Jul 092015
 

NORDSTROM -  Shop Women's Beauty and Fragrance Exclusives
Here are some suggestions to explore at this year’s Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. As you know, Nordstrom cardholders get early access starting now. Prices go up August 9th.

Chanel Travel Makeup Set ($95) I wish that I had this with me today! This set contains all the essentials to create a complete and flawless makeup look. It offers a variety of shade combinations, helping to create different looks that will suit every occasion. The palette is matched with a travel-size Inimitable Mascara in Noir.

chanel setWhile you’re at it, you might want to look at Chanel’s Perle items which have also just arrived at Nordstrom.

chanel perle

Tom Ford Lips & Boys Set ($96).  I had a feeling we hadn’t seen the last of the Boys. This includes the lovely Flynn, Giacomo and Alejandro.

tom ford lips and boys

Guerlain Meteorites for Summer ($62). These will be exclusive to Nordstrom for a bit.

guerlain rainbow

Dior Eye Reviver in Rosy Palette ($62). According to the description box, this is a slightly different set of shades than the neutral brown one that we’ve previously seen.Dior

Yves Saint Laurent is providing early access to some Fall ’15 items here. The Glossy Stain set at $72 looks like a nice choice.

yves 4 yves 3 ves 2

If you don’t already have these Giorgio Armani Beauty Essentials ($72) please treat yourself. I really love their base products, and this looks like a wonderful way to get started. This set includes the Fluid Master Primer (1 oz.), the Fluid Sheer #2 (1 oz.), and a Mini Travel Brush for application of both/either._10874167Butter London The New Neutrals Set ($24):

butter londonThis set includes at a rather attractive price point:

  • Fashion-size Nail Lacquer in Early Grey (0.2 oz.)
  • Fashion-size Nail Lacquer in Yummy Mummy (0.2 oz.)
  • Bloody Brilliant Lip Crayon in Tea with the Queen (0.1 oz.)
  •  Pencil Sharpener

‘Blame it on NARS’ Cheek Palette ($59).

blame it on nars

This palette includes ncludes:

  • Highlighting Blush in Satellite of Love
  • Blush in Day Dream
  • Blush in New Attitude
  • Bronzing Powder in Casino
  • Travel-size Ita Kabuki Brush

Bobbi Brown Secret to Standout Eyes ($85)

bobbi

This set includes an eyeshadow palette with 12 shades: Cream, Champagne Quartz Metallic, Nude Glow Metallic, Moonstar Sparkle, Malted, Oyster Sparkle, Taupe Stonewash Shimmer Wash, Mica Shimmer Wash, Chocolate Caviar, Chocolate Bronze Sparkle, and Rich Navy.

Also, there is a Smokey Eye Mascara in Black (I’m assuming this is a mini), Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner in Black Ink (always useful!) and a Mini Ultra Fine Eyeliner Brush.

burberry fresh set

Burberry Nude Glow Set ($78) is a classic addition that can be used daily. This set includes:
– Full-size Fresh Glow Nude Radiance (1 oz.)(yes, full size!)
– Full-size Burberry Kisses Lipstick in Nude Pink (0.12 oz.)
– Full-size Bold Lash Mascara in Black (0.24 oz.)
– My Burberry Fragrance Sample (0.07 oz.)
– Burberry Pouch (looks rather huge and usable)

mac look in a boxIn addition to some lip and brush sets, there are two quiet surprises in the MAC Look in a Box – Sophisticate Face Kit ($49). This little beauty has two former limited edition blushes that sold out rather quickly and became highly sought-after:  Linda and Cream Soda. I’m using up my Linda blush, and although I can’t tell whether the colors in this palette will be identical to the full-sized version, the palette looks like a great one to pick up for travel.  Here’s the full description:

– Powder Blush in Cream Soda (light neutral coral) (0.14 oz.)
– Powder Blush in Linda (peachy tan shimmer) (0.14 oz.)
– Eyeshadow in Hey (nude shimmer) (0.01 oz.)
– Eyeshadow in Sun Tweaked (burnt copper) (0.01 oz.)
– Eyeshadow in Wedge (soft muted beige taupe) (0.01 oz.)
– Eyeshadow in With Flair (0.01 oz.)
– Eyeshadow in limited-edition Beautifully Charred (deep brown with pearl) (0.01 oz.)
– Eyeshadow in Dance in the Dark (deep blackened plum) (0.01 oz.)
– Lipstick in limited-edition Love Happens (warm light nude) (0.02 oz.)
– Lipstick Pan in True Red (vivid bright coral red) (0.02 oz.)
– 213 Fluff Brush/316 Lip Brush

Don’t forget to pick up your basics as well, including lingerie, the Zella Live-in Leggings, those boots that you’ll be greatful for next February, and a little something something to start your holiday shopping early so it doesn’t seem so intimidating come Thanksgiving.

