Sunday, February 24, 2013

Bobbi Brown Lilac Rose Shimmer Brick

Bobbi Brown has released a gorgeous new limited-edition Shimmer Brick called Lilac Rose ($42 for .4 oz/ 10.3 g, made in Italy). I've been a long time fan of her shimmer bricks even though the frost/shimmer factor is on the higher side (for me). A light swipe across the cheeks can make any blush glow. Lilac Rose has five shimmering shades of pink, gold and lilac. Blended all together creates a light pale frosted cool-toned pink. On me it goes on paler than what you see in the compact. These are designed to be worn on both eyes and cheeks, but for this one I prefer on the cheeks only. I'll show each shade swatched individually and blended down below.

Individual swatches (left side is from the top of the shimmer brick to the right for the bottom of the shimmer brick)

All shades blended together, light then heavy:

I found that Lilac Rose applied quite frosty on the arm but not so much on the face. I'm a Chanel B30 right now and am at the skin-tone shade where this color looks very natural. On me I can't say that it works as a blush, it's much too light for me. It does add a lovely glow when layered over any pink blush. I love it - but you may find it has a similar effect compared to other frosty pinks. I pulled a few to compare for you:

Swatches, same set twice (in different light):

If you have Wild Rose from Bobbi's last collection or Dior's Pop Diamond (I think it was also limited), then I don't think you need Lilac Rose. However, if you're anything like me then you know how hard it can be to resist a pretty feminine pink shimmery highlighter. I give Lilac Rose a huge thumbs up, but since it is on the lighter side, I do recommend you try in person before buying.

I purchased mine from Neiman Marcus to take advantage of the beauty week gift with purchase (classic cheek/eye palette with minis). Saks is also having a gift this week as well (lip palette with minis). For the moment both gifts are available online. I suggest you order soon or call your local counters to secure the a gift before they are gone. Also sometimes stores will have step up gifts that aren't available online.

Did you check out the Lilac Rose collection and bring anything home with you?

Monday, February 18, 2013

Chanel Western Light Le Vernis

Chanel has released a small beauty collection of three limited-edition items to celebrate the opening of a new fashion boutique in Hysan Place in Hong Kong. The three items include a 5-pan eyeshadow palette called Pearl River ($80) and two nail polishes in Eastern Light and Western Light ($30). It's my understanding these will arrive in most Chanel Boutiques and select Studio Counters (Saks NY, Nordstrom Seattle, boutiques like the Wynn in Vegas). I ordered mine from Saks NY, however last week they did not have Eastern Light.

First up is Western Light Le Vernis, a dark vampy chocolate. Like some other classic Chanel colors, this one has a beautiful complex but subtle shimmer in the bottle. Unfortunately on the nail none of the pretty shimmer shows up. On me it applies like a very dark cream that looks like a pure black. The color has a thin slightly streaky finish with one coat, but with two thin coats transforms into a rich opaque blackened-brown. I have mixed feelings about this one. The quality and finish is stunning, but the color seems unoriginal to me. I can't say it's love simply because it's so so basic for a $30 nail polish.

Close up of the shimmers:

A few more swatches:

In comparison to other vamps, you can see there are a lot of others that are more unique. Below are some Chanel bottles to compare. Further down there are a few more swatches from other brands.

Two wheels, same set of colors, just different lighting. First set is what the colors look like applied, very dark and vampy.

Second set in full sun with full flash to show the undertone a bit better.

I'm still undecided. Perhaps it's the original Rouge Noir reincarnated? I don't have the original to compare. But for now, I feel that it would have been so much better had they included some visible sparkle like the gold from Haute Chocolat or the silver from shades like Pink Satin.

Did you pick up anything from the Hong Kong Chanel collection? Thoughts? I'm debating whether or not to track down the white shade.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Coming Soon: Bobbi Brown Lilac Rose Shimmer Brick, Chanel Western Light, Le Métier de Beauté Pink Berry Crème

Coming soon, a few new things: Bobbi Brown Lilac Rose Shimmer Brick, Chanel Western Light Nail Polish, Le Métier de Beauté Pink Berry Crème.

