Sunday, May 31, 2009

MAC Fashion Forward Event Makeover

I'd like to start a series of posts to archive some looks I love and also some great makeovers I've had at some events. Hopefully this will give you ideas on some pretty color combinations of products.

The first one I'd like to write about is the MAC Fashion Forward Event I attended at Nordstrom. I had my makeup done by one of my favorites sales associates who I've shopped with for years, so she knew my taste and preferences. This was my first good MAC makeover (I've had about 5 others that turned out horrible) and now that I know a couple of the good artists, I will definitely request them for future events. Everyone received a cute pamphet with a few face charts featuring some looks.



One page of the face chart pamphlet:


This is what she used on me, all MAC products (unless specified):

FACE:
* Prep & Prime Skin
* Studio Moisture Cream
* Chanel Teint Innocence Shell 1.5
* Mineralize Blush in Dainty

EYES:
* Paint Pot in Painterly
* Eyeshadow in Soba 1/2 way up eye
* Eyeshadow in Folie on outer corners blended up
* Eyeshadow in Arena in the middle of the eye blending colors together
* Eyeshadow in Ricepaper to highlight
* Pearlglide Eye Liner in Molasses

LIPS:
* Lip Pencil in Whirl
* Lipstick in Ramblin Rose
* Dazzleglass in Moth to Flame


Lipstick Queen for Pink Lip Lovers



I took a little road trip to Beverly Hills last week and was able to visit Barneys New York where I was able to check out a few unique brands. One of them was Lipstick Queen, a line launched by Poppy King featuring some cute lip products.

There were three items that stood out to me that were pretty pink shades (left to right, Infinite, Creation, Pink Saint):


* Big Bang Theory Illusion Gloss - Infinite ($20) - Described as "Glittery nude . . . peachy keen" this one seemed more of a pink-gold to me, but I can see how the gold mixed in makes it look almost peachy-nude on the lips.
*
Big Bang Theory Illusion Gloss - Creation ($20) -
Described as "Sparkling rose . . . cheers!" this seems right on, a pretty unique sparkling rose.
* Saint Sheer Lipstick 10% Pigment in Pink Saint ($18) - Described as "A sheer touch of ballet style pink that is almost nude and not flashy" to me, this is a bit more rich in pink, to me a ballet pink is lighter, still this is pretty and elegant looking.

Overall, some cute pinks in the line! There are some other nice shades including some nice reds and rosey shades, but since I'm more into shimmers, most weren't must-haves for me.
The line selection is very limited but has cute unique packaging.

Hopefully I will be able to try some more lipglosses in the near future. Definitely try out her lipglosses though! She has some great nude/beigey shades in addition to the 2 pink ones I got.
Other items I tested included the Pink Exact Match Lipliner (which was a pretty creamy pink, slightly deeper than the sheer lipstick version), Sinners Lipsticks (found too rich/opaque for my taste), Oxymoron Matte Gloss (a bit too thick/messy looking, but some nice nude shades), and the Shine Gloss (opal saint was gorgeous, but incredibly sticky, so I passed). Another interesting product was her lip tint in Medieval which gives a berry-red tint to your lips. If you're a fan of berry or reddish lips, definitely check this one out! There are some excellent swatches online of the lipsticks and glosses. Check out Karlasugar and also some reviews/pics at Makeupalley!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Les Naturels de Chanel

Chanel has released a new natural-look collection this May 2009 featuring two new matte single eyeshadows along with several repromotes. I'm really excited they decided to repromote Bel Air and Waterlily Glossimers!



The theme for this collection is: "A quintessential makeup collection of universally wearable, natural colours designed to enhance and flatter the face. . . and ensure a woman's best look is naturally her own."
Les Naturels de Chanel includes the following items:



Here are some close-u
ps of the collection:

Left to right: Curious Rouge Allure (63), Unity Glossimer (41), Waterlily Glossimer (112), Bel Air Glossimer (147), Naive Rouge Allure (25)




Orchid Rose Joues Contraste (15)



Left to right (matte shades): Lily Ombre Essentielle (84) & Slate Ombre Essentielle (83)



Left to right (repromote shades): Lotus Ombre Essentielle (46) & Mahogany Ombre Essentielle (51)



Some comparisons for Bel Air Glossimer:

1) Chanel Curious RA
2) Chanel Naive RA
3) Chanel Bel Air Glossimer
4) Chanel Giggle Glossimer
5) Chanel Glass Quartz Aqualumiere Gloss #69
6) Dior Addict Ultra-Gloss Reflect Satin Pink #657
7) Laura Mercier Blush Lip Glace
8) MAC Ample Pink Plushglass



Overall thoughts: I am a huge Chanel fan and am so happy I finally got my hands on the Bel Air glossimer since I missed it when it first came out and was exclusive to Chanel Boutiques and online. The matte shadows are gorgeous, but are on the sheer side for me. I need to use a cream base like Laura Mercier's Metallic or Satin Cream Shadows or MAC Paint Pots. And even with a base, I need to layer it heavily with a stiffer brush. I'm crazy about the natural no-makeup look, but the new matte shadows are a bit "too natural" for me to be absolutely in love with them. Still, they are great for layering over other shades to softly blend colors together.

