Sep 302012

Sephora has begun stocking some of the Nars Andy Warhol collection, include the Nars Andy Warhol Satellite of Love Highlighting Blush ($28). This is a nearly-nude shade, which is very sheer. When worn, it gives a nearly-nude finish with sparkling glitter. Essentially, this is a “chilled and party ready” glimmer powder.

Here is a comparison with another Nars Nude, which is far more pigmented and shimmery (rather than glittery), Nars Lustre:

Unlike Lustre, which gives me a bronze-peach glow, Satellite of Love is a sheer wash that imparts very little color and a touch of sparkle. Here’s is Satellite of Love on Karen at Makeup and Beauty Blog, who has a skin tone deeper than mine. As you can see, the sheerness of the blush does not impart a strong color on her skin tone either.

Bottom line, Satellite of Love Highlighting Blush is a sparkling highlighter. Like much of the collection, the blush is lovely in concept. Unlike Lustre, which seems to go anywhere, Satellite of Love is perfect for an evening look. You’ll want to be careful for day, and unless you are going for a nude look, pair this with a warm blush, bronzer, or contour.

Nars Cosmetics sent Satellite of Love Highlighting Blush to Cafe Makeup without charge for consideration for review.

Please follow us on....

Sep 292012

Fall 2012 is bringing a nascent trend toward light, shimmery nude eyeshadows and deep black liner. We saw this concept brought to life in Le Metier de Beaute’s Nouvelle Vague palette, as well as in MAC for Marilyn collection.  Unlike the neutral palettes we see in every line, this trend has a high contrast between the shimmery nude shades and the liner. My investment in this trend (so far) are two new Dior Luminous Graphic Eye Palettes–Dior Ivory Glow and Dior Nude Glow ($48 each).

I expected the Dior Nude Glow trio eyeshadow to resemble NARS All About Eve duo, a staple that includes a near-matte nude and a shimmery nude.

However, Dior Nude Glow has no matte nude. Rather, the palette has a softly shimmered nude, and a translucent fairy sparkle shade. The translucent shade reminded me of a daytime-friendly, wearable version of MAC Reflects in Gold. It doesn’t have nearly the drama, but it is definitely something one could wear to an in-office meeting or presentation where one comes within handshake distance of one’s peers. The liner is a powder that applies beautifully with my Laura Mercier smudge brush over my Bobbi Brown Gel Eyeliner in Black Ink.

 The Dior Luminous Graphic eyeshadow in Nude Glow performs at an excellent level. The liner is deep and pigmented, the colors give the lids a pearly nude soft pearly texture. Gorgeous. As I got onto a flight, this was the one eyeshadow palette I grabbed. I’ve worn it for a few days over my Laura Mercier Eye Basic and got excellent performance.

Dior Luminous Graphic eyeshadow in Ivory Glow gives a more dramatic effect. Like Nude Glow, Ivory Glow has a shimmery opaque shade and a translucent shade of tiny fairy sparkle, and a deep black powder liner.

The white is slightly warm, leaning a touch gold:

Because of the contrast between the liner and palette shades, this is a lovely evening palette. Those with lighter skin tones and a light touch with their eyeshadow brush might find some daytime friendly looks as well.



Bottom line, I thought these were a simple concept that is beautifully executed. They are unusual, on trend, and yet still neutral and wearable. Although Dior has not caught my eye for several months, I found these irresistible. Having passed on Le Metier’s version, and unable to get MAC’s Marilyn eyeshadows due to the high demand, I was glad that I found these Dior’s Luminous Graphic. I understand from reading Allura’s reviews of the MAC’s Marilyn eyeshadows that these Dior will be more to my taste, style and liking. As I say, the Dior Nude Glow is an everyday staple for me, so it was a good investment.

Please follow us on....

Sep 262012

Nars Andy Warhol Collection includes three portrait-themed palettes, based on Warhol’s 1967 Self Portrait. There have been about forty of these identified, these silk-screened works were made in various sizes and color combinations. Each of the three Nars Andy Warhol have a version of this self-portrait over sprayed over three eyeshadow colors. Like the Flowers palettes, these are very large 0.42 ounce size–much larger than a typical Nars blush or eyeshadow duo.

