Friday, December 30, 2011

Wearing Tomorrow for New Year's Eve



Many have asked me to share what I'll be wearing for New Year's Eve. I'm still working on the outfit but I've already planned the makeup look. Here's my first Polyvore attempt (not sure if I pulled in all the right items for the above photos, but the look is detailed below):
  • Dolce & Gabbana Perfect Creamy Foundation in Natural Beige 120 mixed with a pale highlighter
  • Chanel Poudre Universelle Compacte in Rose Merveille 120 dusted all over
  • Armani Sheer Blush #10
  • Armani Jacquard Face Palette to highlight
  • Laura Mercier Metallic Crème Eye Colour in Gold
  • Chanel Beige Lamé 417 Soft Touch Eyeshadow
  • Armani Eyes to Kill #6 Khaki Pulse
  • NARS Larger than Life Volumizing Mascara
  • Bobbi Brown Gel Liner Caviar Ink
  • Armani Gloss d'Armani Pink 502 + 507 mixed
  • Chanel Black Pearl #513 Le Vernis
  • L'Artisan Mûre et Musc
I'll be offline for a few days but I'll be checking in here and there to publish comments/questions via my iPhone. I'm running out the door right now to get a Black Pearl manicure :) Toes will be covered so I'm passing on the pedicure this week. I wish everyone a Happy New Year!

What will you be wearing tomorrow night?

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Chanel Spring 2012 Lipstick Picks: Flirt, Candeur, Charme & Superstition


This year Chanel's spring collection includes four Rouge Coco lipsticks (three new, one repromote), two new Rouge Coco Shines and one hydrating lip balm. When I placed my order over the phone I had not yet seen anything in person. I picked out four items based on descriptions given to me and ended up with both of the new Rouge Coco Shine Lipsticks in Flirt and Candeur and two Rouge Cocos Charme and Superstition.


Flirt Rouge Coco Shine #69 is a bright but soft creamy peach. It looks bright in the tube but the sheerness of the color makes it go on softer than what you see in the tube. Compared to Misia #45 (a Neimans Exclusive from last April), Flirt is very similar but softer, milkier and creamier in color. The texture is smooth and moisturizing like all other Rouge Coco Shines. Lasting power is average for your typical sheer/glossy lipstick but Flirt is very pretty on the lips and brightens the face.



Candeur Rouge Coco Shine #68 is a soft pale pink and almost looks faded in the tube. There is a very very slight hint of sparkle. You can only see it when you hold it at an angle, on my lips it applies more like a sheer cream. It does show up on my lips but the contrast made it appear a bit streaky. I found it similar in paleness/sheerness to Royallieu which was released back in June. I prefer Royallieu.



Charme Rouge Coco #40 is a gorgeous cool-toned pink rose shimmer. I thought it looked fairly unique compared to Chanel's other Rouge Cocos in Camelia (more warm), Gardenia (more peach), Legende (significantly cooler) and Magnolia (has gold flecks), but when swatched on the arm and lips, I found the effect very similar to Magnolia. Charme is one of those colors that turns slightly fuschia on my lips (much like Magnolia does (reviewed here). I think Charme is slightly deeper with a hint more shimmer that is evenly dispersed. Magnolia is a bit brighter with a creamier base and gold flecks that make it slightly textured. For me Charme will require lots of tweaking to prevent it from turning fuschia/blue.



Superstition Rouge Coco #38 is a breathtaking nude gold shimmer. There's a hint of peach and pink in the base to prevent it from looking too pale. Long-time Chanel fans might remember Baby Gold Hydrabase Lipstick. Superstition reminds me of less pale version of Baby Gold. Superstition is semi-sheer which allows your natural lip color to show through. I adore it. I think it will be stunning when topped with any sheer gloss.



Swatch comparisons for Flirt and Candeur Rouge Coco Shines - they're all very sheer so the swatches aren't showing up very well:


Swatch comparisons for Charme and Superstition Rouge Cocos, all swatched with a light hand:


I think Chanel released some beautiful colors for lips this season but for me they lacked that wow-factor. My top two picks are Flirt Rouge Coco Shine (the peach) and Superstition Rouge Coco (beige gold), but I don't see them as being very unique. Next season I will wait to see everything in person or wait for other bloggers to compare the releases before buying.

Did you pick up any lip items from Chanel spring? What were your thoughts?

