Jan 122013
 

fotd sat

This picture is something that I posed on Instagram today. I’m starting to follow some beauty lovers on my phone. It’s so easy to just open the app and see what’s going on in the beauty world. I’ve put up a few images on my account “Cafemakeup” and found some other instagram lovely people worth following:

Instagram is pretty hard to navigate on my computer, but a dream on my phone. Basically, I’ve found it best to follow people via my iPhone app (I’m sure the platform is made for Android). Right now, I’m just playing with the format but really enjoyed the image stream that comes through periodically.  It’s opened a whole new world of makeup information. I hope it will remain active throughout the upcoming Fashion Weeks. Do you have an Instagram app? If so, who do you follow?

Face of the day is Chanel Soho blush palette, Lancome Regenerist foundation sample (Claire 20), MAC Amber Brown blush, Chanel Vega eyeshadow, Burberry Midnight Brown eyeshadow, Lancome Precious Cells Defincils, Bobbi Brown Brow Shaper, and Nars Liquid Liner (this liner was sent for review to me by NARS without charge for consideration for review, and yes I still love it). What are you wearing?

Please follow us on....

Oct 312012
 

A few weeks ago, I became curious about color correctors. Above, are the results of my experiment and some thoughts about how things went. My adventure started at a few makeup counters where artists tried an orange or yellow-toned corrector to counteract my blue-toned dark circles and the now-highly faded remainder of sun damage (a treatment summary is here).

I used to think of color correctors as using a distasteful green color and I couldn’t imagine doing that. Well, as it turns out, green isn’t the type of color correction that I’d ever need, so I had a mental block against trying any. Yellow or amber are said to be best to counteract blue or ashiness. Here’s a summary of my experiment–first, face primers and then undereye correctors.

Face Primers

1. Make Up For Ever HD Perfecting Primer in Yellow #6 ($34) This is a sheer yellow that essentially brightens warm-tone pale skin. The line makes other colors (caramel, mauve, green). The strength is its stability. This certainly helps makes my foundation last all day. I found that the color-correcting properties were modest and subtle. However, it did keep my foundation from shifting or fading, thus maximizing coverage over problem areas throughout the day. If you are already  using a stable, long-lasting foundation, you might not notice a tremendous difference.

2. Yves Saint Laurent Tient Parfait Complexion Enhancer in #4 Apricot ($ 42) is a cosmetically elegant, luxurious mousse that provides a sheer coverage of skin-brightening, luminous color. This YSL Complexion Enhancer provides enough coverage that, when used with a light coverage of a powder foundation, is a nice, casual-day look. It really gives me a peaches-and-cream glow. No, really. Like many other YSL products that I’ve used, the Complexion Enhancer seems a bit fragile. Over time and in high humidity/heat, I noticed fading and disappearing long before sundown.

Swatches:

Under Eye Color Correctors

1. MAC Studio Finish in Pure Orange ($12) I became curious about this product watching this video on the MAC website. It features concealers for hot climates (where I’m currently visiting). After researching it, I found advice that this will work to color-correct light skin tones if it is blended with concealer or foundation. I’m sure a makeup artist has no trouble doing that, and this is the most cost-effective corrector on the market. It’s highly pigmented, and would probably last a year if not longer. I found that I lacked patience to dilute this on a daily basis, I just didn’t have the knack–some days it was too orange, some days not enough. Not for me. This also comes in a pot for $18.

2. Bobbi Brown Correctors in Porcelain Peach and Peach ($23 each).  Bobbi Brown makes four (4!) different peach correctors. Porcelain Peach is lightest and Peach is the third darkest. These worked pretty well. They are not as cost-effecient compared to MAC Pure Orange (nothing is!) but they were super easy to use. They blend well, and look close to natural.

3. Tom Ford Illuminating Highlight Pen in Amber Eclat ($52) This worked best of all of the options that I’ve tried (I bought two), even better than Armani’s Master Corrector in #2 Orange. This looks quite natural and has good lasting power. I use a concealer over this.

