Today at Dior Couture

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Jul 062015
 

The makeup was simple at today’s Dior Couture show in Paris. According to Peter Philips, creative and image director of Christian Dior makeup, “it’s all about skin, skin, skin, and a touch of peach on the eye.” Philips sent models down the runway at Dior Couture with peach shimmer lids, gleamy cheekbones, and “leftover shine” lips.

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May 042014
 
Dior Pandore Addict Stick6

Dior Pandore Addict Stick1 Dior’s Addict Fluid Stick ($35) is a new range of liquid lipstick that, at first, I tried very hard to ignore. I was under a mis-impression that the formula was nice but I was unsure whether any of the colors would work. I was so, so wrong. After an hour at a local counter, I think the only problem with this range is that nearly all of the colors work on a wide variety of skin tones. Who can get just one? Dior Pandore Addict Stick2 I’m starting my collection with Dior Fluid Stick in Pandore, a lovely pink-red. Although I know that I’ll be branching out very soon to get several more. Dior Pandore Addict Stick3 Pandore is a rich, bright, gorgeous red that can be worked into any season. Anyone that loves neutral makeup as much as I do will find that Pandore offers a perfect touch of brightening color that is always appropriate. Here is the doe foot applicator, which is quite easy to use: Dior Pandore Addict Stick4I’ll give the bottom line early (spoiler alert!)–Dior Addict Fluid Sticks are a gorgeous, gorgeous formula. I need at least two more–a pink and a nude. Maybe a deep color as well.  The quality is beautiful, and these look amazing on. Liz prefers to wear this more sheerly, and I prefer to load up the doe-foot for  a full force red. Here’s Liz’s lighter touch with Dior Pandore: Dior Pandore Addict Stick5 And a quick, rich swatch…. Dior Pandore Addict Stick6 Overall, we’re loving Dior Pandore. And I’m loving this new formula. Below, Liz is wearing Dior Fluid Stick in Pandore, Nars Lost Coast eyeshadow duo, Chanel Perfection Lumiere Velvet Foundation in #20, and Nars Olympia Contour Blush.

Liz Nars Contour Powders1a


Dior Addict Fluid Sticks are available at Nordstrom.com, Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, and Macy’s.

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Sep 252013
 
Gel Topcoats 23

Dior Spring 2013 Nail composite

Although I love the convenience of a two-week UV gel cured manicure, I’ve been looking for ways to prolong nail polish wear that doesn’t involve the difficult acetone removal process that UV manicures appear to require. Toward that end, I’ve been playing with some of the “new generation” gel topcoats.  In early April 2013, I gave a preliminary report on Dior’s Gel Coat (reviewed here).

Dior Spring 2013 Nail Polish30

I got amazing longevity using Dior’s gel topcoat. My nails grew, protected by the tough topcoat. I got beautiful, glossy results that lasted for days longer than my usual topcoats. This gives a deep, glossy gel-like coat which dries hard but retains flexibility. In late June, I began to notice that I had used quite a bit of the Dior up, and that it was getting considerably thicker and goopier as the contents of the bottle went down.

Gel Topcoats 21

Around the end of June, I threw my Dior Gel Coat into a drawer and headed for Paris. While in the City of Light, I picked up Guerlain’s Le Topcoat Gel.  I found the Guerlain worked equally as well as Dior–given that the companies are owned by the same parent, they may be the same formula for all I know.  The key is, if you can’t find one, you can get the other and be assured of good results.  The benefit to the Guerlain is that it is $1 less, and has the ball bearings inside to keep the contents stirred.

Gel Topcoats 23

The Guerlain works beautifully, by the way. Although my bottle isn’t old yet, the hardening/goopiness doesn’t seem to be quite as bad with this one (however, I do shake those ball bearings up quite a bit).  To be honest, both of these formulas have given me unprecedented longevity for my nail polish–literally, days longer than normal and very little tipwear.  Still I would, occasionally, get chips with unusually heavy nail wear.

Gel Topcoats 15

Now for the secret sauce. Still not being satisfied with these superb results, I had heard that Revlon’s Colorstay Gel-Smooth Base Coat. The only place that I’ve found this so far is Target (accept no substitute). Using the Revlon Base Coat under my nail polish really eliminated the chipping, giving me near-perfect nails up to 3-5 days. Okay, so far so good with the Revlon Base Coat–but what about the Revlon Gel-Shine Top Coat (also pictured above)?  It is a thinner formula than Dior’s or Guerlian’s. It does does prolong my nail wear somewhat. However, the Revlon does not give me the lush gel-like glossy look of the Dior or Guerlain Gel topcoats. Also, the Revlon Top Coat does not give me quite the longevity and protection of the Dior/Guerlain (even when using two coats of the Revlon top coat).

