Thursday, May 21, 2015

L'Occitane Pivoine Sublime: Peony Lip Balms

For spring, L'Occitane has launched a collection of skincare, body and lip products in a Peony Collection called Pivoine Sublime or "Sublime Peony." I was able to get a preview of the entire line at an event last month and am so impressed with the way the creams, serums and mists hydrate the skin in a gentle way. I'm still in the midst of testing out the skincare, but today I have a review prepared for the Peony Tinted Lip Balms ($16 each for 4 g / 0.14 oz) all come with SPF 25 and are formulated with shea butter and L'Occitane's unique peony extract. There are options of lip balm, three are tinted. These come in cute metal twist up tubes with a peony petal print on the outside.

  • Clear / Transparent is a clear lip balm, it adds a sheen to the lips
  • Rose Amber is a reddish nude beige, this one has a velvety looking finish, not quite matte, not shiny, but lush and almost muted
  • Rose Nude is a brighter pink but gives the lips a soft pink tint
  • Rose Plum is a deep plum, on my lips it turns almost red, but many plums tend to pull very blue, red or bright on my pigmented lips
The lip balms have an ultra smooth and hydrating feel when applied to the lips. L'Occitane's tests have shown these provide 8 hours of hydration to the lips. I haven't tested any of them for a full eight hours untouched to see if the moisture remains. I usually wipe off lip products during meals or snacks and re-apply frequently. I did find the moisturizing feel lasted until I touched the lips. The darkest color Rose Plum had a visible stain that remained on the lips past several cups of coffee, lunch and a snack. The other two were closer to my natural lip tone and lighter in color so the stain wasn't as visible as the plum, but lasting power of the tints seems to be decent for a lip balm.

I'm a huge fan of the way peonies smell, but usually not in fragrances or body products. L'Occitane's Peony Collection is more of a sweet candied peony. While it's clearly a floral scent that mimics that of a natural peony, the sweetness makes it less floral and I find the scent absolutely divine. You might be able to taste the lip balms if you lick your lips, snack or sip any drinks. I find the taste is exactly like the smell and it's actually quite pleasant.

Swatches and more photos:

How each shade appears when applied on my lips, for skin tone reference, I'm wearing a combination of NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation in Santa Fe and Punjab (swatches here):

Below you can see Rose Plum pulls very red and bright on my lips, your mileage may vary depending on how you lips interact with plum-pinks. Left is straight from the tube. Right is after 5 hours of wear after drinking two cups of coffee, lunch and a few snacks in between.

Many of you have been asking for a comparison to the Fresh Sugar Lip Balms. I did a few comparison swatches to show the difference and similarities in some of the colors. The concept is indeed similar. Based on my testing, here's what I see:

  • Packaging is very similar in both. They both have metal tubes and caps that twist off at the base. size of the tubes is almost identical, L'Occitane's appear to be slightly chubbier.
  • Size/Price of each is as follows: Fresh Sugar Lip Treatments retail for $22.50 for 4.3 g while L'Occitane Peony Lip Balms retail for $16 at 4 g.
  • SPF is different in each, Fresh has SPF 15, L'Occitane has SPF 25.
  • Pigment is similar yet different. I find the pigment of Fresh Sugar Lip Treatments different depending on the color, lighter ones have a sheerer finish while the darker bright ones are more pigmented. L'Occitane's are consistent among all three shades sheer-to-medium.
  • Finish is very similar in that these give the lips a natural healthy sheen that looks very subtle. They make the lips glow without looking shiny. The only exception is L'Occitane's Rose Amber which for some reason looks more velvety on my lips rather than shiny.
  • Scent is different in each. Fresh Sugar Lip Treatments are a lot stronger and lemony sweet with strong sugar notes. L'Occitane Lip Balms have a strong noticeable scent but it's more natural even though it is still on the sweet side.
  • Texture is different. Fresh has a thicker softer texture making them noticeably thick on the lips (not something I mind, I find it quite pleasant), L'Occitane is firmer and smoother with a weightless feel.
  • Density/composition is different. Fresh Sugar Lip Balms often break on me if the tubes get too warm. I haven't seen a tester at Sephora or Nordstrom that wasn't broken at the base. I have to be uber careful when I apply them to avoid them breaking on me (or put them in the fridge for a few minutes on occasion). L'Occitane's is firmer in texture which makes it easier for me to apply without having to worry about breakage.

