Apr 062012

NARS is set to release a gorgeous collection for Summer 2012. If these images are any guide, this will be a memorable and beautifully designed set with a modern edge. These are shimmering bronzes, apricots, and matte reds, anchored with a deep cool eyeshadow duo. Unbelievably beautiful. A closer look at the items in the Nars Summer 2012 collection follows…

NARS Ramatuelle Eyeshadow Trio is named for a village in southeastern France, and includes an elegant combination of two shimmers–silver and icy peach. The trio has a matte apricot for a warm-cool interpretation of a neutral palette.

NARS Eyeshadow Duo in Marie-Galante is an iridescent combination of “orchid with a regal blue,” that is soft, strong and striking. Cafe Makeup says “woah, that’s so pretty.” I can imagine that paired with the bronzes and apricots in this collection, it’s going to emphasize the eyes like almost nothing else.

NARS Calabria Soft Touch Eyeshadow Pencil is a shimmering plum. This is not a color that I’ve seen much, but I can’t wait to try it on my blue-green eyes. My guess is that it’s going to look gorgeous with brown eyes as well.

NARS Vendages Lipstick is a sheer grape, which I can picture might look like lips that have just finished some gorgeous summer fruit. I literally gasped when I saw this picture. Amazing summer color, especially for the July-August time frame when the color palette seems to deepen.

NARS Liberte blush is described as a “burnished apricot.” Seriously gorgeous summer color.

NARS Buenos Aires Velvet Lip Gloss Pencil appears to be the one thing that everyone needs in their makeup collection–a good nude pencil.  Whether as a base or alone when wearing striking eyes, nude pencils can provide a good accompaniment or a good stand alone. NARS, Cafe Makeup thanks you for this.

NARS Never Say Never Velvet Matte Lip Pencil is a lilac rose.

NARS Moscow Pure Matte Lipstick is a matte strawberry red.

Nars Trouville nail polish is a seashell pink, named for a little fishing village in northern France. I suspect that it’s been used on the model in the image below, but we’ll have to take a look when it becomes available.

Makeup genius Francois Nars designed the look, below, which exemplifies one example of how the collection can be used for a glamorous look that emphasizes one’s individual look. Here, he used NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer SPF 30/PA+++ in St. Moritz. As an aside, I’ve been wearing this foundation (in Alaska) since it was released in February and I love it.  If you are looking for a summer tinted moisturizer, please try this one out if you can. It’s long lasting, has great coverage, looks luminous and lasts throughout the day. Plus, my skin looks better because it’s designed to moisturizer and eliminate hyper pigmentation and dark spots.

Nars then applied Eden Loose Powder and NARS Laguna Bronzer. He then added the new Liberte blush, and a touch of Taos blush along the hairline. This picture features the eyeshadow trio–the new Ramatuelle Eyeshadow Trio was added to the eyes. The silver and peach shades are on the lid blended up to the crease; apricot is in the crease, and silver on the lower lash line.

The upper and lower lashes are lined with Larger than Life Long Wear Eyeliner in Via Veneto.  Two coats of Larger Than Life Volumizing Mascara are on the lashes (reviewed here at The Beauty Look Book).  Based on her recommendation, I’ve just ordered this mascara from Sephora.

The lips were lined with the new Borneo Lip Liner Pencil, blended with a finger to soften the color. Then Nars applied the new Moscow Pure Matte Lipstick, and topped with Risky Business Lip Gloss for shine.

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Jan 112012

Nars Spring 2012

Here’s an upcoming preview of Nars Spring 2012, a collection that is a study in contrasts: bold color underscored by sophisticated shimmer. For eyes, either tones of lavender and pink or bronze accented with navy on eyes. Cheeks are flushed with candy pink. Lips gleam in topaz or pop with berry. Metallic violet nails add a finishing touch to a collection that’s bright, strong and iconic. Here are the details of the complete Spring 2012 Nars collection.

Douce France Trio Eyeshadow ($45), with three gorgeous powder eyeshadow variations on pink—a cool light pink highlighter, a medium rose-petal pink and a deep rose with a touch of brick:
A minky silver-lavender single powder eyeshadow Lhasa ($23), named for the Tibetan region that hosts many Buddhist palaces:
An powder eyeshadow duo, Paramarimbo ($33) with a soft metallic green-brass and green-bronze tones. These are both shimmery textures with a rich complexity.

