Aug 312011

1.  L’Occitane Verbena Body Salt Scrub ($36) This is the best body scrub I’ve used in a while. It has a very intense, natural lemon scent. It smells soooo good—- honestly, it changes my entire day when I use this.

2.  NARS Multiple in Malibu came in this Sweet Disposition set.  This is a deep burgundy with a bronzy blue tint.  These deep tones look so good in late summer.  Because this has an overall cool tone, it looks good with soft silver and cool taupe eyeshadows.

3. I pulled this Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Palette in Steel Black (reviewed here) from my stash and found it makes a great, soft and flattering look.  Using the outside ring of soft cool taupe, and a touch of the lightest shade as a highlight, it looks like I tried much harder than I actually did.

 4.  Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse (reviewed here) makes a great dry oil for fast skin and hair conditioning.  Sometimes I put it into my hair for an hour in the morning while I’m reading or doing other things.  By shower time, it rinses out very cleanly and leaves my hair very soft.

5. Burberry Nude Rose lipstick (reviewed here) is an effortless way for a smooth, polished look.

So, what are you loving right now? I’d love to learn…

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Aug 292011

For the past few weeks, I’ve become ridiculously lash-obsessed.  During my quest for perfect fringe, I was introduced to a new line of false lashes, Faux, which has just launched an online website.  Faux’s philosophy is to provide gorgeous, sexy, high quality, very affordable and green-conscious lashes.

These lashes are beautifully made.  There are several different collections available.  I received two options from their Luxe line, which have a criss-cross feathery effect.  The ones above and below are Audrey ($16):

Liz tried on Audrey:

Because this was our first attempt to ever use a false lash, we were pleased to find these very flexible and easy to use (apologies, we cut Audrey a bit too short for our experiment, the actual lash is quite a bit longer).  We used clear Duo glue (not included); for this experimental picture we did not add eyeliner yet. This is how the lash looks on the eye without any added mascara.  We did give it a quick curl with a Shu Uemura curler before we took the picture. We both felt that Audrey gave a gorgeous look.

This is Sasha ($16), also from the Luxe line:

One more close-up of Sasha, which I think is just a gorgeous lash.  We’re going to try these on next:

The third is from the Runway Collection, called Diamonds ($12), which are studded with tiny black diamante beads:

Serious party lashes:

Overall, Liz and I were very impressed with the high quality, affordable price and overall glamorous look of Faux lashes.  The feel like very well-made lashes, easy to use and well-designed.  We’re looking forward to playing more with them, but wanted to give you this preview in case you’d like to play too.

Here’s a tutorial to help you put them on:

We also found Lisa Eldridge’s tutorial helpful as well.

Disclosure:  Faux Lashes sent these to Cafe Makeup without charge for review.

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Aug 282011

Dior’s new 3-Couleurs Smoky Palettes have begun arriving in stores.  I’ve a few on order, but picked up this one in Smokey Pink ($48/ #051).  As much as a I love Dior’s 5-color eyeshadows, I must admit that I’ve never used more than three shades at a time.  Dior’s packaged three coordinating shades for about $10 less per palette, in a space-saving size, which is a nice compromise.  Promotional pictures of all of the shades are here on Fab Over Forty.

Outside of the palette:

The top lid slides back to reveal a pop-up mirror and the three color pans, with two applicators:

Smoky Pink has a matte gray, a metallic gray-silver and a soft pink matte base color:

Dior did not skimp on eyeshadow quality–these are nice.  Although cool-toned, Smoky Pink is extremely flattering on my pale, NC15/Chanel Cameo-Ivoire skintone.  The palette could not be easier to use.  I did an easy eye with three steps today:

– First, use the base color all over the lid

– I smudged the matte gray into the crease and a touch in the outer corner

– I used the metallic in the inner corner

The result was really gorgeous.  Sorry, I hope that doesn’t sound stuck-up, but it really made the most of my natural coloring and it was really smooth and pretty.  If you want more application ideas, the palette comes packed with some:


Swatches of the three shades in Smoky Pink:

Fall 2011 seems to be having a matte gray moment–here’s a comparison with the matte gray from Dior Smoky Pink and Chanel Gris Exquis (reviewed here).  Although not precise duplicates, they were quite close and I’m not sure that one needs both in one’s collection:

Here is a comparison of the shimmery gray silver from Dior’s Smoky Pink with a true silver (here, Shu Uemura ME Silver 950), as well as two silver-gray metallics–Chanel Starlight and Dior Argentic single eyeshadows:

As you can see, none are duplicates of the silver in Smoky Pink.

