Aug 212011
 

Hourglass was kind enough to send one of their newly released Film Noir Lash Lacquer ($28), together with a sample sized Film Noir Full Spectrum Mascara (full size runs $28) to try at Cafe Makeup.  Film Noir Lash Lacquer is a newly designed product that is like a top coat for nails, or gloss for a lipstick.  It is used to add a wet look, together with the addition of length, volume and shine.

As you can see from the photograph, above, it comes with a brush applicator to “paint” lashes similar to the way that one would paint nail polish on your nails.  Application tips:

– Film Noir Lash Lacquer works with many mascaras, and works best on lashes already coated with a good lengthening mascara (not tubing or volumizing)

– Hold the wand at a horizontal angle to your lashes and delicately paint in short strokes

– You can use all over lashes (top and bottom), or just the ones on the outer corner

Liz and I were very impressed the Film Noir Full Spectrum Mascara.  We liked the separation and length, and thought that it was a real contender against Guerlain’s Le 2 mascara ($36/ reviewed here).  Liz said that she would definitely re-purchase it. It had great separation and curling properties.  Our little sample gave us plenty of reasons to believe that this is an excellent choice at $28.

Film Noir Lash Lacquer was easy to use–the directions were clear, and we found the brush easy enough to control.  For these pictures, Liz applied Lash Lacquer over the Full Spectrum Mascara.  We found that it did add a deep glossy look to lashes.  The volumizing properties tended to occur by adding volume.  We did experience some clumps, but expected that effect from a volumizing product.  Perhaps this is due to the brush configuration, which does not attempt to separate lashes.

Here is a comparison without Film Noir Lash Lacquer.  Only the Full Spectrum Mascara is applied, below:
Overall, Film Noir Lash Lacquer adds drama, volume and a deep black lacquer effect.  We found the product easy to use.  I separately tried Film Noir Lash Lacquer, and got a very similar effect to Liz’s–it gives a very fringy, very black, with a tendency to pull the lashes together (rather than having separation).   We thought that it achieved the promised effect of maximizing lashes.  We actually loved the Film Noir Full Spectrum Mascara by itself more, which should not be surprising given that we prefer a more natural look.  However, if you are looking for drama, the Lash Lacquer certainly delivers.

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Aug 012011
 

Benefit They’re Real Mascara ($22) has just released to lovely reviews all around.  Liz and I recently bought one at our local Sephora to test the claims that:

  • 94% saw dramatic length and volume
  • 90% saw base-to-tip curl
  • 94% saw visible lift
  • 100% saw long wearing results
We decided to subject this mascara to a comparison with Benefit Bad Gal mascara.  We used what we call “the scary lens” –it is very sharp and it focuses very close.
Benefit’s packaging gives application advice using the wiggle-method.  They add another step–to hold the wand vertically to stroke upward to curl and separate.
The tube holds a respectable 0.3 oz/8.5 grams, and is a pleasant, fun shape in a shiny gunmetal colored plastic.
The brush uses the spikey shape that seems designed to give good separation while still grabbing plenty of mascara.  Here is a comparison between Benefit They’re Real (on the left) with Benefit Bad Gal (on the right).  As you can tell, They’re Real delivers very voluminous results.  Liz’s lashes are dramatically fringed, with plenty of length.  However, as you layer on the product the mascara has a tendency to clump.
 
Liz applied They’re Real in several layers, going a little strong.  As you can see, after several layers the mascara started to clump.  We weren’t getting the clean separation that we have experienced with some of the more high end (but much more expensive) mascaras.

Side view (note that Liz did not use an eyelash curler before application):
After wearing the mascara for a full day, Liz found that her lashes stayed soft and flexible.  She reports that after a full day, she got no smudging or flaking.  In short, the formula is very flexible, volumizing and lengthening.  As these pictures show, Liz had plenty of curl (without curling her lashes first).
 Overall, Benefit They’re Real had some very good qualities:
  • High volume
  • Dramatic curl
  • Good lengthening
  • No flaking
  • No smudging
  • Lashes stayed soft
The “con” is the tendency to clump, as you can see in the pictures, during heavy application. Wearers will want to keep a mascara comb nearby, or be ready to work the brush to maximize separation.  The $22 price point could cut either way, depending on what you are used to paying for mascara.  By they way, I’ll be receiving my tube that I bought from Benefit.com soon.  I’ll post a separate update after I’ve played with it a bit.
  • Bottom line: Our initial tests show a clumping, which will be a dealbreaker.  Liz reports that yesterday she wore it much more lightly so the clumping was not as noticeable–but the effect was not as dramatic.
  • For other helpful reviews, see Scrangie’s test here on her site and also this review on The Coveted.

