Oct 102011
 

This Fall, I’ve begun to notice a heavily contoured cheek used on the runway and in magazines.  For example, look at this look from last week’s Paris runway show of Louis Vuitton Spring Summer 2012:

I noticed another heavily contoured look in this feature from the October ’11 Vogue in this androgynous take on the trend:

I was tempted to try this look, because I love nude blushes, light bronzers and highlighters and have several in my stash.  However, I did not want to apply the product so heavily and dramatically because the heavy application that you see in these examples seem best suited for a runway or fashion studio.  Some ways that I played with the look include using a deeper foundation shade on the lower cheek, and a subtle highlighter on the upper cheek.  This is the most subtle version of the contoured cheek that I can create.

Another is to use a deep blush and highlighter combination, such as the Chanel Soho blush/ highlighter that was released last Fall (limited edition)

If you prefer a cream version of the colors in the Chanel Soho palette, Nars Multiples in Maui and Luxor is a good substitute (swatches below).  I bought the Nars multiples as mini’s in this Sweet Disposition set.
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A third way is a highlighter/combination, including this Hourglass Illume Creme-to-Powder Bronzer Duo in Bronze Light ($40), which is sold at Sephora.  On the top of the compact, there is a champagne gold sheer highlighter.  On the bottom, the compact holds a warm-toned cream bronzer that runs to a medium-toned depth.  The top mirror keeps the compact sleek when stored, but can be swiveled up so that the large mirror can be used.
This Hourglass duo can be worn with the two tones applied separately to create a defined, contoured cheek.
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Alternatively, I can wear the bronzer more traditionally with the highlighter all over the cheek and on the brow bone. The Hourglass Bronzer duo holds one of the deepest bronzers that I can get away with, and I have to apply it sheerly to get it to work.  If you have a medium warm skin tone, you can be more liberal with the use of this bronzer. Those with cooler skin tones may find this duo is too warm.
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I also own Soleil Tan de Chanel Bronzing Makeup Base ($48) (swatched below).  The Hourglass bronzer is a traditional creamy texture that dries down to a powder on the skin and can be beautifully sheered out.  Chanel’s cream bronzer feels drier in the tub, and feels as though it contains some silicon.  Chanel’s is lighter in tone than the Hourglass.  The Chanel tub is a rather enormous 1.0 ounce;  the Hourglass duo holds .39 ounces of product in total (both bronzer and highlighter).
Here is a comparison of Nars Multiples in Luxor and Maui, the two shades from the Hourglass Illume Bronze Light compact, and a combination that I created the Soleil Tan de Chanel Bronzing Makeup Base and Edward Bess All Over Seduction in Sunlight ($38) (reviewed here).
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 Have you played with a contoured cheek?  What are your thoughts?

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Sep 102011
 

On-again off-again line Imitation of Christ showed at New York Fashion week S/S 12, with a joyously clean look using some lovely Hourglass products.  The show featured a wedding motif, and the makeup seemed like one could actually wear this look to a wedding.

Imitation of Christ S/S '12 NYFW

Unlike this Fall’s fascination with clumpy lashes, the look on this model is modern, clean and could be worn by almost anyone.  The skin virtually glows (with some thanks to a new primer that Hourglass will be releasing), the lips make a serious statement, and brows look like they remain healthy but were not overwhelming.  Hallelujah!!

Click to enlarge:

NEW

Models were prepped with a new Primer Serum (launching Summer 2012), which is a silky blend of 28 oils and vitamins.  This primer glides on to create a retexturized surface for foundation, leaving hydration and fragrance behind.

Models with oily complexions were sporting Immaculate Liquid Powder Foundation, launching Spring 2012. The advanced new makeup base delivers an exquisitely matte finish that lasts all day—without the need for touchups. In addition, the foundation uses clinical levels of two anti-aging ingredients to visibly improves the skin’s texture and help create a more youthful-looking visage.

GET THE LOOK

SKIN: Start with Primer Serum to create a moisturized canvas for makeup. Follow with Illusion Tinted Moisturizer, or Immaculate Liquid Powder Foundation, and apply with No. 2 Foundation brush. Conceal dark circles or blemishes with Hidden Corrective Concealer.

