May 302012

By popular request, I’m posting a few more very fast swatches for the following Chanel foundations:

  • Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua Compact B20
  • Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua Compact BR22
  • Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua Fluid in B10
  • Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua Fluid in B20 (much darker than B10!)
  • Chanel Lift Lumiere Foudnation in Ivoire 14
  • Chanel Perfection Lumiere B20
  • Chanel Perfection Lumiere BR12
  • Chanel Perfection Lumiere BR22
  • Chanel Perfection Lumiere BR32
I hope that this is helpful!

Please follow us on....

May 302012

Here are some speed reviews of some products that I’ve been considering lately:

1.Guerlain ‘Secret de Pureté’ Cleansing Cream ($66 /6.5 oz.). This is a remarkably gentle cleanser that manages to remove virtually everything while leaving baby skin behind.

Recently, I received a generous 1.0 oz. sample from a gift with purchase, which has lasted several weeks. I’ve used it with water alone, or on the brush head of my Clarisonic. Here’s my little sample:

This cleanser is remarkable. It takes off my Armani Eyes to Kill mascara, my Chanel sunblock, and my Nars Tinted Moisturizer without stripping the skin in the least. My skin feels moisturized and glows when I’m done. Gorgeous. Yes, it has a perfumed scent.

2.  Edward Bess Luxury Face Brush ($59)  This kabuki-styled brush is perfect for blush, bronzer, and highlighter. Lovingly packaged:

It has a dense compact of bristles, which might lead one to a heavy coverage, but the gently sloped head allows me to pick up just the right amount.

The handle is slightly longer than other face brushes, which makes it a pleasure to use.  It’s an investment, but one that I really do love.

3. Guerlain Shine Automatique in A La Parisienne #263 ($35)  I’m continuing to enjoy Guerlain Shine Automatique in Rose Pompon. I love the slide-up packaging, it’s gorgeous and functional.

Guerlain Shine Automatique A La Parisienne is pretty sheer coral that lets just a peek of your natural lip color through.

If you are shy about wearing this season’s bright oranges, this sheer rose-coral may be perfect.

Here is A La Parisienne on Megan:


As a sheer lipstick, A La Parisienne will look slightly different on everyone. Here are some other reviews:

  • Here at Mostly Sunny Bunny
  • Here at Sandra’s Closet
  • Here at Karlasugar

4. Replere Beauty Shooters($37 for 14 bottles) I’m a big believer that beauty comes from within. I cannot get enough of antioxidant rich foods, plenty of filtered water, and vitamin supplements. Dr. Debbie Palmer has made it easier to get a recommended daily dose of antioxidants, including vitamin C-packed fruits, goji & açai berries, and blueberries in a one ounce (1 oz.) Beauty Shooter.

Packed 14 to a carton, these are purse-sized, single serving little containers that you can take once a day to get your beauty in. One shakes, shoots, and done. I received three of these without charge for consideration for review, and found they had a pleasant, sweet grape cranberry-flavor with a slight touch of pulp. For those that don’t have time to get to a fresh source of fruits and vegetables every day, these provide a very easy alternative.

Please follow us on....

May 292012

This is a somewhat imperfect review of Chanel Vitalumeire Aqua Foundation ($58), introduced about a month or two ago. This foundation is a medium-coverage cream foundation sold in a luxe round compact. I found that it gave a flawless finish, particularly when applied with Chanel’s Blending Foundation Brush #7 ($54) (review forthcoming).

When applied, Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua feels like air, there is no heavy foundation feeling or any oiliness. I find that cream foundations like this look amazing for formal occasions, whether for work or social activity. It provides an airbrushed finish. There is a very slight “silicon” feeling to the foundation. It lasts well throughout a long day and holds up beautifully without a powder. No breakout for me.

Here are some swatches of most of the shades (B50 and  BR32 are missing, but I’ll try to fill in the gaps throughout the week). As you can see, the “B” tones are warmer, and the “BR” tones seem to have a touch of cool rose.

And now for the imperfect part of the post–a beauty confession. I was matched to B30 at a mass make-over at a local department store, although I realized it was too dark I went ahead anyway. As frustrated as I am with myself, now that my overly generous sample has been used (it lasted about five days), I may exchange my untouched full sized B30 for another more appropriate color.

Thank you to Tressa from Nordsrom Seattle for patiently sending me these samples for us all to enjoy. To be clear, Tressa took no part in the color matching for me, or my own personal decision to cave to the makeup artist’s inaccurate recommendation.

Onward and upward, and I hope you learn from my mistake.


Please follow us on....

May 282012

Yesterday, Liz and I went for a fashion break to the De Young Museum in San Francisco to see “John Paul Gaultier: From Sidewalk to Catwalk,” a retrospective of this prolific French haute couture fashion designer. Gaultier was the creative director of Hermès from 2003 to 2010, and became quite famous for designing for Madonna’s Blonde Ambition tour, as well as Lady Gaga and Beyonce. As the museum allowed us to take non-flash photographs, I took just a few with my iPhone. Enjoy!


