Jun 022012
 

Chanel has recently released two new Rouge Coco formula lipsticks in Avant Garde and Culte ($32) each, together with a re-release of Chanel Rouge Coco in Magnolia (previously reviewed here). Both are pretty neutrals with a very vague touch of coolness that gives them a pretty edge. This formula combines opacity with a moisturizing quality.

Chanel Rouge Coco in Avant Garde is a soft shimmery nude.

Close up:

Here is the soft Avant Garde shade on Megan:

Chanel Rouge Coco Culte is a medium to deep rose neutral with a touch of cool lavender:

Close up:

On Megan:

Here are some swatches and comparisons:

  • Chanel Rogue Coco Avant Garde
  • Chanel Rouge Coco Cult
  • Chanel Rouge Coco Plumentis
  • Chanel Rouge Coco Etole
  • Chanel Rouge Coco Baroque
  • Burberry Lip Mist in Nude Peach

Overall, I find that slight touch of coolness makes these new Rouge Coco’s a little more modern and unique. I love this formula. Overall, another successful release in this line.

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May 282012
 

Emilio Pucci for Summer 2012

Guerlain for Emilio Pucci is a gorgeously successful collaboration for Summer 2012. It includes a version of Guerlain’s Meteorites Illuminating Powder ($59).  The packaging on this is so Pucci, please indulge me as I post several pictures of this amazing creation. The box, which includes a metal box housing the Meteorites:

The metal container has a Pucci-patterned top and a deep blue-violet ridged side.

Close up, Emilio’s signature is reproduced on the top:

Guerlain’s signature embossed on the side:

Inside, the violet-scented Meteorites provide a neutral-to-cool matte yet luminous veil that looks like a beautiful cool background for summer’s warm bronzers:

I almost didn’t buy these, because I’m so delighted with the Guerlain Meteorites that I already own. They differences between them is subtle. Yet I find myself reaching for these Pucci for Guerlain Meteorites like a kid into a candy jar. Sometimes warm summer makeup can look a little too warm and one-note. Using these as a finishing powder under my other warm summer color provides a perfect neutral canvas that balances and modernizes the warmer bronzes and golds.

I did not pick up the Pucci for Guerlain brush–it’s adorable and I’m still on the fence. I use a very soft powder brush, usually my Shu Uemura 18R just because it’s handy, but a Bobbi Brown Blending Brush or any other large, soft brush should work as well.

If you are on the edge, I’ll just say that I’m glad that I made the leap. The powder is very long lasting, and really adds an expensive finishing touch that’s absolutely gorgeous. I find the effect too subtle to swatch for the blog, but I do provide my enthusiastic support.

If you are in the San Francisco Bay Area, Guerlain’s Marcus Monson will be at the San Francisco Center Nordstrom this Saturday. There’s a nice gift with purchase for the event (please call the store for details and an appointment).

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May 272012
 

Guerlain by Emilio Pucci Terra Azzurra Bronzer & Blush ($75/ .56 oz.) is Guerlain’s complex and beautiful summer offering. This product displays a very high level of care, design, and attention. In many ways, the beauty of the product was thoughtful in both its creation, display, and the high quality of this finely-milled, beautiful powder. First, the presentation includes a blue-Pucci patterned inner box and fabric sleeve.

The bronzer is housed in a wood-composite round compact, which is comparatively lightweight but still substantial enough to feel luxurious.

The domed compact is embossed with lettering “Geurlain by Emilio Pucci” and relies on a magnet closure:

The compact has a mirror inside. The bronzer pattern includes a narrow strip of highlighter on the outer edge, two blush strips (one orange, one fuchsia violet), and a large section of a pale, pearly bronzer.

It’s very easy to pick up the blush separately from the bronzer on a brush. However, it’s nearly impossible to pick up the highlighter or bronzer strips separately unless one uses an unlikely choice, such an eyeshadow brush.

 

The compact is large, in line with other limited edition Guerlain bronzers of years past that come in similar compacts:

Swatches of the highlighter, the two blushes and the bronzer, and then all products mixed. I found that the blushes are highly pigmented, and the bronzer is subtle. When the powders are mixed, the blushes strongly predominate the mix.  The combination of the orange and violet seem to create a fruit punch color that reminds me a bit of the formerly released Geurlain Series Noir Blush G.

