Jan 142015
 

The Body Shop is running this deal through Thursday only: Buy One Get One Bath & Body Products Although some exclusions apply, this does include some popular products including the Hemp Hand Protector, Satsuma Shower Gel, Coconut Body Butter, Shea Body Butter, and Satsuma Soap, among other things.  Yummmm satsuma. I’m obsessed with those oranges right now.satsuma-soap_lOle Henriksen is giving away a free 3 piece deluxe mini set (minis!!!) ($32 value) with orders of $50 or more. Code: WINTERRETREAT

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Nars has a complimentary mini Deep Throat Blush with any order. Use code JANMINI15 at checkout.

Sephora has a FREE Fresh Rose Hydrating Gel Cream Deluxe Sample with any $25 purchase. Use code: FRESHROSE

Okay, now for the rumor part, via the Cut.   Of course, as avid Tom Ford watchers here at Cafe Makeup we’re all abuzz. What would happen to the Gucci and Tom Ford Beauty lines if so?

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Jan 132015
 

Clarins lip oil08Clarins Lip Comfort Oil ($23/0.1 oz./limited edition) seems perfectly suited to this time of year. Baby, it’s cold outside. Of course, this French line is a skincare specialist and so I was drawn to try this out when I noticed it at a local counter. It comes in two colors (01 Honey (yellow tint) and 02 Raspberry (pink tint)) and the product is now becoming available at Clarins sources, including Nordstrom, Macys, and Clarins online (by the way, if you register with Clarins.com, they are very generous with their special offers and sample kits).

Clarins lip oil01

According to Clarins, this little lip-saver is formulated to “transforms lips from dry and damaged to plump and luscious while adding just a hint of color. The formula nourishes, soothes and enhances the natural way, with oils of mirabelle plum, jojoba and hazelnut for lips that look comfortable and appear fuller. Its innovative gel-like, non-sticky texture hugs your pout in gorgeous color.” It does do a lovely job moisturizing and re-conditioning lips. It smooths out lip lines beautifully, re-conditions this delicate area, and does make my lips feel so much healthier.

Clarins lip oil04aAt $23, the price runs about the price of a lipgloss and the container includes roughly the same amount of product. The is fairly modest for a skincare item–I foresee using this tube up by March quite easily. The formula is very sticky and extremely long-lasting. I have trouble having any gloss last more than an hour (or two), but the Clarins Lip Comfort Oil gave me a good four hours. Because of the sticky texture, if you walking through a stiff wind, it’s ponytail time. Then again, if you are walking in the wind it’s probably ponytail time anyway.

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The formula starts out very, very shiny and sheer over either bare lips or lipstick. After an hour or so, the formula mellows to give my lips a moisturized, semi-gloss look. Eventually, it absorbs and leaves softer, line-free lips behind. The formula works very well over lipstick, there did not seem to be any significant color shift.

Clarins lip oil02The applicator is a big, spongy paddle. You can dab it on or use it as a gloss, or close your lips over it as you move it from side to side (dab, dab, dab).

I don’t believe that the color difference is terribly distinct between the raspberry and honey colors–the honey is slightly yellow/orange, and the raspberry is slightly pink.  As someone with mauve-toned lips I went with pink. The scent is a very strong sweet candy, which takes a bit of time to fade.

Clarins lip oil14aSome may be considering whether to buy the Clarins Lip Comfort Oil versus the Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask.

Bite lip products05 copyHere are my thoughts on the comparisons:

Bite lip products10

  • The packaging of the Clarins Lip Oil is far more purse friendly. The Clarins big square top fastens with a satisfying click, and placing it in any side pocket in a purse will keep the large square top from turning. The little cap on the Bite Beauty has fallen off a few times in my travel kit (although the product hasn’t splooged out, I think it’s only a matter of time).

 

  • Bite Beauty’s formula seems more moisturizing and conditioning to me, and the product comes in different colors (clear, Champagne, and Smashed Agave (the Beauty Look Book has reviewed Champagne and Smashed Agave so that you can see how strong the colors are). Clarins’ colors are very sheer by comparison, and can be easily layered under or over lipstick.

