Nov 112012
 

While picking up a watch repair at the Chanel boutique in San Francisco last week, I picked up two Chanel Liquid Eyeliner in Plum and Platine. These were both released in Europe this past summer, although I had to leave Paris before either arrived on counters.  Both use the traditional Chanel packaging, with the brush-tip that goes into the tiny pot of color at the bottom.

 Of the two, Platine was a delightful surprise–it is shimmery, high-shine and complex with multi-colored micro sparkles–so pretty.

I tried to capture the color of Platine as I headed out the door for a flight–I’m not entirely sure I was able to do fully do so.

Both are beautiful–richly pigmented. Well done.

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Oct 192012
 

Tom Ford Noir Absolue for Eyes ($35/0.12 oz.) is a creamy dark blue-black eyeliner designed to brighten and define. Like many of you, I have a few black liners. I’ve been using Bobbi Brown’s Black Ink Gel Eyeliner for at least ten years–I’ve used up (and replaced) several pots. Tom Ford’s is along the same lines with a few differences.

First, Tom Ford Noir Absolue is infused with a pretty blue tone and slight micro-shimmer. According to the sales associate, this is intended give a brightening effect to the whites of the eye. I think it’s pretty–the blue tone is not nearly as blue as a true blue or midnight blue, such as Bobbi Brown Gel Eyeliner in Sapphire Shimmer.

The difference in effect is subtle–if you have a very good monitor I suspect you will see that the Tom Ford swatch on the left is cooler.

Second, Tom Ford’s Noir Absolue seems to have a firmer texture compared to my familiar Bobbi Brown Black Ink. I use Laura Mercier’s flat-top synthetic push brush, as the Tom Ford sales associate recommended using this, rather than investing in the Tom Ford brush. I have to sort of aggressively push the brush into the pot to get full eyeliner coverage. There seems to be plenty of pigment, but the product isn’t as soft as a Bobbi Brown gel. So as an application tip, get in there like a tiger woman–don’t be shy.

Because of the micro-shimmer, I have not used this on my waterline. Typically, I add tightlining to my upper waterline by using another Laura Mercier push brush and the mascara straight off the spoolie.

Finally, the overall effect is amazing particularly when a I add a tightline. It’s fascinating how a subtle twist can really make a difference that leads to perfection. This liner does look really amazing, particularly if you are using a cool toned shadow (but I’ve worn it will all colors). Lasts all day.

 

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May 042011
 

Chanel Stylo Yeux Waterproof Eyeliner in Ebene ($29/ #10) is an automatic, twist up liner that does not require sharpening.  Because I lack patience, I love this style eyeliner.  Twist and go.  Sadly, the other end does not have a built-in smudger.  I always miss those when they’re not there.

Ebene’s texture is soft and creamy, giving you just a few moments to smudge the line.  Then it sets into a waterproof, budge-proof line.  This liner really does last until you take it off.  Numerous reviews on Makeupalley confirm that this is the weapon choice for the waterline.  I must admit that it did not last more than four hours on mine, but no liner ever has.  It did give me all-day wear on my upper lashline.

Ebene’s color is a soft near-black with a subtle blue pearl.  It shows as a deep, deep cool dark gray (a bit like a black pearl), rather than a straight black.  Love it lightly touched under the eye.

Here is a comparison with Ebene on the left (swatched light and heavy), compared to another standard black pencil that I have in my stash–Armani’s standard black pencil in Smooth Silk #4 (by the way, this is a great standard black pencil).

Really, one of my favorite black pencils right now.  Highly recommended.  I love it.

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May 032011
 

Hourglass Cosmetics has just released a new felt tipped liner, the Hourglass Script Precision Liquid Liner ($32) (available at Sephora).  Unlike the earlier version, the Hourglass Calligraphy (pictured at top, above) (reviewed here) ($32), the Hourglass Script has a very, very fine-tipped point.  Otherwise, both have:

  • A deep, inky-black color
  • Long-lasting, no-smudge and no-flake wear
  • A smooth, even application and ink flow

Both Hourglass pens allow the liquid ink to flow without any pumping or twisting–the ink is deposited with slight pressure.  They are both well-machined, foolproof and beautifully packaged.  Both have a slight “heft factor” that is pleasant and balanced.  At $32, these are in line with the price range of other high end liquid liners (Chanel’s Automatic Liquid Eyeliner is $34).