Please follow us on....

May 282012

Emilio Pucci for Summer 2012

Guerlain for Emilio Pucci is a gorgeously successful collaboration for Summer 2012. It includes a version of Guerlain’s Meteorites Illuminating Powder ($59).  The packaging on this is so Pucci, please indulge me as I post several pictures of this amazing creation. The box, which includes a metal box housing the Meteorites:

The metal container has a Pucci-patterned top and a deep blue-violet ridged side.

Close up, Emilio’s signature is reproduced on the top:

Guerlain’s signature embossed on the side:

Inside, the violet-scented Meteorites provide a neutral-to-cool matte yet luminous veil that looks like a beautiful cool background for summer’s warm bronzers:

I almost didn’t buy these, because I’m so delighted with the Guerlain Meteorites that I already own. They differences between them is subtle. Yet I find myself reaching for these Pucci for Guerlain Meteorites like a kid into a candy jar. Sometimes warm summer makeup can look a little too warm and one-note. Using these as a finishing powder under my other warm summer color provides a perfect neutral canvas that balances and modernizes the warmer bronzes and golds.

I did not pick up the Pucci for Guerlain brush–it’s adorable and I’m still on the fence. I use a very soft powder brush, usually my Shu Uemura 18R just because it’s handy, but a Bobbi Brown Blending Brush or any other large, soft brush should work as well.

If you are on the edge, I’ll just say that I’m glad that I made the leap. The powder is very long lasting, and really adds an expensive finishing touch that’s absolutely gorgeous. I find the effect too subtle to swatch for the blog, but I do provide my enthusiastic support.

If you are in the San Francisco Bay Area, Guerlain’s Marcus Monson will be at the San Francisco Center Nordstrom this Saturday. There’s a nice gift with purchase for the event (please call the store for details and an appointment).

Please follow us on....

May 272012

Guerlain by Emilio Pucci Terra Azzurra Bronzer & Blush ($75/ .56 oz.) is Guerlain’s complex and beautiful summer offering. This product displays a very high level of care, design, and attention. In many ways, the beauty of the product was thoughtful in both its creation, display, and the high quality of this finely-milled, beautiful powder. First, the presentation includes a blue-Pucci patterned inner box and fabric sleeve.

The bronzer is housed in a wood-composite round compact, which is comparatively lightweight but still substantial enough to feel luxurious.

The domed compact is embossed with lettering “Geurlain by Emilio Pucci” and relies on a magnet closure:

The compact has a mirror inside. The bronzer pattern includes a narrow strip of highlighter on the outer edge, two blush strips (one orange, one fuchsia violet), and a large section of a pale, pearly bronzer.

It’s very easy to pick up the blush separately from the bronzer on a brush. However, it’s nearly impossible to pick up the highlighter or bronzer strips separately unless one uses an unlikely choice, such an eyeshadow brush.


The compact is large, in line with other limited edition Guerlain bronzers of years past that come in similar compacts:

Swatches of the highlighter, the two blushes and the bronzer, and then all products mixed. I found that the blushes are highly pigmented, and the bronzer is subtle. When the powders are mixed, the blushes strongly predominate the mix.  The combination of the orange and violet seem to create a fruit punch color that reminds me a bit of the formerly released Geurlain Series Noir Blush G.

As you can see, the bronzer is golden and light. Those with deeper skin tones may find that the bronzer is too light for their skin tone. On Megan, you can see how the blush tones predominate. I found a similar effect on me:

The quality of the product is amazing. There’s really no discussion that Guerlain is a master in powdered bronzer, and this bears all of the hallmarks of a beautiful presentation treasure. I typically use a small headed brush (a MAC 168) to apply the bronzer first, and then the blush on the upper cheek. As an all-in-one product, it’s a beautiful compact to place on your makeup table. Although the pouch is fun, this isn’t something that I’d travel with as the top might come loose under the rigors of airline baggage travel (although I would put it into an overnight bag).

Bottom line: gorgeous.

Please follow us on....

May 262012

I’m really enjoying the bright colors from Thakoon for Nars Nail Collection ($18 each).

The formula on these is really good. I’m getting really good wear time, and the application has been very nice (except for the yellow, which takes slightly more concentration).  With that exception, they all go on like butter and dry like glass. I love this series. Today, I’m wearing Thakoon for Nars Ratin Jot, a deep jeweled plum.

Despite hours of word processing, dishes and other household tasks, I applied this yesterday and it’s still going strong. Shot yesterday, with Essie Good to Go as a topcoat:

I think this color goes pretty well with my warm skin tone. Love this series, and getting plenty of use out of them so far.  Here are a few looks from Thakoon’s Summer 2012 collection:

Thakoon for Nars was sent to Cafe Makeup without charge for consideration for review.

Please follow us on....

