Thursday, March 31, 2011

Dior Addict Lipstick: Model 564

Dior Addict Lipstick
in Model 564 is another Sephora exclusive. It's described as a "sheer warm pink" infused with subtle pink shimmers. Sometimes it looks pink, sometimes it looks coral. It appears bright but the sheer texture gives a softer finish on the lips compared to what you see in the tube. The pigment is decent for a sheer lipstick. After testing it a few times, I found the best application is with one swipe on the upper and lower lip. Swiping more than three times applied too much product leaving lips a bit too moist feeling. These definitely have a lip-balm like texture and feel (but not quite as emollient). Lasting power is on the light side (as expected from a sheer glossy lipstick). I do find the brighter colors stain the lips slightly so as the lipstick wears off some remnants of color stay behind.

Compared to MAC Melt In Your Mouth, Chanel Gardenia, Dolce & Gabbana Love and MAC Made With Love

Lip swatched on me, I think this is a color that will look very different on others depending on skintone and natural lip color. It looks brighter and more vibrant in real life - I think the lighting and flash sheered out the color a bit:

In direct sunlight:

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Dior Addict Lipstick: Urban 178

Dior Addict in Urban 178 is a Sephora exclusive. It's a pale frosted pink with a sheer glossy finish. The texture is very moisturizing. About 6 hours after it has faded, my lips feel soft and smooth (bonus!). Being a lighter shade, I found the pigment to be on the sheer side. Compared to the Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in Boy, it has a similar natural finish but harder texture which I think helps the color show better. The new Dior Addicts apply better than the recently discontinued Addict High Shines which I found a bit tacky in texture. The new formula is smoother with a high shine finish. Being a lip-balm like lipstick, lasting power isn't the best. I'll have to test the brighter shades to see how they wear. So far thumbs up for an easy fool-proof type of lipstick if you don't mind re-applying. As an added bonus for those sensitive to fragranced products - no detectable taste or scent with these lipsticks.

When trying Dior Urban 178 out at Sephora on my hand, I thought it would have been too pale for my skintone. I would have gone with a slightly brighter neutral pink like Basic 253. This particular shade was sent to me by Dior and surprisingly, it's not too pale that it washes me out. The sheerness helps make this color more wearable. I suspect wearing a lipliner blended out on the lip first will help the color last longer. If I were just the slightest bit darker than I am right now (about a Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua in 20 which equals a MAC NC30) I think this color would have been too pale by itself.

Compared to a few other pale pink shimmers: Dior Addict Urban, Chanel Rouge Coco Rose Comete, MAC Lipglass Oyster Girl, MAC Lustre Lipstick in Politely Pink

All have that sheer shimmery glossy texture:

New From Dior: Addict Lipsticks (Revamped)

Dior has released their new Addict Lipsticks ($28 each) in a wide array of shades in the US. The new lipstick formula is designed to provide high shine and high color while hydrating and plumping the lips. The entire Dior Addict lineup consists of over 40 shades (exact number is something I have not yet been able to determine). It can be a bit of a hunt to find all the available shades as some are exclusive to certain stores. Sephora has their own set of exclusive colors and so far 983 Insoumise is the known exclusive to Nordstrom. In addition, there are colors that are available online at and Nordstrom that are are not available at Sephora. {Update: refer to the comments below, a sweet reader did the research to find out which shades are available at various retail locations! Thank you Shannen!}

Top are new tubes, blue tube is an older version of Addict, the next tube without the stripe is the first version of Addict High Shine

Long time Dior fans know that the Addict Lipstick has gone through several revamps over the years. The earliest revamp I can remember is when they changed their gold tubes into a sleek dark blue tube and gold cap to mimic the shape of their Addict Eau de Parfum. The next revamp changed all the gold to silver. Next was the release of Addict High Shines. This brings us to present time with the Addict formula of 2011: same shape of tube, but slightly taller and with a silver banded stripe near the top.

My thoughts & experience: I am one who has a slight feeling of panic when I hear the word "revamp" because I hate to think of something I love being discontinued. Dior has gone through a number of revamps to introduce new product innovations with more advanced formulas to deliver more pigmented colors with better wear while also improving the skin. At times I find it a bit overwhelming to sort through. I haven't kept up on the new Addict Ultra Gloss or new revamped Rouge Dior lately - but after seeing these on Café Makeup, the beautiful Dior couture on British Beauty Blogger, The Blonde Salad's Dior experience in Paris, and after browsing the adorable Dior Addict mini- site with the beautiful video featuring Kate Moss on - I couldn't help but run to Sephora to try these (since they had the first exclusive release in the US).

Once I arrived at the Dior unit, my mouth dropped at the sheer number of options I had to choose from. It was overwhelmingly fun but I quickly found myself a bit lost with all the colors swiped on my hand and couldn't recall which was which. I had to swatch and re-swatch several times before deciding on a few shades.

