Sunday, April 29, 2012

Soleil Tan de Chanel: 2011 Bronzes vs. 2012 Sables

Top: Bronze Rose (summer 2011) and Sable Rose (summer 2012)
Bottom: Bronze Corail (summer 2011) and Sable Beige (summer 2012)

Here is a comparison post of the stripe bronzers from Chanel. Overall thoughts on each release:

Summer 2011: Bronze Corail 537 and Bronze Rose 547 (reviewed here and here)
  • Retailed for $50 each
  • Four stripes of varying color
  • Overall darker and more brown-based
  • Product size 14 g/0.49 oz
Summer 2012: Sable Beige 907 and Sable Rose 917
  • Retails for $60 each
  • Seven stripes of varying color, each shade embossed with a stripe imprint
  • Overall softer glow and more sandy-beige undertones
  • Product size 15 g/0.53 oz
Bronze Corail vs. Sable Beige

Bronze Rose vs. Sable Rose 

Swatched, two views/applications (labels corrected): 


Chanel Sable Beige and Sable Rose Soleil Tan de Chanel Bronzers for Summer 2012

This summer Chanel has continued in the striped-bronzer theme and released two new variations of their Soleil Tan de Chanel bronzers in a luminous powder compact. The two colors this year are Sable Beige 907 and Sable Rose 917 ($60 for 15g/0.53 oz, both limited edition). Both shades contain 7 stripes of color each although to my eye, it appears that there are some repeats of colors within each pattern. The finish of both of these are subtle with a finely milled shimmer. It makes the skin glow without having too much shimmer. I recommend testing on the face in person since swatching on the hand or arm will not give you the same effect as on the face. I had similar thoughts/experiences to Product Doctor. The finish of these are softer than previous years. I also did not find these to be the typical bronzer, but rather a more luminous glow blush/highlighter - minus the frost or shimmer. This year's releases are more glowy and sandy/beige than last year's which I found more brown/bronzey.

Sable Beige 907 is a soft light beige bronze shimmer. I found this to be a lovely subtle warm contour. It can be used as a blush alone for lighter skins or over other colors of blush as well. I don't recommend applying over a bare face. The texture needs some kind of base (foundation or tinted moisturizer) to show up. Sable Beige is the lighter of the two.

Sable Rose 917 is the darker bronzer. It has more bronze and pink stripes which make this more of a soft luminous rose-brown blush on my skin. On me the brown/beige dominate over the pink and shows up as more of a soft tawny bronze with a slight hint of pink. It's lovely alone as a blush and has enough color to wear by itself.

More shots of both Sable Beige and Sable Rose shown side by side.




Overall thumbs up. When I called my Nordstrom Chanel associate, she thought I did not need either of these if I had both of last year's bronzers. I still bought both. After playing with both I think she is correct, however if you found last year's muddy on your skin, give these new ones a try. I can't emphasize enough that what you see on the arm/hand will not translate to what you will see on the face. I'm about a 1/2 shade lighter (Chanel B30) than I was last year so I think both show up well on my skin. If you have doubts about which shade would look best on you, I recommend calling your Chanel counter to have a specialist help. 

Are these must-haves? At $60 each and given my current bronzer collection, I could have probably just bought 1 although I can't pick my favorite. I've been wearing Sable Rose regularly since I purchased it. It's an easy no-fuss go-with-everything kind of color that works with all types of lip colors. I haven't found one yet that didn't work well with it. Many have asked how these compare to last year's. A more detailed comparison post to come soon.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Loving Right Now

  • Personally, pastels, fresh cut flowers, Lucky Magazine inspiration, Jo Malone candles, Guerlain Pucci items (swoon), Chanel summer bronzers and nail polishes, Le Metier's blush kaleidoscope & new Haute House Hues from Neiman Marcus
  • Makeup Magpie swatches a few pics from Laura Mercier's Belle Nouveau Collection (Lavendar Cloud nail polish is one of the shades photographed above and below)
  • Temptalia is a rockstar with all the MAC Fashion Sets she's swatched, my favs Angel and Razzledazzle (thank you Temptalia!)
  • A Lipstick a Day shares some gorgeous Paris photos
  • Best Things in Beauty has me lemming the latest golden glosses from YSL
  • Karla Sugar swatched all the new Guerlain Shine Automatique lipsticks
  • I love the collages on Atlantic-Pacific
  • The Non-Blonde turned six! Happy Blog Birthday Gaia!
  • Cafe Makeup has the prettiest swatches of NARS Trouville Nail Polish
All photos by me.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Chanel Delight 607 vs. Quartz 525

