Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Giorgio Armani Summer 2013 Bronze All-Over Palette (Limited-Edition)

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Giorgio Armani's Bronze All-Over Palette for Summer 2013 just might be this season's prettiest palette ($88, limited-edition). It's a sleek two-tiered palette with a gorgeous bronzer on the top and three shimmery neutrals on the bottom. Many thanks to Café Makeup for giving me the heads up as soon as this arrived online at Giorgio Armani Beauty. It's a luxurious splurge but a definite must-have for this season.

The bronzer is a stunning golden luminous bronze. It has a metallic overspray making it look like sunshine in a compact. Underneath is a soft glowy golden bronze that makes the skin just glow. I love that it's luminous without emphasizing pores and that it does not turn orangey on the skin.

The three shadows below are stunning neutrals with incredible pigment. There's a soft cream, a neutral peach-pink and a bronzey shimmer. Without any base the colors are rich and very pigmented. The textures are extremely soft and finely milled (think along the lines of the better Burberry and Urban Decay soft shadows). They are very easy to blend and goof-proof.

Swatches below, two different views with different lighting:

A few comparisons below. The Armani Summer 2013 Bronzer is similar to Bobbi Brown's Aruba, but the Armani is less frosty on the skin and the soft texture prevents it from turning orange.

For eyeshadows, I thought Armani Summer 2013's shades would be a dupe for Chanel's long discontinued Shimmering Dunes, they are actually different.

Armani's Summer 2013 Bronze All-Over Palette is definitely a luxurious splurge but worth every penny. See other swatches and reviews on other skintones at Café Makeup, Temptalia, Beautezine and Best Things in Beauty.

Giorgio Armani Summer 2013 Bronze All-Over Palette retails for $88 and is limited-edition. It is available at all Armani Beauty counters and online at Nordstrom.com (free shipping), Giorgio Armani Beauty (complementary shipping with orders of $75+), Saks.com.

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Monday, April 29, 2013

Le Métier de Beauté's Mikey Castillo and Ivan Castro at Neiman Marcus Beverly Hills - Saturday May 4th

I have exciting news for those in Southern California: this Saturday, May 4th, Le Métier de Beauté's very own Mikey Castillo and Ivan Castro will be in store at Neiman Marcus in Beverly Hills from 10 am to 5 pm. Both are fresh off the Oscar de la Renta Spring Bridal fashion show and will be at the Beverly Hills store this weekend to do current spring, upcoming summer and bridal looks for those who schedule an appointment.

Le Métier de Beauté fans will have the opportunity to experience the line in its entirety and receive a makeup application or skincare consultation from the line's leading experts. I have had my makeup done by Ivan before and can't rave enough about what an extraordinary artist he is.

Call the Le Métier de Beauté product specialist Scott Reyes (310) 550-5900 Ext. 2087/2027 to make an appointment and let the Le Métier team work their magic on you. I'd recommend calling soon to reserve your appointmet. Neiman Marcus currently has their Scent Event going on through the 5th of May which is a tote filled with fragrance samples. The Le Métier de Beauté counter will be having an extra gift as well (TBD) - call Scott for more details.

Personal recommendations and ideas for other places to check out nearby:
  • Neiman Marcus Beverly hills also has the full Tom Ford Beauty line, Edward Bess has a counter there, they have the most amazing shoe department
  • Saks Fifth Avenue next door has Dolce & Gabbana Makeup
  • Barneys New York is a few blocks away and has the best fragrance boutique including Serge Lutens, L'Artisan, Frederic Malle, Byredo, Le Labo, skincare such as Aesop and Sunday Riley
  • Bouchon Bakery is at the Montage
  • Sprinkles Cupcakes and Ice Cream Shop is also in the area

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Chanel Le Vernis Summer 2013: Lilis #647, Azuré #657 and Bel-Argus #667

This summer's L’Été Papillon de Chanel collection brings three vibrant options for the nails: Lilis #647, Azuré #657 and Bel-Argus #667 ($27 each, all limited-edition). The color theme of this collection is very different from what Chanel typically designs. As a die-hard Chanel fan I wasn't sure if I would be able to pull off such bold colors for nails but after testing am happy to report that while the colors are edgy they are still wearable.

Lilis 647 is a beautiful peach coral red. It's a mix between Holiday and Distraction making it the perfect blend of coral and pink. It's different enough from other corals from both Dior and Chanel to justify owning.

This one was a bit difficult to photograph for comparisons, I've included two views since the white background + sunlight skews the colors a bit.

Chanel Azuré 657 is a stunning mermaid-like teal. I featured it a few days ago so I won't repost the photos, but you can see it here.

Chanel Bel-Argus 667 is an electric metallic blue. It applied smoothly with minimal visible brush strokes. I was afraid this would be too over the top for me, but was surprised that it's actually wearable.

