Thursday, December 31, 2009

MAC Dupes: Can You ID These MAC Colors Or Tell the Difference?

I don't write much about MAC because I find that since there are so many MAC experts out there, I don't feel like I would be contributing much by writing about the line. But I actually do like MAC products quite a bit. To me, they are definitely the most fashion-forward with trends and I love that they have such a wide range of colors, textures and finishes for all their products. Because there are so many colors, I think that just about anyone can find something they like.

One of the things I'm not crazy about though is their frequent discontinuation of colors to make room for new ones, but if your favorite product has been discontinued, there are chances it may be re-promoted with a new collection or that a very similar color will be released under a different product name.

All the products above are different colors, and while they aren't 100% the same, they are so close that once you apply them on the skin, you can barely tell the difference. Can you ID these or tell the difference?
  1. Pink Swoon Sheertone Blush
  2. Pink Glow Matte Blush (discontinued around 2007)
  3. Dark Edge Satin Eyeshadow (LE with N Collection, January 2008)
  4. Rummy Satin Eyeshadow (LE with D'Bohemia, May 2005)
  5. Bendel Girl Lipglass (Henri Bendel exclusive in September 2007)
  6. Light That Fire Lipglass (LE with Warm & Cozy 2009 Collection)
  7. Sugarshot Lustre Eyeshadow (LE with Sugarsweet, March 2009)
  8. Light Ray Lustre Eyeshadow (LE with Turquatic, July 2006)
  9. Cherry Blossom Lipglass (LE with Cult of Cherry, August 2008)
  10. Cultureclash Lipglass (LE with Electroflash, July 2008, will be re-promoted in Feb 2010)
  11. Trifle Lipglass (LE with Antiquitease, October 2007)
  12. Tongue-in-chic Lacquer (discontinued, unsure of date)
  13. Flash of Flesh Lipglass (LE with D'Bohemia, May 2005)
  14. Bare Necessity Dazzleglass
  15. Camel Eyeshadow (discontinued in 2000?)
  16. Modelette Eyeshadow (released with MAC Warm & Cozy 2009)

My New Years Resolution is to use up more and buy less (we'll see how well that actually goes). All of these from my stash are still good, I normally don't throw out things according to the standard expiration dates.

That being said, it still doesn't stop me from wanting MAC to repromote Maroon pigment, Brass Pigment, Coco Pigment, Pleasureflush MSF, Shrimplette Lipstick, Sharp Beige Lipstick, Fringe Eyeshadow, Heavenly Bliss Eyeshadow, Camel Eyeshadow, those cute Diana Ross pink makeup brushes and a bunch of their original blushes that they discontinued. The closest thing I've found to MAC Camel is the new Modelette Eyeshadow, but it's still a tad bit different. Close enough for me to be happy right now though.

I wish MAC would do an "Originals" collection every year and repromote discontinued products from the past as a collection.

Have you found any MAC dupes?

Mani/Pedi for NYE: Rescue Beauty Lounge Ani & Black Russian

Happy New Years Eve to everyone!
Ani (left, manicure) & Black Russian (right, pedicure)

WARNING: Don't scroll down if toe-pictures make you queasy!

Want to know how Ani compares to Pink Shimmer from Christmas Eve? Ani (left) is more beige and Pink Shimmer (right) is whiter and paler.

Please excuse the messy looking toes!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Giorgio Armani Spring 2010: Nude Contrasts

My Armani guy at Saks called me to tell me they got the spring collection in so I rushed over to check it all out. It was all very soft, light, airy and spring-y, reminds me of something a fairy would wear. Very pretty, sparkly and eye-catching! They didn't have testers yet, but they let me play with the eyeshadow palettes since lately they haven't been sent testers until a few weeks after they receive shipment of the product to sell.

The collection consists of:

* 2 new Silk Lipsticks: #98 is a pale pink shimmer, #99 is a neutral-warm pinky rose (similar to Nars DV but warmer)

* 3 new Lipshimmers: #62 is a pale buttermilk-cream color, #63 is a sparkley beige, #64 is a shimmery pale pink with a hint of peach

* 2 new Nude Contrasts Palette (4 Eye Designing Colors): # 1 has a pale iridescent baby blue, golden sand, matte black, pale sparkly ivory, #2 has a light golden nude sparkle, shimmery soft pink, matte black, and pale warm cream shimmer

* 1 new Eyeliner (didn't catch the actual name): 01 is a pure black

* Shimmer Powder 5: repromoted from holiday, a sheer pale sparkle powder (very very sheer)

So far, I believe only the eyeshadow palettes are available online at Giorgio Armani. I'm not sure when the rest of the collection will be up online though.

