Showing posts with label Blush. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Blush. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Chanel Joues Contraste Vivacité #88 and Canaille #89

Chanel's Perfection Lumière Velvet collection features two new Joues Contraste Powder Blushes ($45 each for 4g/0.14 oz, European/Asia baked version) in Vivacité #88 and Canaille #89. Both are in the baked formula and are more dramatic color than the usual traditional Chanel blush. They look quite intense in the compact but don't go on as dark on the face. Vivacité #88 is a dark pink rose that has a matte finish. Canaille #89 is a warm shimmery orangey tan color. I think these are a nice addition for spring-to-summer. Although the colors are quite rich, the texture is easy to layer and apply without looking clown-like.

The Perfection Lumière Velvet Collection:

Vivacité #88 and Canaille #89

Vivacité #88 is a darker pink with a hint of fuchsia. The tetxure on this one a bit harder than the US versions. It applies sheer but is layerable for more color. I recommend applying with a light hand though - this is one of those colors that you can easily overdo with one swipe too many.

Canaille #89 is a stunning shimmery coppery brown peach. It's shimmery but not frosty. It has a softer texture than the Vivacite. This one is also easy to layer for color but the pigment is on the richer side.

Here they are swatched with a heavy hand:

Swatch comparisons (all swatched with a heavy hand): Burberry Hydrangea Pink, Tom Ford Narcissist, Hourglass Radiant Magenta, Chanel Emotion, Tom Ford Savage, NARS Taj Mahal, NARS Lovejoy and MAC Sunbasque:

I wanted to hate these since they are not the US formula (which I prefer). I tested both at the counter and the artist applied them on my face when I tested the new foundation. I could not resist. Both are so different from any other blushes I own. I've been playing around with these for a week and the texture seems to be ok in terms of application and wear. I still prefer the soft finely milled texture of the US version blushes but these are winners for color and wear. At first glance, both Vivacité #88 and Canaille #89 look intimidating in the pans, especially to those who prefer natural colors or have fairer skin. I found them to still wear quite naturally with easy to control pigment.

Both blushes should be available at all counters by now. Also available currently online at Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, Saks and

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blushes ($35 each for 0.15 oz/4.2 g) have arrived in stores in six stunning glowy shades. These are a hybrid highlighter/blush powder that have what Hourglass calls "Photoluminescent Technology" which gives your blush depth and dimension giving a perfect glow. I've been a huge fan of the Ambient Lighting Powders (previous reviews here and here) so there was no question in my mind that I would fall in love with these new Blushes. If you look at the pans in person you may think some shades will be too light but the pigment of the color in these blushes is quite intense and swirling your brush into the color creates a mix of color and highlight to give you the perfect amount of color/glow. A little swipe will go a long way. The result: radiant natural finish with buildable color for an ethereal glow.

Hourglass sent me Diffused Heat for review and I purchased four shades in Radiant Magenta, Luminous Flush, Dim Infusion and Mood Exposure from Sephora. I tested each shade for 2-3 full days each which is why this has taken me so long to write this review. Lasting power of these blushes is particularly impressive, most of the colors lasted from morning to evening without fading. The only shade that seemed subtle and less dramatic was Dim Infusion which applies very very naturally on the cheeks. Much like the Ambient Lighting Powders, these blushes have a soft powder texture. It's lightweight and easy to blend and layer. I've been applying these with either Chanel Blush Brush #4, MAC #129 or Tom Ford Cheek Blush brush, but really any blush brush will do. Two soft brush swipes is really all you need with these.

Radiant Magenta is one of the most pigmented and one of my favorites. It's described as a golden fuchsia blush combined with Radiant Light for a summer glow. This is a beautiful glowy fresh pink. The golden bronze of Radiant Light mixed in creates a perfect pink that won't darken or turn muddy on the skin. This one had the most impressive lasting power. The shimmer is very fine in this. It's not frosty, just a perfect glow.

Luminous Flush is a champagne rose blush fused with Luminous Light (my holy grail highlighter) to evoke a candlelit glimmer. Since these are all hand-made, some will have more pink, others like mine will have more champagne color. I was worried this one would be too light but the pink is quite pigmented so it does show up on my face.

Dim Infusion is one of the lighter colors. It's a subdued coral blush fused with Dim Light to add warmth. I found it showed up quite well on my skin, it gives a soft peach glow. Looks fairly light but I recommend you test in store if you can. I think it will show up on medium-tan skin, but may look nearly invisible on darker skintones. I've noticed from some comments that those with very fair skin found this did not show up on them. It might be one of those shades that shows up better if you're skin does not match the Dim Light powder. If it does, this may just blend in with your skin and disappear. If you've tested this please share your thoughts in the comments.