Friday, February 15, 2013

YSL Rouge Volupté Shines

YSL's latest is a new formula of lipstick called Rouge Volupté Shine ($34 each Nordstrom). I ordered mine direct from YSL a few months ago and have fallen head over heels in love with the shades I've tried.
  • No 07 Rose Infinite is a natural semi-deep rose plum. It has semi-sheer coverage but you can adjust the intensity. On the lips the intensity of the color increases if you swipe it back and forth 3 times. Applying a similar-toned lip liner first will help the color last.
  • No 08 Pink in Confidence is a soft neutral pink but leans slightly cool on my lips. It has a Chanel Rouge Coco Shine Boy feel in color but the YSL is more pigmented and slightly lighter on me.
  • No 09 Nude in Private is a warm peach. As with all the shades there are subtle sparkles in the tube but on the lips the shimmer and sparkle isn’t very visible.
  • No 11 Beige Instinct is a neutral nude shimmer. In the photo below it looks warm because of the lighting, in real life it’s really more flesh toned.
  • No 15 Corail Intuitive is a shade I picked up at a later date, it’s similar to No 08 Nude in Private but more peach with a brighter look.

Swatched on my arm you can see for a sheer lipstick there is quite a bit of color payoff. Since these are sheer they are still slightly transparent. These have a shiny glossy finish.

Here are swatches in direct sunlight without a flash so you can see the base color better:

I've been dragging my feet on reviewing these mainly because of lip swatches. These are difficult for me to capture accurately and it's hard for me to get consistent lighting but here's my best attempt. As always note your mileage will vary. I have pigmented lips and olive skin, so these will most likely look different on you.

Right now I'm short on time so I can't do swatch comparisons to other shades or brands. I would say these are a huge improvement from the Rouge Volupté Perles in texture (less gritty) and formula (smoother) and finish (more natural). These are much easier to apply compared to the original Rouge Volupté formula and the sheer/glossy/shimmer makes it more naturally flattering to the lips. Compared to Chanel Rouge Coco Shines I think these have a similar finish in terms of the shine and gloss but with a bit more pigment (very slight). I haven't tried other shades like the brights or darks but I can't wait to experiment.

After searching online it appears most of the shades are online at YSL, but some retailers have select shades (I haven't confirmed instore though). Nordstrom's exclusive is No 17 Rose in Tension. Saks' exclusive is No 18 Prune in Fire. Neiman's exclusive is No 16 Orange Impertinent.

For quick reference, see a few shades swatched at Best Things in Beauty and all the shades swatched on Kais Obsessions.

Have you tried the Rouge Volupté Shines? What's your favorite Rouge Volupté formula or color?

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Le Métier de Beauté Ultra Hydration Eye Mask Duo

Press Sample        

Le Métier de Beauté's latest in skincare is their Ultra Hydration Eye Mask Duo ($150 for a set of 8 duos). They kindly sent one duo to test. The Ultra Hydration Eye Mask Duos come in individually sealed packets. Inside are two seaweed-based discs cased in a thin tray. The discs are shaped to fit the under-eye area and are designed to be placed under the eye area for 15 minutes. Le Métier de Beauté says that these eye masks will hydrate, re-energize, restore, diminish redness, sooth lines and reduce under-eye puffiness. How did the masks hold up for me? This is what I experienced:

I applied these Sunday morning after cleansing my face. The packets have a convenient peel-back corner making them easy to open, however the design of the discs in the tray seemed to be on the delicate side so I recommend opening on a solid flat surface. The discs themselves were flexible and easy to apply and felt like second skin. Upon application my eyes felt an instant soothing cooling sensation. I liked that they adhered well to the skin without feeling tight. I don't think I've ever felt anything this good on my eyes - 15 minutes later I didn't want to take the discs off (but I did). I'm at the stage in my life where I don't have under-eye wrinkles or lines (yet) but in the mornings I do have extra under-eye puffiness so I am religious with my morning coffee or espresso to help me wake up and reduce puffiness slightly.

The main difference for before/after was in the overall feel of the under-eye area. My eyes felt well-hydrated and significantly less puffier than they normally are in the mornings. I suspect that the eye mask performance is similar to other skincare items in the sense that you can only really measure the impact to one's skin after extended use. Still, the way the mask felt on my eye blew me away. While the price is a bit steep at $150 per set of 8 (breaks down to $18.75 per duo) I am ready to splurge on a full set. These are packaged conveniently to easily slip into one's purse or gym bag. The way these de-puff make these a must-have for me for beauty emergency or work/stress meltdown situations. (I could have used one of these about six months ago at work.)

