Mar 292014
 

Wayne Goss Face Brush Set01Makeup artist Wayne Goss is one of the few Youtuber’s that I watch with some regularity (link to his channel is here). Although I don’t love all of his advice, I’ve picked up some tips over the years and I know that he loves some of the brands that I do (hello, Tom Ford!) Over the past several months, he’s launched a brush line that is available on Beautylish in the U.S. (and internationally on Love Make Up). Here it is (click to enlarge):

Wayne Goss Face Brush Set21It’s a little frustrating to buy these, because unless you frequent conferences like IMATS (I don’t), you can’t see them in person before you buy. Fortunately, Goss does videos that demonstrate them. Also, the people at Beautylish have been sort of wonderful about answering questions. They’ve played with them, know the line, and can actually tell you about them before you buy. Also, Color Me Loud did a good comprehensive review of his original set that I found very useful prior to ordering.

Wayne Goss Face Brush Set23

Goss is self-funding the launches, and he’s putting them out in phases. His first launch, brushes 1 through 8, have been a genuine pleasure to use. They’re said to be extremely high quality, made in Japan of squirrel hair, and they act like it. My eyeshadows have a depth and subtlety that I didn’t know they possessed. They wash and dry beautifully. They are well-balanced, well-designed, and have an intuitive sense of how skin and makeup are supposed to interact. At some point, I hope to post a review of them.  For now, I do concur with some other bloggers assessment, however, that the original eight-piece collection did not have a sufficiently large face brush.

goss

 This month, Wayne Goss launched a Face Brush set (brushes 10-15) that I picked up when it went online for sale. As you can see from the above, these brushes are much larger in scale compared to the original eight. According to this introductory video, these brushes are mainly goat hair. Here’s a closer look at these five Wayne Goss brushes from his new set:

Wayne Goss Face Brush Set08

Brush 10 is a large white duo-fiber.

Wayne Goss Face Brush Set09

Wayne Goss Face Brush Set02 brush 10

Brush 11 is slightly flattened powder brush, that will work well for blush.

Wayne Goss Face Brush Set10

Wayne Goss Face Brush Set11

Wayne Goss Face Brush Set03 brush 11

Brush 12 is a dense, short, slightly flattened brush that’s extremely soft (well, they are all extremely soft). The important thing about Brush 12 is that the softness is combined with a density that makes it great for highlighting and contouring. Also, I live for brushes like Brush 12 because they are genius for softly-pigmented blushes.

Wayne Goss Face Brush Set12

Wayne Goss Face Brush Set13

Wayne Goss Face Brush Set04 brush 12

Brush 13 has a round, semi-dense, domed configuration that is not quite as dense as brush 12. This is good for powders, and general multitasker. This is the Wayne Goss version of the Armani blush brush, which has been my go-to powder brush for the past year or so. The Goss #13 is smaller, softer, and a bit more dense than Armani’s blush brush.

Wayne Goss Face Brush Set14

Wayne Goss Face Brush Set15

wayne goss brush 131

If Brush 14 were not in the set, I would not have ordered it separately. It’s a soft, floppy, long-haired, narrow brush that is said to be helpful for adding small, layered powders. I suspect that I’ll use this mostly to add color-correcting powders to small areas of the face over my foundation, so in the end I’m glad to have it. If you powder over your concealer (I don’t), then this would work well.

Wayne Goss Face Brush Set16

Wayne Goss Face Brush Set17

 Brush 15 is a fan brush. I do not currently own any fan brushes, because I understand that people use them when they want highlighter to be very, very, very subtle. I do not understand those people. Personally, I’d prefer to glow like one of the stars on Nashville. Have you noticed on that show that the supporting cast never wears highlighter? I have. Anyway, I have subtle non-sparkling highlighters so I would just use those on my “supporting cast” days. Here is brush 15:

Wayne Goss Face Brush Set18

Wayne Goss Face Brush Set19

Wayne Goss Face Brush Set07

As I mentioned in a previous post, I recently became a Google Glass Explorer. It’s been a life long dream of mine to take pictures directly with my eyes, without the use of a cumbersome camera. So, now I have my superpower. Ten minutes after I first wore my Glass, I did this video. In fact, in the first scene you can see a lot of Glass boxes and cases sitting around (as well as some kerfuffle for our upcoming move).  I pretty clearly don’t know what I’m doing yet (I’ll learn, I promise). Anyway, I thought it might be useful see see them in a video.

