Aug 022015
 

Paris beauty crawl 2

My prior Beauty Crawl, which is modeled after a pub crawl, focused on the areas surrounding the two major department stores near L’Opera Garnier and down toward Le Louvre. Today, I’ll discuss another option that centers on Le Bon Marche located in Paris’ 7th Androssiment. I did an earlier version of this walk a few years ago. This is an update with many more photographs.

les deux magotsYou’ll notice that my map starts with two cafes in the Saint-Germain-des-Prés area. Both are lovely and offer a wonderful start to your shopping day. Les Deux Magots was once a rendezvous points for writers and artists, including Simone de Beauvoir, Jean-Paul Sartre, Ernest Hemingway, Albert Camus, Pablo Picasso, and James Joyce.

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Jul 092015
 

NORDSTROM -  Shop Women's Beauty and Fragrance Exclusives
Here are some suggestions to explore at this year’s Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. As you know, Nordstrom cardholders get early access starting now. Prices go up August 9th.

Chanel Travel Makeup Set ($95) I wish that I had this with me today! This set contains all the essentials to create a complete and flawless makeup look. It offers a variety of shade combinations, helping to create different looks that will suit every occasion. The palette is matched with a travel-size Inimitable Mascara in Noir.

chanel setWhile you’re at it, you might want to look at Chanel’s Perle items which have also just arrived at Nordstrom.

chanel perle

Tom Ford Lips & Boys Set ($96).  I had a feeling we hadn’t seen the last of the Boys. This includes the lovely Flynn, Giacomo and Alejandro.

tom ford lips and boys

Guerlain Meteorites for Summer ($62). These will be exclusive to Nordstrom for a bit.

guerlain rainbow

Dior Eye Reviver in Rosy Palette ($62). According to the description box, this is a slightly different set of shades than the neutral brown one that we’ve previously seen.Dior

Yves Saint Laurent is providing early access to some Fall ’15 items here. The Glossy Stain set at $72 looks like a nice choice.

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If you don’t already have these Giorgio Armani Beauty Essentials ($72) please treat yourself. I really love their base products, and this looks like a wonderful way to get started. This set includes the Fluid Master Primer (1 oz.), the Fluid Sheer #2 (1 oz.), and a Mini Travel Brush for application of both/either._10874167Butter London The New Neutrals Set ($24):

butter londonThis set includes at a rather attractive price point:

  • Fashion-size Nail Lacquer in Early Grey (0.2 oz.)
  • Fashion-size Nail Lacquer in Yummy Mummy (0.2 oz.)
  • Bloody Brilliant Lip Crayon in Tea with the Queen (0.1 oz.)
  •  Pencil Sharpener

‘Blame it on NARS’ Cheek Palette ($59).

blame it on nars

This palette includes ncludes:

  • Highlighting Blush in Satellite of Love
  • Blush in Day Dream
  • Blush in New Attitude
  • Bronzing Powder in Casino
  • Travel-size Ita Kabuki Brush

Bobbi Brown Secret to Standout Eyes ($85)

bobbi

This set includes an eyeshadow palette with 12 shades: Cream, Champagne Quartz Metallic, Nude Glow Metallic, Moonstar Sparkle, Malted, Oyster Sparkle, Taupe Stonewash Shimmer Wash, Mica Shimmer Wash, Chocolate Caviar, Chocolate Bronze Sparkle, and Rich Navy.

Also, there is a Smokey Eye Mascara in Black (I’m assuming this is a mini), Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner in Black Ink (always useful!) and a Mini Ultra Fine Eyeliner Brush.

burberry fresh set

Burberry Nude Glow Set ($78) is a classic addition that can be used daily. This set includes:
– Full-size Fresh Glow Nude Radiance (1 oz.)(yes, full size!)
– Full-size Burberry Kisses Lipstick in Nude Pink (0.12 oz.)
– Full-size Bold Lash Mascara in Black (0.24 oz.)
– My Burberry Fragrance Sample (0.07 oz.)
– Burberry Pouch (looks rather huge and usable)

mac look in a boxIn addition to some lip and brush sets, there are two quiet surprises in the MAC Look in a Box – Sophisticate Face Kit ($49). This little beauty has two former limited edition blushes that sold out rather quickly and became highly sought-after:  Linda and Cream Soda. I’m using up my Linda blush, and although I can’t tell whether the colors in this palette will be identical to the full-sized version, the palette looks like a great one to pick up for travel.  Here’s the full description:

