Thursday, December 30, 2010

Chanel Pearl Drop #511 Le Vernis for Spring 2011

I had a girls'-day-out with my mother and sister the other day and we all treated ourselves to a mani/pedi together. My sister texted me earlier in the day, "can you bring a light red for mom?" so I brought 3 different shades of Chanel red for her to pick from. She ended up picking Dragon (one of my favorites). I decided to go light and give Chanel's Pearl Drop #511 Le Vernis a try even though it is my least favorite color out of all the spring shades (see review and comparisons here). After trying it out on a full manicure with 2 professionally applied coats, my heart softened a little for this color - but only in the slightest bit.

Chanel Pearl Drop #511 is a frost-finish white gold shimmer. The base is mostly white with a bit of pink and the shimmer is golden. It's not the easiest shade to apply - the frost in this makes it easy to streak if not applied with a steady hand. Also, the gold shimmer makes this yellow, much like NARS Albatross Highlighting Powder. I already have yellow undertones being Asian so I feel like yellowy-golds aren't the most flattering for my skintone. (If you're wondering why I have Albatross even though I don't like it, the compact was received as a gift.)

Now that I've ranted enough about it, you might wonder: is there anything good about this color? The answer is yes. I actually like this color in brighter lighting or natural light because it appears less yellow and more pearly. The coverage is decent, but you definitely need 2 coats with this color. It's definitely a brightening color because it's on the lighter side. Compared to actual pearls, Chanel's Pearl Drop flashes more yellow-gold than most pearls do.

With flash:

Outdoors without flash:

My mom and sister were wowed by this color. Their comments were, "it matches your outfit perfectly!" So don't write this off just because I'm not so wowed by it. Overall I think I am just picky when it comes to lighter colors. If you try this on at the counter, definitely try and apply 2 coats, not just one. My heart still belongs to Black Pearl (reviewed here).

I think it's pretty but I don't think it's a must-have. You can probably get a similar effect with other colors but most will be more gold or more white. The streaks aren't too visible at arm's length. At this time I do not know if this is limited edition or not. I found mine at Nordstrom. By this time, most counters in the US should have the spring collection available for sale.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

MAC Chez Chez Lamé, Rosé Olé, Vintage Selection & Let Me Pop

I know what you're thinking: Not another Cham Pale review! Even more so, MAC on this blog?* I realize you've seen this collection reviewed practically everywhere, but per request, here are my thoughts on the MAC Cham Pale collection and comparisons to other shimmer powders and paint pots.

Overall impression: I love the theme of shimmering pales (as seen in last month's Loving Right Now: Shimmering Pales post). I'm all about the glowy and luminous but when I started seeing swatches and reviews on other blogs I was a bit let down. Everything looked so frosty! Still, curiosity got the best of me so I took a peek at the MAC counter the day after Christmas. I can report that my favorite bloggers did an amazing job in swatching with great accuracy. The colors are indeed very metallic in this collection, however I was able to find a few things that worked for me when applied with a lighter hand.

What I picked out, thoughts and descriptions:

Chez Chez Lamé Special Reserve Highlight Powder - This is a soft pale beige gold shimmer. I have a soft spot for MAC MSFs even though they tend to be overly frosty so I couldn't resist these new highlighting powders. On my skin, the shimmer is more finely milled and less frosty. I also find these less frosty than Bobbi Brown Shimmer Bricks. I was pleasantly surprised! This is extremely pale however - if you're a Chanel Shell or darker I would recommend using this with a super light hand to avoid super-frost.

Rosé Olé Special Reserve Highlight Powder - This is described as a soft pink with gold shimmer, on me it's a peachy-rose, slightly bronzey. Same finely milled shimmer quality on the cheeks. I think this will look great on the eyes. Since it's darker it's not quite as contrasted on my skin. I recommend also applying with a lighter hand, I don't think these will photograph well if applied heavily - you will most likely end up looking oily from the shimmer/shine.

Vintage Selection Paint Pot - I was the most anxious to see how the Paint Pots looked in real life. I thought I would pass on them all as they looked glittery and chunky. They are significantly more sparkly than any other paint pots I've seen, yet there were two that I liked blended out. Vintage Selection is a lovely light mauvey-pink sparkle. Those who don't like micro-glitters may find this too over-the-top. Normally I avoid glitter like the plague, but this one is pretty blended out. Even though these are creams, for some reason I find MAC Paint Pots to be a bit hard to blend and need a bit of help from eye creams.

Let Me Pop Paint Pot - A unique coppery peach that is light enough for me to wear on the eyes without looking ill. This too has glittery chunks, so I recommend if you do venture to try this, try it on in small doses.

The comparisons of similar products with swatches, MAC Chez Chez Lamé:

The comparisons of similar products with swatches, MAC Rosé Olé:

MAC Paint Pots, MUFE Aqua Cream & Laura Mercier Metallic Creme Eye Color:

I found most of the Cham Pale colors original and different from others (with the exception of the repromotes). I don't think this is a universal palette of colors. The paleness of everything will definitely not suit all skintones. The glittery frosty aspect of the lipglosses and paint pots will definitely be out of many women's comfort zone. I personally don't know who would wear those glittery lipgelees ever. But to each their own.

