Jul 312013

Marc Jacobs Beauty31

A new major makeup line is always cause for excitement. Welcome to the beauty world, Marc Jacobs! He is an extraordinarily creative fashion designer (he has several of his own lines, and he is the lead designer for Louis Vuitton’s ready to wear line). I’ve registered for the website (you should too). I’ve been counting the days to see how the line stacks up.

Marc Jacobs Beauty21

I took advantage of the Sephora pre-sale a few days ago, and ordered some items. To be honest, it’s usually difficult for me to judge a line without getting a sense of their foundations (no foundations were sold at the pre-release). At present, this line will be sold exclusively at Sephora stores and Sephora.com. This is sort of interesting if you’re a beauty business watcher–this keeps all the players under the Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessey umbrella (LVMH owns Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs, and Sephora).

Marc Jacobs Beauty1

My impression is that Marc Jacobs Beauty was unique in its design and formulation. It’s not trying to be a “me too” brand. Moreover, unlike the introduction of Burberry beauty some years ago now, which had a sort of “top shelf,” and “best in class” messaging, my sense is that the customer for Marc Jacobs Beauty will be a bit more niche.  Perhaps s/he’ll be a bit more of a minimalist, or drawn to the brand as a loyalist from the fashion side of things (pretty smart). Having said that, I think that everyone will find something to love within this line although one might have to do a bit of sorting to get there.

Marc Jacobs Style Eyecon 7 Starlet Palette01

One was the Marc Jacobs Style Eye-Con No. 7 / The Starlet Eyeshadow Palette ($59). The packaging of everything so far has been amazing. I love the slimness of this palette–it can slide easily in an out of almost any bag (even a clutch).

Marc Jacobs Style Eyecon 7 Starlet Palette02

It’s tiny but mighty mighty. Holding seven eyeshadows, this has a nice balanced weight, an excellent mechanism, and a minimalist beauty that makes it a pleasure to use. This particular palette comes in a fabric outer sleeve.

Marc Jacobs Style Eyecon 7 Starlet Palette03

The format reminds me of an ultra-sophisticated child’s watercolor palette. It’s sort of fun to dip a brush into the different colors. The material feels a bit like metal, although it could be a composite.

Marc Jacobs Style Eyecon 7 Starlet Palette04

The catch uses a smooth push in button. Inside, a Marc Jacobs slip cover in black gives a sort of infinity pool effect. Nice touch.

Marc Jacobs Style Eyecon 7 Starlet Palette06

Okay, so down to business–let’s look at these pressed powder colors. As the name implies, this Marc Jacobs The Starlet palette is made for glamour. These seven shades have high reflectivity, and if applied heavily can go to a foil-metallic finish. I’m assuming that the line will introduce a range of textures and finishes for the full release.

Marc Jacobs Style Eyecon 7 Starlet Palette17

Consistent with a fashion design aesthetic, Marc Jacobs The Starlet feels like a palette that’s going to be bought, used over the course of evenings and weekends for a few months, and then cycled through just as fashion lines do with clothing. There’s enough of the classic shimmer neutrals to keep everyone happy, and a few accent shades to add the “fashion” factor. Below, I numbered the wells so we can talk about them separately.

Marc Jacobs Style Eyecon 7 Starlet Palette07

 Shade 1 is easy–a shimmery brown-taupe with a bit of a pink tone. Who doesn’t love one?

Marc palette1

Shade 2 is a medium shimmery cool silver-brown. This is a great lid wash color, although there’s some fall out from the pan.

Marc Palette close up

Shade 3 is a well-pigmented shimmery crease color, a warm brown.

Marc Jacobs Style Eyecon 7 Starlet Palette12

Shade 4 is a highly metallic copper. It’s very smooth and pigmented. 

Marc Jacobs Style Eyecon 7 Starlet Palette11

Shade 5 is a highly metallic warm green gold. This one has to be used with care, I think. It kicks up a blizzard of fall-out in the pan (but went on smoothly on me using a MAC 217 brush). That’s that kind of detail that surprised me–the kicked-up glitter dust doesn’t belong in this elegant packaging. As for the color, it could be a genius eyeliner accent, I actually tried it this way near my upper lashline using the Shade 1 as a lid wash. It was unusual and striking, and brought out the green/blue color of my eyes. This one is tricky though–be careful not to over-do unless that’s your intent. It’s edgy.

