Feb 142015
 

A quick update:  It’s days like this when it makes me very happy to have started a blog back in . . . oh, my gosh…2009!  Has it been that long? With all of the transitions in my life, this blog (and you!) have been there.  It’s so wonderful to be able to send some thoughts–however incomplete, imperfect, and informal..and send them out into the world. It makes me genuinely happy. 

My house transition–while not complete–is progressing. The makeup room is ready for organization. It’s been very calming to unpack and organize my palettes, blushes, and lipsticks.  Although it’s not photographically pretty (yet), it’s been good to get things organized again with plenty of space. It’s sort of a symbol of a lot of things falling into place in my off-blog life as well.

makeup roomIn other news, I have to give MAC credit for releasing some adorable packaging with the MAC Toledo collection. These queenly-white items are based on the love story of an artist couple, and hit all the right “modern royalty” notes with me.  The stars of the collection in my mind are the lipsticks and glosses, which is no surprise as MAC seems to excel in those departments. I chose Oxblood and Opera lipsticks, Opera lipgloss, and Kindergarten Red blush.

MAC Toledo Oxblood

 

The packaging has a rubberized-Nars-like texture, which feel very cushy to hold. Sure, they’ll attract fingerprints, but they look adorable. There are some items still available at Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, and Macys.

Yves Saint Laurent Nu Palette 1

My Yves Saint Laurent Nu palette arrived. I know, I owe you swatches.  For now, enjoy these! This is a very “le smoking” themed-design.

YSL Nu Palette 2

And inside, these neutral lovelies:

YSL Nu palette1These are still available at Nordstrom, Yves Saint Laurent, Bloomingdales, Neiman Marcus, and Saks Fifth Avenue. I don’t see this at Sephora, unfortunately.

Shu palette

Is there an epic battle of neutral palettes going on, or what? Shu Uemura’s 16 Shades of Nude palette is now online for sale. Here are some “in real life” pictures on Rouge Deluxe. I just noticed this is now for sale on Shu Uemura’s website. There’s a 15% off code now SHEEP (through 2/20/15).

I hope you are having a lovely weekend. It’s a balmy 28 degrees outside right now-just kidding! I’m going for my second cup of something warm.

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Jan 132015
 

Clarins lip oil08Clarins Lip Comfort Oil ($23/0.1 oz./limited edition) seems perfectly suited to this time of year. Baby, it’s cold outside. Of course, this French line is a skincare specialist and so I was drawn to try this out when I noticed it at a local counter. It comes in two colors (01 Honey (yellow tint) and 02 Raspberry (pink tint)) and the product is now becoming available at Clarins sources, including Nordstrom, Macys, and Clarins online (by the way, if you register with Clarins.com, they are very generous with their special offers and sample kits).

Clarins lip oil01

According to Clarins, this little lip-saver is formulated to “transforms lips from dry and damaged to plump and luscious while adding just a hint of color. The formula nourishes, soothes and enhances the natural way, with oils of mirabelle plum, jojoba and hazelnut for lips that look comfortable and appear fuller. Its innovative gel-like, non-sticky texture hugs your pout in gorgeous color.” It does do a lovely job moisturizing and re-conditioning lips. It smooths out lip lines beautifully, re-conditions this delicate area, and does make my lips feel so much healthier.

Clarins lip oil04aAt $23, the price runs about the price of a lipgloss and the container includes roughly the same amount of product. The is fairly modest for a skincare item–I foresee using this tube up by March quite easily. The formula is very sticky and extremely long-lasting. I have trouble having any gloss last more than an hour (or two), but the Clarins Lip Comfort Oil gave me a good four hours. Because of the sticky texture, if you walking through a stiff wind, it’s ponytail time. Then again, if you are walking in the wind it’s probably ponytail time anyway.

Clarins lip oil15

The formula starts out very, very shiny and sheer over either bare lips or lipstick. After an hour or so, the formula mellows to give my lips a moisturized, semi-gloss look. Eventually, it absorbs and leaves softer, line-free lips behind. The formula works very well over lipstick, there did not seem to be any significant color shift.

Clarins lip oil02The applicator is a big, spongy paddle. You can dab it on or use it as a gloss, or close your lips over it as you move it from side to side (dab, dab, dab).

