Aug 182014
 

simplehuman01Designer simplehuman has just released two Sensor Mirrors that are really worth a strong look. For the past several years, I’ve played with the idea of getting a lighted mirror installed in my makeup-application area. As someone who is into photography and really sensitive to light colors, crisp images, and good design, I’ve never found something just perfect. I’m so glad that I waited. Little did I know that the geniuses at simplehuman were  designing something that really is perfect for the job.

simplehuman03To digress a bit, I’ve owned a simplehuman trash can for at least six years, ever since my husband insisted that our dog stay out of our trash. Neither one of us having the bandwidth to watch him 24/7, I got one of simplehuman’s for its simple, functional design that meshed well with the brushed metal appliances in our kitchen. Although my husband balked at the price (“you spent what on a trash can?”), even he now admits it was money well spent. It looks brand new years later despite years of abuse, is easy to clean, and looks 1000x better in our kitchen than most of the others out there (and our dog has stayed out of trouble the entire time because, well, dogs will be dogs).

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This was originally shipped to my home in California, then to my home on the East Coast. I was worried about its fragility, but I needn’t have. This is shipped in a protective shell that absorbed every jiggle along the way.Do you know how terrible it is to be very excited for a new thing, only to have it arrive nicked or broken? Heartbreaker!  I’m sorry to be geeking out on the design but I have to hand it to simplehuman in the packaging arena-well done!   Also, the light comes with a five-year warranty. (Can simplehuman design a hair dryer right now?)

simplehuman04The simplehuman Sensor Mirror ($200) is sort of like the iPhone of beauty mirrors. This is the perfect weight and size–it’s extremely well machined, it’s heavy enough to stay put by itself, is intuitive to use, and provides the perfect amount and color of light for close-up, perfected beauty work. It’s adjustable in all the right ways, but not too much and without any gimmicky extenders or no-slip pads that just to attract dust and look terrible. It has a clean, beautiful design.

simplehuman07The simplehuman Sensor Mirror comes with everything. The light charges via either a USB input or wall plug. Which means you don’t have messy cords on your makeup table. Also, your light isn’t fighting with your dryer, straightener/curler, and Clarisonic for outlet space. Thank you! Although the company recommends a good seven-hour charge when it arrives, mine seemed to be fully charged after two (I left it charging overnight anyway, just to be safe).
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The light tilts and can be raised and lowered:

Simplehuman positions

The simplehuman Sensor Mirror has flat on/off button on the bottom that only needs to be turned “on” once, given that the light is motion-sensitive. There is an indicator light along the bottom:

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The light glows green when the “on” button is first hit, it flashes while the unit is charging, and it glows steady when the unit if fully charged.

simplehuman17The light glows red when the unit is first turned “off,” and also when it needs to be charged.

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I made this little video to show how the sensor light works. I’m sorry that the “light on” made my camera’s automatic mode freak out a bit, but this still gives you a good idea. I waved the light “on,” and then it automatically turned off in a bit when the light wasn’t being used.

Of course, the most important part of the simplehuman Sensor Mirror is the light. I’ve actually studied light a bit as a formal subject matter, and I can tell you that this description is both true and exactly what you’d want a makeup mirror to be:

At 600 lux, our tru-lux light system is more than twice as bright as the next best. We disperse the light evenly with a unique pattern of micro-reflectors throughout the ring — no light loss or hot spots.With a color rendering index (CRI) of 90, it closely simulates natural sunlight and contains the full color spectrum to show every detail. Looking good in this light means you will look flawless in any setting.

Here’s a video from simplehuman that explains the light:

The simplehuman mini version also comes in a mini-version ($130) that can be seen in this video:

I haven’t tried the smaller one. If I had to choose, I’m glad that I got the larger version. The mirror seems like the perfect size and shape. The surface allows me to see the entire look in the larger version. Unless you have a space/budget concern, I’d go for the larger size. I really like having the larger surface area.

Overall, I’m beyond happy with this mirror. It’s a revolutionary in that it’s exactly what is needed. The line has really focused on the end-user (which is exactly how it should be). This is available at Sephora.

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This item was sent 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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Aug 132014
 

liz in oprah magazineIf you are an O Magazine reader, you might look at the cover story of O’s September ’14 issue on page 140 for a picture of Cafe Makeup’s owner and editor Liz, who got a haircut makeover by the magazine in June.

Labelle Day Spa Palo Alto StanfordI’ve always wondered if those magazine makeover features were real, and in this case we can personally verify that, O yes!, this one certainly was. In June, Liz got a haircut that earned her the name “Mrs. Brady” around the office (the back was even worse!). So much for “take off an inch with just a few layers near the face,” right? She had it done at LaBelle Day Spa in Palo Alto. This clearly required Oprah-level intervention to save it. Liz took a redeye to New York to get expert assistance by Garnier hair stylist Tommy Buckett. The change is entirely due to the cut, there are no added weaving or extensions. What do you think of the result?

Liz O magazineThe makeup was by Andrew Sotomayor.

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Aug 042014
 

Louboutin Red Swatches1I’ve had the chance to work with Rouge Louboutin ($50/available at Saks), the color of creative genius Christian Louboutin’s signature on his acclaimed shoe line (previews of Christian Louboutin Beauté are here and here). As previously discussed, the bottle for this polish is an extraordinary object d’art. Really, I’m beginning to love having it on my makeup table. Rouge Louboutin is available from Saks.com, Nordstrom.com, Sephora and Neiman Marcus.

