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.

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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)

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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)



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Oct 092014

By terryMy friend at The Black Panties sent me the above preview picture of some upcoming items from the French genius brand By Terry.  Starting at the top left, there is:

  • The new Terribly Densiliss Primer, which is said to be fantastic.
  • On the top right are new Terrybly Densiliss Concealers ($69), which are said to have a matte finish and great coverage. The product has incorporates a corrective serum for anti-aging benefits.
  • The bottom left has a variety of shades of the Terrybly Densiliss Compact pressed powders ($95). These are said to have anti-age, soft focus, and mattifying properties.
  • …and finally, on the bottom right, new blushes!!!  Left to right, the numbers on the top row are numbers 6, 1, and 4. On the bottom row (left to right) are numbers 2, 3 and 5.

Looks pretty exciting!  What do you think? If you are interested in learning more, you can call Alex at Barneys New York at (212) 833-2725.

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Oct 042014

Nars Anarampura1NARS reformulated nail polish includes three metallic shades:  the rose gold Pastorale, gold Milos and Amarapura ($20). As with the other polishes released since Summer 2014, these have the wider, easy to use brush and longer lasting formula. These colors are available at Nars online, Nordstrom, Barneys New York, Bloomingdales, Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus and Sephora.

Nars metallics1

NARS Pastorale is a rose gold.
Nars Pastorale bottle2


On nails:Nars Pastorale swatch2 Milos is a rich, warm gold with subtle sparkle:

Nars milos bottle1

On nails:

Nars Milos metallic swatch1Amarapura is a silver with subtle holographic shimmer.

Nars Anarampura3 copyOn nails:

Nars Anarampura swatch3

All colors described here are opaque in one coat, but the texture benefits from a second coat. The formula is smooth, easily to apply, and highly controllable with the wide, flat brush that is included. The colors are complex, edgy and gorgeous. A well-done group of consistent, well-formulated metallics.

These colors are available at Nars online, Nordstrom, Barneys New York, Bloomingdales, Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus and Sephora.


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

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Sep 242014


As if life isn’t busy enough, I’m working on adding an addition on my new home.  The original home was designed in the 1930’s, so I thought integrating some custom storage for makeup is a nice upgrade. I wanted to share some pictures to get your suggestions. These are mock-ups for the storage space that I’m considering (two sides of the longer walls, the shorter wall just has more counter space (I believe).


As you can see, there is drawer-space galore, and cabinets for larger items above.There’s a nice window so that I can take Cafe Makeup pictures when the lighting permits. We’re about to commit to this design, so if you have any creative ideas we’d love to hear them!



Any thoughts are appreciated!


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More Beauty from SS ’15 Fashion Week

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Sep 132014

Here are a few more things that caught my eye at New York and London Fashion Week SS ’15

sibling 2

Via @MAC_Caroline_D–new MAC Trend Forecast eye palette, 43 & 35 lashes, MAC Red Lipmix/Clear Lipglass mixture at Sibling.


At Proenza Schouler, MAC Eye Gloss (Pro) was used on a nude matte face:

proenza 3

proenza 1
proenza 2

Over in make-up, Tom Pecheux decided to give the brows an element of play using Mac Cream Eye Shadows with a dash of powder eye shadow in a matching colour,

browsA similar vibe at Badgley Mischka…


At Michael Kors, featuring his own bronzer.

kors MAC at Zac Posen.


zac 3

….and a MAC video previewing some of their upcoming products.


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Sep 092014

090914-FWN-RODARTE1-superJumboEveryone is talking about the jewelry-pierced brows at Rodarte SS ’15, but here we’ll focus on the makeup. James Kaliardos for NARS Cosmetics created the look, “inspired by the idea of a beautiful, fresh face – youthful and vibrant.”


