Saturday, September 29, 2012

The Beauty Look Book Blog Sale Update

Thank you from the bottom of my heart to everyone for your support and patience to make my blog sale a huge success!! The sale page (linked here) has been updated as of Saturday 5:09 PM, PST. I received over 200 e-mail requests in the last couple days. If I have not responded to your inquiries I apologize, everything was responded to on a first-come, first-serve basis. There are some items I have pending on a waitlist, I will get back to you as soon as I can.

I sent out 38 packages yesterday and today. I will do my best to e-mail tracking numbers to everyone in the next few hours or so. If you sent payment (as of 4:35 PM, California time), then your package shipped by today (keeping fingers crossed that I didn't miss any, if I did, it will ship Monday morning). I included samples with each package - I hope everyone will find something new they fall in love with.

Thank you again, I had no idea this blog sale would move as fast as it did. I appreciate all the kind words and support, I'm truly touched by so many kind and wonderful readers. In the mean time, I'm still working my way through e-mails. Thank you for your patience!

For quick reference - packages that shipped (since my fingers will be slow to type out all the d/c tracking numbers), listed in alphabetical order by first name:

Shipped Friday:

Christine N.
Cynthia W.
Janielle B.
Jennifer C.
Jessica F.
Kayla G.
Lisa S.
Melissa C.
Sara G.
Tina C.
Vutny U.
Zoe S.

Shipped Saturday:

Adriana O.
Alejandra C.
Alexandra C.
Alexandra O.
Alice W.
Brittany D.
Charlotte B.
Chelong H.
Coralys N.
Denise B.
Elaine G.
Elissa S.
Ivette O.
Josephine L.
Kate B.
Laura L.
Lydia L.
Maureen H.
Melissa G.
Monika W.
Natalie K.
Steph N.
Susan H.
Susan H.
Tiffany K.
Tumy P.

I will be in touch shortly! Thank you again! I will leave the rest of the items up for sale through the end of next week.

Friday, September 28, 2012

The Beauty Look Book Blog Sale


I've spent the week doing a bit of organizing! I'm holding a blog sale to clear out some backups and lightly used items that I haven't used in a while. Please click this link to see the listed items and details. Items in the blog sale are only available for shipping to US addresses. Happy shopping!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Dior Vernis: Nudes in Charnelle, Grège, Trench and Dune



I've been loving the nude-makeup theme this year from Dior. I haven't had a chance to look at the new lipsticks or trios yet, but I immediately ordered the four new nail polishes in Charnelle #115, Grège #413, Trench #223 and Dune #715 as soon as I could ($23 each). I love the formula on these nail colors - they are smooth in coverage and very easy to apply. Charnelle is a pale nude cream with slight pink tones. It's very sheer and required three coats for me to get even coverage. Grège is my perfect nude in the sense that it matches my skintone almost perfectly to give mannequin hands. There is some warmth to it so it's not a dead-looking beige. Trench is my favorite. It's a warm brownish tan shade. On my fingers it turns slightly cooler-toned than what you see in the bottle. Dune is a darker bark brown. It's cool-toned.


Here are the four shades swatched on my fingers. All with two coats, except Charnelle which required three. Note that I'm probably around a Chanel B30-40 right now, NARS Alaska, Dolce & Gabbana Powder Foundation in Tan.


Grège


Trench


Dune


Nudes definitely aren't new and there are only so many ways one can reinvent nude makeup. I can't say any of these are absolutely must-haves, especially if you already have nude nail polishes in your collection. Still, these colors/formulas from Dior are quite nice. Since I collect nail polishes from Chanel and Dior, I found it easy to justify adding to my collection.

For dupes, I believe there are probably many other colors that will give a similar look. There are a number of other blogs that have done excellent comparisons to a wider variety of brands. I don't own a lot of OPI, Essie or drugstore brands for nail polishes, but I recommend you check out Kais Obsessions, the make-up blogette, Fruity Lashes to name a few for more extensive comparisons.

Here are my comparisons:


Did you check out the new nudes from Dior? Any must-haves for lips, eyes or nails?

Friday, September 21, 2012

Loving Right Now

Right now I'm loving contrasting nude and vampy colors. I haven't done extensive at-home testing yet on all the items, but I loved reviews I've seen on other blogs and of course ran to the counters over the past couple weeks to try in-store (fun at Sephora, Nordstrom and Neimans). Reviews to come soon but for now I've linked a few other blogs I really liked featuring these items.
Also loving right now:
Have a beautiful weekend!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Chanel Vertigo vs. Provocation


Last post dedicated to Chanel FNO polishes. Some asked how Provocation compares to Vertigo. Here are the colors side by side. Hope this helps!



Monday, September 17, 2012

Chanel Provocation Le Vernis


Chanel Provocation Le Vernis is an intense dark vampy plum-wine. The color has a high-gloss finish and goes on with smoothly. It's a classic fall vamp nail color. It darkens with two coats but I love that the purple tones are still visible. I really love this color.