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Apr 082011
 

 

A month ago, I offered this look inside my suitcase to show you what I brought to Paris.  Now that I’m returning, I wanted to do a quick sketch of what worked, what didn’t and what I missed most from my permanent stash.

First:  What worked? As some of you probably guessed, I brought way too much.  Like Rachel Zoe packing shoes for Fashion Week, I could have easily left one-third of these items at home.  On the road, I almost never had time to play with new looks.  Also, the culture of makeup in Paris emphasizes great skin and minimal eye color.  When I saw so many women like myself wearing understated color (except for lips, of course!), I didn’t think about deeply pigmented teal shadow.  If you’ve read Café Makeup, you already know my aesthetic.  Multiply that times 1,000, omit bronzer in favor of a nude blush and you’ll get my perfect Parisian face.

My standard everyday face included:

  • Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua in B10 Great coverage, no breakouts.  By the way, if you haven’t seen this video by Lisa Eldridge on Chanel Confidential about the use of Vitalumiere Aqua, you should. I highly recommend watching this, even if you already own and love the product.

  • Nars Maui multiple. This added just the right touch of nude glow, contour and highlight.  Liz picked it up for me before I left, and I’m glad that she did. I loved it, wore it nearly every day.
  • By Terry Eye Primer. Adds a touch of moisture.  I followed up by adding a touch of concealer on top (usually the Cle de Peau).

  • Sublime de Chanel Mascara. Reviewed here. I’ve falled in love.  According to Chanel, it’s coming to the U.S. in August.
  • Edward Bess Soft Smoke Eyeshadow trio. Hello, I’m in Paris–a nice neutral deep eye is perfect here.  Edward Bess’ Soft Smoke has a subtle highlight, the perfect mid-tone grey and a nice black liner color (reviewed here). I wore this almost every single day.  These colors look simple, but really they look extremely good when applied on the eye.  I’ll never take that for granted–it’s much harder to find an excellent near-matte neutral that makes you look luminous and alive than you would ever think.  It’s an investment palette–but well worth it in the long run.

  • Le Metier de Beaute Precision Eyeliner.  No extra brush required.  It can go subtle or heavy, depending on the application.  I used this almost every day.  Plus, it’s tiny and so easy to pack.

  • Lip Product de Jour. I liked the options that I brought, plus I added some Chanel Rouge Coco Shine on arrival.  Overall, I had a nice variety to add color to an otherwise neutral face.

Second:  Let’s talk skincare!

  • Suncare:  Even in the cloudy, grey days of March, I didn’t go anywhere without sun protection.  When I travel, I’m outside for hours at a time, and sometimes all day.   Sometimes the weather was gloriously sunny, but even cloudy days let some UV light do their damage.  Every day, I applied EltaMD UV Clear SPF 46, which is absolutely awesome for my acne prone skin.  It includes physical sun protection and seems to disappear into my skin without leaving a tint or white cast.  Because I wasn’t bothered by the paparazzi (note to self: work on that!) I can’t comment on how this looks in flash photographs.  In daylight, the texture was very workable.  Most importantly, it didn’t break me out.  I bought mine at my dermatologist’s office, but it’s also available online from the Dermstore and elsewhere.  Worth every penny.

  • Cleansers/toners: Good skin must be cleansed.  This time around, I threw in a travel-sized Peter Thomas Roth Anti-Aging Buffing Beads from this Sephora Fabulous Four set, a decant of my Shu Uemura Cleansing oil, and a decant of my DDF 10% Glycolic toner.  Perfect combination.  It’s really important to bring an oil cleanser to get any sunscreen off.