– Powder Blush in Cream Soda (light neutral coral) (0.14 oz.)
– Powder Blush in Linda (peachy tan shimmer) (0.14 oz.)
– Eyeshadow in Hey (nude shimmer) (0.01 oz.)
– Eyeshadow in Sun Tweaked (burnt copper) (0.01 oz.)
– Eyeshadow in Wedge (soft muted beige taupe) (0.01 oz.)
– Eyeshadow in With Flair (0.01 oz.)
– Eyeshadow in limited-edition Beautifully Charred (deep brown with pearl) (0.01 oz.)
– Eyeshadow in Dance in the Dark (deep blackened plum) (0.01 oz.)
– Lipstick in limited-edition Love Happens (warm light nude) (0.02 oz.)
– Lipstick Pan in True Red (vivid bright coral red) (0.02 oz.)
– 213 Fluff Brush/316 Lip Brush

Don’t forget to pick up your basics as well, including lingerie, the Zella Live-in Leggings, those boots that you’ll be greatful for next February, and a little something something to start your holiday shopping early so it doesn’t seem so intimidating come Thanksgiving.

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Feb 222015
 

The latter parts of last week brought two spectacular beauty looks that I could not resist featuring. Tom Ford’s Los Angeles event (which can be seen here) was a huge success from a beauty perspective. Can I just say “thank you” to Tom Ford for bringing lush lashes back? Not that I don’t love a minimalist look, but some natural lash looks on the runway have me wondering whether there’s a mascara shortage in the New York City area.  Here are some looks from Tom Ford’s backstage beauty.

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Tom Ford Illuminating Primer (I just picked this up on Friday) gave a hint of sheen under Tom Ford’s Traceless Perfecting Foundation.  The Tom Ford Shade & Illuminate Duo #2 was used on some models (Joan Smalls and Karlie Kloss). The focal point was the seductive but softened smoky eye, created using the Cocoa Mirage shadow quad (or the Ripe Plum shadow duo on darker skin tones). The shadow was beautifully blended into skin by gently applying Deep Mink lipstick to the brow bone, the outside quarter of the lid, and delicately along the lower lashes.

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Tom Ford’s Brow Sculptor was used on brows, together with clumpy, black mascara. a. The rest of the face was kept neutral for balance, with lips well moisturized and covered only in foundation for a barely-there pout.

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Nails were coated with a champagne shade called Toasted Sugar.

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So good.

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On the runway:
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Francois Nars designed the makeup for Marc Jacobs AW ’15.

NARS-Marc-Jacobs-AW15-Artist-In-Action
The founder and creative director used a very high-concept design, stating, “Marc wanted a very strong, elegant and sophisticated woman this season – a Diana Vreeland type. I looked to the swans of the 50’s and 60’s – like Babe Paley or Jacqueline de Ribes, to inspire the look. Matte skin and a defined brow bring a nice structure to the face, balancing the greige gloss of the lid with the matte, velvety eggplant color of the lip.”
NARS-Marc-Jacobs-AW15-Beauty-Look-4
To prep skin, Nars used the NARSskin Multi-Action Hydrating Toner and NARSskin Luminous Moisture Cream. The complexion was enhanced with Sheer Glow Foundation, the Radiant Creamy ConcealerStick Concealer, and Soft Velvet Loose Powder.

NARS-Marc-Jacobs-AW15-Beauty-Look-3
The shadows included the left side of the Nars Paris Eye duo, and Bali single eyeshadow.

NARS-Marc-Jacobs-AW15-Beauty-Look-1Of course, the most distinctive part of the beauty design was the Train Bleu Velvet Matte Lip Pencil. On darker skin tones, the NARS Black Moon Eyeliner Pencil was used on lips. These lips are so beautiful on the Marc Jacobs show runway:

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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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Nov 282014
 

lips and boys tom ford

This collection is now live at Nordstrom.com, Bloomingdales.com, and Saks Fifth Avenue.

The Tom Ford Lips & Boys collection is now live and selling out.  The layout is helpful, although because I’m traveling on a slow internet connection is was a little tricky. Still, I loved the swatch layout and surprisingly personal experience.

The collection is based on men in Tom Ford’s life, yet it is difficult to shop without thinking about the men in one’s own.

The sheer volume of the collection begs for editing–no one would buy all fifty.  Therein lies the experience. It’s sort of interesting to consider whether to “add” someone to your cart. I felt a little pang when I went to  “remove” certain names of men in my life when my total went over my allocation. There was no possible way that, once my own brother’s name was in my cart, that I could remove him. You get the idea.