Swatched with two coats:


There are a number of other dark vampy plums on the market. There are quite a few alternatives that are similar to Chanel Provocation. I didn't look at all of the plums I own to compare, but I suspect there is a good dupe out there. Chanel Provocation is similar to Rescue Beauty Lounge Bruised and Chanel Diabolic on the nail wheel. RBL Bruised is lighter and Chanel Diabolic is deeper and more brownish.



A few comparisons of the closest shades I could find shown below. Chanel Vamp is significantly more reddish, Dior Shadow is more purple/blue, Dior Orchid is close but has more red, Provocation has the most dusty-purple tones, Chanel Vendetta is almost blue/violet when compared side-by-side.



Bottom line I think it's a must-have even though it's not the most unique shade. The coverage is smooth and opaque. It gives a defined edgy look that's perfect for fall. Did you pick up any of the Twin Sets items this year? Which color/item was your favorite?

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Chanel Infidèle Le Vernis


Chanel Infidèle Le Vernis is a beautiful mauve pink rose. It's my favorite of the three Fashion's Night Out polishes. The color is richly pigmented. I love that it seems to bring the fingers to life. It's an intense pink but still demure. I like that it's different from many of the bright pinks Chanel likes to create for the nails (ala Riviera, Rose Insolent, Rose Exhuberant etc.). It's listed as limited-edition and retails for $26. I think it's a must-have.

Here it is swatched on me with two coats:


Close up of the nail wheel:


Some nail swatches on the fingers, on the nail wheel (two posts before) Infidèle looks like a close dupe Rose Confidentiel. On the fingers side by side, you can see the difference. Rose Confidentiel is more beigey and a more peachy pink while Infidèle is cooler-toned and more mauve.



A few other blogs/photos that I loved of this shade: Lana Danilova, AudreyEleven, Peanut Buttered, The Purse Forum - Chanel on your nails, Weekend Ramblings. Bottom line: love this color. I don't have any of the lipsticks yet, I'm still waiting for Nordstrom Seattle to receive their FNO shipment :)

Friday, September 14, 2012

Chanel Délicatesse Le Vernis


Chanel Délicatesse is one of the three nail polishes from the limited-edition Les Twin Sets de Chanel for Fashion's Night Out this year. It's an opaque beige-peach-brown cream (non-shimmer). On me there's the slightest hint of warm rose that prevents it from looking too brown or orangey. The finish is smooth and flawless like most Chanel nail colors. It's very rich in color, although I would say the color of Délicatesse is similar to many other shades from other brands. I expected this to be the case since it's a basic neutral. Still I am very happy with this color. Depending on the light sometimes this appears to be a lighter peach. Other times it looks like a darker brown-rose. If you're still debating whether to order, I recommend these blogs with swatches and reviews: Front Row Beauty, Weekend Ramblings, AudreyEleven, and The Polish Jinx (she compares it to Khaki Rose).


Here it is swatched with two coats, two different views:



Here's a closer look at the nail wheel from earlier this week. I found Délicatesse more peachy than Rose Confidentiel. It's also more brown than OPI's Gouda Gouda Two Shoes (this one is more pink and has some shimmer). Dior Sienna is several shades lighter and more nude. Rescue Beauty Lounge Om looks quite peachy compared to Délicatesse.


I swatched a few of the closest ones on my fingers to compare:



While I didn't find Chanel Délicatesse super-unique, I did find it was different from most of my other neutral peach-browns. I love this color for fall and find it suitable for year round. Being the Chanel nail polish fan that I am I knew I had to have it. I do prefer the other two options though, so if I had to only pick two, it would be Provocation and Infidèle.

Chanel Délicatesse retails for $26 in the US and is currently available at Chanel.com and select boutiques. I purchased mine online at Chanel.com.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Chanel Fashion's Night Out Le Vernis in Délicatesse, Provocation and Infidèle


Chanel Délicatesse, Provocation and Infidèle ($26 each, limited-edition for Fashion's Night Out 2012) just arrived last night from Chanel.com. I'm still playing with each of the shades but so far, I'm extremely impressed. I think each shade is gorgeous and perfect for fall. More swatches to come soon, but for now some comparisons. I thought Khaki Rose might be similar but as you can see above it's quite different (so it didn't make the swatch wheel).



Comparisons swatched below (same set, just two different views): Chanel June, Rescue Beauty Lounge Om, Chanel Rose Confidentiel, Dior Sienna, Chanel Rose Paradise, OPI Gouda Gouda Two Shoes, NARS Ratin Jot, Rescue Beauty Lounge Bruised, Chanel April, Chanel Fantastic, Chanel Vendetta, Dior Shadow, Dior Orchid, Chanel Vamp and Chanel Diabolic.



