Thursday, May 5, 2016

Charlotte Tilbury Instant Look Palette Review



Charlotte Tilbury just launched a new palette called the Instant Look Palette ($75, limited-edition). It's a palette designed for women with little time on their hands for a quick and easy polished look. She calls it her 5-Minute On the Go Palette and I was able to apply all 7 products within 5 minutes. I received mine from Beautylish and it sold out within a week - not surprising since they have excellent customer service. I asked if they would be restocking and they said most likely not since it was limited-edition which is too bad but you can still find it online at a few other places right now including Charlotte Tilbury and Net-A-Porter.

This palette has 7 products that are labeled in numerical order of application which makes it super easy to use. When I saw online photos I thought it was extremely overpriced for what you get, but the compact is actually larger than I anticipated. Even in the photo above with me holding it - it appears to be on the small side, but it's really decent in size and the pans are large enough to dip a brush into without having to worry about mixing colors. The quality of the powders in this palette are on par with all her other face, cheek and eye products. Texture is very soft and finely milled with medium coverage. The colors are very natural for an easy no-makeup-makeup look. I will say up front that while this palette has excellent quality in terms of color, texture and design, the shades in this palette are all too light in color for my complexion and on my face they barely showed up. I played with this several different days with different bases. The result was always the same - light and almost powdery looking simply because the colors are very light in color.

It looked so natural and barely there on me that I asked my husband on several occasions to double check. I asked if he could tell I was wearing makeup and what he thought. His response was, "yes, I can tell because you look extra powdery today." He confirmed my thoughts that the shades looked light on my skin. That being said I experimented with this more and found it to be a good starting palette for me - meaning it provides a good base but on my skin type and skin tone I find it definitely needs extra work to get it to work for me. I need an emollient creamy eyeshadow base to help the shadows be more visible and adhere to the skin. I need a cream base highlighter or bronzer to help the cheek products look less powdery.

Quality-wise it's great. Concept-wise it's genius. I just happen to be right at the skin tone that almost matches these shades so they are near invisible on my face. I've reviewed quite few highlighters that look like highlighters on my skin, but on others it doesn't show up because the color matches their skintone. It doesn't mean anything is necessarily wrong with the product, it's just not the right color. That's the case with this palette for me.

A closer look at the palette below:



The shades show up well on my arm, on the face they look a lot sheerer, colors and descriptions:

1 Eye Brighten is a soft pale matte pink peach
2 Eye Enhance is a gorgeous warm champagne shimmer
3 Eye Smoke is a soft medium brown matte
4 Face Bronzer is a sheer tan with a hint of shimmer
5 Cheek Swish is a soft peachy matte
6 Cheek Pop is a sheer pink with a tiny hint of sparkle
7 Face Highlight is a shimmery pale ivory highlight


Comparison swatches Set 1:

Charlotte Tilbury Instant Look (first three shades)
MAC Flounce (from the 15 Neutral Cool Palette)
Urban Decay Limit (from Naked 3, all Naked Palettes swatched here)
Urban Decay Naked and Buck (from Naked Palette, all Naked Palettes swatched here)
Urban Decay Sin Eyeshadow


Comparison swatches Set 2:

Charlotte Tilbury Instant Look Palette (first three shades swatched)
Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze and Glow Medium-Light (reviewed here)
Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Champagne Pop (review here)
Charlotte Tilbury Cream Shadow in Norma Jean (review here)
MAC Eyeshadow in Naked Lunch Eyeshadow


Comparison Set 3:

Charlotte Tilbury Instant Look Palette (first two shades swatched)
Charlotte Tilbury Cheek to Chic in Ecstasy and Love Glow


Comparison of compact sizing:


One last look:


For me this doesn't quite work for an instant look because the colors are too matchy for my skintone but I suspect it will work better for lighter or deeper skins because there will be more color contrast. I do think quality-wise it's excellent. The powders are very soft and are easy to blend. If she comes out with other more palettes like this one that have a deeper color range I think I would be 100% in love with it because it really has all the colors you need for a quick look or touchup. The design makes it perfect for on-the-go or for travel and the pans come with a decent amount of product. Based on the reviews I've seen online most give this one an overwhelming thumbs up which make me think I may be the one person who found this one didn't work. I personally prefer the individual items such as her Filmstar Bronze and Glow and Cheek to Chic blushes - some of the individual products have a similar look to the shades in the palette but I find the separate colors work better for me.

