Feb 162015
 

Yves Saint Laurent Nu Palette 1

I wanted to post some pictures of swatches taken of the Yves Saint Laurent Couture Variation Eyeshadow Palette in 1 Nu ($95), a beautiful nude palette with a mix of shimmery and matte shades. This is available at Nordstrom, Yves Saint Laurent, Bloomingdales, Neiman Marcus, and Saks Fifth Avenue.

nu2

Inside is a full-sized mirror and some lovely neutrals.

nu3a

Shade number 1 is nearly nude on my skintone. The rest are a beautiful mix of peaches, rose, marsala, taupe and brown.

YSL Nu palettte swatches1

Swatches in sun:

YSL Nu palettte swatches5

In open shade with flash:YSL Nu palettte swatches3

A mix of sun and flash:YSL Nu palettte swatches4 copyThe shadows behave and blend well. So far, so good!

These are still available at Nordstrom, Yves Saint Laurent, Bloomingdales, Neiman Marcus, and Saks Fifth Avenue.

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Feb 142015
 

A quick update:  It’s days like this when it makes me very happy to have started a blog back in . . . oh, my gosh…2009!  Has it been that long? With all of the transitions in my life, this blog (and you!) have been there.  It’s so wonderful to be able to send some thoughts–however incomplete, imperfect, and informal..and send them out into the world. It makes me genuinely happy. 

My house transition–while not complete–is progressing. The makeup room is ready for organization. It’s been very calming to unpack and organize my palettes, blushes, and lipsticks.  Although it’s not photographically pretty (yet), it’s been good to get things organized again with plenty of space. It’s sort of a symbol of a lot of things falling into place in my off-blog life as well.

makeup roomIn other news, I have to give MAC credit for releasing some adorable packaging with the MAC Toledo collection. These queenly-white items are based on the love story of an artist couple, and hit all the right “modern royalty” notes with me.  The stars of the collection in my mind are the lipsticks and glosses, which is no surprise as MAC seems to excel in those departments. I chose Oxblood and Opera lipsticks, Opera lipgloss, and Kindergarten Red blush.

MAC Toledo Oxblood

 

The packaging has a rubberized-Nars-like texture, which feel very cushy to hold. Sure, they’ll attract fingerprints, but they look adorable. There are some items still available at Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, and Macys.

Yves Saint Laurent Nu Palette 1

My Yves Saint Laurent Nu palette arrived. I know, I owe you swatches.  For now, enjoy these! This is a very “le smoking” themed-design.

YSL Nu Palette 2

And inside, these neutral lovelies:

YSL Nu palette1These are still available at Nordstrom, Yves Saint Laurent, Bloomingdales, Neiman Marcus, and Saks Fifth Avenue. I don’t see this at Sephora, unfortunately.

Shu palette

Is there an epic battle of neutral palettes going on, or what? Shu Uemura’s 16 Shades of Nude palette is now online for sale. Here are some “in real life” pictures on Rouge Deluxe. I just noticed this is now for sale on Shu Uemura’s website. There’s a 15% off code now SHEEP (through 2/20/15).

I hope you are having a lovely weekend. It’s a balmy 28 degrees outside right now-just kidding! I’m going for my second cup of something warm.

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Jan 202015
 

Nars dual intensity eyeshadows02

The geniuses at NARS have released a palette of a selected number of their incredible dual-intensity eyeshadows–the Narsissist Dual-Intensity Palette ($79) (limited edition). This lovely palette comes in a modern, minimal shape with a mirrored top (as well as a full size mirror inside the case). This formula was previously reviewed here. Available at Nars online and Saks Fifth Avenue. This one is limited edition, so please don’t wait long.

Nars dual intensity eyeshadows06

This palette includes:

  • Europa – Gossamer Pink Peach
  • Himalia – Shimmering Topaz
  • Ursa Major – Chocolate Glaze
  • Subra – Black Orchid
  • Andromeda – Alabaster
  • Lysithea – Shark Grey
  • Giove – Navy
  • Sycorax – Black

A closer look at the four left shades– Europa, Himalia, Andromeda, Lysithea:

Nars dual intensity eyeshadows07The four right shades– Ursa Mijor, Subra, Giove and Sycorax.

