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Bronzers

Blush Bronzers Brushes and Tools Highlighter NARS

Summer Loves: Nars Hot Sand Orgasm and Laguna Duos

May 30, 2016

NARS Hot Sand Collection - 17

It feels like this weekend has turned the corner from spring to summer. This is the perfect time to stock up on some summertime staples, NARS Hot Sand  – Orgasm and Hot Sand – Laguna powder duos. ($42 each). These slim compacts are full of summer goodness. Typically, I think of NARS staple highlighter as Albatross. For me, Hot Sand has a warmer, softer color that’s beautiful and very flattering. Of course, Laguna is an amazing bronzer that looks wonderful on a wide range of skin tones.  Of course, Orgasm is a glowing, flatter shade.

The formulations on these powders is superb.  As I go about my summer travels, these two will definitely be slipped into my carryon.  They’re gorgeous.

NARS Hot Sand  – Orgasm is available at Nordstrom and NARS online.

Hot Sand Palettes - 3

To go with these beautiful powders, this collection includes a limited edition brush, the NARS Hanamachi Kabuki Brush ($42). This fluffy, dense brush is designed to work with the Hot Sand palettes. It’s gorgeous, easy to work with and control. Here’s a comparison with the gigantic Givenchy Bronzer Kabuki ($50) and the MAC 182 brush ($53) (this one, from the Catherine Deneuve collection from several years ago).

NARS Hot Sand Collection - 14

The same brushes, set on their sides:

NARS Hot Sand Collection - 13

As you can see, NARS is a comfortable travel size but large and fluffy enough to provide a beautiful, diffused and blended looks.

The NARS Hanamachi Kabuki Brush ($42) is available at Nordstrom and Nars online.

Affiliate Links / These items were sent to Cafe Makeup without charge for review.

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Bronzers NARS

Review: NARS Laguna Liquid Bronzer

May 20, 2016

Nars Laguna Liquid - 1 (1)

NARS Laguna Liquid ($40/1 ounce) is a beautiful addition to your summer beauty routine. If you are new to liquid bronzers, you are in for a treat. Laguna works beautifully for a natural, no-streak, softly shimmering summer glow. The effect is so beautiful. As if Languna would get any better… and then it does. 

This liquid is housed in an opaque bottle that’s got a controllable pump. I had no problems getting just the perfect amount out of the container without over-spill. This easy-to-use liquid can be mixed into your foundation to add a touch of summer warmth to your typical look. But my favorite way to use it is to dab a touch onto the bronzing points of my face (where the sun would naturally hit), and blend.  So I put a touch across the tops of my cheeks, the bridge of my nose, the top of my chin, and the top of my forehead.  The effect of using a liquid bronzer is that it tends to melt into my foundation for a more natural, believable look. Yet the ever-so-slight touch of gold adds a little bit of richness that’s absolutely beautiful.

A few thoughts…

NARS Laguna Liquid starts out as a sheer liquid. I found NARS Laguna more sheer and slightly more liquid and lighter in tone compared to Giorgio Armani Maestro Liquid Summer Bronzer 100 (originally reviewed here, and the same bottle is still going strong despite heavy use). Both are quite easy to use, and the NARS Laguna builds up nicely and easily using small washes.  Of course, NARS Laguna is extremely long lasting (thank you for being a professional makeup artist, Francois Nars!) for an all-day bronze glow.

NARS Laguna liquid has a very hard to detect scent, light a slight tropical coconut, that I’ve really got to put right under my nose to detect. It’s lovely, actually, and slightly relaxing if you love the beach (who doesn’t?).

Nars Laguna Liquid - 4 (1)

NARS Laguna liquid - 10

Overall, NARS Laguna Liquid is an A+ top-of-the-line bronzer. It melts into your foundation (or skin), so it doesn’t add any perceptible texture to the skin. I cannot feel it applied to the skin, it simply delivers a soft was of glowing health that is my must-have during the summer months. I typically add a powder or liquid blush as usually, and a highlighter as well. Wonderful and highly welcomed product. I love a new innovative formula, don’t you?

NARS Laguna Liquid is available at NARS online, Nordstrom, Sephora, Barney’s New York, Barneys New York, Bloomingdales, Saks Fifth Avenue, Lord and Taylor, and Neiman Marcus.

