Dec 292009
 

Chanel Spring 2010 includes two new single eyeshadows from the Ombre Essentialle line (Ombre à Paupières Mono Douceur).  These are the Soft Touch Eyeshadows in Sillage and Trace ($28.50 each).  Sillage, which means “vapor trail” or “wake,” is a light shimmery highlight color with rosy bronze tones, with a hint of the mauvish tones that infuse the Kaska Beige quad.  Like some of the other shimmer products in this collection, the light makes this color into a chameleon–it can change quite a bit depending on how the light hits it.

Trace is a deep shimmery mauve-brown.  There is not enough grey in the color to call it a taupe, it is truly more in the brown family.  Of course, it will pair nicely with Sillage.  If you prefer a matte color, Chanel’s single in Beige will do well.

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Chanel Spring 2010: Imprévu Joues Contraste Blush

 Blush, Chanel  Comments Off on Chanel Spring 2010: Imprévu Joues Contraste Blush
Dec 282009
 

Chanel’s Spring 2010 collection includes a new blush from the Joues Contraste line, called “Imprévu” ($42).  This line of blushes is one of my favorites.  They have a shimmer and color dimension that defies description.  As you can see from the pictures, this one is a combination of peach, bronze, rose and shimmer.  Imprévu is nicely pigmented, if you are very pale you will want to start out very lightly and then add if needed

Suggestion:   Try a dab of Imprévu in the upper center of the cheeks, without moving the blush brush back toward the ear.

Chanel Imprevu2 copy

Chanel Imprevu3

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Dec 242009
 

Chanel Spring 2010 includes Soleil Tan de Chanel Sheer Illuminating Fluid in Sunkissed (Fluid Enlumineur Effet Irise), a very light toned highlighting liquid that adds luminosity.  Have you ever emerged from the cold winter months, take a close look at your skin and thing, “I need . . . something?”  Many times, an illuminator will do the trick.

This liquid has a soft light-reflecting quality that adds a little glow.  Because it’s a liquid, it does not add any harsh glitter.  Here are some ways to play with the product to get the effect you want:

– Add a bit to the browbone, upper cheek, chin, and a touch above your brows to catch the light.
– Mix some with your regular liquid foundation to add some “glow” to your skin
– Apply directly to the skin, to be worn under your regular foundation.  You can do this in selected areas (upper cheek, bridge of the nose and chin).
– Try a little on your shoulders, or very sheerly on other areas that you’d like to add some glow.

Here are two swatches, below.  One is Soleil Tan de Chanel on my winter-white pale skin.  On the right is a direct flash over a dark powder bronzer.  You can see that the fluid looks very different depending on the light and skin tone.

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Chanel Spring 2010: Particuliere Nail Polish

 Chanel, Nail Polish  Comments Off on Chanel Spring 2010: Particuliere Nail Polish
Dec 232009
 

Look, more places to wear taupe–your nails!  Chanel’s Spring 2010 offering, Particuliere ($23), is not the first to make a beautiful taupe nail polish.  It gives you a rich, taupe cream in one coat.  In the picture below, Particuliere is applied with two coats just to make sure, but it wasn’t really needed.

Here’s a comparison to some other popular taupes on the market:

  • OPI for Sephora Metro Chic (thumb, in picture below):  A touch of mauve sets this taupe cream apart.  Note, however, that Metro Chic requires at least three coats to give you an opaque color.  Dear OPI:  Please add pigment.  I’m juggling some things here and don’t have time.
  • OPI You Don’t Know Jacques (middle finger):  A deeper brown.  Must have two coats with this one, if not three.
  • Orly Country Club Khaki (ring finger, two coats):  A light colored taupe, which is lovely for summer.
  • Zoya Pasha (pinky, two coats but only one is needed):  A shimmery light taupe.

These are applied over CND Stickey base coat, covered with Poshe top coat.

EDIT UPDATE:  More comparison pictures are here.

