Jul 132014
 

nordstrom sale It’s that lovely time of year again when Nordstrom has its Anniversary Sale. If you are a Nordstrom cardholder, you have early access to their products. The items will be up for sale for all on July 18th (if they haven’t sold out). I went by my local Nordstrom today to test the waters. Movado rose gold bold watchI love some of the jewelry discounts that I’ve gotten in the past. In the midst of my rose gold obsession, I looked at a few of the watches at the event and chose this Movado Bold Rose Gold watch ($434.90/down from $650). I compared this with some other strong contenders–this very elegant and work-friendly Michael Kors Rose Gold Bailey ($166) which had a very pretty brushed metal on the band, and this fun bold Marc Jacobs uber-bold Rose Gold Blade ($183). This Burberry Bracelet Watch ($330) made it to the final four as an understated classic in a steel color. In the end, the Movado won out because–in my heart of hearts–this face is everything. movado Another piece that I picked up is this Laundry by Shelli Seigal Tweed Reefer Coat ($109.90). The length is really nice, the weight is between a blazer and a coat. What really won me over was the cut and quality of the fabric. It nips in a bit at the waist in a flattering way, and the fabric is very rich (especially for that price!). You can see a touch of leather detail above the pocket, which adds a little something. laundry coat I also took a chance on this Marc by Marc Jacobs James Sweater ($198.90) in Century Blue Melange. This looks all sorts of wrong on the hanger. The sales associate tried to talk me out of trying it on. It really is crazy wide. It’s completely contrary to every form-fitting trend we’ve seen for years. Of course, that’s exactly what drew me in–rethinking the whole idea of a sweater? Sign me up! With tights and either ballet flats or thin-leather boots (and hair up with perfected makeup of course!), this is going to be genius for Fall.  Also it will get me in the mood to test out some Marc Jacobs Beauty Fall items (below is a Kiss Pop lip pencil and Smart Wand Tinted Face Stick). Plus the sweater is perfect for cocooning on a plane, or curling up with a good book until another Polar Vortex passes.marc jacobs sweater nordstrom As far as beauty items go, I’ve already given some thoughts on NARS offerings this year (a first look is here). And yes, in person they are absolutely beautiful. Nars Domination Palette 3 Although I was tempted to get these Dior lipsticks, I decided to try something completely new this year. I took a chance on this Charlotte Tillbury Filmstar Killer Cheekbones set ($110).  I’ve been dying to try this line (seriously!) for months since it launched in the UK. I ordered this online, and cannot wait till it arrives (I’ll post an “in real life” picture then, I promise!) charlotte tillbury As I wandered around the store, I saw a few other things that remain on my mind. In addition to some basics that I picked up (hello, Barefoot Dreams!), I decided to give my debit card a little rest. I found that I already have some items in my closet that are “close enough” to these that I’m passing. Still, I thought that the quality level of them was very nice. frye These Frye Patty Riding Booties ($218) are going to go quickly in my opinion. You don’t see Fryes with this much style often, and almost never at a pre-season discount. I was very tempted by this Vince Two Tone Coat ($449). Again, another item that I suspect won’t be around long. It’s modern and classic. This 90% wool coat looks like it will keep out serious cold while still looking cool. Pair this with a nuclear-bright scarf and you’re set. vince coat   Are we ready for Fall? Did you pick up anything from the event? Feel free to share in the comments.

