Mar 082015
 

Nars Eyeshadow Palettes04

NARS Inoubliable Coup D’Oeil Palette (which translates to “Unforgettable Eyes”)($48) is a beautifully formulated neutrals-with-a-twist that is both work-friendly and suitable for a smokey evening eye. It’s a matte-lover’s dream. The pigmentation is gorgeous. These six shades pull from the black-and-white Pandora eyeshadow duo (on the bottom row, left and right) and add some beautiful deep shades for versatilithis is available exclusively at Nordstrom.

Nars Eyeshadow Palettes07Dalliance is the soft grey/taupe in the top left, an excellent matte with a quality that is rare to see in a palette.  Pyla is a smokey matte mossy green. Sidi Bou Said is a rich, vibrant violet-purple matte that leans slightly red. The satin white from Pandora (Pandora I), and the matte black from Pandora (Pandora II) are beautifully formulated. Luberon is the soft satin peach in the center bottom, which makes an excellent all-over lid shade. Here are swatches (except the bottom shades are on the top, and vice versa):

Nars Eyeshadow Palettes08aMore:

Nars Eyeshadow Palettes10b

 

Beautiful!

Nars Eyeshadow Palettes09bPackable, beautiful, and applies like a dream. This is available exclusively at Nordstrom.

NARS provided this to Cafe Makeup without charge for consideration for review. This review includes affiliate links (for more information, see About Cafe Makeup)

 

 

 

 

 

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Aug 222013
 

Tom Ford Orchid Haze Palette03

I was able to pick up the new Tom Ford Orchid Haze Eye Color Quad, one of three new permanent quad eyeshadow palettes that are being introduced.  This is a beautiful mix of a shimmering champagne, dusty rose, a shimmering mauve-taupe, and a satin-matte, toned down deep aubergine.
Tom Ford Orchid Haze Palette05

Eyeshadow palette formulations really do not get much better than this. Each color is beautifully smooth, excellently pigmented and unbelievably easy to blend.

Tom Ford Orchid Haze Swatches7

Last Fall’s limited edition Tom Ford Enchanted Eye Color Quad had a shimmery, sparkling quality that was quite unique. Unlike Enchanted, Tom Ford Orchid Haze has a more standard texture–none of the shades are as sparkling as Enchanted. Rather, Orchid Haze’s three shimmery shades are smooth and apply without the same visible glimmery bits.

Tom Ford Orchid Haze Swatches5

Tom Ford Orchid Haze has a mauve tone, not a purple one. Here are swatches next to Guerlain’s Attrape-Couer (which does have true violets and purples), so you can see the color differences.

Tom Ford Orchid Haze Swatches1

Tom Ford’s Orchid Haze, so far as my testing has gone so far, really applies beautifully. The deep shade is particularly strong and dramatic–it’s going to be a liner or evening color for me unless I use it with a light touch or some good blending. The shimmer in the highlight color melts down to a pretty, smooth surface when blended.  The other colors are gorgeous everyday, crowd-pleasing neutrals with a kick. Although I’m still working with the palette, I’m not getting any creasing or fading despite the lack of any eyeshadow base. So far, the quality seems superb.

I would be expecting the Tom Ford Orchid Haze Eye Color Quad, together with the new In the Pink  (I might have to back that one up). and She Wolf trios (ditto), and the other two Eye Color Quads, soon at all Tom Ford counters.  Absolutely worth your time to look.

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Aug 122012
 

Guerlain Fall 2012 introduces the Les Fauves eyeshadow palette ($59/ Ecris 4 Couleurs Les Fauves #14). This is a warm, pearly autumnal palette that gives a perfect Fall eye. The colors include a warm shimmery coral, a pearly mocha, a semi-shimmery warm brown, and a deep shimmery pearly deep brown. The overall impression is quite warm.

The tones should work beautifully with blue or green eyes, although those with deeper eye colors might still enjoy the pearly contour effects that the palette allows. Swatches:

I found that the ease and texture of Guerlain Les Fauves made this one a must-have. This has the soft, buttery texture that I adore. I found that using the Edward Bess Luxury Eye Brush made this extraordinarily easy to use. Below, Liz used the shimmery mocha color from the palette’s right side all over her lid. She used the bottom coral in her inner corner, and the top brown in the crease. The deep color on the left side is a good liner, although it can be used for a crease color as well. There is no highlighter in the palette, although most of us have multiple choices in our stash.

Another with the same lighting, the evening sun skating across the lids: 

Here is a full face, with Guerlain Rouge G L’Extrait Lip Color  in Paresse (review to follow). When the light is not shining directly on lids, the effect gives a subtle contour. In shade, no flash:

One more:

Guerlain’s pearly neutral palette was a must-have for each of us. A great palette for Fall (and the end of Summer).

