Jan 162010

Giorgio Armani’s Spring 2010 “Nude Contrasts” collection includes a beautiful neutral palette that I purchased from their online site “Nude Contrasts Palette 2.” ($58).  The packaging is a shiny black version of Armani’s iconic disc.  Both beautiful and functional, these palettes withstand endless and ruthless travel conditions.  Not all of my compacts have survived the airline’s checked luggage handling, but all my Armani’s work as well as new.

Inside are four gorgeous spring colors, three are variations of nude.

Who knew that nude could be so…. complicated? There is no overspray–what you see is what you get.  Fortunately, what you get is a lovely shimmery range of neutrals that can span a range of skin-tones from cool to warm.  There’s a multi-dimensional shimmer throughout the pressed pigment that’s just so (sigh!) pretty.

This is a light-toned shimmery palette.  Adding a touch of black is a useful addition.  You need a dark, even for this palette.  So use this black, which coordinates perfectly and and isn’t going to overwhelm the other shades.

Is this palette a must-have?  Probably not, but the quality of the shadows is discernibly better than a $10/palette neutral version.  There is a very finely milled texture and subtlety that allows the shimmer to look elegant and refined, rather than harsh or too-obvious.

Swatches below (two angles, the swatches are in the same order in both, only one is labeled) so that you can see the texture and shimmer more specifically under different lighting.  Click to enlarge:

Please follow us on....

Jan 132010

Chanel’s Kaska Beige Quad is beautiful mix of beige, gold and purple.

  • The lightest highlight shade is a warm cream, it’s very subtle on lighter skintones.
  • A warm, shimmery gold-taupe
  • A nearly matte, mid-tone mauve
  • A deep, shimmery jeweled amethyst

Based on my initial review, I recommend the palette.  It’s a neutral quad, but the mauve and amethyst keep this from being dull.  I love the mix of shimmer and matte.  I usually resist buying mattes, but when I put an entire eye together I realize that they are really needed to allow the shimmery colors to really sparkle.  After all, an all-shimmery eye can give a metallic cast to the eye area that detracts.  Enjoy the pictures and let me know what you think….

Please follow us on....

Kose Addiction Update

 Eyeshadow  Comments Off on Kose Addiction Update
Jan 102010

I previously reviewed Flashback, and wonderful metallic taupe from the Addiction line.

According to a Twitter update from Kelly at Ichibankao, Kose Addiction products are now available online there for sale in the U.S.  You can find the line at this online store at this link here. The eyeshadows are listed at  ¥3150 JPY, which is roughly $34 (U.S.).  Keep in mind that this includes regular air mail shipping.  EMS shipping, which requires a signature upon delivery, is available from Ichibankao for an additional charge.  Their shipping policies are available here.

I’m not affiliated with Ichibankao.  A few days ago, I placed an order for some Addiction eyeshadows from them and will update when they arrive.

Please follow us on....

Addiction Flashback: Gorgeous Metallic Taupe Eyeshadow

 Eyeshadow  Comments Off on Addiction Flashback: Gorgeous Metallic Taupe Eyeshadow
Jan 092010

I just received a new eyeshadow from Kose’s Addiction line of makeup.  The creative director of the line is Akayo, a makeup artist said to have worked with Nars.  This line was launched last summer, and some of the products are getting rave reviews on London Makeup Girl and Birkin Bag Beauty.  The Addiction website is absolutely gorgeous.

Based on these reviews, I ordered Addiction’s Flashback, listed as a metal-textured taupe.  The only sources I found charge roughly $31 (U.S.) for a single eyeshadow.  I ordered Flashback from The Mihiko Shop, which ships EMS directly from Japan.  Shipping is free if you order $150 worth of product, otherwise shipping is $15 (yes, even if you order only one item).  My order arrived in about eight days.  I recently found another source, from which I ordered two additional metal shades.  I’ll post about that experience after that order arrives.

Flashback is a multidimensional beautiful taupe.  The texture is extremely pigmented and soft, on par with Shu’s ME Silver 945. Yes, I believe that the quality is as good as the pre-2006 Metal Shu’s.  It’s really incredible.  The shadow is placed into a sleek black compact (no mirror or applicator), although the Addiction website features an intriguing line of empty palettes.  Like Shu Uemura eyeshadows, it is evident that the original packaging is intended to be discarded in favor of paletting, although of course there’s no obligation to follow that plan.

Click on the picture if you would like a larger view:

Here is swatch of Addiction Flashback (right) next to Shu Uemura’s ME Silver 945 (left), another beautiful metal taupe.  Addiction is slightly lighter, a bit more reflective and a bit warmer.  Shu ME Silver 945 has a touch more mauve and brown than Flashback.  Both are quite beautiful.  Again, to see the multidimensionality of these, click on the picture for a larger view:

Finally, here is a comparison between Addiction Flashback and a few of the other taupes in my stash:  Shu ME Silver 945 (same as above, discontinued)), MAC Moth Brown (LE), Chanel Safari (current), Chanel Vega (discontinued), MAC Coco Pigment (very shimmery!) and Guerlain’s Holy Smoke pigment (this one’s still available if you love it).  Click to enlarge:

I took all of the above pictures myself.  If you’d like to look at one of Addiction’s own pictures, here’s a shade range from their website (click to enlarge).  As you can see from the product description, there are other textures available:

Please follow us on....