A couple spring previews from the February 2010 issues of Voce & Maquia for more views:

The haul: Nude Contrast Palettes 1 (left), 2 (right), Silk 98 Lipstick,
Lipshimmer 63 (top), Lipshimmer 64 (bottom)

Close Up of Nude Contrasts 1 & 2

Swatch of #1

Swatch of #2

Lipshimmers & Silk Lipstick

Swatches on bare skin, L to R: Lipshimmer 63, 64, Silk Lipstick 98

Here's a look from Biteki, while I can't read Japanese, it indicates the MAC Lipglass is 2N, so I'm assuming the lipstick is also from MAC Warm & Cozy collection. Please note my camera washed out the color on her face, so it looks like she is barely wearing anything - I did the best I could, but hopefully it will give you an idea of how to coordinate the #1 palette. Can anyone translate?

Overall thoughts: The shadows are surprisingly pigmented for lighter shades and they are more sparkly than most Armani shadows which typically have finely milled shimmer. The swatches make the colors all look similar, but in real life they are more contrasted with each other. I think these will make a really pretty neutral eye that will go with a lot of different shades.

The lipshimmers are pretty, #64 is the frostiest gloss I've ever seen from Armani, but still lovely. It reminds me of MAC Prrr & Bobbi Brown Pink Sugar though, so if you don't have access to Armani or want to shell out $$$ for the gloss, you can definitely find cheaper alternatives.

Silk 98 is pretty, it's a more pink version of MAC Plink! but still on the sheer side. I might go back for 99 at some point because it looked like a pretty rosey pink without shimmer.

Monday, December 28, 2009

What's Your Definition of "Nude"?

I love the theme of nude-colored makeup for everything ranging from eyeshadows, lipsticks, and glosses but find it amazing how many different interpretations there are of this word "nude." I personally associate nude with something the color of one's natural skin, but with so many different skintones how does one define "nude"? Is there such a thing as a universally flattering "nude" lipstick or blush?

Take for example the following products that have the name "nude" - all of which are very different and not entirely flesh or skin colored.

Blushes (clockwise from top left):
Bobbi Brown Nude Shimmerbrick,
Dolce & Gabbana Nude, Chanel Nude

Eyeshadows (clockwise from top left):
Dior Nude Look 565, Dior Nude Look 365,
Bobbi Brown Nude Eyeshadow, Dolce & Gabbana Nude,
Edward Bess Nude, MAC Nude (d/c), Stila Nude

Lips (left to right): Dolce & Gabbana Nude Lipgloss, YSL #1 Pure Nude, Trish McEvoy Sexy Nude Beauty Booster, Bobbi Brown Stonewashed Nude, Bobbi Brown Nude, Bobbi Brown Nude Glitter, Chanel Nude Rouge Allure, Laura Mercier Nude Lips (sheer), MAC Creme D'Nude, Laura Mercier Barely Nude

Do any of these nudes work to give you a true "nude" eye, cheek or lip? I am still on my neverending quest for the perfect flattering nude blush and lip combo. I find my definition of nude is quite diverse as there are brownish nudes, pale nudes, golden nudes, beige nudes, pink nudes, peachy nudes etc. My holy grail nude eyeshadow is MAC Camel which has long been discontinued.

Tell me your skintone and what your favorite nudes are (nude-colors that is, not necessarily products with the name "nude" in them)!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Where Do You Get Your Beauty Inspiration?

I absolutely loved reading each of your comments for the post Why Do You Love Makeup & What Do You Look For in a Brand! It was fun for me to read and gave me a bit of insight into your style and personality. Thank you!

Thanks to those who filled out my mini-survey on your beauty habits from a few days ago. Your responses indicated that 38% of you looked to blogs for beauty trends while 31% of you looked to magazines/publications for beauty trends the most. This was of particular interest to me because of a few recent conversations I've had about where women look for beauty inspiration and how the internet has changed the way women view fashion.

I have read beauty and fashion magazines for about a decade now and while I love the articles and layout, I have to say these days, I find most of them lacking in inspiration for someone like myself. As a woman in my late 20's I find that I end up finding only about 10-15% of the content in these major publications interesting or something that I would actually wear that is at a reasonable price.

