Monday, September 28, 2009

6 Hard-to-Find Brands Everyone Should Check Out

For those who are looking to try something new and unique here are 6 brands that I absolutely adore and feel that everyone should at least look into!

Accessibility for these non-mainstream brands is often a challenge for those who don't live in LA or NY or Japan - but thanks to the internet, there are tons of blogs and resources you can use to find out how to purchase these items. Here is a quick rundown of each brand with some useful links and a feature of my favorite item from each line.

1) Paul & Joe Beaute - I *adore* this line for the charming packaging, unique color selection and high quality. What's not to love? Check their website for locations. I've purchased my items from and Bergdorf Goodman in NY.

Two items I'm loving right now are Face Color #18 & Pearl Powder #3:

* The Beauty Look Book:
Paul & Joe Beaute: Absolutely Adorable!
More Paul & Joe Beauty: Eyeshadow, Face Color, Pearl Powder and Palettes
Fall 2009 Sneak Peak: Paul & Joe . . .
Paul & Joe Autumn 2009 Catalog
Paul & Joe Fall 2009 Mini Haul from Bergdorfs

* Big shout out to Haru at Rouge Deluxe who got me into Paul & Joe! Her blog has numerous articles, pictures and swatches of some gorgeous items.

* Yuki's Lazy Channel is a great blog with fabulous pictures


2) Edward Bess - Exclusive to and Bergdorf Goodman in New York, this line was created by a young entrepreneur Edward Bess. More info on his website. His collection seems to contain classic polished colors for the modern woman (think Charlize Theron or Jennifer Aniston) I have more products coming in the mail so stay tuned for more info! I have fallen hard for Intimate Eyeshadow - a gorgeous pigmented taupe eyeshadow.

In natural sunlight:

Swatch with flash:

* The Beauty Look Book: First Look at Edward Bess: Naturally Chic

* The Non-Blonde:
Edward Bess Lipstick and Lipgloss
New Edward Bess Lipstick and Lipgloss

* Blogdorfgoodman:
Let Me Introduce You To Mr Edward Bess . . .
Isn't it romantic? ... New Lipsticks and glosses from Edward Bess

* The Beauty Alchemist:
Edward Bess Lipstick


3) Le Metier de Beaute - Available in the US at select Neiman Marcus Locations, Bergdorf Goodman, a few private salons and Fred Segal Beauty in Santa Monica. The products are fairly expensive, but I believe the eyeshadows and lipglosses are worth every penny (your mileage may vary on the other products).

My favorites right now: (Top to Bottom) Vanilla Rose Lip Creme, Cafe Creme Lip Creme, Dubai Sheer Brilliance Gloss, Jojo Eyeshadow

Gloss swatches: (L to R) Vanilla Rose, Cafe Creme, Dubai

Jojo swatch:

* Makeup & Beauty Blog: Ever Heard of Le Metier de Beaute?

* The Beauty Look Book:
Color Focus: Coppery Bronze
Neiman Marcus Event: Camp Gorgeous
Le Metier de Beaute: Feature on Lips
Le Metier de Beaute Nail Lacquers
Le Metier de Beaute: Eyes & Cheeks

* Check out product reviews at The Non-Blonde (Le Metier Tags Linked)


4) Rescue Beauty Lounge - This line is well known to nail fanatics. To others who aren't so familiar with nail products, Rescue Beauty is based out of NY and makes some of the best nail polishes and boasts a stunning range of colors that will suit just about anyone. I've purchased mine from and I'm currently loving Ani (picture in link below) which is the most beautiful neutral beigey-gold-with-pink shimmer I've ever seen.

* From The Beauty Look Book: Rescue Beauty Lounge
* All Lacquered Up has 18 articles to date
* Scrangie has 22 features
* The Polish Addict has awesome product swatches
* Steph's Closet is another great resource


5) Dolce & Gabbana Makeup - One of the newest brands in the US, the first release was at the Saks Fifth Avenue in New York store this past May and then recently at the Beverly Hills location. I've had great experiences with both stores - the reps are very knowledgeable about the product line and excellent in recommending colors based on my preferences.