Sunday, September 9, 2012

Chanel Skyline Le Vernis


US Chanel fans have been eagerly waiting for Skyline to be released. It first appeared on the runways at the Spring-Summer 2012 Haute Couture show back in January. It has finally arrived on Chanel.com for $30 (limited-edition) along with the other Blue Illusion de Chanel items. I've heard it is expected to arrive soon at select Chanel Boutiques and Studios (such as the one at Nordstrom Seattle). When I first saw swatches and photos from European bloggers, I thought I would be able to pass. It appeared a bit too frosty for my taste. Who was I kidding? Of course I could not resist. After testing this for the past three days, my feelings are mixed.

Chanel Skyline is a gorgeous periwinkle metallic blue. On Polish Police, A Lipstick a Day, and The Make-Up Blogette, Skyline glows and looks smooth without streaks or bubbles. I had high hopes for this color. As soon as I received it, I went for a much-needed professional manicure. I brought my own Chanel base and top coats to use with Skyline. The result was non-streaky and smooth in color, but it had serious bubbling issues (my husband even noticed before I said anything). I removed it within a few hours and decided to try with a different base coat (Deborah Lippmann's) and still had bubbling issues. My third try, I used it on bare nails - still with the same result. My fourth try, I finally succeeded. The formula on Skyline seems thicker than most of my other Chanel polishes which makes metallic finish prone to visible brush strokes. It's not quite as bad as Attraction, but the thickness makes Skyline a bit tricky to apply. I've never had so much trouble applying a nail polish before and I'm not entirely sure why. My tips:
  • Make sure you don't shake the bottle, roll gently if you feel the color needs to be mixed in the bottle
  • Be sure your bottle isn't warm (room temperature is ok, but this one works better if applied at cooler temperatures)
  • Allow the first coat to dry completely (100% dry) before attempting a second coat
  • Apply the second coat very slowly and make sure it's not too thick
Some more photos, swatches and comparisons:






I pulled out quite a few blues to see if Skyline was similar in tone to any other colors I own. I found it quite unique. Skyline is most similar to OPI's I Don't Give a Rotterdam. I couldn't find a dupe and most other blues lacked the luminosity that Skyline does. On the fingers it simply glows.

Swatches below include: YSL #141, Dior Glacier, Butter London Lady Muck, Chanel Riva, Chanel Coco Blue, Dolce & Gabbana Anise, Lancome Le Gris L'Wren, NARS Full Metal Jacket, Chanel Graphite, OPI I Have a Herring Problem, OPI I Don't Give a Rotterdam, Chanel Nouvelle Vague, Chanel Blue Boy, Chanel Blue Rebel, NARS Kutki, MAC Blue India and Estee Lauder's Wild Storm.



I love the color of Skyline on the fingers. It's a beautiful glowy blue shimmer that is unique. The formula issues have me at I'm not 100% in love. The higher price tag of $30 just had me expecting something flawless in terms of application. I feel Chanel has improved the nail polish formula over the past years. They make my favorite nail polishes today. Skyline's formula seems to be a step backwards (based on my experience). I'm not sure if others have had the same application issues - most that I've seen seem to report no issues. To anyone who has bought and tried Skyline, I'd love to hear your application experiences and tips/tricks. I did succeed in a decent application on my fourth/fifth tries - but it wasn't easy. I've debated whether or not to add a thinner to this, but I'm worried about altering the formula.

Have you tried Skyline? Thoughts?

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Tom Ford Fall 2012 Blush: Narcissist


Tom Ford has released a new blush for fall, a vibrant hot pink satin called Narcissist ($55 for .28 oz/8 g). The pigment is rich and intense but easily blendable with a soft loose brush (I've used MAC's skunk brush to apply). It is indeed very bright on the skin/face (probably the brightest blush I own) but if applied and blended, it gives a lovely healthy pink flush. There is a soft satiny texture to the color - those familiar with Tom Ford Blushes know the texture is phenomenal. Although these are probably the most expensive blushes on the market, I think they are among the best in texture, pigment, and color. Some of his blushes have a more visible shimmer (like Ravish and Wicked, see them all swatched on Karla Sugar). Narcissist does have shimmer but it's so subtle it's not really apparent on the face. I like that it has shimmer because it prevents the color from being flat. Narcissist Blush and the two nail polishes, Minx and Dominatrix are the only items I purchased from the fall collection (sight unseen). The high price points make me unwilling to splurge without testing first. Also, the fall collection seems to be a mixture of intense bright colors I usually don't wear (not really me, but still pretty). Rouge Deluxe has all the new items swatched.

My Tom Ford Fall 2012 picks:




Lightly tapped into MAC's skunk brush, you see a lot of pigment:


Without a flash:


With flash:

Tom Ford Narcissist is the brightest pink I own. Here are a few others for comparison:



Overall I really adore Tom Ford Narcissist. The color is gorgeous, pigmented, blendable and looks beautiful on the skin. I can't say I think it's a must have though, simply because the price is so high. At this time I don't know whether the fall items are permanent or limited, but I purchased mine from Saks.
 

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