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Dec 222009
 

Illamasqua Chased ($23 at Sephora) is a lilac pink blush with an enormous pan and nuclear pigmentation.  The blush pan stretches a luxurious 2 x 2 inches across, with plenty of surface for the largest blush brushes.  The pigmentation took me by suprise–you can see in the swatch, below, marked “full intensity”  how it looks applied with a brush with densely-packed bristles.  Up until now, my most pigmented blush was Chanel Joues Contraste in Turbulent, but this award has easily been displaced by Chased.

The first time you apply Chased, you may wish to reach for your Duo Fiber (sometimes called “skunk”) brush for better control.

As you can see, Chased in nearly matte in tone.  You can see the difference in texture by comparing the swatches of Chased to the much more shimmery Chanel Joues Contraste blush in Narcisse to its right.  Of course, if you prefer you can add shimmer by layering a highlighter over Chased.

Illamasqua’s signature packaging looked at little “corner-y” at first.  However, after I purchased Chased, I found that the plastic case is well-machined and does not appear to have any potentially gouging sharpness. In fact, it seemed to fit well into my organization system and the shape makes the blush easy to locate among the others.

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Dec 212009
 

It may be difficult to imagine, during this week of snow and cloud cover, the warm spring days that lie ahead–when we’ll be wearing both bronzer and sunscreen and may want to add some glow to the face.  As always, the beauty industry runs a season ahead and I can imagine that Chanel had these days in mind when it designed the Emprient de Chanel (Chanel Imprint) Poudre Eclat Illuminating Powder (Radiant Glow Highlighting Powder) ($65).

As the name implies, the surface has an imprint of the iconic Chanel logo in gold, surrounded by a multicolored circles which are packed with shimmer.  Aside from a light surface overspray, which quickly wears away, the bulk of the product applies as a warm, peachy-gold shimmer.  Despite the name, the product does deposit some visible color to the cheek.  For all but the palest skin tones, this amount of color will not be sufficient to substitute as a blush.

There is a small brush included, about half of the size of Chanel’s typical powder brushes that come with bronzers or the like.  It is sufficient for travel, and was probably included to assist with precise placement.  You may prefer to use a larger brush, depending on the area you wish to cover.

Below, I’ve swatched this next to Chanel’s Les Tissages Lames de Chanel highlighter released for this holiday (two slightly different swatches).  Here are some differences that were apparent to me:

  • The Empriente de Chanel’s large double CC’s give the impression that the palette is primarily gold, however the background textured area is a warm golden peach with a barest hint of pink
  • The Empriente de Chanel is not as gold as Les Tissages
  • Les Tissages has more — and slightly larger– glitter bits, where the Empriente de Chanel has a multidimensional smooth sheen

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Chanel Spring 2010: Ombre D’Eau Fluid Iridescent Eyeshadow in Torrent

 Chanel  Comments Off on Chanel Spring 2010: Ombre D’Eau Fluid Iridescent Eyeshadow in Torrent
Dec 202009
 

I’ve been a fan of Chanel’s Ombre D’Eau Fluid Iridescent Eyeshadows for years, but it took me several days after purchasing my first before I really understood them.  Let me save  you some time.  Have you ever seen an actress who looks like she’s not wearing any makeup, and yet her eyelids seem to have an ephemeral glow?  That’s the effect that an Ombre D’Eau can have when applied very sheerly.  There are various luminous tones, including sandy shimmery beiges, soft orange and a multi-dimension taupe.

Torrent, Chanel’s Ombre D’Eau released for Spring 2010, is unusually pigmented compared to the others in the line (there’s a deep cranberry that is comparable).  As you can see from the swatch, it’s a remarkably deep and shimmery golden khaki green.  Hopefully my picture can capture some of its qualities.

The packaging is genius.  It’s a small vial (these pack well, but count as liquids for travel).  The cap snaps cleanly into place, and doesn’t shake loose over time.  There is a doe foot applicator inside.

