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My Thoughts: MAC Le Disko Eyeshadows

June 23, 2015

MAC Le Disko eyeshadow 01I picked up a few Dazzleshadow eyeshadows from the MAC Le Disko collection. At $20 each, I thought it worth spending a few minutes discussing these somewhat unique shadows. Although NARS has brought us a few shades with a similar multi-dimensional qualities, there are few other products out there like these. MAC Le Disko is currently available at Nordstrom, Macy’s, Bloomingdales, and other MAC sources.

MAC’s Le Disko eyeshadows have an insane amount of duochrome, sparkle, and a widely different look depending on the technique, base, and brush used. Really, the duo chrome effect is strong with these, my friends.  As you move your eyes in the light, these will give you a stunning variation. These are challenging eyeshadows to work with, but really crazy beautiful. If you’ve got some experience, patience and decent tools, I’d prepare to pick up at least two or three. Here are the shades that I got.

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Blush Brushes and Tools NARS

NARS Dual Intensity Blush Preview

February 22, 2015

Nars blushes1I’ve been dying to get a look at these. I was able to take several pictures today, so I thought I’d share these to get the party started. These are set to be released through Nars online and boutiques, as well as Sephora, on March 4th. Everywhere else April 1st. I’ll be doing a full review with swatches soon. This collection also features a beautiful new brush.

According to the line:

For Spring 2015, NARS Cosmetics introduces the new Dual-Intensity Blush. Featuring NARS’ exclusive Translucent Prismatic Technology, the newly-imagined formula allows for multi-dimensional effects with a uniquely weightless, luxurious texture. Six modern shade pairings curated by François Nars offer a universal spectrum of hues that works across all skintones. Sweeps on dry for a bold flush or wet for a translucent wash of color. Dry pigments impart a natural glow that warms the complexion and fuses weightlessly. Dampen NARS’ exclusive Wet/Dry Blush Brush before application for a watercolor effect—dab over the apples of the cheeks and swirl in a circular motion to paint on a subtle tint. Designed in a sensorial, soft-touch square case with a modern magnetic closure, six luxuriously embossed duos heighten the art of transformation.


NARS sent these blushes to Cafe Makeup without charge for consideration for review.

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Brushes and Tools NARS

Nars Gifting: The Kabuki Brush Set

October 29, 2014

NARS Holiday Brush Set01 copyNars has outdone itself this year for its Holiday gifting offerings. This is a look at the Nars Kabuki Brush Set ($125), a beautifully packaged, modern, and wonderfully made set that would be an amazing gift to give or receive. This is currently available at NARS online, and will come available at other Nars locations on November 1st.

NARS Holiday Brush Set03The three included artisan brushes appear to be magically suspended in a modern clear crystal lace pattern is adapted from architectural designer Chris Kabatsi’s digitally-rendered Nebula print. This cube is reusable for storing other items throughout the rest of the year.

NARS Holiday Brush Set06 copyInside are three brushes that have amazing performance, elegant design, and are a pleasure to use. These are:

  • MIE KABUKI BRUSH Ideal for soft, all-over face application of loose and pressed powders. Luxuriously layered with a double-dome design that deposits product evenly.
  • MIZUBAKE KABUKI BRUSH Contour and sculpt blush and bronzer with this distinct design for controlled application and precise definition.
  • KABUKI EYE BRUSH Blend and diffuse eyeshadows for a soft-focus, seamless effect with this limited edition domed eyeshadow brush.

NARS Holiday Brush Set10 copy


With the brush protectors taken off:

NARS Holiday Brush Set18 copy


I love the eye brush–it’s perfect for a lovely wash of color.

NARS Holiday Brush Set20 copyAnother picture of the Kabuki Eye brush:

NARS Holiday Brush Set17 copy

NARS Holiday Brush Set16 copy

Here is the amazing Mie Kabuki brush, which is a wonderful brush for all-over powders or the soft application of bronzer. Also the Mizubaki brush, which has a smaller head for contouring or precise highlight placement.


NARS Holiday Brush Set19 copyOverall, this is an amazing, well-priced and high quality brush set that is beautifully packaged and ready for gifting (or using for own makeup application).  Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous!!! It’s already up for sale on Nars online, and will be available at other locations soon.

NARS Holiday Brush Set12 copy

This set was sent to Cafe Makeup without charge for consideration for review. This post contains affiliate links (for more information, see About Cafe Makeup).

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Brushes and Tools

Beauty-to-Go Items from Sephora

June 10, 2014

Sephora Summer Faves04Sephora must have been reading about my travel/moving situation, because last week a little box of travel-to-go treats arrived at my front door. I thought I would do a little post to give you some thoughts, in case you (or someone on your gift radar) needs anything along these lines.

