Oct 302011

Chanel Le Vernis nail polish in Rouge Carat ($25 /#587) released for Holiday 2011 is a festive rich red infused with fuchsia sparkle.

As Chanel polishes go, Rouge Carat is one of the “good” formulations (meaning superb).  It gives a smooth, even, completely opaque coat of color with a single coat, although I prefer to give two coats just to spread the gorgeous texture and give a completely smooth appearance.

Chanel Rouge Carat is a beautiful classic color, although perhaps not one that is entirely unique.  Unlike some of the taupe, greens and blues that we’ve seen from Chanel lately, Rouge Carat is a rich, traditional color that is Holiday appropriate.

The sparkle is noticeable at close inspection in sunlight, although the color is entirely work (and party) appropriate:

Here is a comparison with numerous other reds in my collection, showing that Chanel Rouge Carat bears some resemblance to Chanel Shanghai Red and OPI Thanks So Muchness (click to enlarge):

Also pictured here are OPI Big Apple Red, Rescue Beauty Lounge Chinoise, Dior Trafalgar, Chanel Dragon, Chanel Rouge Fatale, and Dior Gruau.

Overall, the formula of Rouge Carat makes it worth the price to me.  Although not a terribly unique color, I love a polish that gives a gorgeous glossy, pigmented color in a single coat.  Having said that, I don’t think that Chanel Rouge Carat is a ‘back-up worthy’ color.  Although it’s a beautiful color, I’m more likely to reach for the classic Chanel Dragon (which long ago stole my heart as my favorite Chanel red).

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Oct 292011

Chanel Ombre Essentielle Soft Touch Eyeshadow in Blazing Gold ($28.50/#407) is a medium yellow eyeshadow with large shimmer particles.

I feel the same way about Chanel Blazing Gold as I do about many of the items in Chanel Holiday 2011.  That is, these Holiday items are amped up, or glitzed-up, versions of other items that Chanel has done before. I’m not criticizing–Holiday is not the time for fashion-forward, necessarily.  Niche collections like Fashion’s Night Out or mini-collections for boutique-only release are for pushing the envelope.  Holiday can be for making the beautified version of the familiar, a classic with a little more, I suppose.  Sometimes I wonder if Holiday collections are for women who buy makeup once a year.  We see the large, blockbuster palettes (Bobbi Brown), the well-priced sets (everyone), another highlighter with a twist (everyone) and the metallic infused color versions of the permanent line (Dior, perhaps?).  Those with more extensive collections should be selective.

Here is a comparison swatch of Chanel Blazing Gold next to Chanel Soft Touch Eyeshadow in Gold–as you can see, the colors are very, very similar.  The difference is that Blazing Gold has larger shimmer pieces for evening wear and the texture is not as smooth.

For context, I included a soft yellow Lancome Moonlight which is only sold in Europe (reviewed here).  Also, I’ve included  a metallic gold (Bare Escentuals True Gold) to show that Blazing Gold is far more in the “yellow” category rather than a gold metal.

Someone’s going to look amazing in Chanel Soft Touch in Blazing Gold.  Unfortunately, I’m not one of them.  I can make it work (sort of), if I confine its use to a very small lid area or inner corner highlighter.  But in general yellows don’t favor my fair, warm toned skin.  Those who already own Chanel Gold should evaluate whether Blazing Gold makes sense given their similarity.

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Oct 282011

Chanel Ombre Essentielle Soft Touch Eyeshdow in Beige Lamé ($ 28.50/ #417) is a very subtle, sophisticated eyeshadow.

 As many readers know, Cafe Makeup has a soft spot for beautiful neutrals with a kick.  In the case of Chanel Beige Lamé, the color is a soft neutral beige embedded with barely visible pink, teal and clear microsparkle adds a little depth.  Never over the top, Beige Lamé is a soft spoken shade.

 Here is Chanel Beige Lamé on Liz’s lid:

 Chanel Beige Lamé is a Chanel version of MAC Naked Pigment.  It’s a very neutral medium beige with a hint of shimmer. The texture is lovely, it goes on easily with one swipe.  Its a very easy sweep of color for a pretty, neutral lid.

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Oct 272011

Chanel Rouge Allure Laque Empire ($32/ #707) is a soft shimmery pink-peach liquid lipstick.  The tube is very compact and can be tucked into the tiniest bag.  Despite the diminutive size, this liquid formula delivers plenty of coverage.