  • First:  Shake the product well, because the pigment tends to settle at the bottom of the vial overnight.  There are tiny balls inside that help stir up the product.
  • Second, do one swipe of the doe foot applicator over the entire lid.  Do not use a primer first. You don’t need one, and a primer can make the application patchy.
  • Third, even out the application (if you need to) with your finger.
  • Fourth, add another layer (or more) if you want more color than the first layer gave you.

Once the product dries, you can add other eyeshadow colors –including powder eyeshadows that you already have in your stash.  I usually wear them solo.  They are sort of perfect on their own, they don’t need a lot of fussing to look glowy and amazing.

Can you tell I love this?  Click on the second picture, the swatch below to see the iridescence of this beautiful shadow.  Also, keep in mind that because of the water base, this can be very very easily sheered.

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Holiday Makeup, Part Three

 Uncategorized  Comments Off on Holiday Makeup, Part Three
Dec 202009
 

This is the last of a series of posts about holiday options. December can be one of the most demanding months, and I usually have less time to get ready than I’d like.  One quick way to add some shine is to use a creme eyeshadow, such as Laura Mercier’s Metallic Creme Eye Colors ($22).   I’ve been using this product for years, and it never fails to deliver.  Dab a little on your finger, then apply on your lid.  Touch up your liner and you’re done.  If you wear these sheerly, using a “dab” motion and less product, they work well for daytime.  They last for hours and hours, and don’t overwhelm.  Their range includes neutrals and understated colors such as Mercury and Gold, below.

Washes Cremes

If you don’t want to invest in shimmery looks, mineral makeup companies are a great option.  Bare Escentuals is the most accessible, available at Sephora, QVC, department stores and through its own boutiques.

For even less, you can buy from online retailers.  Typically, they  sell small sample-sized products for less than $5. These “samples” last for 15 through 30 uses–I’ve never used one up entirely.  One outstanding choice is Fyrinnae, which delivers an incredible range of high-quality products for about $3-4 per sample.  Thankfully, their website categorizes selection by finish and by color.

Here are a few mineral eyeshadow options, including three from Bare Escentuals (Queen Tiffany, True Gold and Queen Linda) and one from another good etailer, Aromaleigh (Aurelie):

P.S.:  I’m going to pick up some of Chanel Spring 2010 today (my local counter will get everything this week, I’m told).  Hopefully, I’ll have some pictures up here later today or tomorrow of the products that are already in!

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Holiday Makeup for the Rest of Us, Part Two

 Bobbi Brown, Eyeshadow  Comments Off on Holiday Makeup for the Rest of Us, Part Two
Dec 192009
 

This is the second post in a series about holiday looks for anyone who (like me) admires the glamorous looks of Lady Gaga and others, but wishes to modulate them for her own individual lifestyle.

A new decade is about to start.  I was so heartened to see this article describing H&M’s Paris fashion show at the Grand Palais.  It looks fun. The holidays are a great time to play.

What better way to play than to go out?  An easy way to add some shimmer and shine to your look is a wash of shimmer across the lid.   Using a liquid eyeliner adds more glamour.  Add two or three coats of a high-volume mascara.

My favorite eyeshadow of this entire year is Bobbi Brown’s Chrome Eyeshadow in Pewter ($22).  This is fool proof.  It’s neither a bright silver nor a harsh gold.  Rather, it’s a soft, warm glowy color that brightens the eye area without taking over your entire face.  In other words, you can still see the person, without being struck by the eyeshadow.  I am not alone in my love for this eyeshadow;  if you aren’t convinced read this review, or this one.  The texture wonderful.   Want to wear it to the office?  Pair it with a dark suit or dress–it really works, especially if you do a light sweep with your brush.  It’s limited edition, so if you want to try this one you should move fast.  Another nice choice for the holidays is Shu Uemura’s ME Silver 950, although I find this shade less daytime-friendly because it is both brighter and a little more difficult to apply sheerly.