One of my favorite magazines has a monthly feature titled "Smart Shopping: Under $500" which I find a bit ridiculous since to me "smart shopping" is not something under $500 and I have yet to see some fashion or accessory in that series that makes me go "oooh, want!" Perhaps I am just reading the publications that target a different demographic.

I used to rush to flip open to the beauty sections of these magazines - I loved the different looks or up close features from the runway and how-to's. Today, it seems like most publications are mainly advertisements and I question the validity of editor comments like "we were blown away by this product . . . " as I wonder is this product really all that or was there something extra paid for this product placement/feature?

So why do I keep shelling out money for these month after month? I have no idea. How many times have I bought an issue only to feel, "ugh, what a waste of $5" after flipping through 100 pages of product advertisements?

I've been told that print is dying. It seems that everything is moving towards a digital trend where we can get more information faster through the Internet. I find it amazing how blogs and YouTube have exploded because it allows so many people to express themselves creatively and share it with everyone and anyone.

Since we can get information faster and sooner, why pay $5 for a publication when you can get the same information (or more) on the Internet for free?

So - my fellow readers, tell me more about where do you get your beauty inspiration from.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Estée Lauder Michael Kors Very Hollywood Collection Spring 2010

This spring Michael Kors has designed a collection for Estée Lauder "Inspired by iconic Hollywood glamour for everyday life." I've been looking forward to the release ever since preview pictures were posted on back in early November which featured a fresh and modern looking collection. I was excited to see that Nordstrom put out their tester unit a few days ago. The collection is divided into two categories: beige/peach and pink/rose.

What I picked up:

* Blushes in Sunset Coral (a soft healthy coral) & Sunset Pink (a vibrant powdery pink)
* Eyeshadow Duo Blonde Mink (dusty beige shimmer and dusty-brown)
* Lip Gloss in Starlet Rose (pale light cream) & Starlet Peach (soft milky baby peach)
* Lip Sheen in Hollywood Gold (pale beige-gold), Starlet Peach (soft coral peach), Honey Blonde (medium beige shimmer)
* Shimmering Loose Powder (a soft medium pink shimmer powder)

L to R: Sunset Coral & Sunset Pink

Sunset Coral Blush

Sunset Pink Blush

Blonde Mink

L to R: Blonde Mink Eyeshadow Duo,
Starlet Peach Lipgloss, Starlet Rose Lipgloss

L to R: Starlet Peach Lipgloss, Starlet Rose Lipgloss,
Hollywood Gold Lip Sheen, Starlet Peach Lip Sheen, Honey Blonde Lip Sheen

Loose Shimmer Powder

Beige packaging & cute coral boxes

Overall thoughts: I think the colors are great for a fresh and simplistic look. Standouts for me are the lip sheens which are a semi-sheer creamy lipstick. I picked out the most natural beige and peach colors for the lip sheens (there were 2 other colors, a powder pink and bright rose). Most of the lipglosses seemed on the sheer side and have that distinct EL gloss scent (which I'm not sure my nose will be able to stand). The blushes are nice for a healthy glow.

Overall, stunning for Estee Lauder, and definitely great for everyday and extremely wearable, but the colors seem pretty dupeable. In the near future, I will need to think over my purchases more carefully before being sucked in by pushy sales associates. However, the colors are well coordinated and the nude lipsticks are very flattering and wearable where I find most other brand's "nudes" and "beiges" look like death on my face.

Very pretty and suitable for spring. I think it will be flattering for all ages.

Clinique Juiced Up for Spring 2010 = Simply Irresistible

I normally don't use a lot of products from Clinique with the exception of 3 staples I purchase repeatedly (Rinse-Off Foaming Cleanser, High Impact Mascara and Sparkle Skin Body Exfoliator) but I couldn't resist the charming designs of the Spring 2010 Juiced Up collection. I like Clinique because of their cute advertising and also because of their generous Gift With Purchase events. I find these to be a great incentive for me to try new things from the line every now and then simply because I leave feeling like I got my money's worth with all the free goodies they send me home with.

I picked up two items:

* All Over Face Color in Mixed Berries - This comes in an embossed cherry print powder with three variations of pink. The finish is shimmery but not overly frosty, swirled together, you get a very soft luminous pink blush.

