Aug 312013
 

Perricone MD Cold Plasma8

When I was packing for a few weeks in Paris, I was panicked over which skin care to bring. Travel can be hard on my skin–the long, dehydrating plane trip, time in the sun, new foods, and unpredictability.  I delayed packing my skincare products until the very last minute, absolutely unable to decide what to bring. I tweeted for help, and was answered with some very good, practical advice from one of my favorite skincare experts, at The Black Panties. She suggested one cleanser, two toners, two serums, and two moisturizers (and, of course, sunscreen).  To anyone but a beauty lover, the is probably enough skin care for a year. For me, this seems a sensible amount.

Perricone MD Cold Plasma9

One of the items I chose was Perricone MD Cold Plasma ($155/ 1 oz.).  I applied this every night for the full three weeks, and was really impressed. My pores looked better, my skin seemed plumper, more moisturized, and it looked younger and more refreshed. My skin glowed every morning after I removed it.

Perricone MD Cold Plasma4

When I was very  young and my skin was great, I had no need of anything like Perricone MD Cold Plasma. If your skin is perfect, you won’t need it either. But if you do wish your skin had more life, more firmness, and more glow, it is definitely worth a good look.

Perricone MD Cold Plasma7

Ingredient list (click to enlarge):

Perricone MD Cold Plasma2Perricone MD is available from Nordstrom, Sephora, and other Perricone MD sources.

Perricone MD sent Cold Plasma to Cafe Makeup for consideration for review. This post contains affiliate links (for more information About Cafe Makeup)

 

 

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Aug 302013
 

Nars Fall 2013 has a number of lip products and pencils that are an eclectic mix of colors (previously, the new Nars single eyeshadow colors were reviewed and swatched here). First, there are two new Nars Larger than Life Eyeliners. Via De’ Martelli is a chocolate brown.

Nars Fall 2013 Pencils and Lips04

 The color is a neutral matte.

Nars Fall 2013 Pencils and Lips06

Las Ramblas is a shimmery yellow gold.

Nars Fall 2013 Pencils and Lips01

The Las Ramblas is a good inner-eye brightener or under-eye liner, and is quite warm.

Nars Fall 2013 Pencils and Lips07

Swatches of both Via De’ Martelli and Las Ramblas:

Nars Fall swatches2

There are two new Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencils ($25 each). Nars Mysterious is a matte crimson red.

Nars Fall 2013 Pencils and Lips17

This color is highly pigmented, and requires a bit of care when applying. It’s a striking shade so you want get it right. We exfoliated before, and watched our placement carefully. A bit of balm underneath is always a good idea. The image below (on Liz) does not have any balm–it’s a straight application of the pencil directly onto the lips.

Nars Fall 2013 Pencils and Lips34

Nars Paimpol is an edgy “pink chiffon”–a cool matte light pink that looks really ’60′s inspired (or maybe a punk ’80′s). We had a bit of a tough time getting smooth coverage–you might wish to do several passes to build up the color for full effect if this is a shade that you love. 

Nars Fall 2013 Pencils and Lips19

There is shimmer added to the matte formula.

Nars Fall 2013 Pencils and Lips21

Again, no balm so that you can see how the pencil looks applied directly to the lips.

Nars Paimpol lipsa

Swatches of Mysterious Red and Paimpol:

Nars Fall swatches1

There are two new Nars Pure Matte Lipstick shades ($26 each). La Paz is an orchid pink.

Nars Fall 2013 Pencils and Lips12

This color is limited edition, and quite unusual.

Nars Fall 2013 Pencils and Lips15

Despite the “pure matte” name, the shimmer gives a sort of wet, moisturized look.  On Liz:

Nars Fall 2013 Pencils and Lips33

Peloponnese is a ginger pink that translates into a warm honey nude.

Nars Fall 2013 Pencils and Lips08

Like La Paz, there is shimmer within the formula.

Nars Fall 2013 Pencils and Lips11

On Liz, you can see that this shimmer and color adds a touch of life to this understated color:

Nars Fall 2013 Pencils and Lips31

Swatches of La Paz and Peloponnese:

Nars Fall swatches3

Overall, this eclectic mix has a lot of edgy and traditional shades. Does anything catch your eye?

Available at Nordstrom and other Nars sources.

Nars sent these products to Cafe Makeup without charge for consideration for review. This post contains affiliate links (for more information, see About Cafe Makeup).

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Aug 282013
 

Marc Jacobs Desire Nail Polish1

I’ve been playing with a few items from Marc Jacobs Beauty new line, including Marc Jacobs Beauty Enamored Hi-Shine Nail Lacquer in Desire ($18. / 0.43 oz.). I picked this color up during a sweep through a rather crowded Sephora on the first day of the release.

Marc Desire Lacquer box1

The back of the box has a little window to show the color as you search through the back stock. Also note that the box has a tape-shut so that you can tell if you are getting a brand new bottle (smart!).

Marc Desire Lacquer box2

Although not everyone will love the packaging style, I think the bottle shape is sort of fun and consistent with the Marc Jacobs aesthetic. The large black cap (which would be  unwieldy to hold for polish application) pulls of to reveal the smaller, more manageable top.

Marc Jacobs Desire Nail Polish2

The brush is the standard narrow style which takes me about 3-5 sweeps to cover a nail.

Marc Jacobs Desire Nail Polish3

Marc Jacobs Beauty in Desire has a high shimmer finish. The formula was interesting. It applies smoothly and is opaque in two coats. At two coats, the color looked okay and the finish dried down to a satin. This was a little confusing, given that the name of the polish is “Hi-Shine.” So I kept going and added a third coat. When I did so, the color dried to a more shiny texture and the color was much more lush and rich. All of these images are with three coats (and no added topcoat or basecoat).

