Showing posts with label Chanel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Chanel. Show all posts

Monday, August 31, 2015

Chanel Fall 2015 Rouge Allure and Rouge Coco Shines


For fall Chanel has four new lipsticks in their Collection Les Automnales release. I picked up two of the Rouge Coco Shines ($36 each) in Mélancolie and Téméraire along with one Rouge Allure ($36) in Pensive. I'm usually super excited about the new lip releases from Chanel. Their lipstick formulas usually perform really well for me and I love the colors. This fall, the items fall a bit short of my expectations.


The three colors I picked out at the counter:

  • Rouge Coco Shine in Mélancolie is a sheer glossy warm brownish nude with shimmer, this goes on beautifully if swatched on the hands, on my pigmented lips it looks very nude and natural, it almost disappears because of the way it matches my lip tone, it's so so pretty in the tube, on me it's almost invisible, I suspect if you have less pigment in your lips it will show up better
  • Rouge Coco Shine in Téméraire is a pigmented deeper red with shimmer, this one has phenomenal coverage and pigment, if you're like me, most reddish lip colors can turn orange or fuchsia on the lips no matter what the base color is, this one surprisingly does not turn fuchsia and stays true to what you see in the tube
  • Rouge Allure in Pensive is a sheer nude that is applies unevenly and blotchy, it's almost identical in color to the Reveuse Rouge Coco Shine, but the Rouge Coco Shine has a much better formula and coverage, it photographs well, but in real life it looks really uneven, I've tried desperately to make it work because it swatches so pretty on the arm and looks like nude perfection in the tubes, but it's really not worth the price given the sheerness

Swatches below:






Some swatched comparisons:


One last shot:


Overall beautiful in the tubes, but they aren't must-haves for me. I do like the way Téméraire looks and how pigmented it is although it has a lot more color in it than I'm used to. It's definitely not an everyday kind of lip color unless you are used to wearing reds. Mélancolie is such a stunning shade in the tube and on my hand, on my me it seems to have decent coverage but it disappears on my pigmented lips. Pensive is something I would say skip - there are much better nudes out there from other lines that have better pigment, coverage and texture. If you're in the market for new lipsticks to splurge on I would say save for Louboutin, Tom Ford or the Burberry Kisses. Or wait for Chanel Holiday.

Did you check out the fall selection for lips? What did you think?

All the new lip colors in the fall collection are listed as permanent. They are available at counters now. Online at Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Chanel.com and all other Chanel retailers.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Les 5 Ombres de Chanel Eyeshadow Palette in Entrelacs for Fall 2015


There's a stunning new eyeshadow palette from Chanel this fall called Les 5 Ombres de Chanel in Entrelacs ($80, limited-edition). It's quite expensive but the colors are phenomenal neutrals that have a super soft texture with good buildable pigment. I think Chanel should make all their shadows in this formula - it melds into the skin flawlessly. The light colors are pigmented with a glorious shimmer giving them unique look. (In the pan they look almost matte.) The three darker shades are satiny in texture and layer nicely over each other. If you have a creamy liner or base on the lids you will see the dark shades pop. Chanel's Les 5 Ombres de Chanel for fall is the perfect in-between of pure mattes and high frost shimmers. The finish is more of a satiny glow and I can't rave enough about this palette. Even though I own enough neutrals to last 100 lifetimes I think this one is a must. 


The colors left to right:

Shimmering soft ivory with a champagne shimmery glow
Matte neutral beige tan
Soft satiny chocolate shimmer
Dark blackened brown satin
Soft light pink with gold shimmer


Swatches with the sponge applicators:


Swatched heavy over Tom Ford Peach Glow Primer with fingers:


I suspect each color can be replicated with individual colors. Some of the ones above resemble older Chanel singles and quads that I own (the first one resembles Ivory, second resembles Sand, third looks like a brown version of the darkest color in Poesie, fourth is unique). I pulled two other palettes to compare, Chanel Charming from Holiday 2013 and Dior Eye Reviver 001:



Overall a winner. I highly recommend it. If you're new to high end eyeshadows and want a good easy to wear palette of neutrals, the Les 5 Ombres de Chanel is a good introductory palette. It has conservative colors suitable for everyday wear but enough color to show up on the eyes and add dimension. Lasting power is very good - it stays put all day without fading or budging. I've used it with my go-to eye base from Edward Bess. I like it so much I have to buy a back it up.