Marc Jacobs Style Eyecon 7 Starlet Palette10

Shade 6 is a metallic blue-silver.  If you are looking for a silver that doesn’t go blue, keep looking–this leans blue in the pan. It becomes a metallic foil applied dry with a dense brush. It’s quite intense that way. As an alternative, we used shade 6 as a center-of-the-lid highlight on Liz’s neutral eye (see pictures below) and got glowy gorgeousness with just a very light touch with Edward Bess’ Luxury Eye Brush. I happen to love this shade.

Marc Jacobs Style Eyecon 7 Starlet Palette09

Shade 7 is a cool dark shimmery mauve taupe brown. This is a good all-purpose color to use in the crease, outer corner, or near the lashes. Used all over the eye, it could be an nice dark wash that emphasizes the eye’s natural color. I love this color.

Marc Shade 71

Here, Liz used The Starlet with the Edward Bess Luxury Eye Brush to apply:

First, Shade 2 as an all-over lid wash.

Second, Shade 3 in the crease.

Third, Shade 6 on the center of the lid very sheerly as a highlighter. Putting this silver-blue shade over the browns eliminated much of the blue.

Marc Jacobs eye palette10

 As you can see, this gave a beautiful shimmery fresh effect that can be used for daytime.

Marc Jacobs eye palette03

 Here, she is using The Starlet with:

Marc Jacobs eye palette01

Close up of this very easy, glowy eye look:

Marc Jacobs eye palette05 

 Swatches of the Marc Jacobs Starlet palette which shows some of the complexity of these colors:

 Marc Jacobs Starlet Swatches1a

Overall, I’m finding the new Marc Jacobs The Starlet palette an interesting entre into the new Marc Jacobs line. The packaging in beautifully designed–it’s chic, highly pack-able, compact, and beautifully balanced. The layout includes a mix of neutrals and edgy fashion-forward colors. This is a versatile choice that, because of the unique mix, is not duplicative of existing lines. Some are unique, statement-making shades. The question will be whether these colors are a statement that you wish to make.

I’ve been using the palette for the past few days. I like the format very much–the paintbox layout is fun, convenient, and intuitive. The shadows apply easily for me, so long as I use a soft brush (usually, the Edward Bess Luxury Eye Brush) so that it doesn’t become too metallic-foiled looking for everyday wear. It gets pretty intense with a dense brush. I get very minimal creasing after about 8-10 hours with no base in very warm 80-100 degree weather. That’s quite good, given that those conditions aren’t ideal. The fallout is puzzling.

Marc Jacobs Style Eyecon 7 Starlet Palette18

 The issue will be whether The Starlet fits within your personal aesthetic. As I said earlier, if you’d like to try the new Marc Jacobs line there will be something. I’m personally falling head over heels for the liquid liner and glosses (reviews to follow). I actually like The Starlet, but am looking forward to other choices. Also, I’m glad to see a true designer line coming to the beauty world, and I’m encouraged by what I see so far. Not completely won over yet, but very encouraged.

This post contains affiliate links (for more information, see About Cafe Makeup).  Nars Brow Gel and Nars Realm of the Senses blush were sent to Cafe Makeup without charge for consideration for review.

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Jul 292013

Nars Creamy Foundation01

This is a first look at Nars new Radiant Cream Compact Foundation ($38 each). According to the company:

This lightweight formula combines the supple feel of a cream foundation with the weightless coverage of liquid makeup for a truly glowing complexion. Enriched with the NARS exclusive Advanced Emulsion Technology, the velvety cream formula blends seamlessly and uniquely allows for the modern artistic versatility of a wet or dry application. The buildable formula delivers medium to full coverage and sets in seconds, leaving sk in soft, smooth, and glowing — all with the ease of a portable compact.

The compact is slim, sturdy and packable. There’s a lovely large mirror (perfect for touchups). The version I received has an empty well to hold the color, and a separate well for a sponge (with air vents for drying):

Nars Creamy Foundation02


Nars Creamy Foundation03

Here’s how the color goes in with the accompanying sponge:

Nars Creamy Foundation09

The color was quite easy to place in the well, and it seems to be well-designed so that it won’t slip out until you want it too.

