Sunday, June 28, 2009

Paul & Joe Beaute: Absolutely Adorable!

I've been eyeing some Paul & Joe Beaute items ever since I first spotted some pics from the holiday sets and finally broke down and ordered some things from Bergdorfs for their Smart Beauty Event (see one post below on their fabulous gift).

I have yet to see the whole line in person, but was totally smitten with their website which is super cute, unique, and absolutely adorable with their downloads and product design. I'm normally not a huge fan of pink-packaging, but have to saw these items are really cute and take me back to the days when I was little and when Hello Kitty and Little Twin Stars were cute girly.

Again, I have to rave for Bergdorf's Customer Service - friendly, easy going, patient, and generous with samples and goodies! In addition to the beauty event gift, I also received a cute tote, skincare samples, and a mini container of their #2 Pearl Powder (looks scary orange/gold in the pot, but blends out to a pretty iridescent peach).

The extra goodies:





Eye Shadows are soft and blendable with high pigment. I ordered based on online swatches and descriptions and various blogs. The packaging/boxes only had numbers to identify the product shade, but websites also associate names with them.

Left to right: 003 Fortune, 04 Sepia, 23 Boulevard, 24 Centre Stage, 92 Tapestry



Close ups of each shade:











Pearl Powders are soft loose powders full of shimmer and finely milled. These are in between a MAC Loose Beauty Powder and Becca Loose Shimmer Powder as far as weight/texture go. If you remember those Stila All Over Shimmer Loose Powders - these have a similar texture and feel, but are easier to blend.

Left to right: 01 Secret of Gold, 03 Silhouette



Cute packaging:



Swatches, left to right: 01 Secret of Gold, 02 Blaze, 03 Silhouette
(NOTE: 02 blends out a lot so it doesn't go on as intense or as orange as this swatch)



Face Colors are exquisite! These remind me of MAC's Mineralized Blushes, minus the extreme frost. The face colors are still quite shimmery, but gorgeous on.

Left to right: 11 Rhapsody (pinks), 12 Chic (more beigey)



If you are a Paul & Joe collector or have any items you love, please share them! I'm new to this line and need some more details on products and colors!

Le Metier de Beaute Nail Lacquers & Bergdorf Goodman Smart Beauty Event

Many know I am a huge fan of Le Metier de Beaute for their high quality and gorgeous colors. Click HERE for a previous post on the lip glosses, lip cremes, and lipsticks.

FYI, Bergdorfs is having a gift with purchase event. The bag is really cute and it comes with a full size Le Metier Eye Liner and Kevyn Aucoin Shadow Pencil. Click HERE for the details from the Bergdorf Goodman website.

Back to the subject of Le Metier, my newest acquisitions include the new nail lacquers. The description per Bergdorf/Neiman Marcus online:

"Specifically formulated without formaldehyde, toluene and dibutyl phthalate (DPB), Le Metier de Beaute Nail Lacquers provide long-lasting, chip resistant, protective color and shine. Fortified with strengthening proteins and hydrators, Le Metier de Beaute Nail Lacquers delivers rich, glossy, long-wearing color . . . Benefits include truly intense, multi-dimensional color, resists chipping up to 14 days, and won't fade, dull or streak, even in strong sunlight."

I have loved everything I have purchased from Le Metier, however the new nail lacquers are somewhat disappointing. Priced at $15 each, the bottles are so tiny, they are smaller than those NARS mini bottles with about 1/2 the amount of product. The colors are pretty - but . . . I'm not totally in love, mainly because of the size.

Here are four of the colors, Lenton Rose is a shimmery gold, Phlox is a shimmery lilac, Violaceous Splendor is a complex purple-eggplant, Black Orchid is a deep purple:



Also featured from the July 2009 issue of InStyle - the Pink Peony shade which looks like a really cute pink:



Disappointments aside - I have heard from a few sources (who are not Le Metier artists or Neimans employees) that the color does indeed last a long time and that the formula is chip resistant, so you might be getting more for your $$ because of the quality.