Watch on Google Plus:

To watch in a link:  New Project 4 (Half size)

Thank you for reading! This post contains one affiliate link (to the Armani brush)(for more information, see About Cafe Makeup). I received no endorsement, kudos or money from the Goss brushes.

 

 

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Mar 282014
 

MAC Patentpolish1a

MAC is just releasing a series of limited edition Patentpolish Pencils ($20 each), which are due at counters next week. The line describes the formula as a twist-up pencil that “instantly achieves a luscious shine with a single swipe” that stay “bright and true.” I was hoping that these would be hydrating, sheer colors similar to the MAC Huggables which I fell in love with earlier this year (I’m still using a number of those in my weekly rotation). When these came up online last week, I ordered four–Innocent (nude), Kittenish (a sheer light pink), Spontaneous (a medium pink-mauve) and Hopelessly Devoted (a soft medium pink).

MAC Patentpolish2

These are scented and apply well in a single coat, but I built them up for several swipes. They feel a bit sticky, and need a good minute to warm up on the lips before they look polished. The wear time is short (at least for me). The colors are rather one-note. You won’t find the complexity that we see in other lines in these youth-friendly colors. Although these are advertised as glossy, I found that their texture settled into a satin.

MAC Patentpolish4

Innocent went on frosty at first, but settled down into color that lightened the natural color of my lips a few steps.

MAC Patentpolish6

Kittenish was my favorite of these, which became a pretty light soft pink color.

MAC Patentpolish5

Spontaneous was a deeper version of Kittenish (if you get one, you won’t need the other).

MAC Patentpolish3

Hopelessly Devoted was a slightly bright cool pink. Swatches:

MAC Patentpolish7

Personally, I think that the MAC Patentpolish are a bit of an interesting formula. They are balm-like without being terribly moisturizing. Despite the stickiness, they aren’t very long-lasting. Of course, your mileage may vary on all these points. I found that the colors were universally flattering, but not very unique. The colors are simple in their tones–you don’t have any interest mixes of cools/warms or the like. I can see these being very swipe-and-go for the spring and summer months. Still, at the $20/tube price point, I think I’ll keep looking for my ideal summer shades.

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Mar 252014
 

Chanel Rouge Allure Charmeuse and Fleurie ($34 each/exclusive to Chanel.com) have been in my review queue and it is certainly time to post some information about these lovely shades. You can see other blogger reviews at The Beauty Look Book and Temptalia. Both are beautiful, brightening colors from the Jardin de Camelias collection.

Chanel Spring 2014 Lipsticks05

Chanel Fleurie is a medium cool rose with subtle sparkle. The formula is creamy and moisturizing. Fleurie is a color that is near-opaque in one coat, and certainly fully opaque in two. Because of the lovely Chanel formula, there is plenty of rich pigment and so there is no caking effect with the buildup of color.

Chanel Spring 2014 Lipsticks06

Chanel Fleurie on Liz:

Chanel Fleurie on Liz1

Here are some quick comparisons with Chanel Jersey Rose, Chanel Rouge Allure Seduirsante and Chanel Confidentielle:

Chanel Spring 2014 Lipsticks11

Chanel Charmeuse is a soft nude cream without sparkle. This color is slightly sheer.

Chanel Spring 2014 Lipsticks04

Chanel Charmeuse on Liz. You can see that, because of the formula’s sheerness, some of Liz’s natural pink lip color shows through. As I’m sure you’ve already surmised, Chanel Charmeuse a difficult color to offer as an online-only product. It is difficult to predict how this color will look with your individual coloring because it cannot be played with at counters. Personally, I am pleased with the color but caution that you take our swatches with a grain of salt.

Chanel fleurie Charmeuse2a

Here are some quick swatch comparisons with Chanel Rouge Allure Mythic and Chanel Rouge Coco Patchoulli:

Chanel Spring 2014 Lipsticks12

Overall, both Chanel Fleurie and Charmeuse are beautiful colors. I seriously love the Chanel Rouge Allure formula, and so both of these are winners for me.