Nars Creamy Foundation08

There’s a very nice range of 20 shades (click to enlarge):

Nars Creamy Foundation05

A first range of swatches:

Nars Creamy Foundation10

The shade descriptions:

SIBERIA: Light with neutral balance of pink and yellow undertones

MONT BLANC: Light with pink undertone

GOBI: For Asian skin Light with yellow undertone

DEAUVILLE: Light with neutral balance of pink and yellow undertones

FIJI: Light with yellow undertone

CEYLAN: For Asian skin Light – medium with yellow undertone

PUNJAB: Medium with golden, peachy undertone

VALLAURIS (NEW): Medium with pink undertone

SANTA FE: Medium with peachy undertone

STROMBOLI: Medium with olive undertone

BARCELONA: Deeper Medium with golden, peachy undertone

SYRACUSE: Medium – dark with brown undertone

TAHOE: Medium – dark with caramel undertone

CADIZ: Medium – dark with caramel and red undertone

MACAO: Medium – dark with deep yellow undertone

NEW GUINEA: Dark with red undertone

TRINIDAD: Dark with warm, yellow undertone

NEW ORL EANS: Dark with yellow undertone

BENARES: Dark with golden undertone

KHARTOUM: Dark with espresso undertone

I’m still testing the foundation. In the meantime, some of you may wish to start exploring this as it hits counters. I’ll post several swatch pictures, below, so that you can see the colors in different light.

Nars Creamy Foundation11


Nars Creamy Foundation12

And one more:

Nars Creamy Foundation13

As I said earlier, I’m still working with these and hope to post an update by the end of the week. If you have questions, or need some close-up comparisons, please leave your requests in the comments and I’ll do my best. In the meantime, I’m pleased that Cafe Makeup has so much for you to see over the next several days. 

UPDATE/EDIT: My thoughts on the foundation are linked here.

Currently available here at Nordstrom, Sephora, and also on Nars Cosmetics online.

These samples were sent without charge to Cafe Makeup for consideration for review. This post contains affiliate links (for more information, see About Cafe Makeup)

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Jul 202013

This is a wandering post, just a few thoughts and updates on my last few days in Paris.

France Saturday 01

Château de Chenonceau

One nice thing that we did during our time was a day trip to the Loire Valley. Before we left, we bought tickets to the TGV fast railway to Tours, France as our hub. From there, we hired a service which took us to see four castles on an all-day mini-van ride. We had an hour or two at each one, which was quick but manageable for our limited purposes. If I were to do it again, I would have spent the night in Tours. As it was, we took an evening TGV back to Paris. I’d highly recommend a bit of time outside of Paris if you choose to visit.  It’s wonderful to see a bit of the French countryside–it’s so beautiful.

Continue reading »

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Jul 182013

Nars is releasing two new limited edition palettes ($41 each) to sculpt, highlight, and define the face. According to the line, these “exclusive design exudes the NARS signature mix of sophistication and playfulness, while a new silky-textured formula blends to a smooth, even finish.”

NARS Soulshine Blush Palette Sephora

Soulshine has a peachy pink blush tone with gold shimmer,  a sheer golden apricot, and a soft rose tone with golden shimmer.

NARS Realm of Senses Blush Palette Sephora

Realm of Senses has a sheer peach, a shimmering bronzed rose (yay!) and a sparkling gold sand.

Available beginning (approximately) August 1st at Sephora online and stores.

This post contains an affiliate link (for more information, see About Cafe Makeup).

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Jul 182013

Many of my choices are available in the U.S. or through shipping for delivery in the U.S. I must admit, it was fun to make my choices in real life. Are there any more things that I should consider over the next few days? Please put suggestions in the comments, please.

  • La Roche-Posay Redermic C Eye Vitamin C Moisturizing Cream (27 euros)
  • La Roche-Posay Serozinc Cleansing and Soothing Solution (6.6 euros)
  • Institut Esteherm No Sun sunblock
  • Nuxe Reve de Meil lip balm (11 euros for 2)
  • Avene Cleanance K
  • La Roche-Posay Redermic R (over the counter retinol)
  • Avene Cold Cream
  • French Pharmacy Finds (Summer 2013)

I haven’t tried all of these yet, so I have not comments (as yet) as to their usefulness.