* UPDATE on June 29* I just tried one coat of the Phlox on 2 fingers and the formula *IS* truly amazing. One coat was all I needed for a rich, streak-free, high shine color - even my other favorite brands (OPI, Chanel, RBL) need 2 coats. This is by far the best formula of nail polish that I've ever tried. That being said, even though I'll only need one coat per manicure, the bottles are still so tiny it will definitely make me wait to see them in person before I order anymore.

Also, I'd like to ask that those of you who read this blog, please do not use my photos on your own websites without permission. Thank you!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Giorgio Armani New Maestro Eye Shadows vs. Armani's Original Eye Shadows

This post features a comparison of the new Maestro Eyeshadows that have recently been released with the original versions. There are several new shades in the Maestro Eye Shadow line from #20 to #36, however, many of them are simply re-formulations of original shades.

See the first post here All About Armani: New Maestro Eye Shadows. See yesterday's updated post with some more additions here Update on New Giorgio Armani Maestro Eye Shadows.

All pictures are clickable!







Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Update on New Giorgio Armani Maestro Eye Shadows

Those who are familiar with Armani are aware of the product revamps of their lipsticks and eyeshadows. When Armani first released their beauty line, there were 3 formulas of lipsticks: Shines, Sheers, Matte Silks. A new line of Mania Lipsticks was introduced several years ago. Now most recently ArmaniSilks and Lip Waxes have been launched. It appears the same revamp process is happening with the Eye Shadows with the Maestro Singles and Maestro Quads.

Many of the older shades have been discontinued, but not to worry - a good number of the shades have been re-introduced with the new-and-improved formulas, however many of them have different numbers.

The first Maestro Eyeshadow release occurred in 2007 with the release of 18 new shades. The next release was Spring 2008 released Maestro #19. Then in Holiday 2008, Armani skipped the numbers in between and released #37 a satin white and #38 a matte dark grey.

Finally within the last month, I found that Armani had released a number of new shades ranging from #20 to #36. See the original post HERE for pictures and descriptions, however, there were still some missing shades that Neimans and Saks had not received in their stock. Also, these have not yet shown up online anywhere. Both the Neimans and Saks stores near me did not yet receive testers, so if you don't see a new unit out - ask the Armani rep, most likely they have the stock!

Just a week ago, I stopped by Saks and the Armani manager pulled me aside to show me some more new shades.



*
Maestro #2 - shimmery neutral champagne (not new, but just new f
or me)

* Maestro #21 - shimmery dark blue (when compared to the other existi
ng blues, this one is different from all the other existing shades, see a swatch HERE in the Smokey Eyes Series)

*
Maestro #22 - this one has replaced the original #3

* Maestro #23 - this replaced the original #4

* Maestro #36 - matte buttercream which is most similar to the original #8, but brighter

Still missing in action: #24, 31 and 33 which I am sure will trickle in very soon. Just to recap - photo from the original post. Click HERE for close ups and more descriptions.




Coming next - comparison photos featuring the new revamped shades to the original formula.

Color Focus: Smokey Eyes Part 5 (Blues & Greens)

Part 5 includes blues and greens with eyeliners and eyeshadows mixed in:
(Note all eyeshadows are applied dry, but with a heavy hand over Laura Mercier Stick Foundation to help the color adhere)

Eyeliner swatches:
1. Chanel Stylo Yeux Waterproof Long Lasting Eyeliner - Marine
2. Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner - Indigo Ink
3. Nars Single Eyeshadow - Thunderball
4. MAC Velvet Eyeshadow - Top Knot
5. MAC Velvet Eyeshadow - Contrast
6. MAC Matte Eyeshadow - Meet the Fleet
7. MAC Pigment - Naval Blue
8. Giorgio Armani Maestro Eyeshadow - #21
9. Giorgio Armani Maestro Eyeshadow - #23 (same as the GA Original #4)
10. MAC Pro Pigment - Deep Blue Green
11. MAC Lustre Eyeshadow - Greensmoke
12. Chanel Les 4 Ombres de Chanel Quadra Eye Shadow - Murano (bottom right shade)
13. Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner - Ivy Shimmer Ink
14. Chanel Le Crayon Kohl Intense Eye Pencil - Black Jade
15. Nars Eyeliner Pencil - Kyoto
16. Laura Mercier Kohl Eye Pencil - Antique Jade
17. Laura Mercier Kohl Eye Pencil - Black Turquoise