Diffused Heat (press sample) is the color that surprised me the most. This is a vibrant poppy blush combined with Diffused Light for a subtle halo effect. Poppy colors can be hard for me to pull off for blush. They often look so gorgeous in the pan but then darken and look muddy-ish on my olive skin. In the pan Diffused Heat looks like it could be too orange or warm but the mix of colors turns a pretty coral pink and brightens the entire face. This is one of my top 2 picks. It is a color I think will be universally flattering.

Mood Exposure is another surprise. It looks like it might be a flat and boring neutral rose based on what you see in the compact. It's a soft plum blush fused with Mood Light to brighten the complexion. The plum is almost bronzey on my skin and gives this wonderful rose-bronze-pink. It  looks different on everyone I've seen this on. For some it pulls more rose, for others like myself, it pulls more warm. I would describe it as unexpectedly gorgeous. I highly recommend this color as well. It is highly pigmented, I think this one will show up on everyone.

Swatches below, note these apply much better on the face than any arm or hand swatch can show:

Comparisons to corresponding Ambient Highlighting Powders. The blushes are smaller in size but have the same style packaging. Each compact is mirrored.

Click photo for better viewing:

Bottom line: Truly amazing. Everyone needs at least one. (Yes, everyone!) I normally blend blush with highlighters to create some kind of depth, these new Hourglass Ambient Lighting blushes save me the extra step. You can control the level of pigment or color depending how you apply these.

Over a powdered face the effect will be softer. If you have dry skin or a well-powdered face you may find these won't show up as well. I have normal skin and found these applied just fine over powder. If you need more color, I recommend using these over a slightly dewy face or cream highlighter (such as Armani Fluid Sheers, NARS Multiples or Edward Bess Afterglow Highlighters). A sheer cream base will help the pigment show up better if you're on the dryer side without impacting the color too much. The pigment will be richer and more dramatic. I don't have a preference for either application - both ways will give a lovely effect. (I didn't test the lightest shade Ethereal Glow because I thought it would be too pale, but I may try it the next time I'm at Sephora.)

For reference I put together a collage on all the shades for you to see how each blush has a mix of each corresponding with a particular highlighter. Although I already own a number of the Hourglass Ambient Light highlighters, I do think these blushes are unique enough to justify owning.

My top three picks are Radiant Magenta, Mood Exposure and Diffused Heat.
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blushes retail for $35 each. These are free of parabens, talc, fragrance, nanoparticles and gluten. No Animal Testing. Available at Barneys New York, Bergdorf Goodman, Net-A-Porter, Sephora, Space NK and

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Chanel Sakura #87 Blush and Jardin de Camélias Illuminating Powder - Exclusive

There are two new cheek products in the Chanel Jardin de Camélias collection Sakura #87 Joues Contraste ($43 for 4g/0.14 oz, made in France) and Jardin de Camélias Illuminating Powder ($70 for 16g/0.54 oz). Both products are lovely classics true to Chanel form. It appears that the blush has already sold out online but I've pulled quite a few other blushes in attempt to find a dupe. Scroll to the bottom for comparisons.

Sakura #87 Joues Contraste is a soft peachy pinky color with a soft shimmer. This is the baked Euro/Asia version of blush which I've found to be hit or miss. Some are powdery on the surface with a hard texture underneath which can be difficult to apply. I've had better luck with some of the more recent releases but prefer the US formula. Sakura applies quite nicely on the skin with a soft pink glow. It's a softer sheerer color but you can build it. It's still very very natural on the skin. Lasting power is medium from morning to the early afternoon (like most powder blushes). There is a slight shimmer to the blush, on the cheeks the shimmer doesn't show up but it does give the blush depth. This is a much-needed in between shade in Chanel's line. Most blushes are either more rose or a straight peach. This is a good in between color with a mix of pink and peach.

Jardin de Camélias Illuminating Powder is a very pale ivory tinged with a hint of light rose pink. The color of the product in real life is true to what you see on There is a slight iridescent quality to the powder when applied on the skin. On my face it just looks like a sheer pale white with a hint of pink pearl. It resembles a soft finishing powder with a hint of an opal pink glow. I personally wouldn't use this all over the face for me. It can be used to tone down harsh edges of blush. I didn't remember to photograph swatches of this next to Hourglass Dim Light but the effect is similar. The difference is Hourglass is more beige while the Jardin de Camelias is more pink. The first time I tried this I did not like it. I found it extremely subtle and almost invisible on my skin. I've been testing it some more and find it adds a lovely glow when applied on top of any blush (powder or cream). Still, the $70 price tag is hard to justify something that is extremely subtle in effect.


