Mar 262012
 

One cannot escape that neon pops of color are a prevailing trend for Spring 2012. Although I’m not likely to be purchasing an orange skinny crop jean just to follow along, I have been drawn to the bright nail colors that can tweak an otherwise neutral look.

I thought it would be fun to pull together some brights in a little sketch-type post. This is just a quick, fun one, just to see a few of the choices out there.

Most were purchased in the past two months, and so most should still be available now. In keeping with our Cafe Makeup aesthetic, few (if any) are neons. Instead, I’ve focused on brights that can still be considered wearable. Really, a bright accent–whether its nails, bracelet or other small accent– is something that anyone from age 10 to 100 can pull off. Fabulous nail colors are out there for under $10–I’ve been really impressed with L’Oreal’s new releases (two are pictured below). Click to enlarge:

Here are some informal thoughts about the shades:

  • L’Oreal Check Me Out–a pleasant bright pink that looks expensive. Seriously worth “checking out”
  • Dior Pink Graffiti–Part of Dior’s Anselm Reyle Collection. Awesome formula.
  • Butter London Disco Biscuit–Although this makes many blogger’s “favorite” lists, I found this needs 3-4 coats to reach a vibrant color, so it falls into the “fussy” category.  Try Zoya Layla if you like this blue-pink idea (not pictured because Liz needed it) but want to use fewer coats. Layla doesn’t have as much sparkle, but its a nice vibrant cool pink.
  • CND Poppy Field–This was part of CND’s line last year, a very pleasant vibrant coral-red
  • OPI Red Lights Ahead–Part of OPI’s Holland collection, this creme is very similar to CND Poppy Field
  • Deborah Lippmann Lara’s Theme–An vibrant deep orange
  • Laura Mercier Sizzle–Part of the Spring 2012 collection, this one is limited edition. A sophisticated coral-red.
  • OPI A Roll in the Hague— Another bright from OPI’s Holland collection
  • L’Oreal L’Orange—another delight from L’Oreal’s new line. Two coats to perfect. Nice vibrant opaque formula that is surprisingly good on wear time.
  • Zoya Paz— Matte orange roughly the color of a hunting jacket (or a street cone).  The closest thing to neon in this bunch.
  • Rescue Beauty Lounge Bangin’– I’ve long loved this searing red-coral. Recent twitter traffic suggests that supplies are getting low on this color at the Rescue Beauty Lounge. You’ve been warned.
  • OPI Big Apple Red–This color is a nice true red, I’m only  including it so you can compare the swatches to the coral-reds to see the difference.

Swatches, swatches, swatches:

Who needs an alarm clock when you’re wearing ten of these?  Are you having any fun with brights this season?  How are you wearing them?

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Mar 252012
 

As promised, here are some very quick pictures that Liz and I took this afternoon wearing the new Chanel Joues Contraste Blushes in Malice, Tumulte and Pink Explosion (old and new).  I hope you find these useful–enjoy! Over the past few days, I’ve been wearing (and loving) these new powder blushes. I find them gorgeous, wearable colors that can be worn year-round. I’m so pleased with this formula!

Here is Chanel Malice (originally reviewed here), a peachy rose color:

Here is the very light pink Chanel Joues Contraste Tumulte (originally reviewed here):

The new Chanel Joues Contraste in Pink Explosion, with its deeper cherry tone (originally reviewed here):

And for comparison, the former Chanel Pink Explosion that was originally released in Fall 2010 (reviewed here and here). You can see that the former version is slightly lighter, less cherry-toned, and has a bit more frost/shimmer:

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Mar 242012
 

1. Karl, Karl everywhere…  Chanel’s Karl Lagerfeld seemed to be everywhere this week!  In this Harper’s Bazaar interview, he says he uses Klorane Dry Shampoo to keep his hair beautifully white. I’m not sure if knowing that makes me want to try the shampoo much more, or much less. Probably more.

Also, I loved this peek into his bathroom counter–someone likes Shu Uemura.  My favorite quotes from the article:

  •  “I drink Diet Coke from the minute I get up to the minute I go to bed. I can even drink it in the middle of the night, and I can sleep.”
  • “I actually have two houses. This house here, it’s only for sleeping and sketching, and I have another house two-and-a-half meters away for lunch and dinner and to see people, and where the cook is and all that. I don’t want that here. Even if the place is huge, I want to be alone.”
  •  “I have another jacket I love from the new Dior men’s collection that I bought five of, so people think I wear the same thing every day, but in fact it’s never the same thing.”

