Jul 092014
 

Note: Shop the NORDSTROM Anniversary Sale for Beauty Exclusives. Plus, get free shipping & returns on every order. To see them prior to July 18th, you might sign into your account linked to a Nordstrom charge card.

Nars Nordstrom Anniversay 2014NARS is offering three Summer Gifting sets as part of the Nordstrom Anniversary Event. If you are a Nordstrom cardholder, you’ll get access to these items (and the rest of Nordstrom’s Anniversary Event items) on July 10th. For everyone else, the event begins the following week.

summer2014_narsgifting004

NARS Uninhibited Set: $52: A trio of intrigue and seduction – Dolce Vita Lipstick, Lip Gloss and limited edition Nail Polish presented in a sleek black lacquered box. I must admit, Dolce Vita is a perfect color for so many people. This would make an excellent gift, because these shades are so universal.

summer2014_narsgifting003

NARS Climax Set, $52: A fantasy of shocking pink in the legendary Schiap – featuring a Lipstick, limited edition Lip Gloss and Nail Polish housed in a matching pink, lacquered box. Is there a woman who doesn’t need Schiap? This entire set looks so confident, summer-ready, and beautiful.

Nars Domination Palette

NARS Domination blush palette, $49 A rush of blush – delivering insatiable glamour for cheeks, this exclusive palette features three signature Blush shades (Orgasm, Laguna and Mistinguette) and Devotee Highlighting Blush. I was fortunate enough to receive this item from NARS for review, and as usual the quality is absolutely stellar. This is a perfect palette for a sculpted cheek, with a touch of bronze, highlighter, and two beautiful blush shades. In sun:

Nars Domination palette 2

In shade:

Nars Domination Palette 3Here are swatches of the beautifully formulated palette:

Nars Domination Palette 4I think if I had to choose, I’d give the Dolce Vita set to my good friend (who is a bit conservative), Domination as a gift for my niece, and keep the Schiap for myself. What would you do?

Shop the NORDSTROM Anniversary Sale for Beauty Exclusives. Plus, get free shipping & returns on every order. To see them prior to July 18th, you might sign into your account linked to a Nordstrom charge card.

This post contains a product sent by Nars for consideration for review. This post contains affiliate links (for more information, see About Cafe Makeup).

 

 

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Jun 302014
 

Marc Jacobs Love Lust02Free Marc Jacobs? Sign me up. I put the Sephora Beauty Insider Marc Jacobs Love and Lust set (1000 points) into my cart when this promotion went live. Marc Jacobs Love Lust03Inside, there is a booklet that introduces the line, as well as full sized Marc Jacobs Beauty Lovemarc lip gel in #146 Cabernet ($30), a new limited edition shade that is currently exclusive to Sephora VIB Rouge members.  There is also a full sized Marc Jacobs Beauty Lust for Laquer Lip Vinyl in #316 Shooting Stars ($28). Marc Jacobs Lust Life1 Cabernet is a wine plum. Shooting Stars is a warm red, with a touch of rust and soft sparkle. Hit me like a ray of sun, Shooting Stars. As with Marc’s other glosses, this one is refreshingly mint-scented. Marc Jacobs Love Lust10The gloss was our favorite by far. Here is Shooting Stars on Liz: MARC JACOBS LIPGLOSS1 If you’ve been saving your Sephora points, this set is definitely worth a look. Marc Jacobs Love Lust05   Marc Jacobs Love Lust08   Marc Jacobs Love Lust06   Marc Jacobs Love Lust04

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Jun 142014
 

Perricone MD has a full line of No Makeup Skincare: A Revolutionary Approach to Color, and the base products have already been reviewed here and here. This line of products is available at Sephora and Perricone MD’s website.

Perricone MD Foundation Bronzer Concealer Mascara BlushThis entire incorporates anti-aging skincare, to repair, restore, and to ensure that the overall look is youthful. In addition to antioxidants, DMAE, and neuropeptides, the line is formulated with high pigment that sits lightly on the skin, which can be built up, sculpted, modified, mixed and blended to achieve a look that is healthy, natural, and with a youthful look. As I said in my prior posts, I loved several of these products. However, I loved, loved, loved the products together as a set.  First, I was shocked at how quickly I could do a face with this set. It’s no brushes required. The products are essentially fool-proof once I got comfortable with the format. They blend beautifully together, and their textures are ideal for layering. They are designed for very intuitive application. Although it is easy to layer them up to increase coverage, it seems impossible to over-do them. There is a real synergy in the design and formulation for use as a set. 

