Jan 062014
 


Spring 2014 is quickly approaching. One collection on my radar is NARS because (have you heard?) there’s a new multiple launching. The eyeshadows look fabulous as well. The details of the collection are as follows:

Rich, aquatic and anchored in glamour. The NARS Spring 2014 Collection kicks off the season with provocative appeal leaving winter in the wake. Eyes sizzle in gold lamé and iridescent smoky orchid, while cheeks glisten with a splash of shimmering rose peach. Gleaming cantaloupe for nails and a refreshingly glossy pout in guava and violet evoke a cool burning attitude with this fashion forward collection.

The items are listed with their images below.

China Seas Duo Eyeshadow ($34):  Iridescent turquoise with gold infusion and iridescent plum

NARS Spring 2014 Color Collection China Seas Duo Eyeshadow - jpeg

Kauai Duo Eyeshadow ($34): Gold lamé and iridescent smokey orchid

NARS Spring 2014 Kauai Duo Eyeshadow - jpeg

Annees Folles Larger than Life Lip Gloss ($26): Sheer violet

NARS Spring 2014 Color Collection Annees Follies LTL Lip Gloss - JPEG

Bimini Larger than Life Lip Gloss ($26):  Sheer pink guava

NARS Spring 2014 Color Collection Bimini LTL Lip Gloss - JPEG

Timanfaya Satin Lip Pencil ($25):  Mandarin Red

NARS Spring 2014 Color Collection Timanfaya Satin Lip Pencil - jpeg

Khao Road Larger than Life Long Wear Eyeliner ($24):  Metallic aquamarine

NARS Spring 2014 Color Collection Khao San Road LTL LW Eyeliner - jpeg

Puerta Del Sol Larger than Life Long Wear Eyeliner ($24):  Parrot green with shimmer

NARS Spring 2014 Color Collection Puerta Del Sol LTL LW Eyeliner - jpeg

Wind Dancer Nail Polish ($19):  Cantaloupe

NARS Spring 2014 Color Collection Wind Dancer Nail Polish - jpeg

Na Pali Coast Multiple ($39):  Shimmering rose peach

NARS Spring 2014 Color Collection Na Pali Coast Multiple - jpeg

This is slated to release on Narscosmetics.com and NARS boutiques on January 15, 2014.

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Dec 042013
 

burberry nailBurberry Nail Polish ($21) is currently being rolled out as a new product category for the line. I’ve been impressed with many of Burberry’s formulas, and so I couldn’t wait to try it. Although some of my choices are still on backorder, I wanted to give you a few thoughts on some colors that have arrived– Nude Beige and Oxblood. Both are classic “Burberry” colors, and reminded me of the iconic plaid color that evokes the brand’s neutral aesthetic.

Burberrry nail01

At $21, the price is friendly and the commitment is low. The bottles hold roughly 0.27 fluid ounces of product, which is on the smaller end for a premium polish (Chanel are typically marked at 0.4 oz., and Dior and Guerlain at .33 ozs.). Honestly, I rarely evaluate products on their volume. As the Chanel, Dior and Guerlain come in at a higher price point than Burberry, I suppose that overall the price point seems all in line (as high end beauty goes). Purchasing from outside the U.S., Color Me Loud has more colors in the Burberry line as well as some comparisons.

Burberrry nail02

The bottles use a rich glass etched with the line’s logo, and the iconic plaid on the cap is etched in (just as it is with Burberry’s other fluid products).

Burberrry nail03

When the caps are removed, you can see that the bottle extends upward:

Burberrry nail07

The brushes are slightly wider than normal, which eases application (although not as wide as Guerlain’s or Dior’s). I found the Burberry brush highly workable and the formula was quite easy to apply.

Burberrry nail08

Burberry Nude Beige is a neutral beige with high opacity and high shine (without a topcoat).

Burberrry nail06

I approached this color with some trepidation–indeed, I ordered this color to see how Burberry could handle something so pale. In other brands, lighter whites, pastels, and beiges can go streaky or require numerous coats, which causes them to look too thick once applied. However, Burberry appears to have mastered the challenge quite successfully–this is opaque in two to three coats (depending on how heavily you apply this with the brush). It didn’t streak up or look goopy or thick. Pretty amazing. Burberry Nude Beige on my nails:

Burberrry nail17

Here are some comparisons with some other light neutrals, including Orly Country Club Khaki (a taupe), Rescue Beauty Lounge Plie (a light pink), Chanel Beige (which runs sheer), and Burberry Nude Beige (which is opaque):

Burberrry nails08

Burberry Oxblood is a beautiful rich cool red. I adore this color beyond all reason.

Burberrry nail05

Burberry Oxblood is shiny and opaque in two coats. It is gloriously pigmented. Yes, you need it.

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Burberry Oxblood is lighter and more red, compared to some other vampy darks in my collection. Here are comparisons with the very dark Guerlain Vega, the shimmery Chanel Malice, and the dark red/black Chanel Madness, Accessoire, and Rouge Noir.

Burberrry nails09

Overall, Burberry’s nail colors are impressive. The formula so far is excellent, the application is easy, and the overall look is gorgeous. These will fit well within the aesthetic of the rest of the line–excellence in formula, classic colors, and highly wearable and beautiful colors.

Available at Nordstrom, and other Burberry sources.

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Nov 282013
 

Sephora Forumula X Holiday Set01

Thera are a few more treats from the Formula X for Sephora collection to see. Above is the Formula X for Sephora Holiday Ornament, ($14) which includes Out of Sight, is a festive gold fleck topcoat that catches the light on bare or polished nails.

