Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Dreaming of Resort with Chanel Inattendu & Riva Le Vernis

This mani/pedi was from the weekend - right after Thanksgiving when I was dreaming of warm sandy beaches. Living in Southern California, I shouldn't complain, but I spent part of the extended weekend watching Chanel's Saint-Tropez Cruise 2010/2011 Fashion Show (yes, a few months late) and couldn't help but feel envious of the beautiful warm-looking weather. I immediately was inspired to make myself feel resort-like the only way I could by doing a Chanel cruise-inspired mani/pedi.

The inspiration from the fashion show, nude pink nails on the hands and blue on the toes. I know most breakdowns list Jade Rose on the fingers, but I decided to go with Inattendu instead for the hands. I stuck with the new Riva on the toes to mimic the models.

Mani/pedi both have 3 coats each:

Chanel Inattendu Le Vernis:

Chanel Riva Le Vernis:

Inattendu also featured in this month's InStyle:

Another view of Riva:

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Edward Bess Night Romance Lipstick

The focus of this particular review is on Night Romance Lipstick by Edward Bess - a luscious raspberry pink cream. It has a smooth creamy texture that gives full coverage in one swipe. In my opinion, his lipsticks work just like a lipstick should. No tweaking or extra layering required.

Night Romance by Edward Bess was one of my first lipsticks from his line. About a year ago, I ordered the Fall 2009 Lipstick Set which had Night Romance, Forever Yours and Tender Love - a trio of berry pinks. All 3 are classic colors that you can wear year round and can take you from day to night with ease. Each shade from last fall are very similar to each other. Night Romance is the coolest-toned of the three and has the most color. I'd describe it as a cool raspberry color. Forever Yours (reviewed here) is more neutral but close in color. Tender Love has a more reddish undertone. They all look very similar and the difference is in the undertone. You might ask, what's the difference? It's hard to put into words, but these links might help you out:
  • You can see all three lined up here
  • You can check out Karla Sugar's swatch line up on her blog, linked here
  • Also check out Blogdorf Goodman's feature, linked here
Night Romance:

It's a sophisticated classic and I love it. I was initially worried that it would be too cool for my skin, but it has the right amount of depth to make it work. It's brighter on me because I have a lot of natural pink in my lips, so I'll dab a bit of powder or foundations on my bare lips before applying.

* Chanel Tulip Noire Nail Polish on nails

Many might wonder if these are worth the high price tag of $32? For me they definitely are. The formula is creamy and moisturizing. It's lightly scented with a soft fig scent. They don't dry out my lips and they feel amazing. So many of those classic cream-finish colors by MAC and Bobbi Brown are gorgeous in the tube and swatched on my hand, but on my lips turn out to be a different story. I can't tell you how many times I tried to fall in love with classic colors MAC Spirit, Captive or Twig. For some sad reason, they just don't work on my lips. Edward Bess's lipstick selection, while small, has great wearable colors for me.

Onto more swatches. On the back of my hand, you can see the blueish tones make the lipstick look different depending on what angle and lighting the color is in:

Here is a photo of me applying it on the lips. I had blotted my lips down with a bit of foundation (it's a bit uneven) but you can see how well the Edward Bess Lipstick covers the lip:

In direct sunlight:

With the flash, indoors:

I know many of you will see these swatches and think to yourselves, "this doesn't look the same on me!" For your reference, I have olive undertones and use Chanel's Shell and Beige foundations in Teint Innocence and Lift Lumiere. This is the equivalent to what's in between a MAC NC30 and NC35. Also note that I have pink lips naturally. To get a better feel for what this might look like on you, some other great resources to check out:
  • The Non-Blonde's Review of Night Romance, linked here
  • Modesty Brown's Review of Night Romance, linked here
  • Josie's Review on Pink Sith, linked here
Of course, the girls at the Edward Bess counter at Bergdorf Goodman are amazing at describing colors and can help you narrow down the options better than I can. In the US, Edward Bess Cosmetics can now also be found online at places like Neimanmarcus.com, Bergdorfgoodman.com, EdwardBess.com, instore at Neiman Marcus Beverly Hills and Neiman Marcus Houston.

FYI, Bergdorf Goodman has their $25 off $100 event coming soon. I believe in the next week. They have a new lipstick and gloss set out along with a new blush that I am eagerly waiting for. You might want to take advantage of this event to save a bit. I believe there is a GWP but I'm not 100% sure what it is. I recommend calling the girls to check out what they are offering this time.

Friday, November 26, 2010

The Beauty Look Book Holiday 2010 Giveaway

'Tis the season for giving and as a thank you to my followers, I'd like to host a giveaway (open to U.S. readers only). Here is how this will work:

There will be 6 different winners, each winner will be randomly selected to win 1 of the following harder-to-find Chanel Le Vernis shades pictured below (my favorite product of the moment). Click on the link below and answer the questions to my survey.