Gaeity Blush ($27), which I’ve been waiting for with my breath held. This is an extremely cool-toned pink:

Mexican Rose Velvet Gloss Lip Pencil ($24). I love this formula. This is a red/hot pink combination made to make your lips look gorgeous and glossy:

Valpraiso Pure Matte Lipstick ($25), an deep rose with a touch of coolness:

A shimmering gold-topaz deep nude in Bilbao Lipstick ($24)

Dark Rite Soft Touch Shadow Pencil ($24)

Diamond Life nail polish ($17) (not yet arrived)

In person, everything so far looks gorgeous. I’ll be providing you with updates and reviews on these products in the coming days.

These products were provided to Cafe Makeup without charge for consideration and review.

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Jul 042011

Chanel Fall 2011 is a pivotal Chanel collection. This appears to be a time when many products were added to the permanent line, adding several needed items and exploring some new textures and formulas.  I love when established companies innovate, so if you hear someone shouting from their rooftops, c’est moi!

The sheer size and scope of the collection is notable.  Although The Nonblonde suggests that “they’re overdoing it,” to me, more Chanel is more Chanel. The critical question is this–can you ever have too much Chanel?

I think you can have too much football, or fishing.  Or tequila.  Maybe even too much MAC.  But we have a long way to go until we get to that point. For me, Chanel makes the bumps in life’s roads a little easier.  I’d fill my bathtub with it and want more.  Maybe I’ll be in Chanel rehab with Dr. Drew someday.  We’ll see.  Until then, I’m going with what works.

Let’s review the collection, before I get to my favorites:

  • Illusion d’Ombre Eyeshadows (overview here).   Application tips are here.

– Fantasme (reviewed here)

– Emerveillé (reviewed here)

– Ebloui (reviewed here)

– Epatant (reviewed here)

– Illusoire (reviewed here)

– Mirifique (reviewed here)

  • Le Crayon Yeux eye pencil in Khaki Platine (reviewed here)

  • Joues Contraste Blush in Rose Écrin (reviewed here)

  • Les 4 Ombres Eyeshadow Palette in Prélude (reviewed here)

  • Lèvres Scintillantes (Glossimers)

– Pampille (reviewed here)

– Braise (reviewed here)

  • Crayon Lèvres lip pencils in Rose Cuivré and Coralline (reviewed here)

  • Rouge Coco lipstick

– Plumetis (reviewed here)

– Étole (reviewed here)

  • Rouge Double Intensite in Rose Morganite and Rose Quartz (reviewed here).

  • Le Vernis nail polish

– Graphite (reviewed here)

Peridot (reviewed here)

Quartz (reviewed here)

  • Double Perfection Compact Foundation in Medium Beige-Contour (reviewed here)

My personal favorites:

  • Chanel Illusion D’Ombre Eyeshadows in Ebloui, Illusoire and Mirifique
  • Chanel Le Vernis nail colors in Peridot and Quartz
  • Chanel Prelude Eyeshadow Quad
  • Chanel Rouge Coco Plumentis
  • Chanel Crayon Levres in Rose Cuivre

Which of these items interest you most?  If you have tried any, which are your favorites?


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Jul 042011

Chanel Fall introduces two new Le Crayon Levres/ Crayon Contour des Levres Precision/ Precision Lip Definer pencils in Coralline (#46) and Rose Cuivre (#47) ($29 each).  Both are welcome additions to the line.

To be honest, I’m not a good person to compare them to other brands because I’ve only used Chanel lip pencils (after some disappointing results with a few less expensive brands).  Also, I do not wear lip pencils very often–I lack the patience and never really got into the habit of using them.  Nonetheless, I’m sure that I’ll get good use out of both Coralline and Rose Cuivre and here’s why.

Generally, Chanel lip pencils are high quality and long lasting.  They don’t glide on, but they don’t pull very much either. With even if you aren’t very talented with lip pencils (I’m not), they apply evenly.

My lips are rather pigmented toward red-mauve.  Putting on a semi-sheer coral or peach lip color never applies true to the tube color, and often times not even close.  I need a lip pencil to wear those shades, unless the lipstick is very opaque.  There really are not a large number of good, true coral lip pencils on the market.  Coralline fills that gap beautifully. If you are looking for a pencil to coordinate with peach or coral lipsticks or glosses, get Coralline.

Like all Le Crayon Levres pencils, Coralline comes with a built-in brush for blending and a sharpener.