Sephora Forumula X Holiday Set07

This sparkler adds a touch of holiday to virtually any color manicure. Probably my favorite item is this The X Look set for Formula X for Sephora ($22.50), perhaps because I love the look of layered glass fleck. The packaging is simple and modern:

Sephora Forumula X Holiday Set14

This set contains a glossy black base coat (Dark Matter), and four glossy, sparkling topcoats geared to add a touch of glamour as glittery topcoats. There are also two sets of nail decals included to create an accent nail look.

Sephora Forumula X Holiday Set08

The polishes in The X Look set include a deep green Positivity, the gold Bond, Ionic Bond, and Atom + Eve (a glittering red):

Sephora Forumula X Holiday Set16

This well-priced, gift-able set was impressive the range of looks that you can get, especially if you have a few nail standards lying around that you can mix with these topcoat effects.

Sephora Forumula X Holiday Set22

I spent a bit of time playing with both the Formula X Holiday Ornament’s Out of Sight, the colors from The X Look set, and my own bottle of OPI’s New York Apple Red.  Here’s the whole mix (click to enlarge):

Sephora Forumula X Holiday Set30

Here are some close ups:

Sephora Forumula X Holiday Set32

I was happy to see that Sephora Formula X Dark Matter (which is also a permanent seperate item in the 0.4 ounce size) can be used as a base coat to give a good glossy nail-line-covering opaque black in a single coat.  It tries my patience to do multiple layers for slow-drying sheers, but these were not that way. In fact, the ease of use and quick dry time of these polishes made this process fast and fun.Sephora Forumula X Holiday Set34

Here are some looks over OPI New  York Apple Red from my stash:

Sephora Forumula X Holiday Set36

 I loved the black and gold combinations, especially adding Atom + Eve, Out of Sight and Dark Matter as a 3-coat layer. It’s crazy stunning in a fun way.

Sephora Forumula X Holiday Set40

An even closer look of Dark Matter, Atom + Eve, and Out of Sight (click to enlarge):
Sephora Forumula X Holiday Set48

You can even say it glows–more in sun over OPI New York Apple Red:

Sephora Forumula X Holiday Set45

The accent decals are meant to go on only one finger for a manicure. They were fun to play with–here’s a short little tutorial that shows that they are easy to go on (although this is my first decal experience):

Sephora Accent Nail Directions

All in all, I’d say that The X Look  won my artist-loving heart for the most sheer hours of fun, and something I’d enjoy playing with through the next month leading to the holiday. The Holiday Ornament is a good Secret Santa gift, because it goes over everything (including a clear gloss, if you like). It contains the Out of Sight glorious glitterfest which is not work appropriate, but who’s going to be thinking about work as you cup your hands around your cocoa mug with your jewel-loned nails showing?

The X Look and Holiday Ornament 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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Nov 262013
 

creaive gifts from sephora

For the nail artists in your life, Sephora is offering a few fun options including this The Twenty Two Formula X for Sephora set ($55). Before you start singing Taylor Swift’s 22 (ooohh ooh ooh!), keep in mind that this Sephora set includes a variety of twenty-two shades and textures in small-scale 0.13 ounce bottles.

Sephora The Twenty Two01

The packaging looks expensive and generous–Liz and my husband were both quite impressed (and I think it’s safe to say, by now they’ve een quite the range of beauty products go through the house). Inside, there is enough variety and color to keep someone happy for months to come. Click to enlarge:

Sephora The Twenty Two06

I’m sometimes daunted by Sephora’s Formula X range–it’s really extensive and this sampler gives you a nice chance to play in case you wanted to get it for yourself. The set includes a sample from all of the formulas, which according to Sephora’s website are:

Creams provide ultralong wear and incredible saturated color in just one swipe.

Neons are mega bright and dry down to a matte finish.

Chromes glide on creamy and dry to a smooth, reflective finish.

Xplosive top coats create the ultimate splatter effect with a matte confetti glitter that can be worn alone or over any nail color.

 I found the formula quite good. The chromes applied in one smooth coat. The paler creams when opaque in two coats, which is better than average.  The topcoats were fun and interesting–I sort of scooped up the bits to get a cool splatter paint effect. The neons were good with two coats, as well.

Sephora The Twenty Two08

 Let’s start in with some closeups and a review of the shades:

Sephora nails 21

Two topcoats included are Wham! is a white confetti and Turbulent, which has bright blue and black confetti. White Matter is an opaque bright white.

Continue reading »

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Nov 012013
 

NARS Beautiful Stranger31

This is a short review of the Nars Beautiful Stranger Mini Nail Set ($35) so that you have a complete picture of all of Nars Holiday sets before deciding which are your personal must-haves. This set contains small bottles of four shades: the violet-purple Dance, Dance, Dance, a coral red Shameless Red, the lavender taupe Manosque, and the vibrant, assertive Lost Red. Each has 0.25 ounces (a standard bottle of Nars polish has 0.50 ounces).

NARS Beautiful Stranger32

Here are some quick swatches so that you can see the color. I did a few nail looks with Manosque and Lost Red, and found the formula typical of Nars cream formula–very nice coverage in two coats, medium shine, and smooth, fuss-free application.

NARS Beautiful Stranger37

According to the literature provided by the company, this set will be available at all Nars sources as of November 1st.  It is currently available on Nordstrom.com.

Nars Cosmetics provided this set 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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