 

As long as we’re talking balms, those who prefer premium formulas in a pot will prefer Tatcha’s Camellia Nouring Lip Balm ($36)…Tatcha camillia lip balm05

 

Or By Terry’s Baume de Rose ($60)…but I don’t want to get too far off course. This post is about Clarins Lip Oil.

By Terry Kevyn Aucoin05

Overall, I believe that Clarins Lip Oil fills a niche in the beauty world–the portability and packaging are lovely. The scent, sticky texture, and small quantity are some of the factors to consider. However, the convenience factor is huge. It’s nice to tuck this little bit of luxury into my down jacket on the way to a long, cold commute to allow my lips to live another day.

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Clarins Lip Oil is available at Nordstrom, Macys, and Clarins online, and is limited edition. Ingredient list (click to enlarge):

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Jan 082015
 

Estee Lauders Enlighten8 f
Before the holidays, I became obsessed with trying Estee Lauder’s new Enlighten products. I found very few blogger reviews (except for Pixiwoo‘s rave for the EE Skintone Corrector). Estee Lauder’s Enlighten series includes three items– the Enlighten Dark Spot Correcting Night Serum ($62), the Enlighten Even Effect Skintone Corrector ($40) and the Enlighten Even Skintone Correcting Creme ($55). I’ve been using these three items for about two and one-half weeks. The Estee Lauder Enlighten line is available at all Estee sources, including Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, Macy’s, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Sephora.

I want to preface my review by noting that, at the same time, I switched to Kiehl’s Clearly Corrective Toner ($42) and Kiehl’s Clearly Corrective White Skin Brightening Exfoliator ($29) as part of my daily cleansing routine. Because these are used to address the very same concern, I want to let you know that.

Estee Lauders Enlighten1The Estee Lauder Dark Spot Correcting Night Serum is the cornerstone of the system. Despite the name designating this as  “Night Serum,” Estee Lauder’s website recommends using both day and night. The line says that this takes four weeks to see results (actually, they say “If you could see your skin 4 weeks from now, you’d start tonight.”) Personally, I used this serum only at night topped with the moisturizing Correcting Creme.

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It’s lightweight, easily absorbed, and has a gentle scent that fades. The serum is easy to forget once it’s applied–it really does seem to disappear into my skin. The ingredient list is here.

Estee Lauders Enlighten2

The second item is the Estee Lauder Correcting Creme. I didn’t buy this at first, because I thought that it would be very heavy. I did grab it the evening before I started the regime, because I felt that to fully assess the system I had to try it all together. I’ve used this night and day.

Estee Lauders Enlighten4Although the creme wasn’t quite as heavy as I feared, the Correcting Creme is on the very rich side. There is a strong perfumed scent. This feels a little old school.

Estee Lauders Enlighten3Compared to some other moisturizers that I’ve tried, this isn’t one that I’d necessarily re-purchase. Nonetheless, the results that I’m getting from the whole system might persuade me otherwise.

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Finally, Estee Lauder has created an “EE Creme” (groan! that name!) that works with the other products. This comes in three colors only–I used 01 Light (its also sold in Medium and Dark). As luck would have it, Light seemed to work fine for my warm, fair skin. Unsurprisingly, it runs warm (I’m not sure how this would play on cool skin tones). Essentially, this feels like a tinted moisturizer that builds almost to medium coverage. The finish is very, very glowy (get ready to powder down if you have oily skin). I’ve mostly worn this by itself, the formula has something that optically blurs discolorations. That part works. Whenever I wore it, any areas of skin discolorations were significantly less apparent without a heavy or mask-like overall coverage. It’s nice to be able to see a touch of skin, have sheer coverage, and mimize discolorations at the same time. This EE cream can be worn under foundation if you prefer to add a different finish–I’ve done this several times, and it seems to work well. The optical blurring properties continue to work, even under another product.This product is listed as SPF 30 (and its ingredient list is here).

Estee Lauders Enlighten7

Above is a heavy swatch comparison with Estee Lauder Enlighten in #01 Light, against Chanel Perfection Lumiere in 20 Beige.  As you can see, the Chanel 20 Beige is actually slightly warmer.

