Aug 042010

An easy everyday color that I keep in my bag is Chanel Santal Rouge Allure Laque ($32).  A cross between a gloss and a lipstick, this is a lightweight neutral comes in a discreet black case with an easy doefoot applicator.

The color is a nude-peach mixed with gold and pink.  There is a very subtle gold shimmer that gives it a little depth and glow:

Santal is a perfect lipgloss to put into your purse, because the neutral color, and mix of tones, is likely to go with almost anything else you might be wearing:

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Jul 082010

Chanel’s Fall 2010 collection includes several clear pink and peach-toned colors to compliment the smoky eyeshadows and deeply colored blushes that are in this same release.  One of the ones that caught my eye is Pink Teaser Glossimer #142 ($27)(limited edition).  Pink Explosion is the most opaque gloss from this collection and has a similar medium pink feel as Pink Explosion blush.

Chanel Glossimers have a gel-like texture that has dimension and staying power without a sticky feel.  When someone asks me for a duplicate for a Chanel Glossimer, I cannot answer them.  If you own any, you already know that they have a depth and dimension that I have not found in less expensive glosses. Glossimers have no scent or smell.

Here, Liz is wearing Chanel Lift Lumiere foundation in Ivoire (Intensity 1.0) topped with Caron translucent powder, Maybelline Colossal mascara, Prestige Total Intensity liner in Deepest Black, along with Chanel Pink Explosion blush and Pink Teaser Glossimer.

This shows Pink Explosion blush, where Liz applied this lightly to the apples of the cheek to give a glow:

Both Pink Teaser and Pink Explosion are universal colors that can be worn year-round.  Both seemed fine to wear yesterday, even in July.  Of course, these colors will look beautiful in the Fall and Winter, when paired with the deeper smoky colors of those seasons.

Karlasugar has swatched the rest of Chanel’s Fall 2010 lip collection here.

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Jul 052010

A few interesting things from around the Internet about upcoming collections.  Before we go into Chanel, note that Chic Profile says that Nars will be putting their Fall 2010 collection online on July 15th.  Worth checking out if you love violet tones.

First, Chanel Rouge Allure Extrait de Gloss introduces a new high-gloss lip product which, from what I have read online, will be more sheer but more high-shine than the current Rouge Allures Laques.

New applicator, which has a pointed doe-foot tip:

There are several promotional pictures of the packaging, here are just a few:

These are reported to sell for around 29 euros, so I am guessing that these will be around $32-35 if released in the U.S.  The colors are as follows:

  • 51 Insouciance
  • 52 Genie
  • 55 Confidence
  • 56 Imaginaire
  • 57 Insolence
  • 58 Emoi
  • 60 Exces
  • 61 Fatale

There are missing numbers in the line-up here (53? 54?), so I suspect that some colors will be limited edition for certain stores or markets.

The promotional material indicates that there will be a release of new Rouge Allure lipsticks and nail polish with this line (and re-promotes of existing Rouge Allure Laque shades):

The Le Vernis nail polish shades are: Rose Confidentiel, Rose Insolent and Rouge Fatal

The Rouge Allure lipstick shades are:

  • Confidentielle
  • Insolente
  • Fatale
  • Excessive
  • Emotive

I am not certain of the release date for these–the international sites expect them in September, but it is not clear when/if these will be released in the U.S.

Second, here are some promotional pictures of Yves Saint Laurent’s Fall collection:

On the right, new packaging for the Touche Eclat:

I’m really loving this picture of the eyeshadow duo in Midnight Blue/Solar Gold:

More product names:

Blush Variation in 19 Venetian Rose

Ombres Duo’s in l29 purple amethyst/tawny brown and 31 midnight blue/solar gold.

Eyeshadow singles in 13 aquamarine and 14 satin silver.

Golden Gloss in  30 Golden Satin and 31 Golden Toffee.

Third, am I the only one excited for Estee Lauder’s Blue Dahlia palette designed by Tom Pecheux?

Fourth, just for fun a few pictures from Dior’s Autumn/ Winter fashion show–they look like flowers, don’t they?  The have some type of colored cellophane around their faces and heads:

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Jun 212010

Chanel Rouge Allure Laque in Phoenix #78 ($32) is a beautiful shade for summer.

