Mar 142014
 

Guerlain Les Tendres5

Guerlain’s Les Tendres eyeshadow quad ($69) is a pretty, soft palette of colors that is similar in to tone to the light, soft colors of Chanel Jardin Zen. Guerlain’s Les Tendres offers a soft mix of a mauve, beige, light taupe, a peach and a soft light blue that blends into a pretty spring eye with a touch of sophistication.

Guerlain Les Tendres7

The texture and quality of this Guerlain Les Tendres is superb. Those who are looking for soft, natural color that is layer-able will love to work with this one.

Guerlain Les Tendres2

The compact has a full sized mirror, and a slim design that is easily packable. Swatches:

Guerlain Les Tendres swatches1

Another set:

Guerlain Les Tendres swatches2

Liz work the three lightest shade in this look, along with Nars Love blush, Tom Ford Gold Dust Bronzer, and Nars Stourhead on her lips.

NARS Love Blush1

Close-up on Liz:

Guerlain Les Tendres on Liz march1

Overall, we love the soft gleam that Guerlain Les Tendres gives to the lids. This is limited edition, and selling out fast, so if you are interested you should not delay further.

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Jan 032014
 

Urban Decay Naked 302

Urban Decay has released another in its Naked line–the Urban Decay Naked 3 ($52.00)–and reviews are pretty uniformly on the “good” to “excellent” side.  Here are a few:

Temptalia’s A Rating

Makeup and Beauty Blog’s WOW

The Beauty Look Book’s “definite must-have”

Sona Gasparian’s “my favorite of the three Naked Palettes”

With these glowing reviews, I had to find out whether this would work for me. So I ordered one, and with some qualifications, I am happy to report that this palette is surprisingly good in many respects.

Urban Decay Naked 301

 I won’t repeat the information in the other reviews, as they are all easily reachable at the links (above).  If you click the image below, you can see twelve rose-gold toned eyeshadows. This combination of mattes, shimmers, and glitters is picking up on the rose gold moment that’s been building since Tiffany’s blew us all away with the Rubedo collection.

Urban Decay Naked 305

 The palette is m ore sturdy that the typical Urban Decay flocked-paper ones, this one seems to be made of a plastic or composite that is more robust (although it’s not as protective for its size and dimension as a Giorgio Armani, Chanel, or Bobbi Brown package).

Urban Decay Naked 304

 For me, the included double-ended brush was unusable because it gave me almost no control over the pigmentation. Every sweep gave me application that was far too heavy, and I was unable to achieve the right blending or light, layered application that I prefer.  Instead, I used the Edward Bess Luxury Eye Brush, which worked far, far better.

Urban Decay Naked 308

Most of the shades are beautiful, pigmented, and apply and blend very, very well.  I found myself using a combination of Liar, Factory and Mugshot for an everyday, rose-gold toned eye.  So, the mid-to-deep shades were a huge success.  The lighter shades were more problematic for me. Strange makes a nice base color, but otherwise became a bit invisible. Dust–which was the bright rose-gold wonder that beckoned me from the promotional images–has a high level of fallout and was not a flattering texture on my lid. Swatches:

Urban Decay Naked 309

I’m not sure whether I’ll Blackheart for anything other than a liner.  Another set of swatches:

Urban Decay Naked 311

Overall, I was surprised at the high quality of most of the shades of the Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette. My sense that 9 or 10 of these shades are really lovely.  Although we can hope for 100% success for our palette criteria, Urban Decay swung for the bleachers in this one and so making it to the outfield was a pretty good result. As an aside, I’m unaware of any other company that’s released a palette with this same rose gold tonality. I hope we do. Because, Pantone’s edict aside, my own personal color of the year for 2014 is rose gold.

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Nov 142013
 

Chanel Charming Palette01

The Collection Nuit Infinie collection brings us the Chanel Charming Ombres Matelassees eyeshadow palette ($80), a neutral-with-a-twist palette that gives a foolproof dark smokey eye. This selection includes five workhorse shades that lean toward the deeper side of the neutral palette.

Chanel Charming Palette03

 Chanel Charming is housed in the traditional 5-pan format of the Pearl River and 51, Montaigne.

Chanel Charming Palette05

Inside are four near-matte shades and one near-shimmer. The overall impression of this palette is matte once applied to the skin:

Shade #1 is a neutral matte beige that is the only truly light shade in the palette, and it is not very light. In  tonality, it is close to my natural skin tone although it is a touch cooler/neutral. It can be used as a matte highlight (for example in the inner corner), or to add a bit of light once the other darker shades are applied.

Shade #2 is a neutral light brown that provides a good base color for the overall lid.

Shade #3 is a complex shimmery metal cinnamon color that applies as a soft red-brown.

Shade #4 is a dark neutral matte brown.

Shade #5 is a dark mauve grey.

Chanel Charming Palette08

 The shades are finely milled, well-formulated and look appropriate in numerous work and play situations. As I said earlier, the overall impression on the eye is much deeper than many neutral palettes. Although it looks “dupable” compared to other palettes such as Urban Decay’s Naked, the superior, more refined texture sets Chanel Charming apart. In sun:

Chanel Charming Palette10

However, I will say that I did experience a little deja vu using this palette–it reminded me of a deeper toned version of the Guerlain 10 Rue Des Francs-Bourgeois 6 pan palette (reviewed here) ($86), a palette in Guerlain’s permanent line which has been my neutral go-to eyeshadow palette over the past few weeks. The palettes are close in price (about a $6 difference). The Guerlain palette does not have the mauve dark shade of the Chanel Charming palette, and the metallic shade in the Guerlain’s is more prominent and brighter. Here are swatch comparisons (the Guerlain on top, Chanel Charming on the bottom row):

Chanel Charming Palette12

Another (with Guerlain 10 Rue Francs-Bourgeois on top, and Chanel Charming on the bottom.

Chanel Charming Palette11

As you can see,  Chanel Charming is the choice for a darker, smokier look. Given my paler skin tone, I find Guerlain 10 Rue Francs-Bourgeois a better choice for an everyday, work palette.

Overall, Chanel Charming is not the ‘star product’ of the Holiday 2013 line that I was expecting with Chanel’s unparalleled creativity that we’ve seen in past seasons. However it is a well-formulated, beautiful everyday palette and genius for an easy, dressy eye for the Holiday season and beyond.

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Oct 112012
 

The Tom Ford Enchanted Eye Color Quad ($75) is one of my favorite makeup purchases of the year. The color applies with a beautiful luminousity that is smooth and incredibly flattering. I invite you to click to enlarge:

Tom Ford’s Enchanted quad has a pearly texture that the other eye color quads in the line. There is subtle sparkle throughout, rather than a single shade. The texture applies beautifully with my Edward Bess Luxury Eye Brush. Typically I use the lower left taupe-mauve shade as the base color. I tuck some of the deepest burgundy shade in the outer corner. Then, I use either of the top shades in the inner corner.

In shade:

Packaging: 

I found that using a base was necessary, particularly so because I am currently in a very humid warm climate.  I used Laura Mercier’s Eye Basic as mine. Swatches:

The department store stock images of this palette give a peach impression, which is quite inaccurate. Instead, the shades are mauve burgundy. The taupe shade in the lower left is incredible.

 

This shows the subtle sparkle:

The best way that I can describe this is as a more robust version of Chanel Ombres Perlees. The Tom Ford Enchanted Four Color Quad seems to be infused with fairy pearl and beautiful things, yet the palette remains sophisticated (as you would expect from Mr. Ford). If I hadn’t gotten this quad, I would have regretted it. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow. But soon, and for the rest of my life.

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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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