Apr 212012
 

Here’s what three things I’m obsessed with this week:

1. Le Metier de Beaute Limited Edition Kaléidoscope Palettes: With the rush of summer makeup releases upon us, Le Metier de Beaute just made our buying decisions more difficult. Three new Kaleidoscope palettes are about to be released:

  • On the Coast will be released to commemorate Le Metier de Beaute’s availability on Saks.com on April 23, 2012.  This includes four eyeshadows–an effervescent beige champagne, a shimmering tan taupe, a soft satin brown and a deep champagne cobalt
  • Shades of Short Hills will be released at Saks Fifth Avenue in Short Hills, New Jersey. This one includes four shades–a champagne apricot, a matte tan-taupe, a shimmering rhubarb-brown, and noir (black) with flecks of white diamond
  • Golden Gate Girl will be available during a Saks San Francisco event on April 25-28. Le Metier artist Richard Marquez will be visiting. This one includes a satin rose petal pink, a pale amethyst, a warm rhubarb and a cinnamon gold.

 

Although my heart is in San Francisco, I must admit that On the Coast and Shades of Short Hills are also calling my name. What about you?

2. In the “I love an international beauty source” category, Vogue Paris now available in English.  In fact, I’m thinking of getting the words “Vogue Paris is now available in English” stenciled backwards on the front hood of my car, so everyone looking in their review mirror can see.  There are few events this life-changing and now we need to spread the word. Here’s a link to the site.  I so appreciate having the forward edge of fashion available right there, right now. Here’s one story on current lip trends:

 Another news item about Giorgio Armani designing for Lady Gaga’s tour using a transparent Plexiglas body, futurist hat, outsized epaulettes covered in pointy studs and latex tunics:

 Vogue Paris is also set to release an app for iPhone and iPad  (seriously, I’m going to have to quit my day job just to keep up. Just kidding!). In June, the magazine will begin offering an on-line version of its content, that promises to be more media rich than its paper counterpart.

3. Rose Gold trend:  Earlier this year, Tiffany announced a new Rubedo series of jewelry. The rest of fashion appears to be latching onto a similar rose gold vibe, including Deborah Lippmann with her new polish Sugar Daddy (reviewed here by Scangie):

This color is different enough to be eye-catching, but still universally flattering (it seems to work with many warm and cool skin tones). You want to be careful picking your items to make sure they look modern. This rose gold color seems to have a cooler look than similar colors released in years past, which seemed much warmer and brassier like MAC Pink Bronze. I wonder who will make the first eyeshadow palette using these gorgeous tones?

 

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Dec 312011
 

Le Metier de Beaute has released a Blush Kaleidoscope ($95/ Neimans in Troy, Michigan), which includes a combination of colors made with a high-quality, beautifully milled powder. The Best Things In Beauty has been tracking the line’s limited releases this season, and most of them I’ve skipped. With this exception. I find that very high-quality blush palettes are rare, so I called to order one when this was released. Because I don’t own any of Le Metier’s powder blushes (typically sold for $30 each), this seems a safe introduction to this aspect of the line.

Other than The Best Things In Beauty’s review, there is a helpful write-up by Le Metier de Beaute’s Mikey Castillo (here), there is another review at The Beauty Info Zone, who says that more will be available in January. I thought it useful to take a few moments to write up some thoughts.

Overall, I’m incredibly pleased with the palette. The blushes can be layered beautifully. The power is finely milled, so that one can layer without the color blocking up or caking (I wore the top three levels layered and loved the pink-peach-gold effect). The pigmentation is excellent-a dense brush lays down significant color and a soft brush just a bit. There is a range of textures from matte to shimmer. Le Metier de Beaute has included a “shimmer” shade that can be layered with the matte shades to add versatility. I’m very glad that I’ve ordered it, and I know I’ll get significant use from it.

First, the basics. The packaging:

The label:

The ingredients (click to enlarge):

As with other Le Metier de Beaute Kaleidoscopes, the packaging is extremely compact and seems quite strong. It has a flip-top mirror and swing-out pans.  The pans are unnamed:

The top pan (I’ve called it “Level 1″) is a soft matte honey apricot:

The Level 2 is a matte pink rose, in the same family as Chanel Rose Ecrin:

Level 3 is a honey gold shimmer that can be used alone as a warm shimmer or layered over the other colors.  Unsurprisingly, this shade is not entirely transparent–so when you lay down this color over another, it knocks down the pigmentation a bit. In other words, it adds a touch of gold nude in addition to the shimmer. If you like, you can limit this layer to the upper cheekbones:

Layer 4 is a gorgeously shimmery cool pink:

Swatches of all shades:

Here’s a quick attempt to put the gold Layer 3 over the two matte layers:

Here’s Liz wearing Layer 4 alone. She’s also wearing Chanel Rouge Allure in Super (because she loves that one):

Overall, Le Metier has a winner here.  The price works out to about $25 per blush. If you care, the box lists the total weight as 0.49 ozs. The colors are highly wear-able, on trend, beautifully made, and the packaging is modern and travel-friendly. Yes, yes, yes!!