It is truly a beautiful shade for both day and evening.  It manages to be a strong color without being overpowering.

The texture is absolutely gorgeous–it gives a bit of shimmer and glow without any obvious glitter at normal viewing distance.  It is opaque in one coat, it would have to be blotted off to get a stained look.

It’s both dramatic and wearable, and looks great with summer colors.

This skintone is MAC NC 15/20 (Chanel Cameo).  How do you think this would work with your skintone?

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Jun 152010

When Chanel first released the Rouge Allure Laque, I was a an enormous skeptic.  The price seemed too high, the container too small and the colors “seen-them-all-before.”   They were first released in Europe, and I began to notice that many European makeup aficionados were not only buying them, but buying several.

I investigated.

Since then, I’ve become an enthusiastic owner of several.  I find myself using these continuously. I don’t buy as many lip products as some other bloggers seem to.  Rather, I buy fewer but use them up.  I wanted to share one of my favorite summer colors, Ming #76, ($32).  It’s perfect for my makeup bag all summer long.

The packaging is perfect.  The black Chanel tube is always classic and appropriate.  It seems impervious to wear and tear –it still looks brand new although I’ve been using this since November.  Inside is a doe-foot applicator and more product than I expected.  There a quiet, satisfying “click” when the product is closed.  I’ve had no spilling or leaking.

I’ve found that Ming is a very forgiving summer color.  I drink a lot of water, and don’t want to fuss with pencils or layering.  I can swipe it on easily, usually without looking.

It looks like I’ve done more than I have. It gives a pretty pink polished lip.  It gives a nice color  without being too opaque.

Yes, $32 is a lot of a lip product.  In my mind, I justify the price by reasoning that I can wear this easily alone and am very, very likely to use this up as a stand-by every-day color.  So, in my mind it is worth every penny.

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Jun 142010

Guerlain’s Terracotta line arrives completely renewed this year, with reformulated lipglosses.  You may already be familiar with the former glosses, in creamy golden and earthen tones with a high glitter factor.  These had names like “Caramel Sun,” “Beige Sun” and “Pink Sun.”  They are beautiful glosses, in their little clear cases and the golden-topped wands that look similar to the tops of the Terracotta Eye Kohls.  KarlaSugar has swatched the former line here.

This year, Guerlain has reformulated the Terracotta glosses, giving them a new look.  The former glosses have been pulled out of the stores, replaced with these smoother, silkier, and less glittery replacements.  The new glosses are less sticky, feel lighter on the lip, and include moisturizers and antioxidants to condition lips exposed to the sun.

Also, Guerlain has added SPF 15 protection.  The sparkle factor has been almost eliminated–there is a tiny microshimmer that is barely visible unless you look extremely close to the product.  The almost metallic look of the former glosses has been replaced with a more natural, more sophisticated look.

Here is a look at the former packaging (left), compared to the new (right):

The gloss tubes no longer have the familiar gold tops.  Rather, they have a new look, using a darker metal.  When closing the new gloss, there is an audible “click” that assures you that the gloss has been definitively closed.  I love this feature.

The most dramatic change is the texture of the gloss.  Here is a comparison with two older glosses (left) and the new gloss (on the right, #4, Ambre).  You can immediately see that glitter in the older ones is comparatively quite large and obvious.  Ambre’s glitter is barely detectable; instead, you have more traditional, yet beautiful, deep warm rose that looks lovely when wearing bronzer and summer tones.

Here is an on-the-lip swatch of Guerlain’s #4 Ambre.  The lips look very natural, without the metal/glitter of the former gloss:

Here is #4 Ambre:

My verdict– The new version is a welcome change.  The earlier ones seemed appropriate when they were released.  Just as fashion changes, so do makeup looks.  The new gloss feels very silky and smooth on the lips, unlike the former ones which could feel a tad gritty.  These feel very moisturizing.  I like having the SPF protection and, let’s face it, the colors in this new release are gorgeous.