I don't own anything like it but here are some blues next to Bel-Argus.

I surprised myself by only picking up the three nail polishes from Chanel's summer collection. I might go back for the glossimers. Did you pick up anything from the summer set?

All shades retail for $27 each, all limited-edition. They are at counters now in store and also online at Nordstrom.com as well as Chanel.com.

Loving Right Now

A few things I'm loving right now include these cute little prints from Printstagr.am (love this site to print your Instagram photos), Chanel Lilis 647 Le Vernis, skincare from SK-II (more to come soon) and all of Armani summer. This week's loves:
What are you loving this week?

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Giorgio Armani Flash Lip Lacquers

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Armani has released 18 new shades of lip gloss in a new high shine formula called Flash Lip Lacquers ($29 each for 6.5 ml/0.22 fl oz, Nordstrom.com). Armani has revamped and released numerous formulas of lipgloss. Before I saw these in person I thought they would be old discontinued shades brought back under a new name. I was pleased to find the Flash Lip Lacquers are all new shades with improved pigment. While Armani is known for having natural looking products, recent releases show they are moving towards more color. The Flash Lip Lacquers have more pigment than most of the other shades but are still natural looking with a luxurious smooth high gloss shine. I am in love with each and every shade they released but tried to limit myself to:
  • 107 is a neutral nude pink cream with enough pink so it's not washed out
  • 108 is a stunning almond caramel with golden shimmer (think Dolce & Gabbana Almond lipstick in gloss form)
  • 109 is a soft sparkly champagne pink (goes on clear with sparkle)
  • 202 is a complex bronze rose shimmer
  • 303 is a fresh peach-pink shimmer
  • 528 is another semi-transparent pink sparkle, this one flashes iridescent pink sparkles instead of silvery ones
More photos:


Swatch comparisons to a Lip Maestro and other Gloss d'Armani shades:

Bottom line I'm impressed with the quality, finish and pigment. The ones that are mostly sparkle have enough color and shimmer to show up on the lips although they are more on the transparent end of glosses. All the shades (even the darker ones) are right up my alley, it's only a matter of time before I cave and purchase a few more.

Check out Kai's Obsessions for swatches of all the shades.

Giorgio Armani Flash Lip Lacquers retail for $29 each at all Armani counters now, online at Nordstrom.com, Giorgio Armani and other retailers. Did you buy any of the new Armani glosses? What about the fluid sheers or bronzer palette?

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Thursday, April 25, 2013

Chanel Azuré #657 Le Vernis

Chanel Azuré #657 Le Vernis ($27, new and limited-edition, Nordstrom.com) is this season's prettiest metallic teal for nails. It's one of three nail polishes from the summer collection called L’ÉTÉ PAPILLON DE CHANEL. Sorry for the brief interruption in the Armani features, but this one just couldn't wait. Quick swatches to show the chameleon-like features of Azuré. Sometimes it's more teal, other times it's more of a deep blue. It applied quite smoothly for a metallic, I was afraid it would be streaky but was happy to find it applied quite well.

Quick set of closer comparisons. I don't own anything like it and Dior's Samba duo is similar but still different enough to justify owning both.

Chanel Azuré #657 Le Vernis retails for $27 is currently listed as limited-edition and available now in stores. It's also online now at Nordstrom.com and Chanel.com and should be showing up at more retail locations very soon.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Armani Fluid Sheer #5 and #8 - Shade Extensions

Armani Fluid Sheers ($59 for 30 ml/1 fl. oz.) are well loved among liquid highlighter fans. This season Armani revamped the packaging and brought out some new shades. You can see the newer shades swatched on Café Makeup's Instagram account. I picked up #5 a light coral peach shimmer and #8 a pale frosted pink.

For those new to Armani, Fluid Sheers are liquid pearlescent highlighters. The shimmer varies per shade, some have a subtle pearly finish, others have a more noticeable frost. The uses are endless. Armani suggests that you can blend with foundation to add radiance, use as a sculpting product, alone as a makeup base, or as a highlighter. To date the only one I have used mixed in with foundation is #7 which has a similar but slightly more visible finish compared to MAC's Strobe Cream. The other shades are either too shimmery or dark for me to use all over the face or to mix in with foundations. I like to use these as highlighters or a cream blush.

The newer bottles are slightly taller than the original packaging although they contain the same amount of product as the original one. The differences are in the overall look and packaging. The new version has a frosted bottle so you can see the product inside and has an all over sleeker look.

I played with the newly released colors at my local Armani counter and settled on two of the lighter shades. I always love a stronger vibrant blush (blended out of course) but the darker shades are extremely pigmented and ended up looked a bit muddy on my skintone.