If you're wondering how the shimmer highlighters compare to other high-end brands, well, I still have to tell you they just don't. Even though these are finely milled and not-too-frosty, The Dior Skinshimmers and YSL Holiday Powder and Chanel just have a more natural glowy quality. Compred to the frost level of NARS Multiples, Blushes, and highlighters, the MAC is more subtle in my opinion.

I was surprised myself that I left the MAC counter with anything - you all know I'm not a huge fan of super-frost or glitter. I won't say anything is a must-have, but I do recommend if you're at all interested to explore this collection and check it out in person if you can. You might be surprised to find something fun and different.

* As an update to the rude commenter and others who like to throw insults on a regular basis - I did not mean to imply I am too good for MAC. I do like quite a few items from MAC, in fact a substantial percentage of my collection consists of MAC products, but mainly from older collections. Those who have actually read my blog for a while know I do not typically cover MAC collections by choice simply because it is a widely accessible brand that is well covered in blog reviews, message board reviews and videos. I blog about what I want to blog about and what I like. What I like is variety. If you are offended by luxury brands then this is not the blog for you to read.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Getting Ready for New Year's Eve with Metallic Glitzy Nails

New Year's Eve is only a few nights away! I'm keeping it low-key this year with family but it's still fun to get dressed up in the spirit. This year I'm in the mood for those high metallic, chrome-like/foil-like colors on the nails which is out of the ordinary for me as I'm not the biggest fan of those high-shine metallics. I end up feeling like an ornament or metal statue, but for NYE I think it's fun. My picks (which I am still trying to decide on) include:
  • Dior Timeless Gold (Holiday 2010) reviewed here
  • Dior Silver Pearl (Last Spring 2010) reviewed here
  • YSL Pink Gold #140 (Holiday 2010) reviewed here
  • YSL Gold #139 (Holiday 2010) reviewed here
  • MAC Soirée (Holiday 2010)
  • OPI Lucerne-tainly Look Marvelous (Swiss Collection, Fall 2010)
  • Rococo Nail Apparel R2T2 (can be found in the US at Space NK) reviewed here
  • Rococo Nail Apparel Metal Jacket (can be found in the US at Space NK reviewed here

The fun part about metallic nails is how the colors change depending on the light and how you move your fingers. I love how these have rich pigment and the metallic finish pearl particles make these dry really fast and last long. The formulas of these have a semi-matte finish, not quite like the OPI suede colors, but not like a shiny varnish either. I always love the colors in the bottles, but what goes on the nails is sometimes too intense for my personal taste.

Close ups and on the nails, Dior Timeless Gold, Dior Silver Pearl, YSL #140, YSL #139:

Close ups and on the nails, MAC Soiree, OPI lucerne-tainly look marvelous, Rococo R2T2, Rococo Metal Jacket:

I have too many options and can't decide! Maybe you can help me pick :) Of course it will depend on what I'm wearing. I have a few outfits picked out which are versatile and will go with any of these nail colors.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Spring 2011 Previews from Maquia February 2011 Issue

I scanned these from Maquia's February 2011 issue. A few sneak peeks of what's to come. Note, I cannot translate this so I won't be able to answer questions about the products, your guess is as good as mine is. However, there are number indicators on some of the products which help me try to figure out the coordinating product number to name. Also note Maquia is a Japanese publication so I don't know if the US will get all the items featured, I know in years past we haven't, but I'm not sure about this year.

For more previews, check out Rouge Deluxe for her preview scans/photos from Biteki's February 2011 publication. She's great at finding out new information and has a number of sneak peek and links to previews of stuff coming out this spring.

At the moment I have no information about what else is coming out or when items will be released except for Chanel, MAC and Bobbi Brown: I do know the Bobbi Brown Pretty Powerful palettes have been released, I saw them at Nordstrom this morning but passed since they combine creams and powders in the same level for the palette - a BIG NO-NO for me.

Please do not republish these on message boards, blogs, websites or anywhere else as it took me some time to scan each in and format them to fit this blog. Thank you.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Chanel Spring 2011 Powder Blush Espiègle 65

Chanel Joues Contraste in Espiègle #65 ($42) is a soft luminous light peach with gold shimmer and the slightest hint of pink. It gives a pretty soft peach glow and in the US is made in the regular US formula (instead of the Euro Baked style). What I like about this color is that it simply glows. It's not a full matte - the shimmer is finely milled so it's not frosty on the skin. I find it more wearable than In Love and Fresque - both of which I like, but find difficult to get just the right amount of color. Both end up looking either too sheer or too orangey if applied with one-too-many brush swipes.

