Jul 182014
 

Charlotte Tillbury Highlight Sculpt01I’ve been waiting months for Charlotte Tilbury’s makeup line to come to the U.S. She’s worked so closely with Tom Ford that I suspected that she’s going to feature a line of top shelf products.

Tom Ford London Flagship Store - Launch PartyShe’s visionary. I couldn’t resist when this Charlotte Tilsbury Filmstar Killer Cheekbones Set ($110) came up for sale as part of the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. This set features a sculpting bronzer, highlighter and brush, lovingly packed together.

Charlotte Tillbury Highlight Sculpt02Inside, the compact is held in this complex, pretty box.

Charlotte Tillbury Highlight Sculpt03

This box is full of secrets..a cute little touch.

Charlotte Tillbury Highlight Sculpt07Beyond this complex folded paper is a touch of application advice for the sculpting bronzer and highlighter within.

Charlotte Tillbury Highlight Sculpt08

Charlotte Tillbury Highlight Sculpt09Inside, the compact is beautifully etched. Who does this so finely? Gorgeous.

Charlotte Tillbury Highlight Sculpt10Open the compact, and aside from the full-sized mirror are two pans holding the sculpting bronzer and highlighter:

Charlotte Tillbury Highlight Sculpt14

This sculpting powder is an easy-to-use, forgiving shade compared to some of the deep taupes we’ve seen from other lines. Foolproof!t

Charlotte Tillbury Highlight Sculpt13

Here is a comparison of this shade, compared to MAC’s Taupe Shape blush (LE, discontinued), and Chanel’s Notorious.

Charlotte Tillbury Highlight Sculpt16

The sculpting powder is finely milled and leans gold, without any sparkle effect. This goes on very smooth and beautifully.

Charlotte Tillbury Highlight Sculpt12

Here are some swatches comparing Chanel Mouche de Beaute and Chanel Poudre Signee. I found Tilbury’s easier to pick up on a brush (but similar to tone/texture) to Chanel Mouche de Beaute (which is a bit more gold compared to the Tilbury shade). Chanel’s Poudre Signe is more subtle and more ivory compared to Tilbury.

Charlotte Tillbury Highlight Sculpt17The Tilbury brush is the perfect size and shape to use with these powders, and is included in the set. This is a full-size goat hair brush.

Charlotte Tillbury Highlight Sculpt05A close-up of the head:

Charlotte Tillbury Highlight Sculpt06Overall, I’m really pleased with this set. The color suits my Chanel Ivoire/MAC NC15/20 skin perfectly. The brush makes the set incredibly easy to use. These powders are gorgeous–finely milled, perfectly balanced, and worthy of the luxury label. This set is currently exclusive to the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale.

This post contains affiliate links (for more information, see About Cafe Makeup).

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Jun 142014
 

Perricone MD has a full line of No Makeup Skincare: A Revolutionary Approach to Color, and the base products have already been reviewed here and here. This line of products is available at Sephora and Perricone MD’s website.

Perricone MD Foundation Bronzer Concealer Mascara BlushThis entire incorporates anti-aging skincare, to repair, restore, and to ensure that the overall look is youthful. In addition to antioxidants, DMAE, and neuropeptides, the line is formulated with high pigment that sits lightly on the skin, which can be built up, sculpted, modified, mixed and blended to achieve a look that is healthy, natural, and with a youthful look. As I said in my prior posts, I loved several of these products. However, I loved, loved, loved the products together as a set.  First, I was shocked at how quickly I could do a face with this set. It’s no brushes required. The products are essentially fool-proof once I got comfortable with the format. They blend beautifully together, and their textures are ideal for layering. They are designed for very intuitive application. Although it is easy to layer them up to increase coverage, it seems impossible to over-do them. There is a real synergy in the design and formulation for use as a set. 

Perricone MD No Makeup Skincare14a

This review considers the remaining products in the line:

  • No Bronzer Bronzer
  • No Blush Blush
  • No Concealer Concealer
  • No Mascara Mascara
  • No Lipstick Lipstick

There were a few products that were true standouts. One was the Perricone MD No Bronzer Bronzer ($35/.03 oz.). This liquid bronzer has some lovely qualities, including the ability to bronze, darken foundation shades, contouring, and to meld beautifully with the skin when blended.