To qualify you must fit all categories:

* You must be 18 years of age or older and
* A resident of the U.S. and
* You must answer all questions and fill out the survey completely
* Please only one entry per person

6 winners will be randomly drawn to win 1 of the following shades featured below and contacted via e-mail. NOTE - duplicate entries or incomplete entries will be discarded and not qualify.

The deadline to enter is the end of Thursday December 2nd, 2010 PST. The winners will be announced and contacted the following week. Each selected winner will receive 1 of the pictured Chanel Le Vernis shades and the color per winner will be distributed at random.*
{Survey is now closed}

Make sure you answer all the questions! Incomplete entries will be discarded!

* Note this giveaway is self hosted/sponsored. I am in no way affiliated with Chanel or any retailers. All items featured for the giveaway are brand new.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Holiday Palettes From Becca: Fallen Angel & Enigma

Becca always puts together the most beautiful makeup looks. Check out their features from past seasons under Becca Style - Makeup Looks and you'll see what I mean. This season Becca has released a new collection called Fallen Angel. The featured looks were just so stunning that I immediately ordered the 2 palettes: Enigma (eyes) $49 and Fallen Angel (lip and cheek) $45.

Enigma Palette has a trio of neutral-cool smokey colors. Amure is a matte soft grey-brown, Silesia is a dark smokey grey-brown-black, Surah is a shimmery mauve. All have a soft velvety texture which make these easy to apply and blend together. I was a bit let down by the palette in the sense that it did not look like the promotional photo online. Still the quality is very good and colors are good neutrals for a soft smokey eye - just not very unique.

Fallen Angel Palette is for lips and cheeks. It appears to have more of a peachy-resort feel rather than angelic. When I think "angel" I think soft pink and champagne. Still this is lovely. Sunrise is a sheer peach (almost clear), Nectar reminds me of Tuberose Lip & Cheek Creme, Narcissus is a pale gold cream highlighter.

As much as I love Becca, I was somewhat disappointed by what came in the mail. Having been somewhat let down (compared to the promotional photos) twice in the past, you would think I had learned my lesson to wait and check out other reviews before ordering again. These palettes are indeed beautiful and very wearable, so don't get me wrong, I think they are very high quality and worth the price. I was just expecting something different. Below are swatches, the eyeshadows were swatched over a lightly moisturized arm.

One last view for size comparison, the palette colors are similar in size to a MAC eyeshadow. The Becca Shadows are 1.6 g or 2 g each (depending on color) while MAC eyeshadows are 1.5 g each. Do note I find the quality and texture of the Becca much better than most MAC shadows. The creams in the Fallen Angel Palette are 1.3 g each.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Chanel Riva from the Côte d’Azur Makeup Collection

Chanel fans have been eagerly waiting to get their hands on the new Riva Le Vernis ($27) from the Côte d’Azur Makeup Collection. I'm sure you all know by now the color has been released online at Chanel.com and also at select Chanel Boutiques. Mine finally arrived today from Chanel.com in a cute black drawstring pouch.

Here it is with 3 coats:

It's a creamy baby blue with the slightest hint of shimmer. The finish is much like Jade, Jade Rose and Paradoxal in the sense that you see shimmer in the bottle but it applies more like a cream. Unfortunately, the wonderful high quality Chanel finish seems to be a bit lacking in the new Riva. You can get a beautiful smooth finish with 3 coats, but it definitely takes more care and steadiness to get a non-streaky finish. As my dear friend L.R. (a Chanel fanatic like me) says, "One coat is sad, two is much better, three fits the bill." I couldn't have described it better.

Below you can see how pastel and milky Chanel Riva is compared to the blue from Louis Vuitton's Damier Azur Canvas material.

I don't have very many blues cosmetics-wise, but here are is my small collection. All Chanel. Left to right: Blue Wish (from the Tokyo Happening Collection), Riva, Azur (from Spring 2008), Nouvelle Vague (from Summer 2010)

All swatched with 3 coats, you can see Riva is lighter and softer than Nouvelle Vague. Swatched next to each other, Nouvelle Vague almost looks blue-green.

One more view of Chanel Riva:

Overall thoughts: The color is beautiful but not entirely unique. If it had more iridescence like Azur I would have fallen in love. For me, Riva is like, but not love. Perhaps it's just too early to think about powder blues when Thanksgiving and Christmas are just around the corner. The formula isn't the best, but it isn't the worst either. It's still very workable with 2+ coats. If you have the slightest inkling that you want this, I'd recommend getting Riva now while you can. We all know that Chanel regret can be expensive (cries for not getting Haute Chocolat). Also, Chanel.com has complimentary shipping through 12/16/2010.

