Jul 092014
 

ddCan you tell that it’s Haute Couture week in Paris? Dior seems to be entirely renewed with the work of its lead fashion designer Raf Simons, who showed his work against a wall of orchids at Paris’ Rodin Museum. This year’s haute couture used graphic shape as the canvas for the complex handwork embroidery and modern details that is setting new standards for the historic haute couture craft. The show featured embroidered silk coats,elegant ball skirts and soft, sophisticated color.

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Jun 012014
 

Dior My Lady Blushes1aThis summer, Dior’s My Lady Glowing Blush Palettes ($60 each/0.35 oz.) have been remarkably hard to get. In two colors, 002 Pink and 003 Coral, these are both intricacy etched, finely milled, and beautifully formulated.

Dior My Lady Blushes2aI was able to order mine from a Dior boutique, and I noticed today that both are up for sale on Saks.com. Probably Dior’s most stunning pieces from a gorgeously successful beauty season, these are well worth a look. Packed with mini-kabuki brushes, they both offer a lovely combination of colors that blend into a beautiful, glowing, natural wash of color. Here is Dior My Lady #002 Pink, which applies as a soft cool violet-pink. Love the signature Dior Cannage etching:

My Lady Blush 002a

Here is Dior My Lady #003 Coral, which is a warm, gorgeous soft red-coral.

Dior My Lady Blushes4a

Here are some quick swatches of both (these are the best I can do in my on-the road shooting conditions right now:

Dior My Lady Blushes5a

So beautiful! I wanted to do a very fast post so that you could get them while these are now available.

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May 202014
 

christian-dior-resort-2015-beauty-01_125435622807.jpg_gallery_max

This is a quick note to bring a few new Dior products to your attention, all used at Dior’s recent Resort 2015 show.

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One of Cafe Makeup’s favorite makeup artists and now Creative Director of Dior Makeup, Peter Philips, created the look using three new products that we will want to keep an eye on.

Dior 7First, Peter used Dior Addict It-Liner ($31) to create a disjointed line on the top and bottom lashes.

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Gorgeous:

Dior 4Philips also used black eyeshadow traced over the liner, as well as a shimmery pink shadow on the lid and an iridescent white shadow between the two black lines at the outer corner. “I used pink on the lid because white would look too pearly. The pink blends in better and creates a subtler highlight.” The final effect:

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Some models used  the new Dior Addict It-Lash Mascara ($26)  mascara on their top lashes. “I like this brush because it keeps the lashes really separated,” Philips said.

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Third, Philips used a new Dior Foundation–called Diorskin Star Foundation– for a matte/luminous look.

dior-resort-3According to Philips: “It’s a matte finish, but it stays very luminous when it’s on the skin. It gives your skin a movie-star quality.” According to a video on Dior’s website, the effect is a lit-from-within, luminous effect.

Screen Shot 2014-05-20 at 9.43.52 PMI cannot wait to see how these products compare to other premium lines. In the meantime, enjoy a few more images from the show.

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If this is the new foundation, I’m all in._MG_9288

One more look at the table–this is a promising shade range.Image3

And one last look at the backstage area:

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The look on the runway:

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And this modern play on the classic Dior silhouette:

Dior

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May 042014
 

Dior Pandore Addict Stick1 Dior’s Addict Fluid Stick ($35) is a new range of liquid lipstick that, at first, I tried very hard to ignore. I was under a mis-impression that the formula was nice but I was unsure whether any of the colors would work. I was so, so wrong. After an hour at a local counter, I think the only problem with this range is that nearly all of the colors work on a wide variety of skin tones. Who can get just one? Dior Pandore Addict Stick2 I’m starting my collection with Dior Fluid Stick in Pandore, a lovely pink-red. Although I know that I’ll be branching out very soon to get several more. Dior Pandore Addict Stick3 Pandore is a rich, bright, gorgeous red that can be worked into any season. Anyone that loves neutral makeup as much as I do will find that Pandore offers a perfect touch of brightening color that is always appropriate. Here is the doe foot applicator, which is quite easy to use: Dior Pandore Addict Stick4I’ll give the bottom line early (spoiler alert!)–Dior Addict Fluid Sticks are a gorgeous, gorgeous formula. I need at least two more–a pink and a nude. Maybe a deep color as well.  The quality is beautiful, and these look amazing on. Liz prefers to wear this more sheerly, and I prefer to load up the doe-foot for  a full force red. Here’s Liz’s lighter touch with Dior Pandore: Dior Pandore Addict Stick5 And a quick, rich swatch…. Dior Pandore Addict Stick6 Overall, we’re loving Dior Pandore. And I’m loving this new formula. Below, Liz is wearing Dior Fluid Stick in Pandore, Nars Lost Coast eyeshadow duo, Chanel Perfection Lumiere Velvet Foundation in #20, and Nars Olympia Contour Blush.