You can find the Charlotte Tilbury Instant Look Palette for a limited time right now. I received mine courtesy of Beautylish (where it's sold out right now). You can also find it online at Charlotte Tilbury, Net-A-Porter and Nordstrom (on backorder). Retail price is $75.

Have you tried this palette yet? What did you think?

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Mother's Day Gift Guide - Part 2


1  /  2  /  3  /  4  /  5  /
6  /  7  /  8  /  9  /  10 

I have one last roundup of gift ideas for Mother's Day in case you're looking for some more options. There are a number of gift guides on multiple retailers by price point with lots to choose from. I did a Mother's Day Gift Guide with Ulta Beauty last week with lots of picks for warm-tones and cool-tones so I'm set for gifting this year. I personally fell in love with the Tartelette In Bloom Palette and ended up picking up one for myself. I had to repeat it in this round because the quality and pigment is really really good!

In the event you're looking for a pre-made gift set, the Molton Brown White Alba Truffle Hand Regime Duo is one of the best I've tried in hand care. I reviewed it during last holiday season and still really enjoy both the Hand Exfoliator and Hand Treatment to keep the hands looking groomed and healthy. For value deals, Birchbox has a Limited-Edition Beauty in Bloom Set for $64 that covers a little bit of everything from makeup, hair care, body and home fragrance so it makes gifting super easy.

For those who have moms that aren't really into makeup, fun summery accessories are always nice as a spring-to-summer update. Even those who aren't into makeup can always use a fun bright mani/pedi color. My favorite pink of the moment is Chanel Camelia (swatched here). If your mom loves Chanel and already has almost everything there is, the summer collection just launched online - there's a really good chance she doesn't have anything yet because I just saw it pop up today.

Hope your week is going well! Two more reviews to come this week for Charlotte Tilbury and Becca - I'm working on labeling and editing the swatches today!

P.S. Don't forget to enter the Tatcha Kyoto Red giveaway here (for US only)! Entries will be collected through May 5th.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Tatcha Silk Lipstick in Kyoto Red


I'm thrilled to share today that Tatcha has brought back their Silk Lipstick in Kyoto Red ($55 for 3.7 g) which is one of the most stunning statement reds I've ever seen. I missed it the first round when it launched last year so I was really happy to hear they decided to bring it back for a relaunch. To date Tatcha has released two lipsticks, Kyoto Red and A Plum Blossom (reviewed here, discontinued) - both are exquisite in every aspect. The packaging of the case is heavy weight and sturdy, the multi-faceted mold of the actual lipstick makes it super easy for precise application. These are hands down among the most luxurious and most beautifully designed lipsticks I own.


Kyoto Red is inspired by the geisha's classic bold red lip. Tatcha's website shows it swatched on four different skin tones to demonstrate how universally flattering color is. The pigment in the lipstick is extremely opaque making it a one-swipe wonder covering the entire lip with a single stroke. Application of color is even, smooth and full with a weightless feel. Tatcha calls the formula "feather-light" and it really is - it offers a nice soft veil of product on the lips but once it sets you completely forget you have anything on because it truly is feather light.

I would call this one a warm red but unlike many other warm reds it doesn't turn orangey on the lips. It's warm but still manages to stay a true red on the lips. Lasting power is quite good - it stays put for several hours without fading (snacks and drinks will cause transfer). It doesn't feather or bleed. Quality is on point. A few quick snaps of the lipstick at the Japanese Garden at Balboa Park below:



A closer look at the lipstick below. The black, gold and red combination is quite striking.



Swatches to show how pigmented the color is, there is a very slight sheen right after application but once on the lips it has a semi-matte finish:






I was so impressed with the Sunrise Plum Blossom Lipstick and was happy to have been able to purchase that one before it sold out (I hope they bring it back). Kyoto Red is just as impressive in terms of quality, pigment and coverage. There are slight differences between the two (aside from the lipstick color and packaging color). Sunrise Plum Blossom is slightly creamier with a more cushiony moisture feel while Kyoto Red is more lightweight with a semi-matte finish. Even though the finish and feel are different I find them both equally hydrating. The day after wearing each of these my lips have a noticeablely smoother and well hydrated feel (most lipsticks either dry out my lips or make them peel by the second day).