Several have asked how the newly released Delight nail polish compares to Quartz from last fall stating they appear to look very similar. When I first saw Delight at the counters, I thought the exact same thing even though this shade was described as "bronzey". I thought perhaps the department store lighting is playing tricks on my eyes. Once I got home, I put them together side-by-side and I found they were quite different which is why I didn't include Quartz in my original comparison. I do strive for color accuracy for this blog, but varying monitors and differing light conditions can make it hard to tell what a color really looks like, even with numerous comparisons to other brands/shades. To answer those who have asked, this is what I found:
  • Delight is more golden, highly metallic/sparkley and warmer in tone
  • Quartz is not as frosty, has more silver/taupe/grey tones, and applies with a more subtle shimmer finish
Both shades contain multi-colored particles which makes these difficult to photograph. Quartz has those gorgeous teal flecks of micro-shimmer that you can only see at certain angles. Delight also has quite a few variations of metallic shimmers which is why it looks bronzey in the bottle but more lighter and more golden on the fingers. Multiple views below under different lights and at different angles. Note that I had no direct sunlight today, the weekend has been cloudy. I drove about 20 minutes away from the coast looking for a cloudless area (and an excuse to pick up one more sprinkles cupcake), but no luck finding sunshine today.

Swatched on the fingers, two coats for each shade:

And one last nail wheel comparison to Tom Ford Burnt Topaz (so you can see that Delight isn't quite as bronzey, but more golden), Quartz (is one of those shades that looks different in every photograph), and Graphite (to show how Delight has a similar sparkley finish):

I hope this extra comparison post helps compare Delight vs Quartz! I personally really loved Quartz, but I think due to the taupe-ness, it can look a bit drab on some skintones sometimes (mine included). Delight has more glitz and warmth which makes me think this will be a bigger hit with a wider variety of skintones. It's easier to wear in my opinion, even though it's highly metallic, it's still work friendly but has enough omph to wear on a nice evening out.

Also, for those who asked about the rest of the collection, I did purchase quite a bit from the Chanel Summer 2012 release, but most likely won't be reviewing them due to time constraints. Some quick thoughts:
  • Bronzers are softer than last year's and less brownish (at least on me) with a more finely milled shimmer. If I could only pick 1 it would be the Sable Beige. I don't think they are must-haves, but that is just my opinion. I still bought both.
  • Sable-Emouvant Duo is gorgeous. It's a pumped up version of the Taupe-Delicat, definitely a must-have, although probably very similar to other bronzey-coppers and beige shimmers from other brands. The pigment is excellent and the shimmer isn't overly-frosty. Stunning and very easy to wear.
  • Sirocco or Calypso Glossimers aren't must-haves if you have a lot of Chanel Glossimers already. The golden-beige is very sheer and virtually transparent. I found the coral is a bit different from other orangey glosses Chanel has released, but still very close.
  • En Vogue Rouge Coco Shine applies with a pinkish sheen rather than the orange it appears to be in the tube, different enough from Flirt to justify owning. Empreinte Rouge Coco Shine looked really pretty in the tube, I haven't tried it on the lips yet, I assume it will barely show up on my lips.
  • Brun Intense eyeliner was a pass since it was a basic matte brown (I already love and adore BB's Gel Eyeliners).
  • Peach Cuivre eyeliner is an intriguing metallic peach that I could not resist. I have no idea how I'm going to wear it though. I suspect it's similar in concept to those metallic eyeliners from Armani but I don't know how they compare (I never checked out the spring collection in close detail).
My top 5 picks from the collection include the nail polishes in Island and Delight, Peach Cuivre Eyeliner, Sable Beige Bronzer and the Sable-Emouvant Duo. For more details/discussion, I found the Chanel Summer 2012 forum on Specktra helpful with descriptions, extra photos, swatches and all those extra tidbits of awesome info from Chanel lovers around the world.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Chanel Island, Delight and Holiday for Summer 2012

Chanel Summer 2012 has started to trickle in at counters. I've found the summer items at Macy's in Southern California (I hear Nordstrom Seattle has it as well and Bloomingdales in NYC) I think you can expect to see these at all Chanel counters in the upcoming week. Late Friday evening I came home with the three new nail polishes in Island 597, Delight 607 and Holiday 617 ($26 each). They are perfect for right now and for the upcoming summer season. I found it nice to see a little variation from the recent releases we've seen from other brands this spring.