Close up of the Tom Ford brush:

Although Tom Ford makes concealers, Amber Eclat is a corrector–so it has a decided amber-orange tone. Here’s a quick comparison with some other concealers that I happen to have with me on this trip–Burberry Sheer Luminous Concealer in #1, Armani Maestro Corrector in #2 and Chanel Pro Lumiere Corrector in #10 (this may be discontinued):

As you can see, the Tom Ford leans orange, and the Armani almost disappears in its natural look. They actually work nicely together.

Some Results of My Experiment

For face primers, I did not find a corrector which really does the job. I fell in love with the YSL Perfection Enhancer in Apricot for a peaches-and-cream glow, does that count? I only wish it has the longevity of the Make Up For Ever HD Primer. The best thing that works if I want a flawless canvas is a light concealer. As I said here, the Giorgio Armani Maestro Concealer gives me a very natural, undetectable look.  If you need more coverage,  Make Up For Ever Full Cover concealer ($32) is absolutely bullet proof and comes in a wide color range. Vichy Dermablend Liquid Foundation ($28ish) is another good choice.

For eye primers, Tom Ford won my heart. Although I use a concealer over it, I find my concealer lasts longer, and I need far less of it, wearing the correct. It just works well. 

For more about correctors, I found Goss Makeup Artist video here very helpful.

Please follow us on....

Aug 262012
 

This summer, Bobbi Brown’s Desert Twilight Eye Palette ($60) was released as part of the Fall 2012 collection. Although many beauty lovers have a weakness for lip products, mine is eyeshadow palettes. I bought one sight unseen. The palette comes in a beautiful brushed champagne metal package, and it sufficiently small to slip into a carry-on makeup bag to make it eminently travel friendly.

The palette contains a well-chosen, slightly mauve-toned selection of colors. This includes everything from a shell-matte highlighter to a deep espresso liner color. Two of the colors (top right, and third from the left on the bottom) are Bobbi’s sparkle formula, which gives a sheer wash of sparkle. Although this isn’t my favorite formula, I thought that the combination of mattes and shimmers in the palette made the sparkle colors inclusion tolerable.

 

Unfortunately, I found that the eyeshadow texture of this palette was not up to par. In the past, Bobbi Brown has released some buttery soft palettes that I still love (including this Modern Classic, which was limited edition and I still use quite frequently). The highlighter is very sheer even by Bobbi Brown standards. Most of the textures are quite hard using my standard eyeshadow brushes. It was hard to work up good pigment and texture with these.

Here is Bobbi Brown’s Desert Twilight Eye Palette swatched next to the comparatively richly-pigmented and buttery soft Guerlain Les Fauves. Although the Bobbi Brown palette was workable, I believe that you can do a little better in this season of richly-textured neutral palettes.

I’d like to compare Bobbi Brown’s Desert Twilight to the Nars American Dream (reviewed here by The Beauty Look Book), so I am going to get one. For now, I’d wait to invest in the Bobbi Brown.

Please follow us on....

Mar 092012
 

Recently, Bobbi Brown introduced two new brow products based on her natural look philosophy. First, powder brow Brow Kit compacts in two colors– The Bobbi Brown Light Brow Kit (pictured above) and Bobbi Brown Dark Brow Kit ($45 each).  She’s also just released the Natural Brow Shaper & Hair Touch Up ($20) in five colors (above, pictured in Blonde).

Until now, I’ve been using mostly either a Shu Uemura Brow Pencil in Seal Brown, or a Chanel Sculpting Brow Pencil in Blond Clair, or the former Chanel 3-color Perfect Brows powder compact (discontinued, formerly $70). My brows are full but light, and the color is quite uneven.

For the Bobbi Brown Light Brow Kit, the compact resembles the Chanel compact  (although at a much lower price point). The compact has two light brown shades, which can be mixed to customize the shade. Also included is a magnifying mirror, a tiny pair of tweezers and a brow brush with a very, very tiny handle. As you would expect, the powder is extremely finely milled, looks natural when applied and is incredibly convenient. Personally, I use the lightest shade alone.