I just purchased Smoky Pink yesterday and have fallen in love with it so far. I’ll post reviews of the other Dior 3-Couleur Smoky palettes as soon as they arrive.

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Aug 282011

Bobbi Brown Rich Color Eye Shadow in Sand Dune ($24 /#1) from her Marrakesh Chic collection is a sheer shimmery warm oyster-toned highlighter.

Sand Dune is one of the few shimmery shades in Bobbi Brown’s limited edition Rich Color Eye Shadow series (there is a light pink and a deep violet that are also shimmery). Sand Dune seems a welcome edition to this otherwise deep, largely suede-textured line, for that all-important inner-color highlight or browbone touch to add dimension.


Here are some swatch comparisons with some other light-toned shimmery shades in my collection:  MAC Femme Fi (limited edition, but subject to frequent re-release), Nars Abyssinia, and Chanel Lotus.  Just for fun, I added some opaque shimmers so that you could compare the sheerness factor–here, Bobbi Brown Chrome Eyeshadow in Pewter and Guerlain Sable Blonde (limited edition, no longer available).

Another, same shades:

One last, same shades:

Like the other colors in Bobbi Brown’s Rich Color series, Sand Dune is a great basic, believable highlighter shade.  Once you tell the waxy pigment that you are serious about picking up the pigment (use a stiff-bristled brush), it gives plenty of pigment.  As appropriate for a highlighter, there is a sheerness and lightness to the texture that prevents the force-field, metallic foil that can look dated (or perhaps, just a bit Jersey-licious).

I really like Bobbi Brown’s Rich Color series, and Sand Dune is a good addition to any collection.  As with the other shadows, I’ll express a bit of confusion about the limited-edition status of the shadows–all are good basics that seem like staples that can be used for years.

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Aug 282011

Bobbi Brown Rich Color Eye Shadow in Rich Slate ($24 /#5) from her Marrakesh Chic collection is a deep near-matte neutral very deep gray.

Bobbi Brown’s Rich Slate is a good, pigmented richly-toned gray.  Here are comparisons with Chanel Gris Exquis (reviewed here), the gray shimmery near-black from NARS Rajasthan duo (reviewed here) (what a gorgeous duo!), and a deep gray from Bobbi Brown–Steel from the round-pot era:

Had I realized that Bobbi Brown’s Rich Slate was tonally so close to Chanel Gris Exquis, I would have chosen between them rather than ordering both (Bobbi Brown’s is less expensive).  As with Bobbi Brown’s Coffee Bean and Rich Kashmir, Rich Slate has a waxy texture that requires a stiff-bristled brush but then delivers a good, consistent and strong pigment.

I understand that the Rich Color Eyeshadows are limited edition, although they are great basic colors for every day use and likely might function well in her permanent line.

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Aug 282011

Bobbi Brown Rich Color Eye Shadow in Rich Kashmir ($24 /#3) from her Marrakesh Chic collection is a deep matte neutral brown with a touch of grey.  Unlike Bobbi’s Rich Color Eye Shadow in Coffee Bean from this same series which leans red, Rich Kashmir is a brown that plays at the edges of grey and taupe.

Comparison swatches with Bobbi Brown Rich Color in Coffee Bean shows the Rich Kashmir is a softer, grayer tone than the deep, richer red-tone brown.  You can see that Rich Kashmir is not as gray as a taupe–both MAC Moth Brown and Chanel Taupe Grise are more gray.  Rich Kashmir is not as deep as MAC Magnetic Fields (limited edition, no longer available), or as purple as the deeper side of the NARS Habernera duo.

 Another in sunlight with flash:

I had to wonder why Bobbi Brown is releasing matte neutrals in a limited edition Fall collection.  Based on my experience with Rich Kashmir and Coffee Bean, both seem like great staples that are part of a permanent line.  I expect that the answer lies in the 758-page September 2011 Vogue, which seemed to feature page after page of matte eyeshadow looks.  Unlike Peter Phillips’ shimmery eye looks for Chanel for Fall 2011, Bobbi Brown’s trend for this season is all about rich basics that look deep and suede-like on the eye.

Like Coffee Bean, Rich Kashmir has a harder texture that works beautifully with a stiff-bristled brush.  As I detailed in the Coffee Bean review, this Rich Color Eye Shadow has a texture that packs plenty of pigment so long as you break through the long-wear texture by showing the pan that you mean business.  It applies beautifully (patting gets you more color, sweeping will get you less).  Rich Kashmir seems to blend with with other shades.  Highly recommended.

