Sunday, August 31, 2014

Monthly Beauty Favorites


I discovered quite a few new favorites in August it was difficult to narrow down my list to under 20 items. My Sony NEX-6L/B just broke right after photographed my monthly favorites along with some new items from Tom Ford Fall and Edward Bess. It will take 2-3 weeks for me to get it back after it goes to the repair center. As a blogger and photographer, I really should have more than one camera for times just like this. I called up my brother to ask for a camera recommendation. I wanted something that was super easy to use, easy to hold, affordable and compact. He said hands down buy something from the Canon G Series - after doing a few hours of research and watching several videos, I ordered a Canon PowerShot G16 as my second camera. I took my first photos with it for the Tom Ford Black Cherry post and am so impressed with the image quality and functions. Many of you have asked me for more info on my cameras, as soon as the Sony gets back from repair, I'll do a post on both to compare. If you have any camera favorites I'd love to hear what you love. I hope to upgrade to an SLR by the end of the year.

Onto my favorites for the month of August:
  1. Truffle Privacy Clutch in Blush has become a favorite for a classic, sleek and compact clutch. It's super sturdy and extremely well made. Use code LABORDAY for free US shipping through Monday. (Review and more photos here.)
  2. Clare Vivier Wallet Clutch is another new favorite, it's the compact version (measures 8" x 5") of their regular Flat Clutch (measures 11.5" x 7") making it perfect as a change purse that will also hold a lipstick, business cards, and keys. 
  3. West Elm Acrylic Trays are a new discovery for me. I've been a huge fan of their Lacquer Trays (we have them all over the house). I'm thrilled West Elm made one that is high quality at an affordable price. Huge thumbs up (they come in the square and rectangle options).
  4. YSL Volupté Sheer Candy has been a go-to this summer, I almost always have one in my bag or purse with me. (Review on new shades here.)
  5. Elizabeth and James Nirvana Black is a favorite darker scent. It will be perfect as we transition to fall and suitable to wear through winter. (Full review here.)
  6. YSL Gris Deco has been the most commented-on polish I've worn all month. It was amazing how many people asked me "what nail polish are you wearing?" It has this unique mix of blue in it to make you wonder if it's blue, grey or white. I love it for a super polished look that's not too pale. (Swatches and review here.)
  7. Diptyque Figuier is one of my favorite Diptyque scents. I never tire of it no matter what the season is. I'm particularly fond of it in fall/winter. It's a warming soothing scent that completely lifts one's mood. It's super relaxing and lush. (Cleaning and recycle tutorial here, find the 411 on size options here.)
  8. Tom Ford Eyeshadow Quad in Nude Dip sold out online within a few hours, I still haven't seen it pop up on Nordstrom or Bloomingdales yet, there is a possibility some other retailers might re-stock. You will have to do a bit of calling around to locate one but it's definitely worth the extra effort. I'd recommend calling Neiman Marcus Fashion Island or Beverly Hills to see if they have any left. (Review soon.)
  9. Guerlain Cils D'Enfer Waterproof Mascara is something I've been obsessed with for a few months now. I discovered this one thanks to The RaeViewer's channel (if she loves it, I usually end up loving it too). It really stays put, doesn't smudge, has a deep lush black finish and doesn't make the lashes look crunchy. (My review here.)
  10. Garance Doré x Rifle Paper is one of the cutest collections I've seen for stationary. I love the chic designs, they have cards that are really fun. They make great gifts, I know my friends have loved the notepads and birthday cards. 
  11. L'Occitane Hand Cream Pouch has been selling out very quickly (it's a steal!), I managed to buy three sets when they restocked a couple weeks ago, it looks like it just sold out again, but I recommend you keep checking, I expect they will restock again.
  12. Clé de Peau Beauté Almond Concealer is an exact match for me. I'm thrilled they expanded their color options. I hope they do the same for foundations as well, I just tested a couple and fell head over heels with two of the formulas (my wallet is crying now). (Swatches here.)
  13. Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze and Glow has been a staple duo this month. The line will launch in a few days in the US. (I'm so excited!) I am still photographing the two sets I ordered from the UK. Reviews will be posted as soon as possible.
  14. Edward Bess Illuminating Eyeshadow Base is one of my holy grail eye bases. (My thoughts here and here.)
  15. Kat Von D Ink Liner has seriously made my life easier when it comes to liquid liner. (Review here.) You can't beat the ease of use, color, pigment, and quality at an affordable price.
  16. NARS Audacious Lipstick in Raquel is my new favorite nude pink. It's literally everything I have ever wanted for that perfect nude pink lip color. I can't always pull off nudes on the lips because they often look so pale. This one is absolutely perfect. It's a good nude pink that doesn't wash out the complexion. (Swatches here.)



What have been your favorites this past month?

