Apr 202011
 

Chanel Summer 2011 Les Fleurs D’ete de Chanel includes three shades of the Le Vernis Nail Colour ($25 each).  Mimosa (#577) is the bright, highly-anticipated “must have” shimmery yellow.  Beige Petale (#567) is a light sheer high-shine beige.  Morning Rose (#557) is a semi-sheer pink with gold glitter sparkle.  Like flowers in a bouquet, these three shades could not be more different from each other.  My assumption is that together this extreme range is intended to be a complete summer wardrobe, to be worn for entirely different occasions.  It is true that, during the summer months, I feel pulled in so many different occasions and events that a variety is welcome.

Mimosa is a fitting for a runway (or, for most of us, beach and poolside).  This color is probably best captured on a cell phone, at a distance.  It is distinctive, daring and says “Yes, I have this year’s Chanel.”  Like a wink across a room, I imagine that women across the world will be flashing this color as the not-so-secret sign of summer chic.  Learning from beauty bloggers who tried this color before me, including the British Beauty Blogger’s helpful instructions, I realized that this formula worked best on a slick base coat.  By this writing, I’ve applied Mimosa six separate times, and I want to pass along what I’ve learned.

Mimosa Application Tip #1:  Although I usually use CND Stickey, that would be an very, very unfortunate choice for Mimosa.  Because Mimosa’s formula is notoriously unforgiving, the most ridge-filling, smoothest base is the best.  I chose Chanel’s own Protective Base Coat ($25), reasoning that if any base worked well with a Chanel polish, it should be the Chanel base coat.  Chanel’s Protective Base Coat is a milky color, and it dries to a very even, non-sticky surface, and even seems to slightly fill ridges and imperfections along the way.  The British Beauty Blogger actually used a topcoat under Mimosa, to get a perfectly even surface.

Mimosa Application Tip #2: Let the brush “float” over the nail, keeping a layer of the polish between your brush and the nail surface.  Like many opaques, Mimosa’s brush can “scrape” off the color that you’ve already applied, leaving a bare patch.  Do not allow the brush to touch the nail.  Instead, load up the brush with enough for a full swipe, and deposit it with virtually no pressure as you go.

Mimosa Application Tip #3: Allow plenty of dry time between coats.  Although this formula is opaque, I need three coats to get good coverage.  Unlike some Chanel formulas that seem to dry in less than a minute, Mimosa needs a good full 5-10 minutes to fully dry to avoid dents.

Although I (and other bloggers) found Mimosa challenging to apply, once deposited it seems to dry to a nice shiny finish.  Still, I’d use a topcoat because a color this vibrant does tend to show wear easily.  Unfortunately, I do not believe my application is perfect and bright yellows are not the best color for my warm skin tone (which are still a bit trashed from traveling), but I’ll post my results nonetheless:

Morning Rose is a sheer pink with a touch of gold glitter.  It’s an easy color for brush-and-go, a polite pink that gives a pretty wash of color and allows the natural nail to show through.  The glitter dries to a bit of a bumpy surface, which is easily remedied with a topcoat.  I chose Chanel Extreme Shine Nail Lacquer ($25), although certainly others will do.

Here, I applied two coats of Morning Rose.  I do not believe that this polish is intended to be worn fully opaque, it feels more like a glossimer than a lipstick.  And we all know that a soft stain of shiny color in the summer can look very fresh.

Beige Petale is a very sheer, shiny beige.  The Beauty Look Book has accurate, clear pictures of the color worn alone together with some comparisons.  It gives the nail a very healthy, even appearance.  It’s one of those shades that I find myself using up because it can be applied without thinking, dries quickly, and takes you anywhere.  It softens the nail line but looks very natural, like a good finishing powder.  Are there dupes? Probably, but I’ll still use Beige Petale down to the bottom of this gorgeous, classic bottle rather than spend the same amount (or more) trying to hunt down a duplicate in another brand.

