Aug 032011
 

I rarely photograph used items for review on Cafe Makeup, but I was unable to resist using Burberry Beauty Light Glow Natural Blush in Earthy ($42) long enough to put it in front of my camera.  To be more precise, I couldn’t stop using Burberry Earthy after I learned to use it at a recent makeover.

When I first received Burberry Earthy, I tried using it as a traditional blush.  When I did that, I was very confused.  The color didn’t apply as a blush on my warm NC15/20 (Chanel Cameo/Ivoire) skin tone at all.  Although I’m a fan of nude blushes, Earthy left me a little cold at first.  However, an excellent Burberry makeover artist explained that Earthy is a perfect contour color of pale skin tone girls.

Of course, it is possible for one to use a bronzer to contour and I frequently do.  This tends to look best with warm toned makeup looks, or for those with a brighter or beachy style. Here’s a picture of Paris Hilton, looking gorgeous as always (love her!)   This is a classic bronzer contour look:

The bronzer (topped with a touch of highlighter and soft pink blush) has a warmth that echoes her bronzy arms. In contrast, look at the contouring on Burberry runway:

This has a completely different contour look compared to the lovely Paris’s beachy look.  Another, also from Burberry runway:

As you can see, the Burberry runway pictures have a contouring that is more subtle, less warm, and coordinates nicely with the rest of the look. Although slightly warm, Earthy gives the impression much more like the pictures on Burberry runway, not Paris Hilton. It’s a softer, less golden and looks more natural. I do not (and cannot) use Earthy as a traditional blush.  Rather, I place it at follows:

  • On top of forehead around the hairline
  • On the side, stay near the hairline
  • Bring the color in slightly over the brows and cheek hollow
  • Add a touch under the chin to define
You can add a touch of blush (Burberry Tangerine was used at my makeover), plus a touch of highlighter (Burberry Fresh Glow) on the upper cheek and around the eye area.  Here are some comparison swatches with Burberry Earthy and other nudes and bronzes in my collection:  Nars Laguna Bronzer, Mac Taupe blush, Shu Uemura M Amber 83, Bobbi Brown Sandstone, and Chanel Joues Contraste Tempting Beige blush.

 Another, indoor light:

Some thoughts:

  • Nars Laguna is a traditional bronzer (see, Paris Hilton)
  • MAC Taupe is quite dark for pale skin tones, and can look muddy
  • Shu Uemura M Amber 83 can be used as a blush (it has a peachy pink undertone) or a contour
  • Bobbi Brown Sandstone applies on cheeks with a definite pink glow and is more of a traditional nude blush
  • Chanel Joues Contraste Tempting Beige is slightly warm and pink-peach, and can be used as a traditional blush
  • Burberry Earthy is far more subtle than the others and works best on my pale skin as a contour
If you’ve purchased Burberry Earthy, how are you using it?  How do you like to contour?

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Bobbi Brown Tortoise Shell Collection Fall 2011 Promo

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Jun 202011
 

There are reports that this Bobbi Brown Fall Collection will include two eyeshadow palettes, Sand (left, with neutral to cool tones) and Shell (right with warm tones).  At first I thought that these compacts held Shimmerbricks, but judging from these pictures these palettes are tiered so that the bottom slides out.  That’s nice for travel.  These sell for $60 each, and they are now up on the Nordstrom website (here and here).

I like tortoise shell textures, so I find this brush set very appealing.  I know that Bobbi Brown’s full sized brushes are good quality, so I want to take a look at these for travel ($55 for the set):

There are also two lip sticks–in Soft Nude and Twig ($22 each).  In addition, two High Shimmer Lipglosses will be released–the names are Barely Sparkle, Beach and Citrus ($22 each).

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Apr 082011
 

 

A month ago, I offered this look inside my suitcase to show you what I brought to Paris.  Now that I’m returning, I wanted to do a quick sketch of what worked, what didn’t and what I missed most from my permanent stash.