Chanel Island #597 is a soft opalescent pearly beige that flashes some seashell pink. It has a sheer see-through finish, but glides on smoothly and evenly with 2 coats. It reminded me of an older nail polish Angora, but when I swatched them side-by-side, I found Island to be more pinkish. This color makes the fingers glow with a subtle but natural sheen. It's reminiscent of the long-discontinued Island single eyeshadow (which I wish they would bring back). If you're looking for a gloss to match this perfectly, it seems Seashell would be a close match.


Chanel Delight #607 is the color I was anticipating the most. It's a high-sparkle complex bronzey-gold. I found that it has a similar finish to that of Graphite (sheerish base loaded with sparkles and highly metallic). However, the first coat is much much more pigmented than Graphite or even Gold Fingers. On the nails the pale-neutral-gold shimmers stand out. For me, it looks like a pale gold rather than a bronze on the fingertips. I'm sure there are similar shades from OPI (I'm thinking something from the Muppets collection or a warmer version of Glitzerland, possible close to China Glaze Swing Baby), but I usually miss out on most of the limited edition OPI colors. The finish is smooth with full coverage using 2 coats. There is no gritty feeling even with all the sparkles. It's nothing like anything else Chanel has released. In the bottle it looks warm, on the fingers it's a neutral-warm metallic. (Note the color changes depending on the angle and the way the light hits the metallic particles in bottle, sometimes it looks more bronze, other times more golden.)

Chanel Holiday #617 is an orange-coral. Coral is a hot shade this year and with so many brands releasing coral shades, many have asked me, "how is this one similar/different?" I would say it's close to last year's Dior Aloha, but minus the jelly finish. Compared to this year's releases, Chanel Holiday is predominantly orange. Most of the other corals have pink or red undertones. There is still some red in Holiday, but I'd say it's more of a burnt-orange/coral blend. The first coat is sheerish but it applies smoothly and gives full coverage with 2 coats. I thought this might be similar to Enthusiast, but Holiday is quite a bit more orange.


Comparisons on the nail wheel: 

I love these new colors from Chanel. I think they are all must-haves. They are wearable for work and everyday but edgy enough to not be boring or too neutral. I think these will sell out really fast, so if you're considering these, I highly recommend you call your local counters sooner than later to see if they've received the summer items.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Loving Right Now

I've missed everyone! A quick post, hopefully I'll have time to do some quick swatches this weekend. Right now I'm loving:
  • Late Friday night finds: Chanel Summer 2012 Nails at Macy's in Island, Delight and Holiday and a package from FedEx at my door containing my NARS Trouville order
  • Deborah Lippmann's Sarah Smile looks perfectly polished on Lilly Chantilly
  • NARS Ramatuelle Eyeshadow Trio is soft and dreamy (wore this all week), see it on Café Makeup
  • New Dior Book Set as seen on The Non-Blonde
  • The entire Tom Ford Spring line is swatched at Karla Sugar
  • Tons of upcoming releases from Le Métier de Beauté, preview of Ken Downing's Tickled Pinks at Best Things in Beauty
  • NARS Thakoon nail colors (see a trend in what I'm loving?) at Makeup and Beauty Blog
  • Burberry Summer 2012 Iconic Nude Preview on Rouge Deluxe
  • Bobbi Brown Summer 2012 Miami Collection just arrived on counter at Nordstrom and Neimans, see the lineup on Temptalia (today I picked up Nude Beach and Bronze Sugar eyeshadows)
I still have a few more weeks of craziness at work, but there's always time to play with Chanel :)

P.S. This is not beauty related, but if you have a Sprinkles near you, try to visit this week, their limited S'more cupcake is TO DIE FOR! This is the last week for a while for this one but it looks like it will be back again in August.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


Currently loving ...
  • Empty/used Diptyque candles as brush and pen holders (inspired by home decor ideas on Cupcakes and Cashmere and as seen on Jen Brill's Top Shelf via Into The Gloss)
  • Small but beautiful gifts, such as the Chanel Camelia bookmark sent as a gift by the Nordstrom Seattle Chanel counter (thank you!)
  • Dior Bikini Nail Lacquer as the perfect spring-to-summer coral (swatched a few days ago)
  • OPI NYC Ballet Collection, such beautiful sheers that give a perfect polished look, I'm still hunting for 3 of the shades since my local Ulta was sold out (see swatches of all shades on Scrangie)
Currently lusting for ...
  • Guerlain's Pucci Summer Bronzer (sneak peek on The Non-Blonde and Temptalia)
  • Frédéric Malle's Carnal Flower perfume (debating the small vials set or a full bottle)
  • Chanel's upcoming summer release (one of each please!)
Currently loving these ...
And an update ... some of you may have noticed my posting frequency has slowed over the past few months (since December actually). There are weeks when I feel like I have time to be a weekend-only blogger. I've been extremely busy with non-blog related projects this year. Each week has added more projects, conferences, and training requirements. I'll be taking a short blog break to focus on work and life. Comments will be turned off shortly and I'll have limited time to answer e-mails but will do my best. I hope to be back in a few weeks!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Weekend Pampering - The Extras