Luckily, I already have all the other items featured in this collection, so I felt this was nice to give me some ideas on how to incorporate some staple products with new shades. If you don't have Orchid Rose Blush, it's a definite must have, it goes with just about everything. I'm a Chanel Shell/Beige = MAC NC30-35 for reference. At one of the Chanel events I went to, the makeup artist used this on one of my friends who is a couple shades lighter than me and it looked gorgeous on her too!

* Promotional images from Chanel.com

Neiman Marcus Event: Camp Gorgeous May 31 to June 6

Neiman Marcus has an event coming up called Camp Gorgeous. It happens once a year. Here are the details for the event!



In addition to this tote, some lines are having a gift with purchase. I would highly recommend calling a store versus ordering online, even with shipping, the store sales associates are much more helpful and will sometimes throw in extra goodies or samples that are not available online.

Some of the GWPs are online under Neiman's Beauty Section. There is a GWP for Armani that is not listed, call your counter for details.

This year they are also offering the Laura Mercier Pink Bronze Duo for $10. This was released
last summer with Laura Mercier's Summer Collection. If you are a pink-bronze fan, this is a great deal!

Also, I'd like to provide a detailed picture of one of my favorite new lines, Le Metier. Their GWP is a Siena Sheer Brilliance Lipgloss, not available for purchase in the regular line. This one is a
pretty cool-toned carnation pink with a hint of shimmer.

The promotion picture from online and a real picture:


Also swatched on my lips. My skintone is olive, Chanel Shell 1.5, Armani LSF 5.5, in between MAC NC30-35. Siena is one of the more pigmented lipglosses from the Sheer Brilliance line, but still has that glossy finish.



(NOTE: This color was also offered as a GWP for Bergdorf's Beauty Event back in April, which is why I already have one of these!)

For Le Metier, I've ordered online, and over the phone through the Beverly Hills store and also King of Prussia. The product specialists are very helpful and patient. They will also give you details about any items not available online.

Scott is the specialist at the Neimans Beverly Hills location. Ellen is the product specialist at the King of Prussia Location. I cannot rave enough for these two! If you'd like to try Le Metier, this is a good time to try the line out and take advantage of this exclusive gloss! Check out Karen's
Makeup and Beauty Blog for some product photos of Le Metier de Beaute. More pictures and reviews to come soon in the next week!

Are you planning to get anything for Camp Gorgeous?

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

First Look: Dolce & Gabbana Makeup

Dolce & Gabbana Makeup has finally launched in the US! The inspiration behind the brand is "to break the rules of makeup" and "traditional communication" with products that convey a glamourous and sensual feel. The line is currently available exclusively at Saks Fifth Avenue online and their New York store. However, I did stop by Saks Beverly Hills today and there is an entire section of the cosmetics floor walled off with a huge curtain for construction of a new unit for the upcoming line. The sales associate I spoke with wasn't able to provide a specific launch date, but did say it was "coming very soon."
The face of Dolce & Gabbana is Scarlett Johansson and the campaign on their website features several downloadable promotional ads in which they provide a beauty breakdown for the products she is wearing.


For the Provocative Eyes, Scarlett wears: Smooth Eye Color Duo and Quad in Stromboli and Mediterraneo, Crayon Intense Eyeliner in Stromboli, Classic Cream Nude Lipstick, Intense Nail Laquer in Pink. Check out the rest of their website for some product photos and other tidbits of information! There are also a few product photos at Saks Online.