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Mar 232014
 

It’s been a while since I’ve posted a “Here’s Three Things” post, so I thought I’d give it a try. Life’s been very busy these last several weeks, and I’m making quite a bit of progress in my off-the-blog life. At the same time, I’ve been watching the new releases with interest and should have some good things to share over the coming weeks.

1.  What’s in your baggie? Here’s what’s in mine…. I’ve been traveling pretty extensively, refining my beauty routine down to the quick. Those breakfast meetings on the East Coast come awfully early when your plane lands late the night before and you are running on California time. On Twitter, Marina at Makeup 4 All asked whether I could do a look with five (5) items. Her question made me think hard about whether I could (and should) simplify my makeup for those uber-early occasions. I’m happy to report that this little system worked for me.

5 Things

  • A long wearing foundation:  Pictured here is Chanel Perfection Lumiere (shades swatched here), which has a matte finish that eliminates the need for a powder for much of the day. Another good option is Burberry Velvet Fluid Foundation (all shades swatched here). If I’m going strictly carry-on, I’d switch to the more baggy-friendly Nars Tinted Moisturizer, which has a squeeze tube and a touch stronger sunscreen.
  • A good, dependable mascara:  Pictured here is Guerlain Le 2. It gives me a good precise application, never flakes, and leaves my lashes feeling curled and flexible. (Score another point for eliminating the need for an eyelash curler).
  • A good pen liner:  I’ve used Marc Jacobs Magic Marc’er in this picture, but I’ve also used Nars Stylo as well.  On some occasions, I’ve eliminated any liner from my bag completely. Then, I bring a push brush (like this one from Laura Mercier).  To line, I just push the brush onto my mascara wand and line my lids as normal.  This makes room for an all-purpose concealer (usually MAC Pro Longwear, which can be used for both face and under eye) and, as the name suggests, does last well.
  • A good lipstick/gloss:  Here, I’ve pictured Chanel Rouge Allure Extrait de Gloss which is always fabulous. Your taste may vary.
  • A multi-tasking blush: This Nars Multiple in Maui (or alternatively, Malibu). These can be dabbed on cheeks for a blush, and dabbed on lips for a touch of color. Another nice option are the Chanel cream blushes (some are swatched here), because their slim compact and finger-friendly application makes them foolproof.

Sometimes I slip some skincare samples, as well as one envelope of the Dr. Gross Extra Strength Alpha Beta peels in the mix to do late-night facials as I catch up on work back at the hotel in the evenings.

Dr Gross Alpha Beta Peel7

 2. In the spirit of Spring Break, March Madness, and Gifts for Grads:  The very lovely Masik perfumes sent us three collegiate fragrances. In case you don’t know, these fragrances are designed by Katie Masik, intended to evoke the memory-scent and spirit of different colleges throughout the U.S. ($39 each). These are eau de perfums –still, a little goes a long way. You do not need a full spray to get a full, lasting scent.

masik perfume

I can say that these would be lovely for a college-aged student, or a true fan of any of the schools (trust me, I’ve seen alum on game day all decked out in school colors, why not fragrance?)  I liked University of Kentucky’s the best–it was  a powdery soft floral, with a touch of apple and plum.  Penn State’s was a spicy floral with a pleasant mix of rose, lilac and jasmine. For the orange and green of the University of Florida (go Gators!) I received the men’s version, which is a bright, spicy scent with orange, musk and mint.

Masik college

Although these can be purchased from Masik’s website, Cafe Makeup is pleased to send out these exact sample bottles that we received free of charge (each has been spritzed once or twice) to the first person from any of those three schools with an email with one of the three school’s “.edu” address.  So if you’re a Wildcat, Nittany Lion, or a Gator, just leave a comment using your  “.edu” email address in the comment section. Don’t worry, your email is only visible to us and won’t be publicly displayed.

3. Get to a spaaaaaa! I have to admit, this time on the road has left me wanting to have an at-home spa day more than once. Some scrubs can feel harsh or abrasive. I was pleasantly surprised by this Farmhouse Fresh Sweet Tea Whipped Body Polish ($34 for 12 oz. tub).