The bigger surprise for me was the  Bobbi Brown Natural Brow Shaper & Hair Touch Up, a mascara-styled liquid product that can be quickly brushed through the brows to polish and add a touch of color. Although these products are intended to be used together, for the last few days I’ve been using the Natural Brow Shaper alone and been pleased with the results. I find that it deposits just enough color, and the wand deposits just enough liquid, to give me a polished, tamed and very natural brow. Based on convenience alone, I love the Natural Brow Shaper for a quick touch-and-go before heading out the door. This one’s worth checking out.  It comes in five shades–Auburn, Blonde, Clear, Mahogany, and Rich Brown.

Please follow us on....

Oct 032011
 

These items are now up for sale on Bobbi Brown’s website.  I’ve given a more than a few Bobbi Brown holiday palettes to friends and co-workers in the past–they are always very welcome gifts.  I understand that the bottom left sparkle quad will not be released, so we can disregard that portion of this image:

New, Limited Edition 

Ultimate Party Collection

This NEW double-decker compact features 8 sultry eye shadows and 4 flirty lip shades

plus a mini lip and mini eye shadow brush.  It’s the perfect palette for any makeup maven.

Available October 2011 from Bobbi Brown counters and www.bobbibrown.com
Price: $65

  _______________________________________________

New, Limited Edition

Cool Party Eye Palette & Party Eye Palette

For the busiest woman on your list who wants to go from natural to a night out in five minutes flat.

These two palettes offer the perfect combination of shimmer for any party.

Available October 2011 from Bobbi Brown counters and www.bobbibrown.com
Price: $45 each

 _______________________________________________

New, Limited Edition

Black Ruby Sparkle Eye Shadow Palette

She’s the first to hit the dance floor and has the uncanny ability to pull together an evening look in the back of a cab.

From pink to deep onyx, these glittering shades are made for New Year’s Eve.

Available October 2011 from Bobbi Brown counters and www.bobbibrown.com
Price: $45

  _______________________________________________

New, Limited Edition

Party To Go Palette & Classic To Go Palette

These mini palettes house three Eye Shadows and two Lip Colors plus a mini Lip Gloss, making them the perfect stocking stuffer and purse companion.

For a day and night look on the go it will fit just about anywhere…including your budget.

Available October 2011 from Bobbi Brown counters and www.bobbibrown.com
Price: $25 each

  _______________________________________________

Limited Edition

Lip Gloss Trio

Three is definitely a charm with this trio of Bobbi’s favorite glosses, designed to look gorgeous on all complexions.

The Lip Gloss Trio is available in 3 shades:

Aubergine, Bare Sparkle High Shimmer, Pastel Pink High Shimmer

Available October 2011 from Bobbi Brown counters and www.bobbibrown.com
Price: $38

 

Please follow us on....

Sep 272011
 

This recent story about Chanel’s Peter Philips’ work backstage at Jil Sander emphasizes that a modern look incorporates nudes. Above, Philips used foundation on the lips to simulate a nude lip. Unlike Fall seasons past, I’m definitely feeling nudes during 2011. This includes nails, including Rococo Nail Apparel’s Nude Wardrobe over at The Beauty Look Book and RGB’s nail collection seen here at Planete Beaute.

Some Fall lipsticks also have a nude vibe.  Like many women, I cannot wear a completely nude lip without looking a bit lifeless. Instead, this Fall I’ve been rotating some nude roses that give some color to lips (but not much). One was previously reviewed here, Burberry Lip Mist in Nude Rose.

This is in Burberry’s Lip Mist formula, which is both sheer and moisturizing. On Liz:

Another one that I’m enjoying is Dior Rouge Dior in Pisanelle Pink ($32/#428), released with this Fall’s Blue Tie Collection:

When this was released, I went back to look at it several times trying to decide whether I needed this one.  I decided that I did, and I’v been wearing it very frequently.  It’s one of those lipsticks that you can keep in your purse constantly to refresh during the day.  It looks good with a wide range of other looks, and adds a glowing look that is very polished.  On Liz:

Dior’s formula is very moisturizing–this feels like a balm to me. Keep in mind, the formula is a bit soft. Several of the testers that I saw were broken. I’ve carried mine around in my purse, and been careful during application, which seems to have worked to preserve the bullet of this very soft formula.