Third:  What could I have left behind? My biggest packing error was too many duplicate products.  Here’s what I would have pared down:

  • Too many eyeliners.  I had three–Bobbi Brown’s Chocolate Shimmer and Black Ink, plus Le Metier de Beaute’s liquid eyeliner pen.  I should have picked one black liner.
  • Too many concealers. I have three in the picture above, then I added another in my carry-on bag.  Really, one is enough.
  • Duplicate bronzers.  NARS Maui multiple and Chanel’s powder bronzer was one too many.
  • Sephora straightener for Europe.  A few years ago, a blogger recommended buying a European-specific hair straightener because her U.S. version had blown up even when using a converter.  So I got a Sephora straightener (which is made by Corioliss) made for 220 volt systems.  This year, it stopped working the first week–what a waste of suitcase space and money.  Next time, I’ll look at a battery-powered option.


Fourth:  What did I miss?

  • Brow pencil. I had nothing for brows–no pencil, and no good powder substitute.  I bought Chanel’s new Crayon Sourcils Sculptant almost immediately when I arrived and used it every day.  I like that it includes an eyebrow brush on one end, because I hadn’t packed one of those either.  I loved the texture.  I bought it in the lightest shade, Blond Clair 10, which is a touch too yellow for me.  I’ll be excited to see the other shades when they arrive in the U.S. in August.

  • Clarisonic Skin Cleanser. I made the right call to leave this at home.  It’s really bulky (although the new, smaller Mia might be better).  Unlike my computer and camera equipment, it’s not compatible with Europe’s 220 electric system.  There is no comparable product sold in Europe.  So, even though I was correct to leave this out of my already-overflowing suitcase, I really missed it.

  • I missed my nail polish range. Again, I made the right call not bringing more than two bottles–a clear Sally Hansen and Chanel Strong. My nails get completely trashed when traveling, there’s no avoiding it.  Still, I missed not having any nude or taupe options, or a nice clear red.  I don’t think there’s a good answer for this.  You just have to give up some things when you’re on the road.


Well, my dearest readers, how did I do?  Do you have any travel tips you’d like to share?

 

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Mar 242011
 

Sublime de Chanel (29 euros/) is a new mascara released in France, designed for “infinite length and curl.”  Like Guerlain’s Le 2 mascara, Sublime de Chanel delivers a very clean, intensely curled, combed, and nicely lengthened lash.  In fact, the Guerlain is the only other mascara that I’ve tried that delivers such an instantly curled lash (no curler required).

The packaging is very similar to the Chanel Rouge Allure Extrait de Gloss–a square tube with a gold “CC” top, although the mascara packaging does not feel as heavy.  Part of the miracle of Sublime de Chanel is the performance without clumps.  Once opened, the brush is very sharply swiped by the tube.  Although the brush is far from dry, the mascara forms a good, thin film on the brush without any clumping.  Honestly, you’d have to work at it to get this mascara to clump.  I certainly wasn’t able to.  Here’s a picture of a freshly pulled-out Sublime de Chanel brush:

As you can tell, the brush is a series of combs that keep the lashes very clean.  The effect on the lashes is very much like the model in the picture.  I have a hunch that the model in that picture has some pretty nice lashes to start with.  Now I’m going to go out on a limb and guess–I think those lashes in that picture aren’t photoshopped.  That’s pretty much the effect you get–long, separated, curled, clean lashes. Of course, if your lashes are shorter to start with, you won’t get that length, especially without a few layers.

This leaves my lashes feeling pliable but still curled throughout the day.  No smudges, no flaking.  It performs like a great high-end mascara.  I love it more than Chanel Inimitable.

Here’s a delightful little video at Chanel.com’s French website–> watch it, it’s adorable.

My thanks to Sabrina at The Beauty Look Book, who located this video from Vogue Russia. If you go about 1 minute it, you’ll see how the makeup artist applies Sublime de Chanel with a slight wiggle motion.  If you go to the end, you’ll see the final effect with this mascara.  Although the video is in Russian, I suspect that most Chanel makeup lovers will follow along just fine:


 

 

 

 

 

 

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Mar 092011
 

Barely recovering from a lovely flight and jet lag, I headed out to the stores today in Paris to update you on the latest and greatest from Chanel.  As you know, Chanel releases different products, and sometimes at different times, in different regions.  Sometimes looking at releases in France can give us a picture of what’s ahead.