FHF Sweet Tea Scrub1

Although I expected the texture of this to be grating, in fact it was very soft and moisturizing. The Sweet Tea scent was calming and soft, not at all strong.

FHF Sweet Tea Scrub3

 

The scent faded as soon as the scrub was washed away, so that it didn’t interfere with my fragrance du jour.

FHF Sweet Tea Scrub label1

Well, those are my thoughts of the day. Oh, and also in the meantime, I’ve become a Google Glass Explorer. I’ve been playing with the concept of using them to do some brush reviews to start. Would you watch a video brush review? If so, would you want both a full review with stills on the blog and video? Let me know?

The Masik Fragrances and the Farmhouse Fresh scrub were sent to Cafe Makeup without charge for consideration for review. This post contains some affiliate links (for more information, see About Cafe Makeup)

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Mar 232014
 

Guerlain Attrape Couer3

We recently picked up Guerlain Rouge Automatique in Attrape Coeur ($36), a moisturizing medium pink with a touch of coral that is lovely for Spring and Summer. Available at Saks Fifth Avenue (free shipping w/code FREESHIP) and Nordstrom (free ship, no code), this color is a pretty, wear-with-everything color that you will not want to miss.

Guerlain Attrape Couer4

This applies sheerly in a single coat, and can be built up for a stronger color.

Guerlain Attrape Couer5

Guerlain Attrape Coeur on Liz:

Guerlain Attrape Coeur on Liza

Here are a few comparison swatches with the light, cool Chanel Magnolia and Chanel Rouge Coco Taffetas Rose:

Guerlain Attrape Couer1 swatches

It seems like light, glowing color is the best look for Spring. Overall, we love the soft pretty wearable Guerlain Attrape Coeur.

Available at Saks Fifth Avenue (free shipping w/code FREESHIP) and Nordstrom (free ship always).

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

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Mar 142014
 

Guerlain Les Tendres5

Guerlain’s Les Tendres eyeshadow quad ($69) is a pretty, soft palette of colors that is similar in to tone to the light, soft colors of Chanel Jardin Zen. Guerlain’s Les Tendres offers a soft mix of a mauve, beige, light taupe, a peach and a soft light blue that blends into a pretty spring eye with a touch of sophistication.

Guerlain Les Tendres7

The texture and quality of this Guerlain Les Tendres is superb. Those who are looking for soft, natural color that is layer-able will love to work with this one.

Guerlain Les Tendres2

The compact has a full sized mirror, and a slim design that is easily packable. Swatches:

Guerlain Les Tendres swatches1

Another set:

Guerlain Les Tendres swatches2

Liz work the three lightest shade in this look, along with Nars Love blush, Tom Ford Gold Dust Bronzer, and Nars Stourhead on her lips.

NARS Love Blush1

Close-up on Liz:

Guerlain Les Tendres on Liz march1

Overall, we love the soft gleam that Guerlain Les Tendres gives to the lids. This is limited edition, and selling out fast, so if you are interested you should not delay further.

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

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Mar 132014
 
NARS Artistry Brush #10 - Powder Brush

NARS Artistry Brushes Stylized Group ShotThe buzz on NARS new Artistry Brush series is already getting around. According to the line:

NARS Cosmetics leverages its makeup artistry heritage with a 16 piece Artistry Brush Collection. From base to bristle, this comprehensive collection features an exquisite design conceived by Founder and Creative Director François Nars and Fabien Baron, of New York design firm Baron & Baron. Each brush is designed with the finest quality hairs and delicately weighted to provide the necessary balance for a professional and precise makeup application. The custom brush and packaging feature the iconic matte black finish with sharp debossed logo and signature pop of red.

FACE CATEGORY Refine. Blend. Conceal.

Powder Brush #10, $52 Blends, buffs, and diffuses loose powder for a lustrous finish. Double domed with layers of full, soft hair to pick up and deposit powder evenly.

NARS Artistry Brush #10 - Powder Brush

 

Bronzing Powder Brush #11, $52 An artist essential for controlled application. The dense concentration of soft, natural hair holds and applies product for an even, all-over glow.

