Feb 242013
 

Guerlain Attrape Couer 1

There have been a number of vibrant eyeshadow palettes released recently (color is back, baby!). In the mix of textures and offerings, I didn’t want to let the Spring 2013 collection season go by without a look at Guerlain Attrape Coeur Eyeshadow Quad ($59). This was the colorful palette this season that I found to be easy to use, gentle in color tone, and made of wearable vibrant shades.

Guerlain Attrape Couer 2

Guerlain’s Attrape Coeur has a shimmery white highlighter color, a soft lavendar, a vibrant violet duochrome and a deep complex dark purple-violet that is striking as a liner.

Guerlain Attrape Couer 6a

Guerlain Attrape Coeur’s color can be applied light and sheer so that it doesn’t overwhelm. These shades are vibrant. Although they can be built up, we found that applying them with a soft hand gave us a look that’s pretty but not too heavy. 

Guerlain Attrape Couer 4

Here’s Liz wearing Guerlain Attrape Coeur with Tom Ford Cherry Lush lipstick and Burberry Coral Pink Blush.

Guerlain Attrape Coeur

The quality of Guerlain’s 4-color eyeshadow palettes is becoming well known. It’s no surprise that Guerlain Attrape Coeur is selling out. I noticed that it is still up for sale on Neimans and Saks websites, but seems to be gone from  Nordstrom.com at this point.

Bottom line: Speak now (or forever hold your peace). This one’s limited edition. There are lines with more opaque shades out for Spring ’13 (MAC’s Spoiled Rich quad looks amazing on Mostly Sunny, but I don’t think it would on me and Temptalia certainly didn’t love it). For my aesthetic, I jumped on Guerlain Attrape Coeur and love it. I can use some of the vibrant shades with shell and brown neutrals, or on its own for a more vibrant look.

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Feb 122013
 

Guerlain Spring Meteorites1

Lacking time to do a thorough swatch comparison, I thought it worth doing a short post to provide my thoughts about the Spring 2013 Guerlain Perles de Paradis Meteorites Powder ($70) (available at NordstromSephora and elsewhere). As you likely know, this container is larger than the standard sized Meteorites powder. In other words, Sephora’s site shows that the standard Meteorties contain just over 1.05 oz. of powder. The Spring Guerlain Perles de Paradis are rated at 2.08 ozs, so nearly double in weight for another $12 in price.

Because of the weight increase, the price difference from $58 to $70 for the Spring 2013 version isn’t troubling to me.

Guerlain Spring Meteorites2

 The container is slightly larger than the standard Guerlain Meteorites containers. Of course, the new Spring Guerlain Perles de Paradis comes with a kitten-soft puff with a bow, sure to draw sighs at its prettiness.  Inexplicably, the Spring container is cardboard, while most others are a nice moisture-resistant metal.

Guerlain Spring Meteorites4a

I love the soft barely-there pastel veil that these give my skin. Although I had heard that this season’s Meteorites were glittery, I had to try them myself. It is true that these have silver-metal colored balls in the mix, which might have caused me some concern.

Guerlain Spring Meteorites3

After applying these over the course of several days, I asked the ever-patient members of my family to do a glitter-inspection under some hanging light fixtures. Overall, the verdict was quite positive. We detected a fleck or two, but never more than that. The light-diffusing effect of these Meteorites gave me a beautiful finish, even over a heavy-duty sunscreen-based foundation that I’ve been testing. 

Overall, I love these. Yes, they are lovely for Spring but they are also beautiful any time of the year.

Available at NordstromSephora and elsewhere.

This post contains affiliate links (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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Aug 152012
 

Guerlain has just released a new blush series, Rose Aux Joues ($50), which has a duo format of lights and darks (Messywands has counter-swatched them all). These come in the now-familiar Guerlain gold format palette, which includes the full mirror. It is relatively sleek for packing, yet has enough impact to retain elegance.

I chose Golden High ($50/ #05) as my first test into this new line. This is one of the more unique combinations, yet extremely versatile for frequent wear.

Golden High’s top color is an apricot-brown with a soft shimmer, and the small bottom shade is a matte soft peach that is a more pigmented version of Nars Sex Appeal. Swatches:

The duo is a nice combination for a subtle “nude with a splash of color” look. It’s sophisticated, will work well with nearly all fall colors (reds, burgundy, greys, khaki greens, and navy), whether worn with these colors as eyeshadows, accessories or clothing.

I found that the glowy shimmer in the top shade did not translate very strongly to my cheek. Although your effect may vary, the found that the shimmer was very slight once applied.  The effect of the lighter peach shade (in the bottom small pan) was very subtle.