To alleviate the boredom from seeing one more swatch of sheer Beige Petale here, I decided to play with my Beige Petale by dressing it up with some colors from Creative Nail Design.  As many of you know, Creative Nail Design makes a line of Colors, plus a line of Effects that add different textures and tones to a standard nail polish.

Here, I applied Beige Petale on my Chanel topcoat, then topped it with the Creative Nail Design Effect in Gold Pearl. I then topped it with a sheer coat of Creative Nail Design sheer color in Rosewater, which is genius for knocking down the slight green cast of Gold Pearl.  As an aside, if you are looking for something similar to Beige Petale but in pink, Rosewater is a good choice.  The result using all three of these color layered has a milky irridescence:

Overall, Chanel’s summer nail offerings offer a pleasant variety of colors.  Generally, I’m pleased that I have them in my collection.  Chanel seems to have perfected the modern classic, with a touch of edge and trend that we look for every summer.

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Apr 182011
 

Diorskin Nude Glow Healthy Glow Summer Powder in Aurora ($46 #001), has been reviewed by Cafe Makeup here and here. As you’ll recall, this is a gorgeously textured Summer 2011 bronzer that has a touch of pinky peach.

We had many requests to see this bronzer applied, so this weekend Liz was kind enough to do a few pictures.  She applied Dior Aurora all over the face using the large, soft Chanel Flat Powder Brush (reviewed here).  She swept the brush in a downward motion, to mimic the way that the light hits the face from the sun.  She then took a small-headed MAC 165 brush, and applied Dior Aurora in a more concentrated way on her cheeks, parts of her forehead and a bit on her chin.  Liz is not wearing any blush or highlighter.  The only color you see over her foundation is Dior Aurora.

Liz is wearing Dior Aurora over Chanel Lift Lumiere foundation in Intensity 1.0 Ivoire, together with Chanel Rouge Coco Magnolia lipstick (reviewed here) topped with Chanel Rouge Allure Extrait de Gloss in Imaginaire (reviewed here).  She’s wearing the white and pink shades from Chanel’s Ombres Perlees eyeshadow palette (reviewed here).  Just for fun, Liz added a touch of MAC Reflects Gold as a wash over the eyeshadow for a little added sparkle.

We both enjoy Dior Aurora for use on the face, because the little touch of pinky peach and glow.  Dior Aurora is a glowy bronzer–that is, the skin seems to pick up a luminous look where the light hits.  It eliminates the need to add a blush and/or highlighter, and so it’s a very convenient way to get a very natural summer look.  Particularly in the very top picture, you can see that the little bit of color gives the impression of lightly sun-touched skin, without the incurring any damage of actual sun exposure.

Here’s a quick comparison of Dior’s Aurora and Guerlain’s Terra Inca (reviewed here)–which do you prefer?

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Apr 172011
 

Guerlain Summer 2011 includes Terra Inca ($70- Poudre Sublimatrice / Sublime Radiance Powder), a softly bronzed illuminating powder.  Every summer, Guerlain has introduced a stunning bronzing powder. As has been Guerlain’s tradition, the pan size every year is quite large.  At $70, this year’s Inca is the largest offering in recent memory at .51 ounces (14.5 g).  A quick review of their earlier offerings shows that this is almost twice as large as a few years ago, and one-third larger than last year’s.  This large size is very practical for a product that can be used for both the face and body.

The packaging is a sleek, low-profile back case with a gorgeous sunburst engraving on the outside.  I was quite happy to see that this is not made of cardboard, it has the feel of wood or a wood composite.  It’s beautifully executed, and designed as a richly-textured, sturdy accent to your makeup table.

The top is not hinged, rather it pulls off entirely to reveal a large, usable mirror underneath.  Like Guerlain’s other elaborate summer offerings, these are not made for travel.  When closed, the Terra Inca lid is held in place with three small magnets–one pair of these magnets is pictured just below.  These magnets release with slight pressure, which is wonderful for a makeup counter but not for a suitcase.  If you wish for something on-the-go, as you likely know Guerlain makes gorgeous Terracotta bronzers in compacts that are better alternatives for travel.