I must admit that although I’ve seen many beauty products with a women’s cameo (Lauderee, Guerlain and MAC Barbie to name a few), I’ve never opened a compact with a man’s portrait. This “pop cameo” is entirely new. For those who engage with Warhol’s art, it’s an intriguing concept. And just as Warhol suggested that fame is fleeting–after all, we’re only famous for 15 minutes–in this palette the Warhol image brushes away quickly with just a few brushstrokes, leaving only the blocks of color behind.

A fresh palette:

After playing: 

Nars Andy Warhol Self Portrait 1 uses combinations of two colors–deep blue and green–with black for an accent liner color.

Like the Flowers palettes, these include Andy Warhol inscription on the mirror:

The three colors, all of which are matte colors, can be mixed and blended to vary the colors.

I found the colors quite soft, bordering on sheer. I was impressed that Makeup for Life was able to create this vibrant look by packing on the color.

NARS Andy Warhol Portait 2 was my favorite of this portrait series. This includes shimmering cream and silver, with a generous amount of black.

Closer, you can see how beautifully executed the overspray is:

The mirror inscription:



I found the texture of this palette far different than the other two–it was quite pigmented, easy to use and very easy to use. Swatches:

The Nars Andy Warhol Portrait 3 was a combination of  gently pigmented matte light brick and heather blue, with a deeper brown brick as the liner color.

Although the overspray has a touch of duochrome shimmer, the underlying shades are matte.

I found that Portrait 3 was a bit difficult to build up a strong color–applied with normal brush pressure, you will get an effect similar to this:

I loved the unusual combination of these bricks with the heather blue. However, I found that the lighter brick was a bit tricky for me to pull off. Over my Laura Mercier Eye Basic used as a base, I found that these colors–although softly pigmented–did last all day. The inscription on the mirror of Portrait 3:

The Nars Andy Warhol palettes come packed with information for those unfamiliar with both makeup color placement and Andy Warhol’s art. Here’s a color look suggestion card for Portrait 3:

There is a multi-page booklet that points out some of the background influences of the collection:

Overall, my strong preference from these three is Portrait 2. It has, by far, my favorite texture and highly wearable colors. Of all six Nars Andy Warhol eyeshadow palettes, my favorite is Flowers 3.

Nars provided these palettes to Cafe Makeup without charge for consideration for review.

Please follow us on....

Sep 242012

Perricone MD is currently celebrating its 15th year making patented skincare products. Previously, I’ve reviewed the Perricone MD Vitamin C Ester 15, which I am still enjoying (I bought the auto-renew program). I’ve also been given the chance to try the new Perricone MD Formula 15 ($125/2 oz.).

Perricone MD Formula 15 is a combination cocktail of a number of ingredients developed by Dr. Perricone to provide a synergistic effect. First off, let me say that I saw a noticeable difference in my skin about an hour after I first applied it. Although my testing is in the early stages (only a few days), I’m really impressed. The primary effective ingredients are:

Alpha Lipoic Acid: An antioxidant which improves the skin’s resilience, tone, an texture, while improving radiance and clarity.

DMAE (dimethylaminoethenol): increases the firmness of skin, allowing sagging skin to look more tightened and toned. It addresses the loss of firmness and lessens the appearance of lines and wrinkles.

Phos E: A proprietary blends of phospholipids that provides nutrition and antioxidants to the skin to increase radiance and protect and hydrate skin. This helps stressed, dry, or dehydrated skin.

Tocotrienols: Superior forms of Vitamin E to nourish and repair damaged skin and to give a rosy glow. These improve the skin’s overall health.

I’ve been curious about trying Perricone MD’s DMAE as a topical ever since I watched this 3-minute video:

After trying Formula 15 for just a short time, I found my skin was tighter, more toned, more even textured and more radiant. It seemed to shave off several years, giving me a healthy looking, natural glow. At the same time, the product absorbed beautifully into my skin without leaving any heavy residue–there is a light texture and a very pleasant, citrus-like scent.