The Guerlain Rose Aux Joues blush pans are relatively small–to apply the color separately, I first tried a MAC 168, which has a small, dense head. Because the top shade is so pigmented, I found this was unsuccessful. It concentrated the color too strongly in my application areas (I prefer a more subtle, glowing look). I had far better results with the Nars Yachiyo brush (reviewed here at The Non Blonde).  The small bristles at the top of the Yachiyo, in combination with the steep cut of the bristle head, allowed me to get softer color with edges that blended naturally into my skin.

Overall, I liked Guerlain Golden High. It doesn’t have a gasp-worthy effect of a Chanel Joues Contraste, but the effect is beautifully natural. The powder is very finely milled–it does melt into the skin. Golden High also fits well into the rest of Guerlain’s gray-toned eyeshadow palettes (there are a few in the line). Looking in my car’s rear-view mirror driving around town, I really liked the subtle and flattering effect. Those who find some blushes too “powdery” or obvious will love the very natural effect that these give.

It will be easy to pass these by if you look at the pans on a counter. The texture is a bit hard, and the colors do not jump out at you. At the same time, if you try these on during a makeover, I think you’ll be persuaded that these add a really nice, natural and sophisticated effect. I prefer this duo blush duo range to Guerlain’s 4-color blush line.  Except for Red Hot, I’m not tempted to get too deeply into the rest of this range. The colors are subtle and lovely, but some may find that they already have similar colors from other lines.

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Aug 132012
 

Guerlain Rouge G L’Extrait Lip Color Paresse ($48 /M65) is a pigmented, liquid, matte medium pink lipstick. Packaged in a longer variation of the Guerlain Rouge G line, this is an intricately packaged formula.

Readers familiar with the Rouge G lipsticks will recognize the iconic packaging, which is based on the design of Lorenz Bäumer (both are affiliated with LMVH, and so the collaboration likely derives from this relation). The mirrored surface, although flawlessly executed, does show fingerprints.

The design is a bit high-maintence–one must first pull the small end out, then twist. It’s not rocket science, but it’s not necessarily intuitive either. Directions are included.

After the first pull, the mirrored top opens like a butterfly, just like Guerlain’s Rouge G lipsticks.

I must admit it is nice to have a mirror when I’m applying a highly pigmented formula–and these are highly pigmented in just the right way. Although these are bulky for a lipstick, they are certainly less bulky than carrying and opening a separate compact to apply. For craftsmanship, the packaging is beautifully done.

Unlike the lipsticks, Guerlain has added a color chip on one side so you can quickly tell which color tube you’ve grabbed. However, the color dot for Paresse is a vamp red but the color applies as a medium pink. Some mental translation will be in order.

The formula, which is applied with a doe foot applicator, has a light scent. It feels very moisturizing when applied, and dries down to an almost-entirely-matte finish.

Unlike many mattes, Guerlain’s Rouge G L’Extrait never feels drying. It doesn’t feel quite as moisturizing as the Chanel Velvets, but it is so much better than many others which seem to pull the moisture out of one’s lips entirely. It takes a few minutes to “dry down” and go matte. It doesn’t feel completely dry–there’s a little movement to the formula even after a while. Like anything else, you can top with a gloss if you like.

The wear time is quite good–nothing lasts on me, but the Guerlain Rouge G L’Extrait did give me a few hours of color (even with my chronic water-drinking).

Guerlain Rouge G L’Exrait in Paresse (a medium/deep pink) on Liz:

I liked Guerlain Paresse so much better than Yves Saint Laurent’s Rouge Pur Couture (which I returned rather than doing a review). I found the YSL a little thinner in texture and I didn’t like the stain format (or the scent). The Rouge G L’Extrait is more of a pigmented, long-wearing liquid that wears as a matte. On Liz:

Because the color is so pigmented, this is about how it looks on my deeper toned lips as well.

Overall, I love Guerlain Paresse. At some point, I will probably pick up one of the deeper reds. I know that some want to pick up all of the line, but I will refrain. The packaging, although intricate and beautiful, does seem to be a major component of the price.

I wouldn’t hesitate to pull this out in a restaurant or the like, although others might find the gesture a bit de trop. The formula is lovely, but I believe that not all of the colors will work for me (for example, I tried on a deep mauve that seemed a little draining).

Some swatches next to some other medium range pinks–the very sheer Burberry Tea Rose Gloss, Chanel’s now-discontinued Rouge Allure Laque in Empire and Chanel Glossimer in Courtisane. This picture really shows the difference in texture–of course, no one makes a matte liquid lipstick so exact comparisons would be hard to find.

No stickiness (particularly important for passing the “kiss test”). Long-wearing. No feathering. Lovely texture. I completely trust Guerlain for excellent lip product formula. Liz and I both wanted (and now own) Paresse. It’s a beautiful easy-to-wear color. Love.

