Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Latest Discoveries From Burberry: Copper Lip Mist, Blush Lip Gloss, Midnight Black Eyeshadow

I stopped by Burberry Beauty at Nordstrom South Coast Plaza mid-May to check out the new Lip Mists (see my window shopping snapshots here). I came home with three things: Lip Mist in Copper, Eyeshadow in Midnight Black, and Blush Lipgloss.

The new Burberry Lip Mists are supposed to be a sheer natural formula with a dewy finish. I didn't find them as shiny/glossy as Dior or Chanel's newest lipsticks, nor did I find them really sheer. I would describe them as a medium finish lipstick, the texture is definitely natural but slightly less creamy than their regular formula. I looked at all the shades, the only two that stood out to me were 02 Copper and 09 Feather Pink. I decided to get just one to try, I came home with Copper, a natural brownish-pink.

I also picked up Blush Lipgloss 04 which I find more pinky-rose than most promotional photos show this one as. This one has been repromoted for spring. I've had this on my wishlist for a while, I decided to cave. It's a lovely natural rose blush with shimmer. I would describe it as a neutral-cool shade.

Last, I picked up Burberry's Midnight Black Eyeshadow - a soft sheer shimmery black. This has a gorgeous shimmer with a slight greyish undertone. It is a bit high maintenance in my opinion. It's not as easy to blend as the other Burberry shades I have (I own both light and dark, shimmer and mattes). This one applies streaky, sheer and uneven on bare lids. You need an emollient base like UD's Primer Potion for it to show up well. I applied this with a fine tip smudge brush as a thick smudgey line and then took a lighter shade to apply on top to blend out the edges and then reapplied the black to intensify the color.

Swatched in a few different views:

Overall I love the Blush Lipgloss. The Lip Mists are nice, but I prefer the regular lipstick mainly because the color selection is better. Formula-wise, Lip Mists are less creamy but do have a semi-transparent texture even if the finish isn't really sheer (in my opinion). Copper is a nice basic but not a must-have. Midnight Black is a disappointment, mainly because I think it will be more of a high maintenance black shadow, but when applied over a moist base and packed on (rather than brushed on) it does show up.

I have a few comparison shots for your reference. I did not have time to swatch them all though and most likely will not be swatching in the near future due to time constraints.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Loving Right Now: Chanel

Chanel is my favorite brand, hands down. Chanel never fails to release something beautiful and each season I find at least one thing that catches my eye. Many have asked for my top ten picks for Chanel in each product category (nails, lips, eyes etc.) but I find it difficult to narrow down my favorites to any given number. My favorites change monthly depending on season, mood and occasion. I will be hard pressed to name something that I don't love from the brand (although I'm not really fond of their concealer or mascara). I do love all the other color items, however, RIGHT NOW, my favorites include the following:

Perlé Rouge Coco, Seashell Glossimer, Bronze Universel de Chanel (replaced by Soleil Tan De Chanel), Dragon Le Vernis, Jade Rose Le Vernis, Espresso Stylo Yeux, Regard Perlé Quad, Mystic Eyes Quad, Island Soft Touch Eyeshadow

Lips and Cheeks
  • Perlé Rouge Coco - soft shimmering pink (if you want something less expensive that is similar in effect, check out MAC VGV lipstick)
  • Seashell Glossimer - sheer shimmer
  • Bronze Universel de Chanel (replaced by Soleil Tan De Chanel) - the best cream bronzer to contour your face naturally and lasts all day, hit pan on 1, this is my second one

  • Dragon is without a doubt THE best red out there
  • Jade Rose is subtle but elegant and never fails to look polished

Jade Rose:

Dragon & dreaming of a caviar classic flap in red:

  • Island Soft Touch Eyeshadow (unfortunately discontinued) is the prettiest soft peachy pink champagne, Liberty and Lotus are similar, or for cheaper MAC Naked Lunch, but to me nothing truly compares
  • Regard Perlé is still on my favorites list (see it here)
  • Mystic Eyes is a classic that can take you from day to night
  • Espresso Stylo Yeux comes with a sharpener at the end to keep the tip pointy, this eyeliner is soft, easy to blend but stays put all day

I can't believe May is almost over!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Koh Gen Do Macro Vintage Essence Mask

I recently discovered Koh Gen Do at Barneys last month (see my review on the Maifanshi Lipsticks here) and was amazed how many raves and recommendations I received via comments and e-mails about this brand. I have taken note of all your recommendations so I know what to look for on my next trip to Barneys. I was fortunate enough to receive samples of Koh Gen Do's Macro Vintage Series. This line of skincare products have been designed to keep your skin healthy by increasing "elasticity, vitality & moisturization" that one's skin already possesses naturally. Although I am a minimalist when it comes to skincare, given the glowing reviews I've read, I was anxious to investigate further.