I was surprised to see such a visible difference in my skin, particularly because I already use high-quality skin care. There is certainly something very effective in Formula 15 that my skin had been missing. Because these formulas are patented, it is quite unlikely that I will find them anywhere else.

Ingredient list (click to enlarge):

If you find your skin needs a little freshening tighten and glow, Perricone MD is definitely worth trying. It’s due to ship beginning in October.

Application tip: Smooth evenly on cleansed skin in the morning, follow with a moisturizer.

 Perricone MD sent Formula 15 to Cafe Makeup without charge for consideration for review.

Please follow us on....

Sep 232012

Liz in Andy Warhol Style
Made with D.I.Y. Pop/ Warhol app for iPad

As promised, here is a quick swatch comparison of the background taupe and the highlight whites from all three NARS Andy Warhol Flowers palettes. To my eye, they all look the same. Any differences that you see are likely attributable to slight differences in brush pressure, lighting or the like. In sun:

 In shade:

Please follow us on....

Sep 222012

My favorite product from the Nars Andy Warhol Collection is the Flowers 3 palette, a shimmery combination of taupe, two medium browns, a deep brown and a shimmery white.  An overview of the format of this palette is here, in my review of Flowers 1. Here is the review of Flowers 2.

If I were to choose one single item to purchase from the items that I’ve tried (which do not include the kits), it is Flowers 3. These shadows are a shimmery neutral lover’s dream. I’ve worn this for about a week, and was still exploring the combinations that I could make. This palette’s Warhol inscription: “All is pretty.” 

Swatches (from left to right) 1) background taupe; 2) white flower; 3 & 4) both medium shimmery flowers; and 5) the deep brown flower:

Here, Liz used all three colors (but just a touch of the white in the inner corner), and used Nars Andy Warhol Soft Touch eye pencil in Heat under her lower lashline. She also used a standard black liner (Giorgio Armani) on her inner waterline:

Same look, different angle:

A full look, same combination of Flowers 3 and Heat, together with Chanel Rouge Allure Intense in Seduisante.

Overall, I found the texture excellent, and the palette very easy to use to achieve a beautiful look. Definitely my favorite of the Nars Andy Warhol Flowers format, and possibly my favorite palette of the collection.

Nars Cosmetics sent Flowers 3 and Soft Touch Eyeshadow Pencil in Heat to Cafe Makeup for consideration for review.


Please follow us on....

Sep 202012

Nars Andy Warhol Eyeshadow Palette in Flowers 2 ($55) follows the same format as the Flowers 1 palette from this series (reviewed here), so I won’t repeat. All shades in this Flowers 2 palette–the white, the periwinkle blue, and the background taupe, are softly shimmered (the white sort of glows).

The whites and the blue flowers each have a twin in this palette–I could not detect any significant differences between the two whites or the two blues. I sort of loved the soft ethereal blue in this palette. It’s a soft blue with a fair amount of gray and a touch of purple, which works well with the taupe and cool white of the rest of the palette. The blue reminds me of the color added to gas–a modern yet somehow retro color. The overall theme is cool toned, which looks softly dramatic on my warm skin tone.

The Andy Warhol inscription on the palette’s mirror is “You need to let the little things that would ordinarily bore you suddenly thrill you.” Swatches:

One more set of swatches:

I swatched the taupe background first, then both white flowers, then both blue flowers for completeness. Overall, I’ve enjoyed this unusual palette.  I love the background taupe and the lavender blue, and the white is quite smooth and workable. Those with deeper toned eyes and cool skin tones are likely to love this palette as well. After I review my favorite palette from this collection (Flowers 3), I’ll post a picture comparing the taupes and whites of all three Flowers palettes.

My experiments with the longevity of the Nars Andy Warhol Eyeshadow palettes is continuing. Today I wore one of the Portrait palettes (review upcoming) over a Laura Mercier Eye Base and got beautiful all-day wear.

Nars sent the products used in this review without charge to Cafe Makeup for consideration for review. 

Please follow us on....

Sep 192012

The Nars/ Andy Warhol collection has released three large eyeshadow palettes in the style of Warhol’s flowers silkscreens (example above). I find this concept so ingenious. The themes of Warhol’s other work are tastefully integrated into the packaging. The themes and colors are edgy and current. This review is for the Nars Andy Warhol Flowers 1 ($55).

