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.

Please follow us on....

Dec 132010
 

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 »

Please follow us on....

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 »

Please follow us on....

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.

Please follow us on....

Dec 202009
 

I’ve been a fan of Chanel’s Ombre D’Eau Fluid Iridescent Eyeshadows for years, but it took me several days after purchasing my first before I really understood them.  Let me save  you some time.  Have you ever seen an actress who looks like she’s not wearing any makeup, and yet her eyelids seem to have an ephemeral glow?  That’s the effect that an Ombre D’Eau can have when applied very sheerly.  There are various luminous tones, including sandy shimmery beiges, soft orange and a multi-dimension taupe.

Torrent, Chanel’s Ombre D’Eau released for Spring 2010, is unusually pigmented compared to the others in the line (there’s a deep cranberry that is comparable).  As you can see from the swatch, it’s a remarkably deep and shimmery golden khaki green.  Hopefully my picture can capture some of its qualities.

The packaging is genius.  It’s a small vial (these pack well, but count as liquids for travel).  The cap snaps cleanly into place, and doesn’t shake loose over time.  There is a doe foot applicator inside.

  • First:  Shake the product well, because the pigment tends to settle at the bottom of the vial overnight.  There are tiny balls inside that help stir up the product.
  • Second, do one swipe of the doe foot applicator over the entire lid.  Do not use a primer first. You don’t need one, and a primer can make the application patchy.
  • Third, even out the application (if you need to) with your finger.
  • Fourth, add another layer (or more) if you want more color than the first layer gave you.

Once the product dries, you can add other eyeshadow colors –including powder eyeshadows that you already have in your stash.  I usually wear them solo.  They are sort of perfect on their own, they don’t need a lot of fussing to look glowy and amazing.

Can you tell I love this?  Click on the second picture, the swatch below to see the iridescence of this beautiful shadow.  Also, keep in mind that because of the water base, this can be very very easily sheered.

Please follow us on....