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This and That…

 Chanel, Giorgio Armani, Lipstick, MAC, Yves Saint Laurent  Comments Off on This and That…
Jun 162015
 

Here is some news for this week…

First of all, Giorgio Armani Beauty is having a 20% Friends and Family sale until June 29, 2015 on orders over $75 (free ship included):
Giorgio Armani Beauty (Loreal USA)

Some of my reach-for items over the past few months have been the Maestro liquid bronzer and the Luminessence CC Cream. I love both of these for summer.

Armani Liquid Summer2

Armani CC Cream13

This is the perfect time to dive head-first into any Fluid Sheers that you’ve been wanting. You say “J Lo glow,” I say “Armani Fluid Sheers.” I’m very tempted to use this sale to pick up the ne Continue reading »

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Feb 162015
 

Yves Saint Laurent Nu Palette 1

I wanted to post some pictures of swatches taken of the Yves Saint Laurent Couture Variation Eyeshadow Palette in 1 Nu ($95), a beautiful nude palette with a mix of shimmery and matte shades. This is available at Nordstrom, Yves Saint Laurent, Bloomingdales, Neiman Marcus, and Saks Fifth Avenue.

nu2

Inside is a full-sized mirror and some lovely neutrals.

nu3a

Shade number 1 is nearly nude on my skintone. The rest are a beautiful mix of peaches, rose, marsala, taupe and brown.

YSL Nu palettte swatches1

Swatches in sun:

YSL Nu palettte swatches5

In open shade with flash:YSL Nu palettte swatches3

A mix of sun and flash:YSL Nu palettte swatches4 copyThe shadows behave and blend well. So far, so good!

These are still available at Nordstrom, Yves Saint Laurent, Bloomingdales, Neiman Marcus, and Saks Fifth Avenue.

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Feb 142015
 

A quick update:  It’s days like this when it makes me very happy to have started a blog back in . . . oh, my gosh…2009!  Has it been that long? With all of the transitions in my life, this blog (and you!) have been there.  It’s so wonderful to be able to send some thoughts–however incomplete, imperfect, and informal..and send them out into the world. It makes me genuinely happy. 

My house transition–while not complete–is progressing. The makeup room is ready for organization. It’s been very calming to unpack and organize my palettes, blushes, and lipsticks.  Although it’s not photographically pretty (yet), it’s been good to get things organized again with plenty of space. It’s sort of a symbol of a lot of things falling into place in my off-blog life as well.

makeup roomIn other news, I have to give MAC credit for releasing some adorable packaging with the MAC Toledo collection. These queenly-white items are based on the love story of an artist couple, and hit all the right “modern royalty” notes with me.  The stars of the collection in my mind are the lipsticks and glosses, which is no surprise as MAC seems to excel in those departments. I chose Oxblood and Opera lipsticks, Opera lipgloss, and Kindergarten Red blush.

MAC Toledo Oxblood

 

The packaging has a rubberized-Nars-like texture, which feel very cushy to hold. Sure, they’ll attract fingerprints, but they look adorable. There are some items still available at Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, and Macys.

Yves Saint Laurent Nu Palette 1

My Yves Saint Laurent Nu palette arrived. I know, I owe you swatches.  For now, enjoy these! This is a very “le smoking” themed-design.

YSL Nu Palette 2

And inside, these neutral lovelies:

YSL Nu palette1These are still available at Nordstrom, Yves Saint Laurent, Bloomingdales, Neiman Marcus, and Saks Fifth Avenue. I don’t see this at Sephora, unfortunately.

Shu palette

Is there an epic battle of neutral palettes going on, or what? Shu Uemura’s 16 Shades of Nude palette is now online for sale. Here are some “in real life” pictures on Rouge Deluxe. I just noticed this is now for sale on Shu Uemura’s website. There’s a 15% off code now SHEEP (through 2/20/15).

I hope you are having a lovely weekend. It’s a balmy 28 degrees outside right now-just kidding! I’m going for my second cup of something warm.

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Aug 212014
 

YSL Skin Tatoo1For some reason, over the past year I’ve been really clicking with Yves Saint Laurent Beauty in a way that hasn’t happened before. Encouraged by my love of their new Couture Eyeshadow Palettes, I took a chance and tried the new Yves Saint Laurent Fusion Ink Foundation ($60/ 0.84 oz.). This is currently available at Yves Saint Laurent onlineNordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdales, and Sephora.

