May 202014
 

Laura Mercier Concealer1My finger has been hovering over the “order” button for Laura Mercier’s High Coverage Concealer for Under Eye ($28) since the first introduction. Laura Mercier’s Flawless Face includes some excellent concealers. Who are we kidding, she really excels in that department. I have under eye circles, as well as other areas that I usually cover so that I can wear a lightweight foundation. I waited to buy until I could see the colors in person, and I’m still not entirely sure that I chose the right shade. This post is an overview of the formula, but the jury’s still out on the color shades. I ultimately bought shade 1.5 for my MAC NC15/ Chanel Cameo/Ivoire skin tone. My skin leans warm and fair, and I chose shade 1.5 as an excellent match to the rest of my face. I almost added shade 2.5, a medium warm shade, and will likely pick that one up on my next trip in.

Laura Mercier Concealer3

I did a few in-house tries with this. After I got used to the formula, I  worn this concealer for three days–once entirely alone, a second time over moisturizer (Shiseido) with Giorgio Armani Master Color Corrector in 02 Orange ($39), and a third time using the moisturizer, Armani Color Corrector combined with Urban Decay Anti-Aging Primer Potion ($24) using the method described here. I did not try using this with a powder over the top. Because of my travel schedule, these three days spanned dry, warm weather in Northern California, and slightly more humid, temperate temperatures on the East Coast.

Laura Mercier Concealer6

The concealer is described as follows by the line: “This formula features honey and vitamin E to protect against environmental stressors, and fruit acid to nourish and calm skin.” My thoughts are as follows–first, you need far, far less of this product that you would imagine. The tiniest tiniest bit is too much. It took me a few tries to get used to the high level of pigment in this formula, before I could wear it outside for the day. During my first try, I used the same amount as I would use for Lancome Effacernes, That was way, way too much–honestly, I could have covered my entire face with that small amount. To say “a little goes a long way” really understates the situation.

Laura Mercier Concealer5Straight from the tube, the texture feels a bit dry and thick especially if you are used to Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer. Straight out of the tube, using too much of the product looks like this:

Laura Mercier Concealer7b

So, don’t use this much!  After the product is warm and blended, it really does come to life. This product really did not fade at all on me throughout the day. In fact, I’ve never used a concealer that holds its coverage as long as this one does. Using an under eye primer for longevity did not deliver any advantages–I’m going to skip that step next time.

The product’s skin care ingredients–while not affirmatively moisturizing–did make my under eye area appear flattened (meaning non-puffy) and slightly more youthful throughout the day. Mind, this is not (and does not claim to be)  an anti-aging skincare serum. Still, the skin in my under eye area just looked better, and it kept that look throughout the entire day. Unlike the Nars concealer, however, the Laura Mercier does not feel as affirmatively moisturizing. I’d advise a good separate moisturizer when using this product.

The one curious and consistent problem I had was ever-so-slight creasing (whether using a moisturizer or not). Having said that, the overall coverage was still excellent even after sweeping away the creasing. This stuff just does not give up–it’s relentless. Here’s a picture with the product buffed and blended:

Laura Mercier High Coverage Concealer blended1Finally, although this covers beautifully, I think that my slightly blue under eye circles really do need a touch of color correction. The area looked much better on the days I wore the Armani Master Color Corrector underneath the product. I may be able to solve this another way–by trying a slightly deeper shade of the Laura Mercier’s High Coverage Concealer for Under Eye. Speaking just for me, sometimes going a bit deeper  helps erase those blue tones as well as a corrector. That’s the reason that I’m going back and forth on the shades.

Ingredient list (click to enlarge):

Laura Mercier Concealer2

Overall, I’m pleased with Laura Mercier’s latest offering. I’m going to keep playing with the product to see whether a powder may help the slight creasing issue that I have. The texture is a bit surprising, very pigmented and highly tenacious. Absolutely worth a look.

Available at Nordstrom, Sephora,  Neiman Marcus,  Saks Fifth Avenue, and Macys.

This post constinas affiliate links, For more information, see About Cafe Makeup

 

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Feb 222013
 

Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer3a

Earlier this week, I posted my swatches of Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer, which is now available for $28 on Nars website. These just appeared on the Nordstrom.com website and will be released to all other stores after March 1, 2013.

Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer5

 Since Monday, I’ve been testing the colors in my skin color range. Note that I’ve been applying the Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer over an undereye moisturizer and serum. I am usually the lightest shade in any concealer range, except for Lancome Effernances. For Nars, I found that Honey and Custard were the best colors for my NC15/20 skin. I found that Honey worked best to neutralize the blue tone under my eye, so I’ve been using that one the most. Chantilly is very, very light. I found Vanilla too cool, and it gave me a ghosty look under my eyes. (I took seriously the advice that one shouldn’t wear concealers that are too light for one’s skin tone).

Nars Honey

I know what you are thinking, Gorgeous–Honey looks too dark in the tube for someone as fair as NC15/20. I say, well, when I apply it, and tilt my head up so that the light is absolutely even on my face, it looks like a good match and covers my dark circles. It looks natural, like real skin.

Nars honey and custard

Although in theory, Custard might seem to match with my skin tone, I found that Custard honestly didn’t cancel out the blue under my eyes quite as well as Honey. Although I’d want to do more testing on this point, perhaps I’d need to use a peach corrector if I was stuck on using Custard. So, after this week, Honey was the win for me–it looked the most natural with the best coverage for the final effect.

Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer2

I have high standards for concealers. In my mind, even companies that include Chanel don’t make a concealer that I find satisfying. I’ve used so many concealers that I couldn’t even begin to count them. Here are some additional thoughts:

  • Nars Radiant Creamy concealers are quite pigmented. I didn’t need much (a few light dots) to get full coverage. Use much less than a full doe-foot’s worth.
  • After the first day, I stopped using a corrector underneath. I found that the Bobbi Brown Corrector that I had used was interfering with the longevity of the Nars Radiant Creamy, and the coverage of the Nars Honey was fine without it.
  • Fading was really minimal, even compared to some of the longer lasting concealers that I’ve used (including Estee Lauder Double Wear Concealer, Cle de Peau, and others).
  • Because the pigment can be applied in a very thin layer, I found these less dry-looking and aging compared to any other concealer that I’ve used. Even my beloved Burberry and Cle de Peau seem to look a bit aging on my worst, driest-skin days.
  • Nars Radiant Creamy Concealers are more pigmented than the Armani Maestro Concealers that I’ve tried.
  • The Nars works well on imperfections on the face (I use this under my foundation). I doesn’t have the shiny look that some concealers do that can emphasize problems.

Bottom line:  Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer is a truly great concealer.

Now available on Nars website, Nordstrom.com and everywhere else after March 1st.

Nars Cosmetics provided the Radiant Creamy Concealer 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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Feb 172013
 

Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer1

Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer ($28) is set to release any day now, available first on Nars online and in Nars flagship boutiques. These have just appeared on the Nordstrom.com website  and will be everywhere else around March 1st). Cafe Makeup was sent a packet of samples, and so we are posting our swatches so that you can be ready to choose.

Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer2

 Nars Radiant Creamy Concealers are gloriously pigmented and feel moisturizing. According to the company, these are “luxuriously smooth with hydrating skincare benefits.”  They are intended for use undereye, as well as for other skin imperfections. This “multi-action formula provides medium to high buildable coverage in a natural, radiant finish with long-lasting results.” Having just torn open the envelope to cries of “ooooh pretty!”, we haven’t done all-day stress-testing but we plan to do so this week.

On to the colors:

CHANTILLY: True ivory shade for fairest complexions

VANILLA: Tiny cast of pink for the fair complexion

HONEY: Warm peach tone for light to medium complexion

CUSTARD: Yellow tone for light to medium complexion

GINGER: Golden undertone for medium complexion

BISCUIT: Medium dark natural balance of pink and yellow undertones

CARAMEL: Medium dark yellow and golden undertones

AMANDE: Medium dark with golden olive undertones

CAFÉ: Dark shade with warm red undertones

CACAO: Dark shade with deep gold-brown undertones

Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer3a

Swatches of all shades:

Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer4

 Another (same order):

Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer5

The Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer are available on Nars online and in Nars flagship boutiques. These have just appeared on the Nordstrom.com website  and will be everywhere else after March 1st.

