Nov 232012
 

For a touch of tropical in this chilly holiday season, Dior has released the Cruise 2013 nail collection of three gorgeous colors:  Mango, Pasteque, and Lime ($23 each). I purchased these online at Dior.com.

 

The formula on these is excellent, shiny and smooth. The hot pink Pasteque, which I would say is probably the most duplicatable color of the three, is in fact a one-coat wonder with a beautifully shiny finish. For that reason, I suspect that I’ll use Pasteque the most. For those looking for something entirely unique, both Lime and Mango are refreshing looks that remind me of palm trees and salty margaritas. However, both Mango and Lime did require 2-3 coats to reach full opacity.

Get it: Mango and Pasteque.

Try it: Lime (this color won’t appeal to everyone).

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Nov 172012
 

 I hope you accompany us as we look at the new Christian Dior beauty area at Neiman Marcus San Francisco. Liz and I went to the Union Square store last week to see the new larger, Dior-exclusive area.  Come inside with us!

The area is beautiful, fully renovated and exclusively dedicated to Christian Dior makeup and perfume. The area is a new construction, creating a calm and elegant enclave featuring Dior’s entire makeup and skincare line. The crowning jewel of the space is in-person access to Dior’s La Collection Privée series of fragrances. Aside from this Neiman Marcus location, the only other locations where this line is sold is Bergdorf Goodman in New York City, and the Dior Las Vegas Boutique.  For anyone visiting or near the beautify City by the Bay, this is a delightful place to stop and browse.

This new space reminds me very much of Dior’s studio inside the Le Bon Marché in Paris.  As this press event, Dior’s La Collection Privée was elegantly displayed in two locations throughout the studio.

Liz and I were treated to a tour of the line by Dior fragrance consultant Michael Gizinski.

At the event, hors d’oeuvres were elegantly displayed and Liz was able to have nip of champagne as we sampled the fragrances. In the background, a stylized image of La Maison Dior in Paris reminds me of the line’s heritage. As you may know, Monsieur Dior returned from the war wishing to infuse life back into Parisian fashion.  He developed The New Look, with tiny waists, large elegant skirts and adorable jackets with stylish lapels and pockets placed to emphasize a woman’s form. Together with a number of other signature looks, Christian Dior ensured that Paris dominated couture for the next decades.

La Collection Privée evokes an elegant balance of the line’s heritage. For example, the Neiman Marcus Dior space features  a display of extrait de parfum versions of its fragrances. Below, an image of one named after Dior’s 1947 New Look , which I understand are not for sale but for on-site experience only.

One of the favorites that captured Liz and I was Milly-La-Forêt, which is named for Christian Dior’s garden retreat, with a beautifully balanced combination of mandarin, neroli and white musk. The medium 4.25 ounce spray in $155, and the large 8.5 ounce spray is $230. I love that both size bottles are rather large and generous for the excellently executed fragrances.

There is so much to learn in this space, I feel as though we only touched the very top level of information. For example, the space had a sample of the rare Diorama, formulated by Monsieur Dior in his Paris studio (not for sale in the U.S., although there is some possibility that it might be ordered). This subtle and beautiful combination reminded me quite strongly of the city of Paris–complicated, floral, and oh-so-interesting.

Also is Christian Dior Jules, which has a beautiful combination of leather and wood.

Of course, the space is designed for beautiful makeovers as well, with Dior’s amazing line of foundations, eyeshadows, brushes, powders and nail polishes. Each station has a lighted mirror, seating area so that several clients can be assisted at the same time.

As the event moved to makeovers, Liz and I decided to come back for more investigation. 

In the meantime, you owe yourself a trip to Neiman Marcus San Francisco to investigate Dior’s La Collection Privée.

 

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Sep 292012
 

Fall 2012 is bringing a nascent trend toward light, shimmery nude eyeshadows and deep black liner. We saw this concept brought to life in Le Metier de Beaute’s Nouvelle Vague palette, as well as in MAC for Marilyn collection.  Unlike the neutral palettes we see in every line, this trend has a high contrast between the shimmery nude shades and the liner. My investment in this trend (so far) are two new Dior Luminous Graphic Eye Palettes–Dior Ivory Glow and Dior Nude Glow ($48 each).