Affiliate links. Product sent to Cafe Makeup without charge for consideration for review.

 

 

 

 

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Bronzers Contour Highlighter Tata Harper

Review: Tata Harper Highlight and Contour Creams

January 29, 2016

Tata Harper Contour and Highlight 1

Tata Harper is one of the premier creator of 100% natural, organic, non-toxic, anti-aging skincare. Even better, generally it’s effective skincare–to me, this is the true test of a healthy product. Recently, the line has begun to branch out into color, a lovely development given that so many are concerned about cosmetic ingredients. How awesome is that?  I was fortunate to try two–the Tata Harper Very Illuminating Luminzer and the Tata Harper Very Bronzing contour cream ($40 each).

tata harper contour and highlighter - 1

I’ve been working with these for several weeks, and find they are ideal for a contoured, highlighted cheek. These have a lovely sophisticated look, worthy of a high-end label.

As you can see from the swatches to the right. the Very Illuminating Luminizer leans slightly white-pink, and has a very natural effect when applied to the curves on the face. It has a very finely-formulated texture, and it can be easily sheered out or built up. It’s lovely. The Very Bronzing contour cream is one of the few products that leans slightly cool.

As the swatches show, the color of Tata Harper’s Very Bronzing can be used as a true contour shade (particularly compared to the much warmer-toned Soleil Tan de Chanel). Like the Very Illuminating Luminzer, the Very Bronzing shade can be fully sheered or built up as you like.

Tata Harper Highlighter 1

As genius as MAC’s Luna Cream Color Base is, Tata Harper’s Very Illuminating cream is easier to work with and more easily gives a more natural look. Obviously, the ingredients of both are quite different, as MAC makes no “all-natural” claims.

The ingredients for the Tata Harper Very Illuminating Luminzer are:   Helianthus annuus (Sunflower) seed oil*, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Fruit extract, Ricinus Communis (castor) Seed Oil, Cera Alba/Beeswax/ Cire d’abeille*, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Mica, Helianthus annuus (Sunflower) Seed wax, Iron Oxides (C.I. 77891), Camellia sinensis (Green Tea) seed oil*, Plukenetia Volubilis, Palmitoyl Isoleucine, Euterpe oleracea (Acai) fruit oil*, Titanium Dioxide (CI. 77891), Lavandula stoechas (Spanish Lavender) extract, Tocopherol (Vitamin E).

The ingredients for the Tata Harper Very Bronzing contour cream are: Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Fruit extract, Ricinus Communis (castor) Seed Oil, Helianthus annuus (Sunflower) seed oil*, Cera Alba/Beeswax/ Cire d’abeille*, Mica, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Helianthus annuus (Sunflower) Seed wax, Camellia sinensis (Green Tea) seed oil*, Plukenetia Volubilis, Palmitoyl Isoleucine, Euterpe oleracea (Acai) fruit oil, Iron Oxides (C.I. 77492), Titanium Dioxide, Octyldodecanol, Iron Oxides (C.I. 77491), Iron Oxides (C.I. 77499), Mica, Lavandula stoechas (Spanish Lavender) extract, Jojoba Esters, Trihydroxystearin, Alumina, Silica, Tocopherol (Vitamin E).

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The Tata Harper Very Illuminating Luminzer and the Tata Harper Very Bronzing contour cream are available at Nordstrom, Sephora, and Bergdorf Goodman.

Affiliate link/ press sample sent without charge for consideration for review

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Blush Bronzers Eyeshadow NARS

Preview: Nars Pro Palettes

September 5, 2015

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As a leader and authority in makeup artistry, NARS Cosmetics is excited to introduce the NARSPro Palette – the first offering in a line of products designed especially for the professional makeup artist community. The ultimate tool for makeup artists on-the-go and backstage, NARS invites you to curate your very own palettes with over 64 refill shades now available for purchase at NARS’ freestanding boutiques and on E-Commerce. Mix and match the artistry essential shades of eyeshadows, blushes, bronzers and pressed powders in one palette or create a comprehensive palette of blushes or eyeshadows. Pop in color, open up your inner artist.

Empty large palette: $18

Empty small palette: $14

Blushes: $21

Duo Eyeshadows: $25

Single Eyeshadows: $18

Pressed Powder: $25

Bronzer: $27

Contour duos: $30

On Nars website, you can choose from a suggested version, or play with the easy to use palette-creator to make your own.

