Jul 262011

In my childhood home, there was a beautiful cherry tree in the backyard.  The trunk had a deep brown color with a hint of red.  The outer bark seemed to be tinged with silvery sheen.  This is the same way that I describe Burberry Sheer Eye Shadow in Midnight Brown ($29 #21)(available at select Nordstrom and Nordstrom.com).  Midnight Brown is part of Burberry Beauty’s Fall collection and it is a stunner.

The shadow comes packed in a heavy luxury case with a super sharp, slightly smoked mirror, and generous 2.5 g/ 0.88 oz. amount. Its texture is buttery soft.  The texture has a multidimensionality that does wonderful things with light.  If you compare the texture of the top of the shadow in the pan, compared to how it looks in the mirror, you can see the different tonalities.


Because of the tinge of red, Burberry Beauty Mightnight Brown doesn’t read “taupe” to me.  It reads “taupe’s best friend.”  This is a beautiful brown mixed with a slight hint of red.  Usually, taupes have a hint of mauve or mostly grey (not red).  But because of the tinge of grey, is the perfect brown to wear in the crease/socket and/or along the lashline to add dimension to a taupe wash.  I tried this during a makeover with Burberry Rosewood (a taupe, swatched below) and they worked beautifully together.

On the far left are comparisons between Burberry Midnight Brown and Burberry Rosewood.  You can see that Midnight Brown is a deep brown, but not as deep as the highly pigmented, deep brown NARS Mekong.  Burberry Midnight Brown is not as red as Chanel Cinnamon, and not as taupe as Chanel Safari.  On the far right, you can see the red-brown metallic Shu Uemura ME Brown 850.  These swatches are in sun with flash.

Another set of swatches–same shadows, same order:

One final (this one in shade with flash):

 Burberry Beauty’s Fall 2011 Collection includes this Midnight Brown Eyeshadow, a matching eyeliner, two colored mascaras (an olive army green and a brown).  There is a lip pencil and two new lipsticks in the standard formula (#25 Nude Rose lipstick, #26 Nude Cashmere).  There is also the glorious Fresh Glow illuminating primer, which I’ve reviewed here.  From these choices, and after one of the best makeovers of my life (more on this later), I walked away with Burberry Midnight Brown, Nude Rose lipstick and the Fresh Glow.

Obviously, nearly everyone needs a few great browns in their collection.  In my personal opinion, Burberry Midnight Brown is in the same color family as MAC Mulch.  But really, I far prefer Midnight Brown.  The Burberry texture is better, the pigmentation is smooth and soft, the application is quite easy, and the tonality is absolutely beautiful.  For me, Burberry Midnight Brown is a must.

For Sabrina’s review of the Burberry Beauty Fall 2011 collection, including her views of Midnight Brown, see here.

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Jul 042011

Chanel Fall 2011 is a pivotal Chanel collection. This appears to be a time when many products were added to the permanent line, adding several needed items and exploring some new textures and formulas.  I love when established companies innovate, so if you hear someone shouting from their rooftops, c’est moi!

The sheer size and scope of the collection is notable.  Although The Nonblonde suggests that “they’re overdoing it,” to me, more Chanel is more Chanel. The critical question is this–can you ever have too much Chanel?

I think you can have too much football, or fishing.  Or tequila.  Maybe even too much MAC.  But we have a long way to go until we get to that point. For me, Chanel makes the bumps in life’s roads a little easier.  I’d fill my bathtub with it and want more.  Maybe I’ll be in Chanel rehab with Dr. Drew someday.  We’ll see.  Until then, I’m going with what works.

Let’s review the collection, before I get to my favorites:

  • Illusion d’Ombre Eyeshadows (overview here).   Application tips are here.

– Fantasme (reviewed here)

– Emerveillé (reviewed here)

– Ebloui (reviewed here)

– Epatant (reviewed here)

– Illusoire (reviewed here)

– Mirifique (reviewed here)

  • Le Crayon Yeux eye pencil in Khaki Platine (reviewed here)

  • Joues Contraste Blush in Rose Écrin (reviewed here)

  • Les 4 Ombres Eyeshadow Palette in Prélude (reviewed here)

  • Lèvres Scintillantes (Glossimers)

– Pampille (reviewed here)

– Braise (reviewed here)

  • Crayon Lèvres lip pencils in Rose Cuivré and Coralline (reviewed here)

  • Rouge Coco lipstick

– Plumetis (reviewed here)

– Étole (reviewed here)

  • Rouge Double Intensite in Rose Morganite and Rose Quartz (reviewed here).

  • Le Vernis nail polish

– Graphite (reviewed here)

Peridot (reviewed here)

Quartz (reviewed here)

  • Double Perfection Compact Foundation in Medium Beige-Contour (reviewed here)

My personal favorites:

  • Chanel Illusion D’Ombre Eyeshadows in Ebloui, Illusoire and Mirifique
  • Chanel Le Vernis nail colors in Peridot and Quartz
  • Chanel Prelude Eyeshadow Quad
  • Chanel Rouge Coco Plumentis
  • Chanel Crayon Levres in Rose Cuivre

Which of these items interest you most?  If you have tried any, which are your favorites?