The peach shimmer #5 is absolute perfection. It has just the right amount of color and shimmer to give a healthy glow to the skin. The pale pink #8 is a lovely color but too light for me to wear alone. It makes a lovely highlight but definitely needs blush or bronzer added. If I were just a tad bit darker it would have a white cast on me due to the paleness.

Some close ups:

I pulled some of my current Fluid Sheers to compare, #5 looks very similar to one of the limited shades from several years ago, the Radiant Pigment Fluid Sheer #18 (however the new #5 has more pigment).

Note that the Radiant Pigment Fluid Sheers #17 and #18 were limited-edition from 2008ish and are now discontinued. They are shown below only for comparison purposes.

Swatches, same set, two different views:

I see myself getting the most use out of #5. I do think #8 is lovely but wish it were a few shades darker or less white on the skin. Fairer skinned makeup fans will love this one. Did you purchase any of the new shades? What's your favorite Fluid Sheer?

Fluid Sheers retail for $59 each. You can find them instore now at Armani counters or online at BloomingdalesNordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Saks , Giorgio Armani Beauty.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Sneak Peek: Giorgio Armani Summer 2013

Armani has a number temptations this summer including a collection of new Flash Lip Lacquers newly repackaged Fluid Sheers (with a few new shades) and a breathtaking Bronzer/Shadow palette. I passed on everything from the spring collection but fell in love with summer. If you're an Armani fan, you're bound to fall in love the new items. Swatches to come soon.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Color Focus: Emerald, Aqua, Green and Teal

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Teal, emerald, green and aqua seem to be the focus for nails in several collections this season. There are a number of gorgeous new green nail polishes - all of which I was unable to resist. Some are more subtle and subdued while others are bright and electric. The new shades this season inspired me to pull out my other greens for comparison. I'm currently running a top coat experiment so I won't be able to swatch these on the nails just yet, hopefully these photos will help give you an idea in the meantime.

The inspiration: new shades for summer from Dior, Chanel, YSL, MAC and Deborah Lippmann (spotted near me in stores now at Macy's, Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom):

  • Dior's Samba Duo ($29, spotted instore at Macys, Nordstrom and Nordstrom.com)
  • Chanel's Azure ($27, now on Chanel.com)
  • YSL Vert D'Orient #36 ($25 instores and here at Nordstrom.com)
  • MAC Mineralize Lip Balm in Glacé ($20 here at Nordstrom.com)
  • Deborah Lippmann Rockin' Robin ($19 at in store and online at Nordstrom.com)

All the nail colors in greens, teals, aquas: OPI Thanks a Windmillion, YSL Jade Imperial (limited from spring 2013), Dior Waterlily (limited from spring 2012), Dior Samba Duo (summer 2013), Chanel Azure (summer 2013), Deborah Lippmann Mermaid's Dream, Rescue Beauty Lounge Jack (limited), JINsoon Charade (at Sephora), JINsoon Metaphor (at Sephora), Chanel Black Pearl, YSL Vert d'Orient, Deborah Lippmann Rockin' Robin (spring 2013):

For quick reference here's one more shot of the bottom wheel at a different angle so you can see the difference in undertone between Chanel Azure and Dior Samba:

I love how vibrant and bright the shades are this season although I do wonder if I will be brave enough to pull them off on the fingers for everyday wear at the office. I definitely wouldn't hesitate to wear them on the toes. Teal/Emerald as a small accessory or accent piece? Even a blouse? Definitely yes, but on the fingers, I'll have to experiment to see. More detailed swatches and reviews to come in the next few days as soon I possibly can.

What's your favorite teal, green or emerald shade for nails? Are you picking up any of the new greens this spring/summer?

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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Dior Lilac Colorvision #398 Vernis - Sephora Exclusive

Dior has released a Sephora-exclusive nail polish called Lilac Colorvision #398 ($24, limited on Sephora.com and in stores). It's a new shade to the US, but actually a repromote of a Japan Exclusive Frou Frou #398 (see review on Ala Peach). It's currently sold out online but the Find In Store feature shows that physical stores should still have it in stock. I found mine in-store several weeks ago.

Lilac Colorvision #398 is a lovely cream light lilac nail color. Many lilacs are either too pink or pale and end up clashing with my skintone but the Dior #398 has enough color to not look chalky. It has a very fresh youthful look that's lovely for spring. The application was smooth and flawless with two coats - Dior keeps getting better and better.

Swatches below with two coats, no top coat, I was happy to find it dried to a glossy finish very quickly:

I don't own many lilac shades to compare, but I pulled a few purples from Chanel, Dolce & Gabbana and OPI to compare (each photo has the same set, just different lighting):

Bottom line gorgeous. If you're interested I suggest you try to track it down at your local Sephora store soon, I don't know if it will be restocked at Sephora.com. Did you try Dior's Lilac Colorvision? What's your favorite lilac shade for nails?


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