Bobbi Brown’s Rich Lip Color in Soft Nude ($22/ #18) is a rosy brown nude:

On Liz:

Bobbi Brown’s Soft Nude is the deepest and most opaque of this group, easily covering my pigmented lips.  Bobbi Brown’s tended to look creamier than the others, which have a more luminous finish.  I’m having trouble locating this color for sale online–this may have been limited edition or is simply sold out.

Here is a comparison of the three:

I have to admit, it is nice to have a Fall season where deep reds are not required. I’m enjoying the ease and wearability of these colors. You can always smoke out the eyes, if you’d like emphasis. I’m declaring Fall 2011 the season of nude makeup.

Bobbi Brown Rich Color Lipstick in Soft Nude was sent to Cafe Makeup without charge for consideration and review.

Please follow us on....

Sep 022011
 

Over the past several weeks, Bobbi Brown introduced a new line of High Shimmer Lip Gloss ($23/each).  I was so delighted over the shift to a doe foot applicator that I nearly forgot to check out the line.  Here, I’m looking at Pink Tulle.

Like several in the High Shimmer Lip Gloss line, Pink Tulle is formulated with a high-shine microglitters that catch the light but do not feel gritty.  The gloss is a high-gloss, and (consistent with Bobbi Brown’s other glosses) is on the higher end of the sticky scale.  As you know, sticky glosses tend to last longer.  Although I did not try all of the glosses in this line, please note that Pink Tulle has a very strong, pleasant mint scent.

 Pink Tulle is somewhat sheer.  Here, I swatched it next to the comparatively opaque Nars Angelika, the very sheer Chanel Glossimer in Blossom (reviewed here), Chanel Rouge Allure Extrait de Gloss in Imaginaire (reviewed here), and Chanel Glossimer in Pink Pulsion (reviewed here).

Pink Tulle is quite sheer on the lips as well.  Here, you can see most of the color in this picture is Liz’s natural lip color.  The microshimmer effect is noticeable but subtle:

Overall, I applaud Bobbi Brown for moving to the doe foot applicator.  Pink Tulle is an easy, highly wearable gloss that adds just a touch of sparkle, shine and glam.  It’s a perfect “purse color,” meaning you can keep it in your bag for touchups because it’s going with virtually anything you are going to wear.  Here’s a look at the rest of the colors in the High Shimmer Lip Gloss line (click to enlarge):

Disclosure: This product was sent by Bobbi Brown to Cafe Makeup for review without charge.

Please follow us on....

Aug 282011
 
Bobbi Brown Sand Dune1

Bobbi Brown Rich Color Eye Shadow in Sand Dune ($24 /#1) from her Marrakesh Chic collection is a sheer shimmery warm oyster-toned highlighter.

Sand Dune is one of the few shimmery shades in Bobbi Brown’s limited edition Rich Color Eye Shadow series (there is a light pink and a deep violet that are also shimmery). Sand Dune seems a welcome edition to this otherwise deep, largely suede-textured line, for that all-important inner-color highlight or browbone touch to add dimension.

 

Here are some swatch comparisons with some other light-toned shimmery shades in my collection:  MAC Femme Fi (limited edition, but subject to frequent re-release), Nars Abyssinia, and Chanel Lotus.  Just for fun, I added some opaque shimmers so that you could compare the sheerness factor–here, Bobbi Brown Chrome Eyeshadow in Pewter and Guerlain Sable Blonde (limited edition, no longer available).

Another, same shades:

One last, same shades:

Like the other colors in Bobbi Brown’s Rich Color series, Sand Dune is a great basic, believable highlighter shade.  Once you tell the waxy pigment that you are serious about picking up the pigment (use a stiff-bristled brush), it gives plenty of pigment.  As appropriate for a highlighter, there is a sheerness and lightness to the texture that prevents the force-field, metallic foil that can look dated (or perhaps, just a bit Jersey-licious).