The line is available for sale online at and you can see swatches at although you cannot purchase them at D& The price points are pretty high - and I think most of the products are overpriced but I am still very happy with the colors and quality of products I have. Stay tuned for reviews of lipglosses and the new fall blush.

My current favorite is their Eyeshadow Quad in Contrasts. Close Up with Flash:

In natural sunlight:

* Other links from The Beauty Look Book:
First Look: Dolce & Gabbana Makeup
Second Round of Dolce & Gabbana Makeup from Saks NY
Third Round of Dolce & Gabbana Makeup
Dolce & Gabbana Orange Lipstick Comparisons
Dolce & Gabbana Naked Lipstick Comparisons

* Makeup and Beauty Blog:
Dolce & Gabbana Makeup: Say Hello to Luxury Lip Lust
Dolce & Gabbana The Make Up: Fall 2009 Romantic Collection
I Spy Dolce & Gabbana Nail Lacquer in Midnight
Dolce & Gabbana Smooth Eye Colour Quad

* Blogdorf Goodman:
Pat McGrath and Dolce & Gabbana Makeup at Saks Fifth Avenue

* Steph's Closet:
Dolce & Gabbana Nail Lacquer: Stromboli

Pat McGrath: Makeup Tricks & Dolce & Gabbana


6) Becca Cosmetics - This line was founded by Australian makeup artist Rebecca Morrice Williams who is well known for her extensive range of foundation and concealer shades. The line was previously available at select boutiques, Nordstroms, Sephoras and Neiman Marcus locations - but have been pulled out of these big retailers over the past few years. Your best bet to find this line is online or through specialty boutiques listed on Two standouts are her shimmer powders in Mermaid and Princess and I adore her gorgeous makeup looks.

I don't have any featured posts on the line yet, but plan to write some in the near future.

Princess (pink) & Mermaid (beige shimmer) - FYI the large containers are no longer sold, they come in smaller containers right now:

These don't do the products justice and partly why I don't do swatches:

If you have tried any brands - please share with me your favorite products! Are there any non-mainstream brands you love? Let me know, I'm always looking for more to lust after :)

MUJI Acrylic 5 Row Case for Lipgloss Storage

Ever since I discovered the store in London, I've become a huge fan of Muji's Acrylic products which are extremely sturdy with a simple and clean design. I can be a bit picky with acrylic products because the quality can be sub par, but Muji does not disappoint so I feel the price is worth it! I recently purchased a couple Acrylic Drawer units from the Muji US Online store and they work perfectly for my lipgloss storage!

Single 5-Drawer Unit with Le Metier, Cle de Peau, Laura Mercier, Chantecaille, Dior and MAC Lipglosses:

Two units side by side:

Close ups with drawers open:

This purchase was inspired by Voce Magazine & Rouge Deluxe's Blog. Check out her blog to see other storage options for these units with MAC and Paul & Joe goodies galore!

For other Storage Solutions, check out these links:

Makeup Organization & Storage Options Part 1
Makeup Organization & Storage Options Part 2

Sunday, September 27, 2009

I *HEART* MAC Baby Goth Girl

Purple seems to be popular this fall and there are quite a few vampy purples that have been released (or repromoted) this season. I did a feature back in July, Color Focus: Dark Vampy Polish with some of the vampy shades I have and a swatch/review on Nars Tokaido Express as well.

I just added MAC's Baby Goth Girl from the Style Black release to my own personal collection and love it! Although it looks similar to my other vampy shades in natural light, I found it different enough in the undertone and sparkle to make my heart skip a beat when I put it on. Here are some comparisons to other purple shades.