I don’t believe that the color difference is terribly distinct between the raspberry and honey colors–the honey is slightly yellow/orange, and the raspberry is slightly pink.  As someone with mauve-toned lips I went with pink. The scent is a very strong sweet candy, which takes a bit of time to fade.

Clarins lip oil14aSome may be considering whether to buy the Clarins Lip Comfort Oil versus the Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask.

Bite lip products05 copyHere are my thoughts on the comparisons:

Bite lip products10

  • The packaging of the Clarins Lip Oil is far more purse friendly. The Clarins big square top fastens with a satisfying click, and placing it in any side pocket in a purse will keep the large square top from turning. The little cap on the Bite Beauty has fallen off a few times in my travel kit (although the product hasn’t splooged out, I think it’s only a matter of time).

 

  • Bite Beauty’s formula seems more moisturizing and conditioning to me, and the product comes in different colors (clear, Champagne, and Smashed Agave (the Beauty Look Book has reviewed Champagne and Smashed Agave so that you can see how strong the colors are). Clarins’ colors are very sheer by comparison, and can be easily layered under or over lipstick.

 

As long as we’re talking balms, those who prefer premium formulas in a pot will prefer Tatcha’s Camellia Nouring Lip Balm ($36)…Tatcha camillia lip balm05

 

Or By Terry’s Baume de Rose ($60)…but I don’t want to get too far off course. This post is about Clarins Lip Oil.

By Terry Kevyn Aucoin05

Overall, I believe that Clarins Lip Oil fills a niche in the beauty world–the portability and packaging are lovely. The scent, sticky texture, and small quantity are some of the factors to consider. However, the convenience factor is huge. It’s nice to tuck this little bit of luxury into my down jacket on the way to a long, cold commute to allow my lips to live another day.

Clarins lip oil10
Clarins Lip Oil is available at Nordstrom, Macys, and Clarins online, and is limited edition. Ingredient list (click to enlarge):

Clarins lip oil03
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Jan 112015
 

Sephora marsala01Happy 2015! Sephora’s Pantone Color of the Year is Marsala, a wearable shade that is office-friendly and flattering on many skin tones. To commerate, Sephora has gathered an entire range of products from different lines that fit within this beautiful neutral. In addition, Sephora has put together its own items built around the Marsala color story. These include the Sephora +Pantone Universe Facets of Marsala Multi-Finish Eye Palette ($39) and the Sephora +Pantone Universe Pure Marsala Matte Lip Creme ($18). The eyeshadow palette is sold out online at present, but there were four or five at my local Sephora on Friday (so hopefully there will be some in yours as well).

Sephora marsala04

These items are packaged in a marsala-toned metallic-colored finish that actually very pretty. The eyeshadow palette is lightweight, slim and highly functional. Although it won’t keep the packaging designers for Marc Jacobs or Tom Ford all night, their simple design is reflected in this highly affordable price point.

Sephora marsala08

If you want my honest opinion, I think that the line put the money into the product not the packaging. At $39 and $18 respectively, that’s a good call. The quality of the product to the applied to the eye and lips is surprisingly good. The pigmentation, texture, and range of colors and textures is outstanding.

Sephora marsala07As you can see, there are different textures of Marsala-toned colors in the top center. Surrounding these are a range of beautiful colors that coordinate nicely. I found that these applied beautifully–the texture is soft, does not kick up a lot of dust, and are a breeze to apply and blend. If you are heading to the stores today, you’ll want to stop by your Sephora and try out the tester.

Sephora marsala09

 

Swatches:

Sephora marsala10

 

Sephora marsala11

Sephora marsala12

Sephora marsala13

The Sephora Marsala eyeshadow palette was swatched with the NARS Artistry Smudge Brush #45 #45 ($28)(reviewed here), which is a pretty awesome brush. I did an eye with the Wayne Goss #6 brush ($25) and found that the colors applied and blended very impressively. For the price, this Sephora eyeshadow palette is a steal.

Sephora marsala02

The Sephora + Pantone Universe Marsala lipstick ($18) is a nice reddish-brown neutral that is semi-matte.

