Speaking of Cake Eyeliners….

 Chanel, Eyeliner  Comments Off on Speaking of Cake Eyeliners….
Dec 082009
 

Here is a close up of Chanel’s La Ligne de Chanel Professional Eyeliner Duo in Celadon-Lame, out for the holidays 2009.  It’s a deep, dark, wonderful green. You can see how yummy it looks in the pan if you click on the picture, below. Go on, click it — it’s so pretty!

Celadon-Lame

Swatches are available at Karlasugar’s blog.

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Cake Eyeliner: So Defined, Yet So Smudgy

 Chanel, Eyeliner  Comments Off on Cake Eyeliner: So Defined, Yet So Smudgy
Dec 082009
 

Eyeliner is one of the trickiest makeup products to apply. One mis-step, and it can change the look of the most important area of your face. I find gel eyeliners extremely easy to use, and very long-lasting. However, one of the most classic eyeliners is a cake liner. Typically, one uses a cake liner wet. This is most easily accomplished if you wet the brush, not the liner cake.

I find cake eyeliners tremendously versatile. I use two brushes–the first to actually line the eye. A good flat-topped brush (here, Laura Mercier’s, but there are lot of companies that make them) is best for making a sharp, defined line around the lash lines.

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Second, I use a smudge brush (again, this is Laura Mercier’s but several companies make them) to smudge the liner, and to add a bit of powder over the sharp line to add a bit of smoke.  Alternatively, you could add a lighter color to soften and lighten the liner color.
2 copy

I find that it’s best to use these brushes wet. First, most cake eyeliners are hard and give off very little pigment unless you fight them for it. A wet brush is a great weapon to beat some pigment out of the cake. I find that a spritz of water isn’t enough. Also, using my tongue usually leaves a color mark so I avoid that too. It’s best to run the brushes under water, then “squeegee” the excess water out by using two fingers, or dab the brush on a towel. Here, I’m using Chanel’s black cake eyeliner duo.  I’m starting with the flat-topped brush in the matte side of the duo, to make a sharp line within the lash line.

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This next picture shows how versatile a cake eyeliner can be, and why I love them.  You can use them to make the thinnest possible line, or really layer it on for a thick, dark look.  The reality is, that a cake eyeliner can give me the kind of control that I cannot get from other eyeliners. This is why I don’t mind the complication of using them.  I cannot get a line of the same thinness and pigmentation with a gel, or a pencil–the thin, flat, wet brush and the highly pigmented, light powder makes using a cake eyeliner unique.

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Next, I take a wet, squeegee’d smudge brush and put it into the shimmer side of the eyeliner duo.  You can use a black eyeshadow (like MAC Carbon) for this part if you aren’t working with a duo.

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I applied the smudge brush to the same three tester lines from the previous picture, so that it shows how you can “soften” the edges of the cake liner to the look that you are trying to achieve.

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You can see around the edges of the largest and narrowest lines that you can sweep the smudge brush to a very soft edge if you like.  I’m constantly amazed how easy cake eyeliner is to use, even on some busy mornings.  And the layering helps the eyeliner last all day and into the evening–I had a very hard time washing this off with a tough cleanser!

Let me know if you have any questions!

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Dec 072009
 

Here are a few pictures from last week’s Chanel Paris-Shanghai show.  A remarkable consistency in the makeup–the 1960’s appear to have returned.  Heavy winged liner, heavy brows, and almost no color anywhere else on the face.  The nails were a combination of either a shimmery metallic or a neutral or shimmer topped with a shiny black tip.  More of the show is on Chanel.com.  Enjoy!

Chanel ShanghaiThird

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Lancome Offers

 Uncategorized  Comments Off on Lancome Offers
Dec 062009
 

I honestly think that Lancome has the best gifts with purchase in all of the makeup industry. For example, they are currently running a seven-day promotion with some very generous gifts with a code. If you like any of their products, register for their site. I’ve been registered for over a year, and believe that they have some type of special offer or code nearly every week.

