Apr 302014
 

MAKE Lipstick Swatches01a
This is one of those reviews were I feel like I’m am sharing some really good secrets with a friend. Really, you have to try the lipsticks from Make, although I’ve been reading about them on The Nonblonde’s blog. Since then, I’ve received a few items and I’m sincerely impressed–amazed, actually–at the cream, pigmented and high quality of these beautiful products. Today, I’m going to look at a few items from the Make Silk Lipsticks line ($25 each at Barneys.com with free shipping).

MAKE Lipstick Swatches07a The packaging is a sleek black tube with a chiseled bullet inside. Below is Make Maraschino Cherry ($25), a gorgeous creamy pigmented, moisturizing red.

MAKE Lipstick Swatches08a

The feel of all of these creamy Make colors is surprisingly elegant and luxurious. At this price point, these are a steal. Here is Make Maraschino Cherry on Sandra:

MAKE Lipstick Look10

Next up is Make Flamingo, a vibrant creamy pink:

MAKE Lipstick Swatches16

Here is Flamingo on Sandra:

MAKE Lipstick Look09

Here is Deep Flesh, a soft nude peach:

MAKE Lipstick Deep flesh1 Here is Make Deep Flesh on Sandra:

MAKE Lipstick Look05

Here is Make Putty, a soft neutral nude peach (just an amazing color, really):

MAKE Lipstick Swatches14

Coverage of all of the creams (Maraschino Cherry, Flamingo, Deep Flesh, and Putty) is high-pigment. We got opaque color in a swipe or two. Love, love, love the slight bit of glow that these have. Here is Putty on Sandra:

MAKE Lipstick Look04

Finally, here is Petra, the only shimmery sheer color of this group. This one is a sheer warm nude. Because of the shimmer factor, Petra wasn’t quite as creamy-feeling as the rest but it was still quite excellent.

MAKE Lipstick Swatches13

This is Petra on Sandra, over the Make Lip Primer.

MAKE Lipstick Look07

Here is the Make Lip Primer, which increases the wear time and leaves a slight nude color behind. Although I’ve only worn this with Petra, this is a nice friend to have for sheerer colors that do not have long wear time by themselves.

Make Lip Primer5

As you can see, the Make Lip Primer ($23) is a soft nude color that roughly matches a light skin tone.

Make Lip Primer6

Here are arm-swatches of all colors featured here, including the lip primer:

MAKE Lipstick Look11

Overall, Make has an impressive array of colors with a luxurious, conditioning formula. Of these, my favorites were Puty and Maraschino Cherry, without a doubt. You need to try at least one. Available at Barneys.com with free ship (no code, no minimum).

 

These products 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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Apr 192014
 

I’m never sure whether to review here-today-gone-this-afternoon collections. These micro-releases sell out so quickly, that the posts become dated by the time that email distribution is complete. I’m going to try this one with some lipsticks from MAC Playland ($16 each). We had a major photo-fest, and I threw these into the mix because it only takes a few minutes. These are both still available via Nordstrom.com as of this posting. If experience is any guide, I can’t promise for how long.

As you probably know. MAC Playland features colors that look uber-bright in the tube. I chose two that are lovely and quite wearable, in my opinion.

MAC Playland1Head in the Clouds is a shimmery deep red, in MAC’s Frost finish. It’s a little bit of glam, but not too much. This is pigment-rich, although it can be dabbed and buffed out for a really pretty stained effect.

mac head in the clouds

 

On Sandra:

MAC Playland4

Red Balloon is a day-time friendly wearable fuchsia-red.

MAC Playland2

Red Balloon is not nearly as bright as some that MAC has created over the years (or Chanel, for that matter). This rich, saturated color in MAC’s Amplified finish goes on opaque in a single swipe. Like Head in the Clouds, this can be dabbed and buffed for a stain effect. Here it is straight from the tube:

MAC Red BalloonHere are some quick swatches:

MAC Playland6

These vibrant colors caught my eye–I think they’re pretty and keeping with my mood for the upcoming Spring. As ever, with these vibrant shades I keep the rest of my makeup in the “flawless skin/just a touch of soft neutrals on the eye” territory.