As you can see, Rouge Allure Laque Empire is a cross between Chanel Ming and Chanel Santal–a pinky peach hybrid with added shimmer.  It certainly far lighter and more natural than the very edgy Rouge Allure Laque in Stunt (released with Chanel Soho Fall 2010).

Here is Chanel Empire on Liz:

Chanel Rouge Allure Laque in Empire is another easy to wear, softly toned liquid lipstick that will go with almost anything. Gorgeous.

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Oct 272011

Chanel Rouge Allure Extrait de Gloss in Triomphal ($32/ #517) is one of the most dramatic products.  As with the others in the line, Triomphal comes in the elegant, heavy tube.  I have to say, I love this design.

The consistency is a rich glossy lipstick–the product is opaque in one swipe.  Unlike a lipstick, there is a rich glossy finish. Triomphal is a rich red with very tiny fuchsia microsparkles.  It’s the liquid lipstick version of Chanel Rouge Allure Famous (reviewed here).

Here is the rich red Triophal next to the other reds in the Chanel Rouge Allure Extrait de Gloss line–the deep red Fatale, the softer strawberry Emoi and the rich fire-engine red Exces.

 Triomphal is absolutely gorgeous.  Here is one coat on Liz (no liner or base):

You’ll also see the nude toned Chanel Rouge Allure Extrait de Gloss in Insouciance re-repromoted with Holiday 2011 (reviewed here).

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Oct 262011

Chanel Rouge Allure Lipstick in Enivree ($32/ #197) roughly translates to “intoxicated.”  I suppose the name is meant to evoke the headiness of the holiday season, the mystery and emotion and a little bit of recklessness.  By comparison to its more dramatic twin Famous also released with this collection, Enivree is a crowd-pleaser–suitable for day and evening wear.

The color is a pink with a slight touch peach that evokes a touch of salmon that’s very flattering with fall and winter clothing that is based on forest greens, blues, bronzes, creams and golds.

Enivree reminded me of Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in Boy, although certainly the Rouge Allure Enivree is far more opaque and long-lasting.   I also swatched this next to some other quiet colors–Chanel Rouge Coco in Patchouli (which is far more mauve/brown) and Chanel Rouge Coco in Plumentis (which is more beige).

Here is Chanel Rouge Allure Enivree on Liz:

Bottom line: If you liked the idea of Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in Boy but didn’t like the formula, Chanel Rouge Allure Enivree is worth a look.  It’s a nice everyday pink.

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Oct 262011

Chanel Rouge Allure Lipstick in Famous ($32/ #207) is a dramatic, stand-out red in Chanel’s most luxurious, richest formula.  The color is a rich red that takes on a cool appearance based on the multidimensional formula that is embedded with fuchsia sparkle. Befitting the name “Famous,” you will get noticed in this very dramatic gorgeous shade.

When I opened Famous,  I was immediately reminded of Chanel Rouge Allure Rouge Byzantin (reviewed here).  Both are a very dramatic red with a touch of fuchsia. The colors are not quite duplicates, as Famous’ fuschia sparkle is distinct from Chanel Rouge Byzantin’s fuschia undertone that is more within the formula. Having said that, I’m going out on a limb with Chanel fans here, but I would say that if you have one, you probably do not need the other. Between the two, I slightly prefer Famous because it is applies more consistently.  Rouge Byzantin seemed to pull more red (or more fuschia), depending on the level of application.  Famous is more decidedly red.

Here is a comparison with Chanel Rouge Allure Famous, with Chanel Rouge Allure in Byzantin.  To show of their fuchsia undertones, I’ve also swatched some additional true to warm reds–here, Chanel Rouge Coco in Gabrielle and Dior’s classic Ara Red.

Above is Liz wearing Chanel Rouge Allure Famous.  As you can see, the color is quite opaque, gorgeous and striking.  As many Chanel Rouge Allure shades, it’s complex and has the famous Rouge Allure “glow.”  If you have plenty of reds in your lipstick arsenal, you still might wish to give Famous a second look–it’s rather unique.  Of course,  I adore the Rouge Allure formula and luxurious packaging.  Chanel’s certainly delivered more of its legendary expertise with this one–it’s unusual, yet classic and beautifully made.