I received a sample of the Macro Vintage Essence Mask. This comes packaged in a metallic box with 6 individually packaged face sheets and retail for $110 for the set. Each sheet contains 0.81 fl. oz. / 24ml of product. Those interested in this brand, note that there is a 20% promotion on the Macro Vintage Series on Kohgendocosmetics.com which expires on May 31st. See their website for more details.

Product Description: The face mask comes in a sealed pouch soaked into a thick sheet which you apply directly to the face. The ingredients work to hydrate going deep into the layers of your skin. According to Koh Gen Do, these masks contain plant essence gels:

"The unique ‘Moisturizing Skin Ingredients’ increase immunity, boost regenerating and anti-oxidizing powers by calming the skin and preventing moisture from being lost ...Micronetting created by nano-technology in the gel perfectly resembles the structures of the skin, allowing the moisture molecules to attach and hydrate deeper into the skin."

Product Ingredients:

Water, Dipropylene Glycol, Pentylene Glycol, Glycerin, PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Methyl Gluceth-10, Delinoleate, Xanthan Gum, Phenoxyethanol, Cyclomethicone, Dimethicone, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Acrylated/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Potassium Hydroxide, Alcohol, Butylene Glycol, Polianthes Tuberosa Polysaccharide, Bifida Ferment Lysate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Angelica Acutiloba Root Extract, Lecithin, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Salvia Officinalis (Sage) Leaf Extract, Glucosyl Hesperidin, PinusPinaster Bark Extract, PVP, Trifolium Pratense (Clover) Flower Extract, Beta-Glucan, Algae Extract, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Seed Extract, Algae Extract, Fullerenes

The mask with cut outs on the sides for easy adjustment to your face size and shape:

Product Application: Recommended usage is 1-2 times per week, but I see myself using this maybe once a month.

  • Fit mask over dry face
  • Leave on for about 10 minutes
  • Remove mask and blend unabsorbed emollient into the skin
  • Apply remaining emollients in packet onto eyelids, neck or décolleté

My Product Thoughts:
I am a huge skeptic when it comes to face-sheet masks. I've tried a few in the past which I found irritated my skin resulting in red splotches or left my skin overly-moisturized. Most I've found did nothing to improve the texture or feeling of my face. Yet, I received so many raves via e-mail about the one from Koh Gen Do I was hopeful for better results.

I applied this after I had cleansed and dried my face with Clinique's Rinse-Off Foaming Cleanser. The mask seemed a bit large for my face but there were cut sections on the side which allowed for adjustment. The upside is your face is covered entirely, no spot is missed. The sheet was soaked with a heavy gel making the mask feel like it would fall off but it stayed put the entire 10 minutes I had it on my face. The scent is hard to describe, but I would call it a very light and clean refreshing scent. It covered my entire face and lids.

After ten minutes, I took the sheet off and rinsed my face with water to remove the excess and then gently dried with a towel. The results were A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! I have normal but sensitive skin that has recently started to look tired due to stress and neglect. (Yes, I'm not the best with my skin.) This mask gave me baby soft skin and left me feeling refreshed and moisturized yet perfectly clean. The gel left no heavy residue or sticky feeling. I've only had 2 spa facials before. This mask made my skin feel just as good as the Four Seasons facials. I see this as being useful for all skintypes. There was still quite a bit of excess product in the package - Koh Gen Do's recommendation is to use this for other parts of the face and neck. I discarded the excess both times I've used this, but I will have to keep that in mind the next time so I don't waste any good product.

This definitely makes the list of beauty-life-changers for me. The recommended usage is once per week. I only intended on using this once per month, but I've already used this mask twice since I received it. Once last week and once this evening. I can see that this might become an expensive habit.

I highly recommend you explore Kohgendocosmetics.com - there is a wealth of information on the brand history, product lines, how-to's for skincare, links to reviews and features from various editors and bloggers - all the goodies one would want to see about a brand, right on the brand website. I have not yet ordered online yet, my experience was at Barneys NY in Beverly Hills, but there seem to be quite a few promotions that are tempting me right now.