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Jul 112014
 

Nars Dual Intensity Eyeshadows All ShadesHere is an entire line of the new formula NARS Dual Intensity Eyeshadows ($29 each/0.05 oz.), which has a mix of a unique texture, wearable colors with a touch of NARS-edge, and gorgeous reflectivity.  I’m posting this from Colorado using pictures that I took in the drought-million-degree temperatures of California, and playing with these shadows every day as I ready myself for a day of conferencing. Part of this is my excitement of this new line, and the other part is that I genuinely love you all and don’t want you to miss out on these beautiful new shadows. These are currently available at NARS online, Neiman Marcus, Barney’s New YorkBloomingdaleand Nordstrom.Nars Dual Intensity Shadows All 31 The shade names have a celestial inspiration, which is appropriate given that these resemble stars. What is difficult to understand from a single static image of the line is the amazing way that these eyeshadow interact with changes in light, and yet still retain their ability to hold onto their beautiful color. So my reviews of these shadows will include more pictures than usual to convey how they look when you are holding and using them. All shadows are in the same order as they are in the pictures above: Nars Dual Intensity Eyeshadows05According to the line, these shades can be applied dry for a sheer finish, or wet for more intensity. All swatches in this post are dry, and in many cases with a few swipes. So you can see that you do not have to use these wet to get intense colors. With many, I got intense color with a soft brush and a single pass. The other aspect of these is how beautifully these shadows coordinate together. I put together a few “quads” (groups of four) without much thought, hoping to show that these are a well-thought out set of colors that integrate well together. Here’s a mix of cools and warms:   Nars Dual Intensity Eyeshadows09 I love the way that these colors play off of each other for a beautiful mix:Nars Dual Intensity Eyeshadows08 This mix has two metallic shades–Dione and Himalia-which are extraordinary accent colors that will coordinate well with the satins and mattes that you likely already have in your collection.Nars Dual Intensity Eyeshadows10 Here are some sets of swatches of all shades. First up is the satiny, complex black NARS Syncorax and the deep starry navy Giove that has pink-purple reflects. This set also includes two ephemeral highlight shades, which primarily reflect color. Cassiopeia reflects pink, and Andromeda reflects a soft gold similar to the NARS Alabaster highlighter for face. Nars Dual Intensity Eyeshadows15a Swatches: Nars Sycorax Giove Cassiopeia Andromeda Another: Nars Sycorax Giove Cassiopeia Andromeda Here is another set. It was important to me to swatch the last three shades (Subra, Phoebe and Desdemona) together, because there are some similarities looking at their pans in that there are violets/mauves/purples throughout all. As you can see, on the skin they are completely different. First is the soft peach-with-a-touch-of-pink Europa, a beautiful highlight shade that is a smoother version of many soft highlight shades. NARS Subra Nars swatch shadows3 Here are the swatches (please note that these are a different order than the picture, above, but properly labeled in all pictures). You might click on this one to enlarge it so that you can see the complexity of these shades.

NARS Subra Desdemona Europa Phoebe1a

Another, slightly tiling away from the (blazing!) sun. Of these, shimmery Phoebe changes the most when moved in the light:NARS Subra Desdemona Europa Phoebe2a

 

One more:

NARS Subra Desdemona Europa Phoebe3aFinally! The gorgeous metallic shades. These will not look “soft and buttery” in their pans but let me tell you that if you place a brush on these and sweep them across your lid these are heaven. The pigment is highly layer able, so if you want a subtle “sheen” on your lid, do a single sweep (use a soft neutral matte in the crease, and you have an amazing eye). You can layer these up to full metallic intensity if you keep building them up. On my eye, I do one or two sweeps. For evening and on my arm, I built up three to four layers.Nars swatch shadows2All of the above shades have the same metallic qualities. Nars Callisto has soft pink/mauve undertones and pairs well with Phoebe and Subra. NARS Himalia and Dione are currently both killing it with soft golden tones. Himalia is more of a soft true gold, and Dione is a “cool gold.” Because I have been searching for years to find a pretty cool gold, I’m delighted to see it in this collection. NARS Lysithea is a remarkable silver with a slight sage tint, which looks remarkably good on warm tones (and of course is made for cool skin tones as well). Lysithea looks amazing with Sycorax smudged into the lash line, by the way. Nars Callisto Himalia Dione Lysithea If you think that all of these look too good to choose between them, you are right. In my opinion, you need them all. They are different enough that they aren’t really substitutes. If you have to cut out one, I’d get Dione if you have cool skin tone, and Himalia for warm. Yet I am  not taking my own advice, because I’ve worn Dione for several days and I cannot seem to stop (I have warm skin tones). More: Nars Callisto Himalia Dione LysitheaTilted away from the California sun: Nars Callisto Himalia Dione LysitheaThe NARS dual intensity metallics change the most in the light. Here are the same swatches in shade, you can see that these are far more subtle: Nars Callisto Himalia Dione LysitheaOverall, I adore these. They are all winners, honestly. The question is going to be which to get first, and when to get the rest. I’m going to keep playing with these and update with another post focusing on the individual shades. Nars Dual Intensity Eyeshadows06

These are currently available at NARS online, Neiman Marcus, Barney’s New York, Bloomingdales and Nordstrom.

