Mar 302013
 

Guerlain Sun Scrub1

Guerlain Sun Scrub ($65/5.1 oz.) has just been released for Summer 2013. This cleanser is unusual, with a niche appeal, yet fits a market need so well that it’s worth a look. This scrub has very subtle self-tanning  properties that will appeal to those who frequently exfoliate. This will be a bit of a surprise to some, as the descriptive material does not mention this quality.  I learned about the self-tanning aspect through my discussion with the extremely helpful Guerlain Las Vegas Boutique. We tried it, and it does work on us.

Guerlain Sun Scrub3

First, Guerlain Sun Scrub is an all-over body scrub. The tube is big, with a relatively generous 5.1 ounce. It has a lush, summer-in-St. Tropez scent that gives me a sort of relaxing “I’m on a beach” effect. The moisturizing gel has microbeads in the formula to give you a softening, moisturizing and exfoliating effect. According to Guerlain, the primary purpose of this product is to prepare the skin for tanning. I’ve used this all over, including on the face, without any breakouts or concerns and it’s quite a luxurious way to start your day.

Guerlain Sun Scrub

There are a group of women and men who exfoliate frequently, including those who use retin-based products or overnight exfoliators, masks, shower scrubs, Perricone MD Blue Plasma and/or brushes and textured cloths. Gentle, frequent exfoliation is a wonderful way to get glowing skin, but makes a self-tanner temporary. I haven’t wanted to spend time waiting for self-tanner to set and dry, only to start over the next day.

Guerlain, apparently reading our minds, has added a gentle, self-tanning property to this scrub that gives just a very subtle tan effect. So as you wash, you tan. If I were to estimate the effect on me, I would say it’s about 1/8 to 1/4 step between foundation shades. It’s a nice effect on winter-white skin. Of course, it’s Guerlain so it’s a flattering non-orange color. The effect is cumulative–if you wash twice in a row, the effect is stronger.

I realize that the price point and the niche appeal of this product will not have everyone rushing to the counters. Yet I found the idea ingenious, so I thought this was a review worth publishing for those looking for just a boost of color as we transition from winter to spring.

Guerlain Sun Scrub is available at Nordstrom.com and other Guerlain counters. I don’t yet see this on Sephora.

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May 222012
 

Guerlain has numerous bronzers, including the permanent Blondes and Brunettes bronzers with the iconic mosaic pattern surface. As someone with a lighter skin tone, I found that Guerlain Blondes, although recommended for those in my coloring range, was too subtle for my personal taste. I gifted mine to Liz, who I suspect rarely uses it.

This summer, Guerlain’s limited edition Terracotta collection includes two new shades, Guerlain Terracotta Sun Blondes (04) and Sun Brunettes (05) ($50 each), which are stronger versions of the permanent shades.

Longtime brand fans might remember Guerlain Terracotta Blondes Hâlées released in 2o10.  I found that the 2012 Terracotta Sun Blondes and Blondes Hâlées are remarkably similar. You can see the same mosaic pattern in this comparison between my new Sun Blondes and my well-worn Blondes Hâlées:

The difference that you see in the above picture is because the Blondes Hâlées on the right is well-used.  If the products were both in the same condition, they would be quite similar.

Swatched side by side, they both shared the similar pink-bronze tones, and a very similar texture. I found that the Blondes Hâlées swatched slightly darker. The difference was so subtle that I felt some might be due to the fact that my Blondes Hâlées is quite well-used by now. The powder might simply come off more easily on the more worn product. Both applied heavily:

I’m going to call these “close enough” to be duplicates. You should note that we tried to apply Sun Blondes on Megan, but given her medium skin tone we found Sun Blondes too light. Those with skin tones roughly NC30 and higher should explore Sun Brunettes (05) instead.

I really love this more pigmented version of the Guerlain Blondes bronzer. It has enough tone, looks natural, and has a touch of textural glow that I find very flattering. The pink tones don’t substitute for a blush, but sometimes I wear the bronzer alone for a very natural glow. If I hadn’t worn down so much of my Blondes Hâlées, I might have skipped Sun Blondes. However, I do use my bronzers up all the way to the bottom pan, so I know I’ll get good use out of this years version.

 

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May 052012
 

Elizabeth Arden Rose Aurora Spring/Summer 2012 Collection is a blend of bronzes and rose tones that looks beautifully gift-able (as Mother’s Day approaches, this may solve your shopping dilemma). This color story is a modern twist on the original 1950’s collection designed by Elizabeth Arden herself, with soft rose gold packaging. I loved the originality and beauty of this summer-lovely packaging–it evokes art nouveau in my mind. The colors are a built around accentuated eyes, a soft shimmery lip and glowing skin.

The Pure Finish Bronze Powder comes in three colors ($38 each/0.30 oz.))–Soft Radiance, Warm Radiance, and Deep Radiance. These have a soft, shimmering finish. All three tend to run warm, consistent with the Rose Gold theme of the collection. These bronzers include Zin’cite, an ingredient said to energize and protect skin cells, together with green tea, white tea and minerals that provide antioxidant protection.

For applying these, I found that a large soft brush (including Elizabeth Arden’s own ($22, pictured below) worked perfectly. These bronzers are well pigmented, so put that kabuki away! You do want to chose the right color for your skin tone–going too light or too dark won’t be as flattering as it might be.

Soft Radiance was the right choice for my warm-toned fair skin (NC15/Chanel Cameo/Ivoire). By my estimate, I would suggest those with NC30-40 to go with Warm Radiance, and deeper tones with Deep Radiance. These have a fairly large amount of product for the price point (the pans are fairly large), and with the good pigmentation one should last quite a while.