Marc Jacobs Desire Nail Polish21

As you can see, in sunlight the shine and color saturates the image so that it is almost hard to capture. One more:

Marc Jacobs Desire Nail Polish23

Overall, I like Marc Jacobs Lacquer in Desire. I wonder if I should have bought a more unique color. Desire is a relatively duplicable shade compared to Marc Jacob Beauty’s Petra reviewed by Sabrina on The Beauty Look Book.  Nonetheless, in my crazy beauty blogger’s mind, I deliberately chose a standard red shimmer shade because I wanted to see how the Marc Jacobs Beauty formula compares with a standard (less expensive) OPI or the like, and a luxury brand like Chanel. Here’s a comparison with Marc Jacobs Beauty Desire, Chanel Malice, OPI Dankeshiny Red, and Zoya Blair.

Marc Desire comparisons1

After working with Desire, I’m pretty close to concluding that it preforms in a similar way to OPI and Zoya (and China Glaze Ruby Pumps, which is also in this shimmer red category). Chanel Malice is a pretty delicious shade no matter how you slice it, so let’s not even go there. Bottom line:  Unless I learn anything new, in the future I’m more likely to go with non-duplicatable, unusual shades in the Marc line as the formula seems on par with the mid-priced nail polish companies out there (like OPI, Essie, Butter London, Zoya, and the like). So there doesn’t seem to be a good reason to go with the $18 Marc Beauty shades when an OPI or the like (at $10ish) will do. Just this one crazy beauty blogger’s opinion.

Marc Jacobs Beauty is sold exclusively at Sephora.

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

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Aug 252013
 

Nars Fall 2013 Nails05

Nars Fall 2013 introduces two new nail polish colors–the deep purple cream Fury and the dove-gray cream Galathee ($19 each).
Nars Fury Nail Polish

I liked Nars Fury more than I thought that I would. This formula feels like it has more volume, so it applies a little more plushy that the typical Nars polishes we’ve seen over the last year. So, this lays down with a more luxurious feel and look. There’s a touch of red to the purple which gives the color a nice vibrancy. I can see this color going well with so many Fall colors. Below, I’ve added Guerlain’s Gel Top Coat for extra brilliance and wear. By the way, I’ve been wearing this Guerlain Gel Top Coat for weeks and I love it. It adds a good 2-3 days of wear to my manicure and doesn’t seem to dry out or thicken in the bottle.

Nars Fall 2013 Nails07

Nars Galathee is a pretty dove gray cream. The formula is thinner than Fury, it was near-opaque in two coats (below). The color gives a flat, modern look.

Nars Fall Nails1

Here, I played with Galathee as a base color, adding a Sephora Formula X Topcoat in Chaotic. This topcoat, which includes bits and bars that give a paint-splatter effect, will be part of a breathtakingly large 200-lacquer release due out in September. It looks exciting–there are lots of interesting textures and colors in this new line (most shades will be in the $10.50-14.00 range).

Nars Fall Nails3

Overall, I like both Nars Fury and Galathee, although Fury seems to be more unusual and I prefer its formula. Overall, both are welcome additions to the Nars Fall line.

Nars Fury and Galathee, and Sephora Formula X in Chaotic were sent to Cafe Makeup without charge  for consideration for review. This post contains affiliate links (for more information, see About Cafe Makeup).

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Aug 232013
 

Mac Volcanic Ash Exfoliator1

This is a quick skincare review for a cleanser–MAC Volcanic Ash Exfoliator ($28).  I love a good exfoliator-it helps my skin feeling clear and fresh. Formerly, I was using Philosophy’s The Microdelivery Exfoliating Wash. This Philosophy cleanser does work really, really well. There are a few things to think about with the Philosophy–first, it uses little microbeads which melt when wet. Some do not recommend using products that depend on physical exfoliation components (like beads, shell, or anything too rough), so I was becoming a little nervous about that. Also, there’s a minor issue that the top gets clogged on the Philosophy with some regularity. It’s not a big problem, but it does happen.

Mac Volcanic Ash Exfoliant 121

Recently, I was on a trip where I had forgotten to bring along my cleanser (I usually decant a bit, but this time that didn’t happen). I stopped into a MAC store to get the legendary MAC Mineralize Volcanic Ash Exfoliator. Perhaps you’ve heard of it. It was formerly a limited edition product that would sell out immediately because it was so popular. There was much rejoicing when it was made a permanent part of MAC’s skincare line.

Mac Volcanic Ash Exfoliator5

This product is made with a combination of volcanic ash and fine sugar crystals. It comes out of the tube black, then seems to lighten and soften as you use it. It makes a wonderful cleanser that does leaves my skin soft and cleansed. It is just as effective as Philosophy for me, but doesn’t leave my skin feeling quite so raw. I like it better, quite frankly.

Mac Volcanic Ash Exfoliator4

I like the flip-top (no losing that!) and the big open top looks pretty impervious to clogging. It works well on it’s own, or on a Clarisonic. So far, I’m beginning to think that MAC Mineralize Volcanic Ash Exfoliator is worthy of the hype.

As background, I probably own more skincare than the average woman. Is this my only cleanser? Oh, no. But I thought it was worth a quick review because I really do like it. I usually use some pretty heavy sunscreens and they really need to be removed at the end of the day, so I have cleansers galore. My routine is that I start with an oil cleanser, then I use a second cleanser (currently, this MAC) on a Clarisonic, followed by toner (more about that later).  I hope this quick little review is helpful.

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

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