Mar 052014
 

Tom Ford Spring Lipsticks01

Tom Ford has released a series of new limited edition lipsticks for Spring 2014 ($49). Here, we chose three shades from the line-up chosen primarily from The Beauty Look Book’s helpful review.  Pink Dune is a soft neutral with shimmer. Summer Fling is a soft medium pink. And Paradiso is a vibrant pink.

Tom Ford Spring Lipsticks02

Overall, the pigmentation of these is softer than the standard Tom Ford lipstick line, and stronger than his Color Shines. The colors with shimmer feel ever-so-slightly gritty on application, but seem to soften to a moisturizing feel.

Tom Ford Spring1

These apply well, as you may expect. There is a soft vanilla scent. Although your experience may vary, both Liz and I find that the Chanel Rouge Allure formula feels more moisturizing and more luxurious than these three Tom Ford choices. The wear time on the Chanel is longer. We found that the wear time on these three Tom Fords was short to medium. Nonetheless, all three Tom Ford Spring colors that we chose are undisputedly gorgeous and we’ll use them to the last bit.

Tom Ford Spring Lipsticks09

Pink Dune is a soft neutral pink with a beautiful golden shimmer.

Tom Ford Spring Lipsticks07

)n Liz:

Tom Ford Pink Dune on Liz21a

Summer Fling is a soft sheer pink with shimmer.

Tom Ford Spring Lipsticks10As you can likely guess, Tom Ford Summer Fling is a go-with-eveything pink.  If you are undecided, Summer Fling is a safest choice.

Tom Ford Spring Lipsticks11

Tom Ford Summer Fling on Liz:

Tom Ford Summer Fling on Liz21a

Tom Ford Paradiso is a beautiful rich pink, which can pick up a bit of coral tones when applied.

Tom Ford Spring Lipsticks04

How beautiful is this color?

Tom Ford Spring Lipsticks05

Tom Ford Paradiso on Liz:

Tom Ford Paradiso on Liz21a

Swatches of all shades:

TOM FORD SPRING SWATCHES1

Overall, another successful release from Tom Ford. I believe that the pictures speak for themselves. These are beautiful.

Tom Ford Beauty is available from Neiman Marcus, Saks and Nordstrom.

This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see About Cafe Makeup

Please follow us on....

Jan 202014
 

Nars Final Cut pencils overview1

NARS has introduced an extensive collection for Spring 2014. Part of this is the Final Cut collection, which includes four satin lip pencils–Stourhead, Villa Lante, Descanso, and Torres del Paine ($25 each). The satin formula leaves a glowy finish, with more shine than a matte but not as much as a gloss. These are all nicely pigmented, and applied evenly and smoothy. These are available February 1, 2014 at Nordstrom and beginning March 1, 2014 at NARS boutiques, and on narscosmetics.com.

Nars Final Cut pencils overview2

As with all NARS satin pencils, these are encased in black wood and come with tenacious little black caps.

Stourhead is a light cool pink, called a “pale lavender pink”

Villa Lante is a medium bright fresh pink, called a “cherry blossom pink”

Torres des Plaine is a bright peach coral

Descanso is “tea rose,” in my view a grayed-down soft peachy terracotta

Swatches:

NARS Final Cut Pencils swatches more1

Another set:

NARS Final Cut Pencils swatches1

Although some of these seemed right for Spring and Summer, we found some were lovely for year-round wear.

Nars Final Cut pencils1

Surprisingly, Descanto was a favorite for Liz and I. We loved its sophisticated tone that made it appropriate for our coloring for almost every occasion.

NARS Final Cut Pencils2

Descanso on Liz:

Nars Descanso1a

Torres del Paine is slightly brighter and with a flush of red throughout the subdued color.

NARS Torres del Paine1

Torres del Paine on Liz:

Nars Torres Del Paine on lips1b

Villa Lante won our hearts as a beautiful medium pink:

NARS Final Cut Pencils3 copy

Villa Lante on Liz:

NARS Final Cut Pencils8a

Stourhead is perhaps the most unusual of the set.  The light lavendar is fresh and fun, but won’t be for everyone or every occassion.

Nars Stourhead1b

Stourhead–as a pastel color– tended to be a little difficult because of its light tone.

NARS Final Cut Pencils6a

Overall, we were really pleased with this fresh set of pencils. Our favorites were Descanso and Villa Lante.  These pencils–Stourhead, Villa Lante, Descanso, and Torres del Paine are available February 1, 2014 at Nordstrom and beginning March 1, 2014 at NARS boutiques, and on narscosmetics.com.

Nars Cosmetics sent these pencils to Cafe Makeup without charge for consideration for review. This post contains affiliate links (for more information, see About Cafe Makeup)

 

Please follow us on....

