May 302011

Rouge Bunny Rouge (“RBR”) is a quirky little Russian-based brand that is making its away into the hearts of beauty lovers around the internet.  Although readily available in many parts of the world, Zuneta is one of the few sources for these magical luxury products in the U.S. (watch for free worldwide shipping offers, as their minimums are otherwise well over $100).

The line is based on excellent formulations from leading European and Japanese laboratories. The four founders, Swen Lorenz, Ginny Gulati, Raf De Schutter and Alexandra De Montfort launched in 2006  Alexandra De Montfort acts as the brands Creative Director.

My first foray into this line is the Rouge Bunny Rouge Sea of Illumination in Sea of Showers (approx. $70 /1 ounce), a liquid mix of gold and tan for a glowing bronze effect.  Regular Cafe Makeup readers will recall my obsession with summer highlighters, partially covered here. Having read unequivocal cries of love from others, I took the plunge, ordered from Zuneta and tapped my fingers until its arrival.

Sea of Showers is gorgeously packaged in a glass pump bottle covered with tiny fairy-like flowers, encased in a pretty cardboard sleeve.  The bottle is classic by itself, operates well to keep the liquid germ-free and is easy to use.

The product is wonderfully textured, which can be worn with some opacity for a bronze effect or more sheer to emphasize a glow.  I typically place it on my browbone, cheek, and a touch on my chin, forehead and down the center of my nose over foundation.  I preferred to apply this with my fingers, although some might prefer to use a foundation brush.

There is no hint of sparkle, rather the texture resembles a very glowy bronze that can be sheered out nicely to a light tan-gold.  Stunning.

The closest product that I own is Soliel Tan de Chanel in Sunkissed (swatches here and here).  I never thought I’d say this, but the Soliel Tan de Chanel is a comparative bargain at $48 (I wonder if exchange rates are playing havoc here).  The texture of Rouge Bunny Rouge Sea of Showers is thicker, giving a slightly more bronze and a touch more metallic effect.  In contrast, the Chanel is thinner in texture and more subtle.  Given my unreasoned passion for all bronzing highlighters, I’m going to say that I’ll use Sea of Showers for times when I want a more obviously bronze-gold effect.  In other words, the Rouge Bunny Rouge stands out more dramatically on my pale skin than the Chanel.

Here are comparisons with Soliel Tan de Chanel in Sunkissed, Nars liquid Laguna Illuminator (see here), and Becca liquid Shimmering Skin Perfecter in Topaz (see here).

Another swatch:

On the far left, you will see that the kind Zuneta staff sent a microscopic sample of Rouge Bunny Rouge Bronzing Glow Liquid, in a shade called “As If It Were Summer Still” (see here).  I included the swatch for completeness, and I must admit that it’s haunting me a little.  It’s an absolutely perfect light milky bronze with a touch of shimmer that’s perfect for my skin tone. Regrettably, it’s listed as selling for $100/ounce on Zuneta’s website, so that may have to wait a bit.

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May 282011

Wearing a feathered Chanel couture gown, Kristen Dunst won the 2011 Cannes Film Festival Best Actress Award.  Her makeup? Chanel, of course:

  • Chanel  Vitalumiere Aqua Ultra-Light Skin Perfecting Makeup SPF 15 in Beige Rosé Tendre
  • Chanel Joues Contraste Powder Blush in Rose Écrin (available July 2011),
  • Chanel Illusion D’Ombre de Chanel Long Wear Luminous Eyeshadow in Epatant
  • Chanel Inimitable Intense Mascara in Noir
  • Chanel Rouge Allure Lipstick in Passion

Her moment:

Here are some award winning posts from my beauty blogging friends:

We hope you’ll take a few minutes from your long weekend to take a tour through the beauty world with us. We’re in the mood for summer.

  • Café Makeup left us drooling over her sneak peek at Chanel’s Fall 2011 Collection.
  • Best Things in Beauty gave us a first look at Giorgio Armani Beauty’s new Gloss d’Armani.
  • The Non-Blonde featured a superb powder brush from Louise Young. Love her brush features!
  • DivaDebbi test drove Maybelline’s Great Lash Mascara after all these years. Did it pass today’s test?
  • Product Girl got a peek at Joelle Russo’s makeup bag. See what a Nordstrom Regional Beauty Director loves.
  • Gina Brooke, Artistic Director for Hourglass Cosmetics and celebrity makeup artist, shared her beauty secrets with Fab over Forty.
  • The Beauty Look Book put a spotlight on Chanel’s divine Rouge Coco Shine.
  • Check out BeautyXposé for the Spring/Summer nail color collection from Anise.
  • Love Deborah Lippmann like most of us? Daly Beauty featured Deborah Lippmann’s nude nail look.
  • Gouldylox Reviews showed us how to attach feather extensions to our hair. Look out Steven Tyler!

