Apr 272011
 

Chanel Fluers d’Ete Summer 2011 collection includes the eyeshadow quad Lilium ($57) (#32 Les 4 Ombres a Paupieres Quatour/ Quadra Eye Shadow). Although two of the colors are medium-to-dark toned, the texture of the shadow is sheer, light and shimmery.  Applied, this gives an impression of a shimmery watercolor effect, more similar to the colors in a Claude Monet painting.

All of the four colors are shimmery and sheer when applied dry.  These colors have microsparkle that does appear on the lid when applied.  As with other Chanel eyeshadow quads, the colors are more intense when used wet:

  • A shimmery, sheer light pink
  • A very light, soft green
  • A very pretty cool medium-toned taupe (this looks gorgeous alone)
  • A deep very blue-toned green

The colors last easily when used over a base (for my testing, I used Urban Decay Primer Potion, which I happened to use because it was convenient.  I’m sure others would work equally well or better).

Swatches (applied dry):

Because I have blue-green eyes, I approached Lilium with some trepidation.  Usually, green eyeshadows on green eyes are not the best choice.  Fortunately, the green in Lilium has enough deep blue that the color is workable, especially applied wet as a liner.  I found that I liked the following combination best:

  • The light pink from lash line to brow as a highlighter/ base shade
  • Taupe all over the lid as a wash, and smudged lightly under the eye
  • The deep blue-green used wet as a liner

Here is Liz using the combination that she devised–the pink all over from lash line to brow, and the light green in the outer corner up to the crease:

Chanel’s Summer 2011 collection also includes a duo, Khaki-Discret, which I’ll review tomorrow.  In case you are wondering, the overall impression of the two palettes is completely different.  Particularly because Chanel has released a number of greens over the past few years, I thought it helpful to include a comparison of them for you to see:

Overall, Lilium is a pleasant and workable quad for fair toned Chanel lovers.  It’s very pretty–the light and sheer colors are designed to bring light and depth to the eye.  Those looking for deep or dramatic effects should keep looking–the colors apply sheerly, shimmery and with a touch of sparkle.  As you can see on Liz’s photo, we both enjoy lighter tones on the eye to add a touch of color and light without looking too heavy.  Whether because of eye shape, coloring, or taste, I find that opaque deeper colors on my eye have to be used carefully and so I’m unlikely to use these shades wet (except as a liner).  This quad will not be for everyone, but for those looking for a pleasant spring quad it is definitely worth a look.

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Apr 262011
 

Yesterday, we started looking at two Soleil Tan de Chanel 4 Facettes Bronzers ($50 each)– Bronze Corail (#537)(above, left) and Bronze Rose (#547)(above, left) from Chanel’s Summer 2011 Fleurs d’Ete Collection.  Today, we’ll look at Bronze Rose in more detail.

Like Bronze Corail, Bronze Rose uses the four-band design and comes with a large, usable brush.  The compact is slim, sturdy and elegant.

The most obvious difference between the two is the substitution of a light pink blush at the bottom of Bronze Rose, instead of the brighter coral used on Bronze Corail.  I may be the only blogger who thinks this, but I found Bronze Corail applied more deeply in tone, and more shimmery overall. I felt that Bronze Rose was slightly cooler, not as shimmery and more subtle than Bronze Corail.  Certainly, both worked beautifully on Liz’s and my MAC NC15/ Chanel Cameo-Ivoire skintones.  I felt that I would reach for Bronze Rose during the cooler winter months, or for the office.  Bronze Corail is a more pigmented, and therefore gives a more dramatic and deeper tone.

Swatches of Bronze Rose are below.  You can see that, compared to these swatches of Bronze Corail, Bronze Rose is more subtle and less shimmery:

Here’s a look that Liz did using Bronze Rose, with the very same makeup she used in this post using Bronze Corail–Chanel Rouge Allure in Super topped with Chanel Rouge Allure Extrait de Gloss in Imagaire, and the Chanel Lilium eyeshadow quad.  Liz did not add any other bronzer or blush to the look, all that you see here over her foundation is Bronze Rose and Caron loose powder in Translucent.

In the comparison below, despite the difference in lighting you can see that the effect of Bronze Rose is more subtle.  Here, Liz concentrated the lower pink shade on her cheeks to add a blush effect to the cheeks.