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Jul 042011

I’m a bit reluctant to review Chanel Double Perfection Natural Matte Powder Makeup in 80 Medium Beige ( #80).  This was a product that was included in my shipment from Chanel.  I’m assuming that this is a new color for Fall 2011.  Given that my typical color is on the 20 Soft Beige end of the scale, this is not a color with which I have a lot of familiarity.  My fear is that this review will raise more questions than I can answer, but I’m forging ahead with the hope that you’ll find it helpful nonetheless.

Generally, Chanel’s Double Perfection powder foundation is a lovely matte foundation.  I’ve used it my Soft Beige for quite some time.  I find that applying it wet with the included sponge gives heavy coverage.  I prefer to apply it with a brush for a more natural look, typically over a primer or Chanel’s UV Essentiel SPF 50, which also acts as a primer.  A dense brush (such as a kabuki), will give me heavy coverage.  A soft powder brush gives light coverage.

After application, I usually add a spritz of Caudalie Eau de Beaute to minimize the powdery look that powder foundations can give for the first hour or so of wear time.  It helps the foundation settle into my skin.

I have found that in colder weather months, bronzer can look like too much.  Some readers may be reluctant to wear bronzer ever, at all.  For those occasions, I’ve longed to get a deeper toned foundation for light contouring.  In a way, this foundation was the answer to this wish, as it is several shades deeper than my natural color, and so can be used lower on the checks to add subtle depth.  This can be used with either a lighter powder foundation, or patted over a liquid foundation in my color.

Bottom line: Win (for this limited purpose).



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Jul 022011

Liz did a quick makeup look with some of the Chanel Fall 2011 items:

  • Chanel Illusion D’Ombre eyeshadow in Mirifique as a liner (reviewed here)
  • Chanel Illusion D’Ombre eyeshadow in Emerveille as an all-over lid wash (reviewed here)
  • Chanel Illusion D’Ombre eyeshadow in Illusoire in the outer portion of the lid and into the crease (reviewed here)
  • Chanel Inimitable Intense Mascara
  • Chanel Joues Contraste Blush in Rose Ecrin (review forthcoming)
  • Chanel Glossimer in Braise (reviewed here)
  • Caron Translucent Powder (reviewed here)

How are you wearing Chanel’s Fall items?

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Jul 022011

Chanel Joues Contraste Blush in Rose Ecrin ($42 #68) is a medium rose-pink shade in this beautifully textured formula. Thankfully, this blush is in the soft powder U.S. formula, that has the familiar texture that seems to melt into the skin.

Rose Ecrin is a proper, “tea with the Queen” pink that always looks appropriate.  The blush seems to apply in a slightly deeper tone than it appears in the pan.  Despite the slight glow that you see in the picture above, Rose Ecrin applies as a near-matte on my skin.  It’s a very pretty, subtle blush that you will find yourself reaching for again and again, due to its versatility.

Another swatch:

As you can see, Rose Ecrin swatches neutral to very slightly warm.  For comparison, you can see that it is not as warm as the peachier In Love (reviewed here), nor as cool as Narcisse (limited edition and no longer available/ reviewed here).  Here is a picture of Liz wearing Rose Ecrin directly over foundation (no bronzer):


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Jul 012011

Chanel Fall 2011 features two Rouge Double Intensite Ultra Wear Lip Colour — Rose Quartz (#04) and Rose Morganite (#30) ($34 each).  Technically, Rose Quartz has been part of the Chanel line for quite some time, and Rose Morganite is newly introduced with the Illusion D’Ombre collection.

The Chanel Rouge Double Intensite glosses are dual-ended–one with an intense color, and the other with a clear gloss.  It is intended to be a long-wearing formula, and all of the shades that I’ve experienced are quite opaque.

The first layer goes on very opaque with one layer.  In about a minute, the color dries down to a matte look.  At this point, depending on your individuality and climate, your lips can look a bit dry but with full color.  Although you could wear the color as a matte opaque, I absolutely add the gloss to add life and shine.  This avoids the ‘too dry’ look.  My personal experience is that the gloss also contributes to the wear time.

There is a scent to this gloss that reminds me of a soft, luxurious vanilla-coconut.  I find it comforting.

Rose Morganite is the type of color I love-it’s an intense, deep and flattering plum-rose.  It gives a quiet emphasis.  On Liz:

Rose Quartz is the lighter one.  This has been part of my beauty stash for some time.  It’s a very flattering pink:

On Liz, you can the color is opaque and the color is a soft light-to-medium pink:

These certainly last longer than a typical gloss on me.  I’ve read reports that they last through an entire meal on some.

My experience is that these do last much longer than any gloss or a sheer lipstick–I’ll get a few hours of wear from them.  Today, I actually scrubbed Rose Morganite with Lush’s Ocean Salt and it didn’t remove the color (an oil cleanser did).  True story.  I get hours of wear even though I’m usually sipping water throughout. I didn’t expect to love these–using two products seems a little fussy–but I do.  If you want long-lasting, flattering color these are well worth a look.