 On September 2, 2011, after this original review was posted, I received a Rich Kashmir eyeshadow from Bobbi Brown sent without charge for consideration and review.  I have not changed the original review since the time that it was first posted.

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Aug 272011

Here’s three things that I’m obsessed with this week:

1.  Slippers— After a look at this slideshow on Vogue Paris, I was suddenly obsessed with finding slippers.  I love the velvet designs especially, although I’m not sure about the skulls on the Toms (below) that have an Alexander McQueen vibe.  Otherwise, a fun addition to a tailored look (click to enlarge):

2.  Speaking of velvet, I’m obsessed with the upcoming release of Chanel’s Rouge Allure Velvet lipcolors.  Here is a collection of some beauty sites that have swatched items from the line:

-Bella Shmella’s are here

-Beauty Insider’s are here and here

-Delicate Hummingbird’s are here

 -Notes from My Beauty Life are here and here

I think they look lovely–they seem to be very pigmented with the slightest glow.  Also here is a link to more items from the collection at the British Beauty Blogger.
3.  Tom Ford’s Upcoming Beauty Line.  We’re begining to see some previews
-From are these pictures
-London Makeup Girl’s are here
-Get Lippie’s are here.
-The Beauty Look Book’s preview of lip colors is here.
Here are some obsession-worthy links:
These pictures of Chanel’s new brush line at
These promotional pictures of Chanel’s new Perfection Lumiere Foundation
-For Russian speakers, please support one of my beauty blogging BBF’S BlondyCandy’s First Annual Reader’s Choice Awards.  Vote, vote, vote!!

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Aug 252011

Bobbi Brown is introducing a series of shadows in a new formulation, Rich Color Eye Shadow.  I ordered a few to test drive them.  Based on what I’ve seen so far, these are a mix of textures (shimmer and matte).  These are said to be formulated for long wear using a type wax that imparts rich, deep color.  My first try was Bobbi Brown Rich Color Eye Shadow in Coffee Bean ($24), a rich deep matte brown.

The texture of this shadow was a little unusual.  I can tell that there is some type of wax in the mix–I pushed my brush fearlessly into pan with a stiff eyeshadow wash brush (to be precise, this Chanel Blending Brush).  My reward was a very rich wash of color.  My more tentative stabs with a MAC 217 were less satisfying, to be honest.  When you approach one of these pans, dig in.  You’ll need to so that you can break into that wax.

To be very clear, these pans do not lack pigment.  To the contrary, once my brush picked up the color, there was a gorgeous wash of deep brown that really set off my fair coloring and blue eyes.  Absolutely gorgeous.  It just seems like you are going to need a good stab to tell that wax you mean business.  I’m exaggerating, of course, but my point is don’t be shy.  This gives a gorgeous, deep rich wash of color if you rough up the texture a little.  Pat it on for an even more dramatic effect.

Coffee Bean is a deep toned matte brown with a very slight red-purple tint. Comparison swatches with Bobbi Brown Coffee Bean, Chanel Ombre Essentielle in Cinnamon and Taupe Grise, and NARS Mekong:

One more, in sun:

I have a few more from this series to test, but I wanted to report on Coffee Bean.  By the way, Coffee Bean blended with other shadows well.  Looking good so far.

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Aug 252011

Chanel has released a new liquid eyeliner, Linge Extreme Liquid Eye Lines ($32).  This is an entirely new format for Chanel, using a traditional brush style in a sleek black tube.


I’m used to working with a pen-brush style, having used up two of Chanel’s previously released liquid liners and those of other brands.  This style is very simple to use–really, it’s as simple as brushing a line against the lid.  To do so, one must have the “courage of one’s convictions” (as Julia Child said) to get the line straight.  I go in confident, do the line with even pressure and fill in quickly if I’ve missed a corner.

The ink dries quickly, under 30 seconds.  If you go ‘over’ or stagger the line, it comes off easily with an oil cleanser or eye makeup remover (Lancome Bi Facial on a Qtip, for example).  Some women use this is short, tiny brushstrokes close together to achieve the solid line;  personally, I just go for it in one long, straight line that hugs the lashline.

The formula of Chanel Ligne Extreme is excellent–it’s a rich, deep line that lasts all day without smudging or flaking. As with any liquid liner, the result is sharp and dramatic.  Some will not be comfortable with this format, and I do recommend practicing on the back of your hand first if you are not comfortable with liquid liners.  Here is a quick swatch next to Hourglass Script (review here).

As you can see, Chanel Liquid Eye Lines gives a strong back liquid line that dries down to a deep black.  It’s a serious liner for a seriously sexy eye.

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