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Color Focus: Smokey Eyes Part 4 (Mauves & Plums)

Part 4 includes mauves and plums with Bobbi Brown Black Ink as a true-black baseline:

Eyeliner swatches:
1. Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner - Black Ink
2. Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner - Cocoa Mauve Ink
3. Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner - Black Plum Ink
4. Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner - Black Mauve Shimmer Ink
5. Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner - Violet Ink
6. Chanel Le Crayon Yeux Precision Eye Definer - Violet Smoke
7. MAC Eye Kohl - Prunella
8. Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil - Rockstar
9. Laura Mercier Kohl Eye Pencil - Black Violet
10. Chanel Le Crayon Kohl Intense Eye Pencil - Ambre
11. MAC Kohl Power Pencil - Raven
12. Nars Single Eyeshadow - Night Fever (applied wet)
13. MAC Eyeshadow - Smut
14. Bobbi Brown Shimmer Wash Eyeshadow - Black Plum SW
15. Bobbi Brown Metallic Eyeshadow - After Hours
16. Giorgio Armani Maestro Eyeshadow - #18



Shadow swatches (some repeats):
(note for the shadows, skin was prepped with Estee Lauder Idealist to help the shadow adhere to the skin, all shadows applied dry except for Nars Night Fever - but they were all applied with a heavy hand)


1. MAC Eyeshadow - Beauty Marked
2. MAC Eyeshadow - Smut
3. Nars Single Eyeshadow - Night Fever
4. Chanel Ombre Essentielle Soft Touch Eyeshadow - Magic Night
5. MAC Pro Pigment - Deep Purple
6. MAC Pigment - Smoke Signal
7. Bobbi Brown Shimmer Wash Eyeshadow - Black Plum SW
8. Bobbi Brown Metallic Eyeshadow - After Hours
9. Giorgio Armani Maestro Eyeshadow - #18

Color Focus: Smokey Eyes Part 3 (Black Golds)

Part 3 included black golds with Bobbi Brown Black Ink, MAC Smolder, and Urban Decay Zero as a true-black baseline:

1. Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner - Black Ink
2. MAC Eye Kohl - Smolder
3. Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil - Zero
4. Laura Mercier Kohl Eye Pencil - Black Gold
5. MAC Technakohl Liner - Uniform
6. MAC Kohl Power Pencil - Orpheus
7. Clinique Cream Shaper for Eyes - Egyptian
8. MAC Powerpoint Eye Pencil - Buried Treasure
9. Chanel Le Crayon Yeux Precision Eye Definer - Noir Scintillant
10. Dolce & Gabbana Crayon Intense Eyeliner - Stromboli
11. Stila Smudge Pot - Golden Noir
12. Nars Single Eyeshadow - Night Clubbing (applied wet)
13. Trish McEvoy Eye Definer - Lava
14. MAC Solar Bits - Black Ore

Color Focus: Smokey Eyes Part 2 (Smokey Greys & Blacks)

After organizing of all my eyeliners, I decided to divide the blacks into two groups, Smokey Greys/Blacks and Black/Golds. I've also decided to use a few shades as a baseline which I feel are true blacks so you may see some repeats in the next few posts.

Part 2
includes the greys and true blacks.