As you can see, the bronzer is golden and light. Those with deeper skin tones may find that the bronzer is too light for their skin tone. On Megan, you can see how the blush tones predominate. I found a similar effect on me:

The quality of the product is amazing. There’s really no discussion that Guerlain is a master in powdered bronzer, and this bears all of the hallmarks of a beautiful presentation treasure. I typically use a small headed brush (a MAC 168) to apply the bronzer first, and then the blush on the upper cheek. As an all-in-one product, it’s a beautiful compact to place on your makeup table. Although the pouch is fun, this isn’t something that I’d travel with as the top might come loose under the rigors of airline baggage travel (although I would put it into an overnight bag).

Bottom line: gorgeous.

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May 252012
 

Guerlain / Emilio Pucci Terracotta Eye Khol in Blu Acqua ($36) is a violet kohl eyeliner. The packaging is beautiful, and the color is a vibrant, shimmery violet with only a touch of blue.

The Blu Acqua Kohl is not the typical pencil design, but rather the shorter, wider open kohl design. I’ve asked several Guerlain sales associates how they are sharpened. One advocates simply using a standard sharpener. The other professed that this is “self sharpening,” which only seems possible to me if you continually apply the kohl held at an angle.

Despite its name, the kohl really is much more in the purple/violet category which I view as a plus. It’s an unusual, striking color but deep enough in its tone to work in almost any setting.

I like wearing this pushed up into my top waterline, among the mascara. It seems to brighten the whites of my eyes. I noticed that I had to use a few layers to get a good rich color (a few swipes). The texture of this is far softer than many of the kohl pencils that I’ve tried.

Verdict: Pretty color, if you swipe a few times I think you’ll fall in love.

 

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May 232012
 

Guerlain’s collaboration with Emilio Pucci for Summer 2012 has led to the creation of the Capri Eyeshadow Quad ($59 Ecris 4 Couluers Capri). This shimmery confection plays off of this years trend toward hot pinks and bright oranges. Of course, for this piece, those colors are infused with a grown-up sophistication and a pearly texture. There’s nothing “Sugarpill” about this quad–rather, it’s formulated for depth and impact but still plays well with a sophisticated look.

Unlike Guerlain’s other silver quad cases, this limited edition summer creation has a deep bronze compact. It has the same gorgeous magnet closing mechanism and clean, travel-friendly design. There’s simply no possibility of chipping your nail polish on this–a quick and firm movement is all that’s needed to open the case.

Back label:

Inside, there is a pearly highlighter, a clear coral orange, a vibrant pink and a deep cool brown.  All shades have a beautiful shimmery-pearly quality characteristic of other quads in Guerlain’s current permanent line. There’s a tiny sponge-brush as well.

Closer, the brown looks close to black in the pan (but applies as a deep brown):

I ordered this with some trepidation, but the Guerlain associate assured me that this is wearable. Note that the white shade is subtle, as is this year’s trend. I put only the tiniest bit just directly under the brow arch, and as an inner corner highlighter.

Swatches:

The application recommendations that I’ve gathered from Guerlain makeup artists is to mix the pink and the coral on the lid. This is what Megan did here, using the pink on the outer portion of the eye, and the coral on the inner portion of the lid. She used the deep brown as a liner, and the white as a subtle highlighter.

For advice, those with a touch of deeper tones on the lid will want to prime first with an opaque primer to provide a nice, skin-tone base. Laura Mercier’s Eye Basics and Edward Bess’ new Illuminating Eyeshadow Base (reviewed here at The Beauty Look Book) would work well, although there are other options out there. Here, Megan applied the colors over the Lorac eyeshadow primer, which applies clear.

 Here’s a full face look, together with a touch of Chanel Sable Rose Bronzer. On lips, Megan chose Guerlain Shine Automatique in #264 Rose Pompon (review forthcoming) As you can see, the eyeshadow color doesn’t seem to overwhelm at all. Typical of Guerlain quality, the color looks pretty, bold and summer-appropriate.

I found the same result on my paler skin tone. The palette delivered a generous amount of pigment with a standard eyeshadow brush. I tended to use a bit more of the brown shade in my crease, but not enough to muddy these very clear colors. I kept the pink and orange below the crease line (Megan brought it up a bit higher). Although this palette would look amazing on deep skin tones, I found that Capri added a fun, pretty touch of color for a daytime lunch or party on my lighter skin tone as well. Love.

