Jun 252011

Like a summer sequel, Café Makeup has returned.  The journey continues!  First of all, I want to thank all of you who sent tweets and emails to let me know that you wanted to see more. I read every one, and each on meant a lot.  I do not expect to be able to post with the same frequency as before, but as was so famously said in Clueless:

Be seing you!

Yeah, I hope not sporadically!

The truth is, I really missed blogging.  Also, I realize now that it was a mistake to take down the archives. I’m sorry. I had even removed it from search engines, which is harder to do than you would think.  Google is gradually finding Café Makeup again, so the swatches from this site should start naturally appearing in search results as the mighty Googlebot begins to crawl the site once again.

In the meantime, beauty blog star Karlasugar has joined the roundup, so our all-star cast is getting stronger than ever.  Here’s what’s on the beauty sites this week:

  • Gouldylox Reviews is giving away a Napolean Perdis set of 5 products to give you a summertime glow. Sign up today!
  • The Non-Blonde gives us a taste of the newer lipstick line called Bite Beauty and the delicious lip color Shiraz.
  • Fab Over Forty shows us one of the many looks that can be created with Le Metier de Beaute Penelope Kaleidoscope.
  • Daly Beauty shares with us her radiant results from the Benefit b.right foaming cleanser. Did it give her that youthful glow?
  • Café Makeup shares with us some of the first close-up looks of the beautiful Chanel Illusion D’Ombre eye shadows for fall.
  • Best Things in Beauty found Chanel’s Joues Contraste Fards à Joues Poudre in Rose Écrin to be a perfect blushing pink complement to the Chanel fall eye looks.
  • Karla Sugar gives us a complete and comprehensive shopping guide to MAC newest collection called Bloggers Obsessions.
  • Product Girl Laurie needed to summerize her handbag and what’s in it. She shares with us her lightweight summer essentials.
  • Diva Debbi teaches us how to become “sleeping beauties” with the latest hair products from Nexxus and Kevin Mancuso’s tips.
  • BeautyXposé tests Salon Graphix 450 Maximum Heat Protect Spray. Does it really help your hair beat the heat? See her results.
  • The Beauty Look Book gives us a comparison between the Chanel Spring and Fall 2011 Collections; Ombres Perleés de Chanel vs Illusion d’Ombre.

More to look for: I’ve been running into some gorgeous photography on the web these days, including:

  • Tommy Ton’s street fashion photography.  Over the past weeks, he’s been shooting in Milan and Paris for the menswear shows and I’ve been enjoying every little tidbit this genius brings back.  Are you ready to see some amazingly fashionable men?  Slideshow from Style.com is here.

  • Front Row Beauty. I’ve recently discovered this beauty blog from Australia who does lovely photography and makeup application.  Here, she features the Topaki eyeshadow quad from the upcoming Chanel Byzance collection.
  • 25FLondon continues to do gorgeous work, here with Bourjois blushes.  It makes me want to hop on a plane to Europe to get them all.
  • Shu Uemura fans will want to see Rouge Deluxe, who is updating us with the newly reformulated eyeshadows (here) and blushes (here), as well as other news about this entirely re-done line.

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Jun 242011

Chanel Illusion D’Ombre Long Wearing Luminous Eyeshadow in Illusoire ($36 # 83) has the potential to be my favorite color of all of those released.  This is a smokey mauve shade that looks absolutely gorgeous when applied, due to its very subtle reflective shimmer and the overall play of the shade with light.  As with the others in the line (overview here), Illusoire has a gel-mousse texture that sits lightly on the lids.

I live for this type of neutral-with-an-edge color.  Unfortunately, I haven’t had much time to test out this beauty.  Except for a few swipes in my crease, which worked well over Epatant, I’ve yet to dig too deeply into this gorgeous color.