Evoking Andy Warhol’s use of silver throughout his work (and his “Silver Factory” studio where he lived and worked), the outside packaging is silver. Also, the lettering on the palettes is silver (rather than the traditional white).

Also, these palettes are huge— much larger than the traditional NARS blush or eyeshadow duo’s.

When I first opened this palette, I had a few simultaneous thoughts–first, Andy Warhol’s Flowers!!! Because, the graphics really are that good. The coloring is complex, tonal and has a silkscreened appearance. There’s some seriously beautiful work done. Even if you buy nothing from the collection, if you can get a good look at a freshly-opened palette it is worth the trouble to see it.

My other thought was–oh look–etching on the mirror!  On the inside mirror is a little Andy Warhol saying. It reminds me of the little Francois Nars sayings that come on little black cards in some products, except this is permanently etched so you can see it every time you use it. This particular one says “If you can convince yourself that you look fabulous, you can save yourself the trouble of primping.” So I decided that I did look fabulous (so do you, gorgeous!), but I primped anyway. By the way, the black is an overspray on this palette–it gently falls away with a brushstroke or two.

The next thought was….look at alllll that taupe. I was in absolute taupe heaven. As I said, these pans are large and the flower background is pretty, shimmery slightly purple taupe color.  So much beautiful taupe in the pan, you could practically take a bath in it.  Swatches, taupe on the far left:


And finally, I was worried that the palette would be too bright for me to carry off.  Like surgeons, Liz and I got to work–how could we make this palette look good on neutral-lovers?  Liz did a nice job for her part–she put the taupe all over the lid. Then she put the white in her inner corner. Then she washed the purple sheerly as a wash over much of the taupe.  She then added the silver Nars Andy Warhol Soft Touch Pencil in Silver Factory under her lower lash line. She’s using a black liner on her lower waterline only.

The taupe is a nice smooth, shimmery soft shadow. Love. The purple can be sheered (as you see it here), or applied a bit more densely. If you want it as vibrant as you see it in the pan, you’ll want to add a colored base. The white is a sparkly white. It’s not the most finely milled white that I have, but I suspect its meant to be that way. Nars knows how to finely mill a powder. Perhaps a Warhol Superstar would go for something bolder, and this white delivers that. You can apply it in a messy way by adding more layers of white to make it more edgy if you like (we kept it subtle).

You can see that the color in Liz’s upper lid is just slightly washed with the purple shade.


In contrast, today I did a full eye as suggested on the card  enclosed with the palette. Although this look is outside my comfort zone, I wanted to test the vibrancy and longevity of the shadows:

I applied the yellow color and purple primarily. I applied them over a dab of Edward Bess Platinum Concealer. I found that I couldn’t get a true-to-pan yellow or purple in a few swipes, but in truth I was a bit relieved (those are quite bright for me). One would really need to build it up to reach that very bright, saturated color and probably use a colored base (I don’t own bases in those colors).

To my relief, the colors were wearable because they didn’t easily build up as bright as they are in the pan. Used as individual colors, these delivered more than enough yellow and purple for me. They were a pretty combination–a bit like an iris. They have a very pretty sheen. Even in warm, humid weather I had the same color after 8 hours as when I started. I’ve been wearing the Nars Andy Warhol Flowers 3 palette all week, and I’ve had very good luck with that one too. Today, I went out to buy a Laura Mercier Eye Basic primer to do a little more stability research on these, I’ll post the results with the later palette reviews. Truthfully, I strongly prefer blending the colors together (the brick brown shade is gorgeous), and using the purple as a soft was as Liz did. But you might wish to wear the colors that emphasize these strong colors.

Nars sent the products used in this review without charge to Cafe Makeup for consideration for review. 

Please follow us on....

Sep 162012

NARS is about to release an epic Andy Warhol collaboration for Holiday 2012. This image, above, is only part of the entire collection. In addition, there are a number of individual sets. As an Andy Warhol fan, I’m so excited for this collection that I can barely breathe. We’re about to run a beauty marathon. Are you with us?  

