Jul 112012
 

The drought of new collections coming into France continues. Here, “Fall 2012″ actually means Fall 2012.  I saw one exception today going through Sephora–Lancome is launching a new mascara– Hypnôse Star.  They’re using Betty Boop as the star, who is adorable (between you and me, is Betty Boop’s mascara photoshopped?). Anyway, here’s the introductory video for the mascara, starring Betty Book and Daria Werbowy:

What really caught my attention is that Lancome has appeared to have  entirely changed its eyeshadows–these are called Ombre Hypnôse Mono Eyeshadows. They are separated into three categories. On the left, light neutrals in Fresh and Luminous.  In the center, deep, striking, and accent colors in Sophisticated and Chic.  On the right, deep crease and liner colors in Glamour and Intensity (click to enlarge):

I really loved the Fresh & Luminous shades (No. 102 was an especially nice pearly beige), but there were so many buttery soft and gorgeous ones in this entire grouping. I noticed that Lancome (wisely) retained Erika F (it’s in the middle Sophisticated and Chic group on the top).

I’d certainly love to see these come to the U.S. someday (hint, hint!). In my opinion these are so different from the ones available in the states. They would really add depth to Lancome’s U.S. offerings.

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May 092012
 

Lately I’ve been using very emollient eye creams (ah, the joys of beauty blogging!) Guess what’s in emollient eye creams? You guessed it–oil! Guess the best way to remove mascara (even waterproof mascara)? You guessed it again–oil!  The combination of an oily moisturizer and mascara is a recipe for disaster because you are wearing the mascara and a removing agent at the same time. Some eye creams gave me raccoon eyes as early as 10 a.m. Not a good situation, trust me. I decided to skip right over waterproof formulations and go the distance. I  checked out a fiber mascara.

Because I wasn’t sure that I’d like this type, I made a minimal investment of $8-9 at a drugstore to try out L’Oreal’s Voluminous False Lashes. I thought that if this worked well, I could go for some of the fiber mascara’s sold at Sephora (see here and here) and perhaps on some of the Asian makeup sites.

So, what’s the deal with fiber mascaras?

  • Your lashes are coated in little fibers like this (from the L’Oreal package):
  • Fiber mascaras tend to be super-waterproof  (although very hard to remove)
  • Some are said to give a more dramatic effect

For the L’Oreal, I found that the claim of super-waterproofness was solid. I was able to put drops into my eyes without any problem whatsoever. Even the most emollient eye cream did not create any smudging. These are truly all-day lashes.

As mascaras go, I found that the L’Oreal fiber was respectable but not the most dramatic or volumizing that I’ve ever used. It has a dry texture. The first coat is devastatingly natural looking (if you want a natural look, you won’t be quite as crushed). I usually built up using three coats toward a pretty good everyday eye. It’s no Armani or Guerlain. But it is absolutely smudge-free.

As is common with this type of mascara, removal is a challenge. I used the Sonia Kashuk Eye Makeup Remover from Target ($10). I soaked a cotton pad with the remover, held it over my closed eye for about 20 seconds, and then the mascara came off easily by gently sweeping the cotton pad over the mascara. I found that this remover worked better for me than my traditional Shu cleansing oil.

The Sonia Kashuk smells has a vague rubbery smell. You know the smell that Barbie heads have, when they’re new? It’s unavoidable, think back. Yeah, pretty much that same smell. I may switch to the Lancome Bi Facil Eye Makeup Remover when the Sonia Kashuk runs out.

Thanks for reading about my little fiber mascara adventure. I’m going to use up a few more of my standard mascaras, then likely try another fiber brand from Sephora later this year. And invest in the Lancome remover.

 

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Mar 222012
 

Liz and I were so fortunate to meet Edward Bess in person at Bergdorf’s last week. As we were walking through the magical beauty floor, we found him standing near a counter of his beautifully formulated makeup line. Even more incredibly, he offered to do our makeup. I took some pictures for you to enjoy–and we hope that you do!

First of all, Edward Bess is even more charming and knowledgable in person than we had imagined–and we are some of his biggest fans. A prodigy, his taste level and expertise is incredible. Also, his personality is so pleasant and easy-going–he had us laughing along with him throughout. If you could choose anyone to do your makeover, Edward Bess would be a most delightful (and talented) choice.