Just for fun, I’m including some Becca Jewel Dusts ($24), which are subtle, grown-up shimmery pigments.  The colors are less vibrant, and so more wearable, than more striking color pigments on the market. Becca’s Jewel Dusts come in small, easily storable containers with square lids that don’t work themselves loose in your makeup drawer.  Also, Becca adds a sifter top to minimize spilling.  Because these are loose powders, try wetting your brush to intensify them.  In the swatch, they’re applied dry.  Applying them with a wet brush would give a perfectly even surface.  (If you’re still intimidated, here’s a quick primer from the Makeup and Beauty Blog that describes most of what you need to know about pigment eyeshadows).

I hope that you are enjoying this holiday season!  I have one more post on this topic before we move on.  Thanks for reading!

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Dec 162009
 

Picture 7Last summer, I visited the Avenue Montaigne in Paris.  If you’ve been there, you’ll know that some of the finest designers have a boutique there such as Louis Vuitton, Paul & Joe, Valentino and Dolce & Gabbana.  It is not the only boutique-lined street in Paris, but it is certainly a lovely one.  The Champs Elysees is at one end and an incredible view of the Eiffel Tower over the Seine is at the other.

Picture 5

I went into the Caron boutique, which sits on a corner across from Dior. Reader, I had done my homework. I had scoured the almost-breathless blog postings that described their incomparably fine finishing powders, glamorous sparkling evening powders, perfumes and powder puffs made of swan’s down and  satin ribbon.  I searched Make Up Alley for both fragrance and makeup.  The fact is, the brand is very difficult to find in the United States.  Given that I had never touched their product, and my French can charitably be described as “very rough,” I wanted to stumble through without too much embarrassment.

My research disclosed that everything about their products was excellent.  I immediately rejected attempting to purchase perfumes, as traveling home by plane made packing liquids challenging.  But the powders….the powders!!!! From my research, it appeared that they were made by faeries from the wing dust of angels, mixed via a stir of Tinkerbell’s wand.  I prepared my shopping list, my budget and set out to tackle the boutique.

If you get to Paris, treat yourself to a stop in the Avenue Montaigne Caron boutique.  It’s lined with very large, gilded Baccarat crystal perfume dispensers, from which one is supposed to fill the bottle of their choosing.  The amount of marble, gold and crystal inside, together with the multi-colored swan’s down puffs scattered everywhere , was as close to the inside of a jewel box as I’m ever likely to get.  Luckily, the boutique was empty except for a rather formal woman there to assist.  To my relief, she spoke English.

And here is the thing about the woman in the Caron boutique on the Avenue Montagne in Paris.   She did not want me to buy anything that I wouldn’t use properly.  She cautioned me not to use the sparkle powders during the day (“For the night only.“).  I asked whether I should get more than one color daytime powder?  No, she replied, you get one color that looks good on you.  I wondered whether I should get a swan’s down puff.  Looking at me with a squint, she asked, Didn’t I own a brush?  The loose powder can be applied with a small puff (included, made of cotton), and that I should then knock off excess off the skin with my brush.  She suggested that I buy a compact with a pressed version, but I thought it best to try the loose powder first before investing further.

I left spending about only 1/2 of my budgeted amount, with a loose powder and one refill. So, how is the powder?  It’s a really finely milled, high end powder. Converted to U.S., a loose powder runs about $60, which comes in a polished metal container with a tight-fitting lid (but not too tight-fitting) that keeps the powder very dry even on messy countertops.  There’s a plastic screw-top inside to avoid disasters.  The refill runs roughly $30.  The quality is on par with La Mer, Chanel, Laura Mercier.  I typically use it over foundation, although sometimes I use it completely alone when I’m not worried about coverage.  The powder doesn’t last any longer (or shorter) during the day than other high end brands, and it does look quite natural.  It mattes the skin down, but still leaves a barely perceptible glow that looks very polished.

I’m not 100% convinced it’s made with fairy dust.  Ultimately, and with the Caron staff’s help, I made good practical choices that I’ll use until they’re all gone.   Rather than using a puff, I’ve been applying it  with Lancome’s Mineral Powder Foundation Brush, which is well-priced and works beautifully.
Caron Powder Final copy

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