Jun 012014
 

Dior My Lady Blushes1aThis summer, Dior’s My Lady Glowing Blush Palettes ($60 each/0.35 oz.) have been remarkably hard to get. In two colors, 002 Pink and 003 Coral, these are both intricacy etched, finely milled, and beautifully formulated.

Dior My Lady Blushes2aI was able to order mine from a Dior boutique, and I noticed today that both are up for sale on Saks.com. Probably Dior’s most stunning pieces from a gorgeously successful beauty season, these are well worth a look. Packed with mini-kabuki brushes, they both offer a lovely combination of colors that blend into a beautiful, glowing, natural wash of color. Here is Dior My Lady #002 Pink, which applies as a soft cool violet-pink. Love the signature Dior Cannage etching:

My Lady Blush 002a

Here is Dior My Lady #003 Coral, which is a warm, gorgeous soft red-coral.

Dior My Lady Blushes4a

Here are some quick swatches of both (these are the best I can do in my on-the road shooting conditions right now:

Dior My Lady Blushes5a

So beautiful! I wanted to do a very fast post so that you could get them while these are now available.

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Apr 082014
 

Houglass Ambient blushes01

It’s Cafe Makeup’s turn to have some fun with the Hourglass Ambient Blushes ($35 each). I’ve been playing with four of the shades—Hourglass Radiant Magenta, Mood Exposure, Luminous Flush, and Diffused Heat. These blushes are available at Net-A-PorterBarneys New York, and Sephora.

Houglass Ambient blushes05

These soft shimmery blushes are gorgeous in their pans. The swirls of luminous highlighter and color look absolutely gorgeous, and it’s sort of fun to swirl a brush on these and find out the actual color that they give. Above are Radiant Magenta, Mood Exposure, Luminous Flush. Below is Diffused Heat.

Houglass Ambient blushes11

Because of their swirling pattern, no two blushes will be the same–even if their actual name is the same. Below are two different Radiant Magenta’s, and you can see that their swirl pattern is completely different.

Houglass Ambient blushes04

I’ve found that applying these to properly moisturized skin topped with a luminous foundation gives a gorgeous look. Although some have reported short lasting power, I didn’t find that to be the case with my skin and the colors that I tried. However, I did notice that one has to go slowly with these and build.  Specifically, when applying you might find that your brush is giving you very light pigmentation with these blushes. Then suddenly you add an extra layer and—voila!–maybe too much?  Then I had to powder down a bit. So I find that it is best to use a light hand and layer, holding back a bit from a heavy, over-confident amount that can become a bit too bright.

Houglass Ambient blushes03

Of the six shades that are in the current release, I think that I might have been happy with three total. I adore Hourglass Mood Exposure for natural, softly shimmered look.

Houglass Ambient blushes07

I am also very glad to have Hourglass Radiant Magenta. I love this softly bright pink color, and cool pinks can be so flattering.

Houglass Ambient blushes06

Of the remaining two, I could have gotten by with either Luminous Flush or Diffused Heat. Luminous Flush is pictured below.

Houglass Ambient blushes08

Diffused Heat looks very different in the pan, but applies in the same color family.

Houglass Ambient blushes10

Swatches of all four shades, taken in the light day sun with flash:

Hourglass ambient Blush swatches1

Another:

Hourglass ambient Blush swatches7

My son’s friend, Yoojin, dropped by to play with some of the Cafe Makeup vault one recent afternoon. I must admit, we had fun. Here, Yoojin is wearing Hourglass Mood Exposure on cheeks, a very light dab of Estee Lauder Sculpting Lipstick in Intense Nude, and the Narsissist Palette (still available at Sephora, Nordstrom, as well as at Saks). You can see that Hourglass Mood Exposure can give a very natural, subtle, sophisticated look.

Hourglass Mood Blush applied2

One more, where you can see her cheek becomes a bit illuminated due to the subtle glow of the Hourglass Ambient blush:

Hourglass Mood Blush applied1b

Overall, I’ve been using and loving these blushes. Hourglass has captured some very pretty colors together with a touch of glow that is really very well done.

Hourglass provided Radiant Magenta to Cafe Makeup without charge for consideration for review. The other colors were purchased by me. This post contains affiliate links (for more information, see About Cafe Makeup).

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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.

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Feb 262014
 

Nars Matte Multiples Full20 copy

Hallelujah! These beautiful Nars Matte Multiples ($39/.026 oz.) have just arrived and they are a beautiful addition to the makeup world. These versatile, well-formulated products are a dream to work with. In seven colors, I completely agree with Beautezine’s conclusion, “good luck choosing just one.” Depending on your skin tone, I suspect that many will want several.