As far as I know, these have hit stores now. They are expected to be released online soon (will update when I find out more information). Are these must-haves? For me yes - I will be ordering soon (I'm waiting for a counter to have a really good gift-with-purchase promotion). The ingredient listing below:

A few other things from Le Métier de Beauté that might interest you:
  • There's an 18-pan eye shadow palette coming out for spring, retailing for $95. It has a mixture of previously released shades and new colors. I have yet to see it in person but Scott Reyes from Neiman Marcus Beverly Hills kindly sent me a few photos from his counter.
  • In addition, Neiman Marcus Beverly Hills released two exclusive lip crèmes last year called Bloom (flesh-cream nude) and Catherine (pale champagne frost), $36 each. I called them a few days ago and they still has some left in stock. I haven't reviewed them, but I will include a few photos below. From my testing - these are VERY nude and pale. For me they work best when mixed with other shades. For more detailed info and excellent reviews, I highly recommend you check out Beauty Professor and Cogitation Project.
Palette photo courtesy of Neiman Marcus Beverly Hills. Gloss photos my own.
All items are limited. (Click for larger viewing.)

Neiman's Beauty Week is coming up on the 23rd of February. If you're interested I recommend calling soon for a pre-sale. I'd recommend Neiman Marcus Beverly Hills (310) 550-5900 Ext. 2087/2027 (especially if you're interested in their exclusive glosses) and ask for Scott Reyes. Tell them I sent you!

Have you tried Le Métier de Beauté Ultra Hydration Eye Mask Duo? Or other Le Métier de Beauté skincare items? What were your thoughts?

This post contains a press sample sent free of charge for review. For additional information please refer to the About/FAQ section.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

NARS Disco Inferno Nail Polish - Spring 2013

NARS has released a new nail polish for spring called Disco Inferno, a complex sheer sparkly metallic ($19). I've never found a nail polish so difficult to describe. It's almost duo-chrome, but not quite. On me it's an iridescent grey-purple-opal-blue infused with tiny silver micro sparkle flecks. Sometimes it flashes a hint of green, but on me it's mostly purple-blueish. It has a 90s-ish feel - reminiscent of edgy metallics from the early Urban Decay/Hard Candy days, and some older Chanels like Fluorine and Metal Argent. As most have reported, Disco Inferno is quite sheer. Even with three coats it still has a slight transparent finish where you can see the nail tips underneath. I think it's beautiful although I do feel that it is slightly too edgy to wear to a conservative work office.

Here it is swatched with three coats:

There's nothing quite like it in my current nail polish collection. The most similar color I own is OPI's Not Like the Movies (looks more similar on the nails than on the nail wheel or in the bottle). OPI's The World is Not Enough has a similar edgy feel with a transparent finish but is still quite different.

Nail wheels have four coats (all shades are sheerish):

Nail swatch comparisons have three coats:

Bottom line gorgeous and listed as limited-edition. Available online at

Monday, February 4, 2013

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder - Luminous Light

Hourglass has released a series of beautiful finishing powders designed to emulate various lighting effects. There are six shades of their new Ambient Lighting Powder ($45 each for 0.35 oz/10 g, currently available online at According to Hourglass, the Ambient Lighting Powders are not your typical highlighting powder. These powders have "photoluminescent technology that refracts light, creates transparent coverage and renders the skin gorgeously radiant."

I received Luminous Light (a champagne glow) from Hourglass and have been playing with this for a few weeks now. Luminous Light was designed to give a candlelight glow to the face and this fits the product perfectly. It's a stunning champagne pearl with a slight pinkish tint that gives THE prettiest natural glow. The application instructions on the box recommended that you use their Ambient Powder Brush ($35) and dust the powder all over the face. I've been using my regular blush and powder brushes to test which have worked quite well. Given the glowy nature of the product, I found it best used as a highlighter (rather than all over). I've used it numerous ways, under and over blush, mixed with a powder bronzer, over a contour powder or over a cream bronzer.  The formula is soft and the color-intensity has just the right balance of pigment and softness to make the entire face glow. It melds into your skin and illuminates the face (rather than sitting on it or emphasizing pores like some highlighters can).

What amazes me is how complex the pearl particles are. Depending on the angle you will sometimes see a straight champagne, other times more pearl, other times a hint of pink. I attribute the candlelight glow this product gives to the complexity and perfect blend of pigments. On the arm, Luminous Light swatches more pinkish but on the face it's more neutral/flesh toned for me.


There are a number of champagne highlighters on the market. Luminous Light stands out to me because it adds a natural glow without looking too frosty. It has the perfect balance of glow and color to look mimic lighting effects. The lasting power was quite good - on me it lasted all day. Other highlighters pale in comparison - the difference is difficult to capture in photos or swatches, but I've included a few to help show the difference.