* On the nails, still Chanel Rouge Fatal

If you have a lot of peaches, you might find this one unoriginal. It looks a bit boring in the pan and swiped on the fingers, but if you have a Chanel counter near you, give this a chance and try it on the face with a blush brush. I love that it brightens the face with a soft peachy glow and also like that it has a bit of pink to it to prevent it from looking orangey. I personally think it's a must-have for any peach-blush lover. It's naturally flattering that gives a beautiful glow without looking overly frosty or too gold like some peachy-golds are.

I have two sets of comparisons for you. I wasn't planning on doing any comparisons but everytime I leave them out, I always get asked to do some. The first set shows Chanel Reflex, Fresque, In Love and Tweed Corail.

* Nars Deep Throat was added in the swatch above, but the product wasn't photographed

The second set compares the new Chanel Spring 2011 blush to MAC Ripe Peach, Nuance, Style, Springsheen, Utterly Game. Note that all the MAC shades are quite a bit more frosty and shimmery than the Chanel which has a nice glow. These were applied with a heavy hand.

One last view:

Overall: I love this, but I don't think it's a must-have. Still it has a beautiful finish that isn't easily replicated in other brands or colors. It definitely leans towards peach but has just the right amount of pink to balance out the warm tones making it not-too-warm. currently does not have the "limited edition" indicator on their website for Espiègle #65 but I'm not 100% sure that I ever really trust any response on the LE factor.

If you don't have many peaches in your collection, this is a great one to start with. Otherwise, if you already have a lot of peach - reshop your stash and wait for summer collections later in the year. Yes, I know spring isn't even here and I'm already talking about summer. However, I've seen a sneak peek of what's to come for spring and the blush colors seem to be blah this year for spring.

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Chanel Spring 2011 Continued - The Lips

For Chanel Spring 2011, I've reviewed my eye-makeup picks (here), the nail polishes (here) and featured a detailed review on Black Pearl (here). Up next are my lip picks, top to bottom: Peregrina Rouge Coco, Jersey Rose Rouge Coco, Cristal Rose Rouge Double Intensité, Aragonite Glossimer and Nakkar Glossimer.

*UPDATE* I've once again added more comparisons. See all the way at the bottom.

The colors are fresh and brightening and the options this spring are great for both neutral and bright-color lovers alike. I, of course, picked out the most neutrals. If you're into brighter colors like Lancome Chris & Tell check out the 2 new Rouge Allures (which I passed on).

Swatched on bare skin:

The Rouge Cocos at first glance seemed like your basic and unoriginal pink and peach. Swatched on the hands they were pretty, but didn't have that wow factor. Let me tell you - you MUST try these on the lips! They are just beautiful for spring. Jersey Rose is a bright healthy pink on the lips. Peregrina is a healthy but neutral coral. Both are neutral enough for my comfort yet have enough color to brighten the face. If you look at the tube close up you see the slightest sheen, almost shimmer! But on the lips, I don't see any shimmer at all. I like them both layered with the sparkly glossimer, Aragonite, for a glistening shine. Here are close ups of both colors, plus lip swatches.

The glossimers are fun this spring. Nakkar is a warm reddish pinky-peachy color with gold flecks. For once Chanel has released a nice warm reddish color that isn't orange or deep red. Yay! It sheers out so a bit but definitely shows color. On the lips I don't really see the shimmer. Aragonite is a pretty sparkly clear multi-colored gloss. The micro sparkles are highly visible in this one, similar to MAC Dazzleglasses. It's different from Galactic in the sense that Galactic flashes blue-opal, Aragonite is more neutral and less blue. There's a new Rouge Double Intensite this spring in a color different than anything they've done before. Those familiar with Chanel's Rouge Double probably expect a rich opaque thick flat color. Cristal Rose goes against all Rouge Double traditions in the sense that it's light, shimmery and sheer. I'm not sure how I feel about this one, it's so sheer it barely shows up on me, but it's gorgeous in the tube.

I couldn't get good lip swatches of the glossimers tonight, so the arm swatches will have to suffice.

Overall: LOVE! Healthy colors that are fresh and flattering to the skin in a natural way that brightens the complexion. Aragonite is an unexpected favorite because of it's versatility. It's great for layering over lipsticks without altering the color like some multi-colored sparkly glosses can do.

FYI, check out Amy's reviews of the Chanel Spring lips on Café Makeup. She's my Chanel twin but lighter in skintone! If you see my swatches and think "what?! they look off" check out her blog, she has amazing pics and great lip swatches on her daughter there, who is also lighter in complexion.


Here are more comparisons to other Rouge Cocos and one other Glossimer. Note the differences are very subtle and hard to capture. The difference you see is mainly on the lips. The Spring 2011 colors are warmer in undertone.

Jersey Rose & Peregrina from Spring 2011
Chintz & Rose Dentelle from Fall 2010
Magnolia from Holiday 2010

* On the nails: Chanel Rouge Fatal (reviewed here & here)

In the tubes, Aragonite & Galactic look identical. On the hand/lips, the difference is subtle. Galactic flashes blue while Aragonite flashes more pink.


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