Bottom line: another winner from Tatcha. Since I discovered the line I've been really impressed with everything I've tried which I think is quite incredible. I know many of my readers are HUGE Tatcha fans, I've tried things based on your recommendations and have never been let down. If you're new to the line and are interested in a top picks/roundup post let me know in the commments. For those who want to know right now what my top three favorites are right now, I swear by the Pore Perfecting Sunscreen, Dewy Skin Mist and Beauty Papers. If you're like me and want to be able to try things before committing to the full size, Tatcha has almost all of their skincare products available in Travel/Trial Sizes for purchase. I order these for travel and also for friends. If you're looking for Mother's Day Gifts - they have a lot of beautifully curated Gift Sets that are impeccably packaged.

I've teamed up with Tatcha for a special giveaway (US only) - you can enter on my Instagram account @beautylookbook - all the details on how to enter on my page here.

In the meantime, Kyoto Red is back (I do believe while supplies last) at Tatcha.com. If you like red lipstick I highly recommend you give this one a try.

This post was created in partnership with Tatcha. Many thanks to the Tatcha for sponsoring this post and giveaway!


Monday, May 2, 2016

Christian Louboutin Red Nail Extensions


This May, Christian Louboutin introduces three new rouge nail colors for spring to summer in his Red Nail Extensions Collection ($50 each). There are two new additions to the Pop Colors Family and one new shade for the Noirs Family. Just when I thought all the reds have been done - Louboutin manages to add three new shades that are absolute perfection. The Louboutin team sent the three shades for me to play with for a week and swatch for my readers. I'm thrilled to be able to share a peek at them today.


There are three bright and bold colors added to the rouge lineup - all of which are very opaque and offer full coverage with a single coat. I personally prefer two coats for all nail polishes I wear for a super rich and cushiony look. I've reviewed the Christian Louboutin Nail Polish formula in previous post so I won't do a full recap (review on Rouge Louboutin in this post here) but the quick take is these have a naturally glossy shine to them, smooth coverage and excellent wear. I have yet to try every single color of nail polish Louboutin makes, but from what I have tested, the Pops, Noirs and Rouge Louboutin have full opaque coverage. The Nudes have a mix of sheer coverage and full coverage formulas. You can read the full review on all 10 nudes in this post here.

Shown above for the Red Nail Extensions, from left to right:
  • EdgyPopi is described as a punchy orange-red that's fun and flirty. It is my favorite color out of the three. It definitely packs a gorgeous punch of bright summery color that's perfect for the tips and toes. It's deeper and brighter than my other favorite Miss Loubi.
  • Lady Peep is a medium to deep raspberry red. It darkens on the nails to a dark raspberry shade. This one is a cream without shimmer and is also very pigmented and smooth.
  • Jazzy Doll is a stunning peony red pink that has a very subtle shimmer mixed in. It glimmers in direct sunlight. In natural light the shimmer is visible but it is more on the subtle side.
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A look at all three shades and swatches. For reference each swatch image has two coats of polish applied. I also used the Formula X Base Coat and Nails Inc. Kensington Top Coat. First up is EdgyPopi which looks like a standard orange cream. Once on the hands I just can't get over how pretty it is against olive skin. 




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Lady Peep is a really pretty deep raspberry color. It's medium deep which makes it more on the dramatic side but not too dark that it's a vamp. It's similar in vibe to Very Prive but Lady Peep is cooler in undertone and more raspberry.




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Last but not least is Jazzy Doll which is one of the prettiest soft peony pink shimmers I've ever seen. The shimmer is very smooth and finely infused into the polish. It's on the subtle side which gives it a more conservative edge to balance and out the brightness bright.





Swatched comparisons to a few other Louboutin Nail Polishes that I have, same set of colors in each comparison group, two different lighting variations:



One last group shot:

All three are gorgeous colors and absolutely perfect. I've been a fan of the Louboutin Nail Colours and have purchased quite a few shades. They are quite the splurge at $50 each (as in they may break the bank kind of splurge) but the formula and colors are really among the best I've tried. I've only been able to play with the Red Extensions for a week as the Louboutin team let me borrow them to review and photograph, but I have my nail wheel so I'm going to try and see if I can find any dupes in my stash before splurging on all three. That being said I've already added EdgyPopi to my online cart and expect to be a happy owner of the color very soon.

Have you checked out the new red shades yet? What do you think? Are any of these calling your name?

You can find the Red Nail Extensions starting this month at all Christian Louboutin retailers, online now at Sephora, Saks Fifth Avenue, launching soon at Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus and Christian Louboutin.


 

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