Aug 022015
 

Paris beauty crawl 2

My prior Beauty Crawl, which is modeled after a pub crawl, focused on the areas surrounding the two major department stores near L’Opera Garnier and down toward Le Louvre. Today, I’ll discuss another option that centers on Le Bon Marche located in Paris’ 7th Androssiment. I did an earlier version of this walk a few years ago. This is an update with many more photographs.

les deux magotsYou’ll notice that my map starts with two cafes in the Saint-Germain-des-Prés area. Both are lovely and offer a wonderful start to your shopping day. Les Deux Magots was once a rendezvous points for writers and artists, including Simone de Beauvoir, Jean-Paul Sartre, Ernest Hemingway, Albert Camus, Pablo Picasso, and James Joyce.

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Jul 092015
 

NORDSTROM -  Shop Women's Beauty and Fragrance Exclusives
Here are some suggestions to explore at this year’s Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. As you know, Nordstrom cardholders get early access starting now. Prices go up August 9th.

Chanel Travel Makeup Set ($95) I wish that I had this with me today! This set contains all the essentials to create a complete and flawless makeup look. It offers a variety of shade combinations, helping to create different looks that will suit every occasion. The palette is matched with a travel-size Inimitable Mascara in Noir.

chanel setWhile you’re at it, you might want to look at Chanel’s Perle items which have also just arrived at Nordstrom.

chanel perle

Tom Ford Lips & Boys Set ($96).  I had a feeling we hadn’t seen the last of the Boys. This includes the lovely Flynn, Giacomo and Alejandro.

tom ford lips and boys

Guerlain Meteorites for Summer ($62). These will be exclusive to Nordstrom for a bit.

guerlain rainbow

Dior Eye Reviver in Rosy Palette ($62). According to the description box, this is a slightly different set of shades than the neutral brown one that we’ve previously seen.Dior

Yves Saint Laurent is providing early access to some Fall ’15 items here. The Glossy Stain set at $72 looks like a nice choice.

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If you don’t already have these Giorgio Armani Beauty Essentials ($72) please treat yourself. I really love their base products, and this looks like a wonderful way to get started. This set includes the Fluid Master Primer (1 oz.), the Fluid Sheer #2 (1 oz.), and a Mini Travel Brush for application of both/either._10874167Butter London The New Neutrals Set ($24):

butter londonThis set includes at a rather attractive price point:

  • Fashion-size Nail Lacquer in Early Grey (0.2 oz.)
  • Fashion-size Nail Lacquer in Yummy Mummy (0.2 oz.)
  • Bloody Brilliant Lip Crayon in Tea with the Queen (0.1 oz.)
  •  Pencil Sharpener

‘Blame it on NARS’ Cheek Palette ($59).

blame it on nars

This palette includes ncludes:

  • Highlighting Blush in Satellite of Love
  • Blush in Day Dream
  • Blush in New Attitude
  • Bronzing Powder in Casino
  • Travel-size Ita Kabuki Brush

Bobbi Brown Secret to Standout Eyes ($85)

bobbi

This set includes an eyeshadow palette with 12 shades: Cream, Champagne Quartz Metallic, Nude Glow Metallic, Moonstar Sparkle, Malted, Oyster Sparkle, Taupe Stonewash Shimmer Wash, Mica Shimmer Wash, Chocolate Caviar, Chocolate Bronze Sparkle, and Rich Navy.

Also, there is a Smokey Eye Mascara in Black (I’m assuming this is a mini), Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner in Black Ink (always useful!) and a Mini Ultra Fine Eyeliner Brush.

burberry fresh set

Burberry Nude Glow Set ($78) is a classic addition that can be used daily. This set includes:
– Full-size Fresh Glow Nude Radiance (1 oz.)(yes, full size!)
– Full-size Burberry Kisses Lipstick in Nude Pink (0.12 oz.)
– Full-size Bold Lash Mascara in Black (0.24 oz.)
– My Burberry Fragrance Sample (0.07 oz.)
– Burberry Pouch (looks rather huge and usable)

mac look in a boxIn addition to some lip and brush sets, there are two quiet surprises in the MAC Look in a Box – Sophisticate Face Kit ($49). This little beauty has two former limited edition blushes that sold out rather quickly and became highly sought-after:  Linda and Cream Soda. I’m using up my Linda blush, and although I can’t tell whether the colors in this palette will be identical to the full-sized version, the palette looks like a great one to pick up for travel.  Here’s the full description:

– Powder Blush in Cream Soda (light neutral coral) (0.14 oz.)
– Powder Blush in Linda (peachy tan shimmer) (0.14 oz.)
– Eyeshadow in Hey (nude shimmer) (0.01 oz.)
– Eyeshadow in Sun Tweaked (burnt copper) (0.01 oz.)
– Eyeshadow in Wedge (soft muted beige taupe) (0.01 oz.)
– Eyeshadow in With Flair (0.01 oz.)
– Eyeshadow in limited-edition Beautifully Charred (deep brown with pearl) (0.01 oz.)
– Eyeshadow in Dance in the Dark (deep blackened plum) (0.01 oz.)
– Lipstick in limited-edition Love Happens (warm light nude) (0.02 oz.)
– Lipstick Pan in True Red (vivid bright coral red) (0.02 oz.)
– 213 Fluff Brush/316 Lip Brush

Don’t forget to pick up your basics as well, including lingerie, the Zella Live-in Leggings, those boots that you’ll be greatful for next February, and a little something something to start your holiday shopping early so it doesn’t seem so intimidating come Thanksgiving.

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Today at Dior Couture

 Dior  Comments Off on Today at Dior Couture
Jul 062015
 

The makeup was simple at today’s Dior Couture show in Paris. According to Peter Philips, creative and image director of Christian Dior makeup, “it’s all about skin, skin, skin, and a touch of peach on the eye.” Philips sent models down the runway at Dior Couture with peach shimmer lids, gleamy cheekbones, and “leftover shine” lips.

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Jul 092014
 
en_backstage_du_d__fil___dior_haute_couture_automne_hiver_2014_2015__66232813_north_883x.1

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 Blushes5

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
 
dior-resort-1

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

Dior 9

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:

dior-resort-1

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.

Dior 3

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:

Dior-Cruise---Beauty--1866-HRbis

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 Stick6

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
 
Gel Topcoats 23

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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Sep 042013
 
Dior Fall Nail203

Dior Fall Nail03

I’m a little late to the party with Dior Fall Nail Colors Galaxie and Destin ($24 each), but given that my favorite of the two (Galaxie) is still in stock I thought these were worth a quick look.

Dior Fall Nail06a

Dior Galaxie is a stunning complex cool burgundy with plenty of flash and saturated color. Really, this one’s stunning.

Dior Fall Nail07a

There are multicolor shimmers in the mix, which translate in bright sunlight (indoors, there is a nice dimensionality):

Dior Fall Nail203

I’m still loving the large brush on these. For me application is quite easy. This is two coats.

Dior Fall Nail02

I had high hopes for Dior Destin in the bottle. Doesn’t it look like a gorgeous mauve satin, almost like a ball gown fabric?

Dior Fall Nail210

I also liked the color on the nail, but the texture seemed to frost up a bit and look thick. Also, this might work better on a cooler skin color (mine is warm).  So, for me Dior Galaxie was a clear “must have” winner. Sadly, Destin was not destined to be my favorite Fall shade.

Dior Fall Nail03

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Aug 162013
 
Dior Constellation Bonne Etoile22

Dior Constellation Bonne Etoile01

Dior is doing some impressive things lately. This fall, they’ve released two limited edition palettes–Dior Bonne Etoile and Constellation 5-Color Eye Palettes ($60 each). We’re a bit behind the curve posting about these, but I’m hoping there are a few out there if you see anything that you like. Mostly, this post is a big rave for so many changes that Dior has been making to its line. We love an innovator! 

Dior Constellation Bonne Etoile02

Both palettes are part of the Mystic Metallic collections, which is a high-metal, high glamour. Dior Bonne Etoile has a range of cool blue and green-teal, a gorgeous complicated green, a sparkling bronze-brown and a high-shine cool champagne.

Dior Constellation Bonne Etoile03

There’s something so happy and adorable about those little stars. Swatches:

Dior Constellation Bonne Etoile20

Liz and I found that these are strong, high-shine colors. Any single one of these deeper shades was enough, all on it’s own, to make a pretty eye. This palette has so much drama and glitz that we haven’t yet worked up the courage to use them all at the same time. There’s plenty of color and pigment here, this is a beautifully done palette. Here’s Liz wearing the middle shade only:

Dior Constellation Bonne Etoile13a

Dior Constellation was part of Nordstrom’s Annivesary Sale. It has a range of sparkling, metallic plums and pinks.

Dior Constellation Bonne Etoile05

Up close, you can see this shimmery, highly pigmented color:

Dior Constellation Bonne Etoile06

Swatches:

Dior Constellation Bonne Etoile21

Here is Dior Constellation on Liz, using only the middle three colors:

Dior Constellation Bonne Etoile10

We found these are nicely designed, well-formulated and beautifully made. When the weather cools, we expect to dip into these to get some beautiful, Fall-friendly eyes.

 

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