Aug 052014
 

L'Occitane Frisson de Verveine08L’Occitane has has beautifully refreshing L’Occitane Frisson Verbena collection released this summer, which I’ve been enjoying since taking these pictures a week ago. Actually, some of these have been true saviors in this humid August heat.

L'Occitane Frisson de Verveine01According to the line:

Among all the aromatic herbs that grow along the paths of Provence, there is one whose lemony freshness revives the body and mind. Its name is Verbena. When baskets are piled high with freshly harvested green verbena leaves, its distinctive fragrance fills the air around the markets of Provence. Discover our collection which includes fragrances as well as body and hair care.

I tested the Frisson de Verveine Eau de Toilette ($55), Hand Cream ($12), Fresh Shower Gel ($20), and the Cooling Ice Gel for Legs and Feet ($22).  

L'Occitane Frisson de Verveine14

The Frisson Verbena Eau de Toilette ($55/3.4 oz.) is a very light, soft, yet vibrant lemon and herb scent. The notes include lemon, bergamot, verbena and cucumber. It’s both sophisticated and light, it elevates my mood and reminds me of an afternoon in the beautiful French countryside. It’s more green than lemon, in a lovely way. The heavy glass bottle is a pleasure to use (or to gift).

L'Occitane Frisson de Verveine11

This is a light refreshing spray format, appropriate for putting into the refrigerator overnight for a cooling blast when needed. I found this soft scent lasted a good five or six hours on me.

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The Frisson Verbena Eau de Toilette comes packaged in a giftable box that is appropriate for either gender.

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The Frisson Verbena Hand Cream ($12/ 1 oz.) is a light, gel-textured moisturizer that’s heaven to use for a summer manicure/pedicure. It’s mixed with spring water for a light, but very effective, feel. It’s fabulous to put on mid-afternoon, the scent is subtle and very refreshing.

L'Occitane Frisson de Verveine05

The Frisson Verbena Fresh Shower Gel ($20/ 8.4 oz) is, in keeping with the rest of the aesthetic of this line, softly scented.  The feel is similar to other L’Occitane shower gels, it gives only slight foam and feels excellent on the skin. The scent does not linger long after use, so you can apply any of your other scents without interference.

L'Occitane Frisson de Verveine06Like the other products in this line, it is appropriate for either gender. The bottle is a squeeze type which allows the product to flow out easily if held upside down. The size is a generous 8.4 ounces.

frisson verbena

If you are in the mood for a lovely treat, I highly recommend the Frisson Verbena Ice Gel for Legs and Feet ($22/2.5 oz.). This cooling gel applies with a metal application and feels amazing. 

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The ice gel uses the same scent as the other products in the collection, although its a slight bit more intense in this formula (compared to the hand cream and shower gel). The applicator:

L'Occitane Frisson de Verveine18

This product uses a combination of cypress essential oil and althea officials.  It leaves arms, legs and feet with fresh, cooling moisture. Essentially, it makes your skin look better, has an beautiful fresh scent, and cools you down. Win, win, win. It would be nice if this item were made permanent.

L'Occitane Frisson de Verveine03

This collection is well worth a look. The Eau de Toilette and the Ice Gel were my favorites. Here are some online offers from L’Occitane if you prefer to have anything delivered.

Stride into Summer! Receive FREE tropical sandals with any $35 purchase. Use code TROPICAL. Valid 7/31-8/20/2014.

Getaway to Provence: Enjoy a travel set for $22 with any $45 Purchase! Use code GETAWAY. Valid 7/30-8/19/2014.

Make It A Divine Summer! Recieve a travel ready set FREE with any $125 purchase. Use code DIVINESUMMER! Valid 7/30-8/19/2014.

Softening Summer Shower Gels! Enjoy our Provencal jumbo sized shower gels FREE with any $125 purchase. Use code JUMBO. Valid 7/30-8/19/2014.

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 This post contains affiliate links (for more information, see About Cafe Makeup). These items were sent by L’Occitane without charge for consideration for review.