I've been to spas on a few occasions in the past and each occasion was beyond amazing (four visits to be exact, La Costa Resort and a few Four Seasons locations). However they can be extremely pricey and take up an entire day, so they are a luxury I cannot justify splurging for on a regular basis ($ or time wise). While nothing at home can replicate a resort spa, there are a few simple things I consider to be pampering extras. Bubble baths, luxurious face masks, beautiful candles and moisturizing lotions. It's my simplified version of a DIY spa treatment. Do note I have sensitive skin so I'm careful when it comes to trying shower gels, bath soaks and facial treatments. While I'd like to do this every day, I usually have a pampering night once every other week to once a month. I do try to use the face masks more frequently. My favorites:
  • Moisturizing Face Masks - Koh Gen Do is becoming one of my top picks for skincare. Their Macro Vintage Face Mask ($110 for 6 sheets) is the best I've ever tried. Most face masks did not do anything for my skin. This one by Koh Gen Do (reviewed here) left my skin feeling hydrated and soft like baby's skin. I split my pack of 6 with 3 friends to try, all confirmed that it was beyond amazing.
  • Clarifying Face Masks - Koh Gen Do's Brightening Moisture Mask ($75 for 3.53 oz. / 100g) is equally amazing. It's called a moisturizing mask, but to me it feels more like a clarifying mask. It is a clay mask that contains "6 botanical extracts in the mask will heal your tired skin, helping your skin to calm and reduce inflammation and redness." MAC's Volcanic Ash Thermal Mask was one of my favorite masks for clarifying and removing impurities. I was so sad that it was limited edition. Koh Gen Do's Brightening Face Mask is the closest thing I've found in terms of effect/benefits on my skin (minus the heating element on the skin). I highly recommend you visit their website to learn more. They have helpful diagrams and often have promotions/specials on their website.
  • Bubble Baths - L'Occitane makes some of my favorite bath and body products that are suitable for sensitive skin. I am currently loving the L'Occitane Shea Foaming Cream Bath ($32 for 16.8 fl.oz). The scent is very subtle and soothing. It bubbles up in a way that is very relaxing. It doesn't dry out the skin or leave any residue. There are reviews on their website which I found useful.
  • Shower Oils - I'm new to bath oils and shower oils. I've tried Jo Malone in the past and love them. L'Occitane had a gift with purchase promotion recently (for those who sign up on their mailing list) to launch their new Amande Almond Line. One of the gifts was a mini Shower Oil (see the details on the full size Almond Shower Oil here). It's a softening oil that foams up when combined with water and leaves the skin feeling smooth and moisturized without having that oily feeling. The scent is soft and subtle (but still noticeable). The effect is amazing. I'm not sure I'm 100% in love with the scent although it is extremely soothing and pleasant.
  • Hand Care - Thanks to a few of my readers who recommended I try Lush's Lemony Flutter Cuticle Butter ($14.95 for 1.5 oz). I love it. The scent is a highly citrus lemon (smells a bit horrid to me) but it does fade a bit after a while. I use this more as a once a week treatment rather than everyday and it has improved the cuticle area for my hands. (For everyday I rely on L'Occitane Hand Creams they smell great and feel nice). I'm again going to refer you to the company website - I love it when brands and stores have sections with useful customer reviews. Also check out Daly Beauty's recent review (she sums it up perfectly!).
  • Candles - I love almost any scented candle Jo Malone, Diptyque, Henri Bendel, Tommy Bahama make my favorites. Occasionally you can get a free mini candle in gift with purchase events. A simple candle can add that extra oomph to the home or bath to make it feel more soothing.
What are your pampering extras?