You can find the fall 2015 Les 5 Ombres de Chanel Eyeshadow Palette in Entrelacs at all counters now, while supplies last since it's limited-edition. Online at Chanel.com, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bergdorf Goodman and all other Chanel retailers.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Chanel Fall 2015 Stylo Yeux in Ardent, Érable and Pomme de Pin


For fall Chanel has four new Stylo Yeux Waterproof Eyeliners ($32 each) in Ardent, Érable, Feuilles and Pomme de Pin. I picked up four at my local counter but when I got home realized one was the wrong color (it was one of the older shades) so I have three of the four shades swatched. The three new fall colors I have are Ardent which is a shimmering copper, Érable a shimmering khaki taupe and Pomme de Pin a glossy brown-black. All are permanent with the exception of Ardent which is limited-edition. The Stylo Yeux pencils seem to have improved drastically with this release. I'm not sure if all pencils are like this, but the new ones are super creamy and glide on the lids without any tugging. Previous releases are hit or miss with the formula. Some drag a little while others are more emollient. All three in the fall collection have intense pigment and apply easily on the eyes. They are creamy but set within a few minutes. As with my experience wearing all other Chanel Stylo Yeux Waterproof pencils, they last all day without smudging or fading. I give all three a huge thumbs up. I wish they would make the colors into cream shadows because they are just so pretty.

The three fall shades I came home with shown below in Pomme de Pin 921, Ardent 918 and Érable 919, plus a repromote in Ardoise 912. At the counter the rep went by number when she was pulling the colors, she must have confused 912 and 914. I don't blame her - I get confused by the numbering system all the time.


Close up photo plus swatches:




Comparison swatches below:


Chanel Stylo Yeux Waterproof in Khaki Preciuex
Burberry Effortless Kohl in Storm Grey (c/o)

Bottom line all three are winners. Since the formula has improved so much I need to investigate some other existing colors as my Black Shimmer and Ebene seem to have dried up and are tugging at my eyes when I use them. I would have thought Pomme de Pin to be a basic black color but I like that it has some brown undertone to prevent it from looking harsh on my eyes. Ardent is pure love - I like to smudge it upwards with the fingers on the lids as a cream shadow. Erable is beyond gorgeous. I need it in a powder shadow form.

Have you checked out Chanel fall? Did you pick up any of the eye products? I passed on the Illusion D'Ombres. I picked up the quad but haven't touched it yet - I can't decide whether or not I can do the khaki colors. I'll have a review of the 5-pan palette up soon. I've been playing with it and am head over heels in love with it. I may need a backup. If you've seen/tried it let me know if you think Feuilles is a must-have and I might go back to check it out.

You can find the Chanel Stylo Yeux Waterproof pencils at all Chanel counters now. Online at Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Chanel.com and all other Chanel retailers.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Chanel Collection Automnales La Base Coat, Le Top Coat and new Le Vernis in Châtaigne, Écorce Sanguine and Vert Obscur


This fall Chanel has released a host of new products and colors for nails. There are three new limited-edition Le Vernis Nail Colours in Châtaigne, Écorce Sanguine and Vert Obscur ($27 each for 13 ml / 0.4 fl oz). In addition there is a new La Base Coat, Le Top Coat and a Le Top Coat Velvet (all $27 each). I've been playing with these for several weeks - each year it seems as though fall collections arrive earlier and earlier. I'm still in summer mode so I've been loving brighter colors but the new shades for fall do not disappoint.


I have a preliminary review on the new base and top coat after testing it with Chanel, Dior and Tom Ford nail polishes (I did skip the velvet version). I tried the original base coat and was never a fan. I found it didn't go on the nails smoothly and it made nail polishes of all brands drag unevenly along the nail. The new La Base Coat has improved tremendously in terms of how it glides onto the nails. It's supposed to be a protective and smoothing base with a soft pink tint to even out the nail tone. I find the pink tone does give the nails a very soft even look, but if you wear opaque polishes it doesn't make a difference. The Chanel Base + Chanel Color combination = pure love. I found that it didn't perform so well with Dior or Tom Ford - the color drags and you need a slightly thicker coat of color to get an even application. I prefer base the Formula X Base Coat and CND Sticky Base Coat by far in terms of how it performs with a variety of brands.