Perricone MD No Makeup Skincare14a

This review considers the remaining products in the line:

  • No Bronzer Bronzer
  • No Blush Blush
  • No Concealer Concealer
  • No Mascara Mascara
  • No Lipstick Lipstick

There were a few products that were true standouts. One was the Perricone MD No Bronzer Bronzer ($35/.03 oz.). This liquid bronzer has some lovely qualities, including the ability to bronze, darken foundation shades, contouring, and to meld beautifully with the skin when blended.

Perricone MD No Makeup Skincare05a

The No Bronzer Bronzer has some skincare ingredients in the mix:

– Vitamin C Ester to help brighten the skin and address visible sun damage.
– Non-chemical, mineral-based SPF 30 with Zinc oxide to protect from UVA and UVB rays

I consider these a nice plus, because I am not sure that I’ll personally use the No Bronzer Bronzer in a sufficient quality to derive large benefits from these. However, I do appreciate the well-formulated serum texture, which makes the product easy and intuitive to control. It reminds me a bit of Giorgio Armani’s Liquid Summer serum bronzer.

Perricone MD No Makeup Skincare06

The ingredient list for the No Bronzer Bronzer is here (click to enlarge):

Perricone Bronzer2

Here are some quick comparisons between the Armani Liquid Summer Bronzer and Perricone MD’s No Bronzer Bronzer…

Bronzer swatches Perricone Armani1

 

Another set (blended out):

Bronzer swatches Perricone Armani2

The Perricone MD No Blush Blush ($35/0.3 oz), is a pretty universal rose color that seems to work well with both cool and warm skin tones. It also adds a touch of natural pink to a bronzed cheek to make a sun kissed look. According to the line, this blush includes DMAE (to help to firm and tone the skin, restoring the appearance of lift and contour along cheekbones) and non-chemical, mineral-based SPF 30 with Zinc oxide (to protect from UVA and UVB rays).

Perricone MD No Makeup Skincare07aThis liquid blush is remarkably easy to use, and very hard to over-do. I dabbed on 1-3 touches of the doe foot applicator on each cheek, and blended for a natural look. Unlike liquid stains, the Perricone No Blush Blush was forgiving and did not require lightning reflexes to avoid a dotted cheek–foolproof, truly.

Perricone MD No Makeup Skincare18

Here is the ingredient list for the No Blush Blush (click to enlarge):

Perricone Blush2

The Perricone MD No Concealer Concealer ($35) is released in shade #2, a light creamy medium-coverage color that blends nicely, doesn’t crease and has good lasting power.

Screen Shot 2014-06-13 at 10.21.29 PM

I’ve used the prior version extensively, and I’ve been pleased with the skin care ingredients. It’s very good.

– Vitamin C Ester for brightening and collagen boosting
– Phospholipids create a barrier to protect against environmental aggressors
– Microcirculatory agents help treat dark circles
– Non-chemical, mineral-based SPF 30 with Zinc oxide to protect from UVA and UVB rays

Perricone MD No Makeup Skincare09b

If you are familiar with the prior version, this is the same formula but in a more convenient format.

Perricone Mascara1

The Perricone MD No Mascara Mascara ($30) is a lash treatment and mascara. According to the line, this includes:

– Neuropetides help regenerate, condition and nourish lashes.
– Biotin improves the healthy and quality of lashes with each application
– Tocotrienols condition and smooth lashes

 Perricone MD No Makeup Skincare10a

This color is a dark brown-black (see swatch for color, below), and delivers a very clean, lengthened lash, adding slight volume. There is zero clumping, instead the look tends toward a natural, uplifted, and long look. It’s very pretty, and the fact that is is nourishing is a lovely plus.

Perricone MD No Makeup Skincare11

The Perricone MD No Lipstick Lipstick ($30) is another product that I fell in love with. The color is a pretty, soft pink that’s highly wearable by those with many different skin tones. It’s a soft of “all occasion pink.” The texture was absolutely lovely–it’s very hydrating and seemed to soften the texture of my lips.

Perricone MD No Makeup Skincare12a According to the line, the No Lipstick Lipstick:

– Mimics the natural, rosy color of youthful lips and vermillion zone.
– Smoothes vertical lip lines and restore suppleness and fullness while protecting with a broad spectrum,  mineral SPF 15.
– Solid to serum texture allows for sheer, buildable coverage while hydrating and nourishing.