Nars dual intensity eyeshadows10

As you likely know, the formula can be used dry for a more subtle effect, or wet for more intensity. As you can see from this previous post, this formula has gorgeous dimension.  The pigment plays with the light in a lovely, flattering way. Here are the shades applied dry:

Nars swatches1Another set:

Nars dual intensity1Here are the shades applied wet:

Nars dual intensity3Another set applied wet:

Nars dual intensity6a

I think that the colors for this palette are extremely well-chosen. This palette includes a lovely range–from glowy light colors to deep ones that can be used as a liner or crease. I just love the way that this formula catches the light. It relies on a thin, impact-full formula. Drama with elegance–not glitter!  Just that beautiful, pearly sheen.

Overall, I love the fact that those who do not want to invest in several singles can get a great selection in a single package. There is a range of neutrals, but enough beautiful jewel-deep colors that can be used for chic drama. With both wet and dry application options, this makes a beautiful option to add beautiful interest to the eyes.

Ingredients (click to enlarge):

Nars dual intensity eyeshadows01

Bottom line:  highly recommended. Available at Nars online and Saks Fifth Avenue. This one is limited edition, so please don’t wait long.

Cafe Makeup received this palette without charge for consideration for review. This post contains affiliate links (for more information, see About Cafe Makeup)

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Jan 112015
 

Sephora marsala01Happy 2015! Sephora’s Pantone Color of the Year is Marsala, a wearable shade that is office-friendly and flattering on many skin tones. To commerate, Sephora has gathered an entire range of products from different lines that fit within this beautiful neutral. In addition, Sephora has put together its own items built around the Marsala color story. These include the Sephora +Pantone Universe Facets of Marsala Multi-Finish Eye Palette ($39) and the Sephora +Pantone Universe Pure Marsala Matte Lip Creme ($18). The eyeshadow palette is sold out online at present, but there were four or five at my local Sephora on Friday (so hopefully there will be some in yours as well).

Sephora marsala04

These items are packaged in a marsala-toned metallic-colored finish that actually very pretty. The eyeshadow palette is lightweight, slim and highly functional. Although it won’t keep the packaging designers for Marc Jacobs or Tom Ford all night, their simple design is reflected in this highly affordable price point.

Sephora marsala08

If you want my honest opinion, I think that the line put the money into the product not the packaging. At $39 and $18 respectively, that’s a good call. The quality of the product to the applied to the eye and lips is surprisingly good. The pigmentation, texture, and range of colors and textures is outstanding.

Sephora marsala07As you can see, there are different textures of Marsala-toned colors in the top center. Surrounding these are a range of beautiful colors that coordinate nicely. I found that these applied beautifully–the texture is soft, does not kick up a lot of dust, and are a breeze to apply and blend. If you are heading to the stores today, you’ll want to stop by your Sephora and try out the tester.

Sephora marsala09

 

Swatches:

Sephora marsala10

 

Sephora marsala11

Sephora marsala12

Sephora marsala13

The Sephora Marsala eyeshadow palette was swatched with the NARS Artistry Smudge Brush #45 #45 ($28)(reviewed here), which is a pretty awesome brush. I did an eye with the Wayne Goss #6 brush ($25) and found that the colors applied and blended very impressively. For the price, this Sephora eyeshadow palette is a steal.

Sephora marsala02

The Sephora + Pantone Universe Marsala lipstick ($18) is a nice reddish-brown neutral that is semi-matte.

Sephora marsala06Swatch of the lipstick:

Sephora marsala14I attempted a lip swatch to give you a sense of the color:

sephora marsala lipstick4The good news is that those gorgeous geniuses at Sephora have provided Cafe Makeup with a fresh never-used eyeshadow palette and lipstick for giveaway!  Fun, right? If you’d like a try, you must leave a comment here on Cafe Makeup through the Rafflecopter form for one point (only once for the entire contest, please). If you’d like additional points, you can voluntarily tweet about the giveaway for another point (you are limited to one tweet per day) through the Rafflecopter form below. The comment is mandatory to enter, the tweet is not.

Note that the tweet must be through the Rafflecopter form. 