YSL Skin Tatoo2According to the line:

24 hours of soft-matte perfection and comfort. Our exclusive fine-as-ink formula perfects the skin yet wears weightlessly all day. Never cakey or heavy. Feel the difference of all day perfection and freedom. SPF 18. Available in 21 shades.

Here is an interview with Lloyd Simmonds, the Creative Director of Yves Saint Laurent Beaute, which states that the formula was developed to be both long-wearing and lightweight, so that it appears to adhere to the skin without looking cakey. According to Simmonds, “It’s the perfect foundation for fashion shows because even four hours after application, it’s still there by the time the models hit the runway.”  I had to smile a bit when I read that. I really do need a foundation that lasts more than four hours. Although I loved the look of YSL Tient Touche Eclat, I could not get all-day wear from that foundation on my combination skin. Thankfully, YSL Fusion Ink really does deliver on longevity (more on that later).

YSL Skin Tatoo21

I tried Yves Saint Laurent Fusion Ink in BD 15 (Warm Buff) for the past week plus, which is an excellent match for my NC15/Chanel Ivoire/ Nars Deauville skintone. This is roughly where I am in all foundation shades–warm, fair. The serum feels light a very light oil going on, a bit like Giorgio Armani’s Maestro Foundation.  YSL’s Fusion Ink is very pigment rich–a light first pass all over my face gives me roughly medium coverage. I find this very layerable.  Because you do not need much product to get good coverage, a second layer (or third, in places) doesn’t seem to give any textural build-up. There’s a light scent that fades quickly (ah, the French! They do love the scents!) For me, coverage is nearly full on a second layer.  Still, it doesn’t look as “masky” as some foundations do at that level of coverage.

YSL Skin Tatoo5

The texture takes a while to dry down, I give it a good two or three minutes before I apply any powder products. While it’s setting, I often add a liquid bronzer like Giorgio Armani’s Liquid Summer (other nice ones include Perricone MD’s No Bronzer Bronzer and MAC Prep & Prime BB Cream (in Amber)). It’s nice to add some alight bronze for summer.

YSL Skin Tatoo6

 YSL Fusion Ink is rated at SPF 18, but one does not use much of this product, so a separate sunscreen is necessary. There is no pump for this serum-textured foundation. Instead, there’s an applicator that looks like the YSL lip applicators (or a super-stylized bubble blower, whichever you prefer). I sweep this over my cheeks, forehead, and dab it on my chin before using my fingers to spread the product.

YSL Skin Tatoo3So, this dries down to a velvet finish. It’s beautiful. It doesn’t need a setting powder. Adding one didn’t seem to increase it’s already day-long longevity. YSL Fusion Ink takes highlighters well if you want to add. There’s shocking longevity here, even though I get caught in occasional muggy 90-degree heat, the foundation doesn’t break apart, disappear, fade, or shift like the tectonic plates (as some foundations seem to do). After a day that starts at 4 am and ends at midnight, going in and out of heat and air conditioning, it really does look amazing at the end. My forehead is only ever-so-slightly dewier in the evening, but much less so compared to most foundations.  YSL Fusion Ink is well-named, and does it while feeling lightweight and melding into the skin perfectly. Ingredients:

YSL Tatoo ingredients

The foundation didn’t cause any of my pores to clog, gave me a beautiful all-day finish, and covers any discolorations like mad. The price point is on the mid-to-higher end these days, but it does look expensive, and makes my skin look amazing. It reminds me of Chanel’s new Perfection Lumiere Velvet foundation (but a bit lighter because the YSL is a true serum), and a bit like Giorgio Armani’s Maestro serum with a higher coverage formula. I was concerned that the bottle includes slightly less than the typical 1 ounce of most other lines. However, if you are looking for medium to nearly-full coverage, you’ll get to that level with a small bit of product.

YSL Skin Tatoo22Overall, I was impressed with Yves Saint Laurent’s Fusion Ink. I believe that there’s some innovation at the company right now, and it’s showing as new products are rolling out. This foundation certainly fills a real need for a very long-wearing, medium-to-high coverage formula. Bravo, YSL!

Available at Yves Saint Laurent onlineNordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdales, and Sephora.

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Jul 272014
 

YSL Saharienne and Parisian 5 Couture Eyeshadows01Over the past few months, Yves Saint Laurent has been quietly reinventing several beauty items, including these Yves Saint Laurent Couture 5-Color Eyeshadow Palettes ($60 each). After falling in love with the Yves Saint Laurent Fetiche palette reviewed here, I’ve also found time to play with these two new additions. These are available at Nordstrom.com, Bloomingdales, Saks Fifth Avenue, Net-a-Porter and Yves Saint Laurent online.