Along the way, I stopped in a bakery and found a pastry called “Rouge Coco,” which is a very pretty, somewhat heavy, complicated confection.  It’s bigger than a doorknob, tastes like coconut and berry and is going to take two days to get through.

On the Chanel front, here’s what I found so far:

Chanel Rouge Coco Shine lipsticks First up, you will remember that Chanel pre-released one shade (Boy) of the Rouge Coco Shine lipsticks in the U.S. (reviewed here and here).  In France, all of the colors are released.   They all appear to have that marvelous, balm-like moisturizing texture.  Second, these colors are sheer. Although a few have a bit more color than Boy, none reach the full pigmentation of the Rouge Coco lipsticks.  Many are sheerer than some of the Chanel Glossimer line. If you are interested in a full-color lipstick with a balmy, moisturizing feel, go for the re-released Dior Addict line (reviewed here and here).  Third (and most importantly), I find myself absolutely loving the Chanel Rouge Coco Shines.

Here’s my prediction–most of you will gravitate toward 2-3 colors in the line, and use them up.  For myself, my first round is going to be Bel Ami (reviewed here), Chance (a clear, slightly cool pink) and Monte Carlo (a soft red-coral).  Then I’ll re-buy a few more.  The combination of the irresistibly luxurious balm-feel, the soft well-chosen colors and the compact size will always keep me coming back for more.  Plus, the formula does not last for hours, and my sense is that each tube will go quickly.  Most importantly, they look really, really good on the lips. I just love the look of freshly-moisturized lips with a wash of color, and this formula delivers exactly that.

So, today I stopped by one of the many Parisian Sephora locations for Chanel (cause that’s how Sephora rolls over here).  From the display, I picked up Bel Ami, which looks very dark and mauve in the tube.

This looks quite dark, yes?  In fact, this is a very sheer, shiny color that looks like I’ve been drinking red wine when applied.  It virtually erases all of my lip lines and adds a soft glow.  Here is Chanel Bel Ami swatched next to another dark berry, Nars Velvet Gloss Pencil in Club Mix.  As you can see, Nars Club Mix is far darker and more pigmented than Chanel Bel Ami.

By the way, my Sephora bag included this little white Euro Beauty Insider card–how cute is this?

Second, there is a small release here that I haven’t seen in the U.S., which I didn’t purchase (at least, yet).  This one is focused on eyes, built around a new mascara called Sublime de Chanel, designed for lengthening and curling.  The wand of Sublime de Chanel has several combs:

The collection has a new mascara base (Beaute des  Cils), two liners (Marine and Expresso) and four new shades of a brow pencil (Crayon Sourcils).

There are a few additional color products for eyes.  First, two new Ombres Essential single eyeshadows:  Fauve and Twilight.  Although Fauve looks taupe in the pan, it swatches very deep purple with a touch of grey.  The pan has visible sparkles, but these seem to minimize when applied.  Twilight swatches as a cool pink with silver sparkles.  (The other colors you see in this picture, Magic Night and Ivory, are available in Chanel’s permanent line.

Finally, there is an eyeshadow quad called Lagons that features a series of blues.  One of the colors is a very unique periwinkle, and the others are quite pretty.  This is only in the European baked formula, which seems rather hard-textured compared to the U.S. line.  Lagons seemed typical of this line, although I only finger-swatched it, the pigment did not give up easily.

Third, I made a quick stop into the Collette-Chanel pop-up boutique (photos here at Stylebubble).  The shop was accessible and fun, with cupcakes and a DJ.  It’s set like a stage for anyone looking for that once-in-a-lifetime unique purchase.   Visiting artists customize your Chanel handbag purchase, Mademoiselle dolls wearing pearls are for sale (1200 euros each), and the fashion is very unique and fun.

I looked around for a unique beauty or nail polish item, but found nothing specially released for this pop-up event.

Because I’m traveling, I can’t promise reviews or swatches of everything I mention, or traditional everyday posting.  I’ve brought some photo’s that I took before I left, so you’ll see traditional reviews pop up in the meantime.

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Feb 282011
 
Picture 13

I picked up a few samples of Bobbi Brown mascaras and, over the past few weeks, gave them a test.   First up, I tried Extreme Party Mascara ($24 for full sized version), which I really liked on first application.  It delivered on volume and curl nicely.  The volume was not as great a Yves Saint Laurent Faux Cils, or Diorshow, but still quite respectable.  Unfortunately, Extreme Party smudged on my under eye area after several hours of wear.  This rarely happens to me, so I’m going to give this one a miss.