First:  What worked? As some of you probably guessed, I brought way too much.  Like Rachel Zoe packing shoes for Fashion Week, I could have easily left one-third of these items at home.  On the road, I almost never had time to play with new looks.  Also, the culture of makeup in Paris emphasizes great skin and minimal eye color.  When I saw so many women like myself wearing understated color (except for lips, of course!), I didn’t think about deeply pigmented teal shadow.  If you’ve read Café Makeup, you already know my aesthetic.  Multiply that times 1,000, omit bronzer in favor of a nude blush and you’ll get my perfect Parisian face.

My standard everyday face included:

  • Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua in B10 Great coverage, no breakouts.  By the way, if you haven’t seen this video by Lisa Eldridge on Chanel Confidential about the use of Vitalumiere Aqua, you should. I highly recommend watching this, even if you already own and love the product.

  • Nars Maui multiple. This added just the right touch of nude glow, contour and highlight.  Liz picked it up for me before I left, and I’m glad that she did. I loved it, wore it nearly every day.
  • By Terry Eye Primer. Adds a touch of moisture.  I followed up by adding a touch of concealer on top (usually the Cle de Peau).

  • Sublime de Chanel Mascara. Reviewed here. I’ve falled in love.  According to Chanel, it’s coming to the U.S. in August.
  • Edward Bess Soft Smoke Eyeshadow trio. Hello, I’m in Paris–a nice neutral deep eye is perfect here.  Edward Bess’ Soft Smoke has a subtle highlight, the perfect mid-tone grey and a nice black liner color (reviewed here). I wore this almost every single day.  These colors look simple, but really they look extremely good when applied on the eye.  I’ll never take that for granted–it’s much harder to find an excellent near-matte neutral that makes you look luminous and alive than you would ever think.  It’s an investment palette–but well worth it in the long run.

  • Le Metier de Beaute Precision Eyeliner.  No extra brush required.  It can go subtle or heavy, depending on the application.  I used this almost every day.  Plus, it’s tiny and so easy to pack.

  • Lip Product de Jour. I liked the options that I brought, plus I added some Chanel Rouge Coco Shine on arrival.  Overall, I had a nice variety to add color to an otherwise neutral face.

Second:  Let’s talk skincare!

  • Suncare:  Even in the cloudy, grey days of March, I didn’t go anywhere without sun protection.  When I travel, I’m outside for hours at a time, and sometimes all day.   Sometimes the weather was gloriously sunny, but even cloudy days let some UV light do their damage.  Every day, I applied EltaMD UV Clear SPF 46, which is absolutely awesome for my acne prone skin.  It includes physical sun protection and seems to disappear into my skin without leaving a tint or white cast.  Because I wasn’t bothered by the paparazzi (note to self: work on that!) I can’t comment on how this looks in flash photographs.  In daylight, the texture was very workable.  Most importantly, it didn’t break me out.  I bought mine at my dermatologist’s office, but it’s also available online from the Dermstore and elsewhere.  Worth every penny.

  • Cleansers/toners: Good skin must be cleansed.  This time around, I threw in a travel-sized Peter Thomas Roth Anti-Aging Buffing Beads from this Sephora Fabulous Four set, a decant of my Shu Uemura Cleansing oil, and a decant of my DDF 10% Glycolic toner.  Perfect combination.  It’s really important to bring an oil cleanser to get any sunscreen off.

Third:  What could I have left behind? My biggest packing error was too many duplicate products.  Here’s what I would have pared down:

  • Too many eyeliners.  I had three–Bobbi Brown’s Chocolate Shimmer and Black Ink, plus Le Metier de Beaute’s liquid eyeliner pen.  I should have picked one black liner.
  • Too many concealers. I have three in the picture above, then I added another in my carry-on bag.  Really, one is enough.
  • Duplicate bronzers.  NARS Maui multiple and Chanel’s powder bronzer was one too many.
  • Sephora straightener for Europe.  A few years ago, a blogger recommended buying a European-specific hair straightener because her U.S. version had blown up even when using a converter.  So I got a Sephora straightener (which is made by Corioliss) made for 220 volt systems.  This year, it stopped working the first week–what a waste of suitcase space and money.  Next time, I’ll look at a battery-powered option.