The Enlighten EE creme photographs well for casual pictures (Pixioo was right on about that!), but I personally find it too dewy for more formal pictures. Worn alone, my forehead is glowy all day (morning to night) unless I powder it down. Applying the iPhone and white collar shirt test, I don’t seem to be getting huge transfer (it’s not perfect). The longevity of coverage and correction is quite good. This feels slightly on the heavy side; it’s not cake batter time but it isn’t weightless either. The weight is especially noticeable if you layer it up for more coverage. It’s scented (sort of sunscreen-ish), but it fades eventually.

MAC CC products

Unlike MAC’s CC correctors, which are spot-color-correctors , Estee’s EE cream is actually foundation-like and attacks all imperfections in a single product–redness, darkness, blue discoloration. As I said earlier, this aspect of the product does work on me. Of course, you can supplement its effect even more with a color corrector or concealer.

My verdict so far on the system as a whole is a positive. I don’t want to gush over the line or create false hopes–there are downsides to the formulations as I’ve attempted to note. Note that I have added the Kiehl’s products mentioned above (which include Vitamin C) and wore this Chanel sunscreen consistently. Also, tackling discolorations can feel like a “two steps forward, one step back.” It’s a tough problem and there’s a plethora of offerings (Guerlain just began offering a new Pearl line, as one example).

My skin is without a doubt more even toned. Areas of discoloration after using this combination of products for 2 1/2 weeks has faded a good 60-7o%. Using the EE cream, it’s barely noticeable even in harsh bright light. I’m getting “did you do something different?” comments. It’s always nice to find solutions that don’t rely on hydroquinone and exfoliation as their primary actives. Estee Lauder’s Enlighten line actually feels quite gentle and hydrating and does not seem to be exfoliating at all. Indeed, when I add an at-home peel, my skin now looks really good. I should note that I don’t know how the system would work if I’d only used one or two products in the line.

My apologies for not being able to include more images (including the ingredient images) in this review. I discarded the boxes on my trip, unfortunately, and obtained these too quickly to set up a camera among the home renovation chaos that’s happening here before catching  a flight. There are so few in-depth reviews for these products at present, I thought it best to write something for those considering the line.  The Estee Lauder Enlighten line is available at all Estee sources, including Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, Macy’s, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Sephora.

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Jan 052015
 

Chanel UV Essential01

Once upon a time, one of my favorite sunscreens was discontinued. You might remember it–this was the former Chanel UV Essentiel. I remember the beautiful, elegant primer-like finish. It seemed to protect my skin from harsh sun, and seemed to consistently minimize dark spots even though it wasn’t advertised to do so. I remember the last time I ordered a back-up, although maybe it wasn’t necessary because it was a “permanent” product.  By the time that I learned it was discontinued, it was too late to order another.

Chanel old UV essentielLife moves on. Today, Chanel has a new permanent sunscreen, the Chanel UV Essential Broad Spectrum SPF 50 ($55 /1.0 oz.). This is available at all Chanel sources, including Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdales, and Chanel.com. Chanel offers UV Essential in SPF 20 and SPF 30 as well.

Chanel UV Essential02As with the prior version, you have to shake, shake, shake the new Chanel UV Essential prior to application. The rectangular package is perfect for doing so, and it’s beautifully lightweight, shatterproof and packable.

Chanel UV Essential08

This new version feels more lightweight than the former.  It applies with a slight white sheerness, which disappears in a bit. It dries quickly and is so light that it’s easy to forget that I’m wearing it. I experienced no pore-clogging, or other adverse effects. Note that I do have a very thorough days-end routine that involves an oil cleanser and a Clarisonic.

Chanel UV Essential11I’ve just come back from a week in the Caribbean, and am happy to report that I did not pick up any significant color when wearing this daily. Note: I did wear a visor in direct sun because we are getting pretty close to the equator there. Still, the Caribbean.

hondurus

According to the line, “Its UV filters block UVA and UVB rays, free radicals and urban pollution, responsible for hyperpigmentation (dark spots) and photoaging, to ensure external protection of the skin.” Like the former version, Chanel UV Essential SPF 50 is cosmetically elegant and plays very well with all of the foundations that I’ve tried over it.