First of all, Liz and I both love art. We’ve always had a special place in our hearts for Warhol. I’ve been reading books about him since my college days. When we found ourselves in Pittsburgh a few years ago, we went to the Andy Warhol Museum. If you find yourself anywhere near it, go. It’s very well done, and you can do it in an hour or two. Well worth your time. Also, there was an incredible exhibit in Paris in 2009. So beautifully curated. Although I’d read some of his books and seen much of his work before, I learned so much more about Warhol during that exhibit. The press kit came packed with reproductions, so we thought it would be fun to use these as backgrounds for our product pictures.

Photo by Paul Rocheleau

Today, we’ll look at the Larger than Life Lipglosses ($26 each), five shades that range from a candy pink to an pop-worthy red. The formula is the traditional one for this line–slightly sheer, highly glossy and pleasant texture. Although we both loved the formula, Liz wasn’t a big fan of the small brush. Although it does lend precision, she thought it made application a little uneven (which is quickly fixed by rubbing the lips together to smooth out the texture).

For these lip swatches, please keep in mind that Liz has very little natural lip pigmentation. If you do, the color will vary because these glosses are not opaque. Your natural lip color will shift the color somewhat depending on your application.

International Velvet, named for one of Andy Warhol’s Superstars, is a soft sheer very light flat pink. If you aren’t familiar, Superstars were friends of Warhol whom he filmed and photographed. They fit into his philosophy that “In the future, everyone will be famous for 15 minutes.” He simply declared them superstars, featured them in his art, and so they were. International Velvet is a sheer cream–I could detect no sparkles.

This pink is not as strong as a Pepto pink–it’s a soft color like cotton candy.

Here is International Velvet on Liz. I can see this looking quite incredible with a silver and black smokey eye:

Candy Says was my favorite–it’s a shimmering strawberry pink.  The Larger Than Life glosses do shimmery quite well.

Candy Says is named for a song by The Velvet Underground, with whom Warhol was affiliated. On Liz: 

Going deeper down the tonality scale, Viva is a medium to deep rose which is somewhat subdued. It reminds me a bit of Nars Dolce Vita gloss, but it is not a duplicate.

Viva runs a touch warm, although it is neutral enough to look fabulous with a smokey eye.

On Liz:

Holly Woodlawn is a sheer red. Like many of the names in this collection named after a Warhol superstar.


On Liz:

Penny Arcade is a gorgeous sheer raspberry. It’s named after another of Warhol’s superstars.

On Liz, you can see that it doesn’t go too vibrant. The color is soft enough yet still flattering.

Here are arm-swatches of all products in sunlight:

Aside from some glosses in the upcoming sets, these Larger than Life lipglosses are the only lip products in this large release. I believe there are some beautiful, Nars-esque colors here. I especially loved Candy Says. However, there are times when you are looking for a perfect color and it cannot be found. That’s when I go to Nars. For some reason, this line come out with those colors-with-a-twist that perfectly walk the fine line that is both wearable and interesting. I believe this is true of a number of Nars permanent range (which will look fabulous with the many, many eye products in the Nars/ Andy Warhol collaboration). Some of these colors, like International Velvet and Penny Arcade, just do not seem to be anywhere else but here.

Here’s Liz wearing Holly Woodlawn, the Nars/Warhol Flowers #3 palette and the Heat Soft Touch eye pencil on her lower lashline.

Nars provided the products featured in this post without charge to Cafe Makeup for consideration for review. 

Please follow us on....

Sep 152012

The very glamourous Dita Von Teese knows makeup. When I heard that she had done a collaboration with Art Deco, a German brand sold all over the world, I was interested. Many U.S. customers do not have ready access to the brand, but I’ve played with Art Deco a bit during my travels in Paris. Art Deco is an affordable makeup line that offers a modular compact system. You can choose the shades you like to create compacts, and the quality of several of the items is quite nice. Combining convenience with Dita Von Teese’s quality standards? When I was contacted to try a few of the items from Tender Loving Skincare who ships worldwide (including to the U.S.), I happily agreed.