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Jul 182013

Bonjour from Paris! I’m just going to do a very quick post of some things that caught my eye at the local stores.  I should note that the differences between US and European releases have been minimizing over the past few years. Lancome’s eyeshadows are still dramatically different here, the French Pharmacies still look very different from the U.S. ones (I miss you Bourjois!). But many releases are twins–you may be able to find many of the goodies available on French counters Stateside (or available online for shipment to the U.S.).

Many of the releases are later here. The French are already leaving for their summer vacations, and it appears that many makeup companies hold their releases until they return. There have been no sightings of the fall collections of Chanel, Dior, or Nars (which are already releasing in the U.S.).

As this post title suggests, these reviews are just quick impressions of a few products from my sweep through the shops (not the usual in-depth type). I haven’t purchased any of these (yet), just counter-tested.

Guerlain Orchidee foundation

1. Guerlain Orchidee Imperiale foundation (170 euros):  Based on Guerlain’s premium skincare system, this foundation has beautiful coverage. It has a slight silicon feel when applied, and seems to give medium-to-full coverage with very little product. Not pore-emphasizing, this gives skin a very slight natural sheen. I wore this on a very warm day during a rather serious several-hour walk. My thoughts on this very short one-day test:

– This is one tenacious foundation. There was no sight of wearing off or shifting, despite the heat.

– Very little (if any) foundation transfer on my white hat-band despite very uncomfortable heat

– Made my skin look amazing. Erased imperfections with very little layering.

Very moisturizing. Admittedly, this was a warm day but my skin felt like it was visibly wearing a premium moisturizer. This would be amazing for dry skin in the winter. Despite the high moisture content, my forehead had very little breakthrough glow, no fading, no shifting, and no bare patches.

– The price gives me pause. What do readers think?  Is this “in the stratosphere” price point one that’s just too high to scale, given the lovely foundations that already exist? I have a few more days here left to decide (I’m not certain the U.S. will be getting this product, and indeed I’ve heard some unsubstantiated rumors that it will not).


2.  Repetto Eau de Toilette (33 euros/1 oz). According to the company, this has opening notes of pear and cherry blossom “like a cloud of powder.” There is a strong floral rose mixed with orange blossom, and undertones of amber and wood, and a dash of vanilla. According to news releases, this was formulated by Olivier Polge, who is set to take over the formulations of Chanel scents. My quick spritz was very feminine and young.  Truly a perfect gift for a would-be ballerina. I found the pear a little overwhelming at first, although the scent began to grow on me as the initial fruit scents subsided.

Givenchy Reflect Precious

3. Givenchy Reflet Precieux Voile Satine ($49) This is a body bronzer infused with with substantial glowy gold pearl. Several high end companies have released these high end versions of the NUXE Huile Prodigieuse Or (Clarins has one as well right now). Because I already have the MAC Temperature Rising version, I passed on this although I was quite tempted (the shine is quite rich and glowy).  I post this only to point out that the U.S. isn’t getting the full Givenchy color stories.  I wonder why.


4. Speaking of Nuxe Prodigieuse, the line is capitalizing on the fame of the oil by introducing new products including a scent Prodigieuse (roughly 45 euros, depending on the store). It smells precisely like the original oil, except perhaps a tiny bit better.

Diptique roller

5. I’m not convinced that I can leave the country without picking up the Diptique Philoskos Perfume Oil Roll On (38 euros) (there is also a L’Ombre dans L’Eau).  I do not get much wear time from the Diptyque scents, but these oils may be just perfect.

Well, readers, any thoughts?  Am I missing something? I have only a few precious (and busy) days left. Are there any last-minute items to get? Also note that I have a bag of French Pharmacie purchases (I’ll post about those today or tomorrow).

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Jul 102013

Chanel Les Beiges09

Chanel’s Les Beiges collection includes the Chanel Les Beiges Retractable Kabuki Brush, an adorable and practical brush that’s both purse and travel-friendly.

beiges chanel brush1

 This small, delightfully soft brush is every inch a “Chanel,” with the iconic logo on one end. Inside, there is a sleeve which squooshes the white bristles together (which enables the cap to be easily placed on and off).


This sleeve slides down, revealing the dense, short brush.