These were provided 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 112014
 

Tatcha 01aTatcha is an elegant skincare line that does a superb job with everything that I’ve tried. Without exception. They use simple, powerful formulations that are designed to integrate beautifully into one’s life. This philosophy relies on time-tested ingredients, sophisticated science, and the power of natural ingredients derived from the East. The new Tatcha Water Collection is a wonderful addition that is consistent with this intent of the line.

Tatcha 02a

The mainstay of Tatcha’s new Water Collection is the Luminous Deep Hydration Firming Serum ($95/1.0 oz). For me, this serum performed several tasks–it was a lovely moisturizing serum that dried down immediately that was virtually weightless on my skin. Somehow, the product acted as a beautiful makeup base, giving me a lovely, even texture on my skin. In part, this was because (after a minute or two) my skin looked glowing and smooth. The other was because the texture of the product–which is featherweight–provided a wonderful base that seemed to allow my foundation to glide on and stay all day.

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As always, Tacha’s packaging is a luxurious joy  to use. This pump bottle feels like glass, yet seemed to survive several runs in checked luggage unscathed. The serum is clear, and has a very subtle scent that fades quickly.

Tatcha 05a

One pump completely covered my face, although sometimes I used another for neck. Unlike a moisturizer, Tacha’s Luminous Deep Hydration serum is a true serum–the product is light and quickly absorbs. It uses a blend of Okinawa red algae and hyaluronic acid to soothe and firm my skin.  The effects are not immediate, as in “you look in the mirror, your face becomes transformed.” Rather, for me Tatcha’s Luminous serum is cumulative and perceptible over time. After about three days, my 5 pm glance in the mirror told me that my face looked more bright, smoother, and more firm and younger. The longer that I used it, the strong the effect became.

Tatcha 06a

Ingredient list (click to enlarge):

Tatcha 09
Although you might think that the serum is enough, you must, must, must try the Tatcha Luminous Deep Hydration Revitalizing Eye Mask ($12 for one/ $95 for 10). This is the very best eye mask that I’ve ever used., including those I’ve received from spas.

Tatcha 12

The mask comes in two parts, in a foil packet that infuses the clear liquid into the mask.

Tatcha 17The foil packet is travel friendly, but after the first time use I can see integrating this into a weekly home routine.

Tatcha 20

The masks simply sit around the eye area. I got lost in a writing project, and left them on for about twenty minutes. There is not a hint of harshness, rather there is a feeling of hydration and freshness.

Tatcha 22Afterwards, my eye area felt tightened, toned and hydrated in a “you look in the mirror, your face becomes transformed” kind of way. The effect lasted well into the next day, even a bit into a third day. Really, incredible. Must try, and with the $12 version sold separately, that is easy to do without making a large investment.

Tatcha 19

Overall, both Tacha items are a beautifully formulated, effective, and integrate beautifully into my current beauty routine. Truly some of the best, most thoughtful of the skincare collections.  These are available at Tacha online. Although the eye mask is currently sold out (sob!) , it should be re-stocked soon. Also, the line is carried at Barneys although these items do not appear to be stocked yet I am hopeful that they will be soon.

Eye Mask and Water Serum 2

These items were 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 102014
 

L'Occitane L'huile essentualle1L’Occitane’s Angelica line is, well, angelic in my book. Lately, I’ve been testing L’Occitane Angelica Hydra Vita Gel ($38/1.7 oz.). This particular product fills a serious need in the beauty world–a beautiful, fresh, gel moisturizer that is perfectly appropriate for all skin types, but particularly useful for combination and oily skin. This moisturizer is so refreshing and cooling, it’s perfect for summer mornings and evenings. It feels delicious.

L'Occitane L'huile essentualle2I just spent two weeks in the dry, hot mountain air of Colorado. I used to believe that my “glow in the afternoon” skin didn’t need any moisturizer, until enough people told me that my skin looked dehydrated. After using some serums and moisturizers for a few weeks, I realized how much better my skin looks with some light refreshing moisture. Although I love my creams, in the warm summer months a light gel give the perfect amount of moisture.