Dec 292009

Chanel Spring 2010 includes two new single eyeshadows from the Ombre Essentialle line (Ombre à Paupières Mono Douceur).  These are the Soft Touch Eyeshadows in Sillage and Trace ($28.50 each).  Sillage, which means “vapor trail” or “wake,” is a light shimmery highlight color with rosy bronze tones, with a hint of the mauvish tones that infuse the Kaska Beige quad.  Like some of the other shimmer products in this collection, the light makes this color into a chameleon–it can change quite a bit depending on how the light hits it.

Trace is a deep shimmery mauve-brown.  There is not enough grey in the color to call it a taupe, it is truly more in the brown family.  Of course, it will pair nicely with Sillage.  If you prefer a matte color, Chanel’s single in Beige will do well.

Please follow us on....

Holiday Makeup for the Rest of Us, Part Two

 Bobbi Brown, Eyeshadow  Comments Off on Holiday Makeup for the Rest of Us, Part Two
Dec 192009

This is the second post in a series about holiday looks for anyone who (like me) admires the glamorous looks of Lady Gaga and others, but wishes to modulate them for her own individual lifestyle.

A new decade is about to start.  I was so heartened to see this article describing H&M’s Paris fashion show at the Grand Palais.  It looks fun. The holidays are a great time to play.

What better way to play than to go out?  An easy way to add some shimmer and shine to your look is a wash of shimmer across the lid.   Using a liquid eyeliner adds more glamour.  Add two or three coats of a high-volume mascara.

My favorite eyeshadow of this entire year is Bobbi Brown’s Chrome Eyeshadow in Pewter ($22).  This is fool proof.  It’s neither a bright silver nor a harsh gold.  Rather, it’s a soft, warm glowy color that brightens the eye area without taking over your entire face.  In other words, you can still see the person, without being struck by the eyeshadow.  I am not alone in my love for this eyeshadow;  if you aren’t convinced read this review, or this one.  The texture wonderful.   Want to wear it to the office?  Pair it with a dark suit or dress–it really works, especially if you do a light sweep with your brush.  It’s limited edition, so if you want to try this one you should move fast.  Another nice choice for the holidays is Shu Uemura’s ME Silver 950, although I find this shade less daytime-friendly because it is both brighter and a little more difficult to apply sheerly.

Just for fun, I’m including some Becca Jewel Dusts ($24), which are subtle, grown-up shimmery pigments.  The colors are less vibrant, and so more wearable, than more striking color pigments on the market. Becca’s Jewel Dusts come in small, easily storable containers with square lids that don’t work themselves loose in your makeup drawer.  Also, Becca adds a sifter top to minimize spilling.  Because these are loose powders, try wetting your brush to intensify them.  In the swatch, they’re applied dry.  Applying them with a wet brush would give a perfectly even surface.  (If you’re still intimidated, here’s a quick primer from the Makeup and Beauty Blog that describes most of what you need to know about pigment eyeshadows).

I hope that you are enjoying this holiday season!  I have one more post on this topic before we move on.  Thanks for reading!

Please follow us on....

Chanel Ombre Essentialle Soft Touch Eyeshadows: Gold, Bronze and Khaki

 Chanel, Eyeshadow  Comments Off on Chanel Ombre Essentialle Soft Touch Eyeshadows: Gold, Bronze and Khaki
Dec 142009

Here are three more Chanel Ombre Essentialle Soft Touch Eyeshadows from my collection.  All pictures are click-able if you’d like a closer view. You can see others here.

First, Gold is a warm yellow toned shimmery shade.

Gold edit

Second, the lovely shimmery Bronze.  It makes and amazing crease color, or for a soft dash of color near the lashline:

Bronze 2

Third, the amazing Khaki.  This reminds me of the very pigmented green Shu Metallic Olive or Scarab from MAC’s Thunder Eyes quad that was part of the Catherine Deneuve release. Heaven!

Khaki 2

Finally, swatches of all three together:

Khaki Gold Bronze Swatch copy

As with other Chanel single eyeshadows, these are very soft and pigmented.

Please follow us on....

Chanel Ombre Essentialle Soft Touch Single Eyeshadows: Lavande, Amethyst and Magic Night

 Eyeshadow  Comments Off on Chanel Ombre Essentialle Soft Touch Single Eyeshadows: Lavande, Amethyst and Magic Night
Dec 112009

This is the first of a series from Chanel Ombre Essentialle Soft Touch Single Eyeshadows.  I own quite a number of eyeshadows from this range.  Overall, I’ve found that texture of all of these is very soft.  There is a range of about three categories of textures:  matte, shimmer and duochrome.

Overall, this features two from the permanent line, Lavande (shimmer) and Amethyst (duochrome), and one limited edition shade, Magic Night (duochrome, but subtly so). Lavande is a soft lavendar, appropriate to use as a mid-tone lid shade. (All pictures are click-able for a closer view)

The second is the duochrome Amethyst, one of my favorite.  This is absolutely stunning, with a lot of dimension.

Finally, here is a limited edition Magic Night, which is a brown infused with some purple.  It looks quite brown in the pan, but you can from the swatch below there is a deep purple cast once applied.

Here’s an effort to swatch all three, so that you can see how they look applied to the skin.  I applied these a bit unevenly, so that you can see how they look sheerly applied and some areas with more dense application:

Purple Swatches copy

Please follow us on....