Chanel Les Beiges12

These bristles are remarkably soft and lush–truly, a luxury brush that’s well worth having. I own a Guerlain brush with a similar design.  Overall, the Chanel is much more pleasurable to use. Although the Guerlain works well, it cannot match the softness and density of the Chanel. The bristles of the Chanel are very, very fine.

Chanel Les Beiges13

Here are the Chanel and Guerlain brushes side-by-side (sleeves up):

Chanel Les Beiges15

Same, sleeves down so that you can see the bristles:

Chanel Les Beiges14

Is the Chanel Retractable Kabuki a must-have?  It’s certainly worth a pause (and pet) when it arrives in the U.S. next month.  It’s certainly selling out here in Paris (I was able to get one just as it was being re-stocked one morning).  I strongly encourage you to take a look–although I’m still getting to know it, it appears to be a brush worthy of the Chanel name.

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Jul 102013

Chanel Les Beiges01

Bonjour from Paris!  I stopped by Chanel at 31 Rue Cambon, the main store for the line, and discovered that the Chanel Les Beige Poudre Belle Mine Naturelle (Healthy Glow Sheer Powder) were on display. Because I find that the sales professionals in this store are superbly well-informed, I thought it best to purchase mine here so that I could best understand this new pressed powder product.

Edit: Chanel’s Les Beiges powders are now available in the U.S. ($57.50).

Here is the display at the store, showing the five new shades (and the brush that is included in each compact). I initially gravitated to No. 20, the lightest shade in the upper left corner.  My Chanel color is typically Ivoire/Cameo, on the light/warm end of the spectrum.  However, the Chanel professional firmly insisted that No. 30 was my “belle mine” shade.  We had a bit of a verbal tussle about it, actually.

Chanel Les Beiges03

Through our discussion, I discovered that the key to this product is the phrase “belle mine” (a variation of the term “bonne mine”) in the French name. Typically, this phrase is used to denote a natural, softly tanned color that is lighter than a bronzer and is worn all over the face.  This is the color that one hoped to obtain for a light, gentle tan (in the days when tanning was popular).  Released in the Spring/Summer season here in France, these powders are intended to be used as an all-over face color to give one a softly tanned glow.

Chanel Les Beiges04

Once the Chanel professional explained the purpose, I felt that this Beiges powder served a purpose that my finishing powders do not–that is, to give me the “bonne/belle mine” glow. Above is the slim, softly curved brushed that can be stored in the powder compact.

Chanel Les Beiges16

Here is my Chanel Beiges No. 30 powder. In the pan, it has a matte finish with almost invisible microsparkle that are so sparse that I was unable to find any once the powder is applied to my face.

Chanel Les Beiges18

Ingredient list:

Chanel Les Beiges02

Although I’m still playing with my Chanel Beiges Powder Compact, I wore it all day in 80-degree heat over my Guerlain BB Creme.  The Chanel powder gave me a pretty, even color that allowed my sun-block protected face to better match my arms and hands (which have picked up a touch of summer color).  Overall, I was glad that the Chanel associate insisted on No. 30 for me–this semi-sheer powder gave me a visible, pretty, summery glow. Of course, the Chanel Beiges is also an excellent, finely milled finishing powder, which helped the Guerlain BB Creme’s stability and texture on this very warm day.


Here are some swatches to show the Chanel Beiges powder in No. 30 (applied heavily), compared with Guerlain 4 Seasons in No. 2 Naturel Blondes (applied lightly) and Givenchy’s #4 Extreme Croisiere (a gingery tan).

Chanel Les Beiges08

One last image of the back of the Chanel compact, above. I understand that the Chanel Beiges collection will be released in the U.S. in August. (Update–this range is now available in the U.S.).

This post contains affiliate links (for more information, see About Cafe Makeup).

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Jul 082013

I received the following information regarding the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, which runs from July 19th through August 4th. Note that some Nordstrom customers will get early access beginning July 10th. If you have a Nordstrom account, the early access site is now live and can be accessed here.  

If you do not have Nordstrom account, the items are now available for purchase here.

I’m providing you with this information as I received it (I haven’t tested or seen these products in person).