* Eyeshadow in Fresh Picked Berry - There were two different eyeshadow choices, I picked up Fresh Picked Berry which has a cool pale pink shimmer and a warm coppery brown. The colors seem pretty dupeable, but I could NOT RESIST that cute cherry design!

Both are on the sheer side like most of the eyeshadows and blushes I've tried from the line. They didn't swatch so well on my skin when I tried to take photos. If you like Clinique, you will like the new items because they are consistent with the other products in the line. If you prefer colors that show up more visibly on the skin these probably won't be for you. The two items I got are very wearable and natural, so I think they are worth checking out even if you're not a Clinique fan.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Rescue Beauty Lounge Pink Shimmer Nail Polish

Happy Christmas Eve to everyone! I wish everyone a great holiday full of good health and happiness.

I jumped on the bandwagon for the Rescue Beauty Lounge sale and added quite a few new shades to my mini collection of Killa Red, Cherry Love, Ani, and Leila. I got a manicure for tonight's Christmas Eve dinner with my family with Pink Shimmer from RBL, here are the pictures (3 coats):

Most of the RBL nail polishes I've tried are great for their color, pigment and texture. The Pink Shimmer is quite a bit sheerer than most of the other colors, it barely showed up with 2 coats, so I asked the girls to add one more coat at the salon. The color comes out to be a really pale light pink pearl. I like that it's not frosty and that the shimmer is subtle, but it's not the most unique color and seems easily dupable.

I like lighter colors for my fingers (darker ones for the toes) so this works great for me. I'm thrilled to have been able to get some at 50% off. I hope they do this sale again soon! There were quite a few shades I didn't get that I wish I had now.

With flash:

In natural sunlight:

More swatches and photos of the other shades to come in the next week once my manicure wears off.

Hope everyone has a great holiday!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Why Do You Love Makeup & What Do You Look For in a Brand?

I want to get to know more about my readers so I thought it would be fun to ask why you love makeup & what you look for in a brand. My love for high-priced beauty products is a constant mystery to my husband as he has asked me on several occasions "how many makeup brushes does a girl need?" To that, I cannot give an definite answer, I only know that I have accumulated way too many and that it didn't happen overnight.

I'd also love to hear what you look for in a brand. Are you brand loyal? Or is there something else you look for in buying beauty products? As consumers, we are constantly bombarded with advertising coming at us from all angles. With the millions of products out there promising us luminous skin, luscious full lips, dramatic eyes and silky hair - how do you sort through all the information to decide what to buy and try out? Sometimes it's easier to just stick with a few familiar brands because you know you can rely on them for consistency.

Here are my answers:

1) Why Do I Love Makeup? I can't exactly explain why I love makeup so much, but for me it's fun, addictive, pretty and I have little willpower to resist a sparkly eyeshadow, light pink lipstick, or soft fluffy eyeshadow brush. I like makeup because it makes me feel like a better version of myself when I have even skintone from a bit of foundation and powder. Part of it is that it makes me feel better about the areas I am insecure about, while it doesn't cure a bad mood or depression all the time, it usually makes me feel better when I at least feel that I look good.

2) What Do I Look For in a Brand? This is a bit more complicated for me. There are a lot of things I look for in a brand. I'm not the type to be loyal to one brand, although there are definitely brands I feel like I can rely on for consistency and quality. I like products that give a classic timeless look, but I also like new things. So what else do I look for?
  • High quality, good pigment, nice textures at a decent price
  • Natural wearable feminine colors but I love unique shades too
  • Packaging needs to be sturdy, design needs to be cute or classic or simple
  • Decent incentives (GWPs or samples) to show appreciation for business
  • Products that are timeless and classic, but modern and new at the same time
Last but definitely not least, I think the whole experience of buying something makes or breaks a brand. There have been a few brands I have fallen completely in love with because of the GREAT customer service I have received. Likewise, there have been a couple occasions with some brands that have totally killed my desire to try any more products or shop at a particular store.

Am I too demanding as a customer? After all, how much can companies innovate? Can they keep bringing us new things that fit our needs/wants/likes? Many times I feel like certain brands repeatedly release the same types of colors year after year - but perhaps that just means I have maxed out on my product capacity and should focus on using things up rather than focus on looking for new things.