I expected the Dior Nude Glow trio eyeshadow to resemble NARS All About Eve duo, a staple that includes a near-matte nude and a shimmery nude.

However, Dior Nude Glow has no matte nude. Rather, the palette has a softly shimmered nude, and a translucent fairy sparkle shade. The translucent shade reminded me of a daytime-friendly, wearable version of MAC Reflects in Gold. It doesn’t have nearly the drama, but it is definitely something one could wear to an in-office meeting or presentation where one comes within handshake distance of one’s peers. The liner is a powder that applies beautifully with my Laura Mercier smudge brush over my Bobbi Brown Gel Eyeliner in Black Ink.

 The Dior Luminous Graphic eyeshadow in Nude Glow performs at an excellent level. The liner is deep and pigmented, the colors give the lids a pearly nude soft pearly texture. Gorgeous. As I got onto a flight, this was the one eyeshadow palette I grabbed. I’ve worn it for a few days over my Laura Mercier Eye Basic and got excellent performance.

Dior Luminous Graphic eyeshadow in Ivory Glow gives a more dramatic effect. Like Nude Glow, Ivory Glow has a shimmery opaque shade and a translucent shade of tiny fairy sparkle, and a deep black powder liner.

The white is slightly warm, leaning a touch gold:

Because of the contrast between the liner and palette shades, this is a lovely evening palette. Those with lighter skin tones and a light touch with their eyeshadow brush might find some daytime friendly looks as well.

Swatches:

Another:

Bottom line, I thought these were a simple concept that is beautifully executed. They are unusual, on trend, and yet still neutral and wearable. Although Dior has not caught my eye for several months, I found these irresistible. Having passed on Le Metier’s version, and unable to get MAC’s Marilyn eyeshadows due to the high demand, I was glad that I found these Dior’s Luminous Graphic. I understand from reading Allura’s reviews of the MAC’s Marilyn eyeshadows that these Dior will be more to my taste, style and liking. As I say, the Dior Nude Glow is an everyday staple for me, so it was a good investment.

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Jun 052012
 

Last week, I picked up Dior ‘Diorsnow UV Shield ‘ White Reveal BB Crème SPF 50 PA+++ ($50/1.2 oz.). I’ve been curious about BB cremes, which began their formulation in Asian markets and are intended to provide skin care benefits along with foundation-like coverage. Dior has been at this a while–it has a formulation of a BB Creme under its Hydralife series sold at Sephora. Recently, Dior  released this  formulation to its whitening Diorsnow line in the U.S. market.

According to the description on Nordstrom’s website, Diorsnow BB Creme:

  • Is a clinically proven brightening-treatment collection that evens the complexion, diminishes the appearance of dark spots and increases radiance
  • Powered by Icelandic glacial water and Dior’s exclusive transparency-enhancing complex, the new formulas counteract skin acidity and target all five features of a radiant complexion (evenness, luminosity, moisture, texture and plumpness).
  • Immediately skin is illuminated with a flawless, even radiance that is intensified day after day.
The product is packaged in a pump-tube. Because the product is fairly thick, it helps to tilt the pump downward (gravity is your friend here). Some thoughts:
  • Diorsnow BB Creme comes out a bit dryer and heavier than a traditional foundation.  Some mix it with a moisturizer. I used it just as it is.
  • This product looks just terrible when it is first applied–gray, thick, pore-emphasizing. Wait. After about two full minutes, the foundation seems to settle and color adjust.  It looks significantly different a few minutes after application. If you are testing it at a counter, insist on a full-face trial.
  • I found coverage medium toward heavy (it is certainly more pigmented than Nars Tinted Moisturizer, or Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua fluid). Still, you don’t need much product to get full-face coverage.
  • It feels a little heavier on my skin compared to some of the new lightweight foundations. As I said earlier, you might mix this with a moisturizer to lighten the coverage. I didn’t and not much of my own skin texture showed through.
  • Once it settled in, the texture was very fine and worthy of a high-end foundation category. I really enjoyed the way that it looked.
  • Because the coverage is strong, I really needed a bronzer/blush to add dimension to my face.
  • Diorsnow BB Creme holds up beautifully in 90 degree heat. This BB creme goes the distant in warm weather–I’m getting a 16 hour day out of this with no problems so far.
  • This leaves my forehead with a little glow–a powder helps. Interestingly, I do not typically have to re-powder during the day.
Currently, I was able to find only one color of Diorsnow BB Creme at my local counter, although it appears that there are two colors released in Asia (see this review at My Woman Stuff, with comparison swatches). I found that this color runs warm and light, which works for my NC15/20 skin tone. Here is a swatch–at the bottom, you can see how unnatural it looks when the product is first applied before it dries down (at the bottom).
Dior’s Diorsnow BB Creme has one of the highest rated sun protection on the market–this is rated at SPF 50. Still, never one to rely on my foundation alone, I’ve been wearing this over my Chanel UV Essential 50 sunscreen. My face is quite pale right now, i can assure you. Nothing seems to get through that combination. Ingredient list (click to enlarge):
Because I just purchased this last Friday, I can’t speak to the skincare benefits. You will typically need to use a lightening product for a good 6 to 8 weeks (or longer) in my opinion to tell whether it can deliver. I have not experienced any breakouts or clogging so far. As with any foundation and sunscreen, I remove everything at the end of the day with a Clarisonic brush, followed by a gentle toner. Active ingredients (from the tube):
Like some other reviewers, I was surprised to see Octinoxate listed although it appears that one study has concluded this is a safe sunscreen ingredient. To be honest, I’m neither a chemist nor an oncologist. Just a friendly beauty blogger.
 
As such, as far as a summer foundation– so far, so good. It does well in heat, it has a respectable SPF rating (although one should typically wear a sunscreen anyway), medium to heavy coverage without using much product. It feels a bit heavy. I’m interested to see if I will obtain any skincare benefit. Certainly sample-worthy. This is available (with free shipping) at Nordstrom.com.
Although I was playing with the idea of exploring more BB cremes, I’m wondering if it is possible that I’ve stumbled on a “best in class.”  Have you tried any? Which have you loved (or hated)?
This post contains affiliate link (for more information, please see “About Cafe Makeup”)

 

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Jan 042012
 
Dior Waterlilly1

Dior Spring 2012 brings Dior Vernis Garden Party nail polish in Waterily ($23 #504). This is a soft green with microshimmer that reminds me of some of Chanel’s more unique polish shades. As always, the bottle has that wonderful Dior brush that–although it seems to have a mind of its own–certainly knows what it’s doing.

The polish is labeled as “scented.” When the polish is wet the scent is that of….nail polish. However, when it dries down there is a faint, pleasant floral scent that evokes roses and perhaps lilies as well. To me, the scent is not strong and the sillage does not travel far. I catch the scent as I take a sip of water or use the phone, but I cannot when my hands are on my keyboard. Application was smooth and opaque in two coats.

Here, I’ve swatched two (2) coats of Dior Waterlily together with three (3) coats each of Chanel Jade, Chanel Nouvelle Vague and Chanel Riva. No topcoat or base.

Dior’s formula is more pigmented than any of the Chanel.  Although it is close to Chanel Jade in color, Dior Waterlily is deeper in tone and slightly less yellow. Both have very subtle microshimmer.  If you like a high-shine look, you’ll want to add a topcoat–on its own, the polish dries down to a satiny texture. One more.

I don’t know whether Dior Waterlily will sell out as fast as Chanel Jade did, but the Dior will sell out. It’s an unusual, high-fashion color that’s going to look interesting and trendy during Spring. It’s delicate and pretty in two coats, and it unquestionably makes a statement. I love the color, and think it will look beautiful with creams, peaches and pinks as the weather warms.

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Dior Garden Pastels 5-Color Eyeshadow

 Dior, Eyeshadow  Comments Off on Dior Garden Pastels 5-Color Eyeshadow
Jan 032012
 
Dior Spring 201208

Dior Spring 2012 includes a limited edition 5-color eyeshadow palette, Garden Pastels ($59/ #441 / Couture Color 5-Coleurs Eyeshadow Palette Garden Collection in Garden Pastels). Like its twin Dior Garden Roses, the texture of this palette is beautifully pearly. All of the shades have a dimensional, shimmery quality that lights up when struck by the light.