Before going to the store, I highly recommend you browse through the Addict interactive section which allows you to see each shade close up and pops up a mini description. Make a mini list of the numbers and colors that catch your eye and take it to your Dior counter for notes. There are a number of colors that fall close to each other (many of the beiges are similar, same with the hot pinks). The upside of the wide selection is that you're bound to find at least one shade that fits your taste.

The testers were brand new so I felt comfortable trying them on the lips. The texture is like a lip balm without the slick. They are smooth but are hard enough to deliver natural sheer to medium pigment with shine. I came home with Rose Déshabillé 260 (sheer shimmering pink), Model 564 (sheer warm coral pink), Beige Casual 222 (neutral beige - Dior's classic beige that seems to be reincarnated with each new release), Tokyo 422 (sheer peachy pink). Urban 178 (a pale frosty pink) was included in a package sent to me from Dior (along with post cards and stickers).

More detailed descriptions, swatches and close ups to come soon. Just as a quick FYI the new 222 Beige Casual is more peachy than past 222's.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Rescue Beauty Lounge Decorous

Here is RBL's Decorous. Two coats to achieve a creamy cocoa brown with a slight sheen. I loved it on Gaia of The Non-Blonde, Temptalia and KarlaSugar. On me, not so much. I think it's better as a toe color for me. Much like Butter London's All Hail McQueen - pretty in the bottle, not so flattering for me with my olive tones. Comparisons below. I found it unique in my collection and couldn't find any dupes - but I don't have many browns for nail polish colors. I like that it matches my J.Crew flats in Coconut Shell though :)

Monday, March 28, 2011

Coordinating Brighter Colors With Neutrals

I'm a neutral lover at heart but brights are nice to wear in sheer washes mixed in with neutrals. For coordinating brights I don't there are any rules you need to stick to. Just experiment with different combinations of colors to see what you're most comfortable with. I mainly pick out colors depending on the occasion or what clothes I'm wearing for the day (one example here with a yellow top, bright coral cheek, coppery bronze eye and nude gold lip). I usually go for something that is as natural as possible and here are a few things I go by:
  • Brighten the face by applying bronzer first then layer a soft wash of bright pink or coral or peach on top
  • Mixing pinks and peach blushes together can add depth and dimension
  • Can you match your lip color to your blush? Sure! For example using different variations of pink can create a pretty coordinated look
  • You don't have to match lips and cheeks, having a bright coral cheek with a sheer bright or soft pink lip can work well too
  • If something is too bright, you can sheer it out with a soft blending brush or by adding a paler shimmer color on top
A few ideas - use these for color ideas rather than the specific name of the brand or product.

* Tip - At a national artist event for NARS, the artist blended Goldfinger with Nepal together and it created the most beautiful soft rose gold shadow. When using bronzer and a bright blush, I usually apply bronzer first, but most artists at events apply bronzer as the final touch.

* Tip - For the eyes, layering colors can be done by applying the lightest shade first, then the cream, and finally the bronzey powder on top. For MAC Fleur Power Blush, I find it so universally flattering it will go with either a bright lip and a pale lip, or the bright and pale mixed together for a softer peachy glow.

* Tip - Mix pinks and peaches by layering them on top of each other on the cheeks. Depending on your mood or preference, you can adjust the color by applying one color more heavily than the other.

* Tip - Coral blushes can be coordinated with either bright pinks or bright peaches for lips since many have both pink and peach mixed in.

You may notice there are no nail polishes featured in any of these looks. I think bright nails can be mixed and matched in almost any combination to work with a variety of looks. I hope you found this mini series helpful. Summer collections are about to trickle in soon - so I'm sure there will plenty of inspiration for all of you in the upcoming months!

If you have any tips or want to share how you wear brighter colors, feel free in the comments! Makeup events with a good artist can be incredibly useful for tips, tricks and ideas on how to incorporate new things with well-used loves :)

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Spring to Summer Colors for Eyes and Cheeks

Bright blushes are a definitely must-have for me, although I usually layer two colors for more depth and dimension. Most of the time I will layer a soft wash of bright over a bronzer. For eyes I don't really wear brights. The brightest shades I have are golds or pinky-peachy shimmers. I'll feature a few non-neutrals, but for bright eye colors I'm a bit lacking.

Bright pink blushes (L to R)*: NARS Angelika, MAC Pink Swoon, NARS Desire, Chanel Tweed Fuschia

Bright peaches (also see my peach obsession here): NARS Taj Mahal, MAC Style , Bobbi Brown Coral Shimmer Blush, NARS Gilda

Bright corals (clockwise from left): NARS Cactus Flower Cream Blush, Guerlain Série Noire Blush G, Bobbi Brown Pink Coral Shimmer Wash, MAC Fleur Power

Brighter eye colors for me (not necessarily bright for everyone): NARS Goldfinger, NARS Étrusque, MAC Pink Bronze Pigment* (note the picture has been corrected, it's Pink Bronze, not Pink Gold), Edward Bess Escape (which isn't bright but I put it in just for a color reference)

The next and final part of this series will include a few tips and look ideas of how I incorporate brights with neutrals.

