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.

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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.”
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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.

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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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Feb 222015
 

MAC Lightful C01MAC has reformulated its Lightful line to incorporate Vitamin C into these brightening products. Because Vitamin C has been clinically proven to benefit skin, I couldn’t resist trying out a few products to see how they feel. This is not uber-luxury skincare, or even luxury skincare in my opinion. But I’ve had surprisingly good results with the Marine Bright formula in the past, and who doesn’t love some good bang for their buck in the mid-price category? I decided to try out the new MAC Lightful C Softening Lotion ($35), the Vibrancy Eye cream ($35), the Lightful C Marine-Bright Formula Essence ($44), and the MAC Lightful C Marine Bright Formula Moisture Cream ($44). The full line is available at Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, Macy’s, and other MAC sources (except for an SPF 30 tinted cream, which is due to become available this April and, just like Magnum in Zoolander, will blow us all away).

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I’ve used the prior version of the MAC Softening Lotion, and can confirm that this MAC Lightful C Marine-Bright Formula Softening Lotion provides the same toning, softening effect on the skin to leave it feeling soft, woken-up, and baby-fresh.  This is one of those products that you think you’ll never use and then, when your glowing skin looks back at you in the mirror, you realize that it does, in fact, make a daily difference.

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I splash a little bit of this clear, water-like liquid on, using fingers or a cotton pad, to get the effect. This is a softening toner–a separate cleanser is necessary to truly clean the skin.

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I have to admit I’m a fan of spray toners, and this top is designed to splash or swipe on. Still, I appreciate the no-spill guard.

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Ingredients (click to enlarge):

MAC Lightful C softening lotion ingredients1

For me the magic item in the collection is the Mac Lightful C Marine Bright EssenceI had good luck using the former version to fade darker marks/spots. I’m delighted with the addition of Vitamin C to the line. The non-sticky texture that absorbs quickly is the same.MAC Lightful C09

Nice no-spill, locking, travel-friendly packaging.

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Ingredients (click to enlarge):

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I took a chance and ordered the MAC Lightful C Marine Bright Formula Moisture Creme.  I’m happy with my current stock of moisturizers, but I find a mid-priced gel moisturizer hard to resist. The problem with having oily skin (and now combination skin) most of my life is that I tended to avoid moisturizers as too heavy and adding “too much glow” toward the end of the day.

MAC Lightful C06After I discovered the lightweight, fast-absorbing properties of gel moisturizers, my skin is much more balanced and doesn’t over-produce oil anymore. If anyone is in the same boat, this MAC is a nice one to try because of the addition of Vitamin C and the lightweight feel. It absorbs, is very lightweight, and doesn’t add “glow” to already oily skin.

MAC Lightful C21This is housed in a lightweight plastic jar. The texture of this product is much lighter and featherweight compared to Estee Lauder’s Enlighten Moisturizer.

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I find that NARS Aqua Gel Luminous Oil-Free Moisturizer and Chanel Hydra Beauty Gel Creme (Liz’s favorite) give a more noticeable moisturizing effect. By comparison, MAC’s is lighter in texture.  Ingredients for the MAC Lightful C:

MAC Lightful C moisturizer ingredients1

Finally, I ordered the MAC Lightful C Vibrancy Eye. This one-half ounce product has a sorbet texture in a pump-top container. It’s very pleasant to use, sinks in instantly, and gives an immediate moisturizing and de-puffing effect.  I’ve been using on my winter-stressed, wind-burned eye area and it’s vastly improved since last Friday when I began.

MAC Lightful C19Consistent with the other products in the light, the MAC Vibrancy Eye is lightweight, non-oily, and disappears quietly very soon application. Ingredients (click to enlarge):

MAC Lightful C vibrancy eye ingredients1Skincare swatches (except the toner, which is a clear liquid):

MAC Lightful C26My personal favorites in this group are the Vibrancy Eye and the Essence, however hopefully I’ve put in enough information to give you a sense of which might work for you. The full line is available at Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, Macy’s, and other MAC sources.

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In other news, I’m loving my little sample of Chanel Hydra Beauty Micro Serum Intense ($110) and am placing an order for the full-sized as soon as I hit “publish” on this post. It’s giving me a smoothness and glow that’s both immediate and improving with every day that goes by.  Although I’ll do a full review soon, here’s a quick picture of the sample (check out your local Nordstrom, gorgeous! That’s where I found mine) and the ingredient list.