Friday, August 29, 2014

Tom Ford Beauty Black Cherry Nail Lacquer | Fall 2014


Tom Ford Beauty has released a new shade of nail lacquer in the fall collection called Black Cherry ($32 for 0.41 fl oz/12 ml, made in France). It's a lush deep blackened cherry just like the name implies. The undertones are a deep purple with a very slight hint of red. I have mixed feelings about many of the original nail colors released by Tom Ford. Some of them like Viper, Pink Crush and Bordeaux Lust are extremely sheer requiring at least three coats for full even coverage. Others like Bitter B*tch, Ginger Fire, Indian Rose, Toasted Sugar and most of the newer releases have excellent coverage. I didn't know what to expect with Black Cherry but am so happy it applies flawlessly with two coats. It's a super dark vamp with a slight jelly finish but goes on the nail evenly without any issues. On me it's almost a pure black. The plum base prevents it from looking too harsh but it's still very very deep.




In sunlight at an angle you can see some of the plum undertones:


Swatched with two coats (it's absolute perfection):



Tom Ford Rose Crush Lip Gloss, Indian Rose Lipstick, Nude Dip Eyeshadow Quad (sold out online, but still available in stores for a limited time, check Neiman Marcus Fashion Island or Beverly Hills)


Next to the black leather card case you can see the nail polish has a bit of plum undertone on the nails, but it's still extremely dark:

Chanel card case, Wallet Clutch by Clare V.


Some nail polish comparisons to:


JINsoon Risque
Chanel Feu de Russie (discontinued)
Chanel Western Light (discontinued)
Chanel Strong (discontinued)



I'm 100% in love with this polish. I don't think it will be everyone's cup of tea since it is so dark and you can probably duplicate this easily with other shades. I couldn't find anything in my collection quite like it, but most of my vamps have more red or plum versus black.

Tom Ford Black Cherry retails for $32. You can find it now at Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman, Saks, Bloomingdales and Harvey Nichols.

Truffle Privacy Clutch in Blush


Truffle recently launched their Privacy Clutch ($54 each, 6 1/2" H x 10 1/2" W) in four colors White, Blush, Seaglass and Dove Grey. It's a chic flat leather zip pouch perfect for carrying just the essentials. I recently discovered and fell in love with the Small Clarity Clutches for keeping beauty essentials compact in your tote or purse while making it easy to see what's inside (no more digging of fishing around in your bag). The Privacy Clutch is a similar sleek option but one made of solid textured leather with a beautiful red lined interior. Truffle sent the Blush as a gift and I've found it perfect for on-the-go holding just the essentials. (Update, Truffle is offering free US shipping this weekend for Labor Day, use code LABORDAY at checkout.)

Items I've featured that fit inside my clutch:
Close up of the texture of the leather and detail features:


For size reference on the two kinds of Truffle clutches I own, the Small Clarity Clutches measure 7 1/2” H X 9 1/2” W. They are similar in size to the Privacy Clutches. Both styles come in four different colors White, Blush, Seaglass and Dove Grey. I can fit more items into the clear version, with the solid leather clutch, I need to stack things well otherwise they bulk up the pouch.


The construction of the Privacy Clutches are well made. The leather is sturdy, interior is nicely lined, zipper is also well constructed. When I told my husband I spent $40+ on the Clear Clutch, he said, "you spent what on a clear pouch?" but when he saw the actual product he was very impressed with the quality and design. He also approves of the Privacy version as well. Contents featured above all inside the pouch (minus the jewelry).


Bottom line love. The Privacy Clutch is functional as a makeup bag yet sleek enough to use as a stand alone clutch. At $52 I do find them on the pricey side for something simple, but those who own a Truffle Clutch or Pouch know that once you have one, you absolutely love it. The products from the line are sleek, classic and well made.


The Privacy Clutches retail for $54 each at Onetruffle.com. There are currently four color options. If you're interested in other designs, they offer a variety of shapes, sizes and colors to choose from. Do you own any Truffle pouches or clutches? What's your favorite?

Update: for Labor Day, Truffle is offering free US shipping on order with code LABORDAY

The Privacy Clutch was gifted by Truffle. The Clarity Clutch in Grey was purchased by me. For more information, refer to my Disclosures.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Chanel Les 4 Ombres Multi-Effect Quadra Eyeshadows | Tissé Mademoiselle, Tissé Vénitien, Tissé Vendôme, Tissé Gabrielle


I have four more shades of the Chanel Les 4 Ombres Multi-Effect Quadra Eyeshadows to share with you today. After falling in love with Poésie and Tissé Rivoli I decided to look at the other colors in more detail. I picked up Chanel Les 4 Ombres in Tissé Mademoiselle 214, Tissé Vénitien 232, Tissé Vendôme 204, and Tissé Gabrielle 208 ($61 each for 2 g/0.07 oz, made in Italy).