Perricone MD No Makeup Skincare05a

The No Bronzer Bronzer has some skincare ingredients in the mix:

- Vitamin C Ester to help brighten the skin and address visible sun damage.
- Non-chemical, mineral-based SPF 30 with Zinc oxide to protect from UVA and UVB rays

I consider these a nice plus, because I am not sure that I’ll personally use the No Bronzer Bronzer in a sufficient quality to derive large benefits from these. However, I do appreciate the well-formulated serum texture, which makes the product easy and intuitive to control. It reminds me a bit of Giorgio Armani’s Liquid Summer serum bronzer.

Perricone MD No Makeup Skincare06

The ingredient list for the No Bronzer Bronzer is here (click to enlarge):

Perricone Bronzer2

Here are some quick comparisons between the Armani Liquid Summer Bronzer and Perricone MD’s No Bronzer Bronzer…

Bronzer swatches Perricone Armani1

 

Another set (blended out):

Bronzer swatches Perricone Armani2

The Perricone MD No Blush Blush ($35/0.3 oz), is a pretty universal rose color that seems to work well with both cool and warm skin tones. It also adds a touch of natural pink to a bronzed cheek to make a sun kissed look. According to the line, this blush includes DMAE (to help to firm and tone the skin, restoring the appearance of lift and contour along cheekbones) and non-chemical, mineral-based SPF 30 with Zinc oxide (to protect from UVA and UVB rays).

Perricone MD No Makeup Skincare07aThis liquid blush is remarkably easy to use, and very hard to over-do. I dabbed on 1-3 touches of the doe foot applicator on each cheek, and blended for a natural look. Unlike liquid stains, the Perricone No Blush Blush was forgiving and did not require lightning reflexes to avoid a dotted cheek–foolproof, truly.

Perricone MD No Makeup Skincare18

Here is the ingredient list for the No Blush Blush (click to enlarge):

Perricone Blush2

The Perricone MD No Concealer Concealer ($35) is released in shade #2, a light creamy medium-coverage color that blends nicely, doesn’t crease and has good lasting power.

Screen Shot 2014-06-13 at 10.21.29 PM

I’ve used the prior version extensively, and I’ve been pleased with the skin care ingredients. It’s very good.

- Vitamin C Ester for brightening and collagen boosting
- Phospholipids create a barrier to protect against environmental aggressors
- Microcirculatory agents help treat dark circles
- Non-chemical, mineral-based SPF 30 with Zinc oxide to protect from UVA and UVB rays

Perricone MD No Makeup Skincare09b

If you are familiar with the prior version, this is the same formula but in a more convenient format.

Perricone Mascara1

The Perricone MD No Mascara Mascara ($30) is a lash treatment and mascara. According to the line, this includes:

- Neuropetides help regenerate, condition and nourish lashes.
- Biotin improves the healthy and quality of lashes with each application
- Tocotrienols condition and smooth lashes

 Perricone MD No Makeup Skincare10a

This color is a dark brown-black (see swatch for color, below), and delivers a very clean, lengthened lash, adding slight volume. There is zero clumping, instead the look tends toward a natural, uplifted, and long look. It’s very pretty, and the fact that is is nourishing is a lovely plus.

Perricone MD No Makeup Skincare11

The Perricone MD No Lipstick Lipstick ($30) is another product that I fell in love with. The color is a pretty, soft pink that’s highly wearable by those with many different skin tones. It’s a soft of “all occasion pink.” The texture was absolutely lovely–it’s very hydrating and seemed to soften the texture of my lips.

Perricone MD No Makeup Skincare12a According to the line, the No Lipstick Lipstick:

- Mimics the natural, rosy color of youthful lips and vermillion zone.
- Smoothes vertical lip lines and restore suppleness and fullness while protecting with a broad spectrum,  mineral SPF 15.
- Solid to serum texture allows for sheer, buildable coverage while hydrating and nourishing.

 This feels lovely, and makes my lips look years younger. I hope that more colors of this formala are released. I’m including swatches of all shades here:

Perricone MD No Makeup Skincare19As you can see, the serum color is a near-match for the No Foundation Foundation in #2. I did a quick finger-blend of the swatches, above, without being very precise or careful. On the skin, a proper blending job delivers smooth and lovely results.

Mascara1

Overall, I loved using these products. These are extremely easy to use, impressively long-wearing, and allowed me to get ready in less than five minutes. My skin looked beautifully natural, and I loved the fact that the product have skincare benefits. Although I wear my standard SPF 50 sunscreen, I appreciated that there is sunscreen woven into the formulas.