Chanel UV Essential13As you know, I wear sunscreen rain, snow, clouds, or shine. After wearing this new Chanel for the past three weeks, I’m prepared to declare it a winner for me.  It is similar to its discontinued predecessor, although it feels lighter and sheerer. The packaging shape has changed a bit, but not in any significant way.

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Chanel UV Esstential SPF 50 is available at all Chanel sources, including Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdales, and Chanel.com.

Chanel UV Essential03

 

Ingredients:

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More ingredients:

Chanel UV Essential07

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Jan 032015
 

Chanel le lift 5aI’ve tried Chanel skincare since the mid-1990’s, as well as trying many other excellent lines. Since the Chanel Le Lift Creme ($165.00/ 1.7 oz.) was released, I tried a generous sample of the product. And then I went back for another generous sample. Finally, I realized that I actually loved the product and so I bought the full size. Chanel Le Lift is available at all Chanel locations, including Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdales, Macys, and Chanel.com.

Chanel Le Lift 1According to the line:

Smart skincare customized to each woman’s unique needs. This soft, creamy and comforting formula features exclusive ingredient 3.5-DA to deliver targeted anti-aging benefits — for a visibly recontoured, toned and refined complexion.

SMART TECHNOLOGY:
Scientific research has revealed the importance of “youth proteins”, key proteins that can significantly slow down the signs of aging, influencing the tone, suppleness and resilience of the skin.

TARGETED LIFTING:
After 12 years of research, Chanel scientists isolated a remarkably potent extract from the Edulis Morning Glory, proven to boost the production of these key youth proteins. Researchers created a patented compound 50 times more concentrated than the original molecule. The resulting ingredient, 3.5-DA, intuitively detects and targets individual factors of aging at a molecular level to restore skin to its optimal firmness.

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There’s something very lightweight and very effective about this product. I typically use this after a Vitamin C serum both morning and night. During the day, I top this with sunscreen, and then any foundation. On first application, my complexion looks hydrated and fresh. After continual use, it looks younger, brighter, and more alive. I personally notice the firming effect after about two weeks of use.

Chanel Le Lift 3Compared to other Chanel moisturizers, the Chanel Hydra Beauty Gel Cream is a product that is perfectly suited to my daughter Liz (who is in her ’20’s), who does not need the lifting and anti-aging properties of this one.  Many people ask Liz about her skincare, and she uses very little except Chanel Hydra Beauty. For someone in her age range, it’s really good.

Although I’ve finished a tub of Chanel Sublimage, I find Sublimage is a bit too rich for me at this point in my life. I find that Sublimage is best reserved for spot treatments of damaged skin or during the most very drying days of winter. As an aside, there is something shockingly healing about Sublimage. For example, when my eye area was recovering from an allergic reaction, Sublimage had the area healed overnight. It’s like using some kind of magical potion. However, it feels quite heavy on my skin for everyday use. For now, Chanel Le Lift has been doing a wonderful job making my skin glow with health (despite many late days, stress, and other health disruptions). I’ve had no breakouts, this is a beautiful texture that doesn’t clog pores or give me any adverse effects.

LeLift_textures_enhancedpdpChanel Le Lift comes in three textures—Fine (oil-free) for the lightest texture. I use the Creme, which is the mid-weight version.  For those with dry skin, the heaviest is Creme Riche.  Here is the ingredient list:

Chanel Le Lift ingredientsAt present, I’ve moved to testing the Estee Lauder Enlighten series (the beauty blogger’s curiosity got the best of me, I’ll do a review of the three products soon). Still, I can’t wait to get back to using my Chanel Le Lift, as I can absolutely tell when I haven’t been using it. Indeed, I can use the Chanel Le Lift as a part of my other skincare favorites, and so I don’t think I’ll have to give up anything to integrate it back into my routine. As with all things skincare, everyone’s results will vary. Nonetheless, I feel that Chanel Le Lift is a wonderful addition to the line and is quickly becoming a go-to product for me. Definitely sample-worthy, possibly perfect for full size as well.

Chanel Le Lift 6

Chanel Le Lift is available at all Chanel locations, including Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdales, Macys, and Chanel.com.

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