Below: Chanel Poudre Signée de Chanel, Mouche de Beauté, Bobbi Brown Beige Shimmer Brick, Estée Lauder Tom Pecheux Highlight, Laura Mercier Stardust.

I can't wait to order more shades and the brush from Sephora - however I do want to try them in person. As of this past weekend I did not see any of the Ambient Powders or brush at my local Sephora, but I've been told they will arrive instore mid-February.

Here is the ingredient listing:

I've found my holy grail powder lighter in Hourglass Luminous Light. I haven't tested or tried the other shades to compare but based on what I've seen I am impressed. Few products make it into the "this changed my life" category and the Ambient Lighting Powder from Hourglass has made it. It gives that perfect glow that I aim for with cream highlighters or liquid ones - but in powder form (the benefit is that this one lasts much better than liquids). I think everyone needs at least one in their collection. More information and insight on and

Have you tried the Ambient Lighting Powders? What shade did you try? Thoughts on the brush? Do I need it?

This review contains a product sent by PR without charge for review. This post also contains affiliate links. For more information please refer to the About/FAQ section.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Sunday Reading

Happy Sunday to everyone! Hope you are enjoying the last bits of your weekend. Currently loving these right now:
  • Happy Blog Birthday to Paris in Four Months! I hope there are many more years to come of your beautiful photographs!
  • Café Makeup has an excellent review on the new NARS powders comparing the pressed and loose
  • Rouge Deluxe features a preview of Bobbi Brown's Lilac Rose collection coming out for spring
  • Makeup and Beauty Blog shows us some of the new nail polishes coming out from Dior
  • The Non-Blonde has convinced me I need the NARS Happening Palette
  • Temptalia has the full roundup of MAC's Archie's Girls Collection
  • Kais Obsessions brings us a first look at the new Western Light and Eastern Light nail polishes from Chanel

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Burberry Siren Red Light Glow Blushes - Coral Pink No. 9 and Hydrangea Pink No. 10

Affiliate Links        

Burberry's Spring 2013 Siren Red Collection brings us two bright blushes with rich pigment. The two shades are Coral Pink No. 09 and Hydrangea Pink No. 10 ($42 each for 7g.0.24 oz, available on Both shades are quite pigmented and due to the intensity of these shades I find they need a bit of extra work to apply. Each shade requires careful application with lots of blending. I found that no matter what brush I used, all applications required a lot of blending. I found layering over a soft powder highlighter to diffuse the intensity a bit.

Coral Pink No. 09 is deep warm rose pink with a very slight hint of coral. In the compact and on the skin, Coral Pink pulls more rose. Hydrangea Pink No. 10 is it's deeper more intense sister with a slightly dustier-looking finish on the skin. Both shades go on matte but have a subtle satiny shimmer in the compact.

I tested each shade (one on each side) to compare. On the skin they have a very similar effect. If I had to pick one, I would say Coral Pink No. 09 wins my heart. The hint of coral in it brightens the face and makes my olive skin come to life. Hydrangea Pink No. 10 is a bit darker and dustier-looking on my skintone (but not muddy). The colors are indeed very intense. I'm all about bright colors for cheeks but the intensity of these these might make them outside your comfort zone. These are among the most intense blushes I've tried. I found the colors unique compared to others that I own. Scroll down for a few comparisons.

Coral Pink No. 09:

Hydrangea Pink No. 10:

Swatched side by side:

Swatches were difficult for me to capture accurately, in my photos I would say they pull a bit warmer than what you would see in real life. I recommend checking out blogs for swatches like Café Makeup and Lola's Secret Beauty Blog.

Per request, I compared these to a few other blushes. Below: Burberry Cameo No. 02, Rose No. 03, Tom Ford Narcissist.

Bottom line: lovely, unique and fresh. To recap, if I had to pick one, I personally would go for Coral Pink No. 09, but they are both very pretty. I do think they are different enough to justify purchasing both though. They are bright and intense, but blendable and don't appear muddy on the skin like some intense blushes can be. There is a very very slight rose scent but it disappears after a few minutes. I have a super sensitive nose and it does not bother me at all.

These Burberry Beauty can be found at select Nordstrom counters and online at Nordstrom - Burberry Siren Red Light Glow Natural Blush.

A few references:
  • Nordstrom Burberry Counter Locations listed here.
  • Burberry Blushes (all) photographed and swatched here.
Did you check out the spring collection from Burberry? What were your thoughts?

This review contains affiliate links. For more information, please refer to the About/FAQ section.

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