Nonetheless, I know that if I were waiting for more information about these shadows, I’d be wanting to see things as soon as possible. In that spirit, I’m hitting publish so you’ll have as much information as I do as soon as I can send it.  Here are some comparisons, with Illusoire swatched lightly, then heavily.  I’ve also shown that Illusoire has a deeper grey base that Chanel Ombre Essentielle Soft Touch Eyeshadow in Fauve (due in the U.S. in August/September).  Illusoire has more dimension and sparkle than Chanel Ombre Essentielle in Taupe Grise, still one of my favorite deep mauve-taupe colors.  I’ve also compared this with the mauve side of the Nars Habenera duo, as well as the lighter mauve-lavendar of Nars Nouveau Monde.

More swatches, which really shows how beautifully Illusoire catches the light:

And one final:

I’m promising to update you on wear time.  For now, this looks like it has real potential as a color.

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Jun 242011

Chanel Illusion D’Ombre Long Wearing Luminous Eyeshadow in Emerveille ($36 # 82) is one of those can’t miss eyeshadow washes for warm-toned women who would like to use the shadow as a light wash or an inner corner lightener.  Having used up two pans of Chanel Ombre Essentielle Soft Touch Eyeshadow in Abricot, which has a similar gold-peach color, it would have been impossible for me to miss getting Emerveille.  This is the crowd-pleasing color for those with a touch of gold in their skin tone.

Like the other eyeshadows in the Illusion D’Ombre series (overview here), Emerveille has a light gel-mousse texture that can be worn either sheerly or layered for more opacity.

Emerveille (meaning “marvel” or “wonder” in French) will look very sexy with Mirifique smudged as a liner.  I love a good black smudgy liner and gold-peach wash, don’t you?  Many will want to add a deeper shade to the outer corner or crease.  Illusoire or Epatant can be used quite nicely, or even a medium to deep brown powder eyeshadow should work well.

Here are some swatches and comparisons with Emerveille and other light glowy cream eyeshadows in my collection–here, MAC Rubenesque, MAC Vintage Selection and MAC Chilled on Ice.

Same eyeshadows, different lighting:

Last night I slept in Emerveille and woke up to find product still there–I’ll do an all-day test and update.

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Jun 242011

I’m officially declaring my love for Chanel Illusion D’Ombre Longwear Luminous Eyeshadow in Ebloui ($36 #86).  This deep cranberry shade has enough brown to be flattering on my skintone, so that my lids do not look red.  There is enough sparkle to keep me interested-it’s subtle but adds touches of light to this deep shade.  And this is one long wearing shade. My test was with no primer.  I wore it most of last evening and slept with it on through the night (for testing purposes–I don’t usually wear any makeup at night).  I worn it for the past eight hours in 90 degree heat. I have a very slight accumulation in the crease that can be gently finger-swept away.  The color that remained on the lid was still vibrant and opaque.

Still, considering that I’m not wearing any primer I was pretty impressed.  I’m not certain how many powder shadows would withstand that.

I love this color–as someone with “green with a touch of blue” eyes with red-mauve undertones in my skin, this brings out the best in my coloring.  The color is deep and pretty.  There is a pretty dimensionality to the way that it works with light, so that it does not make my eyes look smaller–rather, the color and tones draw attention to the eye.

Bottom line, one of my favorites.

If you’d like to see an eye look using Ebloui, Liz tried the shadow on as a wash with Mirifique as a liner here.

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Jun 232011

Chanel Illusion D’Ombre Long Wear Luminious in Epatant ($36 # 84) is a very Chanel color, at least in my mind.  This soft gray-green seems to appear in the first release of every major eyeshadow release over the past several years.  Somewhat similar tones appeared in the the Ombre D’Eau line, the Ombres Perlees palette for Spring 2011, and the Ombre Essentielles when they were first released.  It’s a neutral-with-an-edge that seems to look good on a wide variety of skin tones and eye colors, and seems to be a lovely shadow to go with the burgundy, browns, grays and blacks that we are sure to be wearing in the Fall.

As described in this overview post, Epatant (French for “amazing”) has a cross-linked gel texture that is a bit spongy in feel.  Epatant is a soft forest green, and the first color that I reached for when attempting to use these shadows for the first time.  This is a color that is well within the comfort zone of many women.  As with the other Illusion D’Ombre shades, there is a tiny clear micro-sparkle in Epatant.