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Dec 062009
 

When Bobbi Brown released her Illuminating Bronzers last spring, she also released a nice large fluffy bronzer brush. Although I’ve been wishing to buy the brush for months, I recently caved to temptation and took the plunge.Bobbi-Bronzer-Brush-3

The term “bronzer brush” is a little bit difficult to pin down. I can mean anything from a dense, long-handled kabuki, like Sephora’s , which picks up and deposits a lot of pigment on the cheek. These brushes are typically used for heavy coverage, and Sephora’s bronzer brush delivers on that score. As you can see from the link, the brush hairs on the Sephora are densely packed together. In contrast, Clinique’s is very large and fluffy. It would be ideal for bronzing large portions of skin, including the shoulders and body.

Bobbi’s falls somewhere between the two, with a large, dense and yet still somehow fluffy brush head. It’s ideal to use with her large bronzer compacts (or, for that matter,bronzers from Guerlain, Chanel or Estee Lauder, but not a small bronzer like Benefit’s Hoola). Here are some quick pictures so that you can see the size. This brush allows much more precise bronzer placement than a very large brush, but is still sufficiently fluffy to give a natural sweep.

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A Quiet Gift from Chanel

 Chanel  Comments Off on A Quiet Gift from Chanel
Dec 052009
 

If have been to Makeupalley, including the very bottom of the very valuable Snickersforsnuggles notepad, you know that there are always makeup deals in November and December.  Friends and Family discounts are almost everywhere, including Sephora, Lancome, Tarte, Bobbi Brown, Smashbox, Bergdorf Goodman’s makeup counters, and sometimes–yes, at least once, even MAC.  If you keep checking your email, and other sale sources like retailmenot, you’ll find them lasting anywhere from a few hours to several days.

Except Chanel.

To my knowledge, Chanel has never run a percent-off deal.  Unless it’s part of a department store event, it’s full price or no Chanel.  That being said, ordering directly from Chanel sometimes gets you a fairly good sized sample of something wonderful, like a mini-Rouge Allure lipstick or mini-Sublimage moisturizer.

My most recent order came with the best gift with purchase of all time–a full-sized Chanel Exceptionnel Mascara in Smoky Noir.  Considering that the price of this item is $30.00, this gift amounted to much more than 20% of my total order.  Why this order?  Ah, the mysteries of Chanel. The explanatory card that came in the box was vague, referring to customer loyalty.  So, I’m not sure, but I’m going to enjoy the gift anyway.Chanel Gift with Purchase

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Why You Should Care About Nude Blushes

 Blush  Comments Off on Why You Should Care About Nude Blushes
Dec 042009
 

When I first heard the term “nude blush” –I thought, “why bother?” After all, what’s the difference between nude blush and no blush at all?

When I was in Paris, I had a makeover at a Bobbi Brown counter. Well, I didn’t ask for one (my French is not all that good). I was sort of “invited” and my language skills weren’t really good enough to refuse. So, the sales associate approached applying makeup on me in a way that no other Bobbi Brown specialist every had before. She was determined to give me a natural, glowing look. And one of the first things that she did was to try on Sandstone blush. Which, I would have thought, was like no blush at all.

But I was wrong.

A nude blush gives your skin a polish, a contour, some DEPTH, that an actual makeup-free cheek does not have. As Calvin Klein once said, ““The best thing is to look natural, but it takes makeup to look natural.” And that’s what nude blush does.

Here are three of my most-loved nude blushes: Shu M Amber 85, Bobbi Brown Sandstone (matte) and Bobbi Brown Bahama Brown (Shimmer blush).

So the main reason you should care about nude blushes is because they make you look completely natural. The other reason is that, if you are doing a strong eye or strong lip, a nude blush is a nice, understated way to keep from going too far. That is, if your lips are very red, you don’t want a strong cheek because it’s going to “compete” with the lip.

Nude Blushes 1

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Nov 302009
 

Sometimes I need to just Get Things Done.  I find that a good red creme helps immeasurably.  Today, I’m test driving Illamasqua’s Ruthless– a bright red creme that says “get out of my way.”  Application was smooth and easy–the polish has a thin texture but is pigmented enough to give a nearly-opaque finish in two coats.

Ruthless-copy

When applied, the color applies as a bright tomato red–similar to what you would expect from a bright red pen.

$14 at Sephora. Probably more than the average nail polish price, but the quality of this is quite nice for that price. As you can see from the photos, there is a huge color shift depending on the light. The top product picture was taken with cool flash lighting, and the bottom in warmer light. The picture that shows the polish on the nail is closer to how the polish looks in most lighting.2

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