NARS Artistry Brush #11 - Bronzing Powder Brush

 

Cream Blending Brush #12, $28 A versatile, multi-use brush for face and eyes. Designed for gentle application of concealer around the eyes and effortless blending of cream textures.

NARS Artistry Brush #12 - Cream Blending Brush

Precision Blending Brush #13, $26 For precision application of concealer. Ideal for focused use on spots, pigmented areas, or around the eyes and nose.

NARS Artistry Brush #13 - Precision Blending Brush

 

CHEEK CATEGORY  Sculpt. Contour. Highlight.

Blush Brush #20, $42 Professional domed shape deposits blush pigments perfectly. Diffuses as it blends for smooth, effortless application.

NARS Artistry Brush #20 - Blush Brush

Contour Brush #21, $42 Expertly angled for sculpting and highlighting the cheekbones. An artist essential to define and blend with controlled application.

NARS Artistry Brush #21 - Contour Brush

 

EYE CATEGORY Line. Define. Blend.

Eye Shadow Brush #40, $32 Deposits the perfect amount of pigment for a masterful sweep of all-over shadow.

NARS Artistry Brush #40 - Eyeshadow Brush

Diffusing Brush #41, $32 A must-have for blending and creating the smoky eye. Lush bristles softly apply shadow for a light veil of color.

NARS Artistry Brush #41 - Diffusing BrushBlending Eyeshadow Brush #42, $32 Ideal tool for applying high-shimmer shadows and effortless blending for a soft-focus effect due to softer, longer hair design.

NARS Artistry Brush #42 - Blending Eyeshadow Brush Wide Contour Eyeshadow Brush #43, $32 The go-to artist essential that does it all: tap, blend, or sweep shadow with ease. Angled shape allows for all-over or precise application.

NARS Artistry Brush #43 - Wide Contour Eyeshadow Brush

Precision Contour Brush #44, $28 The firm, flexible hair design of this brush is ideal for applying concentrated color in the eye crease.

NARS Artistry Brush #44 - Precision Contour BrushSmudge Brush #45, $28 The smoky eye artist essential. Expertly deposits color along the lash line and diffuses and softens eyeliner.

NARS Artistry Brush #45 - Smudge BrushPush Eyeliner #46, $28 Transforms any cream or powder eyeshadow into an eyeliner for a smooth, fine line at the base of the lashes. Use wet to apply powders for stronger color impact.

NARS Artistry Brush #46 - Push Eyeliner Brush Angled Eyeliner Brush #47, $28  Designed for impeccable glide when applying liquid and cream textures along the lash line.  Perfect for use with NARS Eye Paint to create a variety of effects, from natural to dramatic.

NARS Artistry Brush #47 - Angled Eyeliner BrushBrow Defining Brush #48, $26 Define, shape and fill in sparse brows. Firm bristles provide control and deposit powder for a hair-like effect.

NARS Artistry Brush #48 - Brow Defining Brush

 

LIP CATEGORY

Precision Lip Brush #30, $26  Designed with a wide, flat surface to evenly apply lipstick with precision.

NARS Artistry Brush #30 - Precision Lip Brush

As it happens, I’ve been going through a brush obsession lately. I’m just so completely excited for these. I cannot wait!

 

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Mar 132014
 

JardinCamelias2014_collection

We chose a few items from Chanel Jardin de Camelias that we’d like to share with you, to put you in the mood for spring. This collection is exclusive to Chanel.

Chanel Sakura Collection02

The Chanel Jardin de Camilias is part of a long tradition of this line to release a soft, face-brightening capsule collection this time of year. Of the items that we chose, my favorite is the Chanel Ombres Tracees eyeshadow palette in Jardin Zen ($65).

Chanel Sakura Collection01

This softly pigmented collection has a light cream-toned highlighter and a soft cool pink. To keep the color palette in the sophisticated (rather than the jejune) side of things, Chanel has added a soft mid tone grey-mauve and a deep pigmented black. There is a soft sheen throughout the shades, and an inconsistent bit of sparkle throughout the mauve and black shades. The design is gorgeous.