Swatch comparisons:

For comparisons and previous reviews, you can see how each color looks on the lips below:

Fresh Sugar Tulip on the lips here
Fresh Sugar Honey on my lips here
Fresh Sugar Rosé swatched on me here
Fresh Sugar Cherry lip swatches here

Ingredients on the packaging:

Above: Peony Lip Balms and the Peony Hand Cream

If you're looking for a nice lip tint, I think the new ones from L'Occitane are definitely worth looking into. I know the clear one might seem boring but I really like it. It hydrates the lips and makes them feel petal-soft smooth. Out of the three tinted options, my favorite is tied between Rose Nude and Rose Amber. My heart gravitates towards soft pinks like Rose Nude, but the Rose Amber is such a pretty nude brown pink that makes the lips look velvety smooth and lush. I like that the texture of these is smooth and non-sticky. You can also use these as cheek tints, although I personally think the look is a bit too dewy for my skin type. Bottom line a winner in my lip balm book. I don't think you need all of them. Rose Nude and Rose Amber are pretty close on me, I suspect they will look similar on many lips. Rose Plum is different from the other two being brighter and deeper, I'm a neutral lip lover so this one is a bit out of my comfort zone. I really like the clear one for touch ups or at night. 

You can find the L'Occitane Peony Lip Balms at all L'Occitane stores now, also online at Each one retails for $16. Have you checked these out yet?

The Peony Collection was provided courtesy of L'Occitane at a press event for review consideration. As always, all opinions my own.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Marc Jacobs Beauty Enamored Hi-Shine Lip Lacquers

For summer Marc Jacobs Beauty has launched a new lip gloss formula called the Enamored Hi-Shine Lip Lacquer ($28 each for 5 ml/0.16 fl oz). There are 18 shades of high-shine lip gloss that come in a wide range of colors from soft nudes, feminine pinks, plums, corals and bolder reds. The textures range from jelly, to cream, to shimmer - all with a smooth lush cushiony gloss feel. In terms of pigment, most of the colors offer sheer to medium coverage. Some you can wear alone while others are best used for high shine or to layer over lipstick. There is a subtle sweet minty scent to the glosses which have a cooling (but not tingling) feel on the lips. The Enamored Lip Lacquers are infused with apricot and passionfruit and feel ultra hydrating and smooth once applied. I've teamed up with Marc Jacobs Beauty to share all 18 colors with you today.

First a quick look at the packaging. The new Enamored Hi-Shine Lip Lacquers are similar in design and packaging compared to the original lip lacquers (sheer and full). The tube is now a rounded square rather than a flattened tube but still has the same flexible sponge-tip applicator.

A closer look at the sponge-tipped applicators:

on the nails two coats of Enamored Hi-Shine Nail Lacquer in Le Charm

Above: Daisy Nail Lacquer, Honeybun (P)Outliner, O!Mega Bronzer

All the colors plus swatches and close ups below:

I've grouped the colors into three categories, first up are the Pinks and Roses:

  • Love Buzz is a metallic pink gold, the shimmer is very smooth and gives lips a lush full glossy glow, pigment and coverage on this one is medium, it will cover the entire lip but has a slight transparent quality to let the natural lip shine through
  • Pink Flamingo is a soft cool pink jelly, this one has no shimmer, finish on this one is sheer
  • Allow Me is most similar to the original gloss in Kissability, it's a medium rose with tiny gold flecks mixed in, it has a very smooth non-gritty texture, coverage on this is sheer-to-medium
  • Love Drunk is a brown-rose with gold shimmer, it's a few shades darker and more brown compared to Allow Me, coverage is medium
  • Rebel Rebel is a deeper but soft warm rosy color, it has multi-colored shimmers mixed in with a slight blueish sheen, coverage on this one is sheer-to-medium


Next up are the Nudes:

  • Moon Glow is an ultra pale nude cream, if you have pigmented lips like me, it will contrast with your natural lip tone, one swipe may appear chalky, but if you layer this and blot, the color will smooth out, pigment is medium to full depending how you layer it 
  • Pretty Thing is a sheer glossy warm peachy pink nude with a jelly finish, there is no shimmer in this one, on my pigmented lips it evens out the lip tone for a natural your lips but better sheen, coverage is sheer to medium
  • Sugar Sugar is a neutral beige with gold shimmer flecks, it feels more like a cream shade even though it has a bit of shimmer, coverage on this one is medium
  • Taboo is stunning metallic nude rose with champagne frost, on the lips the shimmer is very smooth, this is similar to Love Drunk in finish, it makes the lips look full and glossy, coverage is sheer to medium
  • French Tickler is a sheer iridescent pink beige with tiny silver and champagne sparkles, coverage on this one is ultra sheer, it will add a nice shine to the lips and for me works best layered over other lipsticks (or a liner)


Last but not least, On-Trend Bolds:

  • Some Girls is a gorgeous shimmery warm watermelon pink, it has smooth shimmer (no frost) coverage on this one is medium
  • Forbidden Fruit is a sheer jelly orange, coverage on this one is sheer, but the brightness of the color gives the lips a soft wash of color
  • Whip It is a bright metallic fuchsia, coverage on this one is medium
  • Uproar is a peachy gold in the tube, on the lips it's very sheer, almost transparent, it gives the lips a very subtle sheen of shimmer 
  • Hot Hot Hot is a jelly pink red, it has a high shine and you can layer the color for more coverage, pigment is medium on this one
  • Hey You is similar to Hot Hot Hot but it's more pink/warm-based (versus blue/pink), coverage and pigment is medium
  • Pink Steam is a metallic lilac pink, it's purply in the tube and on the arms, on the lips there is a see through quality that lets your natural lip shine through and looks slightly more pinkish, it's a very wearable lilac
  • Boom is a sheer jelly plum, coverage is sheer to medium on this one, the bright color of this gives the lips a tint of lush plum, you can layer for more pigment, but on me it's still a jelly 


In addition to each individual lip lacquer, Marc Jacobs Beauty has a few #Enamored Lip and Nail Pairing Sets ($46 each) available exclusively online. The colors were personally selected by Marc Jacobs, each set include one nail polish, one lip lacquer and a black zip cosmetic pouch:
  • #EnamoredWith Desire has Lip Lacquer in Love Drunk + Nail Lacquer in Petra
  • #EnamoredWith Seduction includes Lip Lacquer in Moonglow + Nail Lacquer in Jezebel
  • #EnamoredWith Charm contains Lip Lacquer in Uproar + Nail Lacquer in Le Charm (colors shown below)

I've been playing with the glosses for a few weeks now and found lasting power to be pretty good given the shine and jelly finish. The Enamored Hi-Shine Lip Lacquers last for several hours without fading or budging if your lips go untouched. The gloss has decent lasting power and will stay put through one cup of coffee, but there will be transfer to the cup. The good news is even though these are sheer, the texture makes them pretty much budge-proof and the color doesn't fade until several hours into wear. Overall I think there's lots to love with this formula. If you like high shine glosses with sheer to medium coverage I think you'll definitely find a color to suit your taste. My personal top three picks include Love Buzz, Pink Steam, Taboo and Some Girls. The shimmery/metallic ones seem to have the best coverage with slightly more pigment. Even though my favorites are on the metallic side, they go on the lips with a smooth lush shimmer that isn't overly frosted. Long time Beauty Look Book readers know I am a neutral lip lover at heart, but I find the brighter ones very wearable. The glossy finish and semi-sheer color makes these more forgiving on the lips - the shades are perfect for that effortless glow and wash of color that I crave in warm weather months.

There are 18 shades available now online at Marc Jacobs Beauty. Each color retails for $28. For Beauty Look Book readers, there is a special promo going on now with code BEAUTYLB at checkout for three minis with any $75+ purchase (valid through 05/31/2015). Have you checked out the new Enamored Hi-Shine Lip Lacquers yet? If so, what did you think?

Many thanks to Marc Jacobs Beauty for sponsoring this post. The glosses were provided courtesy of Marc Jacobs for this feature. For more details refer to my disclosures.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Chanel Lumière d’Été Illuminating Powder for Summer 2015

For summer Chanel has a new limited-edition powder called Lumière d’Été Illuminating Powder ($65 for 8 g / 0.28 oz). It's called an illuminating powder but to me this is more of a soft satiny bronzer. There is a very slight sheen to this when you swatch it and look at it in the pan. On the skin it looks glowy but not shimmery. It has a similar effect to that of the Les Beiges Healthy Glow Sheer Colours in No. 30/40 but with a more bronzed and luminous effect.

The bronzer has an ultra soft but dense texture. It seems a bit harder/firmer in formula compared to traditional powder bronzers, almost creamy but not quite. This makes the color easy to layer and build in terms of pigment. A looser brush will give you a more sheered out glow while a denser brush will give you more color, almost like a contour on my medium Chanel Beige 30 skin. The Lumière d’Été Illuminating Powder comes with the embossed camellia pattern which is so so gorgeous.

On my skin, this is a medium neutral bronze that pulls slightly warm on my medium skin, but it's not as warm in tone compared to the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Bronzers. The warmth prevents it from looking muddy on my skin (I cannot wear cool-toned bronzers or contouring products easily).