Sort of like the reasons that we choose to winnow, to make choices about relationships, hmmmmm. Well done, Tom Ford, well done.

My final list was:

  • John
  • Pavlos
  • Gustavo
  • Omar
  • Blake
  • Leonardo

Did you pick up any?  Which ones?

By the way, even though this post uses stock images, it was extremely useful in making choices. It shows the overlap with existing shades in the Tom Ford line. Thank you to the geniuses at Specktra.net for pointing it out.

EBLAST_LIPSBOYS_1_NOV2014_02 copy

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Nov 262014
 

A few weeks ago, I began testing Tom Ford Traceless Perfecting Foundation ($80). The foundation was released in Fall ’14, and is described by line as a “natural-finish, long wearing, humidity-resistant foundation” that hydrates and evens skin tone to create a “flawless, supple, and pore-less canvas on which to sculpt the features.” Tom Ford Beauty categorizes this as a medium-to-full coverage foundation with SPF 15 broad spectrum protection. Tom Ford Traceless Perfecting Foundation is available at Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Bergdorf Goodman.

Tom Ford Firming Foundation02 copyHere are my thoughts based on my testing:

  • This liquid is sold in a plastic bottle that is modern, unbreakable, sanitary and travel-friendly.

Tom Ford Firming Foundation08 copy

  • There is a built in pump.

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The pump twists up, keeping the product spill-proof and sanitary.

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  • There’s a slight chemical scent to this liquid when first applied, which may be sunscreen ingredients. It fades quickly. I don’t detect any perfume scent.

 

  • Some report that this has a matte finish. On my skin, the finish is natural to slightly glow-ish (especially as the day progresses), probably because of its moisturizing ingredients. On application, the foundation does dry down to the point where it does not transfer. In my opinion, those looking for a true matte finish will want to powder down.

Tom Ford Firming Foundation06 copy

  • The moisture-add does help my winter-stressed skin, so the description that the foundation includes helpful skin benefits rings true to me. Those with oily skin may notice a bit of a glow as the day wears on (when worn without any primer or powder).

 

  • The claim to a poreless finish rings fairly true to me as well.  This foundation did have a noticeable pore-minimizing finish.

 

  • Like Armani and Burberry (and some other) foundations, this layers beautifully. I can add just a whisper, or build up past medium toward full. I haven’t tried to go all the way to full.

 

  • The longevity was quite good for a moisturizing foundation.  The glowy-moisturizing aspects makes this a little tricky—there are few moisturizing foundations that truly last all day.  I get more wear time out of my long-wearing foundations that do not have any moisturizing properties, including the Tom Ford Traceless Foundation Stick, Chanel Perfection Lumiere (the standard and the velvet), MAC Pro Longwear. Nonetheless,  on me the Tom Ford Traceless Perfecting lasts about 70-90% of the time that the others named here do (rough estimate). Also, I don’t get any shifting or “looks like its lifting off” effect. As the day goes on, I notice that the coverage seems to lessen, and a glowy sheen starts to emerge.

 

  • Some may be wondering how the Tom Ford Traceless Perfection stacks up next to the By Terry Densiliss Foundation (reviewed here). Of course, both are premium liquid foundations that have skincare benefits. In my opinion, Tom Ford’s Traceless Perfection feels more moisturizing and behaves more like a standard layerable liquid foundation with the slight-glow foundation. In contrast, By Terry Densiliss feels a bit closer to a cream when applied, tends to dry down closer to a matte-satin, does not have the pore-control of Tom Fords, and lasts a bit longer throughout the day. In other words, those with dryer skin may prefer Tom Ford, while those with oily/combination skin may prefer By Terry.
  • The foundation includes Tom Ford’s Infusing Complex which helps diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. I can vouch for this–this does give me a beautiful canvas.

Tom Ford Firming Foundation07 copy

After spending nearly an entire Spring and Summer in California, I was counter-matched to Tom Ford Traceless Perfection in #3 Fawn. On this snowy winter day, this is a bit warm and dark for my current complexion but still wearable. If I were to buy another today, I’d go a shade or so lighter (in Ivory or even Cream). Here’s a swatch of Tom Ford Fawn #3 compared to my MAC Studio Sculpt in NC15 for color.

