Feb 222015
 

MAC Lightful C01MAC has reformulated its Lightful line to incorporate Vitamin C into these brightening products. Because Vitamin C has been clinically proven to benefit skin, I couldn’t resist trying out a few products to see how they feel. This is not uber-luxury skincare, or even luxury skincare in my opinion. But I’ve had surprisingly good results with the Marine Bright formula in the past, and who doesn’t love some good bang for their buck in the mid-price category? I decided to try out the new MAC Lightful C Softening Lotion ($35), the Vibrancy Eye cream ($35), the Lightful C Marine-Bright Formula Essence ($44), and the MAC Lightful C Marine Bright Formula Moisture Cream ($44). The full line is available at Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, Macy’s, and other MAC sources (except for an SPF 30 tinted cream, which is due to become available this April and, just like Magnum in Zoolander, will blow us all away).

MAC Lightful C02

I’ve used the prior version of the MAC Softening Lotion, and can confirm that this MAC Lightful C Marine-Bright Formula Softening Lotion provides the same toning, softening effect on the skin to leave it feeling soft, woken-up, and baby-fresh.  This is one of those products that you think you’ll never use and then, when your glowing skin looks back at you in the mirror, you realize that it does, in fact, make a daily difference.

MAC Lightful C11

I splash a little bit of this clear, water-like liquid on, using fingers or a cotton pad, to get the effect. This is a softening toner–a separate cleanser is necessary to truly clean the skin.

MAC lightful C softening lotion1

I have to admit I’m a fan of spray toners, and this top is designed to splash or swipe on. Still, I appreciate the no-spill guard.

MAC Lightful C15

Ingredients (click to enlarge):

MAC Lightful C softening lotion ingredients1

For me the magic item in the collection is the Mac Lightful C Marine Bright EssenceI had good luck using the former version to fade darker marks/spots. I’m delighted with the addition of Vitamin C to the line. The non-sticky texture that absorbs quickly is the same.MAC Lightful C09

Nice no-spill, locking, travel-friendly packaging.

MAC Lightful C16

Ingredients (click to enlarge):

MAC Lightful C essence ingredients 21

I took a chance and ordered the MAC Lightful C Marine Bright Formula Moisture Creme.  I’m happy with my current stock of moisturizers, but I find a mid-priced gel moisturizer hard to resist. The problem with having oily skin (and now combination skin) most of my life is that I tended to avoid moisturizers as too heavy and adding “too much glow” toward the end of the day.

MAC Lightful C06After I discovered the lightweight, fast-absorbing properties of gel moisturizers, my skin is much more balanced and doesn’t over-produce oil anymore. If anyone is in the same boat, this MAC is a nice one to try because of the addition of Vitamin C and the lightweight feel. It absorbs, is very lightweight, and doesn’t add “glow” to already oily skin.

MAC Lightful C21This is housed in a lightweight plastic jar. The texture of this product is much lighter and featherweight compared to Estee Lauder’s Enlighten Moisturizer.

MAC Lightful C24

I find that NARS Aqua Gel Luminous Oil-Free Moisturizer and Chanel Hydra Beauty Gel Creme (Liz’s favorite) give a more noticeable moisturizing effect. By comparison, MAC’s is lighter in texture.  Ingredients for the MAC Lightful C:

MAC Lightful C moisturizer ingredients1

Finally, I ordered the MAC Lightful C Vibrancy Eye. This one-half ounce product has a sorbet texture in a pump-top container. It’s very pleasant to use, sinks in instantly, and gives an immediate moisturizing and de-puffing effect.  I’ve been using on my winter-stressed, wind-burned eye area and it’s vastly improved since last Friday when I began.

MAC Lightful C19Consistent with the other products in the light, the MAC Vibrancy Eye is lightweight, non-oily, and disappears quietly very soon application. Ingredients (click to enlarge):

MAC Lightful C vibrancy eye ingredients1Skincare swatches (except the toner, which is a clear liquid):

MAC Lightful C26My personal favorites in this group are the Vibrancy Eye and the Essence, however hopefully I’ve put in enough information to give you a sense of which might work for you. The full line is available at Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, Macy’s, and other MAC sources.

MAC Lightful C20

In other news, I’m loving my little sample of Chanel Hydra Beauty Micro Serum Intense ($110) and am placing an order for the full-sized as soon as I hit “publish” on this post. It’s giving me a smoothness and glow that’s both immediate and improving with every day that goes by.  Although I’ll do a full review soon, here’s a quick picture of the sample (check out your local Nordstrom, gorgeous! That’s where I found mine) and the ingredient list.

Chanel Micro serum min1Les ingredients:

ingredients1Hope you are having a lovely, ice-free weekend!

