Nov 222013
 

armani eccentrico31

Holiday 2013 brings us the limited edition Giorgio Armani Eccentrico Face Palette ($88), a confection of light colors that blend to make a beautiful highlighting blush. As you can see, the palette comes housed in a red variation of Armani’s classic travel-friendly classic shape. Inside, the presentation could not be more lovely. Although the overspray wipes away with a few brushstrokes, its ephemeral and multi-dimensional beauty makes this a joy to use and a pleasure to gift. Here’s a close up with the  stunning overspray, which changes tonality and coloration depending on how the light strikes it:

armani eccentrico35 copy

Another showing a more wintry and delicate frost from a different angle of light:

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Without the overspray, the palette is a melange of color pink, lavender, peach and white highlight:

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Underneath the color pan is compartment with a flat brush:

armani eccentrico81With my light warm, NC15/ Chanel Cameo-Ivoire/ Armani #5 coloring, this product is a light pretty, candy-coral very light blush color with shimmer and micro-sparkle. Here is an arm swatch of all colors, in the middle is a mix of all of the shades of the Armani Eccentrico Face Palette:

armani eccentrico1a

You’ll get more of a highlighter or a color effect depending on where you place your brush on the palette. Liz used the Armani Eccentrico Face Palette on her cheek, brow bone and above her brow on this picture, focusing mostly on the highlightsr portion. I’ve been wearing Armani Eccentrico as a light shimmery blush (light bit of micro-glitter are visible in direct sun, so if you dislike that effect you will want to reserve this strictly for evening wear). Alternatively, I’ve used a very soft, light brush as an all-over complexion brightener.

Liz Guerlain Crazy Terracotta

She’s also wearing the Guerlain Crazy Paris Terracotta to give her a sunny glow, and Guerlain Rouge G L’Extrait Lip Color in Paresse on her lips (reviewed here).

Guerlain Extrait Paresse08

Overall, we enjoy the Armani Eccentrico Palette–the presentation could not be more lovely. The colors can be used as a sublet, buildable blush or a (applied very lightly) a soft wash of all-over color.  The color is so pretty, and it should carry us all the way through Spring and Summer quite easily.

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Nov 032013
 

By Terry Kevyn Aucoin01

We received three little treats from b-glowing on OpenSky.com. In case you don’t already know, OpenSky is an online retailer that allows entities to curate their “best of the best” for easy finding and shopping. b-glowing is one of the retailers that has a store on OpenSky, which shows a delightful array of high-end products that can make you b-glow, including is amazing Anna Sui blush (these colors remind me of the Guerlain Noir G palette), ways to keep hydrated like this bkr Summer  Color glass bottle, and this b-glowing OpenSky Curated Gift Box “All that Shimmers.” Pretty, pretty, pretty! 

By Terry Kevyn Aucoin02

The items sent to Cafe Makeup includes the By Terry Baume de Rose ($60), a multi-tasking moisturizing and healing product that works beautifully on lips and cuticles on the fingers. This is truly one of the finest lip balms on the market, and it softened both my lips and cuticles to youthful, healthy softness in one overnight session. I’m glad that I won’t have to face the drying winter air without this.

By Terry Kevyn Aucoin05

Like many luxury products, By Terry Baume de Rose works beautifully. It applies nearly clear with a pleasant, faint, soft rose scent. It works amazingly quickly and well–far better than the balms and cuticle products that sell in the under $20 range. It doesn’t feel heavy, oily, or buttery–rather, it goes on with a very soft feel and is absorbed into the skin gradually. Since I got it, I’ve been carrying it from my desk side to my purse, I simply don’t want to be without it. If you’d like another perspective, check out this video review by Seth Akins who loves it as much as I do.

By Terry Kevyn Aucoin07

b-glowing also carries the By Terry Ombre Blackstar in #8 Paradise Island.  This is a pretty, bright pearly blue aqua color. I’ve long coveted the By Terry Ombre Blackstar, and it’s only a matter of time before I start acquiring more items in her line. Here’s a photo of nearly all the rest at The Black Panties.

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These eye colors go on with the gorgeous, gliding luminosity. I’d love to get more colors in this same formula.

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Finally, b-glowing carries Kevyn Aucoin’s The Celestial Powder Candlelight

By Terry Kevyn Aucoin10

This is a gorgeous, perfect highlighter that gives enough glow to make a difference but includes no sparkle. Housed in a chic, slim package with a brush, this is a powder is ready to travel.

By Terry Kevyn Aucoin12

For those that like a little bit of natural looking, healthy glow, this product is amazing.