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May 192010

I ordered some samples of RMS Beauty’s Lip2Cheek products, which are cream products meant to be used on cheeks and lips.  The top row are full-force pigmentation, and the lower row is a softer swatch so that you can see how the color blends out.  There are six (6) Lip2Cheek products in the line, however I have four here for your reference:

  • Muse: a shimmery nude that can be used to create a nude lip or nearly-there shimmer blush
  • Promise: a coral-brown
  • Illusive: rose-brown, for use as a nude blush or contour
  • Rapture:  brick-red

These take only the faintest touch of product to give plenty of color.  The pigmentation is such that the product should last a long time.  There is the faintest pleasant scent, probably from one of the organic ingredients or moisturizers used.  When applied to the lips, there is a soft lipgloss-feel.

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L’Occitane Peony Lip Balm – Review and Swatch

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May 022010

L’Occitane is currently selling a limited edition makeup line based on a Peony theme, which I must admit looks absolutely fresh, spring-like and a nice addition to their luxurious bath, body and home line.  Sold in their some of their U.S. boutiques and online, the products come packaged in sealed paper bags that are embossed with Peony photographs.

I like that these products arrived sealed.  As you know, L’Occitane’s boutiques are self-service, where people play all day on their shelves and in the bins.  Of course, makeup is used directly on the skin and lips.  The bags are both attractive and promise that no one has played with the product before you receive them.  One point for cleanliness, one point for pretty.  Hint, hint–these arrive just in time for Mother’s Day (at least in the U.S.) and the bags look like a cute “little something” that you can bring to brunch or add to a gift basket.  The Peony line is not expensive–certainly less than most department store lines.

When the Peony Lip Balm ($12 for .5 oz.) arrived, I could barely wait to photograph it before I put it on.  Because L’Occitane’s moisturizers and other skin care products are so well-loved, I had high hopes for the lip-pampering quality that the line could bring to lip products.  The balm is in a soft-plastic tube with a slant-tip applicator and plastic cap.  It had a surprisingly strong peony scent, which faded within about thirty minutes (although the balm kept going longer), which leaves an impression that it has a very faint flower-perfume taste.  It doesn’t bother me, but if you are scent-sensitive you may wish to try this in person before committing.

Typical of L’Occitane which attempts to merge products and culture, the bags come with background story about the product:

Charming, right?

Now, on to the product review.  The Peony Lip Balm is a nearly-sheer, highly moisturizing product.  There is a light pink tone (barely visible) and soft micro-shimmers for appearance.  This has virtually no opacity–in fact, because it is so moisturizing, it actually left my lips looking darker because of the emollience.  It leaves a nice sheen and lasts well for a balm.  It feels heavier and more moisturizing that a typical gloss.

Overall, the product performed as one might expect from L’Occitane–heavy on the lovely moisturizing feel, barely pigmented and a nice natural scent.  I recommend this as a prettier alternative to Aquaphor.

Reviews of the L’Occitane Etoiles des Neiges face powder and the Jolie Therese eyeshadow duo are here.

Note:  L’Occitane’s U.S. website has free shipping for purchases over $25 through tomorrow 5/3/10.

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Apr 142010

Chanel’s Summer 2010 included three lip products that fall within the category of neutral lips.  With a soft beige, peach and golden tones, these evoke a sophisticated glow that will look good on many shades of warm-toned wearers.  I’m less certain that cool-toned skin types will love them just as much.  Here’s a look:

Chanel Glossimer in Bikini Peach ($27) is a warm, sheer peach with golden glitters.  This has the typical Glossimer-gel feel, it’s easy to wear for those who do not want a strong color.  This gives a nice sophisticated glow either alone (my favorite way to wear a glossimer) or over a lipstick.  However, you would need more than one coat to see a strong peach color come through.

Single coat lip swatch:

Chanel Aqualumiere Gloss in Bondi Beach ($27) has a much sheerer feel and wear compared to the Glossimer.  You get a more neutral beige tone, but these do tend to wear off somewhat quickly.  I have also had a few Aqualumiere gloss caps and containers split over my years of use, so you might be a bit more careful with the packaging on these.  If you tend to toss your glosses into your beloved Birkin/Marc Jacobs/LV/(insert bag of choice here) and head out for the day, you’ve been warned.

I like this gloss. On my pigmented lips, it tends to knock down the color down and add a layer of shine and a creamy-beige tone.  The Aqualumiere glosses are undeniably pretty, and that’s what makes me keep buying them despite the fact that I’m unhappy with the packaging.