The sales associate was very helpful in recommending some items based on my skin tone and eye color (Teint Innocence Chanel Shell/Beige and dark brown eyes). I placed my order last Thursday and received my package today in a glamorous shiny black and gold box:



These are the items I received:
* Smooth Eye Color Quad
($59) in Champagne (pearly white, shimmery light complex grey, matte charcoal, matte cool brown)


* Smooth Eye Color Quad ($59) in Contrasts (shimmery light fleshy-tan, shimmery champagne, sparkling violet-plum, shimmery warm deep brown)


* Shine and Classic Lipsticks ($30) Left to Right: Shine Lipsticks in Perfection, Naked, Soiree,
Classic Lipstick in Velvet (all the shades I ordered have shimmer and a strong rose-scent)


* Crayon Intense Eyeliner
($29) in Stromboli (not pictured, but will swatch in the next few days, a deep black-gold shimmer)
Overall thoughts: I will have to play with the items in the next few days to give a better review, but so far I am the most excited about the Contrasts Quad. The colors in this quad are truly gorgeous - neutral enough for my taste, but not so neutral that it's completely boring and dupe-able. I'm not a huge fan of flowery rose scents, but have managed to overcome the scent in Chanel Hydrabase Lipsticks, so it's possible I will still be able to wear these Dolce & Gabbana lippies.

I would love to see the entire line in person and have an artist come up with a customized look. The packaging is definitely glamorous, but I would have preferred something more subtle and less flashy - but then again, it is Dolce & Gabbana. I will definitely be making another trip to LA once the line launches in the Beverly Hills store.

At first glance however, it seems to be over-priced and the hype is from the artist who helped design the collection. I do find the colors I ordered very wearable and unique, but at $29 for a liner and $59 for an eyeshadow quad, I'm not quite sure I would have justified the purchases if I had seen them in person first.
Since the line is so new and very exclusive, there seem to be very few reviews and photos online. So far, the only review I've seen with product photos is on Blogdorfgoodman, who did an excellent review on the recent NY Dolce & Gabbana Saks event!
Have you tried this line? Thoughts/opinions/favs/dislikes would be great!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Chanel Nail Polishes: The Instant Pick-Me-Up!

I'm a huge fan of Chanel Nail Polishes and am addicted to collecting them. Pedicures are my no-fail stress-reliever and can instantly brighten my mood, especially with any of Chanel's pretty colors.

One of the reasons I love Chanel is they seems to be one of the few lines that has maintained the same classic packaging of most their makeup items. I appreciate re-vamps and product improvements (for example, I think Dior has done a fabulous makeover on their products changing their image from old-lady scents/packaging to sleek and modern). However, it is nice to have some consistency with packaging. The artists who design these colors are pure genius, since most of the shades seem to be universally flattering.

Here are the colors I've collected, along with some NARS and Dior shades mixed in. Unfortunately, many of these shades are no longer available. A few, like Violette and Red Dream were CPs from overseas. (*NOTE - all pictures are clickable for larger viewing.)




* Dior Porcelain #189









* NARS Gimme Shelter



* NARS Saratoga


Giorgio Armani Bronze Mania 2009

The summer Bronze Mania collection for Giorgio Armani was recently released early May 2009 which features "sun-splashed, explosive mineral face colors and radiant Mediterranean eyeshades." Here is their summer look plus the breakdown:



The collection released in the US includes:

* Sienna Minerals Bronzing Palette ($65)
- limited edition, features vivid earth shades of the sienna landscape in an explosion of vibrant mineral colors to bronze and sculpt the face
* Mediterranean Palette ($85)
- limited edition eye and face palette, features colors inspired by the Mediterranean sea
* Body Tints Bronzer ($75)
- unique, weightless, pigment free formula blends into skin, impeccably enhancing the skin with a sun-kissed glow
* Bronze Sparkling Top Coat Mascara ($26)
- a touch of sparkling bronze top coat adds golden hues to the tips of your lashes
* Smooth Silk Eye Pencil ($26)
- features #14 (navy) and #15 (teal-green)
* Lip Shimmers ($26)
- #56 (golden apricot), #57 (sparkling nude taupe), #58 (shimmery bronze)
* Lip Wax ($26)
- #8 described as a sandy brown



There is also a summer collection feature in the June 2009 issue of Biteki Magazine that includes a few items that weren't released in the US.



The Lip Wax #8 (which goes on a soft brown with a hint of pink) + Mineral Bronzer:



Two of the new Lip Shimmers #56 and #57 compared with #1 and #16 (not featured in the summer collection):



The mineral bronzer in this collection is my favorite item. The new lipshimmers are pretty, but not must haves. I'm usually a huge Armani fan, but their bronze mania collections seem to be a little too similar year to year. I'd like to see a bit more creativity and variety with the same "bronze mania" theme. The model look for Summer 2009 looks like the exact same photo as last year for Summer 2008. It appears they simply photoshopped the different colors onto her face, since the post and facial expression is identical.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Color Focus: Coppery Bronze

I'm a huge fan of the tanned summery look, so I thought I'd share some of my favorite coppery bronze colors. To avoid bronze-overload, I usually mix different variations or intensities of bronzey shades for eyes, lips and cheeks.