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Apr 182014
 

MAC Proenza Schouler Lipsticks01MAC has collaborated with the genius design team Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez, otherwise known as Proenza Schouler. I still remember the first time that I saw one of their bags–it was the softest deep green leather. The very sight of it–miles away on Barney’s sales floor–drew me in immediately. Their style is modern and classic, very urban with an edge. They make lovely, lovely things. MAC Proenza Schouler Lipsticks05I was able to find three of the lipsticks from the MAC Proenza Schouler collaboration that I can share with you–the nude Woodrose (a creamy Lustre), the sheer violet Primrose (a lustre with shimmer), and the vibrant orange-red Mangrove (matte). These come in special luxe packaging at $22 each, and they are supposed to be released next week. MAC Proenza Schouler Lipsticks07Mangrove is a stunner, a statement color that is clean, modern, and very cool. Here it is on Sandra, a family friend who has a deep love of all things makeup: MAC Proenza Schouler Lipsticks13Woodrose is a nude with the faintest touch of pink and grey. Primrose looks like a deep sparkling violet, but applies with a very blue-violet version of Givenchy’s Liz’s Lips (or a very distant cousin of Clinique Black Honey). MAC Proenza Schouler Lipsticks06 Woodrose: MAC Proenza Schouler Lipsticks11 I love Primrose in the tube, but must confess that I was relieved to find that it applied sheerly for everyday wear. MAC Proenza Schouler Lipsticks03 Primrose: MAC Proenza Schouler Lipsticks12 Because I love unusual twists on everyday shades, these three colors were really something that I’m glad to own.I can see wearing these to add a little edge to my everyday look. These will be available at MAC stores, counters, and online sometime next week. MAC Proenza Schouler Lipsticks14

Here are some quick swatches in my backyard….

This collection is now up for sale at Nordstrom.com.

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Apr 152014
 

clarins self tanner5

One of my favorite makeup discoveries of this pre-summer season is Clarins Radiance-Plus Golden Glow Booster ($30/0.50 oz.). To use this product, you place 1-3 drops into the palm of your hand, mix with your current moisturizer or serum, and place over your face and neck just before going to sleep. In the morning, I am waking up to the most beautiful, subtle, natural looking soft tan. No streaking or orange, really it’s absolutely perfect. Clarins Golden Glow Booster is now available from Nordstrom.com (currently 10% off), Saks Fifth Avenue, and Sephora.

clarins self tanner2

When I first read Clarins’ description, it sounded like just the right product for Spring. I wear sunscreen year round for anti-aging and to avoid other adverse effects of UV light. Still, I must admit that I look much better with a touch of color. This video made the experiment irresistible (it’s also helpful to show how the product is used, and is a short 1  1/2 minutes):

I don’t notice any unpleasant self-tanner scent, although it may be that I’m asleep so I’m unaware of any.  Honestly the results are extraordinary. Clarins has always been highly regarded for facial self-tanners, but this one in particular gives the most beautiful, natural glow.

clarins self tanner6

I’ve used this most mixed with a vitamin C serum (the Paula’s Choice reviewed here), as well as cream moisturizers. Every morning when I wake up, the glow is so good. If I use it several nights in a row, I start to accumulate more color. The color fades if I skip more than a day. If you’d like a more subtle effect, use just one or two drops. Enclosed instruction sheet (click to enlarge):

clarins self tanner8

Although your results may vary, I have to  say that this is one product that worked so beautifully for me that I couldn’t forgive myself if I didn’t share it with you.  Beautiful results, easy to use, and well worth the $30 price point. Love, love, love.

clarins self tanner3

Clarins Golden Glow Booster is now available from Nordstrom.com (currently 10% off), Saks Fifth Avenue, and Sephora.

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

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Apr 152014
 
packing15

packing08

I feel as though this post should come with a warning label. Something like, “Caution–the images you are about to see may be disturbing.” Yet I thought it useful to detail at least the first half of my experience moving my beauty products across the U.S. to a new home. I thought it would be useful in case anyone on the Internet, ever, has to undergo similar project.  After years of blogging, I’ve come to realize that I’m not the only person who truly loves makeup and have accumulated (ahem) more than a few items. By the end of April, I’ll be moving out of one home, into a transitional home, and then finally landing on the opposite coast sometime during the summer. As a practical matter, I’ve got to figure out how to make this move while packing several boxes of perfumes, skin care, and fragile beauty items.

packing14

 This is my first try with anything like this–these items will be moved and stored until our new home is ready. Whether this project is successful cannot be known until later this year. In less than two weeks, I will be saying goodbye to most of my beauty stash until at least July, and possibly later. I wish it a pleasant and safe trip.

packing1

To start, I accumulated numerous the following tools:

  • small packing boxes
  • large and small scissors
  • rolls of bubble wrap in large/small sizes
  • contractor paper for stuffing (to keep everything from moving)
  • Scotch tape
  • packing tape to close the boxes
  • rubber bands for bundling similarly-sized items together
  • a Sharpie to mark the boxes

Perhaps most importantly, I had the help of Sandra the Organized. She arrived at my home at 8:30 a.m., and didn’t leave until 4:00 p.m.  She swears she took a break, but I didn’t see one. There was a lot to do.

packing03

Boxed powder items were bundled together in bubble wrap, and then secured with tape or rubber bands. Then, the bundles were packed into cardboard boxes that were lined with more bubble wrap.

packing06

Spaces were filled in with the contractor paper, or the large-sized bubble wrap, then taped shut.

packing07

Non-fragile items, like pencils and lip glosses (boxed and unboxed), were put into bundles with rubber bands. Again, these were put into boxes lined with bubble wrap.

packing12

Round, unboxed items were stacked into bubble wrapped into tube shapes. This was really helpful for unboxed nail polish, because we didn’t want the glass to hit against each other.

packing15

Another example of some unboxed items:

packing13

By far, the most difficult thing was to sort what should stay, and what should go. I’ll post again in a few days to show you how I’ll be transporting them items that I’m keeping throughout the next few months.

packing09

As I said earlier in the post, I’m not sure that I’m doing this correctly or whether there are better ways to tackle this project. My goal is simply to show you my own way and then follow through to see whether this was successful.  If you have thoughts, please feel free to include them in the comments.

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Apr 132014
 

Coconut Oil1

Ever since Into the Gloss did a post on oil-pulling, the media has been buzzing about this ancient technique. Essentially, one holds an oil in the mouth for about 2-3 minutes (some say up to 20 minutes). Just like using an oil cleanser, the teeth and gums are cleansed. Others claim that this technique actually reduces plaque, whitens teeth, and reduces bacteria in the mouth.  Liz and I set to investigate.

Coconut Oil3

The braver of the two of us (Liz) started about a week ago using coconut oil. After seeing her results after only a week, I decided to jump in. I’d heard that coconut and sesame oils tasted the least awful, so I picked up a jar of coconut oil at Whole Foods ($11) to try it. As you likely know, it’s solid at room temperature. I dig a tiny bit out with a spoon, hold it in my mouth until it melts, and hold it there while I check my email. I’ve gone about three minutes to a maximum of ten. I promise:  It doesn’t taste completely terrible at all (unless you hate coconut).

My results after a week of use:

  • My teeth are much whiter.
  • I like these results without the use of harsh peroxides or other chemicals that seems to strip off staining. Some make my teeth very sensitive. Instead, the oil seems to act a lot like an oil cleanser by washing. I’m not having any sensitivity.
  • There is definitely less plaque, although I’ll always floss like a good girl.
  • Bonus points for dabbing some of the coconut oil on the ends of my hair and pinning it up before my morning shower. The oil is a nice deep conditioner.

Overall, not bad for 11 bucks. So long as I remember to use this consistently, I’m looking forward to having whiter, healthier teeth using this method.

 

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Skincare Sunday: Amarate Exfolipowder and Sebamed Facial Toner

 Skin care  Comments Off on Skincare Sunday: Amarate Exfolipowder and Sebamed Facial Toner
Apr 132014
 

It’s hard for me to believe that I used to use harsh products to tackle clogged pores and acne. Are there people who don’t have their Sea Breeze regrets? I envy them. I used to wonder why my skin seemed even oilier when cleansers and toners were supposed to help. Little did I realize that my skin was over-producing oil because I was using products far too harsh for my skin.

Amarate daily exfoliator

Recently, I was sent two products that have helped me to cleanse my skin effectively without the harshness. One is Amarte Daily Exfolipowder ($35/2.8 oz.), which is powder crystals that turn into a cleansing paste when combined with water.

amarate cleanswer

According to the company:

Daily ExfoliPowder® helps you discover your true beauty with a refined, plant seed-based exfoliant that removes dry skin and reveals the smooth, radiant face beneath. This Wonder Wash is delicate enough for daily use so you can always be your spectacular self.

aramate 4

I was surprised to find that this gentle cleansing powder seemed to remove all of my makeup. It felt as gentle as a cleanser as I’ve ever used. Once I mixed the powder with water, there was no scratchiness, stinging, or roughness.

