Dec 042013
 

Guerlain Crazy Meteorites3

This year, the Guerlain Holiday Collection includes the Crazy Meteorites Pressed Radiance Compact ($69) (limited edition), a finely milled pressed finishing powder with a pattern evocative of the Guerlain Meteorites Voyage Compact/Mythic ($170) (originally reviewed here). Unlike the Guerlain Crazy Meteorites Pearls (reviewed here), the effect of the Crazy Meteorties pressed is subtle, less shimmery, and slightly more neutral in color.

Guerlain Crazy Meteorites1

Let’s talk first about the differences between the Voyage and the Crazy compacts. The amount of powder in the Crazy pressed is slightly more (.35 oz. compared to .28 oz. in Voyage). As you can see, the Guerlain Voyage has a more complex and more pastel powder pattern. By comparison, the Guerlain Crazy Meteorites has a simpler, brighter color pattern. Those who love their clutches take note–the Guerlain Voyage has a heavy, luxurious, slimmer compact (roughly 5 5/8 ozs. including the powder and compact together), compared to the lighter, plastic/composite compact of the less expensive Guerlain Crazy Meteorites pressed (roughly 3 1/4 ounce all together).

Guerlain compact comparison1

The powder color with the Guerlain Crazy pressed is slightly more vibrant healthy pink color. The Guerlain Voyage is slightly, subtly more illuminating. This is a difference which could give you a slight color glow with the Crazy, but most of you will not notice a a strong color when applying lightly with a soft powder brush. I did my best to do a color comparison, but am not super hopeful that you will actually see much here unless you click to enlarge and unless you have a very, very good computer screen. These comparison swatches are the Guerlain Crazy (pressed), the Guerlain Voyage, and the Guerlain Illuminating and Mattifying pressed powder (which matches my skin tone and therefore looks virtually invisible). Click to enlarge:

Guerlain Crazy Meteorites8

One more, same order and different light:

Guerlain Crazy Meteorites9

Like the Guerlain Crazy Terracotta, the Guerlain Crazy Meteorites compact looks like a dark brown-black in typical lighting. However, the compact has a neon pink effect in the “68” pattern (the Paris address of the main Guerlain boutique and spa at 68, Avenue de Champs-Élysées) in bright light:

Guerlain Crazy Meteorites5

 Overall, the Guerlain Crazy pressed is an excellent and finely milled glowing finishing powder, at a lower price point compared with the ultra-luxurious Guerlain Voyage. Texture-wise, both are excellent. Guerlain knows its powders (as well as its fragrances, lip products, and nail polishes, oh my!). The packaging and powder construction is different(and therefore, so is the price point). The Crazy provides a slight pink glow (that is hard to detect with typical application), while the Voyage is slightly more brightening and ethereal.

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Nov 232013
 

Guerlain Crazy Pearls1

This holiday brings many special products, and this year I made Guerlain Crazy Pearls Meteorites Illuminating Powder ($58/ 1.05 oz./30 grams)(also available at Nordstrom) a must-have on my list. I’ve been a fan of these beautiful powders for years, and so I cannot pass them by when they are released.

The packaging is embossed with the words “Champs-Élysées” to evoke this year’s Holiday 2013 Guerlain Crazy Paris theme, as well as the location of the primary House of Guerlain in Paris. As an aside, the House has just been re-opened in a completely renovated and renewed format (details are at the Guerlain video from their November 2013 Google+ hangout).

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Guerlain’s re-designed flagship store at 68, Avenue des Champs-Élysées

My package seemed packed with meteorites this time, with a generous helping of pink, lavender, shimmering peach-gold, beige and lavender colors.  With these colors, I was expected a strong wash of color akin to a blush, however I found that this was not the case. Instead, I got a soft wash of pore-less texture with a slight, soft glow of the powder. The effect is more “my skin but better” rather than a wash of color.

Guerlain Crazy Pearls3

I must admit that I use these with a very soft brush, usually the Bobbi Brown Face Blenderwhich has very pliable bristles and is a good shape to fit into the Meteorites packaging. Another one that works well is the Shu Uemura 18R.

Guerlain Crazy Pearls4

Even when I tried to build up the color of the  Guerlain Crazy Pearls Meteorites Illuminating Powder using a very dense buffing brush, I was unable to build up color to a point of detection. If you are concerned that using this will give you a pink-toned face, I’ve concluded that it cannot at least for me. Of course, if you are hoping to wear this as a blush, I cannot give you any encouragement on that use either.

Guerlain Crazy Pearls2 copy

As always, these are scented with a slight violet Meteorites scent. Liz is wearing these over her makeup as an all-over soft veil in this picture, and I think it gives her a lovely, soft glow:

T3 Roller close ups liz3

She’s also wearing the Guerlain Crazy Terracotta Bronzer, and Guerlain Rouge G L’Extrait in Paresse, and has used the T3 Bodywaver on her hair.