3) What are my top favorite brands? I have to admit this has changed over the years and is still changing.
  • In my early 20's it was Stila, Nars, Trish and Bobbi Brown.
  • In my mid 20's it was Chanel, MAC, Dior and Armani.
  • I'm now in my late 20's and today, my list of favorite brands has expanded to include a wider variety Chanel, Armani, Bobbi Brown, Paul & Joe, Edward Bess, Dolce & Gabbana.
So, beauty addicts unite! I'd love to hear your reasons for why you love makeup and about your favorite brands.

Holiday Haulings from The Primping Parleur

Just wanted to remind all my readers that you can still get 20% off your online order from The Primping Parleur until the end of the month! Just enter the code BEAUTYLOOKBOOKBLOG at the checkout. Check out my original post HERE for more details and information.

Anyone who already ordered, what did you end up getting with the promotional code? I'd love to hear what you bought! I got quite a few presents for my girlfriends - they are all packed up and wrapped right now, but for myself, I got:
  • Paul & Joe Eyeshadow Harvest Moon 95 (waves to Joeybunny for convincing me!)
  • Becca Lip Tints Yasmina (nude-mauve on the left) & Estella (warm but pale nude on the right)
  • Kevyn Aucoin The Celestial Powder in Candlelight

P&J Harvest Moon 95 Eyeshadow is a neutral plum-nude with shimmer. I think it will make a good natural contouring shade. The Kevyn Aucoin Candlelight Shimmer Powder is a soft champagne shimmer powder that gives a nice candlelight-like-glow, I used this on my eyes all over the lid which gave a nice glowy effect, but the color just didn't seem all that unique. The Becca Lip Tints are both sheer but very wearable nudes for my pigmented lips. I think I need to try more of these.

Love from London for Edward Bess

Grace London from London Makeup Girl brings you her take on Edward Bess cosmetics. Her blog is one I follow regularly because she features those unique brands - many of which I hope I can try out someday!

Tell us about yourself: London is where I work (and shop.) My beauty interests lie mostly with the smaller, independent lines (Mr London jokes that the best way to describe my taste in anything is 'esoteric'.) My beauty style is classic with a twist. I like taupe eyes, and red or rosy lips.

For our reference, what's your skintone and hair coloring? My skintone is a pale cool olive (I'm about MAC 20 depth, although NW is too pink and NC too yellow.) My hair is a dark chestnut, and I have brown eyes.

How did you find out about Edward Bess? I first read about the Lip Wardrobe in Allure. When the products started to be sold separately a couple of the ladies that I know on bought some, and one of my makeup twins there told me I needed to try the eyeshadows (and then enabled the purchase for me across the pond.)

What do you love best about Edward Bess? The excellent quality and textures of the products. The eye products are just fabulous neutrals; they're wearable and classic without being dull or muddy.

Top favorite products/colors? Dusk and Intimate eyeshadows, and Midnight Bloom lipstick. Dusk and Intimate are the perfect neutral shadows to wear with a red lip (a khaki taupe and a beige with very subtle green/pink shimmer respectively), and Midnight Bloom is a lovely cherry red (pictured below).

Is there anything that didn't quite work for you? Night Orchid lipstick is hard work for me to wear. I picked it because at the time it was the only pink lipstick in the range, but it is a little bit brighter than I feel comfy in. I have one of the three new lipsticks on the way to me (Tender Love) and I'm really looking forward to trying this; I think the line has been crying out for some rosy/plum lipshades.

What are your other favorite beauty brands and or products? Other brands I love include: Julie Hewett, Beaute, Kevyn Aucoin, Rouge Bunny Rouge, RMS Beauty, Lipstick Queen.

Anything else you'd like to mention? Please come to London, Edward. Your products would be perfect in Liberty or Fenwick, and I wouldn't have to rely on the kindness of US friends to get hold of them!

What Were Your Beauty Habits for 2009?

Thought it might be fun to do an anonymous survey of your beauty habits for this past year! What do you think the trends are for beauty aficionadas like us?

Monday, December 21, 2009

Bobbi Brown Brightening Lip Gloss

I was browsing Nordstrom yesterday and was surprised to see that Bobbi Brown and Clinique had already put up their spring collection tester units. The newest collection for Spring 2010 is her Face Lift Collection which includes 2 new brightening lipglosses, new brow pencils, a new eye cream, 2 eyeshadows, and a twist-click pen eye brightener. The collection also includes 2 repromoted pot rouges.