I found that this applied easily with a soft dab and tap of my finger as a wash on my upper lid.  I was able to put down several layers to get a pretty opaque look without looking weighed down.  As with the other shadows in the line, this mousse-gel does not appear to emphasize any fine lines or imperfections on the lid.  Rather, it seems to add a very thin layer of pigment that looks rather smooth.  Also, the shadows are layer-able.  For example, I added Illusoire in my crease area over Epatant for a pretty mauve-green combination.

I’m indebted to Grace over at the London Makeup Girl for noting the resemblance between Chanel Epatent and Lancome’s Erika F. Here, you see Chanel Epatant applied lightly, then more heavily.  In the center is a swatch of the powder Lancome Erika F.  To the right are both Chanel Ombre Essentielle Soft Touch Eyeshadows–one in Vert Khaki and Khaki.

In bright sun:

Indoors with flash–you can see how these colors shift and reflect in different light:

One more:

As an aside, I suspect that this color was heavily used during the Chanel Fall 2011 couture show (discussed here):

I want to do more testing before I weigh in on the wear time with these.  So far, I’m having good luck.  In fact, I slept in Ebloui last night and woke up with most of it all (intentionally-the things beauty bloggers do!–I wouldn’t normally do that).  I’ll also have Liz try them, as her skin type is slightly different than mine.  Please look for an update in a week or so on wear time.


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Jun 232011

Chanel Illusion D’Ombre Long Wear Luminous Eyeshadow in Fantasme (#36 #81) reminds me of the first time that I tried on MAC’s Reflects Pearl.  There is a breath-taking level of magical soft pearly sparkle that veils the lid.  Like diamonds on fresh snow, Fantasme catches the light in a gasp-worthy way.

You can wear Fantasme alone over the lid as a sheer wash.  I applied Fantasme with a light finger-pat over another color (Embloui) to try layering.  Unlike MAC Reflects Pearl, which is a loose pigment, I did not experience fall-out problems.  The product stayed where it was placed. As a colorless neutral, Fantasme will work well as a sheer sparkle wash over any color, including the rest of those in the Illusion D’Ombre line.  Note that many of the shades already have microsparkle, and so adding Fantasme will be adding a bit of diamond icing over them.  I haven’t tried Fantasme over any powder or other cream shadows yet, although I’ll update this after trying to do so.

The mousse-gel texture of these seems to skate over (or fill in) any imperfections in the lid.  Unlike more metallic-with-sparkle shades, I do think this can be worn by any age brave enough if used sparingly–perhaps just a tap in the center of the lid over a deeper color.  I was pleased that it didn’t add lines–I’m enjoying this mousse texture.

We can debate the merits of having a high-sparkle shadow in one’s arsenal for weeks, and I respect your views.  If you don’t want some magic in your life, keep going.  I wish to gently point out that you are reading the blog of someone who goes to Paris at every opportunity, so as you can probably tell I like to push things.  This has more sparkle than I’m comfortable using for an every-day brow highlighter.  Used in the inner corner, visible sparkles can be seen. Still, I have hope for myself that there’s room in my life (and therefore my makeup drawer) for 0.14 ounces of illusion.

I’m not kidding myself that this is a PTA-friendly or for a conservative office. It’s a party in a bottle.  I might consider it for a certain type of wedding.  I love having some fun in my makeup collection–I don’t mind a little sparkle for a night out and I suspect I’ll be arm-wrestling Liz over this one.

No one does sparkle as well as Chanel. I’ve said it for years.  Fantasme is no exception.  Chanel has a way of making the extreme acceptable as long as the woman wearing it realizes that she’s on the edge and uses it appropriately.

This can be worn nearly-opaque, I suspect for the most highly dramatic stage or spotlight occasions.  Swatches (heavy opaque on the left, sheered out on the right):


Another Fantasme swatch:

Bottom line–gorgeous for the right occasion.