Guerlain Crazy Pearls6

Overall, I’m enjoying the Guerlain Crazy Pearls Meteorites Illuminating Powder. Although these are more classic than unusual, I love using these powders to add a touch of Paris and glow to my makeup routine. Guerlain Crazy Pearls Meteorites Illuminating Powder is a lovely addition, and of course highly gift-able to first time users (especially for a Francophile in your life). Those who love the standard Guerlain Meteorites should take note that it appears that the company has a reformulation in the works, as detailed here at Rouge Deluxe.

Guerlain Crazy Pearls are available at Nordstrom, Sephora, and other Guerlain sources this holiday.

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Jul 102013
 

Chanel Les Beiges01

Bonjour from Paris!  I stopped by Chanel at 31 Rue Cambon, the main store for the line, and discovered that the Chanel Les Beige Poudre Belle Mine Naturelle (Healthy Glow Sheer Powder) were on display. Because I find that the sales professionals in this store are superbly well-informed, I thought it best to purchase mine here so that I could best understand this new pressed powder product.

Edit: Chanel’s Les Beiges powders are now available in the U.S. ($57.50).

Here is the display at the store, showing the five new shades (and the brush that is included in each compact). I initially gravitated to No. 20, the lightest shade in the upper left corner.  My Chanel color is typically Ivoire/Cameo, on the light/warm end of the spectrum.  However, the Chanel professional firmly insisted that No. 30 was my “belle mine” shade.  We had a bit of a verbal tussle about it, actually.

Chanel Les Beiges03

Through our discussion, I discovered that the key to this product is the phrase “belle mine” (a variation of the term “bonne mine”) in the French name. Typically, this phrase is used to denote a natural, softly tanned color that is lighter than a bronzer and is worn all over the face.  This is the color that one hoped to obtain for a light, gentle tan (in the days when tanning was popular).  Released in the Spring/Summer season here in France, these powders are intended to be used as an all-over face color to give one a softly tanned glow.

Chanel Les Beiges04

Once the Chanel professional explained the purpose, I felt that this Beiges powder served a purpose that my finishing powders do not–that is, to give me the “bonne/belle mine” glow. Above is the slim, softly curved brushed that can be stored in the powder compact.

Chanel Les Beiges16

Here is my Chanel Beiges No. 30 powder. In the pan, it has a matte finish with almost invisible microsparkle that are so sparse that I was unable to find any once the powder is applied to my face.

Chanel Les Beiges18

Ingredient list:

Chanel Les Beiges02

Although I’m still playing with my Chanel Beiges Powder Compact, I wore it all day in 80-degree heat over my Guerlain BB Creme.  The Chanel powder gave me a pretty, even color that allowed my sun-block protected face to better match my arms and hands (which have picked up a touch of summer color).  Overall, I was glad that the Chanel associate insisted on No. 30 for me–this semi-sheer powder gave me a visible, pretty, summery glow. Of course, the Chanel Beiges is also an excellent, finely milled finishing powder, which helped the Guerlain BB Creme’s stability and texture on this very warm day.

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Here are some swatches to show the Chanel Beiges powder in No. 30 (applied heavily), compared with Guerlain 4 Seasons in No. 2 Naturel Blondes (applied lightly) and Givenchy’s #4 Extreme Croisiere (a gingery tan).

Chanel Les Beiges08

One last image of the back of the Chanel compact, above. I understand that the Chanel Beiges collection will be released in the U.S. in August. (Update–this range is now available in the U.S.).

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May 072013
 

Nars Loves NYC03a

Just as I’m heading to New York City for a short trip, this incredible NARS Hearts New York City set ($65) arrived on my doorstep. Start spreading the news, Cafe Makeup loves this set. As much as we are on the road, this combination of neutrals with an edge combination is perfect for travel, or to keep in a bag for an ultra-long day away from home. The palette is slim, sturdy, and perfect for slipping into that tight bit of space.

This contains:

  • Amour Blush: Dusty rose with a hint of peach
  • Biarritz single eyeshadow: neutral cream colored beige matte
  • Nepal single eyeshadow: Soft, shimmery peach rose
  • New York single eyeshadow: Plum brown matte
  • Galapagos single eyeshadow: Bitter chocolate infused with gold
  • Laguna Bronzer:  a soft, slightly warm-to-neural everyday bronzer
  • Chinatown nail polish
  • Dolce Vita lipgloss

Nars Loves NYC01

The palette holds the powder products. I love that the lipgloss is separate, and that the palette has no creams (which can get messy over time) The palette has an enormous mirror, which is perfect for travel.

Nars Loves NYC08

 I cannot think of a more efficient or perfect set up. I’ve loved Galapagos for so long, it’s a perfect liner color. The warm Nepal and the cool blue-burgundy New York play well together. Biarritz is an understated ivory matte which says “sophisticated.”