Second, I tried the sample size of Bobbi Brown’s Everything Mascara ($24 for the full sized tube).  This had fairly good separation, but almost no volume. Because I’m a volume-lash addict, I won’t be pursuing a second tube.

Third, I’m on my second tube of Guerlain Le 2 Volume Mascara ($36).  I’ve reviewed the regular version of this mascara, Guerlain Le 2 Mascara here, which I loved but wondered whether more volume would be better.  Readers will recall that this is the same mascara released during Guerlain’s Holiday collection, except that the regular version does not have the gold on the small wand side–instead, it’s all black.

 

The standard Le Volume 2 is all black, but otherwise identical

Thoughts:

  • Both Liz and I love this mascara.
  • It really delivers dramatic volume without clumps.
  • This gave less curl than the non-volume version Guerlain Le 2 mascara.
  • The small brush is not a brush, per se, it looks more like a doe foot applicator. I rarely used it, and I’m not sure I understand it.  I wish it was a brush.
  • Every so often, this mascara gave me the slightest smudge.  Not very often, I wondered whether it was my moisturizer or other emollient that I wore on particular days, but I have seen it happen on Liz as well very occasionally.
  • The large brush comes out very clean from the applicator, which is probably why there is so little clumping.  Having said that, the large brush must really be wiping the side of the applicator hole, because it became quite messy after a while.  Be careful handling the tube, the excess mascara that spills out can translate to your hands.  I clean the outside of the container down occasionally.

Overall, Guerlain Le 2 Volume was a big winner, based on the pure volume and look.  Really, I loved it more than another volumizing mascara that I’ve tried.  Recommended.

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Feb 132011
 

People have asked me about which makeup items I use most. Here’s a post showing the contents of my makeup bag, holding the things I use everyday and bring back and forth from school to home to friends’ houses. I also use Chanel’s Poudre Universelle ($50) (not pictured). Feel free to ask questions.

And yes, I really do carry around four bronzers at the same time.  And no, I’ve never been to the Jersey Shore.  -Liz

  1. Chanel Powder Brush # 6 ($52)
  2. Chanel Foundation Brush # 16 ($40)
  3. Urban Decay Naked Palette ($45)(reviewed here)
  4. Cross tweezers ($5)
  5. Zoya Astra nail polish ($7) – I keep this in my bag for emergency purposes.  I’m not really sure what kind of emergency would call for a glitter pink nail polish.  But if there is one, I’m ready.
  6. Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage Concealer ($28) – Too dry for under eyes. I use it for spots but don’t use it very often because my foundation is so good.
  7. Tarte Park Avenue Princess Bronzer ($29) – Almost as good as my Guerlain bronzer at #14.
  8. Guerlain Terracotta Orient Sun ($65) – Best bronzer ever. Guerlain please bring it back!!
  9. Guerlain Le 2 Volume Mascara 13 Or 2 Nuit ($36) (reviewed here)
  10. MAC Glimmershimmer in On the Town ($20ish)
  11. MAC Vanilla Pigment ($19.50) – Rarely use but nice to have just in case.
  12. MAC Royal Assets – Metallic Eyes ($36)
  13. Chanel Lift Lumiere (Intensity 1.0/Ivoire) ($65) – I love this foundation because as the day progresses, it looks better than when I first put it on.
  14. Guerlain Terracotta Light Sheer Bronzing Powder ($50)
  15. Bobbi Brown Illuminating Bronzing Powder- Bali Brown ($33)
  16. MAC Iridescent Pressed Powder / Belightful ($20ish)
  17. Chanel Joues Contraste Blush in Pink Explosion ($42) (reviewed here and here)
  18. Clinique Happy to Be Body Cream (gift with purchase)
  19. Shiseido Hydro Powder Eyeshadow in Whitelights H2 ($22) – Great for inner corner of eyes. This is my second jar and I love to layer or keep it almost sheer for sparklieness.
  20. Prestige Total Intensity Eyeliner in Deepest Black ($5) – I’ve gotten a lot of questions about this eyeliner. I wear this eyeliner in every picture of me posted on cafemakeup.com. I only apply it to my lower water line.
  21. Chanel Rouge Allure Extrait de Gloss in Insolence ($32)(reviewed here)
  22. Benefit High Beam (gift with purchase)
  23. MAC Moth Brown eyeshadow ($14.50).  From the Barbie Collection, this is my go-to when I want to do a smokey eye.
  24. Chanel Rouge Coco lipstick in Magnolia ($32) (reviewed here)- I don’t normally wear lipstick but I’ve found that this formula is age appropriate.
  25. Chanel Glossimer in Nakkar ($28.50) (reviewed here)- A red that I can put on without a mirror.