Sephora marsala06Swatch of the lipstick:

Sephora marsala14I attempted a lip swatch to give you a sense of the color:

sephora marsala lipstick4The good news is that those gorgeous geniuses at Sephora have provided Cafe Makeup with a fresh never-used eyeshadow palette and lipstick for giveaway!  Fun, right? If you’d like a try, you must leave a comment here on Cafe Makeup through the Rafflecopter form for one point (only once for the entire contest, please). If you’d like additional points, you can voluntarily tweet about the giveaway for another point (you are limited to one tweet per day) through the Rafflecopter form below. The comment is mandatory to enter, the tweet is not.

Note that the tweet must be through the Rafflecopter form. 

The contest is open the U.S. readers only and ends on Friday 1/16/15 at 12:00 am Eastern time.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Good luck to everyone!! Sephora marsala03 Sephora marsala02 These items were provided to Cafe Makeup without charge for review and give-away. This post includes affiliate links (for more information, see About Cafe Makeup)

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Jan 082015
 

Mac Spring trend palette swatches01

MAC’s Spring Trend ’15 palettes have been released for a few months now, but in this deep cold weather I thought it would be fun to post some swatches to remind myself that Spring is just around the corner. These are both available on maccosmetics.com.

Mac spring trend palette 152

The MAC Spring ’15 Lip and Cheek palette ($40) is an outstanding combination of flattering shades from almost every color family. How beautiful is this? The formula works for both lip color and blush.

Mac spring trend palette 153

How yummy is this? I cannot wait to wear this as the sun starts to peek through the sky once again. Swatches:

Mac Spring trend palette swatches10

The MAC Spring ’15 Trend palette ($40) seems a little more mixed, but I still thought it worth the price. I think that I’ll love using some of the shades, although the light green and blue look a little challenging to me.

Mac Spring trend palette swatches03a

The neutral urbanist, coupled with the brown-burgundy power player and eggplant night walk look outstanding to me. This will be fun to dig into soon.

Mac Spring trend palette swatches05

Swatches of MAC’s Spring Trend eye palette:

Mac Spring trend palette swatches06ba

Both palettes use a cream formula. Although I haven’t had much time to play with these yet, these look like the perfect play palettes once the weather starts warming.

Mac Spring trend palette swatches09To everyone suffering through challenging weather right now, my thoughts are with you. Hopefully as you read this you are safe, warm and comfortable. Cheers!

 

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Jan 022015
 

Nars Audacious overview

NARS Audacious lipsticks ($32 each) are pigment rich, opaque in a single stroke shades. I’m currently working with the set, and in the meantime wanted to provide you with this reference of all shades. Here, these are presented in not-quite alphabetical order. Please leave me suggestions in the comments if you’d like to see certain shades swatched next to each other. I’m currently planning on swatting these in color-story format (pinks, reds, nudes), but would love feedback on which shades you find close enough to need comparisons.I am also working on lip-swatching all shades.

Each is packaged in a sturdy rectangular black-on-black package with a serious magnetic closure. These are fingerprint resistant (assuming that the fingers are clean and dry).

nars packaging

These are currently available at NARS online, Nordstrom, Barneys New York, Bloomingdales, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, and of course Sephora. Note that some shades are only available at Barneys New York and Nars online (these are noted, below, and for reference, these are Vanessa, Julie, Marisa, Kelly, Carmen, Dominique, Silvia, Vivien, Sandra, and Ingrid.

Nars Anita Angela Anna Annabella Audrey 4

Anita is described as an antique rose.

Nars Anita

Angela is a pink orchid.

Nars Angela

 Anna is a smokey rose.

Nars Anna 1

 

Annabella is poppy red.

Nars Annabelle 1Audrey is red currant.

Nars Audrey

Swatches of Angela, Anita, Anna, Annabella, and Audrey:

Swatches Nars Angela Anita Anna Annabella Audrey

Here are Barbara, Bette and Brigitte:

Nars Barbara Bette Brigitte all

Barbara is tan rose.

nars barbara

Bette is bordeaux.

Nars bette 1

 Brigitte is tan rose.

Nars Brigitte bullet Swatches of Barbara, Bette, and Brigitte.

Nars swatches Barbara bette brigitte 1

NARS Carmen, Catherine, Charlotte and Claudia:

Nars carmen catherine charlotte claudia bullet

Carmen is geranium and is exclusive to Barneys New York and Nars online.

Nars Carmen 2

Catherine is sunny guava.