Nars Loves NYC06 eyeshadows 1a

 The Amour/Laguna combination is a perfect goes-with-anything combination.  This palette was made for us. Here’s Liz using Amour, Laguna, Nepal (lid wash) and Galapagos (in crease and beyond):

Nars Hearts NYC Look 2

Application was pretty fool proof. I didn’t notice any difference between the single version of Galapagos and the one in this set. Liz applied Nepal and Galapagos on her lids with the Edward Bess Luxury Eye Brush, with a touch of Biarritz in the corner of her eyes. It was fast and foolproof. You can see how beautifully Nars Galapagos and Nepal do together on her lids (no base):

Nars Loves NY

Liz is also wearing Dolce Vita in both pictures (above), which is one of the only glosses that I’ve already gone through twice:

Nars Loves NYC10

Dolce Vita gloss is a true “your lips but better” shade that goes anywhere.

Nars Loves NYC11

Nars Dolce Vita on Liz:

Nars Dolce Vita

Nars Chinatown is a beautiful vampy dark red:

Nars Loves NYC12

This dries to a shiny hard finish with full saturation in two coats. The texture is thin but highly pigmented:

Nars China town

I love Nars Chinatown (no topcoat):

Nars Loves NYC18

 Swatches of all shades in the palette:

Nars Hearts New York Swatches1

Overall, Cafe Makeup hearts the Nars Hearts New York City set. I love how all of the products come packaged together for a well-coordinated, sophisticated look. For us, this set was a 100% winner.

This is available online at Nars Cosmetics, and will become available soon at select retailers (Barneys, Lord & Taylor, Saks Fith Avenue, Henri Bendel, and Bloomingdale’s Soho).

 

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Feb 142013
 

Hourglass Ambient31

Hourglass Ambient Powders ($45) have hit the market of the past few weeks via Sephora.com and soon to be available in stores. Essentially, these powders are intended to brighten, conceal by capturing and diffusing the way that light hits the skin. The company makes the powders in six different shades intended to work on all skin tones, so that one can choose the effect they desire.

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders - group shot white lowres-1

 

According to the company:

“I learned early on how different types of light can truly flatter the complexion,” says Carisa Janes, Hourglass CEO & Founder. “Growing up, my mother had pink light bulbs in all of the lamps throughout the house. She loved pink light because it was the softest and most flattering, and she always wanted to look good.” Janes was inspired to create a new generation of powders that can be customized according to the desired lighting effect.

Unlike traditional finishing powders, Ambient Lighting Powder alters the perceived appearance of the complexion by manipulating and filtering out harsh light. As we age, skin loses its natural luminosity, and Ambient addresses this deficiency with ‘photoluminescent technology’. These transparent micron-size, color-correcting particles emulate the appearance of young, healthy-looking skin.

The packaging is a lightweight compound that feels a bit like plastic and touch-up mirror. The company has released a accompanying Ambient Powder brush ($35) that is sold separately.

Hourglass Ambient34a

We tried Houglass Ambient Powder in Luminous Light, a champagne pearl powder that looks magnificent in the pan:

Hourglass Ambient32a

We wanted to love Luminous, we tried to. We actually had a meltdown, of sorts, about the fact that the powder didn’t work for us. Well, two meltdowns, really. (We get passionate about makeup in a way that’s sort of not, well, normal maybe. What of it?).  

It was our opinion that the Hourglass powder was too visible and shimmery to use as an all-over face powder for our personal taste. For comparison, here are heavy applications of the nearly-invisible Nars Light Reflecting Setting Powder (loose). As you can see, this very heavy application of the Nars Powder sets up as a demi-matte finish and adds no color, compared to the shimmery Hourglass Luminous. I also swatched the Guerlain Pressed Meteorites in Wulong. As you can see, this very heavy application Guerlain Wulong deposits a subtle soft color, compared to the more visible Houglass Luminous. Of course, you’d never wear any of these as heavily as they are applied here–I’m trying to show relative visibility (not actual).

Hourglass Ambient1

I’m not sure how visible these will be to you, as setting powders are notoriously tough to swatch. One more, same powders:

Hourglass Ambient22

We took a cue from The Beauty Look Book, who loved it as a highlighter. I tried, but found that the color blocked up a bit on me and left a touch of frost.  Back of the compact:

Hourglass Ambient33

Edit on Feb. 22, 2013:  I was able to try Hourglass Ambient Dim by applying it over my Tom Ford foundation in a Sephora. Still not working–my husband said I looked better prior to application. I didn’t buy, and I won’t be pursuing more of the powders–this is just not the product for me.

Our advice: There are others who are giving these fabulous reviews. In our book, this is a “try before you buy.”

Hourglass sent this Ambient Powder and Ambient Powder Brush 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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