Jan 102015

Happy Sunday everyone!  I hope that you are having a lovely weekend, and able to stay warm and comfy.  I saw a few fun things that I thought I’d share…

I still haven’t fully processed Chanel’s Metiers d’Art Salzburg show. A few years ago, I spent some time in Salzburg in the winter. Although beautiful in the summer, with its Mozart music festival and Sound of Music hills (it’s the city where the movie was filmed), I was impressed with the city in the winter. Located among the beautiful Alps, this city is populated with the most amazing, warm, and charming people. There are beautiful walks to castles on the hills. It’s so idyllic. By the way, Chanel’s clothing captured the heritage and culture of the city perfectly. And of course, this is the city where Coco got her inspiration for her famous jacket. What better place to celebrate the line?

Congratulations to Lisa Eldridge, the new creative director for Lancome.  I’m so pleased that she’ll be providing them with some of her creative talent. As she’s explained on her website, she’ll continue to maintain her video blog, twitter, and other social media accounts.


How cute is this Alice and Olivia Starbucks cup? Love this! The bow is removable, thank heavens. I’m going to have to look for this locally, it looks like it’s already sold out online. Cute!
starbucksIs white the new black? Le Bon Marche in Paris thinks so. They’ve commissioned designer goods available in store during the month of January. Love those Dior sunglasses! Perfect for winter.

white white white

By the way, I’ve noticed that there are more codes on my Sephora iPhone app than I can see on my desktop. The app codes work on the desktop (sometimes it throws an error, but it does take it). If you’ve got the app, you might take a look–nothing wrong with free samples!

sephora deals

I hope you have a lovely remainder of your weekend, gorgeous!


Please follow us on....

Jan 092015

Regular followers: here’s an update on the makeup room project.

As background, during 2014 I moved cross-country. This has been challenging with a makeup hobby. We are building an addition in our new home. In the blueprints, I was delighted to see this concept for a makeup room.


Here is a computer-generated graphic of the concept for the room. As you can see, storage:



Last fall, I posted this picture of the structure that had been put into place:

future makeup roomWhen I arrived home after the holidays, I found that drywall was up. It’s starting to look more like an actual room now. I love the light and space.

makeup room januaryOf course, this is exciting to see. I cannot wait to get more organized. I hope that you are all doing beautifully!

Please follow us on....

Jan 032015
Chanel Le Lift 1

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.

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.

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.


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.

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

Please follow us on....

Dec 092014

I’m obsessed with entrepreneurship. Of course, not everyone has access to venture capital funding, or is part of large company, and many cosmetic companies require a large (read: expensive) infrastructure to formulate cosmetics that meet all of the standards. Still, I can’t help but applaud “the little guys” who are out there swinging. It’s so easy to write  a blog that evaluates, it’s so much harder to really create something from scratch I think.

Anyway, I thought I’d write about a few “little guys” that caught my eye recently.

One Etsy company called PatentPrints that caught my eye makes artisan prints from issued patents. I asked them to make one of a Chanel handbag that could hang in my office (the price is so much more modest than an actual bag!). They did, and now they’ve put the print up for everyone to buy. This is in a chalkboard-styled print (they have other choices, like Blueprint, which I chose). How cool is this?


In the recent past, a few Kickstarter projects have caught my eye:

Bitch Beauty Box has a ways to go before meeting its goal (many Kickstarter projects don’t reach their goals, and so they are left to find funding elsewhere). Still, the idea is intriguing. They replicate on-the-runway shades, and send them out to customers within weeks of a show.

Sphynx is an on-the-go razor company is very close to their goal. Only ten more days to go! This product has a refillable water container, an all-natural organic soap that can be used like lotion, and two top-quality razors included in the case. Pledges at the $16 level get one of the razors, and at $28 get two (assuming that the product is ultimately made).

sphnx B+W sphynx- Twist.68(1)Thanks to all who have continued to check in on my little blog over the past few months. It’s been a rough transition, and I’m slowly starting to feel back to my old self again. I think we all need to guard against burnout and stress, it’s a difficult challenge. Especially if you love things to be perfect, which of course is impossible. I think doing these little posts is really getting my excitement back. I hope that you are doing well and trying to stay calm and even during this very busy (and sometimes stressful!) holiday season.

Please follow us on....