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Jul 152014
 

Nars Liquid Highlighters02

NARS has recently expanded its illuminator range to include two new colors. I love these liquid aluminizes. To me, the liquid form can look more natural than some powders because they can be worked into foundation (and even worn mixed in or under foundation for a subtle effect). Unlike some lines, NARS Illuminators are beautifully formulated, never sticky or heavy, and give the perfect amount of sheen to add a healthy-fabulous glow. Their generous size and travel-friendly packaging make these perfect additions to your makeup collection this summer.

nars 413 blkr highlighter

NARS 413 BLKR ($__) adds a classic pearl shade to its Illuminator line. This color is so universal, or all skin tones and types. It looks amazing with many of the NARS BLKR line as well–those burgundy-based classics really look amazing with this beautiful shade.  This shade is part of NARS 413 BLKR Collection additions, and at NARS Boutiques.

Nars Liquid Highlighters04

NARS Hot Sand ($30/1.0 oz.) adds a pearlized warm peach-gold to this line. Unlike the existing Orgasm and Super Orgasm (which have a strong pink-peach tone), Hot Sand is a softer, more neutral color. This is available at Nordstrom, NARS online (part of the NARS Summer 2014 Color Collection: Adult Swim, Bloomingdales and Barneys New York.Nars Liquid Highlighters05

Here are swatches of both NARS 413 BLKR, Hot Sand and a touch of Armani’s summer Fluid Sheer #13 (a limited edition shade which went quickly).Nars Liquid Highlighters08

Another:Nars Liquid Highlighters10Both of these are standards, and must-haves in my collection. You should note that NARS Hot Sand is limited edition, and some are still available available at Nordstrom, NARS online, Bloomingdales and Barneys New York. Don’t miss them.Nars Liquid Highlighters05

 These highlighters were sent by NARS to Cafe Makeup without charge for consideration for review. This post contains affiliate links (for more information see About Cafe Makeup).

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Jun 042014
 

MAC Pedro Lourenco1MAC has another designer-inspired collaboration, and I just cannot seem to resist taking a look at these. This time features Brazilian designer Pedro Lourenco, who has created a nude, metallic and red collection that has a few times that are worth your time. PedroLaurenco_001_1366.320x480This collection has specialized packaging, which mirrors the minimalist style of the designer.

MAC Pedro Lourenco2a

The one item that really stands out in my mind is the MAC Pedro Lourenco Nude Quad ($44). I occasionally get reader questions looking for a lovely textured, neutral eyeshadow palette. Readers, take note of this one. MAC Pedro Lourenco4 Although it’s entirely plausible that many have similar shades, this is the one that I’ll be packing for a two-week seminar that I’ll be attending later this month. The textures are excellent, the quad (which contains two shimmers and two mattes) is going to give me all of the looks that I’ll need for this work-friendly venue. MAC Pedro Lourenco6Two shades are MAC permanent (the top right All that Glitters, and the bottom right Sable), and the two mattes are limited edition (the top left Pink Sands, and the bottom left Rose Cloud).  All four of these shades are winners, and they all coordinate beautifully together. If you need a good, sturdy, modern quad that allows you to make a look with a single piece MAC’s Pedro Lourenco Nude is worth picking up. MAC Pedro Lourenco7 The other item that I got was the MAC Pedro Lourenco Corol Powder Blush ($26). This is an unusual blush duo, with a soft, matte light pink-coral shade, and a pigmented pink-plum. I really owe my love for this combination to a few people on Specktra.net (shout out to Liba and Mac-Guy), who posted helpful impressions of this product. MAC Pedro Lourenco3 The Pedro Lourenco Corol blush is a love-hate product depending on your skin tone, and for my skin tone (MAC NC15-Chanel Ivoire), it’s love. The light matte shade shows up as a light pink blush when I use a stiff blush brush. Here’s the secret-after I apply this as a blush, I can use the lighter shade as an all-over matte beauty powder/complexion brightener with a softer brush (gorgeous! and really cool looking in the summer heat). The deep pink-plum shade is a beautiful blush/contour. Really, the combination is very pretty. MAC Pedro Lourenco5 These are both “blink and you’ll miss them” micro-release products. The quad is currently online at Nordstrom, MAC and Macy’s. Miraculously, Macy’s still has the Corol blush.

