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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

 

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