Mar 152011
 

Since I began using Le Metier de Beaute’s Peau Vierge foundation last fall (reviewed here), I became interested in the other Peau Vierge series of products, including the Peau Vierge Correcteur Concealer ($95).  Here’s the pitch, according to Le Metier de Beaute (from Neiman Marcus’ website):

–Retinol is delivered through a patented and proprietary delivery technology called Syntoc Actif which encapsulates the Retinol and allows it to safely and effectively penetrate the skin.

—Traditional over-the-counter products have very poor penetration—less than 2% of active ingredients are actually absorbed. In comparison, with Syntoc Actif, 20 times more Retinoic Acid is absorbed into the deeper skin layers, making it the most effective cosmetic Retinoid treatment on the market.

— Paraben, Talc, Fragrance, and Dye-Free.

First up, let me get a few of my thoughts out there:

  • At $95, this is one of the most expensive concealers on the market.  Yes, I know, it’s because it is infused with active skin care ingredients and the performance is superior.  Still, get it during a Bergdorf or Neiman beauty card event if you can, it can knock almost $25 off the original price.
  • This can be used to cover either the under-eye area or spots.  After all, both benefit from Retinol so it makes perfect sense.
  • The tube is small – I believe that there is roughly half the amount of product as the Cle de Peau concealer (which sells for $70 but does not promise skin care improvement).
  • Le Metier de Beaute’s Correcteur Concealer has superior pigmentation to any concealer that I have ever tried.  You do not need much.  A very thin layer does the work.
  • I apply this on my finger first to warm the product, then apply onto the eye.  This seems to spread the product to look quite natural.
  • The cream is very finely milled–it looks like skin, not like concealer.
  • Color choices are limited to two, I use Fraise.
  • There is a slight moisturizing property to it that keeps it from creasing easily.  It includes skin care ingredients that promises to improve your undereye texture in five days.  In my experience, it works.  My undereye area does look better in five days–fine lines are softer, the area seems more moisturized.  You get what you pay for.
  • This raises the question–should you still use your traditional under eye moisturizer?  My quick answer is yes, if you need more moisture then use it under Le Metier’s concealer.   I’ve confirmed with Dustin Lujan/ Le Metier genius, that this is appropriate.

Overall, I’ll re-buy Le Metier’s Peau Vierge Correcteur Concealer when it runs out (during a gift card event if at all possible).  If you’ve been following this blog, you know that I’ll spare no expense to get high quality products that deliver.  Looks, it’s my eyes. There are few areas of your body that are more examined, assessed and (hopefully) admired.  I’ll put down serious coin to preserve them as long as possible.

Speaking of concealers with benefits, I picked up a few samples of a new concealer/corrector from Lancome at a local Paris counter recently.  Unlike Le Metier’s Le Peau Vierge which uses a single tube for delivery of both concealer and skin care ingredients, Lancome’s Regengie Yeux (Mulitple Lift) is a two-part product.  One is the eye cream that is applied first.  The other is a very creamy, concentrated concealer for the undereye area.  Unlike Le Metier, I suspect based on the name and packaging that Lancome’s will not work well on spots–the use is really intended for under-eye only.

Peeled back, you can see the skin care moisturizer (bottom) and concealer (top) combination:

The back of the sample card:

I used Lancome’s for three days and enjoyed it.  In passing, I wondered whether there was a significant difference between buying two products–concealer and eye cream–rather than this two-part product.  Still, I found the combination looked very natural on my skin and had good coverage.  Between Le Metier Peau Vierge Correcteur Concealer and Lancome’s Renergie Yeux, well of course I prefered Le Metier’s (except for the price, as I suspect Lancome’s will be lower).  I found the coverage of Let Metier’s superior, and I’ll take a product with retinol over one without any day of the week.

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Jun 042010
 

Some of the most enjoyable moments in Paris happen purely by accident.  You look up and see something that takes your breath away.  This post includes a number of destinations that I found more by accident than planning, but thoroughly enjoyed once I discovered them.  All of them are located in central Paris.

1.  Repetto:  A French ballet shoe company that makes shoes for dancers and ballet flats for fashion-lovers.  I love the genuine theater feel of this store.  Located near the Opera Garnier, Repetto is located on the Rue de la Paix and features displays of tutus and pink satin that are so beautiful.  For those that love well-made ballet flats, these are beautifully made leather.  They’re gorgeously made with thin, elegant soles and a breathtaking range of colors.

On the day I went by, there were tutu’s on display in the front window that appeared to be leaping across a stage:

2. Laduree – makers of extraordinary macarons.  Although every French macaron I’ve tried has been delicious, there is something so wonderful about the Laduree variety.  My favorite this summer– Caramel Fleur de Sel– a sweet and salty confection that brings together the best of both worlds.