Gel Topcoats 11

What of that bottle of Dior that was tossed into a drawer prior to Paris?  Regrettably, the contents became a gummy solid in the bottom of the bottle. I thought I’d try to revive it with Seche Restore— for more information about this miracle product, see Scrangie’s post here.

seche restore

I pulled out the old lab notebook like a high school science experiment.

Gel Topcoats 12

Sadly, the Dior was too far gone for this method to work. I basically ended up with a glacial-like substance with bits of liquid Seche Restore creating a little ice floe. My thesis proved incorrect, but that Dior was really far gone when I tried this. Perhaps I’ll try again with a bottle that has more life and get better results?

In summary, I found that using nail polish over Revlon Colorstay Gel Smooth Base Coat really adds wear time to my manicure. Then, adding either the Dior or Guerlain Gel topcoats gave me the closest thing to gorgeous, glossy and protected nails that I’ll obtain outside of a UV cured gel manicure. Using these products, I get 3-5 days of wear (which never happens), and a beautifully glossy, gel-like texture. For me, this wear time is highly unusual. I’ve heard of people getting longer wear but I’ve rarely gone this long. These all remove easily with a standard nail polish remover (no acetone needed). I love it. Of course, the downside is that one wants to use up the bottle that’s been opened (given my experience with the drying out of the Dior Gel). I’m concerned about storage for bottles once they’ve been opened.

Do you have any polish pointers?  Please share them… remember, sharing is caring!

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Sep 042013
 
Dior Fall Nail203

Dior Fall Nail03

I’m a little late to the party with Dior Fall Nail Colors Galaxie and Destin ($24 each), but given that my favorite of the two (Galaxie) is still in stock I thought these were worth a quick look.

Dior Fall Nail06a

Dior Galaxie is a stunning complex cool burgundy with plenty of flash and saturated color. Really, this one’s stunning.

Dior Fall Nail07a

There are multicolor shimmers in the mix, which translate in bright sunlight (indoors, there is a nice dimensionality):

Dior Fall Nail203

I’m still loving the large brush on these. For me application is quite easy. This is two coats.

Dior Fall Nail02

I had high hopes for Dior Destin in the bottle. Doesn’t it look like a gorgeous mauve satin, almost like a ball gown fabric?

Dior Fall Nail210

I also liked the color on the nail, but the texture seemed to frost up a bit and look thick. Also, this might work better on a cooler skin color (mine is warm).  So, for me Dior Galaxie was a clear “must have” winner. Sadly, Destin was not destined to be my favorite Fall shade.

Dior Fall Nail03

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Aug 162013
 
Dior Constellation Bonne Etoile22

Dior Constellation Bonne Etoile01

Dior is doing some impressive things lately. This fall, they’ve released two limited edition palettes–Dior Bonne Etoile and Constellation 5-Color Eye Palettes ($60 each). We’re a bit behind the curve posting about these, but I’m hoping there are a few out there if you see anything that you like. Mostly, this post is a big rave for so many changes that Dior has been making to its line. We love an innovator! 

Dior Constellation Bonne Etoile02

Both palettes are part of the Mystic Metallic collections, which is a high-metal, high glamour. Dior Bonne Etoile has a range of cool blue and green-teal, a gorgeous complicated green, a sparkling bronze-brown and a high-shine cool champagne.

Dior Constellation Bonne Etoile03

There’s something so happy and adorable about those little stars. Swatches:

Dior Constellation Bonne Etoile20

Liz and I found that these are strong, high-shine colors. Any single one of these deeper shades was enough, all on it’s own, to make a pretty eye. This palette has so much drama and glitz that we haven’t yet worked up the courage to use them all at the same time. There’s plenty of color and pigment here, this is a beautifully done palette. Here’s Liz wearing the middle shade only:

Dior Constellation Bonne Etoile13a

Dior Constellation was part of Nordstrom’s Annivesary Sale. It has a range of sparkling, metallic plums and pinks.

Dior Constellation Bonne Etoile05

Up close, you can see this shimmery, highly pigmented color:

Dior Constellation Bonne Etoile06

Swatches:

Dior Constellation Bonne Etoile21

Here is Dior Constellation on Liz, using only the middle three colors:

Dior Constellation Bonne Etoile10

We found these are nicely designed, well-formulated and beautifully made. When the weather cools, we expect to dip into these to get some beautiful, Fall-friendly eyes.