* Those who follow me on Twitter know that I no longer have my NARS Angelika Multiple since my Jack Russell pup Lucy ate it. Thanks to all who have asked about her! She is fine and dandy just like the vet assured me over the phone. In fact she is acting like it was any other puppy treat. The picture above at the very top was taken pre-puppy-consumption.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Spring to Summer Sheer-Bright Colors for Lips

For lips, I like to wear sheer see-through colors for brights. What I like (left to right from above): NARS Velvet Gloss Lip Pencil in New Lover, Dior Addict in Model 564, NARS Angelika Lip Gloss, Chanel Nakkar Glossimer, Chanel Pink Pulsion Glossimer (see it here) Paul & Joe Lip Lacquer in 08 Bouquet, Bobbi Brown Hot Pink Lip Gloss, Edward Bess Island Rose Compact Rouge.

Swatched on arm, same order, in direct sunlight:

One more view, with flash:

I haven't done lip-swatches of all the colors yet, but here are the ones I do have:

NARS New Lover (also here), this is a unique shade that looks different on everyone. It looks so different on my hand compared to my lips. See it on Cafe Makeup on Liz who is fairer and slightly cooler toned (here) while this is what it looks like on me below:

Nars Angelika Lip Gloss:

Paul & Joe Lip Lacquer 08 (looks brighter in real life, flash washed out color a bit, all my Paul & Joe Lip Lacquers here they are among my favorite lip glosses, I have almost every color):

Edward Bess Island Rose Compact Rouge (also here and swatched for Karlasugar here):

I apologize if all the links have you clicking in too many places. I've just referenced them in case you wanted to see more detailed reviews or comparison from past reviews. Have a happy Friday!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Spring to Summer Brights for Nails

I'm known for loving neutrals. Bright colors are usually not my thing unless its on the fingers, toes or blush {I love bright blushes}. I'm doing a three-part series for the brights that I love and adore {for Debra who requested a summer brights feature}. Part 1 features bright nails in orange, pink and red. It's too early to be thinking about summer but brights on nails can be pulled off in any season.

I've linked previous reviews and features. There are a few I've republished below along with a few new mani-pedi pictures.
  • Chanel Riviera - reviewed compared and dupe attempts here and here
  • Chanel Coromandel - reviewed here

Dior Cabaret Pink - see it here too

Chanel Pulsion - swatched, compared and reviewed here

Chanel Enthusiast - pedicure here

Chanel Orange Fizz - manicure here

Chanel Melrose (no longer available)

Rescue Beauty Lounge Coral - shown below

I believe you can still find all the shades currently except for Chanel Enthusiast, Riviera and Melrose. Riviera is very close to Chanel's Rose Insolent and Dior's Cabaret Pink though. Are you wearing bright colors right now?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Beauty Look Book's Guide to Edward Bess

Edward Bess has a beautifully edited, sophisticated and classic beauty line. I first discovered his products while flipping through a Bergdorf Goodman catalog and was instantly intrigued by the sleek black lipstick tubes all lined up in a row. I googled it but to my dismay, found it was only available in NYC. I could not see the items in person. Thanks to LeslieCZ, Alexa, Leanne, Blogdorf Goodman, Fab Over Forty among other Edward Bess fans, I was able to get the scoop. Several gave me wonderful recommendations and urged me to contact the Edward Bess counter Bergdorf Goodman. I'm so glad I did. I've never met a more helpful team of artists. On each and every occasion that I've called them, they have given helpful descriptions and recommendations over the phone as they listened to me describe my tastes/likes/dislikes. They put me completely at ease ordering items sight-unseen.

The items from Edward Bess are classics and naturally flattering. They are reliable staples in my beauty wardrobe and versatile to create a number of different looks.

Many of you have asked for my own recommendations of what I like from Edward Bess. I thought I'd put together a resource page of what I've tried that has been reviewed since I can imagine what a hassle it must be to search through over 600 posts =) I've loved almost everything I've tried (with the exception of the original mascara). I hope this helps!

Where to buy & info

Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus Beverly Hills, (prices, full collection and other locations on his website)

Eyeshadows: Ultra Luminous Eyeshadow & Trios
Lips: Ultra Slick Lipstick & Deep Shine Lipgloss
Cheeks: Compact Rouge, Blush Imperiale, Ultra Luminous Bronzer, All Over Seduction
Sets (Limited Edition)

Guest Reviews & Misc.

The Beauty Look Book's Top Five Favorites from Edward Bess
(only because so many have asked)

Daydream Bronzer (my holy grail)
Pure Impulse Lipstick
Forever Yours Lipstick
Dusk Eyeshadow
Soft Smoke Eyeshadow Trio
Island Rose Compact Rouge (oops, six!)

* Tip - Yes, the price points are high, but Bergdorf Goodman occasionally puts together beauty events and gift-card events, many times with nice gift-with-purchases. Their GWPs are usually one full-sized item (they pick out the item) and occasionally they have a step-up gift. I think their next one is in April.

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