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May 052012
 

Elizabeth Arden Rose Aurora Spring/Summer 2012 Collection is a blend of bronzes and rose tones that looks beautifully gift-able (as Mother’s Day approaches, this may solve your shopping dilemma). This color story is a modern twist on the original 1950’s collection designed by Elizabeth Arden herself, with soft rose gold packaging. I loved the originality and beauty of this summer-lovely packaging–it evokes art nouveau in my mind. The colors are a built around accentuated eyes, a soft shimmery lip and glowing skin.

The Pure Finish Bronze Powder comes in three colors ($38 each/0.30 oz.))–Soft Radiance, Warm Radiance, and Deep Radiance. These have a soft, shimmering finish. All three tend to run warm, consistent with the Rose Gold theme of the collection. These bronzers include Zin’cite, an ingredient said to energize and protect skin cells, together with green tea, white tea and minerals that provide antioxidant protection.

For applying these, I found that a large soft brush (including Elizabeth Arden’s own ($22, pictured below) worked perfectly. These bronzers are well pigmented, so put that kabuki away! You do want to chose the right color for your skin tone–going too light or too dark won’t be as flattering as it might be.

Soft Radiance was the right choice for my warm-toned fair skin (NC15/Chanel Cameo/Ivoire). By my estimate, I would suggest those with NC30-40 to go with Warm Radiance, and deeper tones with Deep Radiance. These have a fairly large amount of product for the price point (the pans are fairly large), and with the good pigmentation one should last quite a while.

Here are swatches, including the Honey Ceramide Cream blush ($24), a very natural deep warm rose tone:

Here’s Honey blush:

The collection includes a rose gold shimmering highlighting powder, the Pure FInish Highlighter in Rose Illumination ($34), which delivers very high shine. This pictures shows the new Elizabeth Arden All Over Face Powder Brush ($22):

A close of the shimmering powder–those who wear this will want a very reflective glow, keeping the application to the upper cheeks, and perhaps a touch to the brow bone. Like the bronzers, the highlighter includes Zin’cite, green tea, white tea and minerals.

My favorite piece of the collection was the Rose Aurora Ceramide Ultra Lipstick ($22.50). I loved the light, wearable rose with the rose gold shimmer.

The collection includes two liquid liners with felt tip applicators–these Elizabeth Arden Liquid Eyeliners come in both Black and Brown ($18 each).

You can see the tips of these liners are nicely defined:

Here are swatches of these items:

Elizabeth Arden sent a sample of a new fragrance, Elizabeth Arden Green Tea Cherry Blossom ($29/1.7 fl. oz. and $39/3.3 fl. oz., Honey Drops Cream is $29.50 for 8.4 oz.).

This scent is an extremely pleasant floral mix, well-named as it does have a lovely cherry blossom scent. Really, it evoked the beauty cherry trees that I remember from my East Coast childhood. This is tempered with a light green tea undertone..

Because the packaging is so lovely, I could easily see these appreciated as gifts for several women that I know in my life. This time of year seems to be a particularly heavy gift-shopping time for me–teachers, principals, coaches, Mother’s Day (which seems to include my many “mother-like” mentors), and birthdays. Depending on your recipient, I can imagine many would appreciate the beauty and usefulness of any one (or more) of these items in this collection.

The Elizabeth Arden Rose Gold Collection was sent to Cafe Makeup without charge or consideration for review.

 

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May 042012
 

Burberry Beauty has a limited edition Iconic Nudes, which includes the Sheer Summer Glow Natural Highlighting Compact ($50). A combination of two bronzers, a light whisper pink and a pearly highlighter shade, this bronzer adds a soft layer of natural blush-bronzer to those with lighter skin tones.

In sun:

In shade, the pearly texture of the powder can be seen:

Here are swatches both blended (on the left), and of the individual colors on the right:

Burberry’s standard line of bronzers includes a variety for a range of skin tones. This palette appears to be desgined for lighter skin tones–perhaps NC 35 and higher. The colors are so soft and delicate that it’s difficult to apply too much.

I applied the left (bronzer) side of the palette mixed, using a kabuki brush (the Edward Bess Luxury Face Brush) on the contour area of the cheek, and touching it on the forehead, bridge of nose and chin.  I used the hightlighter/blush (the right side) on the top of my cheek. I then used the highlighter color applied lightly just under my brows for a tiny highlight there.

The colors are very soft and natural, and should accommodate both warm and cool skin tones. This is absolutely gorgeous, lovingly made, and embellished with the iconic Burberry check. Absolutely amazing, versatile palette for a natural, glowing look.