We’ll post a separate review when we’ve tested these more. In the meantime, here’s a quick video from Nars about using their products:

Cafe Makeup received these samples without charge from Nars for consideration for review. This post includes an affiliate link (see About Cafe Makeup for more information)

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Feb 142013
 

RadiantCreamyConcealer_lo

NARS is releasing its new NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer line on February 20th on Narscosmetics.com and at NARS flagship boutiques (everywhere else on March 1).  We’ve seen this used in a few of Nars backstage work during New York Fashion Week for Fall 2013 over the past week, finally it is being released to all.

According to NARS:

Ideal for all skin types, new NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer boasts a luxuriously smooth texture enriched with hydrating skincare benefits. When applied to camouflage darkness under the eyes and reduce the appearance of redness and skin imperfections, the multi-action formula provides medium to high buildable coverage in a natural, radiant finish with long-lasting results. A single stroke keeps complexion looking fresh and creaseless all day – going on smoothly and blending easily. Light diffusing technology blurs imperfections and fine lines, and evens skin tone without masking skin’s natural coloring. Skin glows with new radiance over or under foundation – and looks beautiful even when bare.

Perfect as a complement to Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF30 or layered with Sheer Matte & Sheer Glow Foundation. Crease-proof. Long-wear. Non-comedogenic. Dermatologist tested. Paraben-free. Alcohol-free. Fragrance-free.

Nars Concealer

Color range:

CHANTILLY: True ivory shade for fairest complexions

VANILLA: Tiny cast of pink for the fair complexion

HONEY: Warm peach tone for light to medium complexion

CUSTARD: Yellow tone for light to medium complexion

GINGER: Golden undertone for medium complexion

BISCUIT: Medium dark natural balance of pink and yellow undertones

CARAMEL: Medium dark yellow and golden undertones

AMANDE: Medium dark with golden olive undertones

CAFÉ: Dark shade with warm red undertones

CACAO: Dark shade with deep gold-brown undertones

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

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Dec 312012
 

It’s been quite a year here at Cafe Makeup! We’ve had a huge year–we passed our 3rd blog birthday and we’re very thankful for our amazing readers.

As you might now, we’ve both had a very busy year off the blog as well. Between Amy’s travel schedule (she was on the road almost continuously from June through November), and Liz’s busy work schedule, we’re so pleased that we’ve been able to keep our love of beauty alive on the blog now that we’re reached December 31st. We’ve had a lot of help along the way. Cafe Makeup would like to do a special “thank you” to Sabrina at The Beauty Look Book (her Best of 2012 is here). She’s been so wonderful and and encouraging throughout the entire year. I’d also like to thank all of the lovely readers and other beauty bloggers who’ve kept us alive by linking, retweeting and continuing our beauty conversations. You might also wish to explore The Non Blonde’s Top Products of 2012–I really respect her taste.

To celebrate the year’s end, we’d like to raise a glass of champagne to our readers! As we sip, we’re going to go through our Top Ten Products of 2012.  As you know, we’ve seen many things throughout the year. Here’s a feature which tells you which ones won our hearts, which ones we still depend on, and are truly the very Top Shelf Products of the Year 2012.

1. Tom Ford Blushes: Although released in 2011, I’ve come to love the high quality, beautiful glow of these blushes. As an aside, the brush is incredible as well. The original review is here.

Tom Ford Blush02

 

2.  Giorgio Armani Maestro Concealer: I can’t believed that a concealer made my top 10 list, but there it is. This is truly an androgynous product–appropriate regardless of gender. I originally bought this on a whim. Over time, I’ve become dependent on the extremely high quality, great coverage, incredibly natural look, and skin care benefits (it contains ingredients to breaks up sun damage and dark spots). The application is incredibly natural–sometimes I cover few spots and under eyes, and skip foundation entirely. This makes this a truly travel-friendly product, as you can leave your liquid foundation at home. The original review is here, I’ve since switched to buying shade #3.