Sometimes I secretly wish one of my friends would get married, so I could persuade them to have a macaron wedding cake.  Is that taking love of macarons too far?

3.  Make Up For Ever- Paris My first real introduction to Make Up For Ever was in the Sephora Paris about ten years ago.  Since then, the line has invaded the U.S., much to my delight.  Here is the Make Up For Ever boutique in Paris, which is tucked away several blocks from the Arc de Triomphe:

How lovely and old world is this courtyard?  How cutting-edge is the makeup inside? I love the contrast.

4. Louis Vuitton boutiques:  There are several Louis Vuitton locations throughout Paris, and the service in each one that I’ve encountered has been excellent.  Here is one on the Champs Elysse, typically the busiest of them, with a line outside most of the time:

5.  Chanel:  There are at least three Chanel stand-alone boutiques in central Paris, but only one original boutique in the entire world.  This is at 31 Rue Cambon, where Coco Chanel began her design career and the company’s home has remained here through the present:

Always pristine, always welcoming, always beautiful. Always Chanel.

6. Lancome boutique:  On the Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, there are several incredible boutiques, including Hermes, Yves St. Laurent, Dolce & Gabbana.  For makeup lovers, a visit to the Lancome boutique is a treat.  It’s spacious and serene, and of course stocked with European versions of Lancome’s products.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this brief stroll among some of these lovely destinations in Paris.   All photographs are mine.

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Dec 162009
 

Picture 7Last summer, I visited the Avenue Montaigne in Paris.  If you’ve been there, you’ll know that some of the finest designers have a boutique there such as Louis Vuitton, Paul & Joe, Valentino and Dolce & Gabbana.  It is not the only boutique-lined street in Paris, but it is certainly a lovely one.  The Champs Elysees is at one end and an incredible view of the Eiffel Tower over the Seine is at the other.

Picture 5

I went into the Caron boutique, which sits on a corner across from Dior. Reader, I had done my homework. I had scoured the almost-breathless blog postings that described their incomparably fine finishing powders, glamorous sparkling evening powders, perfumes and powder puffs made of swan’s down and  satin ribbon.  I searched Make Up Alley for both fragrance and makeup.  The fact is, the brand is very difficult to find in the United States.  Given that I had never touched their product, and my French can charitably be described as “very rough,” I wanted to stumble through without too much embarrassment.

My research disclosed that everything about their products was excellent.  I immediately rejected attempting to purchase perfumes, as traveling home by plane made packing liquids challenging.  But the powders….the powders!!!! From my research, it appeared that they were made by faeries from the wing dust of angels, mixed via a stir of Tinkerbell’s wand.  I prepared my shopping list, my budget and set out to tackle the boutique.

If you get to Paris, treat yourself to a stop in the Avenue Montaigne Caron boutique.  It’s lined with very large, gilded Baccarat crystal perfume dispensers, from which one is supposed to fill the bottle of their choosing.  The amount of marble, gold and crystal inside, together with the multi-colored swan’s down puffs scattered everywhere , was as close to the inside of a jewel box as I’m ever likely to get.  Luckily, the boutique was empty except for a rather formal woman there to assist.  To my relief, she spoke English.

And here is the thing about the woman in the Caron boutique on the Avenue Montagne in Paris.   She did not want me to buy anything that I wouldn’t use properly.  She cautioned me not to use the sparkle powders during the day (“For the night only.“).  I asked whether I should get more than one color daytime powder?  No, she replied, you get one color that looks good on you.  I wondered whether I should get a swan’s down puff.  Looking at me with a squint, she asked, Didn’t I own a brush?  The loose powder can be applied with a small puff (included, made of cotton), and that I should then knock off excess off the skin with my brush.  She suggested that I buy a compact with a pressed version, but I thought it best to try the loose powder first before investing further.

I left spending about only 1/2 of my budgeted amount, with a loose powder and one refill. So, how is the powder?  It’s a really finely milled, high end powder. Converted to U.S., a loose powder runs about $60, which comes in a polished metal container with a tight-fitting lid (but not too tight-fitting) that keeps the powder very dry even on messy countertops.  There’s a plastic screw-top inside to avoid disasters.  The refill runs roughly $30.  The quality is on par with La Mer, Chanel, Laura Mercier.  I typically use it over foundation, although sometimes I use it completely alone when I’m not worried about coverage.  The powder doesn’t last any longer (or shorter) during the day than other high end brands, and it does look quite natural.  It mattes the skin down, but still leaves a barely perceptible glow that looks very polished.

I’m not 100% convinced it’s made with fairy dust.  Ultimately, and with the Caron staff’s help, I made good practical choices that I’ll use until they’re all gone.   Rather than using a puff, I’ve been applying it  with Lancome’s Mineral Powder Foundation Brush, which is well-priced and works beautifully.

Caron case copyCaron Powder Final copy

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