No one is more surprised than me to report that of all of the neutral lip products from Summer 2010, I liked the Aqualumiere lipstick in Bondi ($28.50) best.  I don’t typically like Chanel’s Aqualumiere lipsticks–they feel dry to me and some of them have had flakes of glitter in them.  Yeah, ugh.  Fortunately, Bondi is a nice, neutral glowing lipstick that I’ll use frequently over the next few months.   Yes, you can layer this with the gloss–but I prefer easier looks for summer. Bondi works well with a single swipe, which is wonderful if you’re going to sipping water (or something else?) all summer long.

Swatches, swatches, swatches:

Chanel’s Summer 2010 Collection went up online at yesterday.  The lack of eyeshadow and liner products is curious, I don’t think that I’ve ever seen Chanel skip over those for a summer launch.  Chanel’s counter display has a repromote with the Demure quad shown, which makes me want to buy Demure (how did I miss that one before?) but that’s not a new quad.

There are two limited edition bronzers in the collection–Terre d’ore and Terre Halee ($50 each). I was able to play with these at a a counter over the weekend, but didn’t buy them (at least yet). Terre D’ore is a light golden bronze for the palest skin tones.  It’s a barely-there bronzer.  Terre Halee is a deeper color than Terre Epice, despite the appearance of the swatches on Chanel’s website.  It’s a pretty, neutral tan that’s going to work easily on the NC35’s and higher.  I’m paler than that, but I’m fearless when it comes to bronzers.  I didn’t purchase either because I have three other Chanel bronzers that will never end, including Terre Epice which is right in between the other two.  Seriously, I’ve had one of them since 2005 that I’ve use every day for months at a time and the level of product seems almost unchanged.  I can’t justify buying two more but we’ll see.

What will sell out first?  Nouvelle Vague nail polish and the Rouge Allure in Genial are my predictions.  What are yours?

Chanel’s site also added the three nail polishes from the Orient Extreme Exclusive Collection.  For the U.S., this will be a very limited release, only online and in the Chanel boutiques.  Where is the Jet – Gold eyeliner duo?  Why didn’t Chanel post that as well?  Who knows–the mysteries of Chanel’s online site have eluded many of us and will continue to do so. I called a Chanel boutique to get one of the eyeliners shipped to me.  Here’s some advice, if you get it use it wet.  It’s meant to be used wet.  No, seriously-go ahead, dab that brush in something before you dip!

Finally–the latest rumor that I heard about the new Chanel duo eyeshadows is that it will be released with the Fall Collection, although I have also heard that it would be earlier.  Hopefully, we won’t have to wait until July but that might be the case.  And yes, according to the Sales Associate at my local counter, the current Irreelle duo’s are being discontinued.

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Chanel Summer 2010 – Gloss Fluo de Chanel in Pop and Laser

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Apr 122010

Chanel’s Summer 2010 Pop Collection includes two Gloss Fluo de Chanel in Pop and Laser ($27 each).  As with Chanel’s Fluo glosses released in the past, these two are very lightly pigmented, high-shine glosses with the familiar Glossimer gel feel.

In the tube, the colors look like electric jelly.  Despite the brightness, these are easy summer glosses, or at a minimum, as fun as a Chanel product gets (why do I imagine Coco Chanel wearing pearls to the beach?)  You can keep one in your beach bag or summer purse.  Pull them out, they’re fun little flashes of color that look great when you touch up your lips poolside.  They deposit a “just bit into a popsicle” touch of color and glow–barely any color, just full glossy lips with the faintest touch of tone.

The gel texture gives the lips a moisturized and deeply shiny look.   These will not give you an over-done or heavy lip.   The doe-foot applicator, which is visible through the sheer gloss in the tube, delivers a wash of glossy shine.  There is no glimmer, shimmer or sparkle.

Laser (#407) is a deep pink and Pop (#427) is the bright coral-pink.

Fair warning–if you’d like versions of these shade with opaque pigment, then buy the Rouge Allure lipsticks in Super and Genial.  These Fluo are not designed to apply with the same brightness as the tubes.

I think of Chanel’s Fluo’s as fun little accessories.   The tubes are pretty, unique and eye-catching.  They are in the distinctive Glossimer tube that says “Yes, it’s Chanel.”   The result is a sheer, glossy and summer-casual effect.  If you like, try these over a lipstick for a completely different, high-shine plus pigment effect.

Here are the swatches:

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