Thursday, August 30, 2012

Tom Ford Fall 2012 Nail Lacquers: Minx and Dominatrix

This fall, Tom Ford has released two new shimmery metallic for nails: Minx, a complex metallic warm wine-brown, and Dominatrix, a medium-deep but bright metallic purple ($30 each, both limited-edition). My experiences with Tom Ford’s nail lacquers have been mixed. I have a few of the creams and some of the metallic from last spring (see review/swatches here) and felt the formula was just ok. Still, I decided to give the new shades from fall a try since the promotional photos looked stunning. I’m glad I did. The new polishes for fall are exquisite with excellent smooth coverage. The colors are edgy and dramatic but still wearable for every day. They are perfect for fall and unique compared to other releases we’ve seen this season.

Both shades are highly metallic and shimmery, but in a refined way. The texture is rather sheer and transparent with one coat, but the color goes on with full coverage when you add the second. I like that the colors are visibly shimmery but don’t show brush strokes or streak (like Chanel Attraction). I was particularly impressed by the high-shine finish that both of these polishes have (without a top coat).

Minx is a deep burgundy-wine-brown metallic. It’s quite unique in my collection. It has more brown and less wine compared to other vampy shades.

Dominatrix is an intense medium bright purple. Out of the purples I have it is most similar to Dolce and Gabbana’s Midnight, but the Tom Ford is deeper and more intense while the DG is a bit lighter and flashes blue shimmers. More photos and swatches below. Swatches are done with two coats.

Minx swatched with two coats, a gorgeous metallic wine/brown:

Dominatrix swatched with two coats, it's a medium-purple with some brightness:

In terms of duplicates, I couldn't find any in my collection. I don't have Tom Ford's Burnished Rouge to compare, but from seeing swatches elsewhere, I suspect that Minx is less red.

Comparisons swatched below, same set, two views: Tom Ford Minx, Tom Ford Dominatrix, Dior Silver Purple, Chanel Vendetta, Dior Shadow, OPI Dutch'Ya Just Love OPI?, Dolce and Gabbana Amethyst, Dolce and Gabbana Midnight, Dolce and Gabbana Royal, Dior Icone, OPI Holiday Glow, Dior Aztec Chocolate, Dior Apparat, Dolce and Gabbana Dahlia, Chanel Strong, Chanel Rouge Noir, Chanel Cosmic Violine, Tom Ford Burnt Topaz (most of these have been reviewed/swatched in the past, sorry I didn't have time to link each color, but try the google search function on the sidebar)

I personally am really pleased with both shades. I do think they are must-haves for the season, even with the high price tag (which I wasn't too keen about). I purchased both from Saks NY. The collection should be arriving in stores soon at select counters. As far as I know, both are limited-edition. Have you checked out Tom Ford fall? Thoughts? (The fall blush review to follow soon.)

Given my new loves for these, I must go re-try my older shades. Perhaps it was the application method that I need to work on.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Neutral Comparisons of a few Dolce & Gabbana Passion Duo Gloss Fusion Lipsticks

I have yet to see or test the entire line of Passion Duo Gloss Fusion Lipsticks in person, but I've found quite a few favorites. Here are the neutrals I have lined up side by side. There's no substitute for testing in person but I hope this helps. For those looking for a good Dolce and Gabbana artist to work with, I highly recommend Nikki from Saks Houston. She's been such a valuable resource to me. She matched me over the phone (perfectly) to their powder foundation and cream foundation. She e-mails swatches when she can of new products. She's amazing at describing colors and textures and gives great ideas on how to coordinate different products. Not to mention her store has great gift with purchases. The minimum purchase amounts tend to be on the high side, but the gifts are very good (often includes at least one full-sized item).

Back to the lipstick comparisons, here are my neutrals swatched left to right: Natural, Sensation, Darling, Feminine, Desireable and Rose.

Dolce & Gabbana Passion Duo Gloss Fusion Lipsticks are $34 each and can be found at select Saks stores and online at

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Dolce & Gabbana Passion Duo Gloss Fusion Lipstick for Summer

This summer, Dolce & Gabbana has released eight new shades of their best selling item: Passion Duo Gloss Fusion Lipsticks ($34 each, available at select Saks counters and These are a gloss-lipstick hybrid and come in a wide range of shades and finishes including reds, plums, pinks, beiges, nudes, bronzes, shimmers, creams, golds etc. (See prior reviews and swatches here and here.) I've been a huge fan of the formula and couldn't wait to see the new releases. I purchased Natural and Feminine from Saks Houston and PR provided Exotic and Tropical for review. Here are four of the new shades, left to right: Natural, Feminine, Exotic and Tropical:

Close ups of the shades with some matching nail polish suggestions:

Dolce & Gabbana Natural goes well with Chanel Rose Paradise
Dolce & Gabbana Feminine matches YSL #140 Pink Gold

Dolce & Gabbana Exotic matches Passionne
Dolce & Gabbana Tropical matches Fire


Natural is a soft shimmery light peachy-pink. It's similar to Darling, but Natural is darker and a tad more peach. It has a glossy finish with a subtle shimmer (not frost).