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May 272011

From this interview in Muse Magazine, Chanel’s Director of Makeup Peter Philips gave this response to the question of whether makeup is the essence of femininity:

Not necessarily. It’s just a part of it. You should consider personality and self-confidence. You must find a balance, your way, your own beauty. There are different ways of makeup. If makeup is used just to hide the flaws, you then can not speak of beauty, but of a mask. Makeup should never be worn as a mask, but as an additional element of self-confidence, only then the authentic beauty emanates from your face. You just decide where you like to place the emphasis: on the eyes or on the mouth. This is a positive approach instead of trying and hiding flaws, which can be a source of stress since the makeup must look natural and not like a disguise. Vanessa Paradis is beautiful but not a model. She wears lipstick very good: she is beautiful because she is self-confident. In “Matrimonio all’italiana” Sophia Loren experiences all states of mind: from sadness to anger, from joy to sorrow, she is both wife and lover. This transformation makes her beautiful. This is the real essence of femininity, also when you get older. Young Gabrielle [Coco Chanel] was full of life, she enjoyed a spontaneous life: this is the concept of beauty and femininity.

I find this response very Chanel.  I never worry when high end makeup seems sheer.  Although some products (like eyeliner) are typically opaque, letting a woman’s skin show through fits with the idea that makeup is an accessory and not a cover.  Sometimes makeup is for emphasis, to sit lightly on the skin.  The skin and a women’s features, her expression, her personality, are the main event.

Yes, we always have those days.  But a woman who has an inner confidence and lives life with a full range of emotion looks alive and beautiful, regardless…  It’s personality and spirit which count the most.  Elegance in one’s interactions with others is a state of mind.

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May 262011

Chanel Autumn/Fall 2011 will feature an Illusion D’Ombre theme, which has been previously discussed on Cafe Makuep (they had me at “smoking lava”). We now have more complete information about the entire collection.

[Edit–Cafe Makeup has now done detailed reviews of these items.  See our overview and final recommendations at this link!).


First, there are six shades of a whipped gel eyeshadow, Illusion D’Ombre, which have a shimmery effect:

Illusion d’Ombre in Fantasme:

Illusion d’Ombre in Emerveillé:

Illusion d’Ombre in Ebloui:

Illusion d’Ombre in Epatant:

Illusion d’Ombre in Illusoire:

Illusion d’Ombre in Mirifique:

Le Crayon Yeux in Khaki Platine:

Joues Contraste in Rose Écrin:

Les 4 Ombres in Prélude:

Lèvres Scintillantes (Glossimer) in Pampille and Braise and Crayon Lèvres lip pencils in Rose Cuivré and Coralline:

Rouge Coco Plumetis and Rouge Coco Étole:

Le Vernis nail polish in Graphite, Peridot and Quartz:

Swatches of these shades are here at Sophy Robson:

Some of you may recall this video in which Chanel Makeup Genius Peter Philips explains the collection:

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Cafe Makeup Featured in Elle Magazine (UA) and Vacation

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May 222011

Liz and I are so pleased that our work is read by readers worldwide.  We both believe that beauty is a universal language, something that all women have in common.  Nearing 2 million views in the short time that we’ve been online, Café Makeup is so pleased to be embraced by women everywhere.  For that reason, we were  very excited to be featured in Elle Ukraine’s July 2011 issue, featuring some of our favorite brands, Chanel, Le Metier de Beaute and Clarisonic.  As a pair of very enthusiastic beauty lovers, we are incredibly humbled to be recognized by a top-ranked fashion and beauty magazine.  On a personal level, it demonstrates a confluence between print media and bloggers.  Café Makeup truly loves its readership worldwide and Elle magazine!

At the same time that Café Makeup is enjoying this recognition, Liz and I are very busy working on projects in our non-blogging world.  For both of us, we’ve been exploring a number of projects that require our full attention and focus.  To preserve the high quality of the photographs and posts, we’ve decided to take a brief vacation from Café Makeup.  We don’t want to post things without our typical crazy passion for the truly gorgeous!

In the meantime, please feel free to wander through the site’s hundreds of posts and look at the lovely blogs listed in the Café’s blogroll (to the right).  Comments are currently closed to protect the site from spam, and emails will not be answered during this time.

Thank you for your lovely visit!