Have you tried Koh Gen Do's skincare before? I'd love to hear more thoughts on your experiences with this brand as I am anxious to make another run to Beverly Hills soon, maybe in the next couple months.

This product was provided to The Beauty Look Book without charge for review.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

MAC Peachy Love: Ripe Peach, Marine Life & My Paradise

I have a soft spot for peachy blushes and highlighters, especially for the limited edition creations by MAC like Ripe Peach and Marine Life. I haven't craved anything from MAC for quite some time, but this all changed as soon as sneak previews popped up for the new My Paradise Surf, Baby! Cheek Powder. The packaging and embossed chunky gold flower design on the surface is to die for. I could not resist.

Here are all three limited-edition peachy blush and highlighter powders next together (note, the marine life with the gold overspray is an untouched back-up).

Left to right: Ripe Peach Blush Ombre (spring 2010)
Marine Life High-Light Powder (summer 2010)
My Paradise Surf, Baby! Cheek Powder (summer 2011)

Close up of Ripe Peach - the softest finish out of the 3 peaches. Rich ripe peach with a satiny shimmer. Gradient from light peach to coral. Super soft shimmer throughout.

Close up of my backup of Marine Life. The gold is overspray on the surface and disappears. This one is the most pigmented and most shimmery out of the three. Application must be with a super light hand for me to avoid clown-cheeks. This one is the most coral with hints of red/pink.

Close up of My Paradise. The gold is embossed and raised from the peach powder. I suspect it's only on the surface. The shimmer in the gold is very chunky but rich in pigment. The peach is very similar to Ripe Peach, but more slightly more reddish.

Left to right: Ripe Peach, Marine Life, My Paradise

Unfortunately, Ripe Peach and Marine life are no longer for sale as they were both limited edition. I suspect My Paradise will be sold out soon as well, but the good thing about MAC is that chances are with the frequent releases they will come up with something similar in the near future. Right now my holy-grail peach blushes are Chanel Espiègle (see it here), MAC Fleur Power (see it here) and MAC Style (see it here) - all of which are still easy to find right now.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Chanel Rouge Coco Shines: Évasion, Fétiche, Romance & Chance

Chanel Rouge Coco Shines Part 2
(shown above, left to right)
  • Évasion 48 is a sheer nude peach-pink-beige
  • Fétiche 52 is a soft mauve pink shimmer
  • Romance 55 is a bright warm pink
  • Chance 56 is a pale cream blue-based pastel pink
Below, left to right: Évasion, Fétiche, Romance & Chance

Évasion is a sheer peach that goes on pinkish on my lips. It's very sheer.

Fétiche is probably my favorite, a mauve pink with subtle shimmer.

Romance is a brighter blue-pink, it has more blue than Aventure (which has a bit of gold shimmer).

Chance is not a winner for me. Lovely in the tube, but it's too pale and goes on streaky. I suspect it will be better if applied over a darker matte lip color or a pinky lipliner to even out the paleness.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Chanel Rouge Coco Shines: Canotier, Biarritz, Deauville & Bel-Ami

Chanel Rouge Coco Shines Part 1:
  • Canotier 41 is a sheer iridescent golden beige with flashes of multi-colored shimmers, this is so sheer it just adds shine with a slightly shimmery sheen
  • Biarritz 42 is a sheer peach, slight shimmers, pigment is semi-sheer, it evens out the lips but looks very natural
  • Deauville 67 is a neutral mauve-brown with pink, slight sparkles (note this won't be re-lipswatched, see makeover with Deauville here)
  • Bel-Ami 66 is a plum brown, also has slight shimmer, one of my favorites

My swatches are meh. Check out Karlasugar for the best ones of the entire lineup.

Coming Soon: Chanel Rouge Coco Shine Reviews

I have splurged on so many Chanel Rouge Coco Shine Lipsticks I probably can go the rest of my life without ever having to buy another sheer lipstick. I thought the wait time in between the sneak preview of Boy in February and the actual release in April was so long that I'd be over it by the time they arrived in-store. Initially I was not thrilled with the sheerness, lack of lasting power, small size, standard color and high price tag of Boy ($32). However, my thoughts on these lipsticks have changed since the initial release of Boy (on Valentine's Day) as I have had a chance to play with the shades over the past months.