Eyeliner swatches:
1. MAC Pearlglide Eyeliner - Wolf
2. Stila Kajal Eye Liner - Smoky Quartz
3. Laura Mercier Kohl Eye Pencil - Stormy Grey
4. Chantecaille Precision Eye Pencil - Flint
5. Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner - Gunmetal Shimmer Ink
6. Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner - Graphite Shimmer Ink
7. Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner - Caviar Ink (NOTE, the swatch looks brown next to black ink, but goes on the eyes more of a soft black without brown)
8. Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner - Black Ink
9. Chanel Stylo Yeux Waterproof Long Lasting Eyeliner - Black Shimmer
10. MAC Softsparkle Eyepencil - Night Sky (black with silver glitter)
11. Chanel Stylo Yeux Waterproof Long Lasting Eyeliner - Ebene
12. MAC Eye Kohl - Smolder
13. Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil - Zero
14. Chanel Le Crayon Khol Intense Eye Pencil - Noir



Shadow swatches:
(note for the shadows, skin was prepped with Estee Lauder Idealist and Laura Mercier Silk Creme Foundation in Bamboo Beige to help the shadow adhere to the skin)


1. Chantecaille Shine Eye Shade - Meteorite
2. MAC Pigment - Sweet Sienna
3. MAC Frost Eyeshadow - Charred
4. MAC Veluxe Pearl Eyeshadow - Knight Divine
5. Chanel Ombre Essentielle Soft Touch Eyeshadow - Silvery
6. MAC Velvet Eyeshadow - Black Tied
7. Chanel Ombre Essentielle Soft Touch Eyeshadow - Black Star
8. Bobbi Brown Eyeshadow - Steel
9. MAC Pigment - Dark Soul
10. Stila AOS Powder - #13
11. Becca Eye Color (Shimmer) - Velvet
12. Shu Uemura Pressed Eyeshadow - ME Black 990
13. Urban Decay Deluxe Eyeshadow - Zero
14. MAC Matte Eyeshadow - Carbon


Monday, June 22, 2009

Color Focus: Smokey Eyes Part 1

I thought I'd do a series on smokey eyes. I usually associate "smokey" with black shades, but often cannot wear many blacks because they either look too silvery or blueish on my olive toned skin, so when I look for black shades, I usually try to look for something with a slight variation on the basic black (for example a black gold, or blackened purple, or silvery black).

Part 1 includes the black eyeliners that work for me, included are some with gold or silver flecks, but have an underlying black color base. That being said, it looks like a good majority of the black-gold eyeliners here photograph as mostly gold or khaki gold (with the combination of black and gold shimmer) but in real life, still appears somewhat black on the eyes.

1. MAC Technakohl Liner - Uniform (deep khaki green with gold pearl)
2. MAC Eye Kohl - Smolder (intense black)
3. MAC Softsparkle Eyepencil - Night Sky (black with silver glitter)
4. MAC Powerpoint Eye Pencil - Buried Treasure (underground brown-black with gold)
5. Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil - Zero (zealous black)
6. Chanel Stylo Yeux Waterproof Long Lasting Eyeliner - Ebene
7. Chanel Stylo Yeux Waterproof Long Lasting Eyeliner - Black Shimmer
8. Chanel Le Crayon Khol Intense Eye Pencil - Noir
9. Chanel Le Crayon Yeux Precision Eye Definer - Noir Scintillant
10. Clinique Cream Shaper for Eyes - Egyptian (blackened green with gold pearl)
11. Clinique Brush-On Cream Liner - Egyptian (blackened green with gold pearl)
12. Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner - Black Ink (jet black)
13. Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner - Caviar Ink (no official description, but to me, soft charcoal black-brown - also NOTE, the swatch looks brown next to black ink, but goes on the eyes more of a soft black without brown)
14. Stila Smudge Pot - Golden Noir (black with a touch of gold)
15. Dolce & Gabbana Crayon Intense Eyeliner - Stromboli (black with gold flecks)

Two views:



Saturday, June 20, 2009

Chanel Fall 2009 has arrived at Saks!

Stopped by Saks today to pick up a few Armani items and was surprised to see the fall collection for Chanel out! The product rep wasn't there, and there were a few empty slots (mainly 1 duo eyeshadow or single eyeshadow slot and a few pencil liners), but most of the collection was there.