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May 212011

On the West Coast, it is starting to feel like Spring in full bloom.  I’m breaking out the sunblock and sunglasses, and looking for some beauty inspiration.   However, I doubt that I’ll succumb to this Summer’s neon trend–what do you think of it?

Here’s some reading from my beauty BFF’s:

  • Product Girl told us why Bobbi Brown’s Rich Lip Color is cosmic.
  • Fab over Forty shared some gorgeous Burberry spring/summer colors you should consider.
  • Café Makeup teased us with Lumieres Byzantines de Chanel Palette Highlighters – heavenly!
  • How about spending some time weekend window shopping with The Beauty Look Book?
  • The Non-Blonde showed us a Shiseido bronzer to help us ring in the summer.
  • Best Things in Beauty plans to look good next week wearing Chantecaille makeup.
  • Gouldylox Reviews featured Fusion Beauty for the great glow.
  • BeautyXposé recommended a bargain leave-in conditioner to take us all the way through summer.
  • DivaDebbi has a Lumene giveaway contest for Skin Cancer Awareness Month (the deadline is Monday).
  • Daly Beauty dove into Jo Malone Cologne. Smell great at any time – anywhere!


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May 202011

Although Burberry Beauty Brush No. 2 (price not yet determined) is not yet for sale, I was able to obtain one during the last Holiday season when Nordstrom had a gift with purchase that included this lovely, incredible brush.  This is an unbelievable powder brush.  It’s dense, it’s luxurious, and it works.   It’s absolutely perfect for either a light dusting of setting powder, or a very soft application of bronzer or blush on pale skin.

The handle is substantial without being too heavy.  It’s held up beautifully through weekly (or more) washings for the past five months.  I had no lost bristles, it dries perfectly overnight.

Is “brush-gasm” a word?  Like Chanel’s Euro face powder brush (reviewed here), Burberry Face Brush No. 2 has a wide, flat side that contours beautifully to the face.

Turn the brush sideways, and you will see that the top of the bristles narrow down to a chisel in a way that allows a very light application of powder.

I found a number of similarities between the Burberry Face Brush No. 2 and Chanel Flat Powder Brush #3 (Pinceau Poudre Flat). Here is a side-by-side:

Bottom line:  Highly recommended.

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May 202011

Talika Paris is best known for its lash growth products, but I’ve discovered that the range has expanded its research to include all types of eye, face, skin and nails.  I was recently given the chance to try two eye products, Eye Detox and Eye Dream, both of which I consider to be successful.  This kit sells for $85 here on Talika’s website (the site also allows you to purchase the products separately if you wish).


Eye Detox is a gel that is applied once every morning to both eliminate undereye puffiness and soften dark circles.  You can see the results of Talika’s study here.  I do not normally have undereye puffiness, but it is something that I get very occasionally (salt? stress?).  Eye Detox seemed to eliminate it within 30 minutes after application.  Also, my undereye area looked slightly firmer.   The active ingredients are:

  • Peptides : hydrating and rejuvenating action
  • Proteins of sweet white lupine: repairs, regenerates and hydrates
  • Proteins of sweet almond: smoothness and tightness is restored
  • Cornflower water: soothing and softening effect
  • Extract of horse chestnut: decongests the eye contour

As I’ve been using Eye Detox only two weeks (I’ll update), I cannot speak to whether it lessens dark circles on a permanent basis.  Having used products in the past that have promised to eliminate them, I do know it can take from 4-6 weeks to see that kind of an effect.

Eye Detox is packaged in a travel-friendly silver tube.  When you click-turn the dispenser several times, the gel is dispensed from the top. It’s a nice way to keep the product fresh, sanitary, attractive and easy to use.

Eye Dream is a wonderful, light night eye cream.  Having used Chanel’s newly reformulated Sublimage Eye Cream for several weeks just prior, I have to say that I got more immediate, visible results with Talika’s Eye Dream over Sublimage.  The tiny wrinkles around my eyes look much softer after only one night, and the effect is continuing.  For me, Talika’s Eye Dream is a big, big “yes!” The reasonable price, combined with the effectiveness of the product, make this an easy decision.

The texture is a thin, white liquid that sinks in within about 5 minutes after application. It’s light, pleasant and I did not detect any strong scent.  The ingredients include algae extract, Vitamin F, Soybean Protein Extract, Lipo-dipeptide, Horse chestnut, and Biopeptides.  According to Talika, researchers noticed (after one month) an improvement of +146% in the regeneration of the eye contour skin, lessening by 39% in average wrinkle length (up to -50%), and lessening of 23% in average wrinkle depth (up to -40%). Although I’m usually a skeptic, I’m inclined to believe this one.  My undereye area looks much better.