 This feels lovely, and makes my lips look years younger. I hope that more colors of this formala are released. I’m including swatches of all shades here:

Perricone MD No Makeup Skincare19As you can see, the serum color is a near-match for the No Foundation Foundation in #2. I did a quick finger-blend of the swatches, above, without being very precise or careful. On the skin, a proper blending job delivers smooth and lovely results.

Mascara1

Overall, I loved using these products. These are extremely easy to use, impressively long-wearing, and allowed me to get ready in less than five minutes. My skin looked beautifully natural, and I loved the fact that the product have skincare benefits. Although I wear my standard SPF 50 sunscreen, I appreciated that there is sunscreen woven into the formulas.

The Perricone MD No Makeup Makeup: A Color Revolution is available at Sephora, and Perricone MD’s website.

 

The Perricone MD products were sent from the  company to Cafe Makeup without charge for consideration for review. This post includes affiliate links (for more information see About Cafe Makeup)

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May 042014
 
Dior Pandore Addict Stick6

Dior Pandore Addict Stick1 Dior’s Addict Fluid Stick ($35) is a new range of liquid lipstick that, at first, I tried very hard to ignore. I was under a mis-impression that the formula was nice but I was unsure whether any of the colors would work. I was so, so wrong. After an hour at a local counter, I think the only problem with this range is that nearly all of the colors work on a wide variety of skin tones. Who can get just one? Dior Pandore Addict Stick2 I’m starting my collection with Dior Fluid Stick in Pandore, a lovely pink-red. Although I know that I’ll be branching out very soon to get several more. Dior Pandore Addict Stick3 Pandore is a rich, bright, gorgeous red that can be worked into any season. Anyone that loves neutral makeup as much as I do will find that Pandore offers a perfect touch of brightening color that is always appropriate. Here is the doe foot applicator, which is quite easy to use: Dior Pandore Addict Stick4I’ll give the bottom line early (spoiler alert!)–Dior Addict Fluid Sticks are a gorgeous, gorgeous formula. I need at least two more–a pink and a nude. Maybe a deep color as well.  The quality is beautiful, and these look amazing on. Liz prefers to wear this more sheerly, and I prefer to load up the doe-foot for  a full force red. Here’s Liz’s lighter touch with Dior Pandore: Dior Pandore Addict Stick5 And a quick, rich swatch…. Dior Pandore Addict Stick6 Overall, we’re loving Dior Pandore. And I’m loving this new formula. Below, Liz is wearing Dior Fluid Stick in Pandore, Nars Lost Coast eyeshadow duo, Chanel Perfection Lumiere Velvet Foundation in #20, and Nars Olympia Contour Blush.

Liz Nars Contour Powders1a


Dior Addict Fluid Sticks are available at Nordstrom.com, Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, and Macy’s.

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Apr 302014
 

MAKE Lipstick Swatches01a
This is one of those reviews were I feel like I’m am sharing some really good secrets with a friend. Really, you have to try the lipsticks from Make, although I’ve been reading about them on The Nonblonde’s blog. Since then, I’ve received a few items and I’m sincerely impressed–amazed, actually–at the cream, pigmented and high quality of these beautiful products. Today, I’m going to look at a few items from the Make Silk Lipsticks line ($25 each at Barneys.com with free shipping).

MAKE Lipstick Swatches07a The packaging is a sleek black tube with a chiseled bullet inside. Below is Make Maraschino Cherry ($25), a gorgeous creamy pigmented, moisturizing red.

MAKE Lipstick Swatches08a

The feel of all of these creamy Make colors is surprisingly elegant and luxurious. At this price point, these are a steal. Here is Make Maraschino Cherry on Sandra:

MAKE Lipstick Look10

Next up is Make Flamingo, a vibrant creamy pink:

MAKE Lipstick Swatches16

Here is Flamingo on Sandra:

MAKE Lipstick Look09

Here is Deep Flesh, a soft nude peach:

MAKE Lipstick Deep flesh1 Here is Make Deep Flesh on Sandra:

MAKE Lipstick Look05

Here is Make Putty, a soft neutral nude peach (just an amazing color, really):

MAKE Lipstick Swatches14

Coverage of all of the creams (Maraschino Cherry, Flamingo, Deep Flesh, and Putty) is high-pigment. We got opaque color in a swipe or two. Love, love, love the slight bit of glow that these have. Here is Putty on Sandra:

MAKE Lipstick Look04

Finally, here is Petra, the only shimmery sheer color of this group. This one is a sheer warm nude. Because of the shimmer factor, Petra wasn’t quite as creamy-feeling as the rest but it was still quite excellent.