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Here are some comparison swatches with the more Chanel Poudre Signe, Kevyn Aucoin Candlelight, the metallic rose gold MAC Superb Extra Dimension Skinfinish (which I believe will be re-promoted just around December 26th, and Bobbi Brown Skinfinish in Gold (which does have glitter bits and is far more yellow).

Kevyn Aucoin Candelight swatches6

Another set:

Kevyn Aucoin Candelight swatches7

By the way, if you’re interested in a genius highlighting tutorial, check out this one from Wayne Goss. I love this highlighter. By the way, look at this cute sample kit that b-glowing included with the products–including a sample of Mad Madame from Juliette with a Gun, First Aid Beauty, Oscar Blandi and Erno Lazlo. These people know how to glow!

By Terry Kevyn Aucoin18

These products were sent to Cafe Makeup for consideration for review. This post contains link, but they are not affiliate links.

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Jun 292013
 

Laura Mercier highlighter1

A few weeks ago, I found that this Laura Mercier Radiance Baked Powder Highlighter ($36/ 7.5 gm/ 0.26 oz.) was introduced, along with several matte bronzer shades in the same format.  Although the bronzer shades look lovely, I was more drawn to the highlighter for the finely-milled, natural qualities and the look that give it gives to the skin.

Laura Mercier highlighter2

I think baked highlighters are beautiful, and I love their luminzing effect. There have been a few problems with baked powders that have been released in the beauty world–some are not finely milled, some have large glitter bits that don’t work for everyone, or only available as a limited edition. With some variegated formulas, there is a color variation which makes purchasing unpredictable (Will you get a “good” one? Sounds like makeup roulette?). I appreciate that Laura Mercier created stability through a well-designed, beautiful, consistent baked highlighter. Although I love the thrill of the chase, there’s a definite niche for a steady source of products that make us look like glowing gods and goddesses. Every time.

Laura Mercier highlighter3

Laura Mercier’s Matte Radiance Highlight gives a natural sheen to the skin. It kicks up a little dust upon application, but less than others I’ve seen, and it doesn’t translate to the face.  It gives a pretty glow that doesn’t look chalky. In the pan, it’s a soft peachy color that seems transparent when applied on my warm, light skin tone.

Laura Mercier highlighter5

On Liz, you can see how the flash hits the highlight on her cheek.  She is wearing the highlighter in a “C” shape around her outer eye area, but that is hard to detect unless the light is hitting there more directly. It showed up beautifully as she wore it throughout dinner afterwards. The way that the light plays with this highlighter is gorgeous. Here, she is wearing Chanel Rouge Coco lipstick in Gabrielle and Chanel Moon River eyeshadow (which is now reaching its “sold out” stage, sadly).

Laura Mercier Highlighter liz 1

As with many baked powders, fan brushes and duo-fiber brushes work well (avoid dense kabukis unless you are going for a “superstar” glow). Here are comparisons with the finely milled, more subtle Poudre Signee de Chanel, MAC Lightscapade (limited edition, not currently available), and Bobbi Brown Nude Shimmerbrick (not currently available) (click to enlarge to see texture):

LM Highlighter `1

Overall, Laura Mercier’s Matte Radiance line is a welcome addition to the beauty world, especially the new baked Highlighter.

The Laura Mercier Radiance Baked Powder Highlighter is available at Nordstrom and other Laura Mercier sources.

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Jun 272013
 

MAC 159 brush1

MAC has recently released the Tropical Taboo Collection, which is all about color and texture.  The one product which really stood out to me, however, is a newly-introduced brush. Specifically, the Mac 159 brush ($35) is the most interesting new brush that’s wonderful for highlighting, and also for precise placement of baked face products. The brush is a fairly short (roughly 6 1/2″) brush with a “cats paw” shape.

Mac 159 brush

From the side:

MAC 159 brush3

This brush is pleasant to use–imaging being petted by a very soft kitten.  Also, it makes unwearably rough-textured baked products meld nicely into the skin, knocking off the powder bits as it goes. If I had not tried it in person, I would not have understood its value.  If you are near a MAC counter/store, it’s really worth trying one of their baked products on with this particular brush.  You’ll fall in love with it–or at least, I did.  I believe that this brush is now part of their permanent line (but don’t quote me, there’s conflicting buzz).