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Nov 082011
 

Le Metier de Beaute will soon be selling gift sets of its nail colors exclusively for Neiman Marcus.  There are two sets– the All that Glitters set (with a gold toned leaf) is pictured above.  This includes

  • Spruce it Up, a shimmering evergreen
  • Hot to Trot, a red with silver undertones
  • Midnight Heron, a shimmering blue sapphire
  • All that Glitters, a metallic gold

The Merry Metallics set (with the silver toned leaf), is pictured below and includes:

  • Plum Puddin’, a rich plum with sheer silver sparkle
  • Red-E and Waiting, a sheer red with metallic gold undertones
  • Tarnished Silver, a platinum
  • Lame Entertain You, a shimmering copper with silver undertones

The items are boxed with a metal-coated aspen leaf that looks like a pretty ornament on its own.  These are designed by Neiman’s Ken Downing.  I haven’t purchased these (I don’t believe these are out quite yet), but expect them to be sold at Neimans for $32 a set.  These seem to me to a be a highly giftable set, so if I end up with them I’m likely to give them away to friends.

The lovely thing about these sets is that they are luxe gift for someone that you know loves fine things, but you aren’t sure what she already has.  A woman who enjoys nail polish is someone that you can spot right away–hello, she’s wearing really cool nail polish. The colors are on-trend and seem to have a universal appeal. Because its Le Metier de Beaute, she likely either loves the line or will love you for introducing her to it.  Although I haven’t tried these, the quality of the other polishes in Le Metier’s line has been very positive.

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Oct 242011
 

Le Metier de Beaute’s Creme Fresh Tint in Coral Nymph ($28) is a light, fresh color that is geared to look very natural.  Here are comparison swatches next to Bobbi Brown’s Cabo Coral and Bobbi Brown’s Calypso Coral.  There’s a natural tone to Coral Nymph that is more of a very soft whisper, even when heavily applied.

If you think that Coral Nymph is still too strong, the comparatively nude Le Metier de Beaute Creme Fresh Tint in Ginger Lilly and Poppy are softer still:

If you are pale, or prefer very subtle color, Le Metier’s Creme Fresh Tints are well worth a look.  Here is Coral Nymph on Liz:

 Le Metier de Beaute sent both Creme Fresh Tint in Coral Nymph and Ginger Lily to Cafe Makeup without charge for consideration for review.

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Oct 202011
 

Le Metier de Beaute Creme Fresh Tint in Mystique ($28/.17 oz.) is a lilac-pink cream blush that gives a subtle wash of cool color.  The texture is very light and breathable, you cannot feel anything heavy on your skin.  The cream is in a small, easily packable twist jar and can be applied easily with fingers or a foundation brush.

The color is a very cool pink:

The color is very light and cool.  Here is a comparison of Le Metier’s Mystique (on the left) next to Bobbi Brown’s Pot Rouge in Pale Pink (on the right):

On Liz paired with Chanel Rouge Allure in Kensington:    

Liz is wearing Chanel Perfection Lumiere Foundation in Beige Rose 32 and Benefit They’re Real Mascara.

Le Metier de Beaute’s Mystique applies very sheerly at first, and can be built up to more intense color with added layers. If you prefer a subtle blush, it’s perfect with a single layer.  If you like a more pronounced look, just add more.  The pigment and texture of the creme is very fresh and light.  We were unable to make this look too cakey or overdone, even though we tried.  The color stayed very fresh and natural.  It looks like glowing skin.

Le Metier’s Fresh Creme Tints (including Mystique) are currently for sale at Nordstrom.com and Neiman Marcus and at Le Metier counters.

 Le Metier de Beaute sent Creme Fresh Tint in Mystique to Cafe Makeup without charge for consideration. 

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Oct 052011
 

Le Metier de Beaute is releasing The Bordeaux Collection, which includes two limited edition Lip Cremes–Purple Haze and In the Know Bordeaux ($36 each).  These are currently up for sale on Neiman Marcus website.  Neiman’s Le Metier counters should have them soon, if they do not already.  Given that these colors were designed by Neiman Marcus genius and Creative Director Ken Downing, it’s no surprise that Neiman’s is the exclusive source for these.

I’ve begun to notice that Le Metier has begun a trend of enabling design by its artists, and one Neiman’s event even allowed customers to create their own Kaleidoscopes.  I love that.  Rather than pushing out colors by nameless designers, it feels so much more…personal.