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Jun 252012
 

Chanel recently released a small eye collection Les Expressions de Chanel outside the U.S. (details here). This includes three eyeshadow quads, including the new Chanel Eyeshadow Quad Variation (#37), part of the Violet Expression Set. The collection also includes Eclosion, which was previously released in the U.S. (reviewed here by The Beauty Look Book), and a neutral set called Intuition. I’ve heard from various sources that this collection is slated for release in the U.S. in either October or November 2012, in the more traditional U.S. square-pan format.

Outside the U.S., these three eyeshadow quads are released in the baked, rounded format (the back of Variation reads “Made in France,” although sometimes the U.S. releases are as well). When I tested these in the store, I found the non-U.S. Eclosion and Intuition very noisy with fallout, and the texture seemed a bit uneven based on my finger swatches. I’m hoping the U.S. versions of these quads will be the more traditional, pressed powder type. Intuition in a U.S. format could be a nice neutral to have, so I passed on the non-U.S. version because of the rough texture.

Of the three, Chanel Variation had the smoothest texture, it is similar in texture to Chanel Rose Envolee. There are micro glitters the taupe, medium rose, and deeper eggplant color, but they are very pretty, Chanel micro-glitters–very fine in texture and very wearable. The U.S. version will likely have a very different texture altogether (and perhaps slightly different colors), so I picked up Variation to have in this formula.

Chanel Variation has a shimmery-satin light pink highlighter, a soft light taupe, and medium mauve-rose and a deep eggplant liner. It could certainly be used to create an eye similar to the one in Lisa Eldridge’s most recent video “Grown Up Girly” (here), where she relies on Bourjois Rose Variation. Alternatively, the taupe could be used as the main lid color with a touch of the Vamp-like liner to add depth as the liner over and smudged under the eye, with a touch of the highlighter in the crease.

This will compliment well with Chanel’s Illusion D’Ombre in Abstraction. Overall, Chanel Variation is a lovely, feminine quad. I’ll be curious to see how Chanel reinterprets this for the U.S. market.

 

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Jan 142012
 
Nars Lhasa1

Nars Lhasa eyeshadow ($23/ 0.07 oz) is a perfect eyeshadow for understated elegance. If you love a neutral with a kick, you need this.

Part of Spring 2012 now online, Nars has a way of releasing must-have staples seasonally. Lhasa is a soft lavender gray that manages to emphasize one’s natural eye color and add a little sophisticated polish. It’s a beautiful wash, or staple lid color that could be supplemented with a touch of deep gray/black in the crease or a touch of shimmering ivory in the inner corner.

Is this a taupe? I’d say it’s not. The lavender has a mink-brown tinged with gray, but it’s different enough from my taupes to declare it one-of-a-kind. It brings out the warmth of my skintone and a touch of green in my eye color. I found that my closest color is Chanel Fauve, although Fauve is comparatively shimmery compared to Nars Lhasa’s satin-matte finish. Here, I compare Lhasa to some “true taupes”–Chanel Safari and Shu ME 945 Silver.  For fun, I added the right half of the Nars Habanera duo, which is clearly more purple, more deep in tone and more shimmery than Lhasa.

Swatches of all shades:

Do you need? Yes. This one is a must.

 

Cafe Makeup received this eyeshadow from Nars Cosmetics without charge for consideration for review.

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Jun 232011
 
Chanel Fantasme 1

Chanel Illusion D’Ombre Long Wear Luminous Eyeshadow in Fantasme (#36 #81) reminds me of the first time that I tried on MAC’s Reflects Pearl.  There is a breath-taking level of magical soft pearly sparkle that veils the lid.  Like diamonds on fresh snow, Fantasme catches the light in a gasp-worthy way.

You can wear Fantasme alone over the lid as a sheer wash.  I applied Fantasme with a light finger-pat over another color (Embloui) to try layering.  Unlike MAC Reflects Pearl, which is a loose pigment, I did not experience fall-out problems.  The product stayed where it was placed. As a colorless neutral, Fantasme will work well as a sheer sparkle wash over any color, including the rest of those in the Illusion D’Ombre line.  Note that many of the shades already have microsparkle, and so adding Fantasme will be adding a bit of diamond icing over them.  I haven’t tried Fantasme over any powder or other cream shadows yet, although I’ll update this after trying to do so.

The mousse-gel texture of these seems to skate over (or fill in) any imperfections in the lid.  Unlike more metallic-with-sparkle shades, I do think this can be worn by any age brave enough if used sparingly–perhaps just a tap in the center of the lid over a deeper color.  I was pleased that it didn’t add lines–I’m enjoying this mousse texture.

