May 112010

Sometimes I wish I had more time than I do.  Here is something that I threw together the other day, which seemed fairly foolproof for a fast five minute face.  In addition to foundation, I used:

  • Yves Saint Laurent Faux Cils mascara
  • La Ligne de Chanel eyeliner duo in Brun-Lame (directions for application are here)
  • MAC Painterly Paint Pot as an eyeshadow base
  • Bobbi Brown Chrome Eyeshadow in Pewter as a simple lid wash
  • Bobbi Brown Shimmer Blush in Bahama Brown
  • Gloss Fluo de Chanel in Laser, reviewed here

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Easy Summer Look

 Bobbi Brown, Chanel, Guerlain  Comments Off on Easy Summer Look
May 102010

Spring is turning slowly into summer where I live–sometimes our weather will seem warm, while others (like today) there is a grey rain with the attendant cloud cover.  Summer brings some of my favorite months, and so I’m impatient for it to arrive.  To get me in the mood, here is an easy summer look that I wore over the weekend:

  • Avene Emulsion 50+ Sunscreen
  • Guerlain Terracotta Tinted Moisturizer in Blondes (this is truly moisturizing–I wish Guerlain made this in an everyday version) reviewed here.
  • Chanel Joues Contraste Blush in In Love – reviewed here
  • Chanel Aqualumiere Gloss in Bondi – reviewed here
  • Bobbi Brown Gel Eyeliner in Espresso Ink, topped with Guerlain’s Terracotta Eye Kohl in Mirage (reviewed here)
  • Yves Saint Laurent Faux Cils mascara
  • RMS Beauty eyeshadow in Lunar (reviewed here).  This was a sample that I got gratis from the Spirit Beauty Lounge, but I recently discovered that similar samples can be purchased quite cheaply at this link.

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Apr 292010

I’m going to try a new feature—to post some ideas for how some of the makeup can be worn together.  For a first start, I’m going to try this bronzy-neutral look that I’ve been loving lately.  For this, I’m using Guerlain’s Brun Mordore Eyeshadow Quad ($59, on together with Guerlain’s Terracotta Pearly Bronzer in Orient Sun, which was a limited edition product that acts as both a bronzer and a blush.

I’ve been combining these with a deep matte brown eyeliner, here Bobbi Brown’s Espresso Ink Gel Eyeliner ($21).  In addition, I’ve been using Chanel’s Aqualumiere lipstick in Bondi ($28.50), topped with Chanel’s Aqualumiere Gloss in Bondi Beach ($27).

Here’s are some closer swatches:

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Apr 082010

Believe it or not, the picture below is actually  in full color.  No, I’m not kidding–these are my favorite gray eyeshadows.  No brown, no taupe, no green, no white, no kidding.  Just straight grays, which can be both very striking and easy to wear.  I tried to stay away from silvers, but some shimmery grays sneak into silver, so I’m not sure that I succeeded.

These are eyeshadows that I’ve collected over the years, and you will see some limited edition and “old school” Bobbi Brown packaging.  There are a few more that I might add, such as Chanel Silvery, but I’m mentally preparing for a Chanel Eyeshadow single marathon in a few weeks so I thought I’d do it then.

  • Absolute favorite:  Make Up For Ever #145 is a shimmery luminous gray that adds light to my lids.  It’s a sweep-on and look-polished color, and looks really nice with black liner.
  • Second favorite:  MAC Swan Lake was sold with the Danse collection a few years ago.  I find this the most similar to Make Up For Ever’s #145, but it has a bit more pigment and shimmer.
  • Two classics from Bobbi Brown:  Steel, a deep matte grey and Sterling, a light gray shimmerwash, look great together
  • MAC’s Softwashed is a shimmery dark gray that borders on silver, but it’s so beautiful I had to include it
  • Lorac Dreamy has an amazing pigmentation and color, although it can look a little blue when applied to my warm coloring.

Here are individual swatches:

Do you have any favorite grays?  What do you recommend?

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Mar 222010

Bobbi Brown’s Bonfire Palette ($60) is a part of the just released limited edition Color Strips collection.  When I travel, I’ve gotten into the habit of taking along one or more Bobbi Brown palette from her previous collection, usually Stonewashed Nudes for its versatility and compactness.  When I saw the new Color Strips palettes, I knew that the design would be perfect for future trips.  I’ve previously reviewed the Aquamarine palette from this collection– which, although I liked the design of the palette, did not include colors that seemed to work for me.

The Bonfire palette was the combination that is ideal for me.  The combination of products included–3 pot rouge cheek/lip colors and 5 powder eyeshadows–offers everything that I was looking for in an ingeniously-designed palette.  As with the other Color Strips palettes, the Bonfire palette is made to reveal the pot rouges in the most accessible place for quick on-the-go lip touch ups.  While accessing the pot rouges, which are covered with a clear plastic cover, the eyeshadows stay safely stowed in the lid.

Flipping open the mirrored lid reveals the five warm eyeshadow colors that range from the matte Bone highlighter to the deep black liner in Caviar:

The eyeshadows are likewise protected with a cover.  As with the Aquamarine palette, the folding/unfolding works well and Bonfire seems sturdily engineered.  It’s tiny enough to perch on the most inconvenient sink or your knee if necessary.  A tiny somewhat-usable brush is included for emergencies.