YSL Saharienne1

I’ve never bought Yves Saint Laurent eyeshadow palettes with any regularity in the past. I believe this new formulation is worth a look. These are lovely, easy to use palettes which apply really easily with a tapered crease brush. I purchased YSL Saharienne #4 because I loved the beautiful, natural look that it gives with a touch of pearl. I never feel the need to wear all five colors at one. Either the top left peach, or the bottom taupe is a nice lid color, and eiher the middle and bottom right shades make lovely crease and liner shades. The top right pearl is a lovely brow bone and inner corner highlighter. Swatches:


YSL Saharienne and Parisian 5 Couture Eyeshadows07a

Here is YSL Saharienne #4 on Liz:

YSL Couture eyeshadow

Yves Saint Laurent Parisienne #7 is a pearly everyday palette that is based on cranberries and that beautiful taupe that is on the upper left.

YSL Saharienne and Parisian 5 Couture Eyeshadows02Swatches:

YSL Saharienne and Parisian 5 Couture Eyeshadows11a


Here is YSL Parisienne on Liz:

YSL Parisienne 2Here, she’s also wearing the Nars Dual Intensity Eyeshadow in Sycorax ($29) applied wet with Nars Angled Eyeliner Brush#27 ($28) I found this video helpful to understand more about Yves Saint Laurent’s Couture line:

Overall, I found the Yves Saint Laurent Couture palettes a step in the right direction for the line. These are lovely, very easy to use, and are nice everyday go-to’s for a professional, polished look that can be amped up for a more glamourous look. The pigmentation was lovely–not super pigmented, but layerable and controllable. These two have beautiful, pearly texture that is still appropriate for day and can be worn on a wide age range. Overall, these are well worth a look.

These are available at Nordstrom.com, Bloomingdales, Saks Fifth Avenue, Net-a-Porter and Yves Saint Laurent online.

This post contains affiliate links (for more information, see About Cafe Makeup) The Nars items mentioned in this review were sent to Cafe Makeup without charge for consideration for review.

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Jul 202014
 

YSL Leather Fetiche eyeshadow quad1It seems that every Fall, there are a handful of items that insiders identify quickly as the must-haves of the season. These have extraordinary quality, universal appeal, and are typically limited edition. Yves Saint Laurent’s Couture Leather Fetiche (Leather Fetish) 5-color eyeshadow palette ($60) is one of those items for Fall 2014. As I write this, the palette is available at Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, Yves Saint Laurent online, and Neiman Marcus. I had ordered mine from  Saks Fifth Avenue, but it appears to have sold out there. I’m sounding the beauty alarm on this one–do not wait.

YSL Leather Fetiche eyeshadow quad2 I had just cued up some pictures of Yves Saint Laurent’s new couture line of eyeshadow palettes when this one arrived. Given the ephemeral nature of limited edition products, I’m moving this one earlier. To summarize that review (which will appear later), YSL has appeared to have decided to amp up the quality of nearly everything. Good for us all–innovation in the beauty space seems have moved over the past few years from new formulations of lipsticks, mascaras, foundations (this is still very much happening), and now I am seeing a wave of reformulated eyeshadows that is truly extraordinary. This YSL Couture Leather Fetiche is a “best in class” for that category.

YSL Leather Fetiche eyeshadow quad5

The design evokes YSL’s fashion inspiration drawn from Piet Mondrian.

YSL Leather Fetiche eyeshadow quad a1

 

 

Close-up:

Yves Saint Laurent YSL Leather Fetiches

 

Every shade here is a winner–buttery, pigmented, blendable, gorgeous. The highlight and carmel shade on the right are extremely flattering shades. The deeper browns work beautifully worked into the lashline or smudged into the crease. The blue is an extraordinary and rare shade (echoed in this leather-textured Bleu Galuchat nail polish) that is inky, edgy and interesting (and also draws the palette into the universal “works on cool skin tones too” territory).

YSL Leather Fetiche eyeshadowOne more swatch set.

YSL Leather Fetiche PaletteOverall, the Yves Saint Laurent Leather Fetiche palette is one of the must-haves of the upcoming Fall ’14 season. The palette is available at Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, Yves Saint Laurent online, and Neiman Marcus. I had ordered mine from  Saks Fifth Avenue, but it appears to have sold out there. If it sells out soon, I’m very sorry!

piet_mondrian

Yves Saint Laurent’s 1965 Mondrian-inspired dresses (1965)

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Jun 192014
 

armani

Use code FAMILY14 for 20% off at Giorgio Armani Beauty until the end of June.  Some things to consider include the Giorgio Armani Luminessence CC Cream (wearing this today, reviewed here).