Dior Garden Pastels

Like Garden Roses, the palette is embossed with a beautiful rose design:

You can see that the roses are raised:

Dior Garden Pastels

These colors are so far outside my comfort zone that I was very close to canceling my order for this palette. I was afraid that these colors would be very similar to a vintage palette that my friend had shown me, called Yardley Glimmericks, released in 1969:

Fortunately, Dior’s Garden Party is greatly updated and wearable on my warm skintone so long as I keep the look sheer and contained. Unlike the use of Yardley Gimmericks in the ad, I can do a simple wash of one or two colors on the lid area only, with perhaps a light shade in the inner corner. I use a soft matte liner (cool toned, either black or gray) and no shimmer on the brow bone. Otherwise, the cool shimmering tones might be overwhelming. Otherwise, they make beautiful little pearly accents used with other soft-toned mattes.

I can picture that some women are going to look incredible wearing these shades all over the eye area. The green is really unbelievable.

Another set:

This palette is beautiful, and will be a welcome addition for Spring. I have to use these colors with care, because they are so striking. Although these colors won’t work on everyone (what does?), this is a gorgeous and unique palette to pick up. Honestly, I don’t know of anything quite like it.

 

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Jan 032012
 
Dior Spring 201207

Dior’s Spring 2012 collection includes a Garden Edition Garden Roses 5-Color Eyeshadow palette ($59/.016 oz. / #841 / Couture Color 5-Coleurs Eyeshadow Palette Garden Collection in Garden Roses), a series of roses and grey with an incredibly pearly texture. The format of the packaging is familiar. For these, the palette is embossed with beautiful rose shapes that catch the light.

The colors of Garden Roses is quite outside my comfort zone. These are cool pinks and violets, with a soft gray. The texture is incredibly fine–it virtually melds to the skin without a hint of powder. There is a trace of powder as I dug into the pan, but on the eye the application was smooth and without fallout.

Dior Garden Roses

The texture of these is remarkable–they have a shimmer and sheen that resembles an actual pearl. I’ve applied them sheerly, so that they look like shimmery watercolor shades. I found that I need to “anchor” the shades with either a matte eyeliner or a matte crease color (typically, a soft gray from Bobbi Brown). Otherwise, I use just a touch sheerly.

Another set of swatches:

Dior Garden Roses is indisputably beautiful–the question is whether it will work for you. The colors are a gorgeous combination of roses with a single gray tone. This is well worth a look, unlike some Dior shimmery shades, these colors do not turn frosty.  They are very high-sheen, which can be both dramatic and may require a matte foundation finish to compensate.

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Jan 032012
 
Dior Spring 201219

Dior Rosy Glow Blush

Dior Spring 2012 includes Rosy Glow Blush ($44/0.26 oz.), otherwise called “Healthy Glow Awakening Blush No. 1.” In the pan, the blush is remarkably cool–a fuschia that contains a hint of violet. According to Dior, Rosy Glow includes Fresh Color Reveal, a technology that is intended to adjust to your coloring to develop a rosy radiance to match your skin tone. I can say that the technology works on me–the blush applies as a pink with red undertones when applied on my cheeks worn over foundation.

The compact is the heavy silver type that is used for several other Dior special edition face products:

Open:

The split pan and the luxe brush:

 

 Dior Rosy Glow applies very sheerly and light at first.  Please do not judge your application by these first swipes.  The color intensifies and becomes more visible over the next several minutes–as Dior describes, “the halo of color gradually intensifies as if my magic, revealing an ultra-natural and customized rosy glow.” On my, I got a strawberry-pink sheer matte wash. It was very pretty, and reminded me a bit of a red-pink fruit punch color. It was medium deep in tone.