Collection includes:
* 6 Rouge Allures in Clandestine #73, Comedia #74, Amusing #75, Captive #76, Inuitive #77, Instinctive #78
* 2 Glossimers in Arlequin #136 and Courtisane #138
* 1 Le Crayon Leveres in Praline D'Or #35
* 2 Le Vernis in Gondola #499, Intermezzo #501
* 1 Poudre Douce in Peche Caresse
* 1 Les Tissages de Chanel in Tweed Sienna
* 1 Jous Contraste in Fresque
* 1 Quadra Eyeshadow in Murano
* 1 Eye Gloss Quad (forget the name)
* 1 Irreelle Duo in Acqua Alta

Also featured are 2 waterproof eyeliners, 1 brow pencil, mascara.

Left to right Rouge Allures in Comedia #74, Intuitive #77, Instinctive #78, Glossimer in Arlequin #136 and Courtisane #138:



Murano Quad:



Tweed Sienna & Fresque Blushes:



Tweed comparisons:



Fresque comparisons:



Nail Polishes in Cosmic Violine (from the Celestial Collection) versus Gondola:



Also, not pictured is the new Lip Liner which is a gorgeous light peachy nude (did not photograph well). The other rouge allures were in the red family, all gorgeous. The other nail polish was a iridescent opal white color. The eyeshadow duo was a crystal white shimmer with a charcoal grey.

Estee Lauder Sensuous Gold Fall 2009

Estee Lauder just released a gorgeous fall collection with a two different color themes: Rose Gold and Rose Amethyst. I'm normally not an Estee Lauder fan, but the new Rose Amethyst Eyeshadow quad was absolutely gorgeous! The look featured on the model was breathtaking, but I cannot find a picture online as of yet. These items were purchased at Saks, but it appears they are available for sale online at nordstrom.com!

Pictured below includes:
* Rose Amethyst Eyeshadow Quad $35 - has a slight overspray, but you can see the true color through the patterned gold veins
* Rose Gold Pure Color Multi Gloss $18
* Bronze Double Wear Eye Pencil $19 (this really does stay in place!)
* Gilded Rose Shimmer Powder $36



Close up of the Bronze Eye Liner and Rose Gold Gloss:



Also in the collection:

* Black Plum Double Wear Eyeliner (shimmering violet plum)
* Rose Gold Signature Eyeshadow Quad (warmer and more rosy than the Amethyst)
* Pure Color Gloss in Amethyst (similar to the rosey one I got, just with purples)
* 4 Signature Lipsticks in Cinnamon, Rose Amethyst, Plum Amethyst, Terracotta
* 2 Pure Color Nail Lacquers in Black Amethyst (gorgeous vibrant plum) and Rose Gold (warm rosey gold, think Bobbi Brown's Rose Gold Shimmerwash Eyeshadow - just happened to be a tad too warm for me)

Friday, June 19, 2009

Makeup Organization & Storage Part 2

For my storage options, I opted for the Ikea Alex Unit with 9 Drawers. The nice thing about the Alex Unit is that it has 2 different heights for drawers, smaller ones at the top, and taller ones at the bottom. This makes it so you can store other non-makeup items such as laundry accessories, small towels, small papers or cards etc.

Close up of a few drawers (the shorter ones):



Stila Cans to store long brushes & Hello Kitty Brush Cup:



Crate & Barrel Storage Containers to store the shorter items (but works for long pencils too):



MUJI Acrylic Round Pots without lids to store long pencils and other brushes:



Coming next - more storage options from girls in the beauty industry!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Makeup Organization & Storage Options Part 1

One downside to accumulating and collecting makeup is the challenge of finding ways to store your products, trying to squeeze in all your blushes, eyeshadows, lipsticks and brushes keeping them organized in a way that that allows you to access your items easily.

There are number of beautiful different vanities and drawer options available, but when it comes to storing makeup, the options don't always fit what I'm looking for. The ideal storage unit for me is something with lots of drawers that aren't too tall, deep or wide and compact enough to put in a corner of a room or store somewhere discrete. And of course - not too expensive!