Chanel Micro serum min1Les ingredients:

ingredients1Hope you are having a lovely, ice-free weekend!

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Feb 172015
 

NARS-3.1-Phillip-Lim-AW15-Beauty-Look-1How flawless is this look from 3.1 Phillip Lim?   NARS artist Francelle Daly summed up the look as follows: “Utilitarian punk is the direction this season. Natural radiant skin mixed with a punk-inspired oxblood red shade on the lips for a bold statement.” One more:

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SKIN
NARSskin Aqua Gel Luminous Oil-Free Moisturizer

COMPLEXION
Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer
Light Reflecting Loose Setting Powder
Stick Concealer

BROWS
Brow Perfector

CHEEKS
Tribulation Blush (new for Fall 2015, for now try Nico Blush)

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Okay, here’s what we are all waiting for–what was used on those lips? The answer– VIP Red Lipstick (New for Fall 2015, for now try Mysterious Red Velvet Matte Lip Pencil). On the runway at 3.1 Phillip Lim:

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Now a look at Thakoon:NARS-Thakoon-AW15-Beauty-Look-2

We’re seeing more use of the Nars Dual-Intensity blushes that were previewed here at the Golden Globes. Here, Nars artist Diane Kendal used them at Thakoon.
NARS-Thakoon-AW15-Artist-In-ActionAs she said, “Inspired by the northern lights, Thakoon wanted the girls to look beautiful, keeping the ideal of lights and reflection.” Let it glow, let it glow, let it glow!
NARS-Thakoon-AW15-Beauty-Look-1COMPLEXION
Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer
Radiant Creamy Concealer
Soft Velvet Loose Powder

CHEEKS
Tribulation Blush (new for Fall 2015, for now try Nico Blush)
Left side of Craving Dual-Intensity Blush (New for Spring 2015; for now try Copacabana Multiple)

EYES
Right side of Craving Dual-Intensity Blush (New for Spring 2015; for now try South Beach Multiple)
Left side of Fervor Dual-Intensity Blush (New for Spring 2015, for now try the right side of Hula Hula Duo Eyeshadow layered over Seduction Blush )

LIPS
VIP Red Lipstick (New for Fall 2015, for now try Mysterious Red Velvet Matte Lip Pencil).

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MAC at Badgley Mischka:

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The eyes were created by first using Orpheus Kohl Power Pencil (available AW13) to draw through the lashline and wing at the outer corner to elongate and lift eyes. Then, Damson Pressed Pigment (available AW13) was pressed into Orpheus Kohl Power Pencil to set.

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Fascinating Eye Kohl was then applied through the waterline of lower lashes to brighten and open the eyes. Clearwater Paint Pot (available AW13) was used as liner through the lower lashline. Next, 7 LASH were cut and double-stacked on the outer corners of the lashline before being curled and perfectly adjusted to the natural lash. Lastly, Haute & Naughty Mascara was applied over lashes to define and finish. Lips are Runway Hit.

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James Boehmer for NARS created the look for the Naeem Khan AW ‘15. “Naeem is celebrating his 10th anniversary this season. He wanted the makeup to be dark, sensual and incredibly glamorous. I thought about the artwork of Tamara de Lempicka. The women depicted in her paintings still seem so modern, and I borrowed colors from her signature palette. The eye is architectural yet soft- a smoky eye without any hard edges or strong definition- and without mascara or brows. The lip is a deep matte chocolate red that is classic Naeem. Skin is glossed and shiny on the cheekbones to add dimension without color or depth.”

SKIN
NARSskin Luminous Moisture Cream
NARSskin Total Replenishing Eye Cream

COMPLEXION
Sheer Glow Foundation
Radiant Creamy Concealer
Soft Velvet Loose Powder

BROWS
Oural Brow Gel

EYES
Ashes to Ashes Eyeshadow
Bali Eyeshadow

LIPS
Mysterious Red Velvet Matte Lip Pencil
Mambo Eyeliner
Jungle Red Lip Liner

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Feb 152015
 

A few things from last week’s New York Fashion Week…

Artist Lee Ashley Davidson posted this photo from Nicole Miller using new MAC Cosmetics pure pigment wet/dry eyeshadows and Retromatte liquid lipstick.

