Jan 032011
 

Le Metier de Beaute’s Holiday Kaleidoscope palette, Splendid Frost ($95), started appearing on shelves during December.  Although a touch later than the larger lines, Splendid Frost was well worth the wait.  True to Le Metier’s high quality standards, this palette delivers some of the most beautifully pigmented and complex colors.

Yes, you heard me–it’s another winning Kaleidoscope from Le Metier de Beaute.

This palette appears in two different types of packaging–a pearl white color that is reviewed here by Charleston Girl at The Best Things in Beauty, here at The Nonblonde, and here by Sabrina at The Beauty Look Book.  I love the white packaging, which I believe comes from Neiman Marcus.  I ordered from Bergdorf Goodman, and my Splendid Frost arrived in the traditional black Le Metier packaging.  Otherwise, the palettes appear to be exactly the same.

Crystal Ball is a complex taupe to die for.  This color is soft as suede, incredibly pigmented and has a rich warm taupe shimmer.  There is a touch of metal, enough to give it a beautiful glow.  Like its namesake, Crystal Ball reacts beautifully in the light, and picks up on your brush or finger if you barely touch the surface.  Truly unique, amazing, and gorgeous.

Here are a few more pictures of Crystal Ball, which I flipped around a bit so you can see what the pan does in the light.  These pictures show an already-swatched pan, which I rarely use, but I thought the pan was pretty enough that you might not mind:

Empire is a near-matte gray, which is a necessary basic in almost any collection.  This shade will make the palette very versatile, as I’m sure that I’ll wear this color as a single wash for a simple, polished look.  If you don’t believe me, you’ll want to re-watch The Devil Wears Prada.  In the film, Miranda Priestly wears a simple gray wash in nearly every daytime scene.  This one is deeper than the one that Miranda/Meryl Streep wore (which I believe is Make Up For Ever #145).  Empire is a very winter-friendly color that fits well with the theme of this palette and is quite stunning.

Rockette is a warm gold-pink-peach that can be worn as either an eyeshadow or a blush–this is a glowing color that’s very fresh and pretty.  I actually love peach eyeshadows, ever since I went through two Chanel Abricot singles, I’ve found them to be a good brightening, everyday wash.

Sugar Plum is a magical deep blue with a touch of violet.  There are tiny micro-reflects if you get very close.  Like Crystal Ball, Sugar Plum is a breathtaking, pigmented and richly complex color.

Swatches (click to enlarge):

Overall, I’m extremely happy to own Splendid Frost.  I cannot wait to play with this palette more, and will update when I do.  I could not wait any longer to post this initial review, as I was afraid that this palette will sell out and I wanted you to see it.

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Dec 182010
 

This year’s Holiday makeup has been all about shimmer, shine and metal.  Several collections were quite large, offering something for literally almost everyone.  Others were narrow and theme-focused.  After living with some of my choices for a few months, I thought it would be fun to review some of this season’s favorites.

First, Geurlain Perles D’Or Metorites, reviewed here.  A surprise hit for me, I’ve used them more than I could have imagined, and will continue to do so.  No coverage, just a beautiful, glowing finish when used as an overall powder.  True love.

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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:

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Dec 102010
 

Holiday 2010 has been all about metal textures, shimmer and shine.  To this season, Giorgio Armani adds the Gold Rush collection, which includes the Platinum Palette Sheer Shimmer Powder ($55).  Although the name infers cool toned silver tones, in fact the palette imparts a soft candle lit glow.

The round, sturdy sleek palette uses the same design which draws me to reach for Giorgio Armani when I need an elegant product that fits into virtually anything and holds up through the roughest handling.  Inside:

A close-up shows the beautiful texture of this palette:

The palette is roughly the same circumference as the Armani eyeshadow palettes, but is a solid pan of highlighting powder.  In direct flash:

It’s safe to let the pictures do the talking to demonstrate how beautiful this palette is.  The effect of this is subtle– here I’ve swatched it quite heavily over a base to bring out the color and shine:

Another, also applied heavily over a base to show the candlelight soft shimmer color:

Here’s a comparison between Giorgio Armani’s Gold Rush Platinum and Yves Saint Laurent’s Colorama Highlighter:

Do you need them both?  No, unless you like the versatility of the different color choices.  Both a beautiful, excellent quality palettes that give a soft, beautiful glow.  Gorgeous.

Here is the ingredient list for the Giorgio Armani Platinum highlighter (click to enlarge):

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Dec 092010
 

Yves Saint Laurent is not a brand that comes onto my radar screen very often, but when Sabrina at The Beauty Look Book posted pictures of the YSL Holiday 2010 Metallic Colorama Highlighter ($65/ Palette Metallic Colorama 0.35 oz), I placed an order.

The palette is housed in a metallic leather confection, with a magnet closure and full sized mirror.  It feels as though there is a plastic reinforcement inside, in any event the palette seems quite sturdy and therefore travel-friendly.

In my mind, the palette design evokes YSL’s Belle du Jour metallic clutches released as of late (très  chic!):

Inside is a generous cake of finely milled rose gold powder that imparts an angelic glow:

The back:

I’ve worn this highlighter for several weeks by now, and I kept trying to over-do it.  Do you now how, if you aren’t careful, you can build up a MAC Mineralize Skin Finish until you get a metallic frost sheen?  You really have to start one of those with a skunk brush and see.  Maybe a powder brush will be fine with some, but some require careful handling or your got an other worldly sheen–and not the good kind.  Very unflattering.

But I never seemed to be able to get there with the Yves Saint Laurent Colorama Highlighter.  Layer after layer gave me more glow, but I was never able to get frosty metal.

What would it take?  Day after day, I tried to push it further and further.  YSL’s Colorama Highlighter still looked good.

Finally, reader, I pushed it as far as any makeup junkie would ever go.  Oh, yes.

I reached for my kabuki.

Okay, I heard that gasp.  Fine.  But I had to know, right?

Well, I’m happy to report that I was never able to apply too much-the combination of the finely milled powder and excellent quality kept the product looking angelic, not leathery.  Fabulous powder, and the rose gold will look beautiful on both warm and gold tone skin.

Highlighters are difficult to photograph.  I did my best with a very heavy swatch, using application with a dense eyeshadow brush.  Sabrina’s posts has some lovely ones as well.

Another:

Lovely highlighter and highly recommended.  Yves Saint Laurent has made a product that makes me more curious about its line.  I’ve already worn this, and the color is so beautiful that I know that I’ll continue to do so.

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