Nars Matte Multiple poster format

I can tell that this is a completely new formulation, unlike anything that I’ve seen before. One of the best features of these is their softness, even when slightly warm they apply beautifully and can be blended into foundation, highlighter, and each other. The fact that these are designed to be used by working makeup artists certainly shows in their ease of use.  Their matte texture provides a very natural touch of color, and the variable pigmentation allows one to use these for a very natural “almost no makeup” look. If you like, you can use them to get strong color for a high glamour effect (adding a seperate highlighter if you wish).

Nars Matte Multiples1

These are packed in the traditional matte-black tubes used by NARS, although with a slightly slimmer tube  (these have 0.26 ounces of product, while most traditional Multiples seem to have around 0.50 ounces). I suspect that part of the reason for the narrower tube is the softness of the texture–these seem softer than many of the Multiples in my arsenal. The  Nars Matte Multiples apply with the most pigment when used dry, and soften down to a water-color like stain when used wet.

Now, shall we talk about the colors?  Yes, yes, yes….

Nars Matte Multiples Full18 all colors brighter

 The four colorful shades are Siam, Laos, Exumas and Anguilla.

Nars Matte Multiples Full17 colors lighter

Siam is a highly-pigmented bright, warm red. Of all, Siam packs the most color in the smallest atom of product. Although this can be blended, those with lighter skin who are looking for a more natural effect must use this one wet. If you want a full-on power red, use Siam dry.

Nars Matte Multiples Full02 Siam

One of my very favorite colors is Laos, a go-with-everything soft rose pink. This crowd-pleasing color is perfect for almost any occasion.

Nars Matte Multiples Full05 copy

Exumas leans towards a soft, neutral peach.

Nars Matte Multiples Full03 Exumas

Anguilla is a very light, soft cool pink. This has the softest pigmentation of all of the seven Nars Matte Multiples. Those with very light skin will see this as a blush. Those with darker skin could use this to add a light soft pink to the upper planes of the face.

Nars Matte Multiples Full08 Anguilla

All four of these shades are watched dry:

Nars Matte Multiples Full33

In this picture, below, I blended out all of the same swatches that you see on the image above. As you can see, the three on the left blend out very nicely. Siam’s high pigmentation really shows here–you do not need much of Siam to get a large splash of color.

Nars Matte Multiples Full36

These four colors are much more subtle when applied wet. Here, I’ve applied the same colors with a wet Chanel foundation brush. You can see that Siam retains much of its vibrant color. The others are much more soft, creating an almost watercolor effect.

Nars matte multiples applied wet and blended

The nude shades are Altai, Cappadoce and Vientiane.

Nars Matte Multiples Full15 nudes brighter

 Altai is a soft, light bronze.

Nars Matte Multiples Full10 Altai Altai

Cappadoce is a milk chocolate color, a medium bronze.

Nars Matte Multiples Full11 edt Cappadoce

Vientiane is quite similar to Cappadoce. When sheered out, Vientiane has a slightly more espresso color and a touch of olive.

Nars Matte Multiples Full27 vientiane

Here are Altai, Cappadoce, and Vientiane applied dry:

Nars Matte Multiples Full28 swatches nudes

Here are the same three shades blended out:

Nars Matte Multiples Full30 blended faenudes

Here are the three shades applied with a wet Chanel foundation brush:

Nars matte multiple nudes wet blended

Just for fun, Liz tried out Nars Matte Multiple in Laos together with Tom Ford Summer Fling blotted lightly on lips.

Liz wearing Nars Laos

Here is Liz wearing Exumas:

Nars multiples on liz8

Overall, we recommend NARS Matte Multiples. Wonderful, versatile formula. Thoughtful color choice range. Easily packable, highly workable. Our favorites were Laos, Exumas and Altai.

Nars Matte Multiples are available at Sephora and Nars online (as well as Nars boutiques). These will soon be available everywhere.

Nars provided samples of the matte multiples without charge for consideration for review. This post contains affiliate links (for more information, see About Cafe Makeup).

 

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Feb 212014
 

NARS Matte Multiple Campaign Image - jpeg

It was dark when I came home from dinner to find the NARS Matte Multiples ($39 each) had arrived. Although it’s too dark to take proper swatch pictures, I thought it would be useful to post a few pictures of the collection for you.

Nars Matte Multiples another1 copy

The colors are:

  • ANGUILLA Ginger pink
  • EXUMAS Pink apricot
  • SIAM Poppy red
  • LAOS Rose coral
  • ALTAI Rose bronze
  • VIENTIANE Copper bronze
  • CAPPADOCE Golden bronze

Nars Matte Multiples1

These are currently up for sale on Sephora.com, Nars online site (and Nars Boutiques), and will be available elsewhere soon.

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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