Dec 072014

That last few months have been interesting–as the weather turns colder, my desire to walk outside in the evenings has forced me to look seriously at down and fluffy things to wear. Here are a few things from Lululemon that I’ve loved. These seem so highly functional–with little touches like sleeves that cover my hands–and stretch just where I want it.

The Define Jackets has been awesome for layering. It’s thin enough to wear under a down jacket or vest. The waist is super flattering, too. I have it in Black and Coco Pique.

LW4F85S_9692_2The Fluffed Up Jacket has been a great addition for temperatures that run into the low ’40’s. With a Define under it, I can get down to the low 30’s and stay plenty warm.  I love the flattering fit.  I have it in Stained Glass, below.

LW4F51S_016213_1Although I’m sure it’s overkill, I picked up a Fluffed Up Jacket as well (in black). I love layering the Fluffed Up jacket with the Define underneath.

LW4E59S_0001_5Liz and I both fell in love with Lululemon’s Vestigan, and its now been reduced to $64. Liz likes the light heathered grey, and I like the heathered black.

LW4E32S_8650_1Very few people will love the Cardi All Day, but this smooth merino wool wrap feels like heaven to me (it feels like a robe). I must warn you that the extra small/small size is plenty big for nearly everyone. The medium large is so huge. I got this in Inkwell.

LW4G74S_0023_3Although I’ve spent some coin at The North Face for my under 30-degree needs, I have to say that my Lululemon items have been amazing. I like feeling comfortable as I run to and from the gym, and even running errands. For those looking for more makeup inspiration, thank you for indulging in my newest “avoiding frostbite while still looking good obsession.”

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

Please follow us on....

Nov 252014

Continually updated…

NARS has a 20% off sale from November 28th through December 2nd.
Give & Take Event! Exclusive 20% Off - Give in. Take more. Shop It. Ends December 2nd.


Starlight Limited Edition

The Christian Louboutin Starlight nail polish is up for sale on Neiman Marcus priced at $675. In addition to the Scent Event Clutch (free with $100 purchase of fragrance or cosmetics), Neiman’s also has some intriguing Guerlain candles and French Kiss Eau de Parfum (” a glossy floral that celebrates the French art of kissing with a sexy rose, litchi and raspberry accord”):



Marc Jacobs will be featuring some exclusive items for #BlacquerFriday (the link is not live with product yet but will be):

Shop the Marc Jacobs Beauty #BLACQUERFRIDAY Sets! Exclusively available online for a limited time only. Don’t forget to pick up the Holiday Sky Linder Eyeliner Set–you won’t regret it!

Marc Jacobs Pencil Liner Set7
Missha, the BB Cream masters, have a 40% off sale right now.

Becca has a 20% off sale for orders over $50 with the code GOLD20. It might be time to try those shimmering skin perfectors if you haven’t already.



Also, I’m still loving the soufflé blushes that I got last summer. They had a beautiful, non-sparkling glow.

Becca Tint Shimmer Souffle6

Becca 2

Also, Laura Mercier is having a 25% and free ship discount through 11/30/14 with $100 minimum purchase (no code needed).


Lenore Greyl is giving away a free Huile de Magnolia (value $57) with any $75 purchase (use code VIP). This offer is valid until Friday November 28th at Midnight.  This hair oil is perhaps Lenore Greyl’s premium, flagship product and so this is a very generous offer.23b0cb6b-c28a-46f2-997e-af396038c8e4

Chantecaille is giving away a yummy Macaron palette with the promo code HLDYSWEETS14 with a $125 purchase from November 26 through 30th (while supplies last).


On Black Friday November 28th, Make Up For Ever Boutiques will have the following products on deep discount


MAKE UP FOR EVER Aqua Shadow: 2 for $10- all colors
MAKE UP FOR EVER Aqua Eyes Lagoon Green: 2 for $10
MAKE UP FOR EVER Aqua Liner, Sepia Collection: 2 for $10
MAKE UP FOR EVER Make Up Artist Picks Set: was $300, new price $150
MAKE UP FOR EVER Artisan Brush Set: was $65, new price $34
MAKE UP FOR EVER Aqua Shadow Kits: was $38, new price $19
MAKE UP FOR EVER Extravagant Eyes on the Go Set: was $18, new price $9

Additionally, on Black Friday MAKE UP FOR EVER will be launching the “Get Glossy” kit exclusively in Sephora stores, featuring Lab Shine Lip Gloss in shades #D14 & #D16 for $10 (the glosses retail separately for $19 each). For readers, I am waiting for the PR to send me some images–if/when they arrive I’ll post them here.


