol, iron dioxides (ci 77499), iron oxides (ci 77492), aluminum powder (ci 77000), ultramarines (ci 77007), titanium dioxide (ci 77891), manganese violet (ci 77742), bismuth oxychloride (ci 77163), mica, iron oxides (ci 77491), ferric ammonium ferrocyanide (ci 77510), ferric ferrocyanide (ci 77510)

 

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Feb 232011
 

Dior’s re-launch of the Addict lipstick line includes Backstage ($28 #583), another sheer, moisturizing lipstick with plenty of shine.  Like It Pink, Backstage looks intense in the tube but applies with a very sheer wash of cool rose color.

I was anticipating that Backstage would go on as an intense mauve with blue undertones.  In fact, the result is far more subtle.

Here is Backstage on Liz’s lips, which tend to run pink.  Because of the sheerness, Backstage will likely pick up a different look depending on your coloring.  Like It Pink, Backstage feels very moisturizing and balm-like.  I would not expect to get lipstick-weartime from this formula, however, as it is more fragile than a fully pigmented color.

Here is a comparison between Dior Addict Backstage, Chanel Rouge Coco Rivoli, Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in Boy and Chanel Rouge Coco Camelia.  As you can see, Dior Addict Backstage is more sheer and has has more shine/glow than the Chanel Rouge Coco formula, and more pigment than Chanel’s Rouge Coco Shine Boy:

My experiment with Dior Addict led me two choices at Sephora, It Pink and Backstage–two very different colors.  They were both very moisturizing and had a lovely luxury feel.  The scent is extremely slight and subtle.  Overall, It Pink is more pigmented than Backstage, so I expect that once all of the colors are released we’ll see a wide range of textures.  I’m crossing my fingers that they all have this lovely balmy formula.  Readers should be warned that these may not give a very long wear time, however, with that very soft formula.

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Feb 232011
 

Chanel’s online site now has its new Vitalumiere Aqua online for sale, and I understand that it’s appearing at several Nordstrom locations.  Late last week, I got a few colors to try out the line.  Although I don’t have the range I would have preferred to select (I want them all!!), I’m doing my best to get you quick information as I receive it.

I got three colors:  B20 Beige, B30 Beige and BA30 Beige Rose.  I know, I was confused too (I was hoping for B10, BA10, and BA20 but here we are).  Swatches, compared to some of my current foundations for comparison:  Chanel Tient Innocence in 20 Clair Cameo, Chanel Lift Lumiere in 14 Ivoire and Burberry Sheer Foundation No. 4:

Another:

Generally, I enjoyed Vitalumiere Aqua. I have the following thoughts:

  • There is a scent–a very expensive sunscreen-type scent.  It fades after about 1/2 hour
  • Coverage is medium.  Vitalumiere Aqua seems to provide more coverage than Chanel Tient Innocence and Burberry Sheer.  It is about the same as Chanel Lift Lumiere.  It is not as heavy as Pro Lumiere.
  • Let the foundation dry before you judge it’s color.  Honestly, wait at least five minutes before you commit to a color.   There is a color shift that happens as the foundation settles into your skin.
  • Although B20 looks dark in the swatch, it actually looked pretty nice on my MAC NC15 skin tone (Liz confirmed it, and she can be quite honest! Trust me!)  Unfortunately, I did not have a B10 sample to compare it but I’m working on it.
  • Like several other Chanel foundations, the foundation tends to look better throughout the day.  It’s quite long-lasting (12 hours at least).
  • The texture is slightly toward matte on the B20 that I tried, but still luminous.
  • SPF 15 sunscreen included (octinoxate 6% and titanium dioxide 5.6%).

The numbering system still isn’t sorted out in my mind. First, BR 30 seems much darker than B30.  B30 is only slightly darker than B20.

I hope you find this useful.  If you have more information (I’m trying to get some more myself), please leave it in the comments.

 

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Feb 222011
 

Dior is re-launching the Addict lipstick line, and so far the results are gorgeous.  I picked up two of the shades, and will be reviewing It Pink ($28 #554).  I love the packaging–it’s luxurious, modern and so Dior.   J’adore!

This is a gorgeous slightly cool strawberry medium pink:

Liz and I only started playing with two of these, but we like what we see so far.  This formula is gorgeous, it feels as balm-like as Chanel Rouge Coco Shine.  After we finished some pictures yesterday, Liz realized that she had to have it.   Here is It Pink (no lipliner or gloss, just the lipstick):

It Pink gave us plenty of glowing shine and color.  We’re very impressed.  As with many balmy, moisturizing lipsticks, our wear time was not quite as long as other lipsticks.  Because Liz has spirited It Pink away (well, she did model pretty seriously yesterday and deserved it), it’s no longer here for comparison swatches.  To be honest, this glowing formula is going to be different from other lipsticks in terms of the texture in any event.

In response to a reader question, here’s a close-up on the lips.  As you can see, It Pink does not have any shimmery particles (although others in the Dior Addict line might, since I haven’t seen them I cannot say for sure).

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Feb 212011
 

I had several requests to swatch compare the Chantecaille Sea Turtle palette (reviewed here) with Chanel Regard Perle (reviewed here).  To do this, I removed all of the gold overspray from my Chantecaille palette so that you would see the colors in their purest form.

As you can see, the palettes are in the same feeling but hardly duplicates.  Here are differences:

  • Chanel Regard Perle has about half the product amount–Chanel has .24 ounces ($56) versus Chantecaille with .42 ounces ($79).
  • Chanel’s highlight color is more of a true white;  Chantecaille’s is a beige-gold
  • Chanel’s brown has a lot of gold-peach, while Chantecaille’s is a softer gold-brown
  • Chanel’s peach has more pink.  Chantecaille’s is more gold-peach with a touch of pink, and is large enough to use as a blush.  You’d burn up a lot of product to use Chanel’s peach as a blush.
  • The greens are close.  Chanel’s deep green is slightly more intense;  Chantecaille’s is only subtly different with a slight hint of silver.

As a reminder, these swatches were taken with all of the Chantecaille’s gold overlay off.  As you can see, all the colors remain quite shimmery even without any gold mixed in.  One more, with Chantecaille on top:

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