Aug 052014
 

L'Occitane Frisson de Verveine08L’Occitane has has beautifully refreshing L’Occitane Frisson Verbena collection released this summer, which I’ve been enjoying since taking these pictures a week ago. Actually, some of these have been true saviors in this humid August heat.

L'Occitane Frisson de Verveine01According to the line:

Among all the aromatic herbs that grow along the paths of Provence, there is one whose lemony freshness revives the body and mind. Its name is Verbena. When baskets are piled high with freshly harvested green verbena leaves, its distinctive fragrance fills the air around the markets of Provence. Discover our collection which includes fragrances as well as body and hair care.

I tested the Frisson de Verveine Eau de Toilette ($55), Hand Cream ($12), Fresh Shower Gel ($20), and the Cooling Ice Gel for Legs and Feet ($22).  

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The Frisson Verbena Eau de Toilette ($55/3.4 oz.) is a very light, soft, yet vibrant lemon and herb scent. The notes include lemon, bergamot, verbena and cucumber. It’s both sophisticated and light, it elevates my mood and reminds me of an afternoon in the beautiful French countryside. It’s more green than lemon, in a lovely way. The heavy glass bottle is a pleasure to use (or to gift).

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This is a light refreshing spray format, appropriate for putting into the refrigerator overnight for a cooling blast when needed. I found this soft scent lasted a good five or six hours on me.

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The Frisson Verbena Eau de Toilette comes packaged in a giftable box that is appropriate for either gender.

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The Frisson Verbena Hand Cream ($12/ 1 oz.) is a light, gel-textured moisturizer that’s heaven to use for a summer manicure/pedicure. It’s mixed with spring water for a light, but very effective, feel. It’s fabulous to put on mid-afternoon, the scent is subtle and very refreshing.

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The Frisson Verbena Fresh Shower Gel ($20/ 8.4 oz) is, in keeping with the rest of the aesthetic of this line, softly scented.  The feel is similar to other L’Occitane shower gels, it gives only slight foam and feels excellent on the skin. The scent does not linger long after use, so you can apply any of your other scents without interference.

L'Occitane Frisson de Verveine06Like the other products in this line, it is appropriate for either gender. The bottle is a squeeze type which allows the product to flow out easily if held upside down. The size is a generous 8.4 ounces.

frisson verbena

If you are in the mood for a lovely treat, I highly recommend the Frisson Verbena Ice Gel for Legs and Feet ($22/2.5 oz.). This cooling gel applies with a metal application and feels amazing. 

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The ice gel uses the same scent as the other products in the collection, although its a slight bit more intense in this formula (compared to the hand cream and shower gel). The applicator:

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This product uses a combination of cypress essential oil and althea officials.  It leaves arms, legs and feet with fresh, cooling moisture. Essentially, it makes your skin look better, has an beautiful fresh scent, and cools you down. Win, win, win. It would be nice if this item were made permanent.

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This collection is well worth a look. The Eau de Toilette and the Ice Gel were my favorites. Here are some online offers from L’Occitane if you prefer to have anything delivered.

Stride into Summer! Receive FREE tropical sandals with any $35 purchase. Use code TROPICAL. Valid 7/31-8/20/2014.

Getaway to Provence: Enjoy a travel set for $22 with any $45 Purchase! Use code GETAWAY. Valid 7/30-8/19/2014.

Make It A Divine Summer! Recieve a travel ready set FREE with any $125 purchase. Use code DIVINESUMMER! Valid 7/30-8/19/2014.

Softening Summer Shower Gels! Enjoy our Provencal jumbo sized shower gels FREE with any $125 purchase. Use code JUMBO. Valid 7/30-8/19/2014.

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 This post contains affiliate links (for more information, see About Cafe Makeup). These items were sent by L’Occitane without charge for consideration for review.

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Aug 042014
 

Louboutin Red Swatches1I’ve had the chance to work with Rouge Louboutin ($50/available at Saks), the color of creative genius Christian Louboutin’s signature on his acclaimed shoe line (previews of Christian Louboutin Beauté are here and here). As previously discussed, the bottle for this polish is an extraordinary object d’art. Really, I’m beginning to love having it on my makeup table. Rouge Louboutin is available from Saks.com, Nordstrom.com, Sephora and Neiman Marcus.

Christian Louboutin Beaute

I found the brush remarkably easy to use. The long spike feels like a magic wand, there’s a feeling of power and creativity with it my hand. The words “wingardium leviosa” did wander through my mind. The brush is soft and slightly shorter than usual, which made application beautifully easy and controlled. I was surprised–the long length and small brush head was so different. Yet I found the tall handle felt more like a makeup brush, which of course we’re all quite used to. Also, the short brush is softer than other lines, which allows it to splay out perfectly.