Bottom line:  Highly recommended.

This product was sent to Cafe Makeup without charge for consideration for review.

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May 202011

One brand that I noticed during my visits to Paris is Sampar Urban Active, a line that is intended to restore and protect skin subjected to environmental influences that may contribute to aging using natural ingredients.  I was recently sent the Sampar Vivid Radiance Serum ($85, but discounted up to 20% at online retailers including Apothica).

As you can tell, I’m used to spending upwards of $100 for serums without a blink.  I respect the research and care that goes into developing new innovations.  On the other hand, if something works for half the price then I’m even happier.   I’ve used serums from Perricone MD, Chanel, Bobbi Brown and others.

After using Sampar Urban Active for two weeks (2x daily) on the face, I was very impressed.  It improved  my skin’s texture and softness.  I don’t have any face wrinkles or creases yet (except a few small ones around my eyes), but overall my skin seemed softer, more refined and clearer.

Sampar Vivid Radiance Serum relies on a combination of peptides, walnuts and chestnut to boost the skin’s resistance and calms inflammation. I liked it about the same as some of the Chanel serums that I’ve used in the past (although Sampar’s is less expensive).  I’ve always wondered about people who told me “Don’t buy Chanel.  You can get something that works just as well for cheaper.”  I always asked, “well, what, exactly?”  I never got an actual answer, and I wasn’t very happy with the options that I tried.  Sampar is a nice option.

The texture is very light, it is a very light pink that buffs to clear.  I did not notice any strong scent.  Once I allowed the serum to sink in, I didn’t notice that it was there.  Except, of course, for the results.

Bottom line:  Great results, great price.  Highly recommend.

Ingredients: Aqua(water), octyldodecanol, polyglyceryl, methacrylate, palmitoyl oligopeptide, juglans regia (walnut seed)prunus amygdalus dulcis(sweet almond oil)buytlene glycol, butyrospermum parkll (shea butter), lactitol xylitol, mentha piperita(peppermint extract), maltodextrin, malpighi glabra(acerola)fruit extract, chlorphenesin, phenoxyethanol, polyacrylamide,C13-14 isoparaffin,laureth-7. ammonium acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP , copolymer, methylparaben, propylparaben, ethylparaben,butylparaben, isobutylparaben, tocopheryl acetate, parfum(fragrance), limonene, hexly cinnamal, coumarin, butylphenylmethlpropronal, citronellol hydroxyisohexyl3-cyclohexenec arboxaldehyde, geraniol, tetrasodium EDTA

This product was sent to Cafe Makeup without charge for consideration for review.




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May 192011

Over the past few months, Burberry Beauty began selling a few items from its brush line (previewed here).  In addition to a limited release of gift with purchase items that Nordstrom featured during the Holiday season, the store is now selling Eye Brushes Nos. 9, 10 and 11 (pictured here among the other eye brushes).

Last week, I picked up both Burberry Beauty Brushes No. 10 and 11 to expand my brush range.  The quality of these brushes is extremely high.  Even the softly-colored Burberry eyeshadows cling to them beautifully, laying down a serious layer of pigment.  The handles are sleek, classic and beautifully machined.  The “heft” factor is appropriate–these are light but solid.  Let’s take a closer look at these two…

Burberry Beauty Brush No. 10 ($32) is a variation on a pencil brush, intended for smudging and making softly defined lines.  It comes packed in a plastic sleeve inside a velveteen cover marked with the trademarked Burberry plaid with a black-on-black texture.

I found that the head of Burberry’s Eye Brush No. 10 was denser and larger than the MAC 219 pencil brush ($24.50).  Here’s a side-by-side of the new, unused Burberry next to my well-worn MAC 219:

I’ve played with Burberry’s Eye Brush No. 10 and find that it gives a beautifully pigmented, rich lay-down of color.  With a pigmented soft shadow (NARS Mekong, for example), I got a beautifully rich line of color where the soft gold sparkles showed up nicely.  I’m so pleased with this brush, I know that I’ll get constant use from it.  The handle of No. 10:

Burberry Beauty Eye Brush No. 11 ($38) has an uncommon, but extremely useful shape.  The top is a slanted, flat circle that lays down a rich sweep of color over the entire lid.  It can also be used for precise placement of powders under the eye over concealer.

The bristles are very dense, and works beautifully like a magnet, depositing color very evenly across with lid with a single sweep.

These are great quality brushes, and a pleasure to use.


Bottom line:  Highly recommended.

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