Dita Von Teese’s Classic Collection for Art Deco has forty (40 pieces), so there is a broad selection (Art Deco’s website describing the collection is here), including lipsticks, lip pencils, eyeliners, eyeshadows, blushes. There are lovely looking nail polishes, a primer, false lashes, mascara, gel eyeliner, lip lacquer, an eye brush….the list goes on.  Except for a foundation (which I’ve heard might be released in the future), there’s a bit of everything.

The collection includes a limited edition Beauty Box ($22.70) (pictured above) which has a a magnetized bottom designed to house the eyeshadows and blushes. This little Art Deco touch really grows on you–the products are just big enough to feel generous in size, yet nicely fit within the Art Deco system in a very compact way. The mirror has a tiny “Beauty is Art”–a fun little Dita touch–inscribed. Here are my blush and eyeshadows in their new home:

 One of my favorite pieces from the collection was the Dita Von Teese Art Couture Lipstick in Parlez Vous ($29).

 Parlez Vous is a warm, gorgeous, highly-pigmented red. Just, wow. Seriously. This woman knows her red lipstick. The quality felt quite luxurious (and without the fussy scent that some high-end lipsticks have). One swipe gave me a dramatic, beautiful color.

 The Lip Liner in Vermillion ($15.81) was the perfect accompanying shade for Parlez-Vous lipstick. Unlike some lip pencils, which feel dry, the Dita Von Teese lipliner felt smooth and gave me even coverage without pulling.

My other favorite piece from the collection was the Eye Styler in Minuit ($15.81) This is an excellent black liner, particularly at this price point. This applies as a highly pigmented, cool-toned black. Some eyeliners can tug and pull. Dita Von Teese’s Minuit was another “wow” product for me–it went on smooth as butter (not a single tug), yet had the excellent all-day lasting power. Worth twice the price. Love.

The Minuit Eye Styler is a twist-up pencil (no sharpening required), and has a hidden tip-sharpener in the back for a precise line.

The blushes in the line are soft and subtle, which coordinates nicely with the red lipsticks in the line. I tried the cool mauve Dita Von Teese Blusher in Paramour ($16.62). The blush has a very slight shimmer/sheen, is nicely pigmented, and applied smoothly and easily with my Nars Yachiyo brush. Although I noticed some fading by day’s end, I found the Paramour very wearable, flattering and finely-milled.

Art Deco’s Dita Von Teese Classics offers two eyeshadow formulas–the matte Matt and the shimmery glimmery Glamour. Although all shades delivered, I had a strong preference for the mattes, which were nicely textured.

Gilded Lily ($9.73) is a shimmery bone-beige base with high shimmer/glimmer. This is a sparkling highlighter.

Opulence ($9.73) is a high-frost white-mauve. The texture resembles a MAC Veluxe Pearl.

Sepia ($9.73) is a soft, nicely pigmented brown crease. This is a very easy-to-use crease color.

Veuve Noir ($9.73) is a well-pigmented matte black that can be worn either concentrated near the liner or sheered out softly.

Each of these eyeshadows comes with a magnetized bottom and plastic over-slide. They are designed to be housed in an Art Deco compact.

Here are swatches of Parlez Vous lipstick, Vermillion Lip Liner and the Minuit Eye Styler:

Here are Paramour blush, and the four eyeshadows (Opulence, Gilded Lily, Sepia and Veuve Noire).

As previously mentioned, these are available to buyers worldwide (including the U.S.) from Tender Loving Skincare. You can selected “U.S. Dollars” for the prices on the site (the Currency Convertor is on the bottom left of the page), and the ship rates to the U.S. are a flat rate fee of £5.50 (roughly $9.00).

There’s also an adorable “Get the Look” page on Tender Loving Skincare for styling advice for the collection.

 Overall, I thought the Art Deco Dita Von Teese collection was a nice way to get bombshell glamour at an excellent price point. I thought the lipstick, lip liner and eye styler had an excellent quality. As I said earlier, I like Art Deco’s modular compact system for the blush and eyeshadows.

All products from the Art Deco Dita von Teese Classics collection were sent to Cafe Makeup without charge for consideration and review.

Please follow us on....