Amarate powder cleanser 4

I also love fact that a powder can be packed for travel, as this cleanser doesn’t start out as a liquid. Overall, thumbs up on this one.

seba 3

The other item is Sebamed Deep Cleansing Toner ($14/5 ounces). Although this does contain alcohol as a second ingredient, the product advertises a 5.5 ph. It feels as comfortable as water, and there is no stinging.

seba md 1

According to the line, the product “offers antibacterial action and is therefore extremely effective in preventing the developement of pimples. Panthenol encourages skin regeneration and hamamelis soothes it. Silk proteins and allantoin act as moisturizers.” Overall, this is a rather nice toner that feels gentle and seems effective.

Ingredients for Amarte Daily Exfoliopowder:  water, Zea mays (corn) starch, sodium cocoyl isethionate, sodium lauroyl aspartate, titanium dioxide, Phaseolus radiatus seed extract, Oryza sativa (rice) bran extract, Triticum vulgare (wheat) bran extract, Salix alba (willow) bark extract, Pinus densiflora (pine) extract, pearl powder, arbutin, genistein, elemental sulfur, dipotassium glycyrrhizate, sodium palmitate, phenoxyethanol
Fragrance: summer fruit

Ingredients for Sebamed Facial Toner: Water, Alcohol, Panthenol (Vitamin B5), Polysorbate 20, Glycerin, Propylene Glycol, Sodium Lactate, Allantoin, Hammamelis virginiana bark/leaf/twig extract, Hydrolyzed Silk, Cucumis sativus fruit extract, Hydroxypropyl Oxidized Starch PG-Trimonium Chloride, Urea, Caramel, Fragrance (Parfum), Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Levulinic Acid, p-Anisic Acid, Cl 42090.

These products were sent to Cafe Makeup without charge for consideration for review.

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Skincare Sunday: Le Mieux Collagen Peptide Serum

 Skin care  Comments Off on Skincare Sunday: Le Mieux Collagen Peptide Serum
Apr 132014
 

Le Mieux 1

Le Mieux Collagen Peptide Serum ($85/1.7 ounce) is described as a moisturizing serum which is designed to address hydration, even skin tone, boost collagen, and fight free radical damage.

Skincare Sunday03

This product, which is intended for twice-a-day use, applies a bit like Chanel’s Hydramax serum–it’s a lightly hydrating gel that leaves skin feeling fresh all day. It’s quite lovely, actually, especially when I extend it’s use down to my neck and décolletage. There’s a restorative quality to the product. As The Nonblonde said in her review, this is lovely to use after a face mask or peel.

Skincare Sunday05

Le Mieux Collagen Peptide Serum is intended for purchase by professionals (see the Le Mieux website).

This product was sent to Cafe Makeup without charge for consideration for review.

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Apr 132014
 

Nelson J Argan Oil Hair1

I was sent this set of Nelson j. Beverly Hills Argan Oil 7 Shampoo and Argan Oil 7 Moisture Healing Mask ($22/$20 respectively). According to his website, Nelson j. is a stylist to the stars who believes in natural hair care products that deliver. Both are wonderful for my colored hair, leaving it feeling soft and healthy. Because I color my hair, and because the water in the region where I live is not very good (despite the care and feeding of a water softener), I’m constantly battling the War on Frizz.

Nelson J Argan Oil Hair2

The Nelson j. Argan Oil 7 Shampoo is an argan and coconut creamy liquid, that cleans, protects color, moisturizes and enhances shine. I actually love using it–it does leave my hair de-frizzed, shiny, soft and there is zero color fading. It feels great, and makes my hair feel great too. The cleansing is thorough, but my hair doesn’t feel stripped. For me, this was a big win.

Nelson J Argan Oil Hair3

I also loved the Argan Oil 7 Moisture Healing Mask. I used the coconut scented version, which was really pleasantly scented. The texture is a cream, which does not require much to work. When used with the shampoo, I got really good results–soft, shiny hair. What more can I ask?

Overall, this is a really nice combination. I liked this more than some other shampoos that I’ve tried in this same (and lower) price range. If you see these nearby, they are worth a look.