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Feb 172015
 

NARS-3.1-Phillip-Lim-AW15-Beauty-Look-1How flawless is this look from 3.1 Phillip Lim?   NARS artist Francelle Daly summed up the look as follows: “Utilitarian punk is the direction this season. Natural radiant skin mixed with a punk-inspired oxblood red shade on the lips for a bold statement.” One more:

NARS-3.1-Phillip-Lim-AW15-Beauty-Look-2
SKIN
NARSskin Aqua Gel Luminous Oil-Free Moisturizer

COMPLEXION
Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer
Light Reflecting Loose Setting Powder
Stick Concealer

BROWS
Brow Perfector

CHEEKS
Tribulation Blush (new for Fall 2015, for now try Nico Blush)

NARS-3.1-Phillip-Lim-AW-Artist-In-Action

Okay, here’s what we are all waiting for–what was used on those lips? The answer– VIP Red Lipstick (New for Fall 2015, for now try Mysterious Red Velvet Matte Lip Pencil). On the runway at 3.1 Phillip Lim:

3.1 phlllip lim

 

Now a look at Thakoon:NARS-Thakoon-AW15-Beauty-Look-2

We’re seeing more use of the Nars Dual-Intensity blushes that were previewed here at the Golden Globes. Here, Nars artist Diane Kendal used them at Thakoon.
NARS-Thakoon-AW15-Artist-In-ActionAs she said, “Inspired by the northern lights, Thakoon wanted the girls to look beautiful, keeping the ideal of lights and reflection.” Let it glow, let it glow, let it glow!
NARS-Thakoon-AW15-Beauty-Look-1COMPLEXION
Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer
Radiant Creamy Concealer
Soft Velvet Loose Powder

CHEEKS
Tribulation Blush (new for Fall 2015, for now try Nico Blush)
Left side of Craving Dual-Intensity Blush (New for Spring 2015; for now try Copacabana Multiple)

EYES
Right side of Craving Dual-Intensity Blush (New for Spring 2015; for now try South Beach Multiple)
Left side of Fervor Dual-Intensity Blush (New for Spring 2015, for now try the right side of Hula Hula Duo Eyeshadow layered over Seduction Blush )

LIPS
VIP Red Lipstick (New for Fall 2015, for now try Mysterious Red Velvet Matte Lip Pencil).

thakoon

MAC at Badgley Mischka:

badgley-mischka-fall-2013-backstage-makeup

The eyes were created by first using Orpheus Kohl Power Pencil (available AW13) to draw through the lashline and wing at the outer corner to elongate and lift eyes. Then, Damson Pressed Pigment (available AW13) was pressed into Orpheus Kohl Power Pencil to set.

Badgley

Fascinating Eye Kohl was then applied through the waterline of lower lashes to brighten and open the eyes. Clearwater Paint Pot (available AW13) was used as liner through the lower lashline. Next, 7 LASH were cut and double-stacked on the outer corners of the lashline before being curled and perfectly adjusted to the natural lash. Lastly, Haute & Naughty Mascara was applied over lashes to define and finish. Lips are Runway Hit.

NARS-Naeem-Khan-AW15-Artist-In-Action

James Boehmer for NARS created the look for the Naeem Khan AW ‘15. “Naeem is celebrating his 10th anniversary this season. He wanted the makeup to be dark, sensual and incredibly glamorous. I thought about the artwork of Tamara de Lempicka. The women depicted in her paintings still seem so modern, and I borrowed colors from her signature palette. The eye is architectural yet soft- a smoky eye without any hard edges or strong definition- and without mascara or brows. The lip is a deep matte chocolate red that is classic Naeem. Skin is glossed and shiny on the cheekbones to add dimension without color or depth.”

SKIN
NARSskin Luminous Moisture Cream
NARSskin Total Replenishing Eye Cream

COMPLEXION
Sheer Glow Foundation
Radiant Creamy Concealer
Soft Velvet Loose Powder

BROWS
Oural Brow Gel

EYES
Ashes to Ashes Eyeshadow
Bali Eyeshadow

LIPS
Mysterious Red Velvet Matte Lip Pencil
Mambo Eyeliner
Jungle Red Lip Liner

 NARS-Naeem-Khan-AW15-Beauty-Look-1This post contains affiliate links (for more information, see About Cafe Makeup)

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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 162015
 

L'Occitane Divine Oil treatment02 copyThis L’Occitane Immortelle 28 Day Divine Renewal Skin Program ($130) is set to release this week on February 19th. I’ve been fortunate to try out the full program over the past month. Here’s my report, and a chance to win a set of your own. As with the other L’Occitane Immortelle Divine products, this set is based on the immortelle flower from the island of Corsica, which is know for its extraordinary longevity. The line distilled its active ingredients into an essential oil that forms the foundation of this skincare set.