Liz and I discussed which was our favorite bronzer of the Summer 2011 season that we have tried so far–Guerlain Terra Inca, the Soleil Tan de Chanel or Dior Aurora?  First, you should see these comparison swatches at The Beauty Look Book.  Second, we should caution you that we both feel that bronzers are very much “your mileage may vary.”  Your personal preferences, your skin tone and the look you are trying to achieve will vary with both.  Furthermore, you can never tell how a bronzer will look until you apply it to your own skin.  Liz and I agreed that these were all beautiful, excellent quality bronzers.  We really loved all of them for the looks that they can give.

For us, it really came down to the question, “If you had to skip lunch for a while to afford one of these, which one would it be?”  We really didn’t need to discuss this very long to conclude that Dior Nude Glow in Aurora won both of our hearts for purely subjective and emotional reasons.  In the final analysis, it gave us the color, glow and tan shade that we liked best.  The Tan de Chanel bronzers came in at a very close second–and if forced to choose between those two, we’d go with Chanel Bronze Corail.  We both like a stronger bronze look, although we’re sure to love Chanel’s Bronze Rose in the Fall and Winter.

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Apr 252011
 

Chanel Fleurs d’Ete Summer 2011 Collection is a small series of items to update your look for summer.  This includes three Le Vernis polishes (all reviewed here), the re-promotion of two existing Chanel Rouge Coco lipsticks (Gardenia has been reviewed here, Sari Dore is too warm for my taste and will not be reviewed), and three sheer Glossimers (too sheer for my taste and will not be reviewed).  We’ll cover the three eye products (Lilium eyeshadow quad, Khaki-Discret Eyeshadow Duo and the Rose Plantine liner) later this week.

Unquestionably, the stand-outs from this collection are the bright yellow Le Vernis polish in Mimosa and the two Soleil Tan de Chanel 4 Facettes Bronzers ($50 each)– Bronze Corail (#537)(above, left) and Bronze Rose (#547)(above, left)(reviewed tomorrow with our thoughts about a comparison between the two).

Soleil Tan de Chanel in Bronze Corail re-awakens the four-band design seen in a past Chanel collection, adding a touch of color at the bottom stripe this time around.  Thankfully, Chanel’s compact is the same uniform size as the other bronzer and powder foundation products, fitting nicely into one’s makeup drawer.  The brush is large, usable and ideal for both home use and travel.  I’ve been packing this Chanel format compact for years–with minimal care, the slim design, large mirror and well-designed brush travels extremely well.

Bronze Corail includes four subtly shimmery shades:

  • A warm shimmery caramel
  • A creamy shimmery highlight
  • A deep, shimmery tan
  • A pleasant, medium-toned coral with enough pink to pull it out of the “orange” category on warm toned, fair skin

Bronze Corail delivers medium pigmentation with the enclosed brush, or a standard powder or brush brush. For fair skin tones, a standard blush brush does very well with medium pressure.   Of the two palettes, Bronze Corail is going to work on the widest variety of skin tones.  The pigmentation is buttery soft.   The shimmer is sophisticated;  note that Bronze Corail is not quite as glowy as Dior Nude Glow in Aurora.  Chanel’s Bronze Corail does not have any  hint of unnatural metallic, sparkle or duo chrome.

Chanel suggests applying the top two shades closer to the eyes.

Liz and I found that this was somewhat do-able with the enclosed brush, but we didn’t try to be precise.  We don’t believe that picking up each color separately is really very practical.  We preferred to use a large brush over the entire surface, then focusing in with a smaller head brush in the blush/contour area.  We went with the top two shades around the eye, the bottom two in the blush/contour area.

Here’s a look that Liz did using Bronze Corail, Chanel Rouge Allure in Super (reviewed here, limited edition from last summer) topped with Chanel Rouge Allure Extrait de Gloss in Imagaire, and the Chanel Lilium eyeshadow quad (to be reviewed later this week).  Liz did not add any other bronzer or blush to the look, all that you see here over her foundation is Bronze Corail and Caron loose powder in Translucent.

Liz and I both find that Soliel Tan de Chanel in Bronze Corail is an excellent summer bronzer, and likely to work over a wide variety of warm skin tones.  The deep natural color, the ease of application and hint of color give a very pleasant, elegant bronzed look.  Given its overall lighter tone, I suspect that as skin tones begin to get deeper than MAC NC40 or so, that Bronze Corail may not be the best choice.  Also, both Liz and I are decidedly warm toned.  The caramel tone in the compact suggests that cooler skin tones should try before you buy.  Unquestionably, Chanel Bronze Corail is gorgeous, well-designed and excellent quality bronzer.  As both Liz and I live on the West Coast of the U.S. where a deeper bronzed look is prevalent, we anticipate running Bronze Corail down to the pan.

