May 262012
 

I’m really enjoying the bright colors from Thakoon for Nars Nail Collection ($18 each).

The formula on these is really good. I’m getting really good wear time, and the application has been very nice (except for the yellow, which takes slightly more concentration).  With that exception, they all go on like butter and dry like glass. I love this series. Today, I’m wearing Thakoon for Nars Ratin Jot, a deep jeweled plum.

Despite hours of word processing, dishes and other household tasks, I applied this yesterday and it’s still going strong. Shot yesterday, with Essie Good to Go as a topcoat:

I think this color goes pretty well with my warm skin tone. Love this series, and getting plenty of use out of them so far.  Here are a few looks from Thakoon’s Summer 2012 collection:

Thakoon for Nars was sent to Cafe Makeup without charge for consideration for review.

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Apr 242012
 

Butter London’s Lillibet’s Jubilee  ($14) is a limited edition release that commemerates the 60th anniversary of the Queen’s accession to the throne.

As Butter London describes, this color is a silvery, lavender metallic foil, heavily infused with holographic glitter.  This is a dramatic, fun color. A true foil with violet tones:

Here are more sites that have swatches:

  •  A Girl and Her Polish is here.
  •  Nail Notes is here.
  • Varnish Vixen is here.

Here’s a comparison of Lillibet’s Jubilee with a true silver foil, Nars Space Odyssey. I’ve also swatched this next to the more green Chanel Graphite and the deep gray Chanel Steel.

In very bright sun:

In shade:

Clearly, Butter London is not an office-friendly color. But we don’t live our entire lives in offices, now do we?

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Oct 122011
 

Last month, Chanel released a limited edition set of nail polishes for Fashion’s Night Out (reviewed here).  Chanel’s blue-themed colors, in Coco Blue, Blue Boy and Blue Rebel sold for $29 each, bringing the total over $100 for all three ($87 without shipping or tax).  Last week, Nubar released the Nubar Jeans Collections at $19 for the set of three.  Each Nubar shade is a variant of the initials “NJC,” after the name of the collection– “NJC1,” for the lightest, “NJC2″ for the medium blue and “NJC3″ for the deepest shade.  Cafe Makeup decided to do a comparison.

Continue reading »

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Aug 042011
 

On a recent trip to a local CVS drugstore, I noticed a display of Revlon Carbonite ($4.98) with the tagline “Wear the ‘It Color’ of the Season.”  Fortunately, I’d already learned from Nouveau Cheap that Carbonite was Revlon’s effort to duplicate Chanel Graphite.  Could my beauty friends get the same look of a $25 polish for under $5? I had to investigate.

I swatched as one color Chanel Graphite, the next Revlon Carbonite and so on.  On the edges, I put Chanel Strong (a metallic gray) and Chanel Black Pearl on the other side.  Indoors under flash, you can see that the colors are both close.  Chanel Graphite has a touch more green to my eye (click to enlarge):

 

Outdoors in sun with flash, you can see the Chanel sparkle more clearly (click to enlarge):

One more outdoors with flash (click to enlarge):

By reader request, here are some on-finger swatches.  These are swatched differently.  Revlon Carbonite are the left two fingers.  Chanel Graphite are on the right two.  This one is indoors with flash:

 Outdoors in the late evening sun:

To my eyes, the outdoor pictures show the famous Chanel sparkle and that chameleon color-shift of Chanel Graphite.  I’ve always maintained that no one does sparkle like Chanel–no one.   It’s enchanted with fairy dust.  Having said all that, the price difference can be a significant consideration.  In other words, whether something is close enough to justify the price difference is something every beauty lover must decide for herself.  What do you think?  (please vote in the poll, below)

[poll id="15"] 

By the way, here’s The Polish Police’s comparison with Chanel Graphite and OPI’s Lucerne-tainly Look Marvelous.

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Aug 022011
 

It always saddens me to post a review of an ephemeral product that sells out before I can do the review.  In this case, it is my sad duty to report that Dior Icone ($21 / #862) appears to have disappeared from the U.S. site.  Part of a three-red set called Les Rouges, Icone was the most complex and interesting.  I’m going to post this nonetheless because I suspect that there may be a few bottles still in some boutiques and international locations.  It is my understanding that Dior Icone was not distributed through U.S. department stores or Sephora.

Dior Icone is a chameleon shade, meaning that it changes dramatically under different light.  A traditional indoor light or outdoors in shade reveals a rich, deep vampy red.  But in full sunlight, multicolored sparkles of red and violet begin to dance in a red jelly finish.  In other words, Dior Icone is enchanted.  Here it is in full sun with flash:

Here, you can see that the nails that are falling into shade are beginning to look quite dark.

Here are some comparisons of Dior Icone with Zoya Blair, Rescue Beauty Lounge Film Noir, Rescue Beauty Lounge Au Chocolate, Chanel Feu de Russie, Chanel Madness, Chanel Metal Garnet, Chanel Strong, Chanel Rouge Noir (euro), Chanel Vertigo and OPI Bogota Blackberry with flash (click to enlarge):

Another, outside with flash (click to enlarge):

Overall, a very unusual and pretty shade.  As with many of the speciality releases, it was gone before we could blink.  You can see The Beauty Look’s reviews of all three Dior Les Rouges here.

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