Sephora Summer Faves09First up is the Sephora Double Down Brush set ($46). This was my favorite item by far. It features three brushes–no wait, six brushes. This is a small artificial leatherette-type case that is roughly 6″ in length, holding mighty, mighty brushes of surprisingly good quality. The bristles are acrylic, and the weight and balance of these evidences a very well-made mini-set of three face brushes. The heads on these are not very large compared to a luxurious Tom Ford or Marc Jacobs bronzing brush (reviewed here), for sure. Yet these are remarkably well designed and surprisingly functional.

Sephora Summer Faves05

The small black ring in the middle of the brushes is a separation point, revealing three eye brushes within.

Sephora Summer Faves06

Voila! The eye brushes can even be flipped around so that these become double-ended sets. I challenged myself to do a full face with this set, and it was shockingly easy. The eyeshadow brushes allowed me to line, blend, and apply deep shades in the crease with no problem. The rounded face brush (on the bottom in these pictures), allowed for a lovely all-over application of powder. And the slanted contour/blush brush (at the top in these pictures), did a great job applying blush.  Face brushes:

Sephora Summer Faves08

The eye brushes:

Sephora Summer Faves07

The bristles are soft and on the firm side. Although the case is not made of premium materials, the design and quality went into the brushes, which is how I would have wanted it. The brushes wash and dry well. This is a nice stow-away for carry on or overnight bags, while you can leave your premium brushes at home. The case has a little pocket in the back for blushes , lipsticks and other makeup items that you want to carry along.

Sephora Summer Faves10Another helpful item is the Everything Under the Sun Tanning Set ($12).

Sephora Summer Faves14This includes the all-important exfoliating mitt, application mitt, and an erasing sponge. As a self-tanning aficionado, I have the feeling the Liz will be getting some serious use out of this little set.

Sephora Summer Faves15

The Sephora Carnivale Eye Brush Set ($22), packs five eye brushes in a slim aluminum tube. These brushes are quite lightweight. For the modest price, you get a good variety. The smudge and the angled liner/brow are nice additions.

Sephora Summer Faves11

Although these don’t compare with premium Japanese brushes, sometimes you need a low-investment set and these fit that bill pretty nicely.

Sephora Summer Faves13

The brush heads:

Sephora Summer Faves12

Sephora’s The Galaventer ($28) is a three-bag set for packing, and the small bags are nice for purses and totes.

Sephora Summer Faves01

The sizes are

– 7 5/8” H x 9 1/2” L x 2 1/4” W (large bag)
– 5 3/4” H x 8” L x 0” W (medium bag)
– 4 1/8” H x 6 1/2” L x 0” W (small bag)

Sephora Summer Faves02

I’ve got about another three or four weeks of moving and traveling. I’m currently in the 100+ degree heat of Northern California, and heading to the more temperate Colorado for a few weeks. I must admit I’ll be glad to be settled in July, and trying to stay busy and happy while the time passes. I hope that your summers are going beautifully!

 These items were sent without charge to Cafe Makeup for consideration for review. This post contains affiliate links (for more information, see About Cafe Makeup).

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Brushes and Tools NARS

NARS Artistry Brushes: #30 Precision Lip Brush

May 18, 2014

NARS Artistry Brushes Stylized Group Shot

Nars Artistry Brushes are a new series of lovely tools that I will be examine over the next few posts. Given the breadth of this collection, I’m going to proceed by first showing pictures of all of them in detail. I will be offering some thoughts about the brushes in some later posts.) These are available at, Barneys, Saks Fifth Avenue and Nars Cosmetics online.

Here is the entire set (click to enlarge):

Nars Artistry Brushes All LabeledThis post will cover the Nars Artistry #30 Precision Lip Brush ($26). This was way, way cooler than I imagined a lip brush could be, and the price is quite modest given the ingenuity of the design. This slim, elegant little brush comes capped to ensure that product doesn’t migrate throughout your purse or elsewhere.

Nars Precision Lip Brush 30d

With the cap off, the bristles remain hidden inside the slim case:

Nars Precision Lip Brush 30c

That is, until you put the cap onto the back. The pressure from the cap on the back of the handle pushes the bristles upward. The action is quite smooth and intuitive. Awesome! And you can use your brush in your gorgeous bag, which can stay clean.

Nars Precision Lip Brush 30g

This little brush is ingenious! Flat side:

Nars Precision Lip Brush 30


Side view:

Nars Precision Lip Brush 30a

I’ll be offering more thoughts about these in upcoming posts. These are available at, Barneys, Saks Fifth Avenue and Nars Cosmetics online.

These brushes were sent to Cafe Makeup without charge for consideration for review. This post contains affiliate links (for more information, see About Cafe Makeup)

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