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:

Louboutin Red Swatches5

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.

Louboutin Red Swatches4

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

Rouge Louboutin15

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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Apr 152014
 

packing08

I feel as though this post should come with a warning label. Something like, “Caution–the images you are about to see may be disturbing.” Yet I thought it useful to detail at least the first half of my experience moving my beauty products across the U.S. to a new home. I thought it would be useful in case anyone on the Internet, ever, has to undergo similar project.  After years of blogging, I’ve come to realize that I’m not the only person who truly loves makeup and have accumulated (ahem) more than a few items. By the end of April, I’ll be moving out of one home, into a transitional home, and then finally landing on the opposite coast sometime during the summer. As a practical matter, I’ve got to figure out how to make this move while packing several boxes of perfumes, skin care, and fragile beauty items.

packing14

 This is my first try with anything like this–these items will be moved and stored until our new home is ready. Whether this project is successful cannot be known until later this year. In less than two weeks, I will be saying goodbye to most of my beauty stash until at least July, and possibly later. I wish it a pleasant and safe trip.

packing1

To start, I accumulated numerous the following tools:

  • small packing boxes
  • large and small scissors
  • rolls of bubble wrap in large/small sizes
  • contractor paper for stuffing (to keep everything from moving)
  • Scotch tape
  • packing tape to close the boxes
  • rubber bands for bundling similarly-sized items together
  • a Sharpie to mark the boxes

Perhaps most importantly, I had the help of Sandra the Organized. She arrived at my home at 8:30 a.m., and didn’t leave until 4:00 p.m.  She swears she took a break, but I didn’t see one. There was a lot to do.

packing03

Boxed powder items were bundled together in bubble wrap, and then secured with tape or rubber bands. Then, the bundles were packed into cardboard boxes that were lined with more bubble wrap.

packing06

Spaces were filled in with the contractor paper, or the large-sized bubble wrap, then taped shut.

packing07

Non-fragile items, like pencils and lip glosses (boxed and unboxed), were put into bundles with rubber bands. Again, these were put into boxes lined with bubble wrap.

packing12

Round, unboxed items were stacked into bubble wrapped into tube shapes. This was really helpful for unboxed nail polish, because we didn’t want the glass to hit against each other.

packing15

Another example of some unboxed items:

packing13

By far, the most difficult thing was to sort what should stay, and what should go. I’ll post again in a few days to show you how I’ll be transporting them items that I’m keeping throughout the next few months.

packing09

As I said earlier in the post, I’m not sure that I’m doing this correctly or whether there are better ways to tackle this project. My goal is simply to show you my own way and then follow through to see whether this was successful.  If you have thoughts, please feel free to include them in the comments.

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Apr 132014
 

Boots No 7 Lift & Luminze

I was sent pres samples of the Boots Lift & Luminate Day & Night Serum (available at Target/Boots for $24.99 for both). As you might already know, Boots skincare has a history of challenging the luxury incumbents.For some of this history, take a look at this article from the Daily Mail UK: “The £19 anti-wrinkle cream set to cause a stampede at Boots after scientists claim it DOES actually work.” When I got an email that Boots was at it again, I agreed to test the product.

Boots Lift & Luminate9

This is an anti-aging duo meant to address wrinkles, lack of firmness, and uneven skin tone. They day serum is designed to brighten, smooth, and firm. The night serum exfoliates.

Boots Lift & Luminate8

I found that these lightweight, pleasant and non-irritating. Although I didn’t notice any immediate effect, after two weeks, my skin started looking brighter, more even-toned, and smoother. For this price point, this is an impressive product.

Boots Lift & Luminate 3

Although waiting for visible results takes patience, I was happy to see that this duo delivers. It’s nice to see an effective product at a good price point.

Ingredients:

Day serum: aqua (water, eau), cyclopentasiloxane, glycerin, dimethicone crosspolymer, butylene glycol, isononyl isononanoate, C12-15 alkyl benzoate, actinidia chinensis (Kiwi) fruit water, octyldodecanol, acrylamide/ammonium acrylate copolymer, sodium ascorbyl phosphate, dipalmitoyl hydroxyproline, silica, polyisobutene, PEG-30 dipolyhydroxystearate, octyldodecyl xyloside, phenoxyethanol, alcohol, retinyl palmitate, parfum (fragrance), polysorbate 20, methylparaben, sorbitan isostearate, propylene glycol, ethylparaben, tetrasodium EDTA, lupinus albus seed extract, carbomer, sophora angustifolia root extract,panax ginseng root extract, ascorbic acid, dipropylene glycol, morus alba leaf extract, tocopherol, ethylexylglycerin, palmitoyl oligopeptide, palmytol tetrapeptide-7, CI77891 (titanium dioxide), CI 77491 (iron oxides)

Night serum: aqua (water, eau), glycerin, cyclopentasiloxane, butylene glycol, aluminium starch octenylsuccinate, isononyl isononanoate, glyconolactone, dimethicone, amonium acryloyldimethyltaurate,/VP copolymer, dipalmitoyl hydroxyproline, cetearyl alcohol, ascorbyl glucoside, potassium hydroxide, dimethicone crosspolymer, actinidia chinensis (kiwi) fruit water, phenoxyethanol, polysorbate 20, xanthan gum, dimethiconol, retinyl palmitate, parfum (fragrance), alcohol, methylparaben, ethylparaben, tetrasodium EDTA, lupinus albus seed extract, T-butyl alcohol, carbomer, dipropylene glycol, sophora angustifolia root extract, ascorbic acid, tocopherol, ethylhexylglycerin, palmitoyl oligopeptide, palmitoyl tetrapeptide-7

This was sent to Cafe Makeup without charge for consideration for review.

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