GA concealer

3. Perricone MD Skin Care: I’ve been working on my skin with intensity since February. Last week, I got a few random compliments from strangers–“your skin looks beautiful–what are you using?” As a beauty blogger, I’ve been using several different things, but I’ve added a healthy dose of Perricone MD. My favorites so far are the Perricone MD Vitamin C Ester 15, the Blue Plasma Peel and the Formula 15 serum. Although I haven’t reviewed it yet, the Perricone Face Finishing Moisturizer appears to have some magical ingredients in it as well.

Perricone

4. 2012 was the year of the BB Cream:  Over the past several months, the term “BB Cream” has entered the beauty vernacular with a vengeance. Although originating overseas with formulas that combine anti-aging, skincare benefits, and sunscreen, in the U.S. some formulas are said to be nothing more than glorified tinted moisturizers. However, there are some that stand above the crowd. Cafe Makeup’s former favorite was Dior DiorSnow BB Cream, a remarkably stable version with serious sun protection(SPF 50) and all-day tenacity (even in the Florida summer humidity).

omorovicza bb cream

The Dior would still be my favorite, except that I was recently sent the Omorovicza Complexion Perfector BB Cream (SPF 20) by the company. I’ll be doing a review soon, but this creamy, light foundation is absolutely perfect is so many ways.

The most startling effect is that my skin looks improved after I remove it at the end of the day. To my eye, it’s noticeable. In 2013, we can expect to see “CC Creams,” which are next-generation products (including one from Chanel). A few have started to land at drugstores, according to Nouveau Cheap. Those new products will have some very stiff competition from Omorovicza’s Complexion Perfector.

5. Tom Ford Enchanted Eye Quad. This one makes me hear angels sing. The original review is here.

Tom Ford Enchanted Quad03

6. Chanel Rouge Allure Luminous Intense Lipsticks.  Why should the MAC lovers have all the fun? These are intensely pigmented lipsticks that provide gorgeous coverage with a very thin layer of product. The colors are outstanding–complex, intense, original, sophisticated, and very beautiful. I’ve purchased several, and am eyeing several colors from the Spring 2013 collection (I’ve caved on one already). Swatches of all colors are here (except for the Spring 2013, which were just released).

Chanel Lipsticks new1a

7. Nars Andy Warhol Collection. This highly original collection melded fine art and beauty. This included an incredibly rich and thoughtful array of choices, with something for everyone. I certainly found some favorites among them, including the Flowers palettes with the incredible taupe. At the same time, the collection helped us relive just a touch of the 1960’s makeup era just as Marc Jacobs made it fashionable for clothing. I’ve read that Francois Nars plans to do another artists collaboration next year, and I’m certainly hopeful that he will. Regardless of whether you purchased anything from the collection, this one warrants serious recognition for its attention to detail and creativity, as well as its sweeping scope.

Warhol Portrait 1

8. Le Metier de Beaute CHEM60 Pro-Peel and GLOW10ai Mask Set. Applause for giving busy women truly ingenious results at home. I love this set. The original post is here.

Le Metier Peel 10

9. Dior Nail Polish. There is something about Dior that has been excelling in the nail polish realm lately. Yes, I loved OPI’s Skyfall collection–the colors are fast, fun, and highly affordable. I got a 4-5 of them, and still wear them. Can you think of a Fall on-trend color that wasn’t part of Skyfall? I sure can’t.

Skyfall

Still, Dior’s formula spreads like butter, levels off beautifully, and has a helpful, manageable brush. Unlike OPI’s Skyfall, Dior has been truly cutting edge in its color development this year. Rather than capturing trends, Dior is setting them. I have to love an imaginative industry leader.

Dior Mango Pasteque Lime2

10. Guerlain This traditional French company has done so many things right this year. From its beautiful summer Terracotta Pucci collection, the new Petit Robe Noir perfume, and the development of new formulas of lipsticks. Liz and I both love the new Guerlain Rouge G L’Extrait Lip Color (the review for Paresse is here). I’d love to include more Guerlain in this list, if I could.

Guerlain Extrait Paresse04

Thank you for another wonderful year in beauty, Gorgeous!  And cheers!

What were your favorite products for 2012? We’d love to know!

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