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Coral Nail Polishes for Spring and Summer

Coral seems to be all the craze this year for spring and summer nail polishes. My peachy-coral obsession for blushes has now transitioned into nails. I've already reviewed a number of new peachy corals this year: Chanel June, Laura Mercier Cabana, Dior Riviera and Chanel Distraction. Many have asked about the newest from Dior Bikini. From promo photos it can be difficult to identify differences between so many similar shades. I gathered what I could find online, here they are lined up:

In real life, here is what I see below, they are all more similar than promotional digitized photos appear to be. (Many thanks to my Twitter friends who let me know Dior Bikini arrived online at Here is the verdict, left to right:
  • Chanel Orange Fizz - is the lightest and brightest, it's more orangey than all the rest
  • Dior Bikini - has the best coverage, it's more of a true peach, with slight reddish tones, slightly darker
  • Chanel Distraction - semi-sheer medium jelly finish with the subtle iridescence
  • Laura Mercier Cabana - most jelly-like, slightly more pink undertones
  • Dior Riviera - most vibrant coral red

A few more swatches to other oranges, peaches and corals: Rescue Beauty Lounge Coral, Revlon Demure, Dior Sweet Orange 334, Dior Bikini 231, Chanel Distraction, Dior Riviera 537, Laura Mercier Sizzle, Chanel Orange Fizz, Chanel June, Chanel Miami Peach, Laura Mercier Cabana.

Overall, if you have Chanel Distraction or Laura Mercier, you do not need Dior Bikini. I do believe Dior Bikini has the best formula and richest coverage. I really do love it (even though it's almost identical to other corals) and it would be my vote for the season's best coral. At this time I haven't seen Dior summer anywhere on counter on the West Coast (Southern California), although it has just arrived online at and as well. I suspect it will arrive any day in store. Have you checked out any corals for nails this summer? What is your favorite? Or do you have a classic coral in your collection that you're loving right now?

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Tom Ford Cream Color for Eyes in Platinum and Spice

Tom Ford's new Cream Color for Eyes come in four different warm metallic shades, $40 each. These come encased in a small round potted container similar to that of many other cream shadows. I purchased Platinum and Spice sight-unseen based on a few photos online, to me these seemed the most neutral-toned, the others appeared to be very warm in color.

Platinum is a warm taupe-nude-silver. It applies very sheer but is layerable. I've used it as a base all over the lid for a subtle contoured glow on the eyes. It looks very nude on my skin, partly because the formula is semi-sheer. Spice is a warm bronze, also sheer, but buildable. I find it very warm-toned, but not too reddish like some bronzes can be.



The texture of these are a soft almost mousse-like cream. They have a softness that is like Chanel's Illusion d'Ombre but without that bounce you find when you press your fingers into the Chanel. The Tom Ford Cream Colors have a soft sheer but layerable texture. I found them most similar to Laura Mercier's Metallic Crème Eye Colours in terms of how they apply and layer on the eyes. 

The finish is smooth and very light-weight. Not quite a full cream, not like a liquid eye color, not like a gel. It feels like a mix between a cream and a mousse. Color applies smoothly and sheer with the fingers or a brush but is easily layerable. The colors are shimmery but not frosty. The finish just glows which I think is very pretty. 

Lasting power seems fairly decent for a cream shadow ... that is if you just don't touch the eye area once applied. I wouldn't say they are budge-proof if you touch your eye makeup. However, for me, they did help my makeup last longer throughout the day. 

My first impressions were ... well, luke warm. The colors were pretty, but at $40, I felt the packaging was a bit lacking. There is no applicator for the product and the actual packaging seems a bit cheap (the top has a sticker slapped on for the TF logo, most other brands at least have the brand name or logo embossed onto the actual lid). Still, the packaging is sturdy and functional. My first attempts at applying the product resulted in a barely-there look. No matter how I layered, it seemed that the color disappeared as soon as I did any sort of blending. 

After playing with these for a week now I've grown to like them more. Particularly Platinum which works as a base or as a stand alone color. For me, the first layers have to be blended (either with a finger or brush) and the color does disappear, however, I've found that putting a second layer on top of the first helps the color show up better. Second layers are applied with a patting-motion rather than blending to help the color show up better. 

I couldn't find dupes for either of these shades. I did pull a few other cream shadows to help compare the finish/texture a bit. 

L to R: Bobbi Brown Smoky Topaz Long-Wear Cream Shadow, Laura Mercier Platinum Metallic Crème Eye Colour, Tom Ford Platinum Cream Color for Eye, Tom Ford Spice Cream Color for Eye, Armani #4 Eyes to Kill Eye Shadow, Chanel Epatant Illusion D'Ombre, Bobbi Brown Sand Dollar Long-Wear Cream Shadow, MAC Constructivist Paint Pot.

Overall I'm pleased with the performance of Platinum. It's a highly versatile cream shadow. Spice is a shade I still need to work with a bit more. The warm tones are suitable when layered with other colors, alone it's a bit too warm for me right now. The are both rather pricey at $40 but you do get a lot of product. I probably would have preferred a powder shadow in these colors rather than a cream, but they are still very pretty. Have you checked out the new collection from Tom Ford? What were your thoughts?

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