I have two sets of comparisons below. First set shows the colors next to Chanel Rose Initiale (review here), Fleur de Lotus (Nordstrom Exclusive, miraculously still available for sale), Poudre Signee de Chanel Powder (discontinued), Hourglass Luminous Light (review here) and Chanel Rose Tourbillon (discontinued).

I later pulled a few more blushes after someone emailed me asking if the #87 Sakura was the same as the recently released #87 Émotion blush. Although they have the same numbers, the colors are completely different.

Left to right: Chanel Rose Petale, Chantecaille Laughter (discontinued), Chanel Emotion (review here), Chanel Narcisse (US version, discontinued), Inspiration Blush Creme (apparently discontinued now as well, more swatches here), MAC Dainty Mineralize Blush and Tom Ford Frantic Pink.

There's no dupe from what I've found although MAC Dainty and Tom Ford Frantic Pink (my all time favorite natural pink blush) are very close. If you click to enlarge you might be able to see that the Chanel is more satiny with less shimmer while the MAC/Tom Ford have more shimmer. I tried Sakura on one cheek and Dainty on the other and they were almost identical on my skin.

Did you order anything from the Jardin de Camélias line? What were your thoughts? Or if you were waiting for my swatches, has anything caught your eye?

Chanel Jardin de Camélias - Exclusive

Chanel just launched the Jardin de Camélias Collection exclusively online at in the US. I ordered the following items:
  • Sakura #87 Blush ($43, Euro/Asia baked version)
  • Jardin de Camélias Illuminating Powder ($70)
  • four Aqualumière Glosses ($29.50 each) in Eau Rose #86, Rosace #87, Pink Pivoine #88, Baie Rose #89
  • two Rouge Allures ($34 each) in Fleurie #139 and Charmeuse #142
I'll be uploading more detailed reviews as quickly as I can. I swatched and photographed everything over the weekend but need to do a bit more testing. For now here are swatches for your reference. Quick note on the glosses, they all apply very sheer on the lips like most Chanel glosses do.

Without flash:

With flash:

You can find the collection now online at

Stay tuned for the swatches and photos of the Chanel Sakura Blush and Jardin de Camélias Highlighter next. I'll be adding a few finishing touches and thoughts on my review for these during my lunch break. Review should be up the review in a few hours.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Le Métier de Beauté Kaleidoscope Face Kit | The Total Look

Le Métier de Beauté released three new Kaleidoscope Kits at the end of last year in limited quantities at select stores and they are finally available online at Bloomingdales ($95 each). There is a new face kit called The Total Look, a blush kit called Cheeky Chic and an eyeshadow kit called Strada. When my local store received these they did not have testers. I limited myself to one: The Total Look Kit which has two eyeshadows in a bronze and champagne, a pink blush and a light bronzer.

Swatches, note I applied the blush and bronzer with a light hand. The colors are well pigmented once applied on the face but still soft.

I pulled one of my older discontinued kaleidoscopes in the Flawless Face Kit to compare for you (the Neiman Marcus Beverly Hills edition had Jojo Eyeshadow instead of the translucent pressed powder). If you missed out on the older kit, the Jojo Eyeshadow, Whisper Highlighter and Echo Blush can be purchased individually.

For the top two shades, the pale pink in The Total Look is more shimmery and frosted compare to the Whisper Highlighter:

Here you can see The Total Look has a softer effect than Flawless Face:

I pulled a couple different shades from different kits for swatch comparisons. Galatea's Bronze (discontinued) is darker than The Total Look. Nouvelle Vague's (review here) shimmery pink is darker than The Total Look. The Blush Kaleidoscope (review here) is darker and more pigmented than The Total Look.

The Total Look Kaleidoscope Face Kit is a classic staple. I'm glad it is finally available for purchase online. I waited to write about this because I suspected like most Le Metier de Beaute kits it would sell out in the blink of an eye and cause those to miss out heartache. Although pricey at $95 per kit, note this breaks down to $23.75 per kit. For the size and price note that many other brands have shadows priced the same or higher per shadow.

If you're new to Le Metier de Beaute or don't own a lot of Kaleidoscopes, this is a great kit to start with. If you own a lot, I think you can skip although I found the colors in this one to have slightly different nuances making the colors unique. The convenience factor is a plus. I brought this with me in a couple trips in the past few months. Be sure to check out Best Things in Beauty for her swatches and a snapshot of all three kits.


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