Some of my favorite eyeshadows: 1) Nars Fez, 2) Chanel Lumieres Facettes in Plein Soleil, 3) Chanel Le Bronze, 4) Trish McEvoy Eye Base Essentials in Malibu, 5) Bobbi Brown Shimmer Wash Eyeshadow in Copper Cocoa, 6) Le Metier de Beaute Spicy Eyeshadow, 7) Trish McEvoy Sable Bronze, 8) MAC Pigment in Chocolate Brown




I'm a huge fan of bronzey cheeks:
* Top left to right - Becca Mineral Bronzing Powder in Duende, Bobbi Brown Shimmer Blush in Bahama Brown, Laura Mercier Illuminating Powder in Moroccan Bronze
* Middle left to right - Trish McEvoy Luminzer in Luminous Bronze, Nars Multiple in South Beach
* Bottom left to right - Nars Blush in Lovejoy, Laura Mercier Mineral Powder in Warm Bronze (mini size)



For lips, I'm not a huge fan of the dark bronze lips, but prefer lighter bronze shades, or even nude shades with a hint of bronze:
* Left to right - Trish McEvoy Sheer Lipcolor in Barely Innocent, Chanel Aqualumiere in Maritius #86, Chanel Aqualumiere in Key West #83, Giorgio Armani Silk Lipstick #18, Laura Mercier Boho Bronze, MAC Lustre Lipstick in Honey-Flower, Bobbi Brown Creamy Lip Color in Bronzed Pink



For lipglosses:
* Left to right - Giorgio Armani Lipshimmer #57, Trish McEvoy Irrisistible, Chanel Glossimer in Unity #41, Chanel Aqualumiere Gloss in Freeze #66, Laura
Mercier Lip Glace in Bronze, MAC Lustreglass in Beaux



What are some of your favorite coppery bronze shades?

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Featured on Makeup and Beauty Blog!

My blog has been featured on Karen's Makeup and Beauty Blog with a review of one of my latest obsessions, Le Metier de Beaute.

Check out the most comprehensive article and photo gallery on the web about Le Metier products (available exclusively at Bergdorf Goodman and select Neiman Marcus locations)
here!

My current must-have for everyone is their Cannes Sheer Brilliance Lip Gloss, a gorgeous pink shimmer.



Karen was kind enough to feature me as a guest blogger! I love her fun and creative approach to blogging for fellow beauty addicts like me and follow her postings on a daily basis.

Stay tuned and check back for some more reviews and photos on Le Metier in the near future.

Jouer Cosmetics: Combining beauty, style and pure modern convenience

I found out about Jouer from an article in Harpers Bazaar featuring some of their products and was immediately intrigued by the cute packaging concept.

Jouer Cosmetics was designed and created by Christina Zilber to provide women with personalized beauty. The brand concept was focused around allowing women to create a customized palette of colors in which she developed a unique interlocking compacts to package her products. The line was first launched in 2004, but recently revamped in 2008.

The website is also unique, fun and interactive, providing great swatches of each product and brief descriptions of each color. In addition to swatches, each product features four different faces (with different skin tones and hair color). This allows you to see what each product looks like on different faces.



Tint ($20):
a creamy cheek tint that comes in a square mirrored compact

* Petal – described as a soft rose pink, has a creamy texture that is sheer, but buildable, has a hint of shimmer in it

Moisturizing Lip Gloss ($20):
wand style with the interlocking feature on one side, these have a nice non-sticky texture with a sponge-tip applicator.

* Wind – described as a creamy pink nude, this has no shimmer, and seems more peachy-nude than pink

* Blush – described as a creamy baby pink, perfect description, a great natural youthful pink shimmer that isn’t too pale

Powder Eyeshadows ($20):
satin finish and oil free shadows that come in both shimmer and matte finishes, these are in a wet-to-dry formula, but so far I have only used these dry.




* Caramel – described as a shimmering soft gold, this is an accurate description, but it’s not too yellow or metallic, gives a soft warm golden caramel shimmer to the lids

* Buttercream – described as a pearly french vanilla, this is a great soft cream, the shimmer is very subtle on this one

* Truffle – described as a matte platinum grey, more of a dove grey

* Chocolat – described as shimmering bronzed brown

* Amaretto – described as a shimmering bronzed plum, more of a medium taupe shimmer to me than a bronzed plum, but gorgeous

* Espresso – described as a shimmering smokey slate

Overall thoughts: I believe this line is currently available online at the Jouer Website along with Henri Bendel in New York. I purchased these items sight-unseen online and was pleasantly surprised by the super-fast shipping and cute pink box that the items arrived carefully wrapped in. Also a plus - everything arrived very close to the online swatches/descriptions!