Fourth:  What did I miss?

  • Brow pencil. I had nothing for brows–no pencil, and no good powder substitute.  I bought Chanel’s new Crayon Sourcils Sculptant almost immediately when I arrived and used it every day.  I like that it includes an eyebrow brush on one end, because I hadn’t packed one of those either.  I loved the texture.  I bought it in the lightest shade, Blond Clair 10, which is a touch too yellow for me.  I’ll be excited to see the other shades when they arrive in the U.S. in August.

  • Clarisonic Skin Cleanser. I made the right call to leave this at home.  It’s really bulky (although the new, smaller Mia might be better).  Unlike my computer and camera equipment, it’s not compatible with Europe’s 220 electric system.  There is no comparable product sold in Europe.  So, even though I was correct to leave this out of my already-overflowing suitcase, I really missed it.

  • I missed my nail polish range. Again, I made the right call not bringing more than two bottles–a clear Sally Hansen and Chanel Strong. My nails get completely trashed when traveling, there’s no avoiding it.  Still, I missed not having any nude or taupe options, or a nice clear red.  I don’t think there’s a good answer for this.  You just have to give up some things when you’re on the road.


Well, my dearest readers, how did I do?  Do you have any travel tips you’d like to share?

 

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Mar 172011
 

In the past, I’ve donated gently used clothing to Dress for Success (perhaps you have too?), the organization that helps women become economically empowered by giving access to support, career development and clothing for their transition into the work force.

During March 2011, Bobbi Brown is selling this Dress for Success kit at Macy’s for $60 and donating the entire purchase price to Dress for Success. So yes, you can feel good about getting this set.

Details:

  • A new Limited Edition Eye Palette featuring:
    • Bone Eye Shadow
    • Beige Shimmer Wash Eye Shadow
    • Taupe Eye Shadow
    • Espresso Eye Shadow
    • Navy Eye Shadow
  • Brownie Lip Color
  • Petal Lip Gloss
  • Extreme Party Mascara
  • Crystal Lip Gloss

“Dress for Success is an amazing organization because it gives women the tools and knowledge they need to look like and eventually become the person they hope to be,” says Bobbi.

For over 10 years, Bobbi Brown Cosmetics has donated over $1 million in makeup and monetary funds to this amazing organization. Personally, Bobbi herself has gone above and beyond by hiring women who have completed the Dress for Success program in an effort to empower them and give them a second chance at making a life for themselves.  She also participates in makeup lessons with the women teaching them how to create work-appropriate makeup looks, and, has one of her Beauty Team members working with the affiliates on a monthly basis to teach women how to apply makeup for interviews.

This spring, Bobbi is taking her partnership a step further and has created a Dress for Success Makeup Collection of which all proceeds from every sale will go directly to the organization.

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Mar 072011
 
30 days of makeup

I’m heading out of town for 30 days. Comments are turned off, and I cannot answer any of your wonderful emails.  My apologies.

I’m packing very late into the night but took a few minutes to post my makeup for my upcoming trip:

  1. Chanel Ombre Perlees eyeshadow palette (reviewed here)
  2. Soliel Tan de Chanel powder bronzer in Terre Epice
  3. Tom Pecheux for Estee Lauder Pure Color Night Luminous Powder (reviewed here)
  4. Various brushes and tools, including tweezers, scissors, cuticle nippers, eyeliner and eyeshadow brushes
  5. Powder brushes, including MAC 168, Chanel Powder brush and MAC blush brush
  6. Chanel Le Vernis in Strong (reviewed here).  I’m also taking a Sally Hansen clear polish (not pictured)
  7. Le Metier de Beaute Precision Eyeliner (reviewed here)
  8. Le Meter de Beaute Peau Vierge Concealer
  9. Guerlain Issima concealer pen
  10. Chanel Rouge Coco in Patchouli (here)
  11. Lipglosses, including Nars Angelica (here), Chanel Rouge Allure Extrait de Gloss in Confidence (here) and Emoi (here)
  12. Edward Bess Soft Smoke eyeshadow trio (here)
  13. Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua foundation in B10 (here)
  14. Chanel Ombre Essential eyeshadow in Taupe Grise (reviewed here)
  15. Bobbi Brown gel eyeliners in Chocolate Shimmer and Black Ink
  16. Guerlain Illuminating and Mattifying Compact Powder (reviewed here)
  17. Cle de Peau concealer
  18. Nars Multiples in Angelica (reviewed here) and South Beach
  19. Guerlain Le 2 Volume Mascara (not pictured) (reviewed here)