Inside are gorgeous pot rouge shades:

  • Tawny, a peach-brown nude
  • Fresh Melon, a glowy peach with a touch of pink
  • Calypso Coral, my new favorite face-brightening coral that was previously reviewed here.  Seriously beautiful.

Here are swatches of the pot rouges in the same order:

The five eyeshadows included are:

  • Bone, a pigmented matte neutral cream color
  • Cafe Creme, a sparkling taupe that has plenty of pigment. Unlike the Lightening Sparkle taupe in the Aquamarine palette, Cafe Creme easily deposits a pretty sparkly taupe when applied
  • Bonfire, a very warm metallic gold
  • Cognac, a very pigmented deep metallic brown
  • Caviar, a very pigmented matte black with a tiny bit of microglitter that can be used as to smoke the lid or as a liner

Can I give one big YES to these eyeshadow shades?  I realize that if you own any Bobbi Brown palettes, you probably have Bone already but some highlighter seems necessary in an on-the-go palette like this one.  And with all this sparkle and metal, a neutral matte makes sense.  Cafe Creme is a very nice dimensional taupe. Both the Bonfire and Cognac shades will provide enough drama to keep the palette interesting if I’m trapped using this palette for a week or more at a time.  They are quite warm, so you may disagree if gold shades don’t work on you.  I wish the Bonfire shade were just a tad more finely-milled but it is more than workable. Finally, Caviar is perfect if you don’t want to bring along a separate liner.   Here are the swatches:

Overall, this is a wonderful palette that will be a travel staple for me, and likely get a lot of use at home as well.

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Mar 172010

Bobbi Brown’s Aquamarine Palette ($60) is a limited edition eye, lip and cheek palette that is part of the line’s Color Strips collection.  It includes five eyeshadows and three Pot Rouges, a cream product that can be used on either lips or cheeks– some of the nicest cream blushes currently on the market.

In this palette, Bobbi Brown does something that many women do not particularly like–that is, she frequently mixes cream and powder products in the same container.  I typically do not buy such palettes, because it seems inevitable that the powder product will get mixed into the emollient products and you’ll have a real mess.  One does not want to go around all day with a bit of blue eyeshadow stuck to one’s cheek or lip, because they mix up.

Bobbi’s Aquamarine Palette appears to address this concern by an intriguingly engineered system of folding and clear plastic covers.  I like the design very much–this is the first eye/cheek/lip palette that I’ve felt would comfortably work.  I’m happy to report that I was able to fold and unfold it several times–it intuitively works.  Even better, I could do it without gouging a nail into the product.

There’s a small brush included for emergencies:

Here are a few more pictures that show how the palette folds and unfolds.  The most easily accessible pan holds Pot Rouges, which can be used on the cheek or lip.  This makes sense, because this pan is readily available if one needs to re-apply the pot rouge as a lip product during the day:

One flips open the black upper lid to reveal the eyeshadows, which are also covered with a clear plastic protector.  This flip-top lid includs a mirror:

The case seems quite sturdy.  I own several of Bobbi’s other palettes, and I can confirm they hold up well for years of travel and at-home use.

The Pot Rouge colors are beautiful, with three colors that seem to go with everything.  There is enough variation between them to keep it interesting.  Personally, I love the clear pink of the center shade–Pale Pink.  This is available as a single Pot Rouge in Bobbi’s regular line.

Here are swatches in the same order:

The eyeshadows include five shades:

  • Ivory:  A grey-cream highlighter, which applies sheerly
  • Lightening Sparkle:  A grey-taupe in the pan, this appears as a taupe-sheer-fairy-sparkle with little color payoff
  • Aquamarine Metallic:  A pigmented light shimmery blue
  • Grey Sky: A pigmented matte taupe brown
  • Storm:  Although designated as a “deep navy black” on Bobbi’s website, I found this applied as a dark matte nearly-black color

Here are swatches in the same order (click to enlarge):

The shades in this palette are very understated and subtle.  After working with these eyeshadow colors for several days, I’m not fully able to make these colors really coordinate with my coloring.  (I’m pale–my foundation shade is Chanel Cameo, MAC NC15, with blue-green eyes).  The colors seemed to look muddy but not in a good way.  The tones aren’t deep enough to be smoky or dramatic.  I believe the main base color for me is Grey Sky, which is too matte and too cool to really bring out my coloring well.  I think if Grey Sky had a little more drama, it would be easier to wear with the Aquamarine in the palette.

Lightening Sparkle looks like a pretty taupe in the pan, but the sparkle formulation means that its really a “sheer taupe sparkle.”  As you can see from the swatch, Lightening Sparkle leaves a a light fairy-dust effect but practically no color density.  It’s a color to layer over other colors and so can’t be used as a basic all-over lid color.

I have more hope for Bobbi Brown’s Bonfire palette, which is also in the Color Strips line with the same palette design.