Here are swatches, including the Honey Ceramide Cream blush ($24), a very natural deep warm rose tone:

Here’s Honey blush:

The collection includes a rose gold shimmering highlighting powder, the Pure FInish Highlighter in Rose Illumination ($34), which delivers very high shine. This pictures shows the new Elizabeth Arden All Over Face Powder Brush ($22):

A close of the shimmering powder–those who wear this will want a very reflective glow, keeping the application to the upper cheeks, and perhaps a touch to the brow bone. Like the bronzers, the highlighter includes Zin’cite, green tea, white tea and minerals.

My favorite piece of the collection was the Rose Aurora Ceramide Ultra Lipstick ($22.50). I loved the light, wearable rose with the rose gold shimmer.

The collection includes two liquid liners with felt tip applicators–these Elizabeth Arden Liquid Eyeliners come in both Black and Brown ($18 each).

You can see the tips of these liners are nicely defined:

Here are swatches of these items:

Elizabeth Arden sent a sample of a new fragrance, Elizabeth Arden Green Tea Cherry Blossom ($29/1.7 fl. oz. and $39/3.3 fl. oz., Honey Drops Cream is $29.50 for 8.4 oz.).

This scent is an extremely pleasant floral mix, well-named as it does have a lovely cherry blossom scent. Really, it evoked the beauty cherry trees that I remember from my East Coast childhood. This is tempered with a light green tea undertone..

Because the packaging is so lovely, I could easily see these appreciated as gifts for several women that I know in my life. This time of year seems to be a particularly heavy gift-shopping time for me–teachers, principals, coaches, Mother’s Day (which seems to include my many “mother-like” mentors), and birthdays. Depending on your recipient, I can imagine many would appreciate the beauty and usefulness of any one (or more) of these items in this collection.

The Elizabeth Arden Rose Gold Collection was sent to Cafe Makeup without charge or consideration for review.

 

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May 042012
 

Burberry Beauty has a limited edition Iconic Nudes, which includes the Sheer Summer Glow Natural Highlighting Compact ($50). A combination of two bronzers, a light whisper pink and a pearly highlighter shade, this bronzer adds a soft layer of natural blush-bronzer to those with lighter skin tones.

In sun:

In shade, the pearly texture of the powder can be seen:

Here are swatches both blended (on the left), and of the individual colors on the right:

Burberry’s standard line of bronzers includes a variety for a range of skin tones. This palette appears to be desgined for lighter skin tones–perhaps NC 35 and higher. The colors are so soft and delicate that it’s difficult to apply too much.

I applied the left (bronzer) side of the palette mixed, using a kabuki brush (the Edward Bess Luxury Face Brush) on the contour area of the cheek, and touching it on the forehead, bridge of nose and chin.  I used the hightlighter/blush (the right side) on the top of my cheek. I then used the highlighter color applied lightly just under my brows for a tiny highlight there.

The colors are very soft and natural, and should accommodate both warm and cool skin tones. This is absolutely gorgeous, lovingly made, and embellished with the iconic Burberry check. Absolutely amazing, versatile palette for a natural, glowing look.

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Apr 132011
 

Last week, I purchased Dior Nude Glow Aurora Healthy Glow Summer Powder ($46 /#001), the lighter bronzing powder from Dior’s Summer 2011 Electric Tropics Collection.  I’ve had the chance to play with this bronzer which confirm that this is exactly what I want to use in Summer 2011.

As you might recall, Aurora is the lighter toned bronzer of Dior’s Summer 2011 collection, suitable for my NC15/Chanel Cameo Intensity 1.0 complexion.  I believe if you are deeper than MAC NC 30, you should look into the deeper version, Sunset (#002).  As you can see, Aurora is an elaborately textured pressed powder that his a mix of light pink with a whisper of peach, a golden bronze and a tan.  If pressed, I would say that this bronzer leans warm with a touch of pink (and a tiny dab of peach).

Application tips: My favorite way to wear this was to use a very soft wash of color, then adding a more concentrated dose on the upper cheeks, nose, forehead and chin.  I started by applying very light layers using a large brush with very soft, pliable bristles.  I used this Chanel Euro powder brush, keep in mind that Burberry will be selling a version that is similar soon.  A Shu 18R or other very soft powder brush would work well too.  Avoid using a blush or bronzer brush for this stage, or you might get too much color.  I used the sweeping downward motion suggested by the House of Dior, where I swept the brush over the face lightly in a direction that mimics how the sun touches the skin in daylight.  The key is to go very lightly at this step, you just want a faint bit of color.  Also, do not fill in areas where the light would not hit (eye sockets, under the nose,  etc.) to avoid flattening out the face.

Then, I used a small-headed brush (in my case, a MAC 165 brush, but others will work too) and blush brush, to more precisely place the bronzer.  Here’s a nice bronzer tutorial by Lisa Eldridge:

Thoughts: Aurora is going to be one of my very favorite bronzers, based on its versatility and the touch of pink.  It looks very natural, as your skin might look as a tan with a faint touch of pink.  The warmth and pink cast remind of how skin actually looks when its been in the sun, rather than a powder bronzer.  The powder is extremely finely milled, and it gives just a touch of glow.  I just loved it.  Fortunately, the compact is very large, (.35 ounces), so there is plenty of product to get me all of the way through September.

As a comparison with other bronzers, both Edward Bess Daydream and Nars Laguna are more neutral (less warm and no pink) and deeper in tone.  When applied on the face, Soleil de Chanel Terre Epice is only slightly deeper, and lacks the pink tone of Dior Aurora.  I really love Dior Aurora, and I’m glad to have it as part of my collection.   Highly recommended.

 

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