Amore Pacific Recovery Brightening Set

Amore Pacific Recovery Brightening Set: $450 ($700 value): This set will rejuvenate skin, even in the worst conditions:

  • 1.7oz Time Response Cream
  • Full Size Age Spot Brightening Pen
  • Full Size Treatment Enzyme Peel
  • 2 Luminous Effect Brightening Masks

blowpro The Perfect Shower Cap: $10 ($18 value): Available in an exclusive, limited edition print, this shower cap is designed to shield blow-dry styled hair with a 100% terry liner, leaving strands safe and dry.

 Bobbi Brown Telluride Glow Collection

Bobbi Brown Telluride Glow Collection: $85 ($153 value): Bring out your natural glow with this exclusive set:

  • Smoky Brown 6-Shadow Palette
  • Telluride Bronzer
  • Long Wear Gel Eyeliner in Black Ink
  • High Shimmer Gloss in Bellini
  • Extreme Party Mascara

Cartier Declaration for Men

Cartier Declaration for Men: $85 ($155 value): This Cartier Declaration for men set offers an EDT, After Shave Emulsion and an All-Over Shampoo that will spoil any man rotten. 

Chanel Brush Set

Chanel Brush Set: $125: Includes six essential mini brushes.  Achieve any makeup look in no time:

  • Foundation Brush
  • Kabuki Powder Brush
  • Large Eye Shadow Brush
  • Flat Contour and Eyeliner Brush
  • Lash & Eyebrow Brush
  • Angled Lip Brush

Chantecaille Set

Chantecaille Skincare Color Set: $248 ($340 value): Indulge at home or on-the-go with this set, packaged in an adorable travel bag:

  • Full Size Vital Essence
  • Full Size Stress Repair Concentrate
  • Travel Jasmine Lily Healing Mask
  • Deluxe Gloss in Mirth

clarisonic mia colors

 Clarisonic Colored Mia2s: $149 ($199 – $209 value): A beauty insider must-have, pick up the Clarisonic Mia2 in fun exclusive colors, including Jade, Orchid, Persimmon, Ikat or Mosaic.

Clinique Even Better Set

Clinique Even Better Set: $76 ($105 value): The best just got better with this essential value set:

  • Even Better Clinical Dark Spot Corrector
  • Even Better Skintone Correcting Moisturizer
  • 1 oz 7 Day Scrub

 Deborah Lippmann Space Oddity

Deborah Lippmann Space Oddity Trio: $29 ($36 value): Create five different combinations with 3 great mini’s in fun, exclusive shades:

  • Baby I’m A Star
  • Planet Rock
  • When Lightening Strikes

Dior Nordstrom

Dior Beauty Exclusives: $26 – $61: Create show-stopping looks with these shades, exclusive to Nordstrom Beauty:

  • Lips:
    • Addict Extreme in Fortune ($31)
    • Addict Gloss in Merveille ($29.50)
  • Eyes:
    • 5 Couleurs Star Edition in Constellation ($61)
    • Iconic Overcurl Mascara in Over Blue ($28.50)


Dr. Dennis Gross Extra Strength Alpha Beta Face Peel: $89 ($140 value): Relive the benefits of this Alpha Beta peel again and again, thanks to this Peel Deal!  The kit boasts 45 applications and 5 travel packets.

Elemis Pro Collagen Marine Cream

Elemis Pro Collagen Marine Cream: $175 ($256 value): Celebrate Elemis’ ten-year anniversary with this limited edition Jumbo Pro-Collagen Marine Cream that hydrates skin, as well as improves suppleness, firmness and elasticity. 

Jimmy Choo Flash Set

Jimmy Choo Flash Eau de Parfum Set: $98 ($148 value): Exclusive to Nordstrom Beauty, this provocative, white floral-inspired scent is now available in a limited edition set during the Anniversary Sale.  It includes a 3.4 oz and a bonus 1.3 oz fragrance. 

Kates Essential Kit 2013

Kate Somerville Essential Kit: $98 ($204 value): This will soon become your essential kit with these popular items:

  • Gentle Wash
  • ExfoliKate
  • Nourish
  • CytoCell

Kiehls Créme de Corps w travel size

Kiehls Créme de Corps Value Set: $75 ($107 value): Pamper skin with this iconic, luxurious body cream that provides rich-all day hydration.  It includes both a 1 liter and 2.5 oz size. 