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Bobbi Brown Spring 2010: Integrating the Collection with Your Own

 Bobbi Brown, Chanel, Guerlain  Comments Off on Bobbi Brown Spring 2010: Integrating the Collection with Your Own
Feb 122010

Bobbi Brown’s Spring 2010 collection includes a variety of lip glosses and lipsticks, and a Neiman Marcus exclusive lip & eye palette.  I did not pause to consider them, because I knew that I could easily integrate my favorite pieces with things that I already own.  That’s the reason that I’m so comfortable using these products right away.

For example, I already own several pink, peach and coral lip colors that will work well with these cheek and highlighter products.

As some examples, these Chanel Glossimers can easily be worn with any of the coral products:

Here are some easy neutrals that can work, here the Beiges de Chanel eyeshadow quad, Guerlain Terracotta Fard Indien Mineral Eyeshadow in Paradise Sand and Chanel’s Soft Touch eyeshadow in Island.

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Feb 112010

Bobbi Brown’s Cabana Corals Collection contains the Pink Quartz Shimmer Brick Compact ($38), a nice pink-tan addition to the group.  This product was previously released for the Holiday 2007 collection.  Because I missed the product last time, I was pleased to see it again.

Those who may find coral too much should give Pink Quartz a try.  I’ve read several very positive reviews from makeup lovers who insist it is their favorite or most-used one of shimmer brick family.  I can see why.

Pink Quartz is an easy product to wear, because the subtlety meshes with all colors of  clothing.  Likewise, if you are wearing a strong eye or lip, Pink Quartz should work easily as a little splash of pinky-tan highlight on the upper cheek.  Alternatively, you can choose to sweep a bit of this as an eyeshadow (or a touch on the brow bone):

Below is a very heavy swatch.  Nudes are notoriously difficult to swatch, and Pink Quartz is no exception.  Applied lightly on the cheek, this can give a subtle glow.  This swatch is applied far more heavily than I would ever use this product, but sufficient to show you the color on a computer screen:

You do not need to layer it this heavily to get a pretty sheen. It catches the light nicely with a lighter application.  Overall, Pink Quartz is a nice down-to-earth highlighter that can be worn anywhere, regardless of whatever else you might choose to wear.

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Bobbi Brown Spring 2010: Calypso Coral Nectar Shimmer Brick Compact

 Blush, Bobbi Brown, Highlighter  Comments Off on Bobbi Brown Spring 2010: Calypso Coral Nectar Shimmer Brick Compact
Feb 102010

Bobbi Brown’s Calypso Coral collection includes the Nectar Shimmer Brick Compact ($38), a multi-color highlighter that is pigmented enough to work as a blush.  Briefly last December, Bobbi released a mini-version of this in luxe chrome packaging.  Now, the product is bigger, less expensive and my Bobbi Brown sales associate swears that this is now a permanent part of her collection.

If you closely examine the product, you’ll notice that most of the color bands are leaning more toward pink, rather than orange.

When applied, this color mix gives an overall healthy pink glow effect with a touch of coral.  Although I own several of Bobbi’s Shimmer Brick Compacts, this one is by far my favorite.  I can’t remember ever being this excited about one.

Here are the colors separately swatched:

Because pink is such a difficult color to wear on the eye, I don’t hold out any hope of using this as an eyeshadow.  Nonetheless, the quality as a highlighter/blush is so good that it more than makes up for that.

Below is a swatch of all of the shimmerbrick swirled together, very heavily.  Here’s the thing, light highlighter swatches simply doesn’t show up well on a computer screen.  So this is far more layering than I would dream of using on an actual cheek.  Rest assured that if you use a normal amount (I use Bobbi’s blending brush, a few swipes), you still get an incredible glowy effect without any metallic look:

If you add a pop of one of the Calypso Coral or Cabo Coral Pot Rouges, the effect is heavenly.  Highly recommended.

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Feb 092010

Spring! Although I realize that many makeup lovers are digging out of snow, Bobbi Brown’s Cabana Corals collection fills me with thoughts of warm sunshine.

I usually avoid Corals, in favor of nudes, pinks or berries.  Here is the genius of Bobbi’s collection~~ she makes corals wearable.  Also, she makes them in a way that fit with the makeup that I already own.

This time around, Bobbi brings us a variety of cheek and lip products.  There’s a limited edition palette eye and lip palette, sold only at Neiman Marcus for $60 (I’m skipping this one personally).  Here, I’m focusing on the Pot Rouges in Calypso Coral and Cabo Coral ($22 each).

I assumed that both would be too orangey on me.  I was wrong.

Calypso Coral, which was formerly part of Bobbi’s line, has returned with this collection and has a wonderful coral-pink tone that gives me a very fresh and summery look.  For some reason, Bobbi’s colors always look appropriate.  This can be worn sheerly, or layered for more color.  It can be worn on both cheeks and lips.  It’s a gorgeous blush.

Cabo Coral has the faintest touch of brown that brings the color to a beautiful, wearable level.  Coral can go so wrong, but this Coral is so right.

These are heavy swatches so you can see the color difference between the two. Click to enlarge:

I love the fact that these are only $22 each.  It’s nice to get two choices from Bobbi in this same collection.  My high recommendations for both Calypso Coral and Cabo Coal.

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