EYES: Apply Visionaire Eye Shadow Duo in Lagoon (blue), Dune (gold) or Prism (silver) on the lid and blend with fingers. Follow with a subtle application of Script Precision Liner to enhance the lash line. Follow with Film Noir Mascara to define the lashes and finish with a glossy topcoat of Film Noir Lash Lacquer.

CHEEKS: Apply Aura Sheer Cheek Stain in Flush to the apples of the cheeks and blend with the fingers. Highlight cheeks with Illume Crème-to-Powder Bronzer Duo in Bronze Light.

LIPS: Apply Aura Sheer Lip Stain in Flush to lips

 


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Aug 212011
 

Hourglass was kind enough to send one of their newly released Film Noir Lash Lacquer ($28), together with a sample sized Film Noir Full Spectrum Mascara (full size runs $28) to try at Cafe Makeup.  Film Noir Lash Lacquer is a newly designed product that is like a top coat for nails, or gloss for a lipstick.  It is used to add a wet look, together with the addition of length, volume and shine.

As you can see from the photograph, above, it comes with a brush applicator to “paint” lashes similar to the way that one would paint nail polish on your nails.  Application tips:

- Film Noir Lash Lacquer works with many mascaras, and works best on lashes already coated with a good lengthening mascara (not tubing or volumizing)

- Hold the wand at a horizontal angle to your lashes and delicately paint in short strokes

- You can use all over lashes (top and bottom), or just the ones on the outer corner

Liz and I were very impressed the Film Noir Full Spectrum Mascara.  We liked the separation and length, and thought that it was a real contender against Guerlain’s Le 2 mascara ($36/ reviewed here).  Liz said that she would definitely re-purchase it. It had great separation and curling properties.  Our little sample gave us plenty of reasons to believe that this is an excellent choice at $28.

Film Noir Lash Lacquer was easy to use–the directions were clear, and we found the brush easy enough to control.  For these pictures, Liz applied Lash Lacquer over the Full Spectrum Mascara.  We found that it did add a deep glossy look to lashes.  The volumizing properties tended to occur by adding volume.  We did experience some clumps, but expected that effect from a volumizing product.  Perhaps this is due to the brush configuration, which does not attempt to separate lashes.

Here is a comparison without Film Noir Lash Lacquer.  Only the Full Spectrum Mascara is applied, below:
Overall, Film Noir Lash Lacquer adds drama, volume and a deep black lacquer effect.  We found the product easy to use.  I separately tried Film Noir Lash Lacquer, and got a very similar effect to Liz’s–it gives a very fringy, very black, with a tendency to pull the lashes together (rather than having separation).   We thought that it achieved the promised effect of maximizing lashes.  We actually loved the Film Noir Full Spectrum Mascara by itself more, which should not be surprising given that we prefer a more natural look.  However, if you are looking for drama, the Lash Lacquer certainly delivers.

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May 032011
 

Hourglass Cosmetics has just released a new felt tipped liner, the Hourglass Script Precision Liquid Liner ($32) (available at Sephora).  Unlike the earlier version, the Hourglass Calligraphy (pictured at top, above) (reviewed here) ($32), the Hourglass Script has a very, very fine-tipped point.  Otherwise, both have:

  • A deep, inky-black color
  • Long-lasting, no-smudge and no-flake wear
  • A smooth, even application and ink flow

Both Hourglass pens allow the liquid ink to flow without any pumping or twisting–the ink is deposited with slight pressure.  They are both well-machined, foolproof and beautifully packaged.  Both have a slight “heft factor” that is pleasant and balanced.  At $32, these are in line with the price range of other high end liquid liners (Chanel’s Automatic Liquid Eyeliner is $34).

I’m very comfortable applying liquid liners–fearless, in fact.  Start by practicing on the back of your hand.  Like Julia Child flipping a potato pancake, it’s easier if you go in confident.

Let’s compare the Hourglass Script, the Hourglass Calligraphy, and the Le Metier de Beaute Precision Liquid Liner ($42) (reviewed here).  As shown here, the tip of the Hourglass Script is quite precise–the tip is tiny.