MAKE Lipstick Swatches13

This is Petra on Sandra, over the Make Lip Primer.

MAKE Lipstick Look07

Here is the Make Lip Primer, which increases the wear time and leaves a slight nude color behind. Although I’ve only worn this with Petra, this is a nice friend to have for sheerer colors that do not have long wear time by themselves.

Make Lip Primer5

As you can see, the Make Lip Primer ($23) is a soft nude color that roughly matches a light skin tone.

Make Lip Primer6

Here are arm-swatches of all colors featured here, including the lip primer:

MAKE Lipstick Look11

Overall, Make has an impressive array of colors with a luxurious, conditioning formula. Of these, my favorites were Puty and Maraschino Cherry, without a doubt. You need to try at least one. Available at Barneys.com with free ship (no code, no minimum).

 

These products were sent 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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Apr 192014
 

I’m never sure whether to review here-today-gone-this-afternoon collections. These micro-releases sell out so quickly, that the posts become dated by the time that email distribution is complete. I’m going to try this one with some lipsticks from MAC Playland ($16 each). We had a major photo-fest, and I threw these into the mix because it only takes a few minutes. These are both still available via Nordstrom.com as of this posting. If experience is any guide, I can’t promise for how long.

As you probably know. MAC Playland features colors that look uber-bright in the tube. I chose two that are lovely and quite wearable, in my opinion.

MAC Playland1Head in the Clouds is a shimmery deep red, in MAC’s Frost finish. It’s a little bit of glam, but not too much. This is pigment-rich, although it can be dabbed and buffed out for a really pretty stained effect.

mac head in the clouds

 

On Sandra:

MAC Playland4

Red Balloon is a day-time friendly wearable fuchsia-red.

MAC Playland2

Red Balloon is not nearly as bright as some that MAC has created over the years (or Chanel, for that matter). This rich, saturated color in MAC’s Amplified finish goes on opaque in a single swipe. Like Head in the Clouds, this can be dabbed and buffed for a stain effect. Here it is straight from the tube:

MAC Red BalloonHere are some quick swatches:

MAC Playland6

These vibrant colors caught my eye–I think they’re pretty and keeping with my mood for the upcoming Spring. As ever, with these vibrant shades I keep the rest of my makeup in the “flawless skin/just a touch of soft neutrals on the eye” territory.

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Apr 182014
 

MAC Proenza Schouler Lipsticks01MAC has collaborated with the genius design team Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez, otherwise known as Proenza Schouler. I still remember the first time that I saw one of their bags–it was the softest deep green leather. The very sight of it–miles away on Barney’s sales floor–drew me in immediately. Their style is modern and classic, very urban with an edge. They make lovely, lovely things. MAC Proenza Schouler Lipsticks05I was able to find three of the lipsticks from the MAC Proenza Schouler collaboration that I can share with you–the nude Woodrose (a creamy Lustre), the sheer violet Primrose (a lustre with shimmer), and the vibrant orange-red Mangrove (matte). These come in special luxe packaging at $22 each, and they are supposed to be released next week. MAC Proenza Schouler Lipsticks07Mangrove is a stunner, a statement color that is clean, modern, and very cool. Here it is on Sandra, a family friend who has a deep love of all things makeup: MAC Proenza Schouler Lipsticks13Woodrose is a nude with the faintest touch of pink and grey. Primrose looks like a deep sparkling violet, but applies with a very blue-violet version of Givenchy’s Liz’s Lips (or a very distant cousin of Clinique Black Honey). MAC Proenza Schouler Lipsticks06 Woodrose: MAC Proenza Schouler Lipsticks11 I love Primrose in the tube, but must confess that I was relieved to find that it applied sheerly for everyday wear. MAC Proenza Schouler Lipsticks03 Primrose: MAC Proenza Schouler Lipsticks12 Because I love unusual twists on everyday shades, these three colors were really something that I’m glad to own.I can see wearing these to add a little edge to my everyday look. These will be available at MAC stores, counters, and online sometime next week. MAC Proenza Schouler Lipsticks14

Here are some quick swatches in my backyard….

This collection is now up for sale at Nordstrom.com.