Left to right: Nars Tokaido Express, Chanel Vendetta, Chanel Feu de Russie, MAC Baby Goth Girl, OPI Black Cherry Chutney

Three coats each shade:

Thumb = OPI Black Cherry Chutney
Index Finger = MAC Baby Goth Girl
Middle Finger = Chanel Feu de Russie
Ring Finger = Chanel Vendetta
Pinkie = Nars Tokaido Express

Same order as above, different view:

Close up swatches of Chanel Vendetta, Chanel Feu de Russie, MAC Baby Goth Girl

Swatches in natural light, same order as above:

Thumb = OPI Black Cherry Chutney
Index Finger = MAC Baby Goth Girl
Middle Finger = Chanel Feu de Russie
Ring Finger = Chanel Vendetta
Pinkie = Nars Tokaido Express

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Chanel Holiday 2009 Glossimer Duo: Les Deux Levres Scintillantes

US girls who have been eyeing or wishing for that elusive Euro/Canada Praline Glossimer - you are in luck because it is one of the glosses in the Chanel holiday sets! I went back to check on a few things and found out more details about this set which has:
* Glossimers in Spark & Praline (not Giggle like the SA had assumed and told me)
* Mini Nude Lipliner
* Retails for $50 (US)

The three sets I have seen were spotted at two local Nordstroms in Southern California but I have not seen the product is not yet online. As of yesterday, no spottings of the Noirs Obscurs or the Paris-New York Palette although I have seen the palette pop up online at a few places.

Close up of Spark (red gloss), Praline (nude pink gloss), and Nude Lipliner:

Praline comparisons:

Left to right: Chanel Giggle Glossimer, Chanel Praline #46 Glossimer, Chanel Bel Air #147 Glossimer, Chanel Glass Quartz Aqualumiere Gloss #69, Laura Mercier Blush, Laura Mercier Rose Flush, Bobbi Brown Pink Beige, MAC Full on Lust

Same order, different view:

Same order for swatches:

For the Chanel Glossimers, Giggle is the most nude, Bel Air is the most pink, Praline has slight brownish tones compared to both. Check out some more natural pink lipgloss swatch comparisons here Nordstrom Beauty Exclusives Haul Part 1.

I have a few reddish glosses but will have to dig them up. Check back for this post to be updated shortly.

My Brow Products & Swatches

This is a follow up on my Shu Uemura haul from last week to compare Seal Brown with my other brow products. I have dark brown/black hair with red highlights - but you can only see the reddish/brown if I am wearing a black shirt or if I'm in the sun, so just consider my hair black.

Brow products are usually too harsh, ashy or reddish for my hair color. I've been matched with all these shades from various makeovers and I am surprised that they all work, however Seal Brown works the best. It looks really light in the pot/swatch, but works really well for a soft natural dark brow.

Here it is compared to Laura Mercier Soft, Chanel Blonde & Chanel Soft Brown with different views/backgrounds and then swatches.

* Note that Bobbi Brown Mahogany Ink is a gel liner, not a brow product, it's simply swatched so you can gauge how soft the other brow product colors are.

Friday, September 25, 2009

First Look at the Chanel Holiday 2009 Gift Sets: Trio Exclusif de Vernis

I was surprised to see three different holiday sets out at my local Chanel counter at Nordstrom yesterday when the Noirs Obscurs collection hadn't even arrived yet.

I saw three different sets, although I am not sure if these are the only sets coming out:
* Mini Brush Set $125 for 6 brushes, large face, small blush, eyeshadow, angled brow and a few others
* Lips Set $50 with Praline & Spark Glossimers and a mini Nude Lipliner
* Nail Colour Trio $65 with Allegoria, Tulip Noire (repromote) and Trapeze

I immediately snagged the Nail Set which contains my holy grail plummy-gold nail polish Tulip Noire and the new Trapeze nail polish that is coming out this holiday individually.

Antilope (from Spring 2008) versus Trapeze (holiday 2009): they are very similar, the only difference is Antilope is more frosty and has a slight gold base where Trapeze is a bit darker and more pewter/taupe/silver-cool

Golden Sand, Antilope, Trapeze:

Trapeze Nail Polish, as seen in the October 2009 Issue of Elle, page 275 "Face Time by April Long" - Philips says of Chanel Le Vernis Nail Colour in Trapeze "it's an accessory you can wear with everything."