L'Occitane L'huile essentualle3

L’Occitane Angelica Hydra Gel felt amazing to start off my day, and after a long day in that very dry climate (made even worse by the hotel air conditioning).  This gel feels naturally cool, and has a very soft light scent that evokes light cucumber and lovely herbs. This gel is from L’Occitane’s Angelica line, which has natural hydrating and revitalizing properties. Unlike some cool gels, Angelica Hydra Gel has no sting of alcohol or harshness of any kind. Rather, it plumps the texture of my skin and felt very soothing, even on irritated skin (don’t ask, but I’ve never gotten off a flight without some problem or other!). It feels lovely on neck, shoulders and arms as well.

L'Occitane L'huile essentualle5L’Occitane Angelica Hydra Gel comes in a generously-sized pot, sealed for freshness, and is a real treat. I wouldn’t want to go through the summer months without it.  Bottom line, highly recommended.

The L’Occintane Angelica Hydra Gel is available on L’Occintane.com. There are some additional L’Occitane online offers on right now as well using these links and codes:

Travel Ready Summer Skincare! FREE Angelica skincare duo of hydrating Toner and Cleansing gel with $45 purchase. Use code ANGELICA. Valid 7/8-7/29/2014.

Receive the Fragrance Trio Sampler for Only $22! Offer valid 7/2-7/29.

Receive a FREE Skincare Travel Gift with any $45 purchase! Offer valid 7/2-7/29.

Receive The Summer Zest Set (Over $40 Value!) for only $22 with any $45 Purchase! Offer valid 7/2-7/29.

Receive a FREE 50ml Shea Cleansing Milk with any $30+ Moisturizer! Use Code: REFRESH. Offer valid 7/2-7/29.

This product was sent to Cafe Makeup without charge for consideration for review. This post includes affiliate links (for more information, see About Cafe Makeup

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Jul 092014
 

Note: Shop the NORDSTROM Anniversary Sale for Beauty Exclusives. Plus, get free shipping & returns on every order. To see them prior to July 18th, you might sign into your account linked to a Nordstrom charge card.

Nars Nordstrom Anniversay 2014NARS is offering three Summer Gifting sets as part of the Nordstrom Anniversary Event. If you are a Nordstrom cardholder, you’ll get access to these items (and the rest of Nordstrom’s Anniversary Event items) on July 10th. For everyone else, the event begins the following week.

summer2014_narsgifting004

NARS Uninhibited Set: $52: A trio of intrigue and seduction – Dolce Vita Lipstick, Lip Gloss and limited edition Nail Polish presented in a sleek black lacquered box. I must admit, Dolce Vita is a perfect color for so many people. This would make an excellent gift, because these shades are so universal.

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NARS Climax Set, $52: A fantasy of shocking pink in the legendary Schiap – featuring a Lipstick, limited edition Lip Gloss and Nail Polish housed in a matching pink, lacquered box. Is there a woman who doesn’t need Schiap? This entire set looks so confident, summer-ready, and beautiful.

Nars Domination Palette

NARS Domination blush palette, $49 A rush of blush – delivering insatiable glamour for cheeks, this exclusive palette features three signature Blush shades (Orgasm, Laguna and Mistinguette) and Devotee Highlighting Blush. I was fortunate enough to receive this item from NARS for review, and as usual the quality is absolutely stellar. This is a perfect palette for a sculpted cheek, with a touch of bronze, highlighter, and two beautiful blush shades. In sun:

Nars Domination palette 2

In shade:

Nars Domination Palette 3Here are swatches of the beautifully formulated palette:

Nars Domination Palette 4I think if I had to choose, I’d give the Dolce Vita set to my good friend (who is a bit conservative), Domination as a gift for my niece, and keep the Schiap for myself. What would you do?

Shop the NORDSTROM Anniversary Sale for Beauty Exclusives. Plus, get free shipping & returns on every order. To see them prior to July 18th, you might sign into your account linked to a Nordstrom charge card.

This post contains a product sent by Nars for consideration for review. This post contains affiliate links (for more information, see About Cafe Makeup).

 

 

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