Monday, December 26, 2011

L'Artisan Holiday Trio: Nuit de Tubéreuse, Mûre et Musc & La Chasse Aux Papillons


L'Artisan was on my Christmas wishlist and I was thrilled to be gifted the beautiful Feminine Parfum Set with Nuit de Tubéreuse (EDP), Mûre et Musc and La Chasse Aux Papillons ($98 from ArtisanParfumeur.com). I have always admired the beautiful L'Artisan bottles and frequently stopped by the counter back when the line used to be carried at Saks (years ago). Being overwhelmed by fragrance in general, I never really looked into the line, or any other fragrance line for that matter. In the past couple years I've stuck with Jo Malone as a safety finding the line to be clean, simple and classic. It wasn't until a recent shopping trip to Barneys that I started to look more into L'Artisan, Serge Lutens, Byredo among other beautiful lines (but oh, so hard-to-find, at least for me). I'm slowly but surely expanding my fragrance collection. I couldn't be more thrilled with this gorgeous little trio as my introduction to L'Artisan. The three scents in beautiful miniature vials 15 ml each:



The exquisite box:


Each bottle is quite small with only 15ml in each vial but they are perfect for testing each fragrance and ideal for travel. For size reference, all three will fit into the palm of my hand. I am hoping they are refillable.

Initial thoughts and reviews on each scent:

Nuit de Tubéreuse is an Eau de Parfum and noticeably more concentrated than the other two. At first spritz this was my least favorite - it opened with an overwhelmingly strong powdery-incense-mixed scent. It reminded me of the smell that surrounds you when you first walk into a Lush Store (which I like, but not in the overwhelming sense). After a few minutes, it dried down and turned less powdery and became a bit more sweet with more noticeable notes of tuberose. It has a romantic feel and although not something I would normally be drawn to, it's growing on me and smells divine.

The notes: cardamom, clove, pink pepper, black pepper, citrus, green mango, angelica, tuberose, orange blossom, ylang-ylang, rose, broom, musks, vanilla, sandalwood, palisander, benzoin and styrax.

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Mûre et Musc in this trio comes in the Eau de Toilette. This is our favorite pick as the most youthful and light. I normally do not like berry-scented fragrances. I found most variations of Trish No. 9 and Philosophy Falling in Love to be nice on others, but too sweet, cloying and headache-inducing on me. (My mother and sister always hated this when I sprayed it on at counters.) L'Artisan Mûre et Musc is a wearable fruity scent. It's been on my radar for several months now ever since I smelled it on one of my friends LJ. It smells amazing on her and I am thrilled to find that it works well with my chemistry as well, although it smells sweeter on my skin than hers. It's clean, bright and fresh. Lasting power is medium but I love the way it smells as it fades. I need a full-sized bottle of this one.

The notes: wild blackberry, musk, citrus

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La Chasse Aux Papillons is another beautiful light and airy floral. It's the perfect mixture of orange blossom and tuberose with a hint of jasmine. This one turns slightly more floral as it dries on my skin. Right now I think it's a bit too light for right now but will be perfect in a few months time. It smells like a spring garden, more floral and green compared to Jo Malone's Wild Bluebell (which is slightly sweeter with a hint of spice).

The notes: Notes of tuberose, orange blossom and spices.

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A few snapshots of my perfumes all lined up ... my collection is growing at an exponential rate:




Bottom line: My next trip to Barneys can't come soon enough. I already want a full bottle of Mûre et Musc. All three are exquisite and given the fact that a 50 ml bottle of the L'Artisan Eau de Toilettes starts at $100, I think the $98 for 45 ml is a reasonable price (even though this was a gift). My husband purchased this set directly from L'Artisan online but the set is also available on Barneys online.

A few resources for L'Artisan reviews that I found extremely helpful: The Non-Blonde, The Notice, Lucky Scent reviews. What are you favorites from L'Artisan? The descriptions and reviews for Mimosa Por Moi sound absolutely delicious but I wonder if it's too sweet?