Coralline covers the pigmentation in my lips, and provides a soft coral base.  Only then does the red-mauve in my lips stop “fighting” the peachy-coral of the gloss or lipstick.

Rose Cuivre (which translates to “copper rose”) is a pretty warm deep red.  It can be worn under any deep red lipstick, such as Chanel Rouge Coco Etole, or any other.  It’s actually beautiful alone for a deep matte lip.

This color is so far inside my personal comfort zone that I’m not certain that I can review it objectively.  Even though I need Coralline in my beauty stash, I know that I’ll use Rose Cuivre much more.  It’s a perfect fall pencil for most–but a year-round pencil for me.

Here’s a series of swatches with Chanel Rouge Coco Etole, Chanel Rose Cuivre lipliner pencil, Chanel Coralline lipliner pencil and Chanel Rouge Coco Plumentis, all from the Fall 2011 collection.  Just for comparison, I then swatched Chanel Rouge Coco in Monte Carlo so that you can see a coral comparison (Monte Carlo is more red than Coralline, which is more peach).  Then, just for color comparison, I swatched my Chanel lip pencil in Natural, so that you can judge these swatches compared to a neutral tone.

One more, same setup:

Bottom line:  Yes for Coralline for practicality;  yes for Rose Cuivre just because it’s so very lovely.

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May 262011

Chanel Autumn/Fall 2011 will feature an Illusion D’Ombre theme, which has been previously discussed on Cafe Makuep (they had me at “smoking lava”). We now have more complete information about the entire collection.

[Edit–Cafe Makeup has now done detailed reviews of these items.  See our overview and final recommendations at this link!).


First, there are six shades of a whipped gel eyeshadow, Illusion D’Ombre, which have a shimmery effect:

Illusion d’Ombre in Fantasme:

Illusion d’Ombre in Emerveillé:

Illusion d’Ombre in Ebloui:

Illusion d’Ombre in Epatant:

Illusion d’Ombre in Illusoire:

Illusion d’Ombre in Mirifique:

Le Crayon Yeux in Khaki Platine:

Joues Contraste in Rose Écrin:

Les 4 Ombres in Prélude:

Lèvres Scintillantes (Glossimer) in Pampille and Braise and Crayon Lèvres lip pencils in Rose Cuivré and Coralline:

Rouge Coco Plumetis and Rouge Coco Étole:

Le Vernis nail polish in Graphite, Peridot and Quartz:

Swatches of these shades are here at Sophy Robson:

Some of you may recall this Style.com video in which Chanel Makeup Genius Peter Philips explains the collection:

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Apr 072011

Nars Velvet Gloss Pencil in Baroque ($24) is a deep blue-based red that adds a sheer wash of glossy gorgeousness.

If you aren’t sure you were meant to wear reds, trying a sheer red like Nars Baroque will give you a good chance to experiment.  It will allow some of your natural colors show through.  The deeper color looks great with both fair and deep skin tones.  The touch of blue helps whiten teeth just a touch.

On Liz:

This is one of my favorite sheer reds.  I love the pencil format.  Although it has a slight crayon scent (which I believe is the packaging and not the gloss), these are so easy to use.  A nice, fool-proof burgundy red.

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Mar 102011

Nars Velvet Gloss Lip Pencil in Clubmix ($24) is a red with a hint of blue that delivers a rich, deep glossy color.  It gives impressive pigmentation and shine.


Nars Clubmix gave Liz a red look.  Because these pencils have a slight sheerness, you can expect that it will look slightly different on everyone, depending on the wearer’s natural lip color.  Liz is wearing Bateau Ivre on her eyes, as described in this post:


Overall, we loved Nars Clubmix.  It’s a good deep color that flatters light skintones.  It’s light enough so that it does not look too heavy or too creamy.




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Feb 102011



NARS has just released six beautiful shades of Velvet Gloss Lip Pencils ($24 each), including one in New Lover. This shade is a deep rose with a touch of coral and gold shimmer, and it is absolutely beautiful when applied.  When this arrived, I was intrigued to find that this beautiful deep color was highly wearable, unique and flattering.  I did not suspect that I would own it for so short a time…

These chubby pencils come with a glossy center product that seems to take on a life of its own when applied to the lips. We don’t use a pencil, direct is best.