To quote one of my Chanel friends, LR, Boy is "a lightweight, glossy, non-sticky lipstick that compliments many a woman." I agree with her 100% when she e-mailed me her thoughts on Boy saying, "this isn't a wow color, but IS something you can put on in an elevator, which is my test for a foolproof lipstick." Her description is dead-on.

I feel this is how most of the shades are - not exactly life-changing, but naturally flattering and easy to apply without requiring a mirror. Every woman is bound to find at least 1 shade that is naturally enhancing. While the lasting power is almost non-existent, it does feel amazing on the lips and fades in a subtle way so it's not obvious you only have lipstick around the edges of your mouth. Application is super easy for touch ups. I find if I've added lipliner and blend it first, then apply the lipstick on top, lasting power is slightly better.

The big question is: with the new sheer lipstick rage, which brand is better, Chanel Rouge Coco Shines or the new Dior Addicts (previously reviewed in March and April)? The answer to that question will be different for everyone. For me, I think they are just different. Neither is better or worse, the finish, texture and color selections are just different.

Dior has more color options, the texture of the actual lipstick is harder, but still easy to apply. The lighter colors are sheer, the darker/brighter colors show up more. Those who like darker deeper colors will be pleased to find a good selection with the new Dior Addicts. The tubes are bigger than Chanel. I find lasting power slightly better than the Chanel Rouge Coco Shines.

Chanel has a softer texture. Tubes are extremely small and compact. There is a wide color selection, but not as diverse as Dior. I feel overall, the Chanel Rouge Coco Shines are sheerer because of the softness of the actual lipstick.

Both have a high-shine finish. Neither have a detectable scent. Both brands have a good range of colors and finishes. For the price, the Dior is the better buy. The packaging is designed so the product fills the entire tube - a bonus for me as I won't ever have to worry about lipstick breakage. I have to admit I was overwhelmed by the color options in both brands. It took me at least 3 visits to really decide on colors. Even after that, I was overwhelmed and have decided to wait a few months before I try to look into more colors. After a few hours of hand-swatching, many of the Dior shades started to look the same.

Overall, I'm still not smitten with the price for the size of the Chanel Rouge Coco Shines. I believe it should have been priced around $24 max, but yet I have accumulated quite a few. These are all goof-proof, easy to apply, natural and glossy. I don't know that I can say I find them moisturizing, but they definitely are not drying. The sheerness makes some of the neutrals look the same on my pigmented lips. I do love the brighter and darker ones. After having some difficulty with opaque lipsticks working because that shade just isn't quite right, I think you come to appreciate sheer ones because they are just so much easier to work with.

I don't think these are better or worse than the recently discontinued Aqualumieres. Just different. About the same in sheerness, but softer in texture and glossier in finish with less lasting power.

Now that I have shared my thoughts, I'm going to split up my review on the colors for Chanel Rouge Coco Shines into 2 parts on shades I haven't covered. For prior coverage, you can see Misia here and Aventure here and Deauville here.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Dolce & Gabbana Perla, Mandorla and Sole

This is the last post for my series on the Dolce & Gabbana Italian Summertime picks. Perla Shine Lipstick is a shiny cool pale frost, Mandorla Classic Lipstick is a pale fleshy peach, Sole Blush is a vibrant orange-red.

The lipsticks are rich in coverage but extremely pale on my lips. Both require extra work (ie darker lipliner and clear gloss) to make them work. In my opinion they are lovely but not goof proof. Mandorla surprised me - note that it looks like a nude brown peach in the tube but on the lips and swatched it went on quite a bit paler. (Perla has not been lip swatched.) No detectable scent. Opaque in finish. Lasting power above average. Colors are just too pale for my pigmented lips.

Sole is the winner in the collection. I do not have a picture of it on my cheeks, but this applies to give a beautiful healthy flush. It's on the warm side but not too warm. It doesn't turn orangey on the skin. It's simply stunning.

So how do these compare to what already exists? I don't own many bright orange-red blushes. The only thing I could think of comparable in intensity is NARS Cactus Flower. Check it out on Makeup Magpie here.

Same with the lipsticks, no exact dupes, although I suspect the ones for summer are easily dupeable. Here they are compared to Dolce & Gabbana Shimmer and Chanel Cashmere:

Comparisons swatched:


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