Chanel Sakura Collection14

Swatches:

Chanel zen jardin1

Chanel Jardin Zen is the perfect palette for understated sophistication. If you are the kind of person who thinks that most eyeshadows look too strong on you, this is the perfect palette for you. This lightest shades are a soft whisper of color in an ultra-finely-milled powder. Here is Liz wearing the three lightest shades, applied very lightly with the Edward Bess Luxury Eye Brush.

Chanel Sakura Collection on Liz1a

 

I’ve been having very good luck applying this palette with the Wayne Goss eyeshadow brushes (typically, #3). We didn’t use the Jardin Zen black shade in this picture, although it makes a good eyeliner shade or applied softly in the outer “V” of the eye to add depth.

Chanel Sakura Collection eyeshadow on Liz3a

Above, Liz is also wearing the Chanel Joues Contraste powder blush in Sakura ($43). This is a softly-pigmented cool medium pink. We had to layer it on quite a bit to build up the color that you see on Liz in these photographs.

Chanel Sakura Collection on Liz3

Above, Liz is wearing the Jardin Zen eyeshadow palette, the Chanel Sakura blush, and Tom Ford Paradiso lipstick. Below, she wearing the same makeup and singing Jay Z’s “Tom Ford” because we get sort of carried away like that. She’s also used the T3 Bodywaver ($149). We’ve both become addicted (we each own one by this point). Anyway, I think the Chanel Jardin de Camelias products look quite natural on her.

Chanel Sakura Collection on Liz2

We also tried  two Chanel Rouge Allure lipsticks in this collection–Chanel Rouge Allure Charmeuse and Chanel Rouge Allure Fleurie ($34 each). Chanel Charmeuse is a pretty soft lustrous semi-sheer nude.

Chanel Fleure lipstick2

There is a touch of shimmer in the formula.  This reminds me of Tom Ford Pink Dune, but the formula feels more moisturizing and lush.

Chanel Fleure lipstick1

Because Charmeuse has some sheerness, it doesn’t “blank out” one’s lips or give the “corpse effect.” You’ll see a touch of your natural lip color showing through, depending on how heavily you apply the color. On Liz:

Chanel Sakura Collection2a

Chanel Fleurie is a cool medium rose with red shimmer reflects.

Chanel Sakura Collection12

Another:

Chanel Sakura Collection17

This reminded me of Tom Ford Paradiso, however again I prefer the Chanel formulation (your mileage may vary, but the Rouge Allure feels better and seems to last a bit longer on me). On Liz:

Chanel Sakura Collection5

Swatches:

Chanel Asia 2014 collection5a

Overall, this quiet little capsule collection from Chanel is easy to miss. Perhaps you shouldn’t, especially if you love soft, natural colors that look amazing everyday.

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

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Mar 092014
 

Chantecaille Lip Chic01

Chantecaille’s Lip Chics ($35) have long been on my radar as a must-try. This time around, I picked up Chantecaille Amour (a pretty, wearable soft pink) and Isis (a complex mauve-brown with subtle shimmer).  These soft, moisturizing sheers offer a gorgeous colors that are easily wearable everyday.  They offer a soft, amped glow that is very flattering. They are also wonderful at moisturizing imperfections in the lips, to give a youthful appearance.

Chantecaille Lip Chic08 amour

 Chantecaille Amour is a  universally flattering medium rose. I find the wear time on this pretty good for a sheer–just under a medium time frame. They feel wonderful.

Chantecaille Lip Chic09 amour

Chantecaille Amour on Liz:

Chantecaille Lip Chic13 amour

Chantecaille Isis might be an unusual choice, but I love mauve nudes. I had read that this color was similar to MAC’s Huggable in Rich Marron, which is a color that I backed up and use several days a week.

Chantecaille Lip Chic03 isis

In my opinion, the sheerness and glow of Isis, together with the dash of red, keep the color from being too 1990’s. It looks quite polished with a nude-themed makeup look.

Chantecaille Lip Chic04 isis

Chantecaille Isis on Liz:

Chantecaille Lip Chic15 isis

Here are comparison swatches with some other pretty sheer, neutrals. On the left is Chanel Rouge Allure Troublant. I’ve also compared MAC Rich Marron Huggable with Isis. As you can see, Isis is more complex. However, they are quite close in color. Overall, Chantecaille feels even more cushiony, moisturizing, and lasts a bit longer. I’ve also swatched Chanel Rouge Coco in Avant Garde.