Jan 152014
 

MAC Huggables Overview1

There are two times every year when MAC attracts my laser focus–once during the summer for their baked collections, and right after the Holiday when a beautiful neutral collection is released. This year, MAC added a new formula lipstick collection–called MAC Huggables ($20 each)–to the post-Holiday excitement. As is typical of MAC’s limited edition releases, mine are arriving in the mail just as these are selling out in stores. So I thought it best to do a quick post in case any of these catch your eye. Some are still available at Nordstrom, Macy’s, and other MAC sources.

MAC Commotion and Red Necessity1

First of all, these are packaged in a re-designed tube that reminds me of Chantecaille’s Lip Chics ($35 each). The MAC Huggables’ formula is  pigmented, sheer, shiny, and very hydrating. They have “creamy emollients to give you a lasting, glossy color that leaves your lips smooth and sculpted.” I found that my winter-dry lip lines disappeared under this very hydrating formula. For those of us who are on the “more experienced” side of the age continuum, you might give these a serious look because they are a pleasure to use.  Their relatively low price point makes them a fun addition to add a pop of color to your winter wardrobe. I found this video from Lena/senoritaxlena quite helpful in choosing my shades.

MAC Huggables Overview2 final

Here’s the other secret of the MAC Huggables–they are far more saturated than I expected. Some of the online swatches do not really show their high-pigment color. These stay glossy for quite some time, their color lasts and lasts. They feel both hydrating and a slightly tacky, although not annoyingly so.

MAC Huggables Overview5

On some, this emollient formula can feather. Although I did not experience this, it may have more to do with my lip shape more than anything. I’ve only had a chance to play with these for 2-3 days, but I did find that using a lip primer seemed to prevent any migration and added to the formula’s wear time (I used the Bite Lip Primer, but others can work). I found that using the primer did not seem to interfere with the formula’s hydrating benefits to a significant degree. Lip lines, be gone! Also, you can sort of use them as their own primer, by laying down a little bit, let it dry and then add a bit more. The lower under-layer seems to create little base of the top layer to grip onto. Another set of swatches:

MAC Huggables Overview4

The colors are really fun–they aren’t terribly complex but they do mix with your natural lip color and give a very pretty, glossy, moisturized look. Rich Marron is quickly becoming my favorite, and the pinks–Feeling Amorous?, Love Beam, and Out for Passion are great grab-and-go shades. Commotion is probably the most unusual, and the reds are a pleasant touch. Rusty is deep and dramatic, but with a sheerness that’s very pleasant. These shades are perfect not only for this moisturizing properties, but also for at least two other purposes. First they’re great for occasions when you want to wear a bright color to work or other conservative event. These don’t go “over the top.” I wore Feeling Amorous? to dinner tonight, and my husband confirmed that (despite the brightly colored swatch) the color wasn’t “too much.” Second, they are a great way to get used to wearing brighter colors and reds. For those that have never left the house in a bight lip, try one of these. A sheer will get you half-way to being a comfortable, confident wearer of any lip color out there (well, maybe not lime green, but you get the picture). One last set of swatches:

MAC Huggables Overview5

Here are the shades that I chose:

MAC Rich Marron Huggable1

Rich Marron is one of my favorites-this is a gorgeous, high-shine nude. It’s a sheerer cousin to NARS Last Tango.

 MAC Rich Marron2a

Red Necessity is a cool, sheer, high-shine red. Commotion is a fuchsia that leans violet–it can go maroon on my lips. It’s quite a dramatic, cool-toned stained glass wonder.

MAC Rich Marron Huggable two1

Feeling Amorous? is a bold (yet sheer) pink:

MAC Feeling Amorous?2

Out for Passion is a warm pink with a hint of peach:

MAC Out for Passion3

Cherry Glaze a pigmented, warm red:

MAC Cherry Glaze2

Rusty is a warm cognac-burgundy:

MAC Rusty2

Love Beam is a soft, light, sheer pink:

MAC Love Beam1

Overall, I’m really having fun with these colors. My lips looks moisturized, pretty, and always appropriate despite the brightness of these shades (although I have to be careful with MAC Commotion). Because this is a MAC limited edition collection, they are in the “get them before they’re gone” territory.

Available at NordstromMacy’s, and other MAC sources.

This post contains affiliate links (for more information, see About Cafe Makeup)

Please follow us on....

Jan 082014
 

_8584820

I’ve always had an affinity for the rebellious spirit of the punk movement. I was around to see some of the ending phases of it in California, and enjoyed the Punk:  Chaos to Couture show last spring at the Met in New York City. I could go on (oh, could I!), but let’s move on to the makeup instead.

met

When MAC recently released the Punk Couture collection that included several deep toned lipstick, I couldn’t resist picking up MAC Instigator and Studded Kiss ($15) to add to my vamp colored lip collection.