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Apr 202011
 

Guerlain’s official press email arrived with full information about their Terra Inca Summer 2011 collection.  Every year, I’ve looked forward to Guerlain’s summer offerings and they have always exceeded my high expectations.  This year looks like one of the best ever.

 

Terra Inca Star Powder ($70) has two subtly pearl shades: a highlighting golden beige and a bronze-tinted pink. Together these shades will embellish your complexion while warming the skin with an iridescent glow. This comes in a gorgeous engraved case that will look gorgeous on your makeup table.  You can find Café Makeup’s review, swatches and makeup look here.  Some of Guerlian’s application tips:

  • Apply with Guerlain’s Terracotta bronzing powder to illuminate tanned complexions or use on its own for a natural glow.
  • Apply to curves of the face to add instant radiance to the complexion.
  • Apply to the décolleté and shoulders for a natural shimmer.

Terre Indigo 4-shade Eyeshadow ($59) Guerlain has created interlacing, intense colors, sprinkled with golden arabesques. Like colorful Incan qompi fabrics woven from shadows and pigments, the Terre Indigo eyeshadow includes vibrant orange, an intense blue, a deep brown and a lighter brown, speckled with a pale golden tone.   Application tips from Guerlain:

  • Simply chic: apply the light brown tone to the eyelid, layer the orange shade on the upper part, then give more intensity to the eyes by applying the darker brown to the outer corner of the eye.
  • Trendy:  apply the orange shadow to the eyelid fold, sweep a single blue tone over the eyelid and add a small amount of light brown to the outer corner of the eye.
  • Fiesta Vibe: apply the orange tone to the entire eyelid, add the blue shadow to the eyelid fold, then apply the light brown shade along the lashes and the dark brown shade under the lower lashes. Dressed in a golden glimmer, sea sparkles and sunlight, the eyes are ready to show off a bold look.

 

Ombre Fusion Cream Eyeshadow ($35 each) is has the softness of a powder, the richness of a cream and the lightness of water all in one.These eyeshadows reveal a spectacular metallic effect by adorning the eyelids with fabulous shimmering reflections. The effect is striking and will last from dawn to dusk. Designed to resist heat and dips in the ocean, the Ombre Fusion eyeshadows are the first Guerlain cream eyeshadows specially created for summer! Available in 3 shades: 01 Bahia, 02 Havana, 03 Maya.  Guerlain’s application tips:

  • Apply the eyeshadow to the eyelid with the applicator, then blend in with fingertip to create an illuminated effect.
  • Use the beveled side of the Ombre Fusion applicator for a metallic liner effect.

NaturalNChic Makeup has some preliminary swatches of these cream eyeshadows (and of the Terre Indigo palette here). I’ve got these on order, and hoping to review them when they arrive.  Yuki’s Lazy Channel has several items swatched here, including these glosses…

This year’s Terracotta Glosses ($30.50 each) look delicious, don’t they?  I think this is the summer of neon!  According to Guerlain, “just in time for summer and plenty of scorching kisses, Guerlain presents three new Terracotta Gloss creations. Neon fuchsia, sunny coral, flamboyant red make lips look mischievous and ravishing, dangerously delicious. These neon colors are sheer on application and will add shine while giving an instant radiance boost to the face! Their secret? A luminous and translucent formula, free of sparkles but packed with pigments. This non-sticky gloss can be applied at any time of day for an ultra-sensual effect.”  Available in 3 shades: 07 Salsa, 08 Mambo, 09 Tango.

Guerlain’s is also re-releasing the Khol Kajal ($36), which I haven’t tried but it makes me very curious.  This summer’s color is called Black Frida (#01).

By the way, if you are thinking of ordering online, I’ve been receiving some very good service from the Guerlain boutique in Las Vegas, at (702) 732-7008.  For my last order, they sent out this sweet gift with purchase:

I do not know whether they are running anything currently, but they have been nice about waiving shipping for larger orders, perfume samples and other gifts with purchase.

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Apr 202011
 

Chanel Summer 2011 Les Fleurs D’ete de Chanel includes three shades of the Le Vernis Nail Colour ($25 each).  Mimosa (#577) is the bright, highly-anticipated “must have” shimmery yellow.  Beige Petale (#567) is a light sheer high-shine beige.  Morning Rose (#557) is a semi-sheer pink with gold glitter sparkle.  Like flowers in a bouquet, these three shades could not be more different from each other.  My assumption is that together this extreme range is intended to be a complete summer wardrobe, to be worn for entirely different occasions.  It is true that, during the summer months, I feel pulled in so many different occasions and events that a variety is welcome.