 

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May 162013
 
Dior Paradise Duo Bronzer 210

Dior Paradise Duo Bronzer 203Dior does bronzers so well. This summer’s release include two blush/bronzer duos–the Dior Nude Tan Paradise Blush & Bronzer Duos in Pink Glow #1 and Coral Glow #2 ($56 each) They’re both beautiful.

Dior Paradise Duo Bronzer 207

Both are packed in a velveteen slipcover together with a small kabuki brush (which has its own velveteen slipcover).

Dior Paradise Duo Bronzer 202

Dior Nude Tan Paradise Blush & Bronzer in Pink Glow #2 has a lighter bronzer color and a cool-toned pink blush. 

Dior Paradise Duo Bronzer 11a

As with other Dior bronzers, the powder is finely milled and has a flattering sheen that mimics a healthy skin texture (without sparkle or shimmer).

Dior Paradise Duo Bronzer 14

Dior Nude Tan Paradise Blush & Bronzer in Coral Glow #2 has a slightly deeper bronzer and warm coral blush that packs a beautiful pigmentation level.

Dior Paradise Duo Bronzer 205a

Like Pink Glow, Coral glow has the same beautiful Dior texture. 

Dior Paradise Duo Bronzer 206a

The split pans are relatively small, but it is possible to keep the application separate by using a small headed highlighter or blush brush.  To play with the blush and bronzer portions separately, I’ve been using this Hakuhodo H2109 blush brush, which has a small, dense head.

Hakuhodo H21091

Another good choice is a MAC 165 Cheek & Highlighter brush. Of course, any blush/powder brush can be used if you with to swirl the colors together, which gives a beautiful effect as well. Here are swatches of both bronzers, separately and mixed. As you can see, mixing Pink Glow with the bronzer really warms up the color nicely. In fact, the more that you mix Dior Pink Glow with the bronzer the coolness of the pink blush disappears almost entirely:

Dior Paradise Bronzer Swatches3

Here is Liz in Dior Pink Glow #1:

Dior Bronzer Paradise No 1a

And here she is in Dior Coral Glow #2:

Dior Bronzer Paradise No. 2b

As you might expect, we love these (Liz prefers Coral Glow, I love both). Another lovely summer bronzer set from Dior–well done, beautifully executed in its packaging and quality.

Available at: Nordstrom.com, Sephora.com, and other Dior points of sale.

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May 142013
 
Dior Bronzer Paradise No. 2a

Dior Nude Tan BB Cream07

For Summer 2013, Dior has released a new BB Creme, Diorskin Nude Tan BB Creme ($44/1.0 oz). This product is intended to enhance and prolong an existing tan, as well as to add hydration by adding jisten, mauve and hibiscus, as well as green, red and white tea extracts to offer the skin-illuminating effects. Despite being a summer product, this is offered as an SPF 15.

Dior Nude Tan BB Cream09

I find these types of products useful for a few reasons. First, sometimes my body sometimes picks up more sun than my face (where I use the strongest sunscreens).  A deeper tinted moisturizer can really even out the difference. I have been using the Guerlain Terracotta Tinted Moisturizer to mix with my standard foundations during the summer months to deepen its tone to add just a touch of sunny color. Also, these products can add a sort of “bonne mine” effect (that is French for the concept of a healthy glow).

Dior Nude Tan BB Cream10

The packaging is Dior-licious, it’s convenient, perfect for travel, and sanitary with the pump applicator. On application, I got a strong scent of alcohol, which is not my favorite ingredient.  

Dior Nude Tan BB Cream08

I purchased this in Shade 001 (the lightest of 2) without trying it first, a decision I soon came to regret. This shifted to a too-dark color with a strong orange tint just as it dried down. Within a few minutes, this look very unnatural especially on my forehead (for reference, I’m about a MAC NC15/ Chanel Ivoire/Cameo). As with all makeup, your mileage may vary, but I was surprised because it happens so rarely for me.

I certainly didn’t expect a skin match.  I wear sunscreen and hats so I’m pale. I’m familiar with the “darker for summer” genre of face products. In fact, I’ve used more than half of  a bottle of Guerlain Terracotta Tinted Moisturizer, which is not a true match for my skin-tone either. Between the two, I’d definitely recommend Guerlain’s (this year’s version is here). Guerlain’s feels moisturizing and lovely. It actually improves my foundations when I add it in, making my skin look better (Dior’s did not have this same smoothing, moisturizing effect). Guerlain’s has that blurry, yet natural, thing that helps everyone’s skin looks smooth and pretty. Guerlain’s doesn’t have the alcohol scent (although it does have a perfume scent which fades with a few minutes).