Nars New Lover and Boy 3

Most stores that carry NARS will sell this dual sharpener ($6), shown here closed (left) and open (on the right).   Sephora’s version ($3) works too:

When Liz and I started playing with New Lover, we both fell in love with it.  It gives very flattering color to the lips, in a word it looks expensive.  Gorgeous.  Of course, Liz persuaded me that New Lover really needed to go back to college with her when she leaves again.  And that is how I lost my NARS New Lover pencil.

Below, Liz is wearing New Lover with no lipliner, base or topcoat.  All you see on the lips is the New Lover pencil.

NARS New Lover alone

I found that New Lover is very soft and glossy for a pencil.  It doesn’t have the creaminess of a lipstick, and so those with liplines or roughness may wish to exfoliate before application.  The texture of the product seems to cling a little closer to the skin than a typical gloss or lipstick, so every imperfection can show.  Close up of NARS New Lover (again, no lipliner, base or gloss).  It’s remarkably glossy, and you can see the gold shimmer throughout:

We decided to see how NARS New Lover would look topped with Chanel’s Rouge Coco Shine in Boy, just to play at little bit.  Liz dabbed some on, without bothering to use a mirror.

As I said in my earlier review, Boy is a very easy-t0-use lipstick.

Here is the final effect, with NARS New Lover topped with Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in Boy.  The rest of Liz’s makeup breakdown is here.  Adding the Rouge Coco Shine seemed to smooth out the appearance, and make any small liplines melt a bit and pulled the color pink.

By the way, Liz’s tshirt is Alexander Wang and the necklace is from J. Crew.

I think I need to order a few more of the NARS pencils– maybe in duplicate.

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Aug 252010

Guerlain’s Fall 2010 collection includes Rouge G lipstick in Gilian (#14) ($46) fits well with the neutral grey, taupe and brown tones of the 68 Champs-Élysées collection.  When I was in Paris last month, I quickly stopped in the 2 Place Vendôme boutique.  The Fall 2010 display units had arrived that same morning, and Gilian was suggested to work well with my coloring.  After trying their newly-uppacked tester, I agreed.  Indeed, this neutral color is likely to work for a wide variety of skintones.

The packaging is gorgeous.  Every time I pick up one of those beautiful heavy metal cases, designed by jeweler Lorenz Bäumer of Paris’ Place Vendôme, the experience feels so elegant.

The engraving on the bottom:

The complex assembly operates magically, using a magnet mechanism, into a butterfly-shape that holds two mirrors perfect to ensure that your touch-up is applied as I intend.  Inside, Gilian is a soft neutral pink-nude:

The best description that I can offer is that Gilian gives the lips a highly moisturizing glow. I have a natural pink-mauve color to my lips, and it knocks out only some of my natural color.  The moisturizing texture softens any natural lines and becomes a “my lips but better” polish that looks natural with a beautiful luminosity.

Here is between Gilian and two other nudes in my collection, Chanel Rouge Allure lipsticks in Nude (#59) and Mythic (#69).

Here are the differences as I’ve experienced them:

  • Gilian applies as a semi-sheer pink nude;
  • Chanel Rouge Allure Nude applies as a golden nude;
  • Chanel Rouge Allure Mythic applies as a neutral nude.

Liz is wearing Guerlain Rouge G in Gilian here, over Chanel’s lipliner pencil in Beige.

The final effect, which shows the soft nude glow that Gilian imparts:

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Chanel Spring 2010: Lip Pencil Beige and Eye Pencil Khaki Dore

 Chanel, Eyeliner, Lip Pencil  Comments Off on Chanel Spring 2010: Lip Pencil Beige and Eye Pencil Khaki Dore
Dec 302009

There are two pencil products in Chanel’s Spring 2010 line.  First, Le Crayon Yeux Precision Eye Definer in Khaki Dore ($28), a shimmery gold-green that is similar to Chanel’s liquid eyeshadow Torrent.  I have to admit, I love the smudge tool on one end of the eyeliner.  I always miss this feature when I buy a pencil and it isn’t there.  This eyeliner is a bit too light for me to wear on my upper lid alone.  I pair this with a darker black or dark brown, and/or use it smudged underneath the lower lid.

Second, Chanel’s Le Crayon Levres Precision Lip Definer in Beige ($28), which gives a nude effect to the lips.  Chanel has needed this type of pencil for a long time.  This is the perfect base for nude or neutral lips.

Each is packed with a separate sharpener.

Chanel Spring 2010 Pencils

Chanel Khaki Dore and Nude PencilsThis post contains an affiliate link (for more information see About Cafe Makeup)


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