I find that Pottery Barn and Ikea are great for their room ideas online. For those who don't have a large built-in vanity or bathroom counter to store things, here are some nice storage options for small spaces:

1. Pottery Barn Bathroom Bureau $599 - a classic looking hardwood framed unit with moisture-resistant finish, also includes their Smart Technology strip for a plug in point for hair irons or curlers, and an adjustable mirror. It has a beautiful finish and look!



2. Ikea Alex Unit with 9 Drawers $119 - a cheaper alternative to the Pottery Barn Bureau, slightly smaller and narrower in dimension, made of particle board instead of hardwood, but with more drawers. Ikea has four different units in the Alex series, giving you options for different widths and heights.



3. Ikea Helmer Drawer Unit on Casters $39.99 - a cute steel 6 drawer unit on wheels that comes in three different colors, red, silver and white. Small enough to slide under your desk. Check out the Ikea Workspace Rooms for ideas!



Also check out Ikea Bathrooms for other storage options.

To store longer items such as brushes, mascara tubes, eye liner and lipliner pencils, I've found that Stila Paint Cans work extremely well. The downside is that most are not for sale and I've been lucky enough to get some through friends. Some alternative storage units I've found include:

4. MUJI Acrylic Round Pen Pot - I originally found these in London when I went several years ago. They have an entire Acrylic Storage series with some great storage options. I love these for their high quality and sturdiness. Unfortunately, they are based in the UK with locations around the world outside of the US. At this time, it appears they are available in the US only in New York. Click here for locations. I do believe some of their sites ship to the US. I've been lucky enough to get these through friends who travel overseas and also through a few custom purchases!

5. MUJI Acrylic Case with 5 Rows $23.95 - MUJI does have a US online store, but the selection is limited and doesn't have all the same products as what they do have overseas. This is a cute 5-drawer acrylic storage unit - there are more variations and options with 2-drawers, small, large, and a unit with a flip-top lid as well. However most of the other options are on the UK website.

5. Crate & Barrel Storage Containers with Lids $4.95 and $5.95 - These are the closest items I could find in the US to those Muji Acrylic Pots. I found these are great for shorter brushes and pencils. The smaller ones are 3.5" in diameter by 3.75" high, while the larger ones run 4" in diameter by 5" high. Just remove the lids and they turn into the perfect storage container for your shorter items!

Coming next . . . actual storage photos!

* Promotional photos from Pottery Barn Online, Ikea.com, Crate & Barrel Online, MUJI Global, MUJI USA

Color Focus: Shimmery Brown Eyeliners

In addition to nudes, I'm also obsessed with shimmery brown and bronzey liners. Here's a series of shimmery brown eyeliners - yes, I know a lot of them look exactly the same . . . but what can I say, I get sucked in with every new bronzey color that comes out!

The products - pencils and gel liners:



Swatches on Laura Mercier Bamboo Beige Silk Creme Foundation to prime:

1. Clinique Cream Shaper for Eyes - Brown Sugar
2. Stila Kajal Eye Liner - Bronze
3. MAC Eye Kohl - Powersurge
4. MAC Splashproof PowerPoint Eye Pencil - Bountiful Brown
5. MAC Pearlglide Eye Liner - Spare Change
6. MAC Technakohl - Plank
7. MAC Eye Kohl - Teddy
8. Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Pencil - Underground
9. Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Pencil - Bourbon
10. Trish McEvoy Eye Definer - Sparkling Bronze
11. Chanel Precision Eye Definer- Brun Cuivre
12. Laura Mercier Kohl Eye Pencil - Brown Copper
13. Shu Uemura Drawing Pencil - 02 ME Brown
14. Le Metier de Beaute - Tamarack
15. Becca Line + Illuminate Pencil - Mustique
16. Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eye Liner - Bronze Shimmer
17. Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eye Liner - Chocolate Shimmer Ink
18. Stila Smudgepot - Bronze
19. Clinique Brush-On Cream Liner - Bronze

In natural sunlight:



With flash:



What are your favorites?
 

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