I can create several different looks, and sometimes even use up products completely.  It’s  nice to pare down to a finite set of beauty products. I have to remind myself that my original makeup bag, not that long ago, was much smaller and every item was used almost every day.  This helps me get some perspective-you really don’t need very much to get a lot of very versatile looks.

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Feb 282011
 
Picture 13

I picked up a few samples of Bobbi Brown mascaras and, over the past few weeks, gave them a test.   First up, I tried Extreme Party Mascara ($24 for full sized version), which I really liked on first application.  It delivered on volume and curl nicely.  The volume was not as great a Yves Saint Laurent Faux Cils, or Diorshow, but still quite respectable.  Unfortunately, Extreme Party smudged on my under eye area after several hours of wear.  This rarely happens to me, so I’m going to give this one a miss.

Second, I tried the sample size of Bobbi Brown’s Everything Mascara ($24 for the full sized tube).  This had fairly good separation, but almost no volume. Because I’m a volume-lash addict, I won’t be pursuing a second tube.

Third, I’m on my second tube of Guerlain Le 2 Volume Mascara ($36).  I’ve reviewed the regular version of this mascara, Guerlain Le 2 Mascara here, which I loved but wondered whether more volume would be better.  Readers will recall that this is the same mascara released during Guerlain’s Holiday collection, except that the regular version does not have the gold on the small wand side–instead, it’s all black.

 

The standard Le Volume 2 is all black, but otherwise identical

Thoughts:

  • Both Liz and I love this mascara.
  • It really delivers dramatic volume without clumps.
  • This gave less curl than the non-volume version Guerlain Le 2 mascara.
  • The small brush is not a brush, per se, it looks more like a doe foot applicator. I rarely used it, and I’m not sure I understand it.  I wish it was a brush.
  • Every so often, this mascara gave me the slightest smudge.  Not very often, I wondered whether it was my moisturizer or other emollient that I wore on particular days, but I have seen it happen on Liz as well very occasionally.
  • The large brush comes out very clean from the applicator, which is probably why there is so little clumping.  Having said that, the large brush must really be wiping the side of the applicator hole, because it became quite messy after a while.  Be careful handling the tube, the excess mascara that spills out can translate to your hands.  I clean the outside of the container down occasionally.

Overall, Guerlain Le 2 Volume was a big winner, based on the pure volume and look.  Really, I loved it more than another volumizing mascara that I’ve tried.  Recommended.

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Feb 132011
 

People have asked me about which makeup items I use most. Here’s a post showing the contents of my makeup bag, holding the things I use everyday and bring back and forth from school to home to friends’ houses. I also use Chanel’s Poudre Universelle ($50) (not pictured). Feel free to ask questions.

And yes, I really do carry around four bronzers at the same time.  And no, I’ve never been to the Jersey Shore.  -Liz