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Jun 232011

Chanel Illusion D’Ombre Long Wearing Eyeshadow in Mirifique ($36 #85) is part of Chanel Fall 2011’s release of cream-gel eyeshadows.  You can read my overview of the line here.

Mirifique is a very intense deep back with multidimensional color that comes from microsparkle. I’m picking up touches of blue, although this color is quite subtle.  This is a very flattering liner.

The gel-like texture of these works beautifully as a liner. I found that it looked sexy because it can be easily smudged when first applied.  I used the enclosed brush, and wiggled it a bit during application to avoid a harsh too-defined line.  It could be applied very precisely right at the lash base. Because of the microsparkle, I did not bring the color all the way to my waterline– I tend to avoid using anything with sparkle that close to my eye for safety reasons and because I wear contact lenses. I used this for 14+ hours yesterday as a liner (through an hour of oral surgery!) without any movement.

Bottom label:

As you can see in the swatches below, Mirifique is a very deep black.  On the left, I’ve sheered it out for an all-over wash gray-black effect.  On the right, I’ve compared it to Chanel’s Ombre Essentielle Soft Touch Eyeshadow in Ebony #47, a matte near-black.   In outdoor sun with flash:


So far, so good.  I’ll update when I do a sheer wash on the lid to test staying power.

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Jun 222011

For the Chanel Couture Fall 2001 runway show, Chanel Makeup Director and Awesome Genius Peter Philips debuted the Chanel Illusion D’Ombre Long Wearing Eyeshadows ($36 each), from which the above picture was taken. This name translates to “the Illusion of Shadow” although I believe that these shadows more likely resemble the illusion of light.

It has been over a decade since Chanel has newly released a series of cream eyeshadows. These have a gel-like texture. Shu Uemura aficionados may recall some jelly eyeshadows released several years ago as a limited edition series–the feel of these is a bit like those. If you push on the products, it springs back into shape. These are packed into 0.14 oz/ 4g glass pots with gorgeous black Chanel logo lids.

Indulge me while I post a view of my favorite pictures–I’ve been waiting for these for months and I wanted to revel in their gorgeousness a bit…

Continue reading »

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What’s Inside the Boxes? Chanel Fall 2011 Overview

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Jun 212011

This is a brief post to show you what is inside the Chanel Fall 2011 box that I’ll be reviewing over the coming days.  This is every single piece of the Fall 2011 collection:

Illusion d’Ombre Eyeshadows

  • Fantasme
  • Emerveillé:
  • Ebloui
  • Epatant
  • Illusoire
  • Mirifique

Le Crayon Yeux in Khaki Platine

Joues Contraste Blush in Rose Écrin

Les 4 Ombres Eyeshadow Palette in Prélude

Lèvres Scintillantes (Glossimer) in Pampille, Braise and Giggle

Crayon Lèvres lip pencils in Rose Cuivré and Coralline

Rouge Coco lipstick in Plumetis and Étole

Rouge Double Intensite in Rose Morganite and Rose Quartz

Le Vernis nail polish in Graphite, Peridot and Quartz

Double Perfection Compact Foundation in Medium Beige-Contour

Some of you may recall that I had experienced problems with Chanel.com with my Spring 2011 online order (briefly described here).  During my discussions with Chanel customer service, the company offered to send to me an entire collection for that experience.  I was very pleasantly greeted with this shipment as part of the resolution of that issue (in addition to the Gardenia Eau de Toilette referred in the linked post).  Of course, this offer was more than generous on their part. Chanel has earned my utmost respect for first-class service.  Despite my schedule, I feel as though sharing pictures of these items is the right thing for Cafe Makeup to do.

I’m going to start reviewing the Illusion D’Ombre Eyeshadow products first, as there has been so much discussion about them.  In the meantime, please take a look at The Beauty Look Book’s coverage (here and here) to get Sabrina’s analysis.


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Chanel Fall 2011 Arrives at Café Makeup

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Jun 212011

Look what arrived on my doorstep last night!  Trying to make some time for reviews and pictures.  More to come this week.

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