The new Le Top Coat is a quick dry high shine top coat. I'm a huge fan of the original Laque Brilliance Extreme Top Coat and after testing the new one, I have to say I still prefer the original version by far. I really hope it's here to stay and that Chanel did not create a new one to replace it, however the original one is now gone from Chanel.com so I will have to stock up. The new Le Top Coat has a thinner more liquidy finish compared to the original. There was a slight learning curve for me to figure out exactly how much to load up on the brush. Too much resulted in it pooling in the cuticles. Too little caused streaking. That being said - once I got the hang of it, I found it was really nice how quickly it dried. It left the nails with a glossy finish, but the original had a more cushiony glossy shine. It works well with multiple brands and there is no shrinkage around the edges if I use it with Dior or Tom Ford. It did help my manicure last without tip wear for 5 days. I found the original version better with manicures lasting up to 7 days without chipping or tip wear.


Onto the colors for fall: Châtaigne is a brown plum vamp cream, Écorce Sanguine is a stunning deep red with the almost-invisible gold shimmer and Vert Obscur is a jelly forest green. I love a good vamp, Châtaigne goes on smoothly without any issues. Two coats will cover the nail entirely. There is a brownish base that prevents it from looking pure black on the hands. It's still very dark.


Écorce Sanguine is a very special red. In my mind Chanel can do no wrong with reds. Last holiday they released too many similar reds, but this one for fall is deep and bright at the same time. It's a classic color that doesn't age the hands or darken. I own way too many reds already but this one has phenomenal coverage. One coat is enough to cover the nail entirely. I always prefer at least 2 coats though. Be sure to check out the swatches on Café Makeup - she captures the shimmer perfectly!


Vert Obscur is the color I was most excited about but ended up being slightly disappointed with it. It's a gorgeous dark forest green in the bottle. The formula is a bit blotchy with the first coat. It will leave the nail looking streaky. Two to three coats fixes it and it looks better with extra coats, but on the nails it's so dark it almost looks black. I would have liked it to be a bit brighter or have the green more visible.


Comparisons:


Dior Nuit 1947 (reviewed here)
Louboutin Sevillana
Tom Ford Bitter Bitch
Tom Ford Black Cherry (review here)
Chanel Vamp (swatched here)
Chanel Forbidden (discontinued), Rouge Fatal (discontinued)
Chanel Cinema (swatched here)
Marc Jacobs Jezebel
Tom Ford Black Jade (swatches here)
Louboutin Lady Twist (swatched here)
Burberry Dark Bottle Green (reviewed here)
Rescue Beauty Lounge Small Dim Summer Stars (swatches here)


Overall thoughts on the new Base and Top coat are that I'm undecided. I like they way they perform with Chanel nail polishes, but I was so in love with the original top coat. I think I just need to test them out more. For the new fall colors, I think all three are really gorgeous - I think the red Écorce Sanguine is absolutely stunning but you can get something very similar although most won't have that gorgeous gold shimmer. I can't say the other two are must-haves - there are just so many similar colors to Châtaigne and Vert Obscur is so dark it looks black on my hands. Perhaps once the actual fall season rolls around I'll be more into these colors. I do think they are nice to have - as a die hard Chanel collector, I had to add them to my collection, but I can't call them must-haves. Right now I have my eye on the Rouge Noir collections coming out, preliminary details and sneak peeks via Specktra.net. The colors look amazing for late fall/holiday collections.

All three Le Vernis colors for fall are limited-edition. The new La Base and Le Top Coats are here to stay. You can find them at all Chanel counters now. Online at Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman and Chanel.com.

Did you try any of the new fall colors? What did you think?

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Current Base Testing Rotation


I have a love-hate relationship with foundation these days. The summer sun is impossible to avoid here in Southern California and I've gotten a bit of color even with sunscreen. On our three weeks trip to Europe we spent a lot of time outdoors and on beaches - I got 2-3 shades darker. I've been trying to stay indoors more since I've been home so my tan is fading and I'm in that in-between stage of foundation colors. Some I have to mix to get the right match. These days I've been loving sheerer coverage formulas that are more forgiving. They have enough coverage to even the skintone but are sheer enough that you don't need a 100% exact match.

Another tricky thing about foundation is color matching at the counter. In the past several trips I've made to the beauty counters and asked about foundation, the reps have looked at my skin and asked, "do you want to be darker or lighter?" Foundation is supposed to be a close match and I understand it can't always be exact, but I can't count the times I've been mis-matched at the counter. My solution is to ask to try 2-3 shades on the jawline, side by side and decide for myself. Or just go to Sephora where I know I can shop on my own and swatch at my own leisure.

I have a roundup of some new formulas I've been trying out along with a few tried-and-true. Some formulas I've found the next shade up is too big of a jump for me to purchase. Here are swatches of all the colors shown above. More detail below by coverage type.