The Perricone MD No Makeup Makeup: A Color Revolution is available at Sephora, and Perricone MD’s website.

 

The Perricone MD products were sent from the  company to Cafe Makeup without charge for consideration for review. This post includes affiliate links (for more information see About Cafe Makeup)

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Jun 042014
 

Armani Liquid Summer1I’ve been enjoying Giorgio Armani’s Liquid Summer Bronzer ($64) since I purchased it several weeks ago. To digress a bit, I was shopping in the San Francisco Bay Area, and I saw this as a new item on a Nordstrom counter. Because my time was short, I didn’t want to do a full-on discussion with a makeup artist. Which is too bad, because typically Armani artists are really well informed, and I tend to get the most use out of the products when I get that type of advice. So, I dashed a bit onto my cheeks and chin, and lightly across my forehead hairline. After about 60 seconds, I had my debit card out and ready, waiting impatiently for the sales associate that I had been so assiduously trying to avoid. I had to have it–it made my skin look beautifully, natural and far better than it really has a right to.

Armani Liquid Summer2

I’m sure you are familiar with the Armani Maestro formula (if not, see this post). It’s remarkably lightweight–it seems that Armani formulators have developed a way to suspend pigment in a highly-controllable, almost-nothing-there base that allows for intelligent and beautiful application. If you’ve never tried a liquid bronzer, you should know how absolutely natural then can look. Unlike powders, they work beautifully with liquid foundations too. They can be mixed with liquid foundations, worn under them for more subtlety, or layered over in a way that sort of melds the two together. Now, take that and add the fact that this is an extremely fine serum formulation of a liquid bronzer and whew–it’s really amazing. It blows the older bronzers out of the water (no, I’m not giving up my Guerlain 4 Seasons, but hopefully you get the idea).

Armani Liquid Summer3

Armani Liquid Summer can be layered, mixed, and despite the appearance of fine sparkle in the formula, provides a very skin-like natural look. I did my best with my swatches, here, but I’m still on the road and my bronzer stash and photography conditions are sub-optimal at present.

Armani Liquid Summer4a

Overall, I love this product (which is, sadly, limited edition).  There are some products that make me think that I could live with only Armani in my life. Now that the line is reformulating its eyeshadows, and combined with products like this one, I could be right about that.

Armani Liquid Summer Bronzer is available at Nordstrom.com, Neiman Marcus, and Saks Fifth Avenue.

 

This post contains affiliate links (for more information, see About Cafe Makeup)

 

 

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Apr 152014
 

clarins self tanner5

One of my favorite makeup discoveries of this pre-summer season is Clarins Radiance-Plus Golden Glow Booster ($30/0.50 oz.). To use this product, you place 1-3 drops into the palm of your hand, mix with your current moisturizer or serum, and place over your face and neck just before going to sleep. In the morning, I am waking up to the most beautiful, subtle, natural looking soft tan. No streaking or orange, really it’s absolutely perfect. Clarins Golden Glow Booster is now available from Nordstrom.com (currently 10% off), Saks Fifth Avenue, and Sephora.

clarins self tanner2

When I first read Clarins’ description, it sounded like just the right product for Spring. I wear sunscreen year round for anti-aging and to avoid other adverse effects of UV light. Still, I must admit that I look much better with a touch of color. This video made the experiment irresistible (it’s also helpful to show how the product is used, and is a short 1  1/2 minutes):

I don’t notice any unpleasant self-tanner scent, although it may be that I’m asleep so I’m unaware of any.  Honestly the results are extraordinary. Clarins has always been highly regarded for facial self-tanners, but this one in particular gives the most beautiful, natural glow.

clarins self tanner6

I’ve used this most mixed with a vitamin C serum (the Paula’s Choice reviewed here), as well as cream moisturizers. Every morning when I wake up, the glow is so good. If I use it several nights in a row, I start to accumulate more color. The color fades if I skip more than a day. If you’d like a more subtle effect, use just one or two drops. Enclosed instruction sheet (click to enlarge):

clarins self tanner8

Although your results may vary, I have to  say that this is one product that worked so beautifully for me that I couldn’t forgive myself if I didn’t share it with you.  Beautiful results, easy to use, and well worth the $30 price point. Love, love, love.

clarins self tanner3

Clarins Golden Glow Booster is now available from Nordstrom.com (currently 10% off), Saks Fifth Avenue, and Sephora.

This post contains affiliate links (for more information, see About Cafe Makeup)

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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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