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Aug 122012
 

Guerlain Fall 2012 introduces the Les Fauves eyeshadow palette ($59/ Ecris 4 Couleurs Les Fauves #14). This is a warm, pearly autumnal palette that gives a perfect Fall eye. The colors include a warm shimmery coral, a pearly mocha, a semi-shimmery warm brown, and a deep shimmery pearly deep brown. The overall impression is quite warm.

The tones should work beautifully with blue or green eyes, although those with deeper eye colors might still enjoy the pearly contour effects that the palette allows. Swatches:

I found that the ease and texture of Guerlain Les Fauves made this one a must-have. This has the soft, buttery texture that I adore. I found that using the Edward Bess Luxury Eye Brush made this extraordinarily easy to use. Below, Liz used the shimmery mocha color from the palette’s right side all over her lid. She used the bottom coral in her inner corner, and the top brown in the crease. The deep color on the left side is a good liner, although it can be used for a crease color as well. There is no highlighter in the palette, although most of us have multiple choices in our stash.

Another with the same lighting, the evening sun skating across the lids: 

Here is a full face, with Guerlain Rouge G L’Extrait Lip Color  in Paresse (review to follow). When the light is not shining directly on lids, the effect gives a subtle contour. In shade, no flash:

One more:

Guerlain’s pearly neutral palette was a must-have for each of us. A great palette for Fall (and the end of Summer).

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Jul 132012
 

Over the next few days, I’ll be busy packing for the long flight home. I had a few thoughts about some products before I leave:

First, on my flight over Air France had full bottles of Clarins One Step Facial Cleanser ($32.50/6.7 fl. oz.) in the restroom.  In the blur of the overnight flight, it felt nice to have a high end beauty product available. I bought one after I arrived. According to Clarins, the product is a toner and cleanser in one. It’s intended to remove everything with no need to rinse.

This cleanser is very, very gentle. It does remove makeup and mascara. However, I’d ignore the  “no need to rinse” advise. It left my skin feeling oily, so I rinsed most of the time. When I didn’t rinse, I had a few clogged pores the next day. Unlike my DDF 10% Glycolic Toner, this Clarins doesn’t appear to be exfoliating. I probably should have gone with the Toning Lotion with Iris, made for oily skin, instead.

Second, Klorane Gentle Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk ($18/3.2 oz (150 ml)) quickly became my best-loved dry shampoo. The scent is the lightest and most pleasant of any dry shampoo that I’ve tried. It does come out a bit white, but brushes away neatly without a trace.

Best of all, Klorane Gentle Dry Shampoo ($18/3.2 oz.) left my hair with plenty of body, life, and manageability. It had a nice shine, looked polished, and took care of any oilies. Wonderful. This is available in the U.S. from several sources. The only drawback is that I seemed to go through it a little more quickly than some others that I’ve tried.  Overall, I believe I’ve found my favorite–thank you to all of the commenters who suggested it!

Third, in my quest for a multicultural beauty experiment, I went to Guerlain’s main store on the Champs Elysee to find a perfect red lipstick. My advice to everyone traveling to another country (or even region) is to ask for local makeup advice. You will be surprised to find how different makeup artists and sales associates “see” you through their eyes. I always learn something.

Those familiar with the Guerlain Champs Elysee store will note that, on the left, Guerlain has opened up a little pop-up store to celebrate Guerlain La Petite Robe Noire, as well as a few other perfume and beauty products. It’s more inviting than the more formal main store–it’s street level so you can just wander in. (As is typical of many French boutiques, the door guard told me not to take pictures inside.).

For this experiment, I went into the main store. I found a delightful (and patient) Guerlain expert to help me. After several tries and swatches, we decided that Guerlain Rouge G Gala (#21) was my perfect red (swatched here by Temptalia). This is much more vibrant and bright than I typically wear, but why not? When in Paris….

Anyway, thank you for indulging me in my Parisian adventures over the past few weeks. Hopefully I’ll be back next week with some reviews of some Fall 2012 collections. See you then!

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Jul 042012
 

Guerlain has sent product information for its Fall 2012 collection. The one has a large variety of new lip products which (in addition to powders and foundations) is one area of Guerlain’s excellence.

In August 2012, Guerlain will introduce a new liquid lipstick range in the Rouge G series–called “Rouge G L’Extrait.” This appear to be highly pigmented, liquid lipsticks that dry to a matte finish that has “exceptional hold.”  $48 (click to enlarge)

Guerlain is introducing new Rouge G colors, a new lip pencil, and two new Kiss Kiss Gloss colors. I’ve reproduced all of the information that I have here (click to enlarge). We’ll have to wait to correlate the shade names to their colors.

 To round out the collection, there are six new Rose Aux Joues Blush Duos, which contain one shade for contouring and the other for a pop of color on the cheek. It’s nice to see Guerlain reformulating the blush range. They do such a nice job with powders, and “Red Hot” sounds like it has real potential. Also, there is a new (permanent) warm eyeshadow palette, Les Fauves.