Mac tropical taboo MSF01

While I was at the store, I looked at the new MAC Mineralized Skinfinishes from the MAC Tropical Taboo collection–Adored, Rio and Lust. I’m a highlighter fan (can  you tell?) and so I couldn’t resist picking these up. See, that’s the thing about MAC.  There’s something so fun about their “fabulous-today, gone-tomorrow” speed that’s both dizzying, intriguing and sometimes aesthetically successful.  Perhaps you’re read the same studies that I have–sometimes those who produce the greatest number of creative variations have the highest numbers of “hits”–sure, some misses too.  I try to wait on the sidelines and wait for the hits (and try to skip the misses, although I’m not always successful).

Mac tropical taboo MSF02

Of these, and for my fair warm coloring, Adored was the biggest hit.  It’s an unusual highlighter that looks almost transparent.  It adds just a touch of “glow” with peach-pink highlight where the light hits.  I’m not sure I’ve seen a skinfinish quite like Adored ever before.  It really adds something special over blushes–a healthy glow. You can use it in a “C” shape around the eye and on upper cheek, or lightly all over the blush area to add a little soft shimmer glow to the blush. Even better–when using the MAC 159 brush, I got no noticeable glitter from Adored.

Mac tropical taboo MSF03a

Rio is a cool pink highlighter. The color might be enough for a soft blush if you are very pale (but it’s too soft for me unless I’m going for a very nude-blush look).  The finish goes almost metallic in bright light.

Mac tropical taboo MSF07a

Lust is a soft pink (it’s close enough to Rio that you don’t need both in my opinion). I detected slight glitter particles in direct sunlight with Lust.  Like Rio, the highlight is quite obvious/metallic in direct bright light.

Mac tropical taboo MSF11

As you can see, the color from these is not very strong (these are two swipes each). They’re sheer.

One final note about all three–these really, really look best applied with the MAC 159 brush in my opinion.  They look much rougher  in texture when they are not. But with the 159, they are smooth and meld to the skin. Walking around in different light, I was glad that I splurged on the brush and can’t wait to try it with my other baked products (especially those non-US Chanel blushes–I’m very curious to see what the 159 will do with those!).

MAC 159 brush2

Also, all of the MAC Tropical Taboo colors seem designed for warmer skin tones. I’m not saying that a cooler toned person could never make them work, but it would seem more challenging to me.

Some other random thoughts:  Of these, Adored Mineralizes Skinfinish and the 159 brush were my favorites.  MAC Simmer blush is worth a peek if you’re in a blushy mood (I love it with Adored over it). Applied with the 159 brush, Simmer was like a red-gold stain. I didn’t look at the eyeshadows or the lip products from this collection, but Temptalia has done thorough reviews of the entire range. Also, there are some really knowledgable people on the Specktra Collection Board who post swatches, reviews and thoughts about all of them (with lots of different opinions, skin tones and preferences).

Regardless of how you feel about these metal-reflective baked skinfinishes, you might look at the MAC “cat’s paw” 159.

The MAC 159 brush is available at Nordstrom.com (the skinfinishes are here), MAC Cosmetics.com, and other MAC sources.

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Feb 102013
 

Chanel Mouche de Beaute06a

Previously, Cafe Makeup under the delirium of a Chanel emergency, posted some preliminary pictures of the Chanel Mouche de Beaute here. Since that time, Chanel has placed the item online for purchase (U.S.).  We’ve also had the chance to play with this rose gold illuminator, and to fall in love with its warm flattering sparkle. Below, Liz used a MAC 168 brush to brush a “C” around her eyes, up over her brows and into the slope of the sides of her nose. This gave her a subtle glow.

Chanel Mouche de Beaute 1b

Here, Liz is wearing Guerlain Attrape Coeur (review to follow), Tom Ford Cherry Lush lipstick, Burberry Coral Pink Light Glow Blush (reviewed here). The look is very subtle indoors, absolutely beautiful. We detected some sparkle outdoors, which we actually liked. No one does shimmer sparkle like Chanel, that’s just the fact of the matter. On myself, I love using this as a highlighter and all-over eyeshadow for a pretty, eye-brightening lid effect with a soft black liner. 

Mouche de Beaute de Chanel 2

Here are some swatches comparing Mouche de Beaute with the Spring 2013 Poudre Signee de Chanel and Chanel Pearl Glow powder (reviewed here).

Mouce de Beaute de Chanel 5

I also enjoyed this video review of the Mouche de Beaute by Seth Barton Roberts. He’s right, highlighters are hard to review and swatch. One needs to apply them so heavily to get them to show on one’s arm, but when worn on the face one wants to go lighter so it looks like part of the skin. We tried our best with this review (we tried several different setups, indoors, outdoors, etc.) I hope you find this helpful.

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