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Bronzers Highlighter Lipgloss Lipstick NARS

Nars Bronzy Summer Look

August 25, 2015

Nars Luxenbourg Satellite of Love Casino

Liz created this beautiful late-summer look with Nars Casino Bronzer and Satellite of Love highlighting blush to sculpt her cheeks. She placed a bit of the Casino bronzer in the hollows of her cheek, then topped Satellite of Love highlighting blush on her upper cheek.

She completed the look with  Nars Luxembourg lip pencil.

Nars Luxembourg4

Nars Luxembourg2

Such a simple look.  So simply beautiful.

liz

Nars Casino bronzer is available at Nordstrom, Nars online, Saks Fifth Avenue, Barneys New York, and Neiman Marcus.

Nars Satellite of Love highlighting blush is available at Nordstrom, and Nars online,

Nars Luxembourg Satin lip pencil is available at Nordstrom,  Nars online, Sephora, Bloomingdales, Lord and Taylor, Saks Fifth Avenue, Barneys New York, Selfridges, and Neiman Marcus.

 Affiliate links. These products were originally sent to the blog for consideration for review.

 

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Bronzers Guerlain

Review: Guerlain Joli Teint Bronzing Powder

July 17, 2015

Guerlain Joli Tient Bronzer powder - 1I resisted Guerlain Terracotta Joli Teint Bronzing Powder ($53) for a long time after it was released earlier this year. I have (and love) the Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Sheer Powder ($58)(reviewed here), and Guerlain’s offering fits into the same category. Both are designed to give one a lightly sheer wash of a soft, healthy bronze glow during the summer months. Essentially, this give your skin a French “bonne mine” beautiful appearance that brings your natural skin tone down a touch, as if you’ve spent your days sipping wine in an outdoor cafe, gathering shells on a beach, or other delightful outdoor activity. I was glad that I did pick up Guerlain’s Terracotta Joli Tient Bronzing Powder so that I can compare the two for you, as well as to enjoy. Guerlain Joli Tient Bronzing Powder is available at Nordstrom, Sephora, Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman, Bloomingdales and other Guerlain sources.

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Bronzers Highlighter Laura Mercier

Laura Mercier Face Illuminator Powder in Indiscretion

March 20, 2015

Laura Mercier Indiscretion03Laura Mercier’s Face Illuminator Powder in Indiscretion ($42) is a rose gold highlighter with a gorgeous texture. Thankfully, there is no overspray (those days seem to be over! yay!), but rather this is a ultra fine metallic pressed powder. Gorgeous!

Laura Mercier Indiscretion05 copyIs there enough shimmery rose gold in the world right now? I don’t think so. This leaves a beautiful soft metallic highlight, suitable for the high planes of the face.

Laura Mercier Indiscretion08

Some of you might recognize a similar pattern and format of Laura Mercier Indiscretion, especially if you picked up Laura Mercier’s Spellbound a year or two ago. I found the products identical–perhaps a variation that is typical going from batch to batch. If you do have Spellbound, in my opinion you do not need Indiscretion. Here are some side-by-side swatches.

Laura Mercier Indiscretion12a

By my eye, in real life I saw no difference. You might see a slightly different shine on one swatch versus another, and slight differences in the pan. To me, Indiscretion looked slightly lighter in the pan. But these are variations that might be typical of batch variations that I frequently see in shopping on different coasts or buying two products several months apart.

Laura Mercier Indiscretion Spellbound Comparison 1a

If you did miss Spellbound, you’ll want to strongly consider Indiscretion. These are beautiful highlighters, giving a gorgeous rose gold glow. Beautiful!  Laura Mercier Indiscretion is currently available at Sephora.

Laura Mercier Indiscretion04

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

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Bronzers Charlotte Tilbury Highlighter

Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Killer Cheekbones Set

July 18, 2014

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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Blush Bronzers Lipstick Mascara Perricone MD

Perricone MD No Makeup Makeup Skin Care: My Thoughts on the Blush, Concealer, Bronzer and Mascara

June 14, 2014

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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Bronzers Giorgio Armani

Giorgio Armani Maestro Liquid Summer Bronzer Review

June 4, 2014

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.

 

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