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Apr 302012
 

Chanel Sable-Émouvant Eyeshadow Duo ($42) is quite possibly my favorite item from the easy, soft, feminine Chanel Summer 2012 collection. It’s a stunning, soft, pigmented shimmery confection of a shimmery sandy creamy ivory and a warm reddish shimmery brown.

The duo in soft light:

In sunlight, so you can see the shimmery sparkles:

Swatches:

Comparison with Chanel Misty Soft eyeshadow duo, which is far more mauve:

Sable-Émouvant Eyeshadow Duo is highly blend able, easy to work with, really this duo is perfection. It’s going to coordinate well with this season’s corals and pinks, however this classic combination is going to be an awesome duo for almost anything that you’d want to throw at it. Just layer the lighter color on the lid, and smoke the darker color in the crease. Or use the darker color as a lid-wash, then add a touch of the cream in the inner corner.  It couldn’t be easier or more foolproof. Gorgeous perfection.

….And this is why I love Chanel. They take a classic combination and simply do it more beautifully.

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Apr 302012
 

Chanel Summer 2012 brings us two new limited edition bronzers– the lighter Sable Blonde (#907) and the deeper pink-bronze Sable Rose (#917) ($60 each). Both of these seem to be geared toward lighter skin tones, particularly compared to last year’s and certainly compared to Chanel’s standard bronzer line which reaches far toward deeper tones. To place this review in context, my skin tone is roughly NC15/Chanel Cameo, although sometimes it can be slightly deeper. I also find that Sable Blonde and Sable Rose. There is a warm gold sheen with these that, if your skin tone is more toward yellow/gold, you will absolutely adore.

First, Sable Blonde adds a slight touch of warmth to my skin tone, this color leans slightly yellow. Like the Joues Contraste blushes, the shimmer is evident in arm swatches but seems to melt into the skin when applied to the cheeks to give a pretty, soft glow:

Second, Sable Rose has a fair amount of rose red mixed with the bronze, and applies overall slightly more bronzier and deeper in tone compared to Sable Blonde:

Although I am pale, I can wear either one easily. Sable Beige looks very natural, a good everyday color. Sable Rose is still well within my comfort zone–it’s rosier tones mean that I don’t have to apply a blush.

Instead, I get a good warm healthy bronze with a touch of rose color.

Another:

Overall, I agree with Sabrina at The Beauty Look Book (review here, comparison swatches here) that these are both excellent bronzers. They are on the pale side, so those with lighter skin tones will find these highly wearable. If you have deeper skin tones, please try these out first (especially the lighter Sable Beige). The effect is much more subtle than last year’s stronger bronze tones.

Speaking from the sidelines, it appears as though both Chanel and Dior are releasing subtle bronzers this summer. I do love a good bronzer, so my heart was pre-set to love these. If you are more conservative, you will want to get one of these if:

  • You like a shimmery glow (not matte)
  • You want a subtle look
  • Your skin tone is light
  • You want a very finely-milled, good quality powder and don’t mind the $60 price point.

I’ll soon be reviewing a few more summer bronzers, including Guerlain’s Terracotta Sun Blondes #4, which may suit your needs better if you a looking for a deeper shimmery glow and you have a lighter skin tone.

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Apr 232012
 

Nars Calabria Soft Touch Eyeshadow Pencil ($24) is a beautiful soft and complex deep purple.

 

 

Although the pencil and swatch appear to be a deep saturated purple, the color applies a little bit like Chanel Taupe Grise on my lid.

The difference is that, as a creamy pencil, Nars Calabria has much more of “sheen” to it. As a deep violet-taupe, it’s very flattering on pale skin tones. In fact, I absolutely love this color.

Other bloggers have observed that Nars Soft Touch Shadow Pencils tend to crease. Temptalia’s review of Calabria found some creasing. I was hoping that would not be the case for me–my lids are not very oily.  I applied the pencil much more lightly than Christine at Temptalia, hoping that would do the trick. I tested the pencil for several days, both alone and over Nars Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Primer. Without the primer, I found that the color tended to fade after 8-10 hours of wear. With the Nars eyeshadow primer as a base, I found color migrating into my lid crease.  It is something that I was able to easily sweep away once I noticed, however I thought you should know that I did experience this.  Bottom line–amazing color, but not as long-wearing as I would have liked. If anyone has any suggestions for making these pencils last longer, I’m happy to try them out because I really do love this color.

Nars sent this eye pencil to Cafe Makeup without charge for consideration for review.

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