This bronzer is made of a intricately carved powder–really, it’s quite beautiful in its execution.

As you can see, the pan holds a powder that has a fair amount of glow and shimmer.  Here is another picture:

Here is a very close look at the beautiful workmanship on the top of the pan, which shows the pearly quality of this beautiful powder.  It’s been my experience that Guerlain is a company that has a particularly sophisticated understanding of powders, as well as bronzers.  I find myself unable to miss their annual summer bronzers, because really the best of both worlds comes together in these offerings.  As you can see, this powder catches the light beautifully, a quality which translates when worn on the skin:

My general sense is that this year’s Terra Inca is primarily designed for those with lighter skin tones.  Although deeper in tone than Guerlain Terracotta Light Sheer Bronzing Powder, it is gently tinted although buildable.  If you are looking for something in the range of Nars Casino, or are deeper in tone than MAC NC 40, this is something you would need to try at a counter before purchasing.

Here is Terra Inca on Liz, who is a Mac NC15/ Chanel Cameo-Ivoire Intensity 1.0.  She applied it lightly all over the face, then added more over the cheek area.  She topped Terra Inca with a touch of Chanel Pink Explosion blush (reviewed here).

Some of you may have seen Liz’s reaction on Facebook to Guerlain’s Terra Inca.  Generally, we both concur that Terra Inca is an excellent bronzer.  It has a beautifully natural, yet pearly texture that adds a glow and tone to the skin that looks quite beautiful (no one would mistake Liz’s bronzing technique for that used by the Jersey Shore’s Snooki, that’s certain).  In a one-to-one comparison, we should note that we preferred Dior’s Nude Glow Summer Powder in Aurora (reviewed here, $46) over Terra Inca.

We’ll post more thoughts tomorrow, although for now we found that Dior’s Aurora is smaller in size (about .35 ounces), although less expensive ($46 for Dior, and $70 for Guerlain).  We liked the pink tinge that Aurora gives for a “just out from the sun” look particularly on the face.  Although we appreciated the beauty of Guerlain’s packaging, we liked Dior’s Aurora compact better for travel.  Guerlain’s Terra Inca is more traditional bronzer color, which means adding a touch of blush on top.  None is necessary for Dior’s in our opinion.  We found that both gave an excellent glow.  We should also note that Liz wore Guerlain’s Terra Inca all day in the hot sun (over sunblock and foundation), she was complimented several times for her skin texture, glow and overall look.  I completely concur, Guerlain’s Terra Inca was absolutely beautiful on Liz.  Also, keep in mind that Guerlain’s is designed for both face and body.  Dior’s Aurora is for the face.

We both highly recommend Guerlain’s Terra Inca, but if you must choose just one, stay tuned for tomorrow’s more in-depth review of Dior’s Aurora.

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Apr 142011
 

 

Since I posted this preview, Guerlain’s introduction of Rouge Automatique ($32 each) lipstick has already become a success.  The combination of the sleek, beautiful and thoughtfully functional packaging and the moisturizing, pigmented formula is a winner–this line fits within so many criteria that women want.  I’m in love with all of the lipstick innovations that we’ve seen so far in 2011, and Guerlain’s Rouge Automatique is part of the leading edge.

Guerlain Rouge Automatique’s packaging incorporates a sliding mechanism that pulls the lipstick bullet up as the piece is pushed down.  On the top, there is a little door which is pulled down with the slider, and is tucked into the package as it goes.

The picture, above, shows the little door opening as the square is pulled down.  If you look closely, below, you can see where the square tucks into the package:

Overall, the packaging is well-machined, lightweight and smooth.  I’m not concerned about snagging the mechanism on fragile scarves or sweaters, and it is no larger than the average lipstick tube.