I suspect that most arm-swatches that you see on others will not be helpful at all, and I don’t expect these to be any different. The color looks different on your cheeks –it’s intended to change color and it does in a magic sort of way. Really, to know you’ve got to wear the color on your own.  Nonetheless, I’ve swatched this next to Chanel Turbulent and Chanel Tweed Fucshia. The color on my face is more similar to Guerlain’s Rouge G Blush, although a bit deeper and rosier in tone:

Overall, Dior Rosy Glow Blush is a bit of an experiment–do try it at a counter if you can before you buy. It’s a very flattering color, so the technology works for me personally. It’s a little disconcerting to wait to see how the blush will look for several minutes afterwards. The powder applies without caking–the powder melds to the skin so it looks like a natural part of my skin. Although the texture is matte, the overall impression of the color is a “rosy glow.”

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Sep 272011
 

This recent story about Chanel’s Peter Philips’ work backstage at Jil Sander emphasizes that a modern look incorporates nudes. Above, Philips used foundation on the lips to simulate a nude lip. Unlike Fall seasons past, I’m definitely feeling nudes during 2011. This includes nails, including Rococo Nail Apparel’s Nude Wardrobe over at The Beauty Look Book and RGB’s nail collection seen here at Planete Beaute.

Some Fall lipsticks also have a nude vibe.  Like many women, I cannot wear a completely nude lip without looking a bit lifeless. Instead, this Fall I’ve been rotating some nude roses that give some color to lips (but not much). One was previously reviewed here, Burberry Lip Mist in Nude Rose.

This is in Burberry’s Lip Mist formula, which is both sheer and moisturizing. On Liz:

Another one that I’m enjoying is Dior Rouge Dior in Pisanelle Pink ($32/#428), released with this Fall’s Blue Tie Collection:

When this was released, I went back to look at it several times trying to decide whether I needed this one.  I decided that I did, and I’v been wearing it very frequently.  It’s one of those lipsticks that you can keep in your purse constantly to refresh during the day.  It looks good with a wide range of other looks, and adds a glowing look that is very polished.  On Liz:

Dior’s formula is very moisturizing–this feels like a balm to me. Keep in mind, the formula is a bit soft. Several of the testers that I saw were broken. I’ve carried mine around in my purse, and been careful during application, which seems to have worked to preserve the bullet of this very soft formula.

Bobbi Brown’s Rich Lip Color in Soft Nude ($22/ #18) is a rosy brown nude:

On Liz:

Bobbi Brown’s Soft Nude is the deepest and most opaque of this group, easily covering my pigmented lips.  Bobbi Brown’s tended to look creamier than the others, which have a more luminous finish.  I’m having trouble locating this color for sale online–this may have been limited edition or is simply sold out.

Here is a comparison of the three:

I have to admit, it is nice to have a Fall season where deep reds are not required. I’m enjoying the ease and wearability of these colors. You can always smoke out the eyes, if you’d like emphasis. I’m declaring Fall 2011 the season of nude makeup.

Bobbi Brown Rich Color Lipstick in Soft Nude was sent to Cafe Makeup without charge for consideration and review.

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Sep 122011
 

Dior has just released 5 Couleurs Couture Colour Eyeshadow Palette – Mitzah ($60/ #753), a more accessible version of of the highly limited edition, individually numbered Mitzah Panther Palette ($90)(reviewed here).  Unlike the panther palette, Dior’s Mitzah 5-color quint comes in the standard blue compact with the traditional Dior layout.

The palette evokes the Mitzah theme with a panther print on the surface of the eyeshadow palette:

The colors are:

  • a light shimmer cream highlighter
  • the center butterscotch-mustard
  • a soft shimmer camel tan
  • a medium taupe-gray
  • a rich brown
Here is a swatch comparison with Dior Mitzah Panther 3-color on the left, compared to the Dior Mitzah 5-color on the right:
Here is a quick eye that Liz did with the Mitzah 5-color.  She used the center tone as a base, then built up the darker colors in the outside corner and crease.
One more:
Overall, the Dior Mitzah palette is a sophisticated combination of colors.  The shimmer factor is subtle, and the tones blend beautifully together.  Mitzah does not have the iridescence of some Dior palettes, rather it is a toned-down set of neutrals that is nearly always appropriate.  Highly recommended.

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