Rouge Louboutin18Rouge Louboutin is very pigment-rich. A single thin coat was completely opaque, erasing all traces of my natural nail color. At two coast, the magic is complete. Although I used no base, it softened some problems on some of my nails. The trademark Rouge Louboutin red shade is infused with a high-shine, so no topcoat was necessary.  In other words, Louboutin nail polish does for my nails what Louboutin heels do for a women’s form.  It makes everything look amazing. Two coast, no base or topcoat:

Louboutin Red Swatches5

Although not advertised as such, I’m going to go out on a limb and tell you that this polish has extraordinary longevity. Last evening, I sent out forty-eight emails, and my nails looked shiny and perfect afterwards. This has never happened with any other polish (that isn’t a baked-on gel) without any topcoat.Diving into some unpacked boxes this morning, my nails emerged without a chip.

Louboutin Red Swatches6Rouge Louboutin is a beautiful rich red, a match for Louboutin’s signature color. Even if other colors are close, I cannot think of any matches for this gorgeous formula (especially its durability). I did some comparisons just for fun, with Chanel Dragon, Cinema and Pirate. I also threw in a Sephora Formula X that I got in a free birthday shipment.

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This is so beautiful. I think I’m in love. Rouge Louboutin is available from Saks.com, Sephora, Nordstrom.com, and Neiman Marcus.

Rouge Louboutin15

Christian Louboutin Beauté sent this bottle to Cafe Makeup without charge for consideration for review. This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see About Cafe Makeup.

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Aug 022014
 

Rouge Louboutin05

Yesterday I received the most extraordinary Rouge Louboutin ($50), the flagship product from the newly launched Christian Louboutin Beauté.  Please note: I received mine from Loubtoutin’s press office, and so I am not sure if the retail version is packaged in the same way (I have one on the way from Saks.com, so I will post an update to let you know). This is available from Saks Fifth Avenue, SephoraNeiman Marcus and Nordstrom.

Rouge Louboutin01

When creative genius Christian Louboutin stated that he wished to make this bottle and objet d’art, I believe that he succeeded. The reference to his brilliant red-soled shoe line is manifest.

louboutin polish

I love this video (directed by the acclaimed and visionary director David Lynch) about the polish:


My version came in a slide-out box with a mirrored backing, featuring this breathtaking sculpture. The grey color of the surround is mostly reflecting the cloudy sky above.

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The bottle is a heavy glass, the spike top feels more of composite (it isn’t glass, which I suppose might be too heavy for practical use). In all the bottle is about eight inches high:

Christian Louboutin Beaute

Comparison with a Chanel nail polish bottle for scale:

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The glass sculpture Rouge Louboutin is quite substantial, compared to the more typical style of the Chanel bottle:

Rouge Louboutin16The nail polish bottle was important to Louboutin’s intent in designing a beautiful container for the polish. As he states, “The ultimate goal of the nail color was to evoke a shiny lacquer imprisoned in a piece of faceted crystal.” The glass is inspired by architecture, namely “classical balustrades found in European buildings from the 17th and 18th centuries.”

louboutin bottles

I must say the bottle achieves an impressive presence. It really does draw the eye on my makeup table. The Rouge Louboutin bottle in particular, with its ombre effect, is extraordinary.

bottle

The ombre makes the red appear to be floating about the surface:

Rouge Louboutin20Another to show the facets:
Rouge Louboutin25aOne more:

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Inside:

Rouge Louboutin18And a close up of the brush, which is very soft compared to some other lines:

Rouge Louboutin17I’m hoping to post some swatches tomorrow.  Please stay tuned!

Rouge Louboutin is available from Saks.com, Nordstrom.com, Sephora, and Neiman Marcus.

louboutin nail polish

Rouge Louboutin was sent to Cafe Makeup without charge for consideration for review. This post contains affiliate links (for more information, see About Cafe Makeup)

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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:


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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:

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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 252014
 

loubiville beauty From July 23 – August 18 Christian Louboutin Beauté and Saks Fifth Avenue are pleased to announce the launch of Rouge Louboutin ($50), a nail colour that takes beauty to new heights. Featuring the signature red of Louboutin’s trademarked soles, encapsulated in a prismatic crystal bottle with a pointed cap that evokes the designer’s iconic 8-inch heel, the Ballerina Ultima. This is for sale on Nordstrom, Saks, Sephora and Neiman Marcus.