On Tom Ford’s Black Friday radar are fifty (50) new colors released under the Lips & Boys collection.  These are said to be “mini” in size and sell for $30 each. They can be previewed here.

lips and boys tom ford

Starting on Tuesday, November 25th, Kate Sommerville has a 25% off friends and family sale through December 1st with code FRIENDS2014.
Kate Somerville Friends and Family Event

I’ll update as more information comes in that I think will be interesting to you.

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

Please follow us on....

Nov 202014

Armani Friends and FamilyGird your loins!  It’s the Giorgio Armani Friends and Family Sale, which is 20% on all orders over $75 through December 7, 2014. In my mind, Giorgio Armani is one of those lines that always has my back. When I’m heading for a challenging day, or making an important first impression, Armani is absolutely a go-to line. It’s products are beautifully formulated, long-lasting, and enhance my natural features. I cannot resist calling this sale to your attention, as well as listing a few of my favorites. The sale code is FAMILY14.

Armani Light master primer

The Giorgio Armani Light Master Primer ($57) is one of those products that has to be seen to be believed. I tried this one day, bought it immediately, and never looked back. It gives my skin a noticeable luminosity when worn under makeup, and it increases my foundation wear time exponentially. The effect is noticeable but not obvious. If you want to look like someone turned a light on under your skin, without any noticeable shimmer or glitter, this one will become a staple. This gives a little “something something” that makes all the difference.

Armani Lumious Silk Foundation Seriously worth the praise, Armani Luminous Silk Foundation ($62) looks amazing when applied. This is a gold-standard, the one to beat. It photographs beautifully, the texture is sublime, and it lasts beautifully in all kinds of challenging conditions. This is my third bottle, but that’s because I returned one and then gave another one away because I did not understand this foundation on my first two attempts. This is truly a foundation that professionals love, but of course professionals know how to work with foundation and I did not. First off, this foundation must be fully removed at the end of the day with an oil cleanser. Second, this looks best applied with a foundation brush. This is one of the only foundations on the market that can be anywhere from light to full coverage, because it’s miraculously buildable. The brush makes coverage controllable, so I can cover my problem areas with a few more brushstrokes, and leave other areas with with the lightest coverage possible.

Armani Liquid Summer3

I am still using the Giorgio Armani Maestro Bronzer ($64) every day. To be honest, part of the reason for this is much of my makeup is still in storage as my new (well, new to me) home is being torn up and renovated, and this is the bronzer that I chose to be in my temporary sized-down working stash. As it turns out, it was a smart choice. This melds to foundation (or directly on skin) and looks completely natural. The Maestro texture is undetectable, and the color is layerable and controllable because of this texture. Completely awesome, and an ideal winter (and summer) bronzer.

Armani Liquid Summer2

I’ve been wearing the Armani Eye & Brow Maestro ($34) in my brows for the past several weeks, and find that the color and texture work well. It has texture that looks natural all day, and can be used to hold the brow in place (as well as swept across lids as a matte eyeshadow). I was matched at a counter to #6 (Medium Blonde) which is a good match. Although I prefer the convenience of a brow mascara (like the NARS one, which has good grey-toned choices), Armani’s is an excellent, excellent choice.

Armani Eye & Brow Maestro I might pick up Armani’s brow brush as part of the sale. Then again, I might not. One trick I’ve learned that if I use the MAC brow brush in the photograph, above, I need to brush through the brows again with a clean spoolie to even out my application. So I’ve switched to the Nars Brow Defining Brush #48 ($26), pictured below:

Nars 48a Brow Defining Brush

Seriously, I don’t know why the NARS brow brush works better than any others I’ve tried. Get it. It’s a great brow brush. The Armani Palette Clutch ($100), has caught my eye because, oh my, just look at it.

armani clutch

I am also planning to pick up another color from the Armani Luminessence CC Cream ($50). I was counter-matched to #4, but now that I’m living in an East Coast winter wonderland, the time has come to switch to #2. My paleness (and a few go’s with Makeup Artist’s Choice Fade Peel) have made this any easy decision.