Ingredients for shampoo:  Water (Aqua), Cetearyl Alcohol (Derived from Coconut), Dimethicone (Derived from Volcano Rock), Decyl Glucoside (Derived from Sugar), Argania Spinosa Seed Oil, Glycerin (Veg and Coconut Oils), Stearalkonium Chloride (Plants Derived), Behentrimonium Methosulfate (Rapseed Oil), Orange Oil, Pepper Mint, Cetearyl Alcohol (Derived Coconut), Cetearyl Alcohol (Derived Coconut), Dicetyl Phosphate (Derived from Coconut), Glyceryl Stearate (Derived from Rapseed Oil), PEG-100 Stearate (Derived from Palm Oil), Panthenol (Vitamin B5), Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein PG-Propyl Silanetriol (Plants Derived), Beads, Hydroxyethylcellulose (Plants Derived), Phenoxyethanol (Plants Derived), Beads, Hydroxyethylcellulose (Plants Derived), Phenoxyethanol (Plants Derived), Ethylhexylglycerin (Vegetable Derived).

Ingredients for Moisture Healing Mask: Water (Aqua), Cetyl Alcohol (Derived from Coconut), Amodimethicone (Derived from Volcano Rock), Cetrimonium Bromide, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Butter, Argania Spinosa Seed Oil, Hydrogenated Jojoba Oil, Cyclopentasiloxane (Derived from Volcano Rock), Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Ethylhexyl Stearate (Plants Oil), Tocepheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Citrus Acid, Jojoba Crystal, Dimethicone, Scent, Phenoxyethanol (Plants Derived), Ethylhexylglycerin (Vegetable Derived), Yellow 11 and Red 17.

These items were sent to Cafe Makeup without charge for consideration for review.

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Skincare Sunday: Boots Lift and Luminate Day & Night Serum

 Uncategorized  Comments Off on Skincare Sunday: Boots Lift and Luminate Day & Night Serum
Apr 132014
 

Boots No 7 Lift & Luminze

I was sent pres samples of the Boots Lift & Luminate Day & Night Serum (available at Target/Boots for $24.99 for both). As you might already know, Boots skincare has a history of challenging the luxury incumbents.For some of this history, take a look at this article from the Daily Mail UK: “The £19 anti-wrinkle cream set to cause a stampede at Boots after scientists claim it DOES actually work.” When I got an email that Boots was at it again, I agreed to test the product.

Boots Lift & Luminate9

This is an anti-aging duo meant to address wrinkles, lack of firmness, and uneven skin tone. They day serum is designed to brighten, smooth, and firm. The night serum exfoliates.

Boots Lift & Luminate8

I found that these lightweight, pleasant and non-irritating. Although I didn’t notice any immediate effect, after two weeks, my skin started looking brighter, more even-toned, and smoother. For this price point, this is an impressive product.

Boots Lift & Luminate 3

Although waiting for visible results takes patience, I was happy to see that this duo delivers. It’s nice to see an effective product at a good price point.

Ingredients:

Day serum: aqua (water, eau), cyclopentasiloxane, glycerin, dimethicone crosspolymer, butylene glycol, isononyl isononanoate, C12-15 alkyl benzoate, actinidia chinensis (Kiwi) fruit water, octyldodecanol, acrylamide/ammonium acrylate copolymer, sodium ascorbyl phosphate, dipalmitoyl hydroxyproline, silica, polyisobutene, PEG-30 dipolyhydroxystearate, octyldodecyl xyloside, phenoxyethanol, alcohol, retinyl palmitate, parfum (fragrance), polysorbate 20, methylparaben, sorbitan isostearate, propylene glycol, ethylparaben, tetrasodium EDTA, lupinus albus seed extract, carbomer, sophora angustifolia root extract,panax ginseng root extract, ascorbic acid, dipropylene glycol, morus alba leaf extract, tocopherol, ethylexylglycerin, palmitoyl oligopeptide, palmytol tetrapeptide-7, CI77891 (titanium dioxide), CI 77491 (iron oxides)

Night serum: aqua (water, eau), glycerin, cyclopentasiloxane, butylene glycol, aluminium starch octenylsuccinate, isononyl isononanoate, glyconolactone, dimethicone, amonium acryloyldimethyltaurate,/VP copolymer, dipalmitoyl hydroxyproline, cetearyl alcohol, ascorbyl glucoside, potassium hydroxide, dimethicone crosspolymer, actinidia chinensis (kiwi) fruit water, phenoxyethanol, polysorbate 20, xanthan gum, dimethiconol, retinyl palmitate, parfum (fragrance), alcohol, methylparaben, ethylparaben, tetrasodium EDTA, lupinus albus seed extract, T-butyl alcohol, carbomer, dipropylene glycol, sophora angustifolia root extract, ascorbic acid, tocopherol, ethylhexylglycerin, palmitoyl oligopeptide, palmitoyl tetrapeptide-7

This was sent to Cafe Makeup without charge for consideration for review.

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