I'll probably put this aside until Thanksgiving is over. Even though it's not bright or in-your-face, it's not one of those typical classic nail colors. I'm not so sure I can brave this at the office during this time of year. Maybe you ladies can convince me otherwise.

If any of you have bought this, how are you liking it? And where/when will you be wearing this blue shade?

Inside My Marc Jacobs Little Stam

Featuring my Marc Jacobs Little Stam. Lacquered Quilting from Fall/Winter 2010 Collection in Pink.

Peeking in:

Inside: Mini calendar, mini Coach Makeup Bag (gifted to me from the 2002-ish), Coconut M&Ms, small wallet, pens, iPhone

Contents spilled:

Inside my over-packed Coach makeup bag: Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge in Powder Pink, Edward Bess Afterglow Highlighter, Trish McEvoy Little Black Card with Nude Shimmer Powder, Shell Eyeshadow and Raisin Eyeshadow, Diorshow Mini, L'Occitane Hand Cream Fleur Cherie, Chanel Star Glossimer, Chanel Mica Mini Glossimer, Chanel Rouge Allure Laque in Ming, mini brushes

Some of you have asked about the way I care for my handbags and why some look brand new even when they are from around 2005ish. Care and maintenance is something I learned from The Purse Forum. I highly recommend visiting the forums there for tips. I view my purses as luxury goods which I handle with care. I only wear super dark denim with my darker purses. Lighter purses are worn with care (usually ok with denim after having gone through at least 3 wash cycles). When not in use, I keep them stuffed with the original stuffing and stored in dustbags out of the sun. When possible, I store them upright, if they are flatter bags, then I lay them on a flat surface in my closet or on my shelves and make sure heavy things aren't set on top.

Most of the bags I own are still in fairly good condition. Do I have any bags that show wear and tear? Of course - it's natural that things get worn down with use, but it doesn't mean they aren't usable. Wearing down and ripping usually occurs at the bottom corners - places that aren't always highly visible but have frequent contact.

Again, I can't reiterate enough how helpful The Purse Forum is. I've found tips by designer since certain brands have different styles by material and finish. Of course I've been guilty of a number of no-no's. Carrying pens, hand cream and nail polish in my bag is like an accident waiting to happen. So far, no catastrophes yet for me - but it's bound to happen one of these days. Sometimes I just throw in what's convenient and forget what I put inside until a week later.

Anyways, hope you all have a great week! Hope it's a short one for the US girls and that you get a few days off for the holiday :)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Rescue Beauty Lounge Au Chocolat

As promised: the feature of my Rescue Beauty Lounge Au Chocolat manicure. Two coats.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

YSL Touche d'Or Highlighter & Colorama Palette

I'm slowly getting into YSL. It's one brand I have long resisted but every once in a while something catches my eye. The holiday collection has the most beautiful highlighters this season with the new touche eclat-type highlighter and soft sparkling pink pressed shimmer powder.

I may be the one lone woman who doesn't like the Touche Eclat from YSL, but I fell in love with the Touche d'Or Golden Touch Highlighter ($40) for holiday. It's named "golden" but on my skin it went on more neutral-champagne than gold. It has a beautiful sparkle finish. I personally found it a bit too sparkly for every-day wear on the face, but it's lovely on the eyes. If you're looking for a glowy cream highlighter without too much sparkle opt for NARS Luxor Multiple or Edward Bess All Over Seduction in Sunlight or Afterglow.

The pressed Metallic Shimmer Powder in Colorama ($65) is absolutely stunning. It comes encased in a metallic leather compact which is similar in color to the Pink Gold Nail Color. The powder is finely milled and goes on a light pink shimmer. On my Chanel Shell Teint Innocence skintone it's not too pale that it's frosty. It has a lovely soft glowy finish on my cheeks. I'm not the biggest fan of the compact design but at least it's sturdy. The product is just so gorgeous that I can overlook the flashy packaging and still love this. I find this similar in concept to Armani's Blush #12 - in the compact and swatched on the hand it looks too light to be a blush, but on the cheeks it gives a wonderful soft glow. If Armani's #12 worked on you, then chances are you'll really like this highlighter. If Armani's #12 didn't work, then perhaps you might find this too subtle. I do think the YSL will serve as a more pigmented highlighter for darker/tan skintones though. The Armani is sheerer in finish which is why it might not show up so well on darker skins.

Swatches on bare skin, one with high flash:

Outdoor natural light:

My local Bloomingdales had a national event with a lovely GWP which made the high price tag more justifiable. My favorite item out of all the goodies was the full-sized powder brush which I look forward to trying out soon.


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