To turn to the formula, Guerlain kindly sent Cafe Makeup two colors for testing:  Nahema (#143) and Vega (#125), both named for two of Guerlain’s iconic scents (all of the lipsticks in the Rouge Automatique are).

Nahema is a soft, warm red-pink-coral that has a lovely shimmer.  It’s a gorgeous summer color, very fresh and beautiful.

Closer (you can see the shimmer on the bullet):

Here, I compare Nahema to the peachy-coral Lancome Chris n Tell (reviewed here), as well as Chanel Flamboyante (reviewed here).  I found that Nahema was closer in tone to Chanel Flamboyante but applied more sheerly and with more of a peachy tone.

Liz and I found Nahema nicely pigmented and had a pleasant, moisturizing feel.  Nahema is quite luminous, and gives quite a good amount of color to Liz’s naturally pink lips.  My estimate is that these have about 90% coverage–there is a bit of your natural lip color that will show through using no lipliner and average application techniques.

Vega is a deep, warm red with a touch of brown.  It looks quite dramatic in the tube and when first applied.  There is virtually no shimmer to Vega.

Closer:

Vega applies as a nearly-opaque warm red, with the same lovely moisturizing feel as Nahema.  During the first hour, Vega retains its color and glow nicely.  After some sips and normal lipwear, Vega faded to a beautiful matte rosewood color.  It still retained some of the moisturizing feel even during the second hour.  I should note that my wear time with these was comparable to other high end lipsticks, such as the Chanel Rouge Allure.  The wear time of the Guerlain Rouge Automatiques is certainly longer than Chanel’s Rouge Coco Shine line. I should mention that I go through lipsticks rather quickly, I’ve never tried a lipstick that lasted any longer than 2 hours on me with acceptable color.

Here is Vega swatched next to the comparatively browner and deeper Chanel Rouge Coco Rouge Noir and Chanel Rouge Coco in Baroque.  The closest color to Vega in my stash is Chanel Rouge Coco in Vendome, which is another warm, browned-red, although Vendome is a slightly more sheer red.

Guerlain’s Vega on Liz:

Overall, I love the formula, packaging, price-point.  I’m sincerely looking forward to exploring more colors in this line as I’ve been very impressed with the product that I’ve seen so far.  The formula and look of this line transcends age (they look good on younger lips, as well as on the rest of us), and the color has a universal appeal (Liz is now the happy owner of Nahema, and I’ve kept Vega).  Highly recommended.

These lipsticks were provided by Guerlain free of charge for review and consideration.

 

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Apr 132011
 

At this post, I introduced two Dior vernis nail colors from the Dior Mitzah Collection– Ebony (#912) and and Camel (#622) (23 euros each), which I found during my recent trip to Paris.  As appropriate for a small, boutique collection, these colors are edgy and distinct.  You will not see them on everyone. Indeed, I anticipate that many Café Makeup readers may not enjoy them when compared to more traditional nail colors.

Personally, I wore Camel for a few days and it made me supremely happy.  It’s a very unusual greyed-down medium tone that’s often overlooked in the makeup world.  It’s one of the few yellows that I can wear on my warm skintone.  It’s warmer than a Grey Poupon mustard tone, rather it is more like a rich cashmere winter coat.  “Neutral with an edge” is one of my biggest weaknesses and so I’ve fallen hard for Camel.

Here is a swatch of Dior Ebony, a deep brown with a touch of grey.  You can see that it is much deeper than Chanel Particuleire (reviewed here) and Chanel Khaki Rose (reviewed here).  It lacks the green undertone of Chanel Khaki Brun (reviewed here) and lacks the shimmer and green/gold undertone of Dior Czarina Gold (reviewed here).

 

Whether you enjoy this color is a matter of your personal preference.  The formula is excellent, these are beautifully opaque in two coats.  These swatches are made without any topcoat.

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