Here are some comparison swatches. These swatches aren’t perfect, because the Guerlain looks warmer here. This doesn’t reflect the color shift that happened when the Diorskin Nude Tan dried down. When applied to my face, the Guerlain looks far more natural in skin tone (and I can always add a kick of foundation to soften the color if I like, because it plays well with others):

Dior Summer BB Creamb1

Here’s the ingredient list for the Diorskin Nude Tan BB Creme (click to enlarge):

Dior Nude Tan BB Cream03

More:

Dior Nude Tan BB Cream04

You should note that this Diorskin Nude Tan BB Creme is not just a tinted version of the Diorskin Nude BB Creme—a quick comparison reveals that the ingredient lists are quite different.

In other news, I have a few more new summer BB Cremes to review over this week and into next, so stay tuned! In the meantime, with deep regret I’ve concluded that Diorskin Nude Tan is not a match made in heaven for me. I advise a sample before you buy, especially given my own individual experience with the product.

Available at Nordstrom (Guerlain’s Terracotta Tinted Moisturizer and Diorskin Nude Tan BB Creme).

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Apr 242013
 
Dior BB Cream swatches2

Dior BB Cream02

Over the past several weeks, Dior has released the Diorskin Nude BB Creme ($44/1 oz.). I bought the Diorskin Nude with some hesitancy, because I really love Diorsnow UV Shield BB Creme. I really like the Diorsnow BB Creme’s SPF 50 rating, the medium coverage, and the overall feel and look when applied. Parenthetically, the Diorsnow BB Creme has never left me with a single clogged pore. Nonetheless, in the interest of Dior science, I took the plunge to try the Diorskin Nude version.

Dior BB Cream07

One advantage to the new Diorskin BB Creme is that it is offered in four shades. Although some lines have only one colors, others have five–like Goldilocks, Dior must have decided that four shades are just right. You can see swatches of all colors on Karen’s site at the Makeup and Beauty Blog. After doing a swatch test at Nordstrom’s counter, I found that Diorskin #002 was a good match for my Chanel Claire/Ivoire, MAC NC15/20 skintone.

Dior BB Cream swatches1 copy

Here are some comparisons with Diorskin Nude BB Creme in #002, Diorsnow UV Shield BB Creme, Nars Tinted Moisturizer in Alaska, Chanel Perfection Lumiere #20 Beige, MAC Pro Longwear NC 15, and Make Up For Ever HD Foundation in #118. Of all of the swatches, above, Diorskin Nude BB Creme is the sheerest. However, Diorskin Nude BB Creme is genius when layered. I was able to add 2 and 3 layers over problematic areas without getting any texture or caking up.

Dior BB Cream10

Diorskin Nude BB Creme is rated at SPF 10, a significant difference from Diorsnow UV Shield’s SPF 50. As California moves into the sunniest season, this lower sunscreen rating makes Diorsnow UV Shield a better product in my calculation. Yes, I do use a separate sunscreen but it’s nice to have on those rushed days. Of course, Diorsnow’s very limited available shade range is a great downside.

Dior BB Cream11a

 Diorskin Nude BB Creme has the easy travel portability, similar to the squeeze tube of the Nars Pure Radiance Tinted Moisturizer (reviewed here). Between those two, Nars Tinted Moisturizer has a larger available color range, stronger coverage, and lasts longer throughout the day. Also, Nars Tinted Moisturizer has SPF 30 plus skin care ingredients that help reduce dark spots and hyper pigmentation. Diorskin Nude does not advertise those qualities.

Dior BB Cream swatches2

I noticed that Diorskin Nude BB Creme has a long dry-down period. This means that the product seemed to stay moist on my skin for a good 20 minutes before I felt that it had settled down. I don’t like to apply blush over wet foundation, because it can go patchy. I usually resolved this by adding Nars Light Reflecting Loose Powder on top, so that I could proceed to add powder blush or bronzer faster.

Overall, Diorskin Nude BB Creme gives a nice, natural, sheer, glowy coverage. It feels much more like a light tinted moisturizer than a BB creme, nonetheless the 4-shade range is an advantage.

My personal take is that the higher-SPF coverage products in my drawer (Nars Tinted Moisturizer and Diorsnow UV Shield BB Creme) are better suited to my own needs. However, I’ve come to recognize that foundations and base products are very much “your mileage may vary” type products. Dior’s offering fills a nice niche for those looking for a simple, comfortable, moisturizing, and sheer product.