Rouge Louboutin11

 

“I wanted to create a link between my shoes and my next adventure. The red sole is the DNA of my brand, if you extract the essence from it, you end up with the colour red.” Christian Louboutin This story is conceptualized in a fantastical vision that comes to life in Saks Fifth Avenue’s windows. There, customers discover Loubiville, an enchanting city of swirling streetscapes and soaring towers that transcend time and space. This fantasy metropolis, the fruit of Christian Louboutin’s fertile mind, has been brought to life by architect Tarek Shamma. “I had the vision of a city where all the silhouettes were integrated with the shapes of beauty objects.” Christian Louboutin Upon closer examination, Loubiville reveals its intricate white structures to be composed of various iterations of the Rouge Louboutin bottle itself. As dreamed by Louboutin, Loubiville will slowly transition from an all-white landscape into colour over time, as new beauty lines are revealed. saks louboutin   Hidden within its balustrades, arches and passageways are subtle hints of upcoming launches. Christian Louboutin’s creative journey from shoes to cosmetics is further illustrated by a whimsical display of white So Kate stiletto pumps on a spinning wheel with another pair of So Kate dancing atop a pyramid. However, the pièce de résistance of these extraordinary windows comes to life through analog design and digital effects, completing the Rouge Louboutin story: the animation of a surrealist machine, a multi-dimensional structure funneling the essence of the Ballerina Ultima shoe, giving birth to Louboutin’s Rouge colour through smoke, conveyor belts, and cogwheels. saks loubiville   Inside the store, customers will be able to step into a real-world adaption of Loubiville—not on the beauty floor, but on the shoe floor: the exclusive Beauty Corner, an 8×13 square foot extension of the Christian Louboutin Boutique. “It’s a small element of the city that has the feeling of a district in Loubiville.” Christian Louboutin The shop will feature tiered displays where the Rouge Louboutin bottles will cascade down the steps of the towers in a celebration of architecture, design, art and beauty. louboutin nail color Christian Louboutin’s first beauty product launch is a line of nail polish, which is appropriate as the product served as the initial inspiration for his trademark, beautiful  red soles.  The bottles are object d’art, The ombré effect on the color ‘Rouge Louboutin’ starts with intense black and graduates to the iconic red. The two flashes of colour instantly recall the image of the classic Louboutin high heeled shoe. This is the line’s signature red, a classic that looks beautiful on all skin tones. Rouge_FrontThe bottles for all colors are a beautiful faceted crystal, which holds the highly pigmented glossy lacquer within. bottle louboutin bottles Beauty will function through osmosis with the seasonal fashion collections. For a bright red summer sandal, Christian may recommend a nude nail and for a nude shoe, he may recommend an extreme pop colour in contrast. rouge louboutin + Ballerina Ultima HiRes   He believes in whimsical marriages between colours rather than literal coordination. Christian and his team worked with leather and fabric samples unique to the brand in search of the colour palette. Once selected, they were re-worked to complement different skin tones. His vision was to create a wide range of shades that partner with the colours of the shoe collection, so there will be endless colour combinations. Screen Shot 2014-07-25 at 3.46.21 PM   Each colour was named after an iconic shoe or bag with some corresponding to their namesake’s colour, like Batignolles and Very Privé, which are both strong reds, or Lady Page, a darker plum shade. Other names came from associations that Christian imagined. The Pluminette, for example, is like a Bird of Paradise so the colour draws from this to become a playful and vibrant pink. During the design process, Christian has always chosen to draw freely, without thinking of technical constraints in order to keep true to his creative vision. louboutin polish When a drawing is finished, he works to adapt the shoe, spending time to design the lasts, heels, the fabrics and leathers. He follows or bends technical constraints in order to reach the final design. When approaching the nail colour bottle he applied similar design principles, thinking only of the proportions and the objects he wanted to create. Beauty parallels Christian’s work in shoes, in that there is always a balance between the artistic and technical sides to attain the look, the colours and the experience. In addition to Rouge Louboutin, there will be thirty colors to the line organized in three themes: The Pops, The Noirs and The Nudes.  These should become available on August 31st. The Pops are bright colors highlighted with a silver cap: Pop Group   The Noirs are made up of blacks, intense blues, dark browns and greens, Christian chose a gunmetal cap to best showcase these deep tones. Noir Group Named after a recent capsule collection of the same name, the rose gold cap emphasises the varying nude tones of the Nudes collection.From vanillas to chocolates to soft pinks and khakis Nude Group   Rouge Louboutin is currently up for sale on Saks.com, Nordstrom.com, Sephora, and Neiman Marcus. louboutin nail polish

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