Feminine is a frosted neutral pink-tan. It's very similar to Desireable. Feminine is just a tad more brown.

Exotic is a bright purple-orchid-pink. The color is extremely intense. I tried to blot it to tone it down a little, but it still looks very bright.

Tropical is a hot neon orange-red. This is also intensely pigmented and not an easy shade to pull off for me.

Overall, I've been extremely impressed with the colors I've tried in the Passion Duo Gloss Fusion Lipstick formula. All the shades I purchased sight unseen are neutrals. The two I received for review were on the opposite end of the color spectrum for intensity/brightness. While the texture, quality and finish of Exotic and Tropical are superb, the colors just aren't me.

Bottom line, I see a trip to the Saks counter in the near future to check out the entire line. Have you tried Dolce & Gabbana's Passion Duo Gloss Fusion Lipsticks? 

Passion Duo Gloss Fusion Lipsticks are available at select Saks counters in the US for $34 each. I've seen/ordered from Houston (my favorite), NYC, Beverly Hills and San Francisco. See the new shades swatched on The Non-Blonde, Makeup and Beauty Blog and NY Mag - The Cut.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Loving Right Now

Right now I'm loving (left to right):
  • Dolce & Gabbana Passione Nail Lacquer is the perfect mauve-pink-fuschia cream (here)
  • Jo Malone Blackberry and Bay is my latest fragrance love, fresh, sweet but not too sweet
  • MAC Cremesheen + Pearl has to be one of the prettiest collection of neutral pinks, peaches and corals I've ever seen! I had to get one of each shade but my favorites are the Cremesheen Glass lipglosses in Floating Lotus, Paper Lantern, and Pagoda (the swatches on Temptalia are phenomenal)
  • Chanel Coromandel Le Vernis is a classic rich warm bright red (here), it was discontinued a while ago but it's now re-released on

Other reads that I'm loving:

What are you loving right now?

Monday, August 20, 2012

Color Focus: Pink Nudes for Nails

I have an obsession with neutral pink nudes for nails. I love the clean polished natural look of colors that have a mix of pink with nude/beige/mauve/rose. My current favorites range from semi-sheer to full coverage shades, most are creams but there are a few that have subtle shimmer. The shades I'm loving this season are listed below. All photos are my own.

Row 1: YSL Beige Leger 22, Chanel Jade Rose 493, Deborah Lippmann Naked, Dolce & Gabbana Rose Petal 102

Row 2: Dior Incognito 257, Deborah Lippmann Fashion, Dior Beige Lotus, Rescue Beauty Lounge Grunge

Row 3: Dolce and Gabbana Petal, Chanel Rose Cache 521, Deborah Lippmann Modern Love and Dior Sienna

On the nail wheel, with a few true beiges and pinks added to compare, two views:

I believe all these shades are still available for sale with the exception of Chanel Mistral which is no longer for sale (I think). Currently, Chanel Jade Rose is listed as limited-edition on What neutral pinks are you loving?

Kindly note that all photos and content are my own and copyrighted. Please do not copy, reprint, edit, republish or hotlink images.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Deborah Lippmann Modern Love

Deborah Lippmann's latest release for fall is a mauve shade called Modern Love ($16 for 0.5 oz). This comes in a full-coverage crème with a hint of nude. I found mine at Nordstrom in store. For those wondering whether this is more mauve, nude or taupe, I feel Modern Love has strong mauve tones. I found the stock photos online at extremely accurate.

This color applied smoothly with full coverage in two coats. I would say the pigment/finish/intensity is similar to that of Waking Up in Vegas (for comparison). Here it is with two coats and CND's top coat. It makes my skin look darker and more tan. A few different views below. It appears to be a dusty mauve nude. I think it's perfectly suited for fall ... perhaps in September though. The color is lovely and polished, but I feel it would look better on either fairer skintones or more tanned skintones.

A few other Deborah Lippmann comparisons: Naked is the most beige/nude, Fashion is more brown, Waking Up In Vegas is clearly more grey. For the swatches, Naked/Fashion are swatched with 3 coats. Modern Love/Waking Up in Vegas only needed 2.

I'm still out of nail wheels so I pulled what I could fit on one hand. Other comparisons to a few other purples and taupes: Dolce & Gabbana Drama, OPI Tickle My Francey, Rescue Beauty Lounge Grunge and Chanel Particuliere.