Armani CC Cream09

Also loving the Giorgio Armani Liquid Summer Bronzer (reviewed here). This is genius for a neutral, blendable, layerable look. It makes my skin looks so much better than it really is, by some Armani magic.

Armani Liquid Summer2

The Armani Fluid Sheers are amazing for a perfect glow (swatches here):

GA Fluid Sheer Swatches2a

I haven’t reviewed them yet, but I’ve been loving the Armani Light Master Primer–it gives me a porcelain-textured finish and a perfect sheen when wearing the product with my Armani Luminous Silk Foundation.  It’s like a secret weapon for youthful, perfected skin.

Screen Shot 2014-06-19 at 6.40.01 AM

Another stock-up-worthy staple is the Armani Maestro Eraser Concealer. I like to use this under my eyes over a corrector. The very very very thin layer of product adds only a minimal amount of product there, so the area doesn’t look heavy or cakey. It can be used on the rest of the face as well.

Armani Concealer23

Happy Armani shopping!! P.S. Yves Saint Laurent Beauty also has 20% off right now with the same code FAMILY14.

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Mar 122013
 

YSL 51

Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Volupté Shine Lipsticks ($34 each) have been my obsession lately. After all of the sheer lipsticks released last year, I was prepared to pass these by. Despite this, I found myself playing with these at a Sephora. The colors were just beautiful. I liked the shine and the stain that they leave behind.

YSL 203

The YSL Rouge Volupte Shines come in a protective cover, given that these bullets are very soft. The casing is deeply engraved, heavy, and luxurious. The casing is banded with the color inside. 

YSL 201

Yves Saint Laurent Pourpre Intouchable (#2) is a deep berry shimmer.

YSL 202

I love deep, vampy colors but some are intimidated to wear them. Having the option in a sheer formula is well brings this color into everyone’s comfort zone. Pourpre Intouchable is the only one of the three I purchased with shimmer.

YSL 207

Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Volupte Shines apply with a gorgeous shine, which makes my lips look moisturized and very smooth. Really, this effect is the reason that I’m loving this line of lipsticks. The shine last about the same amount of time as Burberry’s Lip Mists (on me, about an hour, although things don’t tend to last on me very long typically), and the stain persists for quite a long time. 

YSL 208a

As you can see, YSL Pourpre Intouchable sheers out nicely. In contrast, Yves Saint Laurent Rouge in Danger (#4) is a sheer pretty red.

YSL 41

Rouge is Danger has no shimmer and applies as a sheer red. Again, those who are looking for a very moisturizing, light color for Spring, or dislike a pure red cream, are in for a treat.

YSL 42

I find myself wearing this with everything. It’s a fun way to add a touch of color without going into a full formal red.

YSL 43

YSL Rouge in Danger on Liz, which is a perfect sheer:

YSL 4a1

Finally, I am trying Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Volupte Shine in Fuchsia In Excess, which might be a Sephora Exclusive. As the name suggests, this is a luminous deep fuchsia that looks fabulous with cool tones or a simple white shirt.

YSL 53a

As with many fuchsias, this color has a blue undertone although it looks mostly red in the tube.

YSL 55

YSL Fuchsia in Excess on Liz:

YSL 5a4a

Here are swatches of all of the Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Volupte Shines tested here. On the left, I added Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in Bonheur which I think is the most similar to Rouge Volupte Shine Pourpre Intouchable. On the right, I swatched a nice red cream (here, Chanel Rouge Coco in Gabrielle), so that you can compare the texture of these YSL sheers with a standard cream lipstick:

YSL Rouge Volupte Shine Swatches 2

Overall, I’m finding these lipsticks quite addictive. I have just one more on order, but I find these three to be a good range (a deep cool berry, a good sheer red, and a statement fuchsia) that is carrying me into Spring.  Love the shine, love the color (but don’t love the grapefruit taste and scent, which both fade after a few minutes of wear).  Two thumbs up!

These are available at Nordstrom with free shipping and Fuchsia in Excess is exclusive to Sephora (free shipping w/$50 minimum).

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Dec 182010
 

This year’s Holiday makeup has been all about shimmer, shine and metal.  Several collections were quite large, offering something for literally almost everyone.  Others were narrow and theme-focused.  After living with some of my choices for a few months, I thought it would be fun to review some of this season’s favorites.

First, Geurlain Perles D’Or Metorites, reviewed here.  A surprise hit for me, I’ve used them more than I could have imagined, and will continue to do so.  No coverage, just a beautiful, glowing finish when used as an overall powder.  True love.

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