Tom Ford Firming Foundation11 copy

This foundation is said to be particularly good in warm-to-cold conditions. Those who are running from the cold outdoors into overheated buildings will appreciate that the foundation does, indeed, seem to hold up well in highly varied temperature conditions (as well as those who get super warm due to, ahem, other reasons). I get this same quality from Tom Ford Traceless Stick Foundation, and the other long-wearing foundations in my stash including By Terry, Chanel Perfection Lumiere and MAC Pro Longwear.

Tom Ford Firming Foundation07 copy

In addition to octinoxate and titanium dioxide for sun protection, the product includes the following: (click to enlarge):

Tom ford ingredient list copy

Unlike many foundations that I’ve tried recently, I’m not seeing alcohol listed here, which is a very good plus.

Overall, Tom Ford Traceless Perfection is worthy of the title premium foundation in its excellent finish, skincare benefits, and overall look. This has excellent buildability. Those looking for skincare infusion and moisture, especially in these drying winter months, may find that this is a favorite.

Tom Ford Traceless Perfecting Foundation is available at Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Bergdorf Goodman.

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Aug 222014
 

Tom Ford Fall 201407Some items arrived from Tom Ford Fall 2014 late this afternoon, and so I thought I’d post some quick pictures. From all experience, this appears to be another “blink and you’ll miss them” releases. In other words, limited quantities especially for the Tom Ford Nude Dip quad.  These are the times when the relationships that we’ve formed with sales associates become invaluable. Sometimes the online releases are gone in a remarkably brief time, so call your Neiman Marcus, Saks, Nordstrom, and Bergdorf counters now if you are interested. It breaks my heart to tell readers that I have no sources a month (or even a day) after some of these collections release.

Tom Ford Nude DipThe Tom Ford Nude Dip Palette ($79) includes four gorgeous neutrals that are high-pearl in texture. So far, so good–the pigment seems to leap onto my brush and apply with a beautiful smooth texture. Let’s walk through each shade separately, shall we? Oh, yes, we shall..

Tom Ford Nude Dip

The top left is a pearly champagne highlight color.

Tom Ford Nude Dip

The top right is a soft light brown.

Tom Ford Nude Dip

The bottom left is a soft pearly taupe.

Tom Ford Nude DipThe bottom right is a deep pearlized brown. Here are some early swatches in less-than-ideal lighting conditions.

Tom Ford Nude DipAnother set of the Nude Dip palette.

Tom Ford Nude DipThere are two Tom Ford Contouring Cheek Color Duos ($77 each). Stroked is a soft warm golden coral combination,and Softcore is a dramatic pink-highlight and deep, complex red-mauve-burgundy.. These powders include a highlight color, and a blush/contour shade. They are fabulous.

Tom ford Soft Core Stroked

Here is Tom Ford Stroked:

tom ford stroked

The highlighter portion of Stroked:

Tom ford Soft Core StrokedThe blush shade of Stroked:

Tom ford Soft Core StrokedHere is Tom Ford Softcore:

Tom ford Soft Core StrokedThe highlight color of Softcore is slightly cooler and whiter than the highlighter in Stroked.

Tom ford Soft Core StrokedThe Softcore blush:

Tom ford Soft Core StrokedI did some quick swatches, again not in ideal lighting conditions. When I ordered these from Bergdorf, they suggested that Stroked was perfect for day, and Softcore for evening.

Tom ford Soft Core StrokedAgain, I’m working quickly because I suspect that anyone interested in this collection is going to need to move this week to find the items. I haven’t had time to play with these extensively yet, but I can say that I’m very impressed so far.

Tom ford Soft Core Stroked

These are available at Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom.

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Mar 052014
 

Tom Ford Spring Lipsticks01

Tom Ford has released a series of new limited edition lipsticks for Spring 2014 ($49). Here, we chose three shades from the line-up chosen primarily from The Beauty Look Book’s helpful review.  Pink Dune is a soft neutral with shimmer. Summer Fling is a soft medium pink. And Paradiso is a vibrant pink.

Tom Ford Spring Lipsticks02

Overall, the pigmentation of these is softer than the standard Tom Ford lipstick line, and stronger than his Color Shines. The colors with shimmer feel ever-so-slightly gritty on application, but seem to soften to a moisturizing feel.

Tom Ford Spring1

These apply well, as you may expect. There is a soft vanilla scent. Although your experience may vary, both Liz and I find that the Chanel Rouge Allure formula feels more moisturizing and more luxurious than these three Tom Ford choices. The wear time on the Chanel is longer. We found that the wear time on these three Tom Fords was short to medium. Nonetheless, all three Tom Ford Spring colors that we chose are undisputedly gorgeous and we’ll use them to the last bit.