Chantecaille Lip Chic comparison

My small experiment into the Chantecaille Lip Chic line is the beginning of a beautiful friendship. I find these “swipe and go” lipsticks very flattering in both their color and formula.

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

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Mar 082014
 

Armani CC Cream07

For the past several days, I’ve been using the new Giorgio Armani Beauty Luminessence CC Cream (available at Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Barneys and Saks)($50/ 1 oz.). This series, just released in eight (8) shades, provides glowing and moisturizing medium-to-light coverage.

Armani CC Cream01

According to Armani, there are skin care benefits in the formula:

A good night sleep in a cream. Luminessence CC Cream is a color control bright moisturizer with SPF 35. It features a triple technology on skincare for its energizing and antioxidant complex, color for its pinky “rose glow” pigments and light for its liquid mirror technology. Apply once and the skin looks as rested as a good night’s sleep.

According to the product insert, the point of this product is to use 1) the product’s color to correct and even skin tone, 2) the formula to deliver moisture, antioxidants and sunscreen protection, and 3) luminzers to impart a soft glow. Essentially, the coverage is medium toward light with one pass (and buildable on problem areas). You can trust that Armani knows how to create a buildable foundation. In my opinion, the line is one of the best at developing formulas that can be layered and this Armani Luminessence CC Cream is no exception. The product comes in an easily packable squeeze tube.

Armani CC Cream09

I used this product as my foundation, although it could be used as a color-correcting, moisturizing base. Those who want more coverage might consider using a powder foundation over this formula to increase both the coverage and overall wear time. On application, you will immediately notice a dewy glow. I powder down my forehead right away with a finishing powder. The overall effect is youthful. Here’s a quick swatch on a portion of my arm that shows you the dewiness in very bright sun. I think you can see that it creates a pretty satin sheen without any sparkle:

Friday late13

Armani Luminessence CC Cream is genius at delivering all-day moisture. I’m not sure of the magic that Armani puts in the formula, but my skin looked young, moisturized, and perfected. With a touch of layering, the product evens out my dark patches and small acne scars to invisibility. The enclosed literature suggests that it’s nice to put a little more around any areas that you want to photoshop–the labial folds, for example. The effect makes me look rested, younger, and my skin looks moisturized and softer.

Armani CC Cream14

As with many moisturizing formulas, Armani Luminessence CC Cream is not a true long-wear formula. After about the eighth or ninth hour, I started to notice some imperfections peeking through. Fortunately, this can be easily refreshed with a concealer (Armani’s Maestro Concealer is wonderful, but any will do).

Armani CC Cream11

What was surprising is how good my skin felt after removal. There are a few CC Creams that deliver is in the skincare department, and Armani is one of the top of the list. I suppose I shouldn’t have been surprised–bathing my skin all day in Armani sounds luxurious and it is.  It’s lovely to see a company deliver on the technology that has been promised. Armani is not kidding around.  If this product is meant to get customer’s interested in Armani’s skin care range, it is working (at least for me).

Friday late06a

The Nordstrom sales associate that I worked with matched me to Shade #4 which is a bit darker than my usual. As we are heading toward spring and summer (really, I promise!), and my arms typically pick up some color during that season, I didn’t fight back very hard. For the record, during the makeover we used a highlighter on my upper cheek and it was not too much. That’s the thing about lines like Armani–they are never too much. Packaging (click to enlarge:

Armani CC Cream05

And more of the ingredient list (click to enlarge):

Armani CC Cream06

Overall, Giorgio Armani Luminessence CC Control Bright Moisturizer successfully delivers on its mission to deliver skin that looks awake and alive. I love that it has a decent SPF level, and the moisturizer seems extraordinarily effective. The color corrective properties provide both medium-to- light coverage and mask color variations well. No breakouts or clogging pores. This is designed to works best on skin that benefits from a moisturizing formula, although my combination skin loved it.  I needed a powder-down and concealer refresh after about the eight-hour mark, although your own mileage may vary.  So far, one of the best–I’m loving this one.

Available at Neiman Marcus, NordstromBarneys and Saks

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