Armani CC Cream13

Also, this seems like the perfect time to try more colors from Armani’s Lipstick and Gloss lines. A little Rouge D’Armani? Why yes! As you likely know, Armani products are beautiful, flattering, and some give your lips that little extra “Armani something” that looks so beautiful.

Rouge D'ArmaniI wanted to try some of the Armani Ecstacy CC line, but I found that the colors from the Rouge D’Armani line seemed to work better for me. I already own #102 and #103, now is the time to branch out. I also want to play with Armani Lip Maestro collection–as a reminder, her is #400 Lip Maestro on Liz (an epic color!)

Armani Maestro Lip11a

The Armani Fluid Sheers are heavenly, in case you haven’t tried them. I love all of the ones that I have–these are sophisticated highlighting at its best.

GA Fluid Sheer Bottles02a

There are a few more in the range that I need, so this looks like the right time to pick them up.

GA Fluid Sheer Swatches2a

Hopefully this gives you a good starting point for the Giorgio Armani Friends and Family sale–do not forget to use the FAMILY14 code!

This post contains affiliate links (for more information, see About Cafe Makeup). The NARS brush was provided to Cafe Makeup without charge for consideration for review, and has since become a beloved part of my everyday routine.

Please follow us on....

Nov 142014

Life’s been over busy lately (I’m sure many of you are too!)  Just a few thoughts on this chilly Friday evening….

Starlight Limited EditionMajor “ooooohs” and “aaaahhhhhs” for this limited edition Christian Louboutin Beauté item called Starlight. This nail polish is covered in 1,500 two-tone Strass crystals applied by hand. This is sold encased in a velvet soft black insert in a box with a black lacquered finish, showcasing a red reveal. Two leather and Strass flowers borrowed from Fall/Winter 14 shoe Pensamoi rest delicately as a decorative accent on the box cover. This will be sold worldwide in a limited quantity, at select Christian Louboutin boutiques, Christian Louboutin sites, through a limited distribution at certain retail partners. This looks so luxurious!

e49bc31f8195fe95b8687f7fc46eae82532713a9-p-kinhaku-gold-leaf-hospitality-set-gpHave you seen Tatcha’s holiday sets? They are up for sale and well worth a look.

Finally, here’s a peek at the progress of the makeup room–it’s nice to see things progressing from the blueprint into three dimensions. I realize this looks quite humble at the moment, but given that I’m typically applying my makeup balanced on one knee most mornings, it looks like heaven to me!

future makeup room
Have a lovely evening!


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

Please follow us on....

Nov 062014

Today begins the Sephora 20% off sale for VIB customers with the code GIFTVIB, and for Rouge VIB customers with the code GIFTROUGE. Here’s some suggestions to get you thinking….

I can’t think of a better time to test out Christian Louboutin nail polish for yourself. Can you?

Rouge Louboutin02

Have you invested in a premium bronzer? This 20% off discount gives you the perfect excuse to indulge in something Guerlain….

Guerlain Four Seasons Bronzers2

Seriously, this Marc Jacobs eyeliner set becomes a steal with the discount… don’t miss out!

Marc Jacobs Pencil Liner Set7

I typically stock up on hair and skin care during this 20% off event.  Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Peel Formula pads are an awesome buy for a lovely glow that wakes up tired winter skin. Come February, when you are wishing for a lovely glow, you’ll thank me (I promise!).

Dr Gross Alpha Beta Peel7

Hair tools are another good buy, like this T3 curler that has captured my heart… I’m also dreaming about this Drybar Big Hair, Don’t Care Holiday set with the Buttercup dryer.

T3 Roller08 

In addition to all the fabulous holiday sets, don’t forget to stock up on nail care items as well. My favorites are the Guerlain Gel polishes (including the rich and glossy topcoat).

France Saturday 03

Guerlain Vega Nail Polish

Guerlain Vega Nail Polish

One more item that I’ve fallen in love with this the Nars Digital World set–so many awesome lip pencils–this one is all sorts of awesome.

Nars Holiday Pencil Set09 copy

And don’t forget to check out this Nars Virtual Domination Holiday Blush palette….

Screen Shot 2014-11-06 at 5.18.29 PM

Happy Sephora VIB’ing!!

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



Please follow us on....