Guerlain has indicated that it will not be sending Cafe Makeup test product, so I’ll have to see these in person before investing. I’m most interested in the new liquid lipstick formula and hopeful for the blush duo’s. How does this collection look to you?

By the way, I was in a cafe the other day, and I did see one or two Parisian women pulling their Rouge G lipsticks out of their purses for a quick touch-up. It looked rather elegant.  It is evident they fit nicely for some women who love the house of Guerlain.

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May 302012
 

Here are some speed reviews of some products that I’ve been considering lately:

1.Guerlain ‘Secret de Pureté’ Cleansing Cream ($66 /6.5 oz.). This is a remarkably gentle cleanser that manages to remove virtually everything while leaving baby skin behind.

Recently, I received a generous 1.0 oz. sample from a gift with purchase, which has lasted several weeks. I’ve used it with water alone, or on the brush head of my Clarisonic. Here’s my little sample:

This cleanser is remarkable. It takes off my Armani Eyes to Kill mascara, my Chanel sunblock, and my Nars Tinted Moisturizer without stripping the skin in the least. My skin feels moisturized and glows when I’m done. Gorgeous. Yes, it has a perfumed scent.

2.  Edward Bess Luxury Face Brush ($59)  This kabuki-styled brush is perfect for blush, bronzer, and highlighter. Lovingly packaged:

It has a dense compact of bristles, which might lead one to a heavy coverage, but the gently sloped head allows me to pick up just the right amount.

The handle is slightly longer than other face brushes, which makes it a pleasure to use.  It’s an investment, but one that I really do love.

3. Guerlain Shine Automatique in A La Parisienne #263 ($35)  I’m continuing to enjoy Guerlain Shine Automatique in Rose Pompon. I love the slide-up packaging, it’s gorgeous and functional.

Guerlain Shine Automatique A La Parisienne is pretty sheer coral that lets just a peek of your natural lip color through.

If you are shy about wearing this season’s bright oranges, this sheer rose-coral may be perfect.

Here is A La Parisienne on Megan:

 

As a sheer lipstick, A La Parisienne will look slightly different on everyone. Here are some other reviews:

  • Here at Mostly Sunny Bunny
  • Here at Sandra’s Closet
  • Here at Karlasugar

4. Replere Beauty Shooters($37 for 14 bottles) I’m a big believer that beauty comes from within. I cannot get enough of antioxidant rich foods, plenty of filtered water, and vitamin supplements. Dr. Debbie Palmer has made it easier to get a recommended daily dose of antioxidants, including vitamin C-packed fruits, goji & açai berries, and blueberries in a one ounce (1 oz.) Beauty Shooter.

Packed 14 to a carton, these are purse-sized, single serving little containers that you can take once a day to get your beauty in. One shakes, shoots, and done. I received three of these without charge for consideration for review, and found they had a pleasant, sweet grape cranberry-flavor with a slight touch of pulp. For those that don’t have time to get to a fresh source of fruits and vegetables every day, these provide a very easy alternative.

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May 282012
 

Emilio Pucci for Summer 2012

Guerlain for Emilio Pucci is a gorgeously successful collaboration for Summer 2012. It includes a version of Guerlain’s Meteorites Illuminating Powder ($59).  The packaging on this is so Pucci, please indulge me as I post several pictures of this amazing creation. The box, which includes a metal box housing the Meteorites:

The metal container has a Pucci-patterned top and a deep blue-violet ridged side.

Close up, Emilio’s signature is reproduced on the top:

Guerlain’s signature embossed on the side:

Inside, the violet-scented Meteorites provide a neutral-to-cool matte yet luminous veil that looks like a beautiful cool background for summer’s warm bronzers:

I almost didn’t buy these, because I’m so delighted with the Guerlain Meteorites that I already own. They differences between them is subtle. Yet I find myself reaching for these Pucci for Guerlain Meteorites like a kid into a candy jar. Sometimes warm summer makeup can look a little too warm and one-note. Using these as a finishing powder under my other warm summer color provides a perfect neutral canvas that balances and modernizes the warmer bronzes and golds.

I did not pick up the Pucci for Guerlain brush–it’s adorable and I’m still on the fence. I use a very soft powder brush, usually my Shu Uemura 18R just because it’s handy, but a Bobbi Brown Blending Brush or any other large, soft brush should work as well.

If you are on the edge, I’ll just say that I’m glad that I made the leap. The powder is very long lasting, and really adds an expensive finishing touch that’s absolutely gorgeous. I find the effect too subtle to swatch for the blog, but I do provide my enthusiastic support.

If you are in the San Francisco Bay Area, Guerlain’s Marcus Monson will be at the San Francisco Center Nordstrom this Saturday. There’s a nice gift with purchase for the event (please call the store for details and an appointment).

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