A heavy swatch below:

The Chanel Lumière d’Été Illuminating Powder will have a similar effect to a number of other bronzers. If you already own a lot of other bronzing powders you may want to shop your stash. What I find unique about this season's Chanel is the texture. The firmer/gel-like almost cream to powder texture seems particularly good for warm weather. It adheres really well to the skin but melds in naturally. It doesn't look fake or look like it's product just sitting on the skin. I liked that it didn't emphasize pores or clog pores too. Lasting power is very good from early morning until late afternoon without fading. I pulled a few bronzers and Les Beiges powders to compare:

Tom Ford Gold Dust (Full Size and Small Travel Size for size reference)
Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Powder No. 30 and No. 40 (review here)

I'm one who can't resist a Chanel bronzer, this one is no exception. Right now I am a Chanel B30 but am getting a bit of color so the darkest I will get is probably a B40 (foundation equivalents for me right now are NARS Punjab, Tom Ford Bisque 04 (foundations in rotation listed here). I haven't used a MAC foundation in years because the formulas don't work for my skin type (I break out in a really bad allergic reaction to those) but I was always matched to a NC30-35. I suspect if you are anywhere from the Chanel B40 or darker range this bronzer will look more like a subtle natural contour or nude illuminator on your skin rather than a bronzer. I found it worked well on my normal combination skin but if you are super dry, you may need some kind of a creamy base on the cheeks to help bring out the color more.

I give this one a huge thumbs up but I am a huge fan of bronzer in general. There are a number of new bronzer releases out this time of year. I would say the Chanel Lumière d’Été Illuminating Powder is a good in-between option in terms of warm but not too warm if you're light to medium in skin tone. I'm still testing out a number of bronzers to see which one I like best. Initial thoughts: The Hourglass Ambient Lighting Bronzers are warmer and more luminous, the Guerlain Terracotta Joli Teint Powder Duos are a lot softer and lighter in color if you're fair and don't like darker dramatic bronzers, the Guerlain is probably the best bet for you. Tom Ford repromoted both of their bronzers in white/gold packaging and a mini size, both are classics. If you want a matte bronzer Terra has no shimmer.

The Lumière d’Été Illuminating Powder is limited-edition. You should be able to find it at all Chanel counters and boutiques now. Online at, Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdale's, and Neiman Marcus.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Chanel Collection Méditerannée Summer 2015 Rouge Coco Shines: Intrépide, Amorosa, Rêveuse

For summer, Chanel's Collection Méditerannée has four Rouge Coco Shines ($36 each) in Intrépide 497, Amorosa 487, Rêveuse 477 and Insoumise 507. I picked up three of the shades and think they are perfect summer neutrals. The Rouge Coco Shines this season have pretty good pigment for a sheer lip shine - there is still that sheer semi transparent quality that allows the lip to show through. I like all three for easy swipe-and-go kind of colors. They add a nice color and cover the lip entirely with a natural glossy sheen. On my pigmented lips they look a bit different than what you see in the tube. There's a lot of color in the base of these but there is a really pretty shimmer mixed into each which make them look slightly different on the lips. 

The three shades I picked up are the lighter neutral options: Intrépide a coral pink with gold shimmer, Rêveuse a neutral nude peachy pink with a slight champagne sheen, Amorosa is a cool-toned brown rosy nude with silver shimmer

If you're familiar with Rouge Coco Shines, you know that they swatch sheer on the hands/arm but meld beautifully with the lips. On the lips the color shows up much better while on the hands and arms you will see the sheen with a slight tint of color.

Applying the Rouge Coco Shines with a lip brush will give more pigment and coverage compared to when you apply straight from the tube. Here are side by side swatches tube vs brush application.

Here are swatches and close ups. Each lip swatch is on my bare lips swiped straight from the tube. Note that I have pigmented lips so my natural lip color makes these look different than they may appear on you. The colors are sheer but still cover the lip entirely.

Intrepide is a soft but bright pink with a coral sheen and gold shimmer:

Rêveuse is a neutral nude peach pink, in the tube it's peachy, on my lips it looks more nude/pink

Amorosa is a neutral cool-toned brown rose pink, it has silvery shimmers

One last shot of the Summer 2015 Rouge Coco Shines alongside the Stylo Eyeshadows and Bronzer.

I think each of the three Rouge Coco Shines I picked up are utter perfection. So far, only Amorosa is listed as limited-editon for now. Sometimes with new releases of neutral Rouge Coco Shines I worry that they will be too light or sheer for my pigmented lips and end up being invisible. All three are indeed sheer but have really good pigment and coverage for a sheer lipstick. I'm pleased with each one that they not only show up well but also require no color tweaking to make them work. As with all other Rouge Coco Shines the lasting power is medium to average. I get several hours (3-4) of wear without fading or budging as long as I don't snack. They have an ultra hydrating smooth feel without any detectable scent as far as I can tell. I don't think I would call them moisturizing like a lip balm, but they don't dry out my lips or make them peel by the next day so I give them a huge thumbs up.

The Chanel Collection Méditerannée for summer should be out now at all Chanel counters and boutiques. I've spotted it at a number of counters now. Online at, Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom and Bloomingdales.


design + development by fabulous k | COPYRIGHT © 2009-2014 THE BEAUTY LOOK BOOK