Seriously, best clothing advice ever–if you find something you love, buy five. And that’s why I love Karl Lagerfeld.

Also, I found this site which has something new about Karl Lagerfeld every day. It’s like an Advent Calendar of Karl, except its all year long. The quotes are insane:

There’s also a shopping part of the site, of course.

2. The Closing of the Ritz Hotel, Paris. I guess every great lady needs a remodel. This Vogue tribute was a feast for the eyes.

Just four short pages packed with little slideshows of some very glamorous shots taken there. Gorgeous! I loved the little trip down memory lane by Andre Leon Tally and the others, especially the time that models took a nap between Chanel couture shows and Andre “walked in to find them all lined up asleep under layers of fine piqué sheets, like fairy princesses, false eyelashes still in place.”

3. You Can’t Fake Fashion– The Council of Fashion Designers of America had its second annual “You Can’t Fake Fashion” sale on eBay last week. If you blinked, you missed the $200 designer bags sold to raise awareness against fashion counterfeiting. They were amazing (a small sample is below). There are just a few of the standard $45 ones left.

What are you obsessed with this week?

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Mar 242012
 

Recently, I picked up Alterna Bamboo Smooth Kendi Oil Dry Oil Mist ($24/ 4.2 oz.) at my local Sephora to use as a leave-in conditioning treatment. My hair is medium length, fine and I’ve had it permanently colored for years. The ends can get dry, and and I wanted something to smooth and condition.

Being a beauty junkie, I actually spritzed my hair with the Alterna right there on the Sephora sales floor. I know, right-one of those people (in my defense, the store was nearly empty). Anyway, it gave me a soft shine without weighing my fine hair down or making my hair look greasy. I bought the Alterna on the spot. My hair looks much silkier and alive–it even seems to give it a really shiny glint. When I use it, my hair looks soft, shiny, and fully conditioned.

I’ve used Leonore Greyl and Morrocan Oil in the past. I like the fact that the Alterna Bamboo has a spray applicator that has a very fine mist–both of the other choices do not. The Alterna takes two or three spritzes to fully condition my ends, so I don’t have to be too careful about over-doing it on very busy mornings. Also, I far prefer the scent of the Alterna (this is personal, I realize). Although the Leonore Greyl is a strong jasmine scent, it can become a little too strong for my taste.

Contains organic bamboo extract with multiple essential fatty acids (Omegas 3,6,9) and antioxidant tocopherol. Readers will want to know that the ingredients also list dimethicone.

Do you use any leave in conditioner? Please share!

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Mar 222012
 

Liz and I were so fortunate to meet Edward Bess in person at Bergdorf’s last week. As we were walking through the magical beauty floor, we found him standing near a counter of his beautifully formulated makeup line. Even more incredibly, he offered to do our makeup. I took some pictures for you to enjoy–and we hope that you do!

First of all, Edward Bess is even more charming and knowledgable in person than we had imagined–and we are some of his biggest fans. A prodigy, his taste level and expertise is incredible. Also, his personality is so pleasant and easy-going–he had us laughing along with him throughout. If you could choose anyone to do your makeover, Edward Bess would be a most delightful (and talented) choice.

Edward began with Liz’s eyes–he explained that cleanups are so much easier if the color product somehow migrates.  We were so lucky to try his new Edward Bess Eye Primer.   This product, which comes in three different shades, is distributed via a brush pen to the lid. Above, the product is coming out of the tube before it is smoothed out (with fingers or the built-in brush). It creates a blank canvas on the lid, drying to an opaque matte finish. I noticed that both Liz’s and my eye makeup lasted beautifully until we removed it much later that evening. The finish is amazing. I cannot wait until this product is available in the next 2-3 weeks. I need it.

With a few exceptions, nearly all of the color products used on both Liz and I were from the Edward Bess Back to Basics Palette ($75). Although I realized that this was a very versatile travel palette, I was stunned to see how easily Bess could use this palette to create our “you but more glamorous” looks. With just a few of his brushes and his fingers, Edward used some of his collection’s favorite colors. You can see Sabrina’s review and swatches of this palette here at The Beauty Look Book.