I had my eye on the neutrals initially but one of my favorite Chanel artists recommended I try Gabrielle and Venitien as well for more color and something different. All the quads have some degree of shimmer in each color. I found each quad to be well pigmented, some are more subtle than others. After testing all six quads that I now own, I think Tisse Rivoli and Poesie are still my favorites. If you find these don't adhere well to your eyes, I recommend using a slightly dewy base. Edward Bess Illuminating Eye Base is my absolute favorite for evening the lids without making them look flat or dry. It sets after a few minutes but retails a slightly dewy texture for shadows to adhere well. It will help bring out the color without changing the shadow (some super matte eye bases end up looking very dry and change the colors of shadows by dulling them).

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Tissé Mademoiselle is a neutral quad with a satiny tan, satin cream, shimmery light peach champagne and a dusty fawn brown, all the colors have some variation of shimmer, on my Chanel B30 skin, this is very nude almost matching my skin color. If you start applying the colors from lightest to darkest it will all kinda blend in and blur. My recommendation with this is to start with the medium shade first and pack it onto the lids (top left corner shade), then layer the soft champagne (bottom left corner) and use the darkest shade to smudge on top. Finish with the palest color to highlight or blend any edges.





Here it is compared to Dunes (discontinued):


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Tissé Vénitien has a stunning mix of green, metallic silver, soft sheer pink and deep green. I'm normally not a fan of greens but this one is really lovely when layered together. The greens pop if you layer them over a black or brown liner with a dense smudge brush (I like Laura Mercier's Smudge Brush or Corner Eye Brush for darker detail colors.)




Here it is compared to Murano (also discontinued):


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Tissé Vendôme is a another neutral palette. It has a tan brown shimmer, soft peach, apricot shimmer and deeper satiny brown. For this one I also recommend starting with the medium/middle shade (top left brown) and applying it all over the lids. Add the coral on top to blend and the darkest brown (bottom right) to intensify/define the lids. Finish with the lightest color as a highlight. You can of course apply this from lightest to darkest or whichever way you like the most. Some have mentioned that the colors all blend together (except for the darkest color) and end up looking the same on the lids. I personally like layering lightest to darkest, but with some quads, I like to start with the medium shades first.




Compared next to Shimmering Dunes (also discontinued, please excuse photo typo):


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Tissé Gabrielle is a smokey eye palette. It's not the traditional grey/white/black smokey which makes this unique. I found the colors to be well pigmented but the colors went on lighter in color than what I expected.




I didn't have anything similar, but here it is compared to Variation 37:


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Bottom line: new and definitely improved. I've always been a fan of Chanel quads for their neutral fool-proof easy to use combinations. I know not everyone has liked them as much as I have due to the sheerness of the colors. The new Les 4 Ombres Multi-Effect Quadra Eyeshadows have much better pigment and a super smooth texture. There is a diverse range of color options including blues, pinks and purples (which I didn't gravitate towards but are still really stunning).

If I were to pick my top three, it would be Poesie, Tisse Rivoli and Tisse Venitien.

The Les 4 Ombres Multi-Effect Quadra Eyeshadows retail for $61 each. You can find these quads now at all Chanel counters and boutiques. They are also available online at Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Saks, Bloomingdales and Chanel.com.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Close Dupe Alert: Chanel Steel Le Vernis and JINsoon Nocturne Nail Lacquer


If you missed out on the stunning Chanel Steel Le Vernis from the 2010 Soho Collection and have been looking for a dupe, the Jin Soon Choi x Tess Giberson collaboration has a pretty close dupe in the Nocturne Nail Lacquer ($18 for 11 ml/0.37 fl oz). I was lucky to get several bottles of Steel when it launched several years ago (I backed up my backup). Those who missed out have e-mailed me for dupe, but nothing I've seen comes close to having that perfect mix of midnight blue, grey, black and silver shimmer. Dior's NY 57th (also discontinued) came pretty close but was quite a bit lighter and more silvery. I ordered JINsoon Nocturne from Nordstrom last week and it just arrived. I put it next to Chanel Steel for comparison and from arm's length it is pretty darn close. JINsoon Nocturne is slightly deeper with less silver shimmer and a slightly deeper blue base. I love that it's a dark grey black with navy blue mixed in and it's fairly streak free for a metallic. The first coat goes on sheer, but the second one levels out the color to full opaque coverage.

More photos and swatches:

Chanel Steel on Ring Finger and Pinky
JINsoon Nocturne on Middle and Index Fingers




JINsoon Nocturne:


Chanel Steel:


One last side by side shot:



Have you ever found a good dupe for Chanel Steel? I'm head over heels in love with JINsoon Nocturne which you can find now at Nordstrom and Space NK. What do you think?

 

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