Edward began with Liz’s eyes–he explained that cleanups are so much easier if the color product somehow migrates.  We were so lucky to try his new Edward Bess Eye Primer.   This product, which comes in three different shades, is distributed via a brush pen to the lid. Above, the product is coming out of the tube before it is smoothed out (with fingers or the built-in brush). It creates a blank canvas on the lid, drying to an opaque matte finish. I noticed that both Liz’s and my eye makeup lasted beautifully until we removed it much later that evening. The finish is amazing. I cannot wait until this product is available in the next 2-3 weeks. I need it.

With a few exceptions, nearly all of the color products used on both Liz and I were from the Edward Bess Back to Basics Palette ($75). Although I realized that this was a very versatile travel palette, I was stunned to see how easily Bess could use this palette to create our “you but more glamorous” looks. With just a few of his brushes and his fingers, Edward used some of his collection’s favorite colors. You can see Sabrina’s review and swatches of this palette here at The Beauty Look Book.

The eyeshadows were used to create a very natural eye, using the neutral colors on the lid, and the darker shade just above the crease. Edward used his Edward Bess Luxury Eye Brush ($40) (pictured with the palette, above, which I couldn’t resist buying).

A little Edward Bess Defining Eye Liner ($29)….

 More work on the eye area:

 And bringing some color under the eyes:

Edward gave Liz incredibly long, defined lashes with his Edward Bess Lash Designer Volumizing Mascara ($30):

Edward mixed his Edward Bess Platinum Concealer ($38) with a touch of his moisturizing Edward Bess Black Sea Deep Hydration Cream ($90) to do Liz’s under eye area. He also used a mix of this moisturizer with his Edward Bess Sheer Satin Cream Compact Foundation ($60), which he dabbed on Liz with fingers. Although I don’t own this foundation yet, it did provide a very lightweight, moisturizing feel. The finish was lovely. I do own at least three of the Platinum Concealers, which I keep at home, work, and in my purse.  It has amazing coverage and the quality is excellent. I’m discontinuing the use of the Cle de Peau stick concealer in favor of the Edward Bess.

He then began to dab on the blush and highlighter from the Back to Basics Palette to add subtle color to Liz’s cheeks:

He used very soft lipstick and pencil on lips:

Edward then used the South of France Quad Royale ($45) applied with his Luxury Face Brush ($56) to add a glow to Liz’s complexion.  This quad gave Liz a very natural sheen–really, we couldn’t leave the counter without picking one up for her.

The Beauty Look Book’s review and swatches of the South of France Quad Royale are here. If you love a soft, subtle, beautiful glow, this is a must have.

I hope you enjoyed this little essay–we certainly felt very fortunate to have met with Edward Bess. What an enormous talent–I cannot wait to see what else he will be releasing in the coming months.

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Aug 292011
 

For the past few weeks, I’ve become ridiculously lash-obsessed.  During my quest for perfect fringe, I was introduced to a new line of false lashes, Faux, which has just launched an online website.  Faux’s philosophy is to provide gorgeous, sexy, high quality, very affordable and green-conscious lashes.

These lashes are beautifully made.  There are several different collections available.  I received two options from their Luxe line, which have a criss-cross feathery effect.  The ones above and below are Audrey ($16):

Liz tried on Audrey:

Because this was our first attempt to ever use a false lash, we were pleased to find these very flexible and easy to use (apologies, we cut Audrey a bit too short for our experiment, the actual lash is quite a bit longer).  We used clear Duo glue (not included); for this experimental picture we did not add eyeliner yet. This is how the lash looks on the eye without any added mascara.  We did give it a quick curl with a Shu Uemura curler before we took the picture. We both felt that Audrey gave a gorgeous look.

This is Sasha ($16), also from the Luxe line:

One more close-up of Sasha, which I think is just a gorgeous lash.  We’re going to try these on next:

The third is from the Runway Collection, called Diamonds ($12), which are studded with tiny black diamante beads:

Serious party lashes:

Overall, Liz and I were very impressed with the high quality, affordable price and overall glamorous look of Faux lashes.  The feel like very well-made lashes, easy to use and well-designed.  We’re looking forward to playing more with them, but wanted to give you this preview in case you’d like to play too.

Here’s a tutorial to help you put them on:

We also found Lisa Eldridge’s tutorial helpful as well.

Disclosure:  Faux Lashes sent these to Cafe Makeup without charge for review.

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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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