I’m very comfortable applying liquid liners–fearless, in fact.  Start by practicing on the back of your hand.  Like Julia Child flipping a potato pancake, it’s easier if you go in confident.

Let’s compare the Hourglass Script, the Hourglass Calligraphy, and the Le Metier de Beaute Precision Liquid Liner ($42) (reviewed here).  As shown here, the tip of the Hourglass Script is quite precise–the tip is tiny.

I was surprised to find how distinct all three liners are.  You can see that when Hourglass says that the Script is precision, they are not kidding–the fine point allows you to draw an extremely fine line.  It must be layered to get a thicker line.

Below, on the left you can see a light and a heavy line that I drew with Le Metier’s Precision (in Noir).  In the second line, you can see how lightly Le Metier’s can be applied.  Here, the ink isn’t quite a deep and dark (it looks almost brown).  Had I added another layer or two, the Le Metier would be as black as the Hourglass swatches.  Hourglass Script (in Jett) is swatched in the center.  Hourglass Calligraphy (in Ebony) is on the right.

Both the Hourglass Script and Calligraphy provide a deeper, blacker line out of the brush, compared with Le Metier de Beaute’s.

No, you don’t need all three.  If you have light-toned skin, delicate features or prefer a very natural look, you will prefer the ability to draw a more subtle line that the Le Metier Precision Eyeliner allows. The Le Metier must be applied with some pressure, or in built-up layers, to get a full-on black line. “Priming” the brush helps, by holding it down on the back of your hand for a second to get the ink flowing freely (but that’s a little messy).

If you want a deep, black ink out of the pen, the Hourglass delivers beautifully.  Between Script and Calligraphy, it’s going to depend on whether you prefer a thin or thick line.

Note that I found that I was able to get a very fine line with the Hourglass Calligraphy by using just light pressure on the very end of the tip, but it was not easy.  Really, if you want a fine line then go with the Script.

However, I’m glad that I do own all three.  I find myself reaching frequently for my Hourglass Calligraphy when a want a good, quick defined black line.  I love the Le Metier when my makeup is very subtle.  I have no doubt I’ll use up the Hourglass Script, because it adds something that the others don’t have–a quick, very deep black fine line that works well for my coloring and features.  I love it–highly recommended.

Hourglass Script and Calligraphy were provided to Cafe Makeup for review/consideration by Hourglass.

 

 

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Feb 072011
 

If you were paying very close attention to Giorgio Armani’s Spring 2011 collection, you heard a sudden warmth and enthusiasm when beauty lovers discussed La Femme Bleue Long Wear Waterproof Eye Pencil ($27).  There was slightly hushed tone and a “don’t miss this one” intensity from those in-the-know.  The only item I ordered from this collection was this black pencil for one reason–to find out if it was, truly, the miracle pencil.  I’ve concluded that it probably is.

Released in three colors (black, brown and a deep green leaf), this pencil was previously released only in black and was sold out in an instant.  Although I’m enamored with my Le Metier de Beaute’s Precision Liquid Liner, I knew if I didn’t leap now that I’d risk missing out.

I’m not usually a fan of pencils because they tend to tug and pull, and go on unevenly.  Some have trouble smudging.  There are some exceptions, in fact Armani’s black pencil in their regular line is one of the best I’ve used.  Some of the Chanel and Shu Uemura’s are stellar.  I’ve had a few MAC Pearlglides that I’ve enjoyed.  For drugstore, Prestige’s Total Intensity is nice.

The Armani Le Femme Bleue blew them all out of the water.

This pencil goes on as soft as a gel.

It can be smudged.  I used my Chanel smudge brush (but any will do) during the first minute to create  perfect smudge.

Once it’s set, it’s really set.  Yes, it will last all day.

It lasted through a massive cry without budging.

The texture is very, very soft.

And its very waterproof.

And very black (no glitter, no shimmer, no gray).

Will it last on my waterline?  Yes, but I cannot say with certainty that it will last on yours–I’m to be cautious in this review as I’ve found that quality varies from person to person.

Downsides:  Curiously for a $27 pencil, there is no sharpener included (according to Charlestongirl at The Best Things in Beauty, sharpeners are free at an Giorgio Armani counter for the asking).  Unlike Armani’s standard pencils, there is no smudger on the flat end.  Unlike pen liners, it must be sharpened frequently to get a very thin, fine line.  Limited edition.

Bottom line: Expensive but buzz-worthy.  I deeply, deeply wish these were permanent.  Karlasugar has the other colors swatched here.

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