Tom Ford Spring Lipsticks09

Pink Dune is a soft neutral pink with a beautiful golden shimmer.

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)n Liz:

Tom Ford Pink Dune on Liz21a

Summer Fling is a soft sheer pink with shimmer.

Tom Ford Spring Lipsticks10As you can likely guess, Tom Ford Summer Fling is a go-with-eveything pink.  If you are undecided, Summer Fling is a safest choice.

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Tom Ford Summer Fling on Liz:

Tom Ford Summer Fling on Liz21a

Tom Ford Paradiso is a beautiful rich pink, which can pick up a bit of coral tones when applied.

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How beautiful is this color?

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Tom Ford Paradiso on Liz:

Tom Ford Paradiso on Liz21a

Swatches of all shades:

TOM FORD SPRING SWATCHES1

Overall, another successful release from Tom Ford. I believe that the pictures speak for themselves. These are beautiful.

Tom Ford Beauty is available from Neiman Marcus, Saks and Nordstrom.

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Dec 272013
 

Tom Ford Stick Foundation1

I’ve been using the Tom Ford Traceless Stick Foundation ($78./0.5 oz) occasionally for the past year. I purchased this last January, where I got into an arm-wrestling match over my color. You can see swatches of all shades helpfully here at The Beauty Professor. I ultimately settled on #3 Fawn, although this is on the deeper side for my Chanel Cameo/MAC NC15/20 skin tone. I had just returned from a sunnier climate, and I suppose my neck and body were a bit deeper then. The reason that I mention this is that stick foundations tend to be higher coverage, and we all know what that means. The more coverage you get, the more the color match matters, and the less forgiveness you have if there is a mis-match.

Tom Ford Stick Foundation3

The rather massive and gorgeous packaging holds 1/2 ounce of product. Although this is less than a typical bottle of liquid, you do not need much of this foundation to get medium coverage (more will give you full coverage). I’m an old hand with stick foundations, all the way back to the Chanel stick foundations of the 1990’s, so my application is a bit fearless.  First of all, the formula is very, very emollient and yet long-wearing. This rather miraculous combination of attributes allows you to have controllable, all-day coverage.

Tom Ford Stick Foundation5

Your application technique matters very much with this foundation. I have read reviews that describe this coverage as “heavy” and “too much.” It is true that it is a real challenge to get light coverage with this stick foundation. On light coverage days, I opt for another foundation choice and can use this as a concealer (if at all). For medium coverage, I dot this very lightly on my forehead, cheeks, and chin. The formula is very emollient, and as your skin and fingers warm the product it is very easy to spread over my face to get medium coverage. The product can be built up over any problem areas for more coverage. The effect is beautiful. It dries down, and makes my skin look gorgeous and very Tom-Ford-fabulous. It gives just enough of a sheen to look moisturized and youthful, and stops well short of looking even the slightest touch oily.  Although this looks amazing on my combination skin, those with drier skin will truly adore this slight sheen effect.

Tom Ford Stick Foundation4

I tend to use this when I’m looking forward to a formal event, whether a meeting, all-day conference, or evening event with a strong lip.  The wear time is phenomenal. This foundation does not break down, period. I do not get breakthough-glow on my combination skin, it just does not quit. So if you are looking for a luxury look that lasts all day, Tom Ford is your man.

Long Wearing Foundations11

As you can see, Tom Ford #3 Fawn is a little deeper and warmer than a few others in my foundation stock.

Same comparisons in different light:

Long Wearing Foundations09

Overall, Tom Ford’s Traceless Foundation gives a beautiful effect to make my skin look far better than it actually is. I understand that the foundation does not promise skin care benefits, it just makes my skin look fabulous. So I apply my skin care and sunscreen underneath. As with all stick foundations, removal is important to fully cleanse the skin and remove all traces of the product. I use an oil remover (currently, Shiseido), a Clarisonic with a cleanser, and a toner.  I need these to fully remove my sunscreen, so this is not a variation from my usual routine.

Tom Ford Stick Foundation2

 Like a perfect pair of pumps, Tom Ford’s Traceless Foundation makes me look fabulous, well-dressed, and comfortable without concern for breakdown or breakouts. When I’m getting ready for an event, I’m happy to have Tom Ford along for the (usually overly long) day.

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