I found Deborah Lippman's Modern Love to be quite unique in my collection. I thought it would be similar to a number of shades, but it has the right mix of mauve and nude to make it different from other mauvey shades I own. If you felt Chanel's Frenzy was too subtle for your taste and are looking for something with more punch but still natural/demure, I highly recommend you check out Deborah Lippman Modern Love.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Burberry Mulberry No. 24 Sheer Eyeshadow Comparisons

By request, a few comparisons of various burgundy-plum-brown shimmer eyeshadows. Included shades: Le Métier de Beauté Silk Road Kalidescope (2 shades), Le Métier de Beauté Alexandrite (from Persephone Kit that was discontinued), Le Métier de Beauté Bordeaux, Guerlain Les Bois de Rose, MAC Trax and Chanel Magic Night.

Swatches, same set/order, just two different views:

I found Burberry Mulberry to be the most similar to Chanel Magic Night in color. There is only a slight difference: Chanel Magic Night has the slightest bit more plum while Burberry Mulberry has more wine/red. I hope this helps with your purchasing decisions!

On a side note, thank you everyone for your continued support and understanding with my recent blog slow down. I really appreciate your patience, comments, emails, tweets and links! To give you a brief update without going into too much detail, I've just been busy with projects from my regular full-time job. I've tried to snap a few pictures here and there when I can for the blog. Thank you again for your support. I hope everyone is having a wonderful summer!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Burberry Autumn/Winter 2012 Sheer Eyeshadow: Dark Sable, Mulberry and Porcelain White

Burberry Beauty has released a beautiful well-edited collection for fall consisting of:
  • three new eyeshadows Dark Sable No. 23, Mulberry No. 24, Porcelain White No. 25 ($29 each for 2.5 g/ .088 oz, made in Italy)
  • two new lip cover lipsticks Sepia Pink No. 32 and Mocha Glow No. 37 ($30 each)
  • a new velvet-finish foundation plus a few repromoted items ($54 each, 8 shades available)
Adina from Nordstrom San Francisco at the Burberry Counter just received the fall items last week and kindly emailed me swatches of the new items. I was drawn to the three new eyeshadows and immediately ordered them. Burberry continues to release high-quality products with beautiful pigments, textures and colors. I am very impressed and pleased with these three new beauties.
  • Dark Sable No. 23 is a matte dark brown. It's similar to Taupe Brown No. 07 but slightly warmer and deeper. It has a smooth finish that is easy to apply. It does require a bit of layering and smoothing out with a brush but stays put for a long time on the eyes without budging.
  • Mulberry No. 24 is a beautiful complex deep dark wine plum shimmer with a reddish base. I am still experimenting with this color but so far love it. I've found that my favorite way to wear this so far is to layer it over Dark Sable along the upper lash line blended slightly for an intense non-traditional smokey eye. This combination creates a well defined eye that stands out without looking too harsh. It's has enough plum pearl to prevent it from being a too auburn or red.
  • Porcelain White No. 25 is a soft white shimmer with a blueish flash. It has the same intensity as Pearl White No. 01 however Porcelain White No. 25 has a slightly sheerer base with more shimmer and more blue. I find this color a bit too sharp for my skin to wear by itself (I'm darker now this summer) but mixing/layering it with a color like Trench or Gold Trench gives a nice glow.
Some more photos and swatches:

Under artificial light:

Comparisons to other Burberry Beauty Eyeshadows:

Thoughts on the other new items available for fall:
  • Sepia Pink lipstick looked absolutely gorgeous but similar to Rosewood, I decided to wait and try in person (the closest counter is over an hour away so this might not be for a while)
  • Mocha Glow lipstick was tempting but I know it will be too brown/nude for me
  • Velvet foundation is something I will probably not try since my skin did not work well with the other Burberry foundation or glow product (both caused a bad allergic reaction for me)
A few other lovely blogs to check out with Burberry Fall 2012 features: A Lipstick a Day, Indigo Kir Royal and Lina's Beauty Diary.

These three eyeshadows are my favorites out of all that I've seen released for fall this year. Dark Sable is probably too close to Taupe Brown to justify owning both, but I like that it's warmer. Mulberry is a beautiful color that requires layering to work for me, but I love it. Porcelain White is a different kind of white. I like that it's not a pure white or cream. The blue flashes are subtle enough to not look too blue and the texture layers well with other shades to add a unique touch. Overall Burberry continues to impress me with the high quality and beautiful colors.

I found the fall collection at Nordstrom in San Francisco. You can call the counter (415) 243-8500 ext. 1421. Ask for Adina :)

Have you checked out Burberry's fall offerings? Thoughts?

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