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Jul 012011

Chanel Khaki Platine Eyeliner ($29 #70) (Le Crayon Yeux Crayon Contour des Yeux Precision) (Precision Eye Definer) is absolutely beautiful.  A nice accompaniment to the other shimmery green-grays in the Chanel Illusion D’Ombre collection, Khaki Platine adds a beautiful mix of shimmery silver-gold with a soft khaki green to touch on your eyes.

Khaki Platine is the eyeliner twin to Illusion D’Ombre Epatant (reviewed here) and they would be lovely paired together. Because I tend to wear blacks and browns on my top lashline, I plan to use Khaki Platine as a soft touch of color on my lower lashline most of the time.  As is Chanel’s custom, the liner comes packed with a convenient sharpener.

Here is a comparison between Khaki Platine and Chanel Rose Platine (reviewed here) and Khaki Dore (reviewed here):

One more swatch of Khaki Platine:

Bottom line-– This is one beautiful liner.  It will add a luminous soft touch of color.  Love.

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Jun 302011

Chanel Quadra Eye Shadow in Prelude ($57 #33) (Les 4 Ombres/Ombres a Paupiers Quator) is a neutral eyeshadow-lover’s dream.  The colors are gorgeous for any time of the year.  Unlike most of Chanel’s neutral palettes, Prelude has a cool edge.  In fact, you can see in the upper left corner a tiny touch of teal sparkle in the soft putty-taupe shade.  Who would have thought to add a this touch?

As all Chanel eyeshadow palettes, Prelude comes in the luxurious, familiar palette that will fit within your existing collection.  Here is a picture in softer indoor light, where you can see that the sparkle softly recedes:

Four gorgeous colors:

  • A light softly shimmering beige highlight (upper right)
  • A putty-taupe with teal sparkle (upper left)
  • A very soft tan with subtle microsparkle that is mostly white but with multicolored reflects
  • A deep brown infused with a plum tone–the deep plum seems far less apparent when worn

Close up in direct sun:

I did some comparison swatches, but all of my other Chanel palettes seem quite warm by comparison, well except for Stupendous which has a more silver/plum tone.  For example, here is Prelude next to Chanel Dunes and Chanel Shimmering Dunes:

If you love cooler neutrals, you have found your perfect palette.  Also, Prelude seems like a promising palette to mix with some of the Illusion D’Ombre eyeshadows, including Epatant, Ebloui and Illusoire. So mix it up a little! More swatches, applying Prelude dry:

Applied wet:

Applied very quickly on Liz’s eye.  We didn’t have time for mascara or liner, we were running out of time and so we thought one picture that shows the texture applied to the lid would be of assistance:

Overall:  Chanel Prelude is highly recommended.  Especially if you are cool-toned, you need it. So many neutral, high quality palettes lean warm.

I understand that Prelude is joining Chanel’s permanent collection, thankfully.


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Chanel Rouge Coco Etole: Review and Swatches

 Chanel, Lipstick  Comments Off on Chanel Rouge Coco Etole: Review and Swatches
Jun 292011

Chanel Rouge Coco Étole ($32 #80) is a medium warm red with a strong hint of copper and a touch of plum. This shade fits well thematically with the other items in Chanel’s Illusion D’Ombre collection and very vaguely reminded me of the soft red used on the runway (in the soon-to-be released Rouge Allure Velvet collection later this year) (yes, I know the colors aren’t the same, but there’s a plum-red tone that I think is consistent).

You can see the deep tones evoked by Rouge Coco Étole will coordinate nicely with the Chanel Glossimer in Braise (reviewed here) and the lip pencil in Rose Cuivre (reviewed with Etole here at The Beauty Look Book, soon to be reviewed here).

In the deep toned Rouge Coco family, I present comparisons with Chanel Rouge Coco in Vendome, Rouge Coco in Rivoli (reviewed here) and Rouge Coco in Baroque (reviewed here).

Here is a lip swatch on Liz (no liner, applied directly on lips):

This is a pretty, medium toned color that is going to look lovely when the fall weather arrives. Do we love, or do we love it not?   I love the little glow that this formula gives.  I think that the light, reflective texture of this lipstick pushes this somewhat safe and classic color into a youthful interpretation.  Medium rose tones can work on lips of all ages.

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Jun 292011

Chanel Rouge Coco Plumentis ($32 #79) is a soft nude with tones of pink, peach and a hint of mauve that reminds me of the U.S. version of Joues Contraste Orchid Rose blush (reviewed here).   It’s a soft, neutral color that will work with a wide variety of skin tones in a beautiful, moisturizing formula.

Don’t let its quiet neutral color fool you.  Plumentis is one of those lovely colors that you can keep in your purse and wear almost any time.  Although not dramatic, this type of color is invaluable for adding just a touch of natural polish to your look.

Here are some comparisons with some other neutrals in my collection.  First, Chanel Rouge Allure in Mythic, the timeless nude.  Next is Chanel Plumentis.  On the right are Chanel Rouge Coco in the more brown Patchouli (reviewed here) and the deeper toned Stunning (reviewed here).

On lips (no liner):

One more that shows how easily this fits into almost any makeup wardrobe:

Bottom line:  Yes, yes, a thousand times yes.


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