NARS Catherine 3

Charlotte is oxford burgundy.

Nars Charlotte bullet Claudia is cool pink.

Nars Claudia bullet

Swatches of Carmen, Catherine, Charlotte, and Claudia:

Nars Swatches carmen Catherine Charlotte Claudia 1

Introducing Deborah, Dominique and Fanny:

Nars Deborah Dominique FannyDeborah is chestnut:

Nars Deborah

Dominique is pink lilac and is available at Barneys New York and Nars online:

Nars DominiqueFanny is rich berry:

Nars Fanny

Swatches of Fanny, Dominique and Deborah:

Nars Fanny Dominique Deborah 2 copy

Here we have Geraldine, Grace and Greta:Grace Geraldine Greta 1Geraldine is tangerine.

Nars Geraldine 2

Grace is bright pink coral.

Nars Grace 3

Greta is wild azalea.

GretaSwatches of Geraldine, Grace and Greta:

Nars swatches geraldine grace greta 1

Here are the lovely NARS Ingrid, Jane, Janet, Jeanne, Julie, and Juliette:

Nars Ingrid Jane etc 2

Ingrid is merlot and is at Barneys New York and Nars online.

Ingrid 2

Jane is terracotta rose:

DSC_0257 Jane 3

Janet is deep magenta:

Janet3

Janet2

Jeanne is described as cherry red, to me it is a deep warm red.

Jeanne 2

Julie is nude pink available at Barneys New York and Nars online.

DSC_0270 Julie 2

Juliette is pink coral.

DSC_0275 Juliette 3

Swatches of NARS Ingrid, Jane, Janet, Jeanne, Julie and Juliette:

Nars swatch ingrid jane janet jeanne julie juliette 2

Another:

Nars swatches ingrid jane janet jeanne julie juliette 3

Introducing NARS Lana, Marisa, Marlene and Michiyo.Nars Lana Marisa Marlene Michiyo 2

Lana is vivid orange red.

NARS Lana

Marisa is warm pink and exclusive to Barneys New York and Nars online.

Nars MarisaNars Marlene is red brick:

Nars Marlene

Michiyo is shocking pink:

Nars Michiyo 1

Swatches of NARS Lana, Marisa, Marlene and Michiyo.

Nars swatches lana marisa marlene michiyo 2

 NARS Kelly, Leslie and Liv:

Nars Kelly Leslie Liv 3Kelly is coral hibiscus and exclusive to Barneys New York and Nars online.

Nars Kelly 3

Leslie is cherrywood.

Nars Leslie 1

Liv is deep aubergine.

Nars Liv

Swatches of Liv, Kelly and Leslie:

Nars swatches liv kelly leslie 1

Here are NARS Natalie, Olivia, Raquel and Rita:

Nars Natalie Olivia Raquel Rita 1

Natalie is flamingo.

DSC_0283 Natalie 3Olivia is garnet.

DSC_0289 Olivia

Raquel is pink beige.

DSC_0293 Raquel

Rita is scarlet.

DSC_0295 RitaSwatches of NARS Natalie, Olivia, Raquel and Rita:

Nars swatches natalie olivia raquel rita 1

Natalie swatches natalie olivia raquel rita 3Here are Sandra and Silvia:

Nars Sandra SilviaNARS Sandra is rosewood and available at Barneys New York and Nars online.

Nars SandraSilvia is radiant orchid and available at Barneys New York and Nars online.

Nars Silvia

Swatches of Sandra and Silvia:

Nars swatches silvia sandra 1 Introducing Vanessa, Vera and Vivien:Nars Vanessa Vera Vivien

Vanessa is mauve nude. This is available at Barneys New York and Nars online.

DSC_0303 Vanessa

Vera is bright raspberry:

DSC_0308 veraVivien is red plum and exclusive to Barneys New York and Nars online.

DSC_0311 vivienJPG

Swatches of Nars Vanessa, Vera and Vivien:

Nars Swatches Vanessa Vivien Vera 1

Unless otherwise noted, NARS Audacious lipsticks are currently available at NARS online, Nordstrom, Barneys New York, Bloomingdales, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, and of course Sephora.

Nars Audacious Overview 2

These lipsticks were provided to Cafe Makeup without charge for consideration for review. This post contains affiliate links (for more information, see About Cafe Makeup)

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