For some more tidbits of information on the upcoming holiday collections from Chanel, check out these awesome resources:

Makeup4All - Golden Cage Makeup Collection by Chanel, Holiday 2009 - Chanel Holiday Beauty Guide 2009
A Blogger that falls in love with Makeup - Holiday '09 - '10, Chanel Birds of Paradise

Color Focus: Deep Purple Eye Shadows

I love the smokey eye looks that come out for fall but until recently, it seems like most all the lines usually release the typical variations of black and grey for their "smokey look." I am not one who can pull of black eyeshadow or eyeliner easily because it's often too harsh or ends up looking blueish on my skin. I have to opt for other deep colors and did a series on Smokey Eye Variations back in June and am so excited that lines are now releasing collections with a "black/smokey" theme that include colors other than just black or grey.

I just discovered 2 new deep purple shimmery eyeshadows from MAC and Dior and thought I'd pull out some of my favorite deep purples to compare.

1. Dior Ultra-Smooth High Impact Eyeshadow in #186 Ultra Violet
2. MAC Mineralize Eyeshadow in Young Punk
3. Laura Mercier Sateen Eyeshadow in Kir Royal
4. MAC Fertile Eyeshadow
5. Giorgio Armani Maestro #18
6. Bobbi Brown Metallic Eyeshadow in After Hours
7. Stila Poise

A few other pictures of smokey purples:

1. Bobbi Brown Metallic in After Hours
2. Chanel Magic Night
3. MAC Smut
4. MAC Deep Purple Pigment (Pro)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

First Look at Edward Bess: Naturally Chic

What came in the mail from Bergdorf Goodman:

* Ultra Luminous Eyeshadows in Intimate & Dusk
* Ultra Slick Lipstick in Pure Impulse
* Deep Shine Lip Gloss in Soft Whisper

Left is Intimate: which is a gorgeous light neutral nude taupe with just the slightest hint of shimmer
Right is Dusk: which is a deeper taupe grey with slight khaki/coffee tones

Left is Pure Impulse, Right is Soft Whisper: both are gorgeous nudes and I can't wait to try them (huge thanks to the makeup artist at BG who recommended these two)

I haven't tried the products yet on the face but I've swiped a few to play around a bit and I'm extremely pleased with the natural but high pigmented colors. I will definitely be exploring the line some more in the near future.

Nars Pleasure of Paris Eyeshadow Palette

This is the newest palette from Nars which is currently a Saks Exclusive in the US and available to The palette was sold out on the Nars website for a couple weeks, so I called the Saks Locator to track one down from store stock and had them order it for me. I did speak with Nars Customer Service a couple weeks ago and they said they were expecting another shipment of this palette by today. So check back online shortly!

Top Row: Nepal, Violetta, Demon Lover
Bottom Row: Fez, Abyssinia, Cordura

I don't have a lot of purples in my eyeshadow stash, so these comparison photos aren't necessarily dupes, but comparisons.

1. Laura Mercier Primrose
2. MAC Seedy Pearl
3. Nars Charade Duo (darker side)
4. Trish McEvoy Haze
5. MAC Fertile
6. MAC Blackberry
7. Laura Mercier Bordeaux (old version)
8. MAC Velour (discontinued)
9. MAC Shroom
10. Chanel Lotus
11. MAC Bronze
12. Chantecaille Jasper
13. Trish McEvoy Rose Quartz

See my other Nars Palettes, Nars Best, Modern Love, and Essential Eyes here: Nars Palettes = Pure Love

Paul & Joe Fall 2009 Mini Haul from Bergdorfs

You've seen my previous posts about the previews of the Paul & Joe items and now part of the collection is finally here! I took advantage of the recent Bergdorf Goodman event and ordered some of the new Fall 2009 Face Colors and Eyeshadow Duo from Paul & Joe. This is what arrived:

* Color Powder CS (Duo) #061 Verite
* Face Color #15 Re-Belle
* Face Color #16 Canyon
* Face Color #17 Sundown
* Face Color #18 Risque

#061 Eyeshadow Duo:

New Face Colors #15 to #18:

All my Paul & Joe Face Colors:

Paul & Joe #15 compared to Le Metier Whisper:

Paul & Joe #16 compared to MAC Moon River:

Paul & Joe #17 compared to MAC Fun & Games and Giorgio Armani #2:

Paul & Joe #18 compared to MAC Stark Naked and MAC Pinkerpeach/Trustfund:


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