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Dec 232010
 

Hey everyone! It’s Liz. I have been playing in my Mom’s makeup drawer for over a year now helping her build her website. Thank you all for the lovely feedback. It is really what keeps the site going (since we don’t get much of this ish fo’ free).

Here are some of my MUST-HAVES that I have discovered through helping on Café Makeup.

1. Guerlain Le 2 Volume Mascara ($36)Literally the best mascara I have ever used. I have been using Chanel’s Inimitable since it was first made but after doing this post, the Chanel has nothing on Guerlain.

I am wearing it here:

2. Chanel Rouge Allure Extrait de Gloss in Insolence ($30)The most beautiful lip gloss I own. I don’t think this post does it justice so here is a picture of me wearing it out on the town. Whenever I whip this bad boy out in class I definitely get “stank eyes”- the packaging is just that beautiful.

(FYI- there is NO photoshop here other than cropping– Yes, insolence is really that pink!)

3. Chanel’s Lift Lumiere Foundation ($65)- Some would say $65 on foundation is too steep…but no no no, let me tell YOU! After using this magical foundation for a month my skin has NEVER looked clearer. I started with Chanel’s Tient Innocence ($47) at age 15 but after stealing Lift Lumiere from my Mom countless times, I won’t wear anything else!

Here is a picture of me wearing Lift Lumiere layered with Caron translucent loose powder and Guerlain’s Orient Sun (a baked Terracotta blush):

4. Gurlain ‘Terracotta Lady’ Bronzing Powder ($62)- I use this bronzing powder as a blush. It is the closest thing to Guerlain’s Orient Sun, which was discontinued two years ago (and I am sure most of you have noticed I wear it in almost every picture on Café Makeup.) Guerlain’s National Makeup Artist Marcus Monson did my makeup in this post, where recommended Terracotta Lady for me. Marcus didn’t apply the blush as heavy as I normally wear it (probably because he didn’t want me walking around like a drag queen in the middle of the day) but here is a picture of me in the Gurlain Bronzing Powder:

(FYI: I am also wearing it in every picture in this post)

5. L’Oreal Sublime Bronze Pearl Tinted Lotion ($8.50)- If you have a Mom that hounds you to wear sunscreen as much as mine, your options are pretty limited to getting that naturally glowing tan. When I’m feeling nice and pale I simply mix half of L’Oreal’s liquid tanner with half of my everyday lotion and apply all over. I leave on for 5 minutes before putting on my clothes. Mixing with your everyday lotion ensures that you get no streaks. It tans me gradually, so I add it on every night if I want to be darker. (Warning: This product contains SPARKLE!)

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Oct 112010
 

Part of Guerlain’s Holiday Les Ors Collection includes Le 2 de Guerlain Volume Two Brush Mascara High-Shine Volume 13 Or 2 Nuit ($36 for .23 ozs.) brings red-carpet drama to the holidays.  Like the Le 2 de Guerlain mascara previously reviewed here on Café Makeup, Guerlain’s Holiday 2010 version comes with two brushes in an incredibly long and elegant tube.

Unlike the traditional Le 2 de Guerlain Mascara, this limited edition mascara is encased in elegant black and adorned with a golden Bee, evoking Guerlain’s own history.

Inside, there is a larger brush housed in the side of the mascara that holds Guerlain’s volumizing mascara.  This is a rather practical touch–during the day, this black voluming mascara does a lovely job on its own.  Here are Liz’s lashes with one coat of Le 2 de Guerlain Volume using the black alone over her bare lashes (no base), demonstrating the volume, curl and separation this gorgeous mascara provides. (You can see a picture of Liz’s eye without mascara to see her natural lashes at this post.)