The texture of both Lip Cremes in this collection is a shiny, glossy liquid lipstick.  They are rich with pigment, have gorgeous coverage and the colors are designed to suit a wide variety of skin tones.  Given that both of these appear in The Bordeaux Collection, these two lip creams have a very slight mauve undertone.

Although Le Metier de Beaute’s Lip Creme in Purple Haze looks rather demure and unassuming in the tube, I was shocked at how beautifully it applies on the lips.  This is a flattering soft pink–in truth, this is the color that I wish my lips were naturally.  This almost covers my naturally pigmented lip color, leaving a very fresh gorgeous color behind.  It’s a bit lighter and less peach (read–“cooler”) than Chanel Rouge Allure Laque in Ming (reviewed here).

I really loved the texture of Purple Haze the minute that I applied it.  There is a very slight scent, which is remarkably pleasant and fades after several minutes.  The liquid easily fills in little lines, and makes my lips look really very moisturized. The shine is perfect–it’s not too shiny, but rather it gives enough glow to look polished and appropriate.  Purple Haze has now replaced a Chanel glossimer as a go-to in my everyday purse (this is a shocker, I realize!).  Good work, Ken Downing!

In the Know Bordeaux brings it.  This deep mauve-red is infused with shimmer and drama.  A single coat of In the Know Bordeaux looks like liquid ruby, covers the natural pigmentation and has an incredible dimension.  This color is a true wine and would work for business formal, dramatic day or any evening event. It’s an amazing Fall color, very chic.

 Here are some comparisons.  On the top row is Le Metier de Beaute Lip Creme in Purple Haze, compared with three Chanel Rouge Allure Laque liquid lipsticks– the peachy Chanel Santal, the soft pink Chanel Ming and the mauve creme Chanel Stunt.

On the bottom is Le Metier de Beaute Lip Creme in In the Know Bordeaux, compared with Chanel Rouge Allure Extrait de Gloss in Fatale and Emoi, as well as Chanel Rouge Allure Laque in Dragon.

The two lip cremes from Le Metier de Beaute’s The Bordeaux Collection blew me away.  They more than exceeded my expectations.  Seriously, check them out.

Le Metier de Beaute provided these two Lip Cremes to Cafe Makeup for consideration for review.  But seriously, I was shocked at how much I liked them.

 

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Sep 072011
 

 

Le Metier de Beaute has introduced its Fall-Winter 2011-12 colors, part of the East Meets West Collection, an impressive set of very richly-hued jewel toned colors.  They are packaged in a mini-bottles with the perfect amount for a single season, at $10 each.  As with so many other Le Metier products, the formula on these was lovely.  I was able to get a rich, even coverage that was opaque in two coats with a relatively short dry time.

The theme (and strength) of the collection is the vibrancy of the color and the multidimensionality of the texture–the effect is an interpretation of very rich silks.  As you might expect from a high end line, these colors are beautiful but never over-the-top.  They’ll add a gorgeous flash of color to your nails, and coordinate beautifully with the deeper tones worn during the Fall-Winter season.

First is Anatolia, a red-plum infused with shimmer.  In sun:

Anatolia in shade:

This is Urban Dweller, a deep brown-bronze with microshimmer, in sun:

Urban Dweller in shade:

Here is Dynasty—a very deep, shimmering fuchsia/red in sunlight:

 Dynasty in shade:

Silk Road is an impressive gold bronze metallic–this had a dimensionality that was quite incredible.  The color really glows in the sun, with a incredible glass fleck:

Silk Road in shade with a touch of flash.  You can see how the fleck picked up the bit of flash and just glows…..

Silk Road in soft shade with no flash:

Le Metier’s Silk Road collection is an impressive and imaginative array of colors.  The small bottle size and comparatively low price makes these an easy treat that adds a serious dash of color and texture to your fall wardrobe. The formula is very easy to work with, the brush is small but workable, and the size is manageable enough to use up in a single season.

The most impressive aspect to these polishes is their incredible dimensionality.  I posted them under different light so that you can see that these are really alive on the nail.  There is a glow that gives them a rich, silken quality.  If Fall 2011 is all about richly textured fabrics, Le Metier’s East Meets West collection fits beautifully within that theme.

Highly recommended.

Details:  Three-Free without formaldehyde, toluene and dibutyl phthalate (DBP), Proposition 65-compliant and fortified with strengthening proteins and hydrators.  These are currently on sale online at Neiman Marcus’ website.

Disclosure:  These nail colors were sent by Le Metier de Beaute to Cafe Makeup for review.

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Jul 132011
 

One treat that I picked up at the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale preview was Le Metier de Beaute’s Rock n Romance Nail Laquer Set ($25), a perfect fall wardrobe at a very tempting price.  Le Metier’s polishes are typically sold in tiny bottles that one has a hope of finishing in a single season, and normally sell for $10 each. At $25 for this set of four highly-wearable fall shades, this set is a must.