I really like Bobbi Brown’s Rich Color series, and Sand Dune is a good addition to any collection.  As with the other shadows, I’ll express a bit of confusion about the limited-edition status of the shadows–all are good basics that seem like staples that can be used for years.

Please follow us on....

Aug 282011
 

Bobbi Brown Rich Color Eye Shadow in Rich Kashmir ($24 /#3) from her Marrakesh Chic collection is a deep matte neutral brown with a touch of grey.  Unlike Bobbi’s Rich Color Eye Shadow in Coffee Bean from this same series which leans red, Rich Kashmir is a brown that plays at the edges of grey and taupe.

Comparison swatches with Bobbi Brown Rich Color in Coffee Bean shows the Rich Kashmir is a softer, grayer tone than the deep, richer red-tone brown.  You can see that Rich Kashmir is not as gray as a taupe–both MAC Moth Brown and Chanel Taupe Grise are more gray.  Rich Kashmir is not as deep as MAC Magnetic Fields (limited edition, no longer available), or as purple as the deeper side of the NARS Habernera duo.

 Another in sunlight with flash:

I had to wonder why Bobbi Brown is releasing matte neutrals in a limited edition Fall collection.  Based on my experience with Rich Kashmir and Coffee Bean, both seem like great staples that are part of a permanent line.  I expect that the answer lies in the 758-page September 2011 Vogue, which seemed to feature page after page of matte eyeshadow looks.  Unlike Peter Phillips’ shimmery eye looks for Chanel for Fall 2011, Bobbi Brown’s trend for this season is all about rich basics that look deep and suede-like on the eye.

Like Coffee Bean, Rich Kashmir has a harder texture that works beautifully with a stiff-bristled brush.  As I detailed in the Coffee Bean review, this Rich Color Eye Shadow has a texture that packs plenty of pigment so long as you break through the long-wear texture by showing the pan that you mean business.  It applies beautifully (patting gets you more color, sweeping will get you less).  Rich Kashmir seems to blend with with other shades.  Highly recommended.

 On September 2, 2011, after this original review was posted, I received a Rich Kashmir eyeshadow from Bobbi Brown sent without charge for consideration and review.  I have not changed the original review since the time that it was first posted.

Please follow us on....

Aug 252011
 

Bobbi Brown is introducing a series of shadows in a new formulation, Rich Color Eye Shadow.  I ordered a few to test drive them.  Based on what I’ve seen so far, these are a mix of textures (shimmer and matte).  These are said to be formulated for long wear using a type wax that imparts rich, deep color.  My first try was Bobbi Brown Rich Color Eye Shadow in Coffee Bean ($24), a rich deep matte brown.

The texture of this shadow was a little unusual.  I can tell that there is some type of wax in the mix–I pushed my brush fearlessly into pan with a stiff eyeshadow wash brush (to be precise, this Chanel Blending Brush).  My reward was a very rich wash of color.  My more tentative stabs with a MAC 217 were less satisfying, to be honest.  When you approach one of these pans, dig in.  You’ll need to so that you can break into that wax.

To be very clear, these pans do not lack pigment.  To the contrary, once my brush picked up the color, there was a gorgeous wash of deep brown that really set off my fair coloring and blue eyes.  Absolutely gorgeous.  It just seems like you are going to need a good stab to tell that wax you mean business.  I’m exaggerating, of course, but my point is don’t be shy.  This gives a gorgeous, deep rich wash of color if you rough up the texture a little.  Pat it on for an even more dramatic effect.

Coffee Bean is a deep toned matte brown with a very slight red-purple tint. Comparison swatches with Bobbi Brown Coffee Bean, Chanel Ombre Essentielle in Cinnamon and Taupe Grise, and NARS Mekong:

One more, in sun:

I have a few more from this series to test, but I wanted to report on Coffee Bean.  By the way, Coffee Bean blended with other shadows well.  Looking good so far.

Please follow us on....