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Oct 262011

Chanel Holiday 2011 is released and ready to review.  I’ll be reviewing all of the new items released with this collection except for the Glossimers (which I did not purchase).  If an item is merely a re-promote of the existing Chanel line, I will not be reviewing it (although if you run the product name through the search engine on this page, you may find a review for the item already has been done).

Chanel Lumiere Sculptee de Chanel highlighting powder

Chanel Rouge Allure Lipstick- Famous

Chanel Rouge Allure Lipstick- Eniveree

Ligne Extreme Eyeliner in Or

Chanel Le Vernis in Rouge Carat

Chanel Rouge Allure Laque in Empire

Chanel Universelle Libre in Feerie

Chanel Ombre Contraste Duo in Noir-Ivoire

Chanel Rouge Allure Extrait de Gloss in Triomphal

Chanel Les Tissages de Chanel in Tweed Brun Rose

Chanel Ombre Essentielle in Blazing Gold

Chanel Ombre Essentielle in Beige Lame

Liz and I are still sorting through the pile, and we’ll get our reviews up as soon as we can.  So far, we’ve got a few rants and raves, so stay tuned!

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Oct 242011

Le Metier de Beaute’s Creme Fresh Tint in Coral Nymph ($28) is a light, fresh color that is geared to look very natural.  Here are comparison swatches next to Bobbi Brown’s Cabo Coral and Bobbi Brown’s Calypso Coral.  There’s a natural tone to Coral Nymph that is more of a very soft whisper, even when heavily applied.

If you think that Coral Nymph is still too strong, the comparatively nude Le Metier de Beaute Creme Fresh Tint in Ginger Lilly and Poppy are softer still:

If you are pale, or prefer very subtle color, Le Metier’s Creme Fresh Tints are well worth a look.  Here is Coral Nymph on Liz:

 Le Metier de Beaute sent both Creme Fresh Tint in Coral Nymph and Ginger Lily to Cafe Makeup without charge for consideration for review.

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Oct 222011

Guerlain’s Holiday 2011 offerings include a star product, Guerlain Parure de Nuit Pressed Powder and Blush ($67/0.35 oz.).  The product comes housed in a formal, lacquered housing that is well-designed and sturdy.

One half (or more) of the bulk of the compact is due to the brush housing, in a lower compartment:

I must admit that this product is not within my particular demographic. The peacock pattern, I’m guessing, may be released to evoke the New York City Waldorf’s Peacock Alley to celebrate the re-opening of Guerlain’s Day Spa at that location. However, peacock feathers seem to evoke my mother’s generation rather than my own.

This violet-scented product has a glittery clear glaze that sparkles like diamonds in the sunlight, but sweeps away easily after the first few brush strokes.  If you look in the mirror reflection in the photograph below, you can see how dramatic the overspray diamond effect is:

Is clear glaze the new overspray?  It appears to be; although I suppose its slightly preferable because one can see the product colors underneath a glaze (whereas metallic overspray covers it entirely).  However, I’m a texture fanatic.  I don’t like anything that gets inbetween me and the powder, thank you very much.  I’m now patiently awaiting the demise of a clear glaze trend.  After brushing away the glaze layer, Liz and I started to use the Guerlain Parure de Nuit highlighter.

Here is the result–above is a picture of Liz wearing Guerlain Parure de Nuit in full sun (thank you, Liz, we know posing in full sun is not so fun).  There is some bronzer on her lower cheek under her hairline.  The largest percentage of the Guerlain Parure de Nuit powder is a nearly-invisible peach tone that is near a fair skin tone.  The circlets of more intense apricot give the powder some very subtle color when applied.  The effect is a more shimmery, pinker version of Nars Sex Appeal blush (reviewed here).  The effect when wearing foundation is very faint pink-peach color, a near-nude that glimmers in full sunlight.

My sense is that you are either going to be very attracted to the packaging and presentation of Guerlain Parure de Nuit, or you are not.  Or perhaps there is a friend or family member that would adore this compact based on their individual taste–for a bit, I flirted with the idea of shipping mine off to my mother rather than reviewing it here (my mother prefers accessories to makeup, so I declined to do so).  For me, this Guerlain does the highlighting/subtle blush job beautifully but no more so than others available at a lower price point with a less elaborate presentation.  My sense is that you could do just as well with a Dior Star Shimmer Powder at $44, or several other options reviewed on this site, and tuck the remainder away toward the Spring ’12 collections.

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