Mimosa is a fitting for a runway (or, for most of us, beach and poolside).  This color is probably best captured on a cell phone, at a distance.  It is distinctive, daring and says “Yes, I have this year’s Chanel.”  Like a wink across a room, I imagine that women across the world will be flashing this color as the not-so-secret sign of summer chic.  Learning from beauty bloggers who tried this color before me, including the British Beauty Blogger’s helpful instructions, I realized that this formula worked best on a slick base coat.  By this writing, I’ve applied Mimosa six separate times, and I want to pass along what I’ve learned.

Mimosa Application Tip #1:  Although I usually use CND Stickey, that would be an very, very unfortunate choice for Mimosa.  Because Mimosa’s formula is notoriously unforgiving, the most ridge-filling, smoothest base is the best.  I chose Chanel’s own Protective Base Coat ($25), reasoning that if any base worked well with a Chanel polish, it should be the Chanel base coat.  Chanel’s Protective Base Coat is a milky color, and it dries to a very even, non-sticky surface, and even seems to slightly fill ridges and imperfections along the way.  The British Beauty Blogger actually used a topcoat under Mimosa, to get a perfectly even surface.

Mimosa Application Tip #2: Let the brush “float” over the nail, keeping a layer of the polish between your brush and the nail surface.  Like many opaques, Mimosa’s brush can “scrape” off the color that you’ve already applied, leaving a bare patch.  Do not allow the brush to touch the nail.  Instead, load up the brush with enough for a full swipe, and deposit it with virtually no pressure as you go.

Mimosa Application Tip #3: Allow plenty of dry time between coats.  Although this formula is opaque, I need three coats to get good coverage.  Unlike some Chanel formulas that seem to dry in less than a minute, Mimosa needs a good full 5-10 minutes to fully dry to avoid dents.

Although I (and other bloggers) found Mimosa challenging to apply, once deposited it seems to dry to a nice shiny finish.  Still, I’d use a topcoat because a color this vibrant does tend to show wear easily.  Unfortunately, I do not believe my application is perfect and bright yellows are not the best color for my warm skin tone (which are still a bit trashed from traveling), but I’ll post my results nonetheless:

Morning Rose is a sheer pink with a touch of gold glitter.  It’s an easy color for brush-and-go, a polite pink that gives a pretty wash of color and allows the natural nail to show through.  The glitter dries to a bit of a bumpy surface, which is easily remedied with a topcoat.  I chose Chanel Extreme Shine Nail Lacquer ($25), although certainly others will do.

Here, I applied two coats of Morning Rose.  I do not believe that this polish is intended to be worn fully opaque, it feels more like a glossimer than a lipstick.  And we all know that a soft stain of shiny color in the summer can look very fresh.

Beige Petale is a very sheer, shiny beige.  The Beauty Look Book has accurate, clear pictures of the color worn alone together with some comparisons.  It gives the nail a very healthy, even appearance.  It’s one of those shades that I find myself using up because it can be applied without thinking, dries quickly, and takes you anywhere.  It softens the nail line but looks very natural, like a good finishing powder.  Are there dupes? Probably, but I’ll still use Beige Petale down to the bottom of this gorgeous, classic bottle rather than spend the same amount (or more) trying to hunt down a duplicate in another brand.

To alleviate the boredom from seeing one more swatch of sheer Beige Petale here, I decided to play with my Beige Petale by dressing it up with some colors from Creative Nail Design.  As many of you know, Creative Nail Design makes a line of Colors, plus a line of Effects that add different textures and tones to a standard nail polish.

Here, I applied Beige Petale on my Chanel topcoat, then topped it with the Creative Nail Design Effect in Gold Pearl. I then topped it with a sheer coat of Creative Nail Design sheer color in Rosewater, which is genius for knocking down the slight green cast of Gold Pearl.  As an aside, if you are looking for something similar to Beige Petale but in pink, Rosewater is a good choice.  The result using all three of these color layered has a milky irridescence:

Overall, Chanel’s summer nail offerings offer a pleasant variety of colors.  Generally, I’m pleased that I have them in my collection.  Chanel seems to have perfected the modern classic, with a touch of edge and trend that we look for every summer.

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