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Friday, December 23, 2011

Loving Right Now


I hope everyone is well and ready for Christmas & the holidays! It's been a crazy busy few weeks and I'm looking forward to having time off starting today :) What are you loving right now? Things that make me happy right now:
  • NARS Larger Than Life Volumizing Mascara - thickens, holds curls & doesn't flake (reviewed back in 2010 here)
  • Glitter Nail Polish - Butter London Tart With a Heart & Deborah Lippmann Stairway to Heaven (yes, it's a shocker, but these looked so lovely on Lilly Chantilly & Messy Wands I had to check these out)
  • Mini Brushes - Laura Mercier hands down makes the best minis in sets and palettes, I like them more than her full sized versions, Le Métier and MAC have some lovely options too
  • Bond No 9 Bon Bon Set - My husband and I are going to work our way through each one
  • Lanvin Flats - My first pair in taupe, so comfortable!
  • Le Métier de Beauté Antiquité Poupée - even with the dupes, I can't deny the colors in this palette are so lovely
  • Clé de Peau Intensive Eye Contour Cream (courtesy of Neiman Marcus and Clé de Peau) I never believed in Eye Cream until this winter, the dry weather & long work hours have been harsh on my skin, this has been a miracle worker
  • Henri Bendel Candles - Among my favorites, especially the new Silver Birch! Other favorites include Vanilla Bean, Firewood, Fig, Quince, Pomegranate ... I could go on and on!
  • Nude Nail Polish - Hard to tell the color from the instagram filter, but it was Chanel Beige Petale
  • Chanel Rouge Coco Shines - Being short on time and always on the go, Chanel Rouge Coco Shines are those easy swipe-and-go lipsticks that don't require a mirror, the sheer glossy finish makes fading less obvious because it fades naturally
  • Jo Malone Wild Bluebell - This is more appropriate for spring, but it lifts the mood and brightens my day, I've splurged on the shower gel, candle and cologne (reviewed here)
  • Edward Bess Afterglow Cream Highlighter - Another lifesaver, the perfect cream highlighter to brighten and illuminate without being overly frosty or greasy (previously reviewed here)
  • Chanel Wallet on Chains - Love these when I just need cards, keys, cash and one lipstick
  • Urban Decay Naked 2 - Yes, this is an amazing palette! Very similar to the first Naked but a definite must for any neutral-lover, the layering possibilities are endless
  • Chanel Le Vernis - Of course, always on my list of loving right now
  • Nespresso Pixie & Aeroccino Plus - The best part of every morning and much more affordable compared to Starbucks, wish I could put one at my desk at work but it would make me way too popular & I would never get anything done

I want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy Holiday! Thank you everyone so much for your support! I've been so touched by everyone's kindness this past year and week after week I'm amazed you still come back to read my blog. Thank you again :)

Is there anything you are loving right now? I'm all ears! Beauty and non-beauty related!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Chanel Glossimers Bon Bon, Pétillant & Bagatelle for Spring 2012


I have a weakness for Chanel Glossimers. The colors created by Chanel are always so gorgeous in the tubes with the prettiest shimmers and sparkles - they make my heart skip a beat. The newest colors for spring are Bon Bon 73, Pétillant 159 & Bagatelle 161. All the shades are light and shimmery but unfortunately not unique. I still love the newest items from spring but the colors are fairly sheer and seem like lazy rehashed from seasons past. Note my weakness overcame me and I still caved.


The colors:

Bon Bon 73 is a pale pearly pink gold. It's one of those luminous glowy glosses without glittery specks. The shimmer is very smooth and almost milky. Back in 2008, Chanel released a series of Aqualumiere Glosses, one was also called Bon Bon. I don't have it anymore since used it up, but from my memory, the new Bon Bon Glossimer seems identical to what Bon Bon Aqualumiere Gloss looked like. It's a paler version of Sundress. The color is very sheer and goes on clear on my lips. I suspect it will be best used as a layering color over a pigmented lipstick.

Pétillant 159 is a soft luminous peachy glow with an iridescent pinkish shimmer. On the hands and lips it goes on more of a clear pinkish shimmer for me. Odd right? I attribute this to the sheer silvery pale sparkles that show up more than the sheer peachy base. Do check out Best Things in Beauty for swatches in different light and skintone. I agree with her that I also could have skipped this too - it's so sheer on me even the sparkles barely show up.

Bagatelle 161 is the most pigmented gloss in the collection. It's a beautiful fresh salmon pink with gold shimmers. I found it to be a lighter fresher version of Magnifique. Years ago Chanel also released a color called Pink Oyster. I no longer have that either (used up) but Bagatelle reminds me of Pink Oyster. Scroll down to the bottom for comparisons. It's more pigmented so this shows up on my lips but it's still rather natural.

More close ups:




Comparisons below to other Chanels and one Le Metier gloss. The photo of the actual product was taken with my iPhone. I couldn't get a decent shot with outdoor lighting - the sunlight and flash blurred all the pinks and corals together.



Have you seen the spring collection in person yet? What were your thoughts of the glossimers? I didn't lip swatch them for this blog since they were so sheer it didn't seem worth trying to post here. Thank you everyone for your patience as I slowly work my way through Chanel's spring collection. November and December have proved to be very challenging months for me in my non-blogging life. The good thing with this collection is that Chanel scheduled the release very early this year so most of you have probably had the chance to go to the counters to play.