Ahava Kooba bag

Kooba for Ahava Set: $45 ($130 value): This collection includes an on-trend wristlet designed by Kooba and best-selling Ahava skincare offerings:

  • Deadsea Water Mineral Body Exfoliator (6.8 oz)
  • Deadsea Water Mineral Body Lotion (3.4 oz)
  • Deadsea Water Minderal Hand Cream (1.3 oz)lancome gift

Lancome Exclusive Gifts with Purchase: $49.50 qualifier ($142 value): With your purchase of $49.50 or more, choose from the following that comes housed in a chic embossed floral purple or grey cosmetic bag:

  • Your choice of the following skincare duo:
  • Ultime Night Serum BX and Absolue Premium BX Absolute Replenishing Cream
  • Renergie Lift Multi-Action Reviva Serum and Renergie Lift Multi-Action Day Lifting and Firming Cream
    • Makeup Essentials Color Design Lipstick
    • Subtil Blush in Rose Romantique
    • Hypnose Drama Mascara

La Prairie Age Defense Set

La Prairie Age Defense Set: $280 ($403 value): You won’t believe your eyes – or your skin – after spoiling yourself with this kit:

  • 1.7 oz of Anti-Aging Day Cream SPF 30
  • .5 oz of Cellular Eye Contour Cream
  • 1.7 oz of Foam Cleanser
  • 2.0 oz Cellular Refining Lotion


 Laura Mercier Flawless Colour Favorites for Face, Eyes & Lips Set: $85 ($146 value): Equipped with the must haves for face, eyes and lips for any occasion:

  • Palette with 4 shadows and navy liner
  • Full Size Cherub Gloss
  • Baked Bronzer
  • Deluxes of Foundation Primer
  • Full Blown Volume Mascara

L’OCCITANE Gift Sets: $38 – $80: Enjoy two different luscious gift sets from L’Occitane:

L'Occitane Summer Escape Set

  • Best of L’Occitane Set: $38 ($60 value):
    • Verbana Shower Gel
    • Lavender Foaming Bath
    • Almond Shower Oil
    • Shea Butter Hand Cream
    • Shea Butter Foot Cream

L'Occitane Almond Treat Set

  • Almond Oil Set: $48 ($78 value):
    • Almond Shower Gel
    • Almond Milk Concentrate
    • Almond Delicious Soap
    • Almond Delicious Hands

Nordstrom Cosmetics Offerings: $15.90 – $28.90: Both a great value and price point, Nordstrom Beauty provides high quality cosmetic offerings:

Nordstrom Python Cannister Brush Set

  • Nordstrom Python Fantasy Brush Set: $28.90 ($42.95 after the sale). Includes eight essential brushes for face and eyes that are housed in a beautifully crafted purple python print canister:
    • Powder brush
    • Spoolie brush
    • All Over Eye brush
    • Angled Crease/Blend brush
    • Concealer brush
    • Angled Brow/Liner brush
    • Lip brush
    • Eyeliner brush

Nordstrom Anniversary Palette2

  • Nordstrom Fantasy Makeup Palette: $28.90 ($42.95 after the sale – $150 value). Includes 92 colors that provide your eyes, cheeks and lips with everything they need for endless beauty looks:
    • 43 neutral and natural eye shadows (1.8 oz. each)
    • 32 pop-color eye shadows (1.8 oz. each)
    • 4 super-shimmery eye shadows (1.8 oz. each)
    • 8 lip glosses (0.9 oz. each)
    • 4 blushes (0.67 oz. each)
    • 1 bronzer (0.24 oz.)
    • 4 brushes
  • Nordstrom Manicure Set: $15.90 ($24.95 after the sale): Achieve a perfect manicure anywhere with this set embossed in a purple python print:
    • Faux-Python Fabric Clutch
    • Cuticle Pusher
    • Tweezers
    • Nail File
    • Nail Clipper
    • Angled Nail Clippers
    • Scissors
  • Nordstrom Trio Makeup Bag Set: This 3-piece limited edition set comes in a savvy print and is the perfect gift for any makeup junkie


philosophy Gift Sets: $50-$200: The ever-beloved philosophy brand has exclusives for everyone, from shampoo and body wash to face cleansers:

  • Choose from a philosophy Living Grace Trio or Amazing Grace Trio ($72, $144 value!), which includes:
    • Jumbo-size 32 oz Full Body Emulsion
    • Jumbo-size 32 oz Shampoo, Bath, Body and Shower Gel
    • 5.8 oz Satin Finish Body Oil
  • philosophy Microdelivery Duo: $59.50 ($128 value!):
    • Jumbo-size 32 oz Microdelivery Exfoliating Wash
    • Deluxe 4 oz Microdelivery Peel

Trish McEvoy Makeup Planner

Trish McEvoy Beauty Collections: $100-$195:

  • The Power of Makeup Planner Collection Rose: Everything needed to achieve perfect and effortless makeup:
    • Petite Makeup Planner
    • Eye Base Essentials Bare
    • Intense Gel Eyeliner Arabian Nights
    • 24-Hour Eye Shadow and Liner Quartz
    • Luminous Peals Eye Shadow Plum
    • Lash Curling Mascara
    • Instant Eye Lift
    • Medium Refillable Double-Decker Compact
    • Even Skin Portable Foundation Shade 2
    • Even Skin Portable Foundation Shade 3.5
    • Sponge
    • Petite Makeup Wardrobing Page
    • Golden Bronzer
    • Face Shaper Highlight
    • Face Shaper Blush
    • Translucent Finishing Power
    • Lip Color Sexy Nude
  • Power of Skincare Collection I: Achieve beautiful skin with this AM and PM skin care routine, at home or on-the-go:
    • Gentle Cleansing Wash (1 oz.)
    • Even Skin Beta Hydroxy Pads
    • Beauty Booster Eye Serum
    • Beauty Booster Cream SPF 30
    • Even Skin Vitamin C Cream
    • Skincare bag

YSL Set Image for Anniversary Sale 

YSL Must-Have Set: $75 ($127 value):

This kit includes all the essentials to take you from drab to fab:

  • Full size Touche Eclat Pen N2
  • Full Size Glossy Stain N7
  • Mini Mascara Babydoll Mascara N1
  • 5 ml Beauty Sleep
  • Mini Crayon Yeux N1
  • 30 ml of Makeup Remover

In addition, I received the following images of MAC’s offerings (although no prices). Hopefully more information about this should be available soon. For now, there’s a few swatches here, and then there’s this from Chic Profile [not official].



In addition, here are images of the Nars products:

Nars anniversary

According to this link, the ‘Voulez Vous’ Cheek & Eye Palette ($59) is a Nordstrom Exclusive and includes:

– Eyeshadow in Molokaï (0.03 oz.).
– Eyeshadow in Antananarivo (0.03 oz.).
– Eyeshadow in Rangoun (0.03 oz.).
– Eyeshadow in LHASA (0.03 oz.).
– Blush in Deep Throat (0.15 oz.)
– Blush in Dolce Vita (0.15 oz.).

This link has the nude-toned Nars Some Like It Hot ($49) lip set, which includes

– Full-size Pago Pago Lipstick.
– Mini Gold Digger Larger Than Life Lip Gloss.
– Mini Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Bettina.
– Limited edition covetable carry-all NARS tote bag.

I believe that the bold lip set is called Nars Baiser de Feu ($49) and includes (but please look before ordering, as this is unofficial):

– Damage Lipstick (full size)
– Damned VMLP (mini)
– Como LTL Lip Gloss (mini)

I hope that this information helps you plan.  If you have questions, please post them and perhaps those who are going through the stores might be able to find out more as we go.

This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see About Cafe Makeup.

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Jul 042013

Cafe Makeup is currently spending a little time in Paris.  In addition to the many things I love about the city, I wanted to spend time learning about French food. What better way than to learn from the best?

july 4b

Although I’m not certain that my French would survive an entire course of instruction, I was able to find La Cuisine Paris, a service that offers French cooking classes in English. Today, I took a two-hour hands-on class in making macarons.


I was delighted to find our French-trained baker clear, expert, and fluent in English. She was friendly, very knowledgeable and happy to share her love of technique.


I learned a huge amount about this complicated little cookie. The classes are small–we had  eight people which allowed each of us to get hands-on instruction. I was relieved to find that no experience is required.


As a class, we made a few flavor variations, including a delicious chocolate passionfruit and a white chocolate pistachio.


I really loved the experience. It was a nice way to create a lovely memory of the city. Also, I now have all the secrets to make perfect macarons to use when I return.


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