We can debate the merits of having a high-sparkle shadow in one’s arsenal for weeks, and I respect your views.  If you don’t want some magic in your life, keep going.  I wish to gently point out that you are reading the blog of someone who goes to Paris at every opportunity, so as you can probably tell I like to push things.  This has more sparkle than I’m comfortable using for an every-day brow highlighter.  Used in the inner corner, visible sparkles can be seen. Still, I have hope for myself that there’s room in my life (and therefore my makeup drawer) for 0.14 ounces of illusion.

I’m not kidding myself that this is a PTA-friendly or for a conservative office. It’s a party in a bottle.  I might consider it for a certain type of wedding.  I love having some fun in my makeup collection–I don’t mind a little sparkle for a night out and I suspect I’ll be arm-wrestling Liz over this one.

No one does sparkle as well as Chanel. I’ve said it for years.  Fantasme is no exception.  Chanel has a way of making the extreme acceptable as long as the woman wearing it realizes that she’s on the edge and uses it appropriately.

This can be worn nearly-opaque, I suspect for the most highly dramatic stage or spotlight occasions.  Swatches (heavy opaque on the left, sheered out on the right):

 

Another Fantasme swatch:

Bottom line–gorgeous for the right occasion.

 

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Mar 232011
 

During my visit to Serge Luten’s Les Salons du Palais Royale, I was introduced to his makeup line.  The line is a highly edited collection (called “The Beauty Essentials“) that is made of products that are intended to look good on every woman, regardless of her skin tone.  The reason that one might choose one item over another is really personal preference and the look that you would like to project.

Unlike the vast counters from other lines, the depth of quality is excellent and the color selection is well-chosen and few in number.  For example, the eyeshadow range is one palette, there are two nail colors, one eyeliner (black), and ten lipsticks.

In the U.S., you can purchase these from Serge Lutens website or Barneys.  Les Salons had a display of some of the engraved compacts that are only sold in this Paris location.  There are only 15 made every year.

I was extremely tempted to try the nail polish and a few other items.  This gorgeous red nail polish (Sang Bleu/ $65) was one of the items that I wanted (but didn’t get):

 

Instead, I got the eyeshadow palette ($160), which has a warm ivory, a blue-based aubergine, a deep brown and a deep black, in a black compact:

Here is a close-up of the pans.  Because of the subtlety of these colors, I’m going to swatch this at home for you.  I would rather have color-accurate swatches done more carefully with lighting that I can control.

The compact is extremely well made, and of course the shadows are very luxurious.  I can see that these colors are universal enough to work for almost anyone.

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Dec 132010
 
Armani Eyes to Kill Eyeshadow 15 d

When Giorgio Armani announced a new eyeshadow formulation, Eyes to Kill, I was electrified.  First, Giorgio Armani understands creams, fluids, powders, textures and–let’s face it–glamour.  My hope was that they were execute a formula as no other company has.  The current buzz is that the three introduced for Holiday 2010–#13 (black), #15 (gold) and #16 (silver)–are a first step into a more extensive line.

I ordered the gold, #15, to test the formula.  Armani’s are $32 each (20% off if you catch a Friends & Family event).  By comparison, other pot eyeshadows are somewhat less–Make Up For Ever Aqua Creams are $22 each, and Shiseido Hydro-Powder eyeshadows are $25.   However, if you have read Café Makeup before you will probably not be surprised that I am undeterred by this disparity.

#15 is a blackened gold, in a little pot topped with a little loose lid, and a screw top:

Continue reading »

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Oct 222010
 

Guerlain’s Fall 2010 introduction of beautifully detailed 6-eyeshadow palettes includes 10 Rue des Francs-Bourgeouis ($84 Ecrin 6 Couleurs).  This series, each one named after a Guerlain boutique in Paris, includes several neutral shades that are intended to be used in a tone-on-tone manner that can be built to smoke the eye, with a centerpiece color intended to add some spark.

Café Makeup previously reviewed the overall architecture of these palettes here.  Created by furniture designer India Mahdavi, these are both elegant and usable.

Continue reading »

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Dec 292009
 

Chanel Spring 2010 includes two new single eyeshadows from the Ombre Essentialle line (Ombre à Paupières Mono Douceur).  These are the Soft Touch Eyeshadows in Sillage and Trace ($28.50 each).  Sillage, which means “vapor trail” or “wake,” is a light shimmery highlight color with rosy bronze tones, with a hint of the mauvish tones that infuse the Kaska Beige quad.  Like some of the other shimmer products in this collection, the light makes this color into a chameleon–it can change quite a bit depending on how the light hits it.

Trace is a deep shimmery mauve-brown.  There is not enough grey in the color to call it a taupe, it is truly more in the brown family.  Of course, it will pair nicely with Sillage.  If you prefer a matte color, Chanel’s single in Beige will do well.

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