If you've seen the collection in person I'd love to hear your thoughts :) Or even if you haven't I'd love to hear your first impressions based on what you've seen online or read about.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Chanel Rose Envolée 31 vs. Éclosion 34


As promised, a comparison between Rose Envolée 31 (from Le Blanc, an Asia Exclusive Collection and Nordstrom Anniversary 2011 Exclusive) & Éclosion 34 (from Spring 2012). The underlying theme of both quads seems to be similar. Rose Envolée 31 is more pink/cool while Éclosion 34 is more peachy/warm. Do you need both? I don't think so, but since Rose Envolée was limited to Nordstrom for a short time so other counters did not have this quad to show customers a side-by-side comparison.


Those new to Chanel might ask why one quad has round pans while the other square. The round-pan quads are made for distribution in Europe, Asia and Canada (I think) while the square-pan quads are made for distribution in the US. Other differences:

Round-pan:
  • baked formula which means a harder texture
  • typically more chalky in finish
  • comes with white tipped applicators
  • net weight is 1.2 g / .04 oz
Square-pan:
  • more finely milled smoother finish
  • comes with black sponge applicators
  • typically more pigmented and non-chalky
  • net weight is 6.8 g / .24 oz

Both Rose Envolée 31 vs. Éclosion 34 were made in France. Some of my other quads have been made in USA. Swatches below:



My preference has always been for the US formula, so if I could only have one, it would hands down be Éclosion. It's warmer but not too warm.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Featured on Feather Factor


Although my blog focuses on beauty items, I'm still an avid reader of fashion blogs. I'm honored to be featured this week on the Feather Factor's interview series! She is one of my favorite daily reads and if you haven't already check out Katherine's blog, I highly recommend you click over to browse through. You can read more about her here. She's a mix master - always coordinating a unique set of items to create some of the most chic outfits I've seen. Her style is inspirational and her blog a joy to read. I adore her purse and shoe collection (to die for)! She was kind enough to ask me to participate in a 2 part interview. Here is Part 1. I hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Chanel Éclosion Quadra Eyeshadow


Chanel Éclosion Quadra Eyeshadow ($57 for 6.8 g/0.24 oz) is the a beautiful warm-neutral palette for spring. The shades have a beautiful refined shimmer - each color has a slightly different variation of sparkle. The colors are on the warmer side but not overly so. From the top left clockwise you have:
  • Soft satiny glowy pale peach
  • Sheer sparkly gold with slightly larger shimmer flecks
  • Rich shimmery reddish plum brown
  • Sandy gold-beige with a slightly multidimensional iridescent glow
I applied this on the eyes from darkest to lightest in a layering method and it created a soft but defined glowy eye look. The overall effect was very warm with the plummy brown shade. It has gorgeous reddish tones without being too red. It works perfectly with the Blush Horizon de Chanel. Here are a few more shots and swatches, first without flash:


There is something familiar about Éclosion but I couldn't find a dupe. Perhaps it's just that I find each shade resembles something similar to other separate quads. Here it is compared to Shimmering Dunes and Spices:


Swatch comparisons below. A side note: for some reasons my swatches look more shimmery/frosty in the photos than these quads look in real life.



Bottom line worth every penny. It's classic, flawless and stunning.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Blush Horizon de Chanel for Spring 2012


The new Blush Horizon de Chanel ($58) is the star product of the Harmonie de Printemps Collection for Spring 2012. The new Glowing Blush Harmony is a stunning palette of soft luminous pinks, white, plum, peachy-pink and gold. I believe this will be a universally flattering pink. It has a good mixture of cool and warm tones with the alternating stripes. There are several variations of pink to suit everyone's taste. This powder I took a soft blush brush and swirled the colors together before applying. On the face this is a very soft glowing pink, not overly frosty, but a hint of shimmer is visible on the face. Each stripe appears to have a different degree of shimmer which I find lovely. On my medium-toned olive skin (Chanel Perfection Lumiere B30) it gives a soft medium pink glow. On darker skins I think this will be more of a lighter highlighting pink, still visible, and absolutely gorgeous. Be sure to check out Makeup Magpie and Best Things in Beauty if you haven't seen their photos yet.


Here at an angle you can see the glow better and the variations in the colors between each stripe (I believe the gold goes all the way through to the bottom of the pan):


Swatched & swirled (the heavy blended swatch looks frosty because of the high flash, but on the face it is not quite as frosty, I recommend you check out Best Things in Beauty's swatches):



While striped blushes aren't new, Chanel has created a beautiful fresh new variation with the Blush Horizon de Chanel. In the past few weeks, Amy from Café Makeup and I pondered how the new Chanel compared to compared to Guerlain's Série Noire Blush G from last spring. On my skin, the Guerlain looks brighter and more peachy. The Blush Horizon de Chanel is more subtle & pink. I feel it's a combination between Brompton Road and Narcisse without the chalkiness.




I haven't seen any other spring collections in person yet, but I can already tell you this is a must-have for the season.
 

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