The key products used were:

NARSSkin Luminous Moisture Cream
NARSSkin Total Replenishing Eye Cream
Radiant Cream Compact Foundation
Radiant Creamy Concealer
Pressed Powder

St-Paul-De-Vence Duo Eyeshadow (NEW for Spring 2015; for now try Orgasm Multiple and the right side of Kuala Lumpur Duo Eyeshadow layered with the left side of Isolde Duo Eyeshadow)

Right side of St-Paul-De-Vence Duo Eyeshadow (NEW for Spring 2015; for now try the right side of Kuala Lumpur Duo Eyeshadow layered with the left side of Isolde Duo Eyeshadow)
Fervor Dual-Intensity Blush –for darker skin tones— (NEW for Spring 2015; for now try Unlawful and Taos Blush)
Left side of Jubilation Dual-Intensity Blush (NEW for Spring 2015; for now Albatross Blush)
Larger Than Life® Lengthening Mascara
Rue Bonaparte Larger Than Life® Long-Wear Eyeliner

Barbara Audacious Lipstick
Vanessa Audacious Lipstick –for darker skin tones



Screen Shot 2014-09-09 at 10.31.23 PMThis post contains affiliate links (for more information, see About Cafe Makeup)


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NYFW: NARS at 3.1 Phillip Lim SS ’15

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Sep 082014

1q1u_nars31philliplimss15artistinaction_1This one is too beautiful not to post. NARS created the look for the 3.1 Phillip Lim SS ‘15 runway show. Lead NARS Artist Francelle Daly explained her vision. “There is a lot of see-through transparency and airiness to the collection – I wanted that to come through in the makeup. My inspiration is sensuality; the way the morning light hits you as you wake up in your bedroom, with sensual skin 3. with rays of light. I highlighted the cheek bones, high planes of the face and the bridge of the nose to accentuate and bring out that glow in each girl.”


Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer
Stick Concealer
Light Reflecting Setting Powder – Loose (love this!!)

Reckless Blush (New for Spring 2015; for now try New Order Blush)
Right side of Jubilation Dual-Intensity blush (New for Spring 2015; for now try South Beach Multiple)

Right side of Jubilation Dual-Intensity blush (New for Spring 2015; for now try South Beach Multiple)
Valhalla Single Eyeshadow (New for Spring 2015; for now try Nepal Single Eyeshadow)
Larger Than Life® Lengthening Mascara

Eyebrow Pencil
Brow Gel

Guyane Lip Gloss (New for Spring 2015; for now try Born This Way Lip Gloss)

Zakynthos Nail Polish


1q1u_nars31philliplimss15firstlook This post contains affiliate links (for more information see About Cafe Makeup)

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Sep 072014

MAC at Prabal Gurung (upcoming collaboration collection details are here and here):


Despite the upcoming makeup collaboration with these two lines, it appears that makeup was kept quite minimal and none of the collaboration products were used. According to WWD, the skin was perfected with MAC’s Studio Finish Skin Corrector. After sweeping Sculpting Powder across the cheekbones, forehead, nose and chin, it was applied to the eyelids, blending it out to the temple. Lashes were curled but no mascara was used, and  Clear lip glass was used on lips. prabal-bsb09

Click to play:

Lancome at Jason Wu:


Diane Kendal, working with Lancôme at the show, prepped skin with Absolue L’Extrait Serum Ultimate Rejuvenating Concentrate Elixir and Ultimate Radiance Mist before applying Lancôme’s Nude Miracle Liquid to Powder Makeup. After applying La Base Hydra Glow on the cheekbones, she added a bit of highlighter down the nose and at the top of the cheekbones.


She curled lashes but eschewed mascara, applying Aquatique Waterproof Eyecolour Base in Sienne and Le Crayon Khôl in Black Coffee for a soft smoky eye. She kept lips matte and bare, opting for an application of L’Absolu Rouge in La Base.

_MIC7412Some nails (mostly whites and near-whites so far!). Here is Deborah Lippmann Amazing Grace and Fade to Black at Kate Spade:

DSC_0133-1200x800Jin Soon Choi at Tess Giberson used  JINsoon Power Coat, then two coats of JINsoon Kookie White,  and topped with JINsoon Matte Maker.

DSC_0033-1200x797Jin Soon Choi used Sally Hanson Complete Salon Manicure to dash marks like tribal face paint on nails at Prabal Gurung in Teesta Turquoise; King of Shadows, a peachy orange, and Kashmir Valley, a dusky lavender:




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