Christian Louboutin Beaute

I found the brush remarkably easy to use. The long spike feels like a magic wand, there’s a feeling of power and creativity with it my hand. The words “wingardium leviosa” did wander through my mind. The brush is soft and slightly shorter than usual, which made application beautifully easy and controlled. I was surprised–the long length and small brush head was so different. Yet I found the tall handle felt more like a makeup brush, which of course we’re all quite used to. Also, the short brush is softer than other lines, which allows it to splay out perfectly.

Rouge Louboutin18Rouge Louboutin is very pigment-rich. A single thin coat was completely opaque, erasing all traces of my natural nail color. At two coast, the magic is complete. Although I used no base, it softened some problems on some of my nails. The trademark Rouge Louboutin red shade is infused with a high-shine, so no topcoat was necessary.  In other words, Louboutin nail polish does for my nails what Louboutin heels do for a women’s form.  It makes everything look amazing. Two coast, no base or topcoat:

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Although not advertised as such, I’m going to go out on a limb and tell you that this polish has extraordinary longevity. Last evening, I sent out forty-eight emails, and my nails looked shiny and perfect afterwards. This has never happened with any other polish (that isn’t a baked-on gel) without any topcoat.Diving into some unpacked boxes this morning, my nails emerged without a chip.

Louboutin Red Swatches6Rouge Louboutin is a beautiful rich red, a match for Louboutin’s signature color. Even if other colors are close, I cannot think of any matches for this gorgeous formula (especially its durability). I did some comparisons just for fun, with Chanel Dragon, Cinema and Pirate. I also threw in a Sephora Formula X that I got in a free birthday shipment.

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This is so beautiful. I think I’m in love. Rouge Louboutin is available from Saks.com, Sephora, Nordstrom.com, and Neiman Marcus.

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Christian Louboutin Beauté sent this bottle 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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May 112014
 

Here’s what three things I’m obsessed with this week…. 1. The Clio Awards:  Anyone who watches “Mad Men” knows that ad agencies have the Oscars-like excellence awards called The Clios.  Recently, the organization posted its picks for 2014 populated by many fashion and beauty brands, including this ad for Yves Saint Laurent Baby Doll Mascara:

I  thought this one for Hermes Sport was charming:

Chanel won an award for its Inside Chanel series–here’s just one from this multi-part series:

2. Print Your Own Makeup: Will 3D printer technology advance to the point where we no longer need makeup companies and can be our own artists? Will one day we be swapping formulas, color story ideas, and how to get just the right color lipstick for to enhance our own original beauty? Dare to dream, this recent announcement sheds some hope!

b455d840-d61c-11e3-9b45-8b9569144a85_Bm7PscLCEAA2_0cAnd I thought that I was becoming high-tech by buying the Sephora by OPI gel light yesterday, to save my nails from the many trials of nail care on the road. If true, I cannot wait to experiment with 3D printing for beauty.

I’d be the very first to sign up.

zuca 3.Makeup for the Long-Term Traveller:  As regular readers may know, I’m in a travel transition mode to the East Coast. I’m currently living in temporary quarters until my home back East is ready. As you know, it’s not just makeup but skincare, nails, brushes, hair products and tools. Oh, my! Zuca bag2 Given the length of time that I’ll be unsettled, I gave up on my dream of living out of a small makeup bag for the next few months. I love what I use, and know from my months in Paris that I want plenty of choices when I can get them. I  decided to go with a Zuca Artist rolling bag. It has side pockets galore and opens in the front like a refrigerator (but isn’t nearly as big, I promise!) Zuca bag1 The system uses a series of smaller inserts that allow me to categorizes things easily. All in all, I’m finding this a lovely solutions. Let me know in the comments if you’d like to know more about this, and I can do a review of the bag. This post includes an affiliate link (see About Cafe Makeup)

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May 042014
 

Dior Pandore Addict Stick1 Dior’s Addict Fluid Stick ($35) is a new range of liquid lipstick that, at first, I tried very hard to ignore. I was under a mis-impression that the formula was nice but I was unsure whether any of the colors would work. I was so, so wrong. After an hour at a local counter, I think the only problem with this range is that nearly all of the colors work on a wide variety of skin tones. Who can get just one? Dior Pandore Addict Stick2 I’m starting my collection with Dior Fluid Stick in Pandore, a lovely pink-red. Although I know that I’ll be branching out very soon to get several more. Dior Pandore Addict Stick3 Pandore is a rich, bright, gorgeous red that can be worked into any season. Anyone that loves neutral makeup as much as I do will find that Pandore offers a perfect touch of brightening color that is always appropriate. Here is the doe foot applicator, which is quite easy to use: Dior Pandore Addict Stick4I’ll give the bottom line early (spoiler alert!)–Dior Addict Fluid Sticks are a gorgeous, gorgeous formula. I need at least two more–a pink and a nude. Maybe a deep color as well.  The quality is beautiful, and these look amazing on. Liz prefers to wear this more sheerly, and I prefer to load up the doe-foot for  a full force red. Here’s Liz’s lighter touch with Dior Pandore: Dior Pandore Addict Stick5 And a quick, rich swatch…. Dior Pandore Addict Stick6 Overall, we’re loving Dior Pandore. And I’m loving this new formula. Below, Liz is wearing Dior Fluid Stick in Pandore, Nars Lost Coast eyeshadow duo, Chanel Perfection Lumiere Velvet Foundation in #20, and Nars Olympia Contour Blush.

Liz Nars Contour Powders1a


Dior Addict Fluid Sticks are available at Nordstrom.com, Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, and Macy’s.

This post contains affiliate links (for more information, see About Cafe Makeup)

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