L'Occitane Divine Oil treatment05 copyThis elegant gold box holds 28-mini vials of treatments. This is an entire course of treatments–the 28-day cycle is broken into four separate weeks, each with a specific benefit:

Week 1 – Gentle exfoliation to even skin-tone, make it smoother and more luminous

Week 2 – Hydration & Nutrition: The skin seems nourished and moisturized

Week 3 – Balance: to strengthen and ready the skin for the final week

Week 4 – Renewal: For radiance, rebalance, and smoother texture

L'Occitane Divine Oil treatment09 copy

I used one vial per day, working my way through each week’s benefits before moving forward to the next. Formulas are held in easy-to-use, daily, single-use doses. I applied each vial, allowed it to soak in for a few minutes. Each “week” has a slightly different scent, and all smelled heavenly to me. I love the natural beauty of L’Occitane products–they add a touch of luxury and remind me of the beauty of the French countryside.

L'Occitane Divine Oil treatment27 copyBecause these vials are in a lightweight plastic pod, I was able to break off the right number, and place them into my bag for travel to a West Coast conference during the middle of my treatment regime. So convenient!

L'Occitane Divine Oil treatment18 copy

 

Each of the little oil vials is marked with the appropriate week (can you see the little “1’s”?) so even though I was traveling and moving into my new addition, I could keep track of my progress. The first week’s exfoliating regime felt wonderful. The oils really do melt into the skin, and feel very luxurious. However, I could tell that they had an exfoliating effect when I examined my skin first thing in the morning. Also, I was able to continue to use my other skin care products over these little serums, and still got all of the benefits of the L’Occitane regime.

L'Occitane Divine Oil treatment12 copy

The second week’s regime was very rich and moisturizing. It’s perfect if you have drier skin, or would like a little mid-winter boost, these are amazing. They felt especially good after the exfoliation from the week before, like they are rebuilding the skin in all the right ways. I can absolutely see why these are sold as an integrated system.

L'Occitane Divine Oil treatment14 copy

The third week–for balance–feels very calming. It gave me beautiful, smooth, glowing skin every morning.  I’m really enjoying the nightly ritual and lovely scent of this set. It’s easy to use, you just break off the one you want, fold down the top until the top is broken, and squeeze the liquid out. For me, I found enough in each vial to do the face, neck, and hands.

L'Occitane Divine Oil treatment16 copyI loved the scent from the fourth week–it smells velvety-good. This regeneration week is said to use “carrot, cypress and superior-quality organic immortelle essential oils help rebuild the skin.”

L'Occitane Divine Oil treatment30Having gone through the entire cycle of the set, my skin looks firmer, smoother, more even-toned, and more youthful. I really like the result, especially as this time of year I start looking for ways to renew my skin for the coming spring. This elegantly formulated box of solutions was perfect. Ingredients (click to enlarge):

L'Occitane Divine Oil treatment06 copy

All in all, a gorgeous, good-for-you luxury treat, and highly recommended. This is now up for sale on L’Occitane’s website. If you’d like a chance to win your own, please feel free to enter the drawing below. The winner will be sent their own Immortelle 28-Day Divine Renewal Skin Program directly from L’Occitane. To enter, you must leave a blog comment. You can also get extra points for following @cafemakeup on twitter, and also for tweeting about the giveaway (once per day maximum). Bon chance!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

L'Occitane Divine Oil treatment10 copyThanks for reading, gorgeous! This was sent to Cafe Makeup without charge for consideration for review. This post contains an affiliate link (for more information, see About Cafe Makeup)

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Feb 152015
 

A few things from last week’s New York Fashion Week…

Artist Lee Ashley Davidson posted this photo from Nicole Miller using new MAC Cosmetics pure pigment wet/dry eyeshadows and Retromatte liquid lipstick.

Madeline Poole, Christian Louboutin Beauté Nail Consultant, used a square motif at Cushnie et Ochs. “We went with two coats of “Sweet Charity” with square detailing in navy blue “Wherever” and teal green “Ni Toi Ni Moi.”

_EJ_3088

_EJ_3263

_EJ_3420 copy

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NARS at Creatures of the Wind used a simple look with perfect skin with an emphasis on lashes and brows.

NARS-COTW-AW15-Beauty-Look-6

James Boehmer, NARS Director of Global Artistry, used the following:

All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation
Soft Velvet Loose Powder
Radiant Creamy Concealer
Audacious Mascara (New for Fall 2015)
Oural Brow Gel

NARS-Rachel-Comey-AW15-Beauty-Look-2
Maud Laceppe for NARS Cosmetics created the look for the Rachel Comey AW ’15, which is a “dewy, almost wet look. A fresh and effortless girl, but still sexy.”

NARSskin Luminous Moisture Cream

COMPLEXION
Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer
Soft Velvet Loose Powder
Copacabana Multiple

CHEEKS
Contour Blush
Copacabana Multiple
Tribulation Blush (New for Fall 2015, for now try Nico Blush)

EYES
Copacabana Multiple
Tribulation Blush (New for Fall 2015, for now try Nico Blush)
Reykjavik Velvet Shadow Stick (New for Fall 2015)

LIPS
Chelsea Girls Lip Gloss (not yet released)

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