May 262012

Guerlain Shine Automatique in Rose Pompon ($35/ #264) is part of a new line of lipsticks introduced by Guerlain. This line is sheer,  moisturizing and shimmery.  Using the convenient one-touch case (no separate cap required), Rose Pompon has earned a place among the very few that I’ve been carrying around in my bag since I purchased it.

Guerlain Rose Pompon is a flattering pink with a strong touch of mauve. The formula is luxurious, it feels like I’m wearing a gorgeous moisturizer. Like many sheer lipstick formulas, this is not an all-day commitment. I found that the wear time was better than the Chanel Rouge Coco Shines, but not as long as the Burberry Lip Mists.

Swatched next to some other sheer pink-mauves, here is Guerlain Rose Pompon next to Chanel Bel Ami and Nars Vendanges. On Megan:

Here’s Megan’s full look with Guerlain Rose Pompon (with Chanel’s Sable Rose Bronzer and Guerlain’s Capri Eyeshadow Quad). Here, Megan has applied a few layers of the lipstick (no lipliner or lip base):

Bottom line–lovely, wearable color. Very moisturizing and shimmery formula.  Although this isn’t the longest-lasting lipstick that I own, the ease and pretty, sheer look have won my heart.



Please follow us on....

May 252012

Guerlain / Emilio Pucci Terracotta Eye Khol in Blu Acqua ($36) is a violet kohl eyeliner. The packaging is beautiful, and the color is a vibrant, shimmery violet with only a touch of blue.

The Blu Acqua Kohl is not the typical pencil design, but rather the shorter, wider open kohl design. I’ve asked several Guerlain sales associates how they are sharpened. One advocates simply using a standard sharpener. The other professed that this is “self sharpening,” which only seems possible to me if you continually apply the kohl held at an angle.

Despite its name, the kohl really is much more in the purple/violet category which I view as a plus. It’s an unusual, striking color but deep enough in its tone to work in almost any setting.

I like wearing this pushed up into my top waterline, among the mascara. It seems to brighten the whites of my eyes. I noticed that I had to use a few layers to get a good rich color (a few swipes). The texture of this is far softer than many of the kohl pencils that I’ve tried.

Verdict: Pretty color, if you swipe a few times I think you’ll fall in love.


Please follow us on....

May 232012

Guerlain’s collaboration with Emilio Pucci for Summer 2012 has led to the creation of the Capri Eyeshadow Quad ($59 Ecris 4 Couluers Capri). This shimmery confection plays off of this years trend toward hot pinks and bright oranges. Of course, for this piece, those colors are infused with a grown-up sophistication and a pearly texture. There’s nothing “Sugarpill” about this quad–rather, it’s formulated for depth and impact but still plays well with a sophisticated look.

Unlike Guerlain’s other silver quad cases, this limited edition summer creation has a deep bronze compact. It has the same gorgeous magnet closing mechanism and clean, travel-friendly design. There’s simply no possibility of chipping your nail polish on this–a quick and firm movement is all that’s needed to open the case.

Back label:

Inside, there is a pearly highlighter, a clear coral orange, a vibrant pink and a deep cool brown.  All shades have a beautiful shimmery-pearly quality characteristic of other quads in Guerlain’s current permanent line. There’s a tiny sponge-brush as well.

Closer, the brown looks close to black in the pan (but applies as a deep brown):

I ordered this with some trepidation, but the Guerlain associate assured me that this is wearable. Note that the white shade is subtle, as is this year’s trend. I put only the tiniest bit just directly under the brow arch, and as an inner corner highlighter.


The application recommendations that I’ve gathered from Guerlain makeup artists is to mix the pink and the coral on the lid. This is what Megan did here, using the pink on the outer portion of the eye, and the coral on the inner portion of the lid. She used the deep brown as a liner, and the white as a subtle highlighter.

For advice, those with a touch of deeper tones on the lid will want to prime first with an opaque primer to provide a nice, skin-tone base. Laura Mercier’s Eye Basics and Edward Bess’ new Illuminating Eyeshadow Base (reviewed here at The Beauty Look Book) would work well, although there are other options out there. Here, Megan applied the colors over the Lorac eyeshadow primer, which applies clear.

 Here’s a full face look, together with a touch of Chanel Sable Rose Bronzer. On lips, Megan chose Guerlain Shine Automatique in #264 Rose Pompon (review forthcoming) As you can see, the eyeshadow color doesn’t seem to overwhelm at all. Typical of Guerlain quality, the color looks pretty, bold and summer-appropriate.

I found the same result on my paler skin tone. The palette delivered a generous amount of pigment with a standard eyeshadow brush. I tended to use a bit more of the brown shade in my crease, but not enough to muddy these very clear colors. I kept the pink and orange below the crease line (Megan brought it up a bit higher). Although this palette would look amazing on deep skin tones, I found that Capri added a fun, pretty touch of color for a daytime lunch or party on my lighter skin tone as well. Love.

Please follow us on....