The eyeshadows were used to create a very natural eye, using the neutral colors on the lid, and the darker shade just above the crease. Edward used his Edward Bess Luxury Eye Brush ($40) (pictured with the palette, above, which I couldn’t resist buying).

A little Edward Bess Defining Eye Liner ($29)….

 More work on the eye area:

 And bringing some color under the eyes:

Edward gave Liz incredibly long, defined lashes with his Edward Bess Lash Designer Volumizing Mascara ($30):

Edward mixed his Edward Bess Platinum Concealer ($38) with a touch of his moisturizing Edward Bess Black Sea Deep Hydration Cream ($90) to do Liz’s under eye area. He also used a mix of this moisturizer with his Edward Bess Sheer Satin Cream Compact Foundation ($60), which he dabbed on Liz with fingers. Although I don’t own this foundation yet, it did provide a very lightweight, moisturizing feel. The finish was lovely. I do own at least three of the Platinum Concealers, which I keep at home, work, and in my purse.  It has amazing coverage and the quality is excellent. I’m discontinuing the use of the Cle de Peau stick concealer in favor of the Edward Bess.

He then began to dab on the blush and highlighter from the Back to Basics Palette to add subtle color to Liz’s cheeks:

He used very soft lipstick and pencil on lips:

Edward then used the South of France Quad Royale ($45) applied with his Luxury Face Brush ($56) to add a glow to Liz’s complexion.  This quad gave Liz a very natural sheen–really, we couldn’t leave the counter without picking one up for her.

The Beauty Look Book’s review and swatches of the South of France Quad Royale are here. If you love a soft, subtle, beautiful glow, this is a must have.

I hope you enjoyed this little essay–we certainly felt very fortunate to have met with Edward Bess. What an enormous talent–I cannot wait to see what else he will be releasing in the coming months.

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Mar 192012
 

 When I heard that Chanel was re-releasing Chanel Pink Explosion (#64/ Fard a Joues Poudre Pink Explosion)($43), I didn’t realize that the color had been reformulated. If you’ve been watching Chanel for a while, Chanel originally released Pink Explosion as part of the Fall 2010 makeup collection in a baked format (the former version is reviewed here and here). Currently, it is being re-released into a new, powder texture that is common for Chanel U.S. releases on the Joues Contraste formula.  For an overview of the differences between the U.S. and non-U.S. formulas, see this post. Generally, this powder formula has a softer texture that is much easier to pick up on a brush. Also, the U.S. powder Joues Contrastes give a lovely, glowing look to the face. The baked, non-U.S. formulas requires a stiffer brush and tend to have a more obvious shine/sparkle. As you can see in the above picture, the new Pink Explosion has a deeper pink hue, with subtle sparkle, and a touch of cherry red (compared to the softer, lighter pink of the former version).

Both the former and current version have the same name–Pink Explosion–and designation number, #64. Both are made in France. How can you tell the difference? For one thing, the older version that I have in my drawer is numbered #2605, and the new one is numbered #4401. Here is a comparison of the back of the compacts that show the precise number designations:

Also, the older version has 0.14 oz. and the newer one has 0.21 oz. of product. As you can see, the new Pink Explosion has the hatch marks of the powder formulation, a smooth texture and a slight touch of sparkle:

 A bit closer:

 

Here is a swatch comparison between the old and new Chanel Pink Explosions. I’ve also added a comparison with Chanel Tumulte (reviewed here), as well as Chanel Rose Tourbillon (reviewed here).

 One more, using slightly different lighting:

As you can see, the new Pink Explosion is slightly deeper in its pink tone. Working with the new formula is certainly easier, as you can imagine. The softer Chanel powder blush is a dream to apply with any standard powder brush. By comparison, the new Pink Explosion is deeper than Chanel Tumulte, and less red and lighter than Chanel Rose Tourbillon.

As with my other Chanel blush reviews, more will be posted as I work with the formula.

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Mar 192012
 

Chanel Joues Contraste Tumulte (#70/ Fards a Joues Poudre Tumulte)($43) is a cool, soft pink with a soft near-matte texture.

Chanel Tumulte is a light, cool pink that is very girly and fresh. Here are swatch comparisons with the former Pink Explosion (reviewed here and here), the new Pink Explosion (just released now), and Chanel Rose Tourbillon (reviewed here).

