Mar 312011
 

While shopping in Paris, I noticed that one of the department stores had Dior’s Mitzah Collection in stock.  This is a very small, limited edition collection that includes the Imprime Jungle eyeshadow palette (90 euros) and two vernis nail colors (in #912 Ebony and #622 Camel)(23 euros each).   The collection commemorates Christian Dior’s friend and muse, Mitzah Bricard.

I haven’t had time to play with this, but wanted to post some quick pictures.  There are not many made (each is specially numbered).

The eyeshadow palette has a cream matte base color, that can be used from lashline to browbone.  The camel tone can be used over the entire lid.  The deep brown is a gorgeous liner (top and bottom) and can be used to add a sophisticated smoke color in the crease.  This was the technique that was used during my makeover, and I absolutely loved it.
Alternatively, you can swish the colors together to make an overall lid color that is a mix of the three colors together.

The shades are beautifully coordinated and seem primarily matte in texture.  They are quite soft and easy to work with.  You can make a very sophisticated and sexy eye with these colors.  Gorgeous.

 

Dior’s Mitzah collection also features two nail polishes– Camel and Ebony.

I only had time to do a quick manicure with Camel, which applies well although it is a bit sheer.  This is three coats:

Overall, these collections compliment my warm, fair skin tone and so I’m pleased with the sophistication and quality of this collection.  I expect that this will sell out quickly, given the universal “neutrals with an edge” vibe that seems to make great makeup fly off the shelves.

 

 

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Mar 302011
 

Here are some famous Paris landmarks.  I bedazzled the pictures a little, just to keep it interesting.

I’ve been gravitating around the Saint-Germain-des-Prés area, which is loosely organized around this Abbey.  It’s a beautiful area, and a wonderful place to spend an afternoon.  It is said that intellectuals such as Jean Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir had many discussions in the cafes around this area.

One of the famous cafes is the Cafe Flore, which is a great sidewalk cafe area (even in the chilly days of March), and an Art Deco interior.  The last time I was there, the waiter told me to sit at over at the “Tabula Rasa.”  I love a timely Latin reference, don’t you?

Notre Dame Cathedral, still going strong as a working church today.  Go when it’s sunny for the best view of the stained glass.  There’s a tiny museum of church artifacts in the back.  Also, there are occasional concerts there in the evenings.   I’ve never climbed to the top, but it might be fun to try.

L’Opera Garnier.  Perhaps the best way to see this theatrical landmark is to go to an event there.  You do not need to speak French to enjoy a ballet or symphony, and the operas may be in Italian or German in any event.  You can buy tickets online here, or go to the box office.  Buy well in advance, as most things sell out far ahead of time.

The pictures above and below are of the Opera Garnier, which inspired The Phantom of the Opera.  An alternative forum is at the Bastille, a much more modern theater, where many large productions are held.

And we can’t do a Paris landmark post without the Eiffel Tower, can we?

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Mar 292011
 

I wanted to title this post “Why You Should Get a Makeover When You Travel,” but allowing people to find Chanel swatches by post title pushed me toward the one I did use.

However, I do want to talk about both because there’s something about a makeover in a different country that is well worth thinking about…

So many wonder about French women’s beauty secrets, or how others in different countries achieve their looks. One of the best ways to find out is to get a makeover while you travel.  Although this answer sounds quite obvious (duh!), I did not discover this fact until a few years ago when I (an American) went to a Parisian department store (staffed by French makeup artists) and sort of stumbled into a Bobbi Brown makeover (an American line).  To tell the truth, my French wasn’t strong enough at the time to decline politely.  It turned out to be a completely eye-opening experience.  Using very few products that I didn’t already own, I learned how a French woman can apply American makeup to my American face in a very French way.

We might be reluctant to ask, especially if you don’t know the language well or local customs. Well, having my pronunciation and American expectations endlessly corrected by the French (I think I’ve made every possible mistake) has humbled me to the point where I decided to get over myself and go for it.  If you do the same, I guarantee that you will expand your options well beyond your comfort zone.  You may actually love what you see.

Here’s what was used on my during a Chanel makeover that I recently had:

Notice the lack of any added eyeshadow, contour or bronzer.  The look was extremely “your face but better” but with a sheer pop of shine and color on the lips.  The Vitalumiere foundation looked very moist and glowing (but knocked down to a nice finish with the powder).  No added eye color–just an added emphasis of my natural features.

To me, that look is very French.  The skin looks flawless but natural, healthy and is really the main event.  There is only one–two at most–areas of the face with added glow (here, the lips).  The rest is intended to enhance (but never change) your natural features.   When I try the look myself, I know that I’ve done it right when people on the street ask me for directions.

One of the products used was Les Tissage de Chanel/ Blush Duo Tweed Effect in Tweed Corail ($45/ #20), a blush that I’ve probably looked at 1,000 times in the U.S. without a second thought.  It’s one of the few Chanel products that I don’t own.

The color is a soft color with a touch of brown.  There is a gold shimmer overspray that disappears after the first few uses.  Although the blush has a sheer effect, the toned-down coral has a definite impact.  The color glows, but the softer coral tone mixed with a slight brown undertone knocks the color down and keeps it looking young and natural.  In other words, this is not your mother’s coral.

 

The above swatch is applied far too heavily for normal use, but necessary to show the color in the picture.  Applied that heavily, it does look a little bit like our mother’s coral, so don’t do that. Instead go soft, sheer and glowing.

Do keep in mind that every makeover that I’ve gotten in France has been with different color palettes and using different products.  Not all would come out this same way, of course.   I did enjoy this blush enough with Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in Monte Carlo that I thought it was worth picking up so that I can recreate the look at home.

 

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Mar 292011
 

Here are more lovely moments from Paris….

From Shakespeare & Co.

Near the Notre Dame Cathedral, this bookstore is literally stuffed to the ceiling with English-language books.  Most Mondays and Thursdays, there are author nights and other gatherings–the events are listed on their website.  The shop has a rich history of supporting both readers and writers, and is well-known for this inscription on the second floor, “be not inhospitable to strangers lest they be angels in disguise.”

From the Pompidou Center, an exhibit of the work of Jean-Michel Othoniel


Winged Victory of Samothrace at the Louvre Museum

A collection of bee-themed perfume bottles at Guerlain on the Champs-Elysee

Laduree window


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Mar 282011
 

Chanel Soft Touch Eyeshadow in Fauve (Ombre Essentielle No. 90 Fauve) is a shimmery mauve-taupe released as part of a small collection.  Currently, this is available outside the U.S. (Chanel has not responded to my email about possible availability in the U.S.).

The texture is high-shimmer.  Here, you can see Fauve swatched next to Chanel Taupe Grisee, which is much deeper in tone and more satin/matte in texture.

To my eye, Fauve seems more mauve and more shimmery than Chanel Safari Soft Touch eyeshadow.  Unfortunately, I do not have my Safari with me for a direct comparison.

I was pleased to see that the sparkles in the pan seemed to smooth out nicely when properly applied with a brush.  The texture is slightly harder than Taupe Grise (which is an extraordinarily soft texture).  If you’ve read this blog, you know what my advice is with respect to harder textured shadows–push harder or use a stiffer brush.  Problem solved.

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