Dark Lips Review04

But first, let’s start at the beginning.

Chanel noir 3 color lipstick

To do this post properly, I reached into the vault to see three Chanel near-black lipsticks released in a very limited production in 2009. These three colors–Hysteria, Obscure, and Maniac–have not seen a lot of use. Perhaps I needed Punk to experience a re-awakening to really appreciate their edgy beauty.

Chanel Noir Lipsticks

Here are the three colors:

Chanel 3 dark lipsticks

More recent additions to my vamp collection include Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet La Provocante from a Fashion’s Night Out release, the comparatively sheer Rouge Allure Envoutante, and Rouge Allure Rouge Noir (#109).

Vampy lips1a

Here is a lip swatch of La Provocante:

Dark Lips Review swatches2

And Chanel Rouge Allure Rouge Noir:

Dark Lips Review swatches1

Currently, MAC has released four deep colors as part of Punk Couture. I picked up MAC Studded Kiss and Instigator, which have a matte formula. These melt pretty well on the lips, and look incredible under a gloss.

Vampy lips3

MAC Studded Kiss reminds me of Chanel Rouge Noir–it is a deep red black jewel. The pigmentation is incredible. I wore it for most of the day today, and it’s vibrant color wore for hours without drying out my lips or fading until at least four hours had gone by.

Vampy lips4

MAC Instigator leans deep black purple, and reminds me of Chanel La Provocante:

Dark Lips Review02

I haven’t played with MAC Instigator extensively yet, but as this collection is selling out so quickly I thought it best to get some images up as soon as possible.

Dark Lips Review03

Here are swatches of MAC Studded Kiss and Instigator:

Dark Lips Review06

Here are more swatches that include the Chanel deep colors, Hysteria, Obscure and Maniac:

Dark Lips Review07

Here are my modern Chanel acquisitions, Chanel La Provocante, Envoutante, and Rouge Noir:

Dark Lips Review08

Here is the entire group (click to enlarge):
Dark Lips Review11

You can see that the original 2009 set is the deepest and darkest of the group. Here is one more set of the entire group:

Dark Lips Review12

I hope you enjoyed this little overview of some of my deep, dark lipsticks. Although these aren’t always in my comfort zone, I’ve always found it fun to use these on days when they feel right. If you’d like to get the MAC, do not wait a moment longer. Nordstrom has MAC Instigator and Studded Kiss up for order (they’re back-ordered for February delivery) and I do not know whether they will last the night.

This post contains affiliate links (for more information, see About Cafe Makeup)

Please follow us on....

Jan 082014
 

Chanel L'Adoree2

When Chanel’s Spring 2014 Collection released last month, I went to several different counters to test the products. I was unable to find products that captured my imagination, although I’m still looking at the lip pencils as potential items. I found that this collection’s items–as much as I tried to love them–were just a bit off for my coloring, or didn’t really seem to have the uniqueness that I’ve come to expect from the line.

Spring2014_collection copy

Although I’m very excited about several upcoming items from Chanel this year, for now I chose a single lipstick as the one “must have” item for me this season. I know that some of my readers will be surprised. Indeed, although I have not always had time to cover them on Cafe Makeup, I’ve continued to buy extensively from Chanel collections for the past several years. Spring 2014 is the least that I’ve purchased from a Chanel release in a very, very long time.  Hopefully, the rest of the year will look much better.

chanel spring total

 At any rate, I chose Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet in L’Adorée ($34). This matte-satin deep mauve is an unusual shade, yet still has enough sophistication to look fabulous.

Chanel L'Adoree4

I love the Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet formula, and I would have purchased the other velvet in this collection (Diva, a neon pink), except it seemed a bit too bright. Chanel L’Adorée is a near-opaque, but has enough transparency to be modified slightly depending on the color of your natural lips.

Chanel L'Adoree7Alternatively, you could tweak it toward the red side by using Chanel’s Vamp/Rouge Noir lipliner, or more purple with Amarante. Here are swatches to show Chanel L’Adorée against the more red Chanel Rivoli, and the comparatively darker Chanel Rouge Coco Rouge Noir and the Chanel Rouge Allure Rouge Noir.

Chanel L'Adoree lipstick

Here is Chanel L’Adorée on Liz, looking gorgeous (no base, no lipliner, and no gloss):

Chanel L'Adoree lipstick swatch 2

Although I love Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet in L’Adorée, I wish that I could have fallen more in love with Chanel Spring 2014. Based on their recent runway looks, I’m sure that there will be many more items to love this year. For now, I’m enjoying this Rouge Allure quite a bit.

This post contains affiliate links (for  more information, see About Cafe Makeup)

Please follow us on....