It’s uncertain whether these will be in all stores that carry MAC in store. I called several department and MAC stores on the West Coast yesterday, and got very inconsistent responses. If you’d like to find these on counter, I strongly suggest that you call ahead and check.

I hope that you enjoyed this quick look at this micro-release. I always hesitate before doing these posts, because I know that stock may go out very fast. However, since I had a moment and these showed up on my doorstep, I thought these were worth sharing.

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Jun 012014
 

Dior My Lady Blushes1aThis summer, Dior’s My Lady Glowing Blush Palettes ($60 each/0.35 oz.) have been remarkably hard to get. In two colors, 002 Pink and 003 Coral, these are both intricacy etched, finely milled, and beautifully formulated.

Dior My Lady Blushes2aI was able to order mine from a Dior boutique, and I noticed today that both are up for sale on Saks.com. Probably Dior’s most stunning pieces from a gorgeously successful beauty season, these are well worth a look. Packed with mini-kabuki brushes, they both offer a lovely combination of colors that blend into a beautiful, glowing, natural wash of color. Here is Dior My Lady #002 Pink, which applies as a soft cool violet-pink. Love the signature Dior Cannage etching:

My Lady Blush 002a

Here is Dior My Lady #003 Coral, which is a warm, gorgeous soft red-coral.

Dior My Lady Blushes4a

Here are some quick swatches of both (these are the best I can do in my on-the road shooting conditions right now:

Dior My Lady Blushes5a

So beautiful! I wanted to do a very fast post so that you could get them while these are now available.

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May 132014
 

This summer, Nars has released the Adult Swim collection. Never afraid of a little edge, Francois Nars had added some quirky–yet surprisingly workable–eyeshadow duos to his line. One is Nars Lost Coast ($35), a duo that excels because of its subtleness. This is All About Eve with a twist because the effect is brightening, illuminating, and enhancing of one’s own natural beauty.

Nars Summer Eyeshadow Duos13This duo has a soft brown-beige and a cool soft lavender. This one is very easy to miss-but don’t. The magic is in the application. It doesn’t get any more daytime-friendly.  Other makeup companies just don’t do this enough–Nars seems to know how to design colors that do not look like they should work together, yet somehow do in a really beautiful way.

Nars Summer Eyeshadow Duos18Here is Nars Lost Coast applied lightly on Liz. Here, she simply applied the beige shade, then added the pink shade directly over the beige:

nars Lost coast close up a

This adds a touch of mauve shimmer to Liz’s lids, which is both flattering, simple, and sort of genius:

lost coast a

Nars Tropical Princess ($35) is a high-metal modern duo that combines silver-white and chartreuse. Okay, this is going to sound odd but ever since I’ve seen a punk revival, I’ve been hoping for a really good chartreuse. You know, there are days when I just get really really tired of rules, in general. Tropical Princess  is remarkable for its formulation–in other lines, shades this light tend to look cakey or frosted.  Somehow, the pigment in Tropical Princess stays true-to-texture with a super-light coating of powder. It seems a little magic, but I suspect that Francois Nars was very precise and demanding in this formulation. Tropical Princess does some amazing things with its high-reflectivity with a remarkably thin layer of powder. Something about this formula is just right for using a very subtle touch of this electric shade.

Nars Summer Eyeshadow Duos03This one is pure fun. Tropical Princes in the light:

Nars Summer Eyeshadow Duos11Nars did a gorgeous video using this duo–really, if you need a touch of metal in your makeup wardrobe this is truly a “best in class” beautiful and unusual duo of this summer.

Swatches of all shades:

Nars summer duosa1Bottom line–Nars Lost Coast is not to be missed. If you have a touch of rebellion in you, pick up Tropical Princess as well. These shades are available at Nars online site, Nordstrom, Barneys, and coming soon to Sephora. If you order from Nars online, you can  receive a Complimentary mini Laguna Bronzer with any purchase with the code MAYMINI14 at checkout.

These were sent to Cafe Makeup without charge for consideration for review. This post contains affiliate links (for more information, see About Cafe Makeup).

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