The set includes Midnight Rendevous, a deep metallic blue:

On nails:

As soft metallic gray called Chrome Passion, that turns into an unbelievably pretty holographic polish in full sun:

On nails (holla! we have a holo!)

One more because the holograph is so pretty:

A soft coppery fawn champagne, called True Romance (this reminds me of Chanel Quartz):

On nails:

A metallic red deep called Heat of the Night:

On nails:

Liz and I both thought that Heat of the Night could benefit from a dash of thinner, but otherwise the formula of all was excellent. Typically, the color was opaque in one or two coats, except for True Romance which is sheerer by its nature.

Bottom line: Love the colors, love the price, love the size.  Love the holographic metallic!  Do not miss this little treat!

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May 122011
 

Le Metier de Beaute Sheer Brilliance Lip Gloss in Summerland ($32) is an unusually shimmery, multi-dimensional gloss with plenty of sparkle and opacity.  A cross between a peach with a touch of gold, bronze and apricot, the color is a mesmerizing mix that borders on metallic.

 

I first became intrigued with this gloss after The Beauty Look Book reviewed it with several comparisons here. Now that summer weather is hitting different areas of the world, I couldn’t put off getting it any longer.  Shine on, you crazy diamond! On lips:

One more:

Although I’m unable to pull off a true orange (or a blood orange), Le Metier de Beaute’s Summerland is a perfect bronzy shade that works for pale, warm skintones.  What cha know about me?–my lip gloss is cool, my lip gloss is poppin’.  Highly recommended.

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May 032011
 
Hourglass Script 1

Hourglass Cosmetics has just released a new felt tipped liner, the Hourglass Script Precision Liquid Liner ($32) (available at Sephora).  Unlike the earlier version, the Hourglass Calligraphy (pictured at top, above) (reviewed here) ($32), the Hourglass Script has a very, very fine-tipped point.  Otherwise, both have:

  • A deep, inky-black color
  • Long-lasting, no-smudge and no-flake wear
  • A smooth, even application and ink flow

Both Hourglass pens allow the liquid ink to flow without any pumping or twisting–the ink is deposited with slight pressure.  They are both well-machined, foolproof and beautifully packaged.  Both have a slight “heft factor” that is pleasant and balanced.  At $32, these are in line with the price range of other high end liquid liners (Chanel’s Automatic Liquid Eyeliner is $34).

I’m very comfortable applying liquid liners–fearless, in fact.  Start by practicing on the back of your hand.  Like Julia Child flipping a potato pancake, it’s easier if you go in confident.

Let’s compare the Hourglass Script, the Hourglass Calligraphy, and the Le Metier de Beaute Precision Liquid Liner ($42) (reviewed here).  As shown here, the tip of the Hourglass Script is quite precise–the tip is tiny.

I was surprised to find how distinct all three liners are.  You can see that when Hourglass says that the Script is precision, they are not kidding–the fine point allows you to draw an extremely fine line.  It must be layered to get a thicker line.

Below, on the left you can see a light and a heavy line that I drew with Le Metier’s Precision (in Noir).  In the second line, you can see how lightly Le Metier’s can be applied.  Here, the ink isn’t quite a deep and dark (it looks almost brown).  Had I added another layer or two, the Le Metier would be as black as the Hourglass swatches.  Hourglass Script (in Jett) is swatched in the center.  Hourglass Calligraphy (in Ebony) is on the right.

Both the Hourglass Script and Calligraphy provide a deeper, blacker line out of the brush, compared with Le Metier de Beaute’s.

No, you don’t need all three.  If you have light-toned skin, delicate features or prefer a very natural look, you will prefer the ability to draw a more subtle line that the Le Metier Precision Eyeliner allows. The Le Metier must be applied with some pressure, or in built-up layers, to get a full-on black line. “Priming” the brush helps, by holding it down on the back of your hand for a second to get the ink flowing freely (but that’s a little messy).

If you want a deep, black ink out of the pen, the Hourglass delivers beautifully.  Between Script and Calligraphy, it’s going to depend on whether you prefer a thin or thick line.

Note that I found that I was able to get a very fine line with the Hourglass Calligraphy by using just light pressure on the very end of the tip, but it was not easy.  Really, if you want a fine line then go with the Script.

However, I’m glad that I do own all three.  I find myself reaching frequently for my Hourglass Calligraphy when a want a good, quick defined black line.  I love the Le Metier when my makeup is very subtle.  I have no doubt I’ll use up the Hourglass Script, because it adds something that the others don’t have–a quick, very deep black fine line that works well for my coloring and features.  I love it–highly recommended.

Hourglass Script and Calligraphy were provided to Cafe Makeup for review/consideration by Hourglass.

 

 

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