The contest is open the U.S. readers only and ends on Friday 1/16/15 at 12:00 am Eastern time.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Good luck to everyone!! Sephora marsala03 Sephora marsala02 These items were provided to Cafe Makeup without charge for review and give-away. This post includes affiliate links (for more information, see About Cafe Makeup)

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Jan 092015
 

Giorgio Armani’s 12-collection Eye Tints ($38 each) are just hitting counters now. So far, these are for sale on Giorgio Armani’s own site, Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus and at Nordstrom. For me, these are going to be Pokemon (gotta catch ’em….). I love this format so much more than Armani’s little pot cream eyeshadows.


armani eye tints

According to the line, the “Eye Tint is the 1st to market liquid tint for eyes. The innovative formula transforms from liquid to solid, instantly adhering to the eye lid providing 16 hours of fault-proof, smudge-free and crease-free wear. 12 luminous runway inspired shades can be used as an eye shadow or eye liner, and infinitely layered for natural to glamorous looks.”  They can be worn opaque (full color) or sheered out.

armani eyetint4

I’m not a talented counter-swatcher, but I couldn’t resist making a record for myself today that I’m happy to share (be kind! I’m no Karlasugar).  These are incredibly complicated and multidimensional. They do have micro-shimmer/glitter in many of the formula. Of course, it’s Armani shimmer so do not be afraid. These are lovely. My pictures do not do these justice, but I hope to more in-depth review soon of the two that I purchased.

armani eyetint2
One more:

armani eyetint1

These are currently for sale on Giorgio Armani’s own site, Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus and at Nordstrom.

Note: since this was originally posted, it’s been brought to my attention that the original photographs posted here had #9 cold copper and #12 gold ashes switched. This post has been updated to correct the labeling. I apologize for any confusion.

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Jan 092015
 

This is just a quick teaser post of some Nars items that arrived.  This box contains the new series of Nars All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation, several Soft Velvet Loose Powders, Eyeshadow palettes, eye pencils, a new lipgloss, a more.  Please keep in mind that this is just an “open the box” style post. These pictures are not color-accurate as I have not set up the correct lighting.  Still, so exciting!  I can feel my heart beat faster and faster….

Nars preview01

Nars preview06

Nars preview10

 

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Jan 082015
 

Mac Spring trend palette swatches01

MAC’s Spring Trend ’15 palettes have been released for a few months now, but in this deep cold weather I thought it would be fun to post some swatches to remind myself that Spring is just around the corner. These are both available on maccosmetics.com.

Mac spring trend palette 152

The MAC Spring ’15 Lip and Cheek palette ($40) is an outstanding combination of flattering shades from almost every color family. How beautiful is this? The formula works for both lip color and blush.

Mac spring trend palette 153

How yummy is this? I cannot wait to wear this as the sun starts to peek through the sky once again. Swatches:

Mac Spring trend palette swatches10

The MAC Spring ’15 Trend palette ($40) seems a little more mixed, but I still thought it worth the price. I think that I’ll love using some of the shades, although the light green and blue look a little challenging to me.

Mac Spring trend palette swatches03a

The neutral urbanist, coupled with the brown-burgundy power player and eggplant night walk look outstanding to me. This will be fun to dig into soon.

Mac Spring trend palette swatches05

Swatches of MAC’s Spring Trend eye palette:

Mac Spring trend palette swatches06ba

Both palettes use a cream formula. Although I haven’t had much time to play with these yet, these look like the perfect play palettes once the weather starts warming.

Mac Spring trend palette swatches09To everyone suffering through challenging weather right now, my thoughts are with you. Hopefully as you read this you are safe, warm and comfortable. Cheers!

 

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Oct 272014
 

Sephora Chroma Color Giveaway2 copyIn addition to our giveaway for the Sephora Holiday Festival Blockbuster palette, there is another one for those who love their eye color–how awesome is that? Cafe Makeup is sponsoring a second giveaway, this one for the Sephora Chroma Color Eye Palette (retail price $65).  Sephora sent both of these lovelies to Cafe Makeup for a giveaway to our U.S. readers.

Sephora Chroma Color GIveaway two1 copyThis rather impressive gift has 54 eyeshadows, 12 full size pencils, and a double side eyeshadow brush. This is some serious fun!

Sephora Chroma Color Giveaway5 copyHere’s a close up of a few of the full sized pencils and the double sided brush:

Sephora Chroma Color Giveaway6 copy

If you’d like to enter, please leave me a comment on this exact post, saying “enter me” or something similar (I’m sorry, I can’t track entries left on social media). If you’d like to enter the other Cafe Makeup/ Sephora giveaway, go for it!  Just only enter once per giveaway.  This contest for the Sephora Chroma Color Eye Palette will end Wednesday November 5th at midnight. This giveaway is limited to U.S. residents only. Good luck, lovelies!!