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Mar 282014
 

MAC Patentpolish1a

MAC is just releasing a series of limited edition Patentpolish Pencils ($20 each), which are due at counters next week. The line describes the formula as a twist-up pencil that “instantly achieves a luscious shine with a single swipe” that stay “bright and true.” I was hoping that these would be hydrating, sheer colors similar to the MAC Huggables which I fell in love with earlier this year (I’m still using a number of those in my weekly rotation). When these came up online last week, I ordered four–Innocent (nude), Kittenish (a sheer light pink), Spontaneous (a medium pink-mauve) and Hopelessly Devoted (a soft medium pink).

MAC Patentpolish2

These are scented and apply well in a single coat, but I built them up for several swipes. They feel a bit sticky, and need a good minute to warm up on the lips before they look polished. The wear time is short (at least for me). The colors are rather one-note. You won’t find the complexity that we see in other lines in these youth-friendly colors. Although these are advertised as glossy, I found that their texture settled into a satin.

MAC Patentpolish4

Innocent went on frosty at first, but settled down into color that lightened the natural color of my lips a few steps.

MAC Patentpolish6

Kittenish was my favorite of these, which became a pretty light soft pink color.

MAC Patentpolish5

Spontaneous was a deeper version of Kittenish (if you get one, you won’t need the other).

MAC Patentpolish3

Hopelessly Devoted was a slightly bright cool pink. Swatches:

MAC Patentpolish7

Personally, I think that the MAC Patentpolish are a bit of an interesting formula. They are balm-like without being terribly moisturizing. Despite the stickiness, they aren’t very long-lasting. Of course, your mileage may vary on all these points. I found that the colors were universally flattering, but not very unique. The colors are simple in their tones–you don’t have any interest mixes of cools/warms or the like. I can see these being very swipe-and-go for the spring and summer months. Still, at the $20/tube price point, I think I’ll keep looking for my ideal summer shades.

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Mar 252014
 

Chanel Rouge Allure Charmeuse and Fleurie ($34 each/exclusive to Chanel.com) have been in my review queue and it is certainly time to post some information about these lovely shades. You can see other blogger reviews at The Beauty Look Book and Temptalia. Both are beautiful, brightening colors from the Jardin de Camelias collection.

Chanel Spring 2014 Lipsticks05

Chanel Fleurie is a medium cool rose with subtle sparkle. The formula is creamy and moisturizing. Fleurie is a color that is near-opaque in one coat, and certainly fully opaque in two. Because of the lovely Chanel formula, there is plenty of rich pigment and so there is no caking effect with the buildup of color.

Chanel Spring 2014 Lipsticks06

Chanel Fleurie on Liz:

Chanel Fleurie on Liz1

Here are some quick comparisons with Chanel Jersey Rose, Chanel Rouge Allure Seduirsante and Chanel Confidentielle:

Chanel Spring 2014 Lipsticks11

Chanel Charmeuse is a soft nude cream without sparkle. This color is slightly sheer.

Chanel Spring 2014 Lipsticks04

Chanel Charmeuse on Liz. You can see that, because of the formula’s sheerness, some of Liz’s natural pink lip color shows through. As I’m sure you’ve already surmised, Chanel Charmeuse a difficult color to offer as an online-only product. It is difficult to predict how this color will look with your individual coloring because it cannot be played with at counters. Personally, I am pleased with the color but caution that you take our swatches with a grain of salt.

Chanel fleurie Charmeuse2a

Here are some quick swatch comparisons with Chanel Rouge Allure Mythic and Chanel Rouge Coco Patchoulli:

Chanel Spring 2014 Lipsticks12

Overall, both Chanel Fleurie and Charmeuse are beautiful colors. I seriously love the Chanel Rouge Allure formula, and so both of these are winners for me.

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Mar 232014
 

Guerlain Attrape Couer3

We recently picked up Guerlain Rouge Automatique in Attrape Coeur ($36), a moisturizing medium pink with a touch of coral that is lovely for Spring and Summer. Available at Saks Fifth Avenue (free shipping w/code FREESHIP) and Nordstrom (free ship, no code), this color is a pretty, wear-with-everything color that you will not want to miss.

Guerlain Attrape Couer4

This applies sheerly in a single coat, and can be built up for a stronger color.

Guerlain Attrape Couer5

Guerlain Attrape Coeur on Liz:

Guerlain Attrape Coeur on Liza

Here are a few comparison swatches with the light, cool Chanel Magnolia and Chanel Rouge Coco Taffetas Rose:

Guerlain Attrape Couer1 swatches

It seems like light, glowing color is the best look for Spring. Overall, we love the soft pretty wearable Guerlain Attrape Coeur.

Available at Saks Fifth Avenue (free shipping w/code FREESHIP) and Nordstrom (free ship always).

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