  1. Chanel Powder Brush # 6 ($52)
  2. Chanel Foundation Brush # 16 ($40)
  3. Urban Decay Naked Palette ($45)(reviewed here)
  4. Cross tweezers ($5)
  5. Zoya Astra nail polish ($7) – I keep this in my bag for emergency purposes.  I’m not really sure what kind of emergency would call for a glitter pink nail polish.  But if there is one, I’m ready.
  6. Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage Concealer ($28) – Too dry for under eyes. I use it for spots but don’t use it very often because my foundation is so good.
  7. Tarte Park Avenue Princess Bronzer ($29) – Almost as good as my Guerlain bronzer at #14.
  8. Guerlain Terracotta Orient Sun ($65) – Best bronzer ever. Guerlain please bring it back!!
  9. Guerlain Le 2 Volume Mascara 13 Or 2 Nuit ($36) (reviewed here)
  10. MAC Glimmershimmer in On the Town ($20ish)
  11. MAC Vanilla Pigment ($19.50) – Rarely use but nice to have just in case.
  12. MAC Royal Assets – Metallic Eyes ($36)
  13. Chanel Lift Lumiere (Intensity 1.0/Ivoire) ($65) – I love this foundation because as the day progresses, it looks better than when I first put it on.
  14. Guerlain Terracotta Light Sheer Bronzing Powder ($50)
  15. Bobbi Brown Illuminating Bronzing Powder- Bali Brown ($33)
  16. MAC Iridescent Pressed Powder / Belightful ($20ish)
  17. Chanel Joues Contraste Blush in Pink Explosion ($42) (reviewed here and here)
  18. Clinique Happy to Be Body Cream (gift with purchase)
  19. Shiseido Hydro Powder Eyeshadow in Whitelights H2 ($22) – Great for inner corner of eyes. This is my second jar and I love to layer or keep it almost sheer for sparklieness.
  20. Prestige Total Intensity Eyeliner in Deepest Black ($5) – I’ve gotten a lot of questions about this eyeliner. I wear this eyeliner in every picture of me posted on cafemakeup.com. I only apply it to my lower water line.
  21. Chanel Rouge Allure Extrait de Gloss in Insolence ($32)(reviewed here)
  22. Benefit High Beam (gift with purchase)
  23. MAC Moth Brown eyeshadow ($14.50).  From the Barbie Collection, this is my go-to when I want to do a smokey eye.
  24. Chanel Rouge Coco lipstick in Magnolia ($32) (reviewed here)- I don’t normally wear lipstick but I’ve found that this formula is age appropriate.
  25. Chanel Glossimer in Nakkar ($28.50) (reviewed here)- A red that I can put on without a mirror.

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Dec 312010
 

This year, I discovered new beauty products as never before!  Here were my top ten favorite discoveries of 2010:

1.   Edward Bess:   Which products? Well, everything I’ve tried so far–bronzer, highlighter, blushes, eyeshadows…. I love new brands, and the quality of these products are superb.  These always make me look and feel my very best.

2. Burberry Beauty:   Introduced during 2010, this full line of luxury cosmetics has been a real pleasure to explore.  Coincidentally, I’ve been able to keep up with the line through the fabulous assistance of Kristy, the sales manager at Nordstrom at San Francisco Centre.  Yes, the packaging is gorgeous but the quality of the products is excellent.  My favorites so far:  Lipsticks, lipglosses, foundation and eyeshadows.  Next year I’ve heard rumors that we should see their beautiful brushes for sale, concealers, more lipstick shades, and eyeshadow palettes.

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Dec 182010
 

This year’s Holiday makeup has been all about shimmer, shine and metal.  Several collections were quite large, offering something for literally almost everyone.  Others were narrow and theme-focused.  After living with some of my choices for a few months, I thought it would be fun to review some of this season’s favorites.

First, Geurlain Perles D’Or Metorites, reviewed here.  A surprise hit for me, I’ve used them more than I could have imagined, and will continue to do so.  No coverage, just a beautiful, glowing finish when used as an overall powder.  True love.

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Bobbi Brown Blush Brush

 Bobbi Brown, Brushes and Tools  Comments Off on Bobbi Brown Blush Brush
Dec 142010
 

When I went to a Nordstrom Bobbi Brown event at San Francisco Center last month, there was a give-away Bobbi Brown Blush Brush (normally $50) with a $100 purchase.  In addition to blogging about the deal, I called to ask my favorite Nordstrom makeup sales person, Kristy at the Burberry counter, to put one aside because I knew that I was not going to pass this one up.  Such deals are usually “while supplies last” and sometimes store events can be quite busy.

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