This palette was sent to Cafe Makeup without charge, and this post contains affiliate links (for more information see About Cafe Makeup

 

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Aug 152014
 

Chanel Poesie1As nearly everyone knows, Chanel has released a new series of eyeshadow palettes ($61 each). Unlike the pressed powder versions previously released in the U.S., these are “baked” textures that are released in the same format throughout the world. Chanel’s new quads are available at Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Bloomingdales.
Chanel Poesie3As with Chanel’s past releases outside the U.S., the packaging is the same from the front. The little velveteen pouch, the size and the like is all identical of course.

Chanel Poesie2From the back, you can see that the pans are now all round and the weight/size of the eyeshadows is lighter. Although my prior quads all vary in their weight, most seem to be more in the 6 and up gram range. Of the numerous ones available, I chose Chanel Poesie, a limited edition palette that sold out very quickly.  I was surprised, because prior Chanel limited edition releases seemed to be available for a while before sellout.

Chanel Poesie4The colors are pretty and subtle–certainly these quads are well-behaved, work friendly combinations. Like Poesie, many of them are baked-shimmer. Poesie has no matte shades in the mix. The deeper shades are more complex than the two softer shades. Overall, they create a very pretty. softly colored eye. Swatches:

Chanel Poesie swatches3

Another set of swatches:

Chanel Poesie swatches1I’ve worn this several times and it’s very easy to create a fool-proof, work-friendly eye. These aren’t the most dramatic formulas. Sometimes Chanel excels at quiet little basics like a pretty ballet flat that goes with everything. Many Chanel lovers will adore this system makes a pretty eye so easy.  Others might add a dash of drama–for example, I added at touch of MAC Black Swan to the liner to add some pretty dimension.

Something in me hopes that we will see some astounding creativity in this format from Chanel, as we have seen in the pressed powder versions of the past. Certainly, some companies seem to be going through an eyeshadow revolution right now and it seems appropriate that Chanel issue some new colors right now as well. Still, I plan on picking up a few more–Gabrielle, Venitienne and Rivoli are calling my name. For now, we have a collection of eight easy pieces for everyday (and night) wear.

Chanel’s new quads are available at Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Bloomingdales.

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Jul 272014
 

YSL Saharienne and Parisian 5 Couture Eyeshadows01Over the past few months, Yves Saint Laurent has been quietly reinventing several beauty items, including these Yves Saint Laurent Couture 5-Color Eyeshadow Palettes ($60 each). After falling in love with the Yves Saint Laurent Fetiche palette reviewed here, I’ve also found time to play with these two new additions. These are available at Nordstrom.com, Bloomingdales, Saks Fifth Avenue, Net-a-Porter and Yves Saint Laurent online.

YSL Saharienne1

I’ve never bought Yves Saint Laurent eyeshadow palettes with any regularity in the past. I believe this new formulation is worth a look. These are lovely, easy to use palettes which apply really easily with a tapered crease brush. I purchased YSL Saharienne #4 because I loved the beautiful, natural look that it gives with a touch of pearl. I never feel the need to wear all five colors at one. Either the top left peach, or the bottom taupe is a nice lid color, and eiher the middle and bottom right shades make lovely crease and liner shades. The top right pearl is a lovely brow bone and inner corner highlighter. Swatches:


YSL Saharienne and Parisian 5 Couture Eyeshadows07a

Here is YSL Saharienne #4 on Liz:

YSL Couture eyeshadow

Yves Saint Laurent Parisienne #7 is a pearly everyday palette that is based on cranberries and that beautiful taupe that is on the upper left.

YSL Saharienne and Parisian 5 Couture Eyeshadows02Swatches:

YSL Saharienne and Parisian 5 Couture Eyeshadows11a


Here is YSL Parisienne on Liz:

YSL Parisienne 2Here, she’s also wearing the Nars Dual Intensity Eyeshadow in Sycorax ($29) applied wet with Nars Angled Eyeliner Brush#27 ($28) I found this video helpful to understand more about Yves Saint Laurent’s Couture line:

Overall, I found the Yves Saint Laurent Couture palettes a step in the right direction for the line. These are lovely, very easy to use, and are nice everyday go-to’s for a professional, polished look that can be amped up for a more glamourous look. The pigmentation was lovely–not super pigmented, but layerable and controllable. These two have beautiful, pearly texture that is still appropriate for day and can be worn on a wide age range. Overall, these are well worth a look.

These are available at Nordstrom.com, Bloomingdales, Saks Fifth Avenue, Net-a-Porter and Yves Saint Laurent online.

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

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