I was surprised to find how distinct all three liners are.  You can see that when Hourglass says that the Script is precision, they are not kidding–the fine point allows you to draw an extremely fine line.  It must be layered to get a thicker line.

Below, on the left you can see a light and a heavy line that I drew with Le Metier’s Precision (in Noir).  In the second line, you can see how lightly Le Metier’s can be applied.  Here, the ink isn’t quite a deep and dark (it looks almost brown).  Had I added another layer or two, the Le Metier would be as black as the Hourglass swatches.  Hourglass Script (in Jett) is swatched in the center.  Hourglass Calligraphy (in Ebony) is on the right.

Both the Hourglass Script and Calligraphy provide a deeper, blacker line out of the brush, compared with Le Metier de Beaute’s.

No, you don’t need all three.  If you have light-toned skin, delicate features or prefer a very natural look, you will prefer the ability to draw a more subtle line that the Le Metier Precision Eyeliner allows. The Le Metier must be applied with some pressure, or in built-up layers, to get a full-on black line. “Priming” the brush helps, by holding it down on the back of your hand for a second to get the ink flowing freely (but that’s a little messy).

If you want a deep, black ink out of the pen, the Hourglass delivers beautifully.  Between Script and Calligraphy, it’s going to depend on whether you prefer a thin or thick line.

Note that I found that I was able to get a very fine line with the Hourglass Calligraphy by using just light pressure on the very end of the tip, but it was not easy.  Really, if you want a fine line then go with the Script.

However, I’m glad that I do own all three.  I find myself reaching frequently for my Hourglass Calligraphy when a want a good, quick defined black line.  I love the Le Metier when my makeup is very subtle.  I have no doubt I’ll use up the Hourglass Script, because it adds something that the others don’t have–a quick, very deep black fine line that works well for my coloring and features.  I love it–highly recommended.

Hourglass Script and Calligraphy were provided to Cafe Makeup for review/consideration by Hourglass.

 

 

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Mar 082011
 

Calligraphy Liquid Eye Liner ($32) in Ebony/Black is a well-engineered liquid felt-tip liner.  Out of the box, this liner was ready to deliver a steady, predictable, precise line without requiring any practice.  There is no pumping or twisting required.  One simply applies that tip where one likes, and the pen does the rest of the work.

The ink is beautiful, bold and lasts all day.  If you’d like more ink to flow, simply press the liner tip on the back of your hand to freshly saturate the tip.  Hourglass’ Calligraphy Liquid Eye Liner is a gorgeous, easy to use eyeliner that will give you a consistent line at all times.

You might be wondering how Hourglass’ Calligraphy compares to Le Metier de Beaute’s Precision liner ($42), reviewed here.  Here are some thoughts:

  • The Hourglass Calligraphy is $10 less in price, and physically larger–probably twice as large.  I can see tucking Le Metier’s Precision into the smallest bag without concern.
  • Both have a very fine, sharply-shaped tip.  However, Le Metier’s is more flexible.  If you have small lids, or a small area around the lashline, Le Metier’s will give you more control.
  • The stiffer Hourglass Calligraphy tends to give a thicker line, unless you touch with the finest end of the tip.  However, due to its stiffness, you’ll want to work carefully.  The Le Metier Precision is a little more forgiving in this regard;  the brush is softer and has more bend/give than the Hourglass.
  • Le Metier’s delivers a much finer line on the first application, which can be built to a thicker line.
  • In contrast, Hourglass Calligraphy will provide a more traditional liquid-eyeliner look with very little effort.

Overall, Hourglass Calligraphy is an excellent product.  When I first tried Le Metier’s Precision, I wondered whether there was a duplicate out there for a less price.  After testing the Hourglass Calligraphy, I can see that these are different enough such that one customer is likely to prefer one over the other.  Generally, both deliver beautiful, long-lasting lines without having to pump or twist.  Their mechanisms both work quite well.  However, the Hourglass Calligraphy will please those who want a more traditional eyeliner size.  Le Metier’s allows a more subtle look, but then must be built to obtain the fuller look.

Hourglass Calligraphy Eyeliner was provided to Cafe Makeup for review without charge.

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