I ended up getting the Popsicle (brighter pink) & Nectar (pink-peach) Brightening Lipglosses. Here they are photographed with the rest of the Brightening Lipglosses:

Swatches in the same order. BEFORE you write these off as being too sheer, I want to reiterate to you that my swatches aren't capable of capturing the true glowiness or pigment. While these are sheer, they aren't completely transparent like these swatches make them seem. I highly recommend you check these out in person before making up your mind.

L to R: Pink, White, Peach, Pink Lilac, Popsicle, Nectar

L to R: Pink, White, Peach, Pink Lilac, Popsicle, Nectar

Bobbi Brown's Brightening Lipglosses are a sheer version of her regular lipglosses with the slightest hint of shimmer/sheen to them. They are supposed to be infused with "brightening pearls" which create a fuller-lip look. I already have full lips, so I can't really say if these truely make my lips fuller, but I can say I like these over any cream or shimmer lipstick. Many times I have a cream lipstick on that needs just the slightest bit of moisture to it b/c by itself it looks too dry - I avoid adding clear lipglosses because most times it looks too shiny and adding a bit of lipbalm makes it wear off faster. These are good because they enhance your lips while adding a bit of color and they aren't too frosty or too flat.

I'm not the biggest fan of that bristle brush she has in these tubes, but I'm happy with the formula, scent and the fact that these tiny tubes seem to last FOREVER. For me, her lipglosses are also the longest lasting glosses. They do tend to be a bit tacky/sticky, but the finish is pretty so I don't really mind.

I passed on the rest of the spring collection, although I might go back for the Caviar Eyeshadow which was released in her last Nudes eyeshadow palette - it's the perfect matte black for me because it doesn't look grey or blueish on my skin like most blacks do.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

All-In-One Convenience with Chanel Quadra Eye Shadows

Per reader request, I've photographed the new Kaska Beige Eyeshadow Quad next to Demure and Winter Nights for comparison and decided to photograph my entire collection of Chanel quads.

For me, nothing compares to the color palette of Chanel - I usually find that all the shades in each quad coordinate well with each other for a base, crease, liner and highlight. (Exceptions are with the lumieres quads Oasis and Plein Soleil which have a slightly different texture and are more for highlight/contour.) The colors in each quad work perfectly for an all-in-one palette which I find rare in most other pre-made quads. The pigment ranges from medium-light to medium, I like to apply the darker shades with a slightly damp brush. If you like super rich pigment, then these might not be the best option for you. I find Dior Iridescent Quints to be more pigmented, but they have similar intensity to the regular Dior Quints. All of these are the US versions, unfortunately most have been limited edition or discontinued - but check your local Chanel counters, they often still carry some of the older colors until stock sells out. On occasion they will repromote some of the palettes.

Top: 85 Demure, 18 Kaska Beige, 14 Mystic Eyes
Bottom: Dunes, Planetes, 13 Beiges de Chanel

Top: 81 Shimmering Dunes, Spices, 25 Variations
Bottom: Nymphea, 517 Oasis, 527 Plein Soleil

Top: Fascination, Dreams, Golden Eyes
Bottom: Songes, Influences, Winter Nights

Top: 94 Reflets D'Ombre, 16 Murano, Nebuleuses
Bottom: 95 Sparkling Satins, Allegories, Les Divine Mattes

I believe most of these quads have been released in the Asia/Euro/Canada version (ones with the round pans). The only non-US version I have is the White Whisper quad (see photos and swatches here) which was an Asia exclusive, but released through and at select Chanel Beaute Studios and Boutiques. For color releases, I believe Asia gets more colors than we do in the US.

While these are expensive, I do find they last a long time. The most frequently used quad I have is Dunes and does not yet have any dips in it yet. This is by no means an all-comprehensive list of all the quads that have been released - there are quite a few that have been released that I do not own.

What are your favorite Chanel quads? Or are there other brands of quads you like better?

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Chanel Les Impressions De Chanel for Spring 2010

After a few iffy collection releases, I am happy to say that Chanel has gotten back on their gorgeousness track with the release of their Les Impressions de Chanel collection for spring (which seems more like summer, but still stunning).