The eyeshadows are my favorite out of the products I ordered, but the glosses are nice as well! Good quality products at very reasonable price points. I hope they will expand their product line as well as possible expand their distribution to other locations in the US!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Bobbi Brown Illuminating Bronzing Powders + New Bronzer Brush

Bobbi Brown has released 6 new illuminating bronzing powders for summer. They come in a round mirrored compact just like her regular bronzers, only all of these new ones have some degree of shimmer. They retail for $33 USD and the colors are Antigua, Aruba, Maui, Bali Brown, Barbados and Bahamas.

The look for the summer features Maui Illuminating Bronzer, Burnt Sugar Metallic Eyeshadow, Black Everything Mascara, Cocoa Lip Color and the new Shimmer Brick for the body.

I have 4 of the new ones pictured here, plus Laguna Bronze which was a Neimans Exclusive in their Cabana Collection this past Christmas.

* Maui – gorgeous healthy but natural pink glow shimmer

* Antigua – soft pink with subtle shimmer (lighter than Maui, gorgeous powder pink, but not too pale)

* Aruba – shimmery golden bronze (this one has the most shimmer)

* Bali Brown – soft medium brown with subtle gold sparkles (the shimmer doesn’t really show)

* Laguna Bronzevery similar to Aruba, just slightly more orangey

The 2 other bronzers were different variations of brown. Right now I’m a Chanel Shell 1.5 in Teint Innocence (equals Armani 5.5 LSF and MAC NC30), so I passed on the Barbados and Bermuda – they were too dark for me right now, but would be great on darker skin tones.

The rest of the collection features gorgeous colors that seem flattering for most skin tones. Pigment is medium, like her regular bronzers, but can be built. Shimmer isn't over the top, except for Aruba, which has the most shimmer, but isn't quite as frosty as her shimmer bricks.

Some comparison pictures to Giorgio Armani and MAC Powder Bronzers.


Also featured with this collection is a new Bronzing Powder Brush which retails for $50 USD. Super soft and plush, a bit more than I am comfortable spending, but the texture is so soft, it's well worth the investment. (Similar size bristles to the Laura Mercier Bronzing Brush, just a lot softer.)



The old bronzer brush on the left (in a mini version) versus the new plush bronzer brush on the right. As an FYI, Bobbi Brown is re-doing all her brushes, according to one of my favorite BB makeup artists, they will come in one size for the handle.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Lunasol Quads

My current obsessions include hard-to-find items, particularly the eyeshadow quads from Lunasol, a Japanese Makeup Brand made by Kanebo Cosmetics. I was lucky enough that my sweet sister picked up some items for me while she was in Japan earlier in the spring.

The brand concept is geared towards the Refined Woman. They have several different kinds of eyeshadow categories, their English website is at
http://www.lunasol-net.com/en/index.html.

Skin Modeling Eyes: 01 Beige Beige, a gorgeous combination of beige-based colors. All shades have shimmer, the pale champagne and chocolate are the most shimmery, the two beige colors have more of a satiny finish.


Lighting for Eyes: 04 Neutral, each quad in this series features a "jewelry powder" which is a super sparkley shadow (in this one, the bottom right shade). A gorgeous combination of silvery taupes.


Scent Form Eyes: 05 Chocolate Cosmos, my personal favorite, soft velvety texture and rich pigment.


Nail Polish: 19 Cool Beige, a sparkly neutral light beige, rich pigment, 1 coat is sufficient.


My review on these items: these are among the best shadows I've tried. They have a similar texture to the MAC Starflash Shadows and Urban Decay Shimmer Shadows, soft and velvety and super easy to blend. I find the Lunasol shades to all be very pigmented, both the light and dark. Can't wait to try more from this line.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Chanel Lumieres Celestes Glossimers: 2 Looks

The new Lumiere Celestes glosses were featured in the May 2009 Issue of Maquia, a Japanese Fashion and Beauty Magazine. There were two simple classic looks I'd love to share.

* Left photo features Mica Rose Nail Polish and Silex #126 Glossimer.
* Right photo features Cosmic Violine Nail Polish and Jupiter #134 Glossimer.

 

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