The other side houses a smaller brush and a liquid copper mascara to add drama for evening.  I found this very touch beautiful, fun and very red carpet.

The golden copper color adds a jewelry-like finish to lashes, and delivers length and drama. Très élégant!

Liz added the golden copper over the top of the black Le 2 de Guerlain.

We took several to capture this mascara’s unique drama.  I love these shadows the lashes make:

No curler required.  Jewelry-lashes.

The Holidays can feature some of the most special times of the entire year.  Le 2 de Guerlain Volume from Les Ors is both a practical and glamorous way to add sparkle.  One can use the volumizing black mascara as an extremely beautiful and effective mascara for everyday.  When you want something very special, the smaller brush provides a beautiful, warm golden lash that is quite stunning.  If you like, you can apply the gold-copper just to the lash tips.  We used a lot of the gold-copper to push this mascara to the limit, and I’m certainly glad that we did.  I found some of the effect quite breath-taking.

This product was provided to Café Makeup without charge for consideration.

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Sep 302010
 

When I attended a Guerlain Master Class a few weeks ago, I received a free Le 2 de Guerlain Mascara ($36) as a gift with purchase for mentioning that I had learned about the event through the Hello Beauty blog.  Liz also received one– and so walking away from an afternoon of playing with makeup with $72 in free mascara?  Yes, please!

As with other Guerlain products, Le 2 de Guerlain Mascara has impressive, out-sized packaging.  This mascara comes in a very very long, gold elegant tube.  It makes my Chanel mascara’s look tiny.  The amount of mascara in the Guerlain tube is listed as .08 ounces, compared with the .021 ounces for Chanel.  Note that the Guerlain mascara tube looks metallic, but it feels like a traditional plastic tube.  This is all to the good–metal would make this large tube too heavy.

As the name suggests, there are two wands in this mascara.  One is a traditional mascara wand, the other is a very tiny mini version intended for the lower lash line.  The shape of the wand handles is a nice touch–their large, flat shape makes holding the wand highly controllable and pleasant.

Thoughts about Le 2 de Guerlain Mascara :

  • A+ on curling.  Neither Liz nor I need to use a curler when using this mascara.
  • Better than average ability to lengthen–the lashes take on a believable but impressive length
  • Staying power is excellent.  I must affirmatively remove this mascara or it will last until the next day.  An oil cleanser or other eye makeup remover works well.
  • No flaking, no smudging.  None.
  • My lashes feel soft, and hold the curled shape throughout even the longest days.  No “crunchy” or stiff feeling at all.
  • Le 2 de Guerlain is not a particularly volumizing mascara–if you are looking for DiorShow ooomph, keep looking.  That being said, there is a respectable amount of volume added with Le 2 de Guerlain.   I have to face it, few of us are going to pull off Kim Kardasian lash fullness without looking like we’re trying a little too hard when we go about daily life.
  • I like having the small brush for reaching the smaller lashes to catch small lashes in the eye’s inner corner.

Now the big question–would I buy?  I’m currently on a mascara quest, and so the answer is “maybe, unless I find something else really really fabulous.”  It’s not the most dramatic mascara out there, but it is certainly not a basic one either.  Le 2 does give me a very defined, curled, polished, and believable look.  There is no question that this mascara is a real pleasure to use, and my lashes feel good.  I like it better than Chanel Exceptionnel for dramatic effect, and about the same as Chanel Inimitable.  Given that there is only a $6 price difference, if the Guerlain lasts longer because it contains significantly more product then it may be worth the switch–but only time will tell on that question.  Given some other reviews I’ve read, I need to try Armani’s Eyes to Kill (full size) and Le Metier de Beaute before committing.

Then again, in the mascara world, is commitment even possible?

EDIT: I used this mascara 6-7 days every week from the late September 2010 until December 25, 2010. It lasted almost three months of heavy use.  Toward the end, I began using the end with the smaller wand as the end with the larger wand starting running dry.  I still got a good look using this method.  On my next tube, I’ll use the small mascara as a “base coat” and the larger end second to even things out.  Overall, I loved using this.  No smudging, great wear time, gorgeous lashes. At a reader’s suggestion, I’ve now chosen Guerlain’s Le 2 Volume Mascara as my current mascara.

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