Here is my "omg, I can't believe I spent so much, but I'm so happy" haul:

* Empreinte de Chanel Poudre Eclat Illuminatrice
* Joues Contraste #59 Imprevu
* Les 4 Ombres #18 Kaska Beige
* Eyeshadow Single #85 Sillage, #86 Trace
* Nail Polishes #503 Inattendu, #505 Particuliere, #507 Tendresse
* Rouge Allure #79 Impertinente, #80 Delicieuse, #81 Insouciante, #82 Incognito
* Glossimer #139 Futile, #141 Maline

Part 1: Face and Cheeks

It seems like the star product of the collection is their compact highlighter Empreinte de Chanel Poudre Eclat Illuminatrice - this has a multi-colored base powder with an embossed crossing C logo on top in a gold shimmer powder. The shimmer goes all the way through, the Cs are definitely more pigmented, the base powder shows up, but is more sheer.

The new blush #59 Imprevu is probably the most shimmery Chanel blush I've seen. It's a peachy-tawny-nude that will probably be too dark for fair skins. Right now, I have medium skin (check My Foundation Shades Here) and it gave me a bronzey-peach look. It doesn't go on as shimmery as it looks in the compact and is just a tad lighter than Fandango but very similar.

Part 2: Eyes

These are definitely my favorite pieces. See MORE VIEWS HERE. The eyeshadow quad #18 Kaska Beige is very natural with a unique combination of colors: pale cream, medium pink-brown-beige, shimmery dusty plum, shimmery beige-gold.

Equally stunning are the new eyeshadow singles #85 Sillage (shimmery pinky shell) & #86 Trace (sparkley warm bronze). Sillage is more pink and less pale than Lotus and Island. Trace is warmer and more sparkley than Le Bronze and Cinnamon with the gold shimmers being more visible.

Part 3: Lips

The lipsticks come in the Rouge Allure formula. The colors, L to R are #79 Impertinente (dusty rose pink), #80 Delicieuse (soft coral), #81 Insouciante (nude beige-grey), #82 Incognito (neutral nude pink).

The glossimers in this collection are both sparkley and sheer but still really pretty. #139 Futile is a super pale pink and #141 Maline is a pale gold. If you have colors like Rose Sand, Seashell, Pink Crystal, or Bronze Crystal, you probably won't need to get these unless you're a die hard Chanel fan. I believe both are Limited Editions.

Part 4: Nail Polishes

I posted pictures and swatches of the nail polishes already a couple days ago here, so today I'll do comparisons to other similar shades I have.

#503 Inattendu comparisons
L to R: Chanel Jasmine, Chanel Inattendu, OPI Coney Island Cotton Candy

#505 Particuliere comparisons
L to R: OPI You Don't Know Jacques, Chanel Particuliere, OPI Over the Taupe

#507 Tendresse comparisons
L to R: Paul & Joe #10, Chanel Tendresse, Chanel Rose Satin, Zoya Jessika

Also in the collection (not purchased):
* #68 Khaki Dore Le Crayon Yeux (olivey-gold shimmery eyeliner)
* #100 Ombre D'eau (a khaki-greenish fluid eyeshadow)
* #36 Beige Le Crayon Levres (pale beige lipliner)
* #110 Beige Claire Poudre Universelle (a luminous setting powder)
* #68 Sand Eyeshadow Single (repromote)
* Soleil Tan de Chanel (Sunkissed - reformulated version of their Brilliance Pur)
along with a few other items I didn't catch since everything was still in boxes.

Overall thoughts . . .
Winners = Eyes: To me, the must haves are the Kaska Beige Eyeshadow Quad and Sillage/Trace Singles.
Face/cheek: While I love all the Chanel JC blushes, the new Imprevu didn't wow me as much after I saw how it compared to my other Chanel colors (if you have Fandango or Enchantresse I don't think you need this new one). I must admit the store lighting made me gasp when I saw the new blush though. The highlighter powder is really nice, but I think YMMV on this one. It shows up on me, but I was a bit disappointed that multi-colored base is sheerer than the rest of the powder.
Nails: The nail polishes are amazing in the formula, but not so unique with the colors. I really wish they had some pearl or shimmer to them to give them that extra unique Chanel-touch. Particuliere (the grey/taupe) can be easily duped with OPI Over the Taupe - the only difference is that OPI OTT is more warm/brown where Chanel Particuliere is a tad more greyish/cool. If you like grey/taupes but want something lighter with a pearl finish, check out Zoya Pasha.
Lips: These are great if you like natural wearable colors. I think Chanel always does a great job with their lipsticks and glosses.

*Commentary deleted*

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