Ingredient and use listing (click to enlarge):

Dior BB Cream03

More:

Dior BB Cream06

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Apr 072013
 

Dior Spring 2013 Nail composite

Dior’s new Summer 2013 nail polish collection is phenomenal. Dior has included four shades: Dior Princess, Spring Ball, Delice and Diablotine ($24 each). The colors have a stunning shimmer fleck, a gorgeous formula, and saturated yet sophisticated color. In addition, Dior has developed a new formula Dior Gel Coat topcoat ($24) that gives a glossy, plushy shine that is intended to evoke the look of a gel manicure with far easier removal and no special light required. The combination is gorgeous, as the topcoat brings out the shine and color of this new Dior collection beautifully. The gel topcoat was used on all of these images. Without the gel, the polishes have a satin finish.

Dior Spring 2013 Nail Polish03a

My favorite is Dior Diablotine, a deep red with fuchsia pink tones and a dash of coral orange. This is complicated and amazing. Summer 2013, I’m ready! The glass fleck is visible in both indoor and outdoor light, when the light hits. This is a shockingly beautiful, saturated red, it makes me happy just to look down at my nails and see this color. Love. I ordered a second one yesterday because this one is a “good to the last bit” sort of color for me. This is almost a one-coat wonder, but looks richer with two. The formula is smooth and perfect.

Dior Spring 2013 Nail Polish30

Dior Delice is a bright shimmery coral. This is a beautiful color to wear with summer colors that include blues, yellows, peaches.

Dior Spring 2013 Nail Polish07

Dior Delice looks like a juicy tangerine:

Dior Spring 2013 Nail Polish19

Dior Spring Ball is a beautiful soft warm pink coral with a beautiful shimmer:

Dior Spring 2013 Nail Polish10

Spring Ball is such a soft color, it’s perfect for a pretty everyday color. Applied:

Dior Spring 2013 Nail Polish15

Dior Princess is a soft cool pink. This is aptly named, the rich shimmer gives a beautiful rich shimmer to this very soft flattering pink:

Dior Spring 2013 Nail Polish06

Dior Princess applied:

Dior Spring 2013 Nail Polish27

The Dior Gel Coat works on any nail polish, and gives a hard, glossy shine. It’s certainly held up beautifully over the past few days. It’s a great topcoat, and I’m glad that Dior has invested in this often-overlooked basic. Excellent.

Dior Spring 2013 Nail Polish12

Although this will do better for longevity than a standard top coat, it will not give the recommended two weeks that is expected by at-home light-baked gels. However, there is no acetone or special treatment needed for removal. I used Zoya Remove+, and found that the Dior Gel Coat removes as easily as an Essie, Seche Vite, and other standard topcoats on the market.

The formula and dry time on all of these was excellent. I’m so happy that Dior released this beautiful set.

Dior Summer 2013 nail polishes are available at Nordstrom.com (the gel topcoat is here), Sephora.com, and other Dior counters and sources everywhere.

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Jan 302013
 

Dior

Dior Las Vegas (phone: 702-734-1102) is receiving the Dior Pink Champagne collection in mid-February. This includes the Diorskin Nude Shimmer Compact (reviewed here by Mostly Sunny), two nail vernis polishes in the colors Golden Era and Tutu, as well as a twinset in Beige Ribbon (according to the store, a wonderful lid base color for other shadows). The collection will also include a Dior Lip Maximizer in a sparkle pink shade ($31, not pictured).  The store is taking orders as of now.

Nars Release

Nars is releasing some pretty gifts for the mid-winter season.  First, Nars 413 Blkr Multiple ($39) is a burgundy shade that echos the brick outside the New York City Bleecker street store, as well as the colors in the other Nars 413 Blkr Street line. This will be sold at the two Nars flagship stores–New York and Los Angeles–as well as on Nars Cosmetics.com starting February 1st.

NARS Bleecker Street1Nars is also introducing a lovely eye set  And God Created Woman (pictured above). This one looks drool-worthy, as it includes some of the nicest and richest shades collected from Nars duos and singles over the past several years. Seriously, the gold from Kalahari in the same palette as Galapogas? Sign me up.

For $59, the set includes a travel size primer and the No. 3 Eye Shader Brush. Available February 1st on Nars Cosmetics.com and it’s already up for sale at Sephora.com.

Hourglass

I’ve been terribly excited for these new Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders, just releasing now on Sephora.com. I was fortunate enough to be sent Luminous which I’m currently test-driving (review due soon). I’m hoping to pick up a few more of these as I’ve been impressed so far.

Hourglass Ambient

Which products have you found lately? Is there anything good, bad, exciting or not that you’d like to share?

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