Liz Nars Contour Powders1a


Dior Addict Fluid Sticks are available at Nordstrom.com, Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, and Macy’s.

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Sep 252013
 

Dior Spring 2013 Nail composite

Although I love the convenience of a two-week UV gel cured manicure, I’ve been looking for ways to prolong nail polish wear that doesn’t involve the difficult acetone removal process that UV manicures appear to require. Toward that end, I’ve been playing with some of the “new generation” gel topcoats.  In early April 2013, I gave a preliminary report on Dior’s Gel Coat (reviewed here).

Dior Spring 2013 Nail Polish30

I got amazing longevity using Dior’s gel topcoat. My nails grew, protected by the tough topcoat. I got beautiful, glossy results that lasted for days longer than my usual topcoats. This gives a deep, glossy gel-like coat which dries hard but retains flexibility. In late June, I began to notice that I had used quite a bit of the Dior up, and that it was getting considerably thicker and goopier as the contents of the bottle went down.

Gel Topcoats 21

Around the end of June, I threw my Dior Gel Coat into a drawer and headed for Paris. While in the City of Light, I picked up Guerlain’s Le Topcoat Gel.  I found the Guerlain worked equally as well as Dior–given that the companies are owned by the same parent, they may be the same formula for all I know.  The key is, if you can’t find one, you can get the other and be assured of good results.  The benefit to the Guerlain is that it is $1 less, and has the ball bearings inside to keep the contents stirred.

Gel Topcoats 23

The Guerlain works beautifully, by the way. Although my bottle isn’t old yet, the hardening/goopiness doesn’t seem to be quite as bad with this one (however, I do shake those ball bearings up quite a bit).  To be honest, both of these formulas have given me unprecedented longevity for my nail polish–literally, days longer than normal and very little tipwear.  Still I would, occasionally, get chips with unusually heavy nail wear.

Gel Topcoats 15

Now for the secret sauce. Still not being satisfied with these superb results, I had heard that Revlon’s Colorstay Gel-Smooth Base Coat. The only place that I’ve found this so far is Target (accept no substitute). Using the Revlon Base Coat under my nail polish really eliminated the chipping, giving me near-perfect nails up to 3-5 days. Okay, so far so good with the Revlon Base Coat–but what about the Revlon Gel-Shine Top Coat (also pictured above)?  It is a thinner formula than Dior’s or Guerlian’s. It does does prolong my nail wear somewhat. However, the Revlon does not give me the lush gel-like glossy look of the Dior or Guerlain Gel topcoats. Also, the Revlon Top Coat does not give me quite the longevity and protection of the Dior/Guerlain (even when using two coats of the Revlon top coat).

Gel Topcoats 11

What of that bottle of Dior that was tossed into a drawer prior to Paris?  Regrettably, the contents became a gummy solid in the bottom of the bottle. I thought I’d try to revive it with Seche Restore– for more information about this miracle product, see Scrangie’s post here.

seche restore

I pulled out the old lab notebook like a high school science experiment.

Gel Topcoats 12

Sadly, the Dior was too far gone for this method to work. I basically ended up with a glacial-like substance with bits of liquid Seche Restore creating a little ice floe. My thesis proved incorrect, but that Dior was really far gone when I tried this. Perhaps I’ll try again with a bottle that has more life and get better results?

In summary, I found that using nail polish over Revlon Colorstay Gel Smooth Base Coat really adds wear time to my manicure. Then, adding either the Dior or Guerlain Gel topcoats gave me the closest thing to gorgeous, glossy and protected nails that I’ll obtain outside of a UV cured gel manicure. Using these products, I get 3-5 days of wear (which never happens), and a beautifully glossy, gel-like texture. For me, this wear time is highly unusual. I’ve heard of people getting longer wear but I’ve rarely gone this long. These all remove easily with a standard nail polish remover (no acetone needed). I love it. Of course, the downside is that one wants to use up the bottle that’s been opened (given my experience with the drying out of the Dior Gel). I’m concerned about storage for bottles once they’ve been opened.

Do you have any polish pointers?  Please share them… remember, sharing is caring!

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