 As you can see, Chanel Tumulte is the lightest of the group, a very soft color that I find more usable than Chanel Narcisse (which did not show up well on some medium to dark skin tones). Chanel Tumulte is less red than Chanel Rose Tourbillon, and lighter than both of the Pink Explosions. Chanel Tumulte is far less pigmented than the now-discontinued (but legendary) Chanel Turbulent.

In the interest of getting this pictures up quickly, I’ll have supplement with more information after I play with the blush more than I have so far.

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Mar 192012
 

Chanel is set to release four new blushes over the next few weeks. Two of these are new shades–Chanel Tumulte and Chanel Malice (reviewed here).  Two are reformulations of former shades, reformulated in the powder, U.S. versions–Pink Explosion and a very deep purple/mauve Chanel Plum Attraction. For a description of the differences between U.S. and non-U.S. Chanel Joues Contraste blushes, see this review.  Malice looks much peachier than the others in the picture, above. However, in my opinion Malice is not a true peach. Compared with true peach blushes, Malice has a touch of pink/red.

This review is a first look at Chanel Joues Contraste Malice (#71)($43/ Fard a Joues Poudre), a pretty pink-peach that has a touch of soft, subtle sparkle.

As with the other Chanel Joues Contraste blushes, Malice comes in the familiar black square compact with the tiny brown-bristled brush.

Malice is a pretty, soft peach with a touch of pink. Here is a comparison with Chanel Malice, Chanel Rose Petale, Chanel Tweed Corail, and Chanel In Love:

One more:

I literally put these pictures up as my first opportunity, based on reader feedback that sooner is better. I’ll play with this during this week, and am hoping to get some more pictures.  So far, so good!

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Mar 122012
 

For Spring 2012, Nars released three new lip products as part of its iconic collection. If you fall in love with one, the Nars online site has free 2-day shipping right now with no minimum and no code needed.

First up is the soft, crowd-pleasing warm nude Nars Bilbao satin lipstick ($24).

Accurately described as a “shimmering topaz” this semi-sheer color gives a has a golden beige wash to lips.

It’s a near-nude that has enough color so that it doesn’t wash you out, it leaves a honey glaze color that can be very flattering especially on warm skin tones. Here is Nars Bilbao on Liz:

Here’s a quick swatch comparison with Nars Bilbao, which was closest to Chanel Rouge Coco Baroque. However, Nars Bilbao applies more softly and sheerly than Baroque. Also here is Chanel Rouge Coco Patchouli and Burberry Nude Rose #25.

This Nars collection is a real collection of widely diverse colors and the lip colors are no exception.

 

Nars Spring 2012 brings Pure Matte Lipstick in Valparaiso ($25) a deep beautiful cool red berry.

Although not a traditional color, Valparaiso looks right with evening wear and on cool spring days. Here’s a comparison with a few other vampy darks which I had nearby: Nars Nana Lipgloss, Guerlain Vega, Chanel Rouge Coco in Rouge Noir and Burberry Blueberry Lip Mist.

Here’s how Nars Valparaiso looks on lips, in all of its matte velvet glory:

Nars has also released a Velvet Gloss Lip Pencil in Mexican Rose ($24):

Nars Mexican Rose is an astoundingly beautiful color, particularly on pale lips. It’s a beautiful pink-rose with plenty of color and depth. You can see that it is a beautifully wearable saturated deep rose-pink. Here, it’s compared to the more red Chanel Flamboyante and the more bright pink Chanel Kensington:

Nars Mexican Rose on Liz’s pale pink lips:

Because this pencil has a bit of sheerness, the color is much more muted and deep on my mauve-toned lips. Liz’s lip color is quite light, and so the deep saturated color of Mexican Rose really stands out on her.

All in all, I’d say Nars did an amazing job with three very different lip colors, all suitable for immediate wear. Unfortunately, Liz obtained my Mexican Rose pencil, so I will be buying a replacement for myself. Ah, the joys!

These three lip colors-Mexican Rose, Valparasio and Bilboa–were provided by Nars to Cafe Makeup for consideration for review.

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Mar 122012
 

From Style.com, this is an interview with Chanel’s Creative Director of Makeup Peter Philips backstage at last week’s Chanel Ready to Wear for Fall 2012. There’s some fabulous close-ups of the makeup starting mid-way through. You’ll see Notorious blush, and a flash of the two nail polishes– Frenzy and Vertigo.  Vertigo seems quite dark but the shot is so quick it’s hard to tell if it is a re-release of the former Vertigo (swatched here) or something newer.

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