Madeline Poole, Christian Louboutin Beauté Nail Consultant, used a square motif at Cushnie et Ochs. “We went with two coats of “Sweet Charity” with square detailing in navy blue “Wherever” and teal green “Ni Toi Ni Moi.”

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NARS at Creatures of the Wind used a simple look with perfect skin with an emphasis on lashes and brows.

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James Boehmer, NARS Director of Global Artistry, used the following:

All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation
Soft Velvet Loose Powder
Radiant Creamy Concealer
Audacious Mascara (New for Fall 2015)
Oural Brow Gel

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Maud Laceppe for NARS Cosmetics created the look for the Rachel Comey AW ’15, which is a “dewy, almost wet look. A fresh and effortless girl, but still sexy.”

NARSskin Luminous Moisture Cream

COMPLEXION
Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer
Soft Velvet Loose Powder
Copacabana Multiple

CHEEKS
Contour Blush
Copacabana Multiple
Tribulation Blush (New for Fall 2015, for now try Nico Blush)

EYES
Copacabana Multiple
Tribulation Blush (New for Fall 2015, for now try Nico Blush)
Reykjavik Velvet Shadow Stick (New for Fall 2015)

LIPS
Chelsea Girls Lip Gloss (not yet released)

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Jan 282015
 

More information about this weeks’ Paris Fashion show looks, pending my ability to find it. There’s surprisingly little out there right now.

Chanel. This red looks like Gabrielle to me, but I’ll hold off until we see more information. This could be from the upcoming Chanel Rouge Coco lip reformulation that I’m eagerly anticipating.  I’m seeing the Chanel Rouge Coco in Arthur on Saks.com, which appears to be a similar shade.

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Heavy greys with perhaps a cooler red lip (Pirate?) in this image:

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These eyes have a pink/mauve/gray effect that goes well with the accessory hat. I’m sensing that the eyeshadow is being used to veil the brows, almost like a unibrow effect.

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I’m picking up some brown/mauve through the eyes including through the brow/unibrow area.chanel

kendall-jenner-chanel-couture-spring-2015Dior.

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Peter Philips created the beauty look for the 2015 Dior Couture Spring show, describing it as “fluidity, clarity and appeasement”. Using Dior’s yet-to-be released Diorskin Nude Air Serum foundation for a light and transparent finish, he then contoured the cheeks using Dior’s Peach Splendor blush (from the Kingdom of Colors collection) on the center of the cheeks and Starlight Diorblush to highlight the tops of cheekbones (I believe that this was limited edition last year). Eyes were defined with the Eye Reviver Backstage Pros palette (coming April 2015), using soft grey through the socket in an angled sweep from the inner corner of the eye towards the temple. Lashes were left bare; their only tweak was a curl from the Backstage Lash Curler. Keeping with the minimalist theme, Philips skipped lipstick and opted for the Dior Lip Maximiser which gave lips a transparent and shiny gloss. The look was finished with Dior Vernis Muguet on the nails. More about Dior Nude Air is available at The British Beauty Blogger (including an intriguing powder).

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I love the honest artificiality of the hair (yes, it’s an extension without pretense).

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27-dior-hair-2.w529.h352.2xArmani Prive. The information that I have is a bit vague:  “Using Armani products, Cantello swept models’ eyelids with a baby-blue hue and then elongated peepers with a gold liner. “So it’s kind of graphic, but not too graphic,” she said. “It’s quite soft.” Faces were given Crema Nuda, a product billed to be a “glow treatment” that’s due out in May. A tiny bit of apricot-colored blush was applied high on cheeks, while a lip stain, which will be called Bamboo, was used.”

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The eye were a combination of Brow Maestro #5, and three shades of Armani’s Eye Tints—Gold Ashes, Jade, and Zenith (available in April).

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According to Style.com, “Crema Nuda (launching in May) is neither a foundation nor a BB nor a tinted moisturizer. Instead, it’s a “nude glow treatment” that combines a water-based texture with transparent, light-reflecting pigments; imperfection-blurring ‘skin affinity’ technology; and antiaging benefits. Another twist on traditional formulas: Any color can work for any skin tone—it just depends on the kind of glow you’re after. “I like to think of it as working with watercolors as opposed to oils,” noted Cantello. “It’s an enhanced way to do ‘natural,’ and it just gives the skin a diaphanous, porcelain finish. You don’t really need anything more.”

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Genius Odile Gilbert created the beautiful ponytail style.

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