Sheer Coverage


Sheer coverage foundations are something I haven't been able to wear for a long time, but my skin has cleared up over the past 6 months thanks to skin resurfacing treatments like the Hourglass Equilibrium Biomimetic Night Serum and regular use of clarifying masks from Aesop, Caudalie and Glamglow.
  • I recently received a sample of the Glossier Perfecting Skin Tint ($26 for 1 fl oz) in Medium. There is a skin chart online to help determine what color will be your match. I wasn't sure what to expect - this looks like the kind of product that looks so sheer it might designed for those with near-perfect skin. I've tested this for the past month and am really pleased with it. It is truly a skin tint. It's very sheer so it's forgiving but it gives the skin that natural healthy glow. It evens out the skin and brightens. I do need to set with powder or powder foundation but it's really good. It's lightweight and lasts all day without getting greasy. No breakouts or reaction to the formula either.
  • Armani Luninessence CC Color Control Bright Moisturizer ($52 for 1 fl oz) has been raved about by so many. I know Armani foundations are really well-loved, I like a couple of the formulas but find the color selection very limited in the ones I like (Luminous Silk has the most options and it's one I cannot wear more than 1 hour without getting greasy-looking). When this product launched I was in between shades. Since I got a bit darker I thought it was the perfect time to try Shade 5. It's pink-based but very sheer so it adjusts to my skin without looking too pink. I do wish it was a tad bit more olive, or that they released yellow versions of this formula. It gives the skin a natural glow with sheer coverage. It's on the hydrating side so I think it's better suited for normal to dry skin. If it had a wider color selection I'd give this a rating of 8.5 out of 10 stars.
  • By Terry Cellularose Moisturizing CC Cream ($86 for 1.41 fl oz) is extremely expensive but in terms of formula for CC creams, it's the best I've tried. It's very lightweight, very hydrating and sheer but buildable. It gives the skin a well-rested glow look like you just had a facial. I like that it has enough yellow in it for my skintone. Right now it's a bit light but since it's sheer I can make it work by dusting a bit of darker powder like Chanel Les Beiges 30 on top. If the next shade up was a good match I would get it, but my rep said there's a huge jump and that it would be too dark. If you have oily skin I don't think this is the product for you. For normal to dry skin it's a great one.
  • Chanel Les Beiges All-In-One Healthy Glow Fluid ($45 for 1 fl oz) is a sheer glow product. The colors pull pink but the formula is very sheer so applying this all over gives the skin a warm glow. I like to use this as a base and then layer a heavier coverage foundation on areas that need more coverage. It gives the skin a natural healthy look.
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Medium Coverage

Three medium coverage base products I've had in rotation are from La Mer, Charlotte Tilbury and NARS. This is my foundation coverage of choice. I like medium coverage to cover the entire face but something that still has a bit of transparency so if it's not an exact match it will adjust.
  • La Mer The Reparative Skin Tint ($95 for 1.4 fl oz) is the most I think I've ever spent on foundation. Color selection is limited but it's sheer to medium in coverage and adjusts to the skin after it sets. My closest match is Light Medium 3. It looks pinkish in the swatch but it blends out really nicely. The warmth gives a glow to the skin and makes it glow. When I went to the counter to try this I really appreciated the honesty of the rep who helped me. His initial thought was that I would be in between shades but was really nice and swatched two colors, one on each side. We were both surprised #3 matched. I had one of my friends with me to give a second opinion. She gave it the thumbs up so I bought it. It gives a similar glow to that of the By Terry but it has more pink undertone and it has more coverage. It has SPF 30. I hate to say it but I really love this one.
  • Charlotte Tilbury Light Wonder ($45 for 1.4 fl oz) is an amazing foundation. It gives the appearance of a youthful glow with perfect medium coverage. It's thin-to-medium in texture so it feels weightless. It blends into the skin flawlessly and lasts all day long. The downside is the color selection and until now I've been in between colors. I swatched #6 and #7 above to show you the jump. If you're at the counter and look at the shades in consecutive order you may find them confusing. There's a huge jump in colors and undertones. Right now I'm a perfect match to #7 but I can tell any day I'll have to mix in a light color to adjust it. If you can find a good color match this one is amazing in formula.
  • NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer ($43 for 1.9 fl oz) has been my holy grail medium coverage tinted moisturizer for a long time. My go-to shade has been Groenland but over our trip I found St. Moritz to be a better match. I got even darker than St. Moritz however the next shade up is too dark. I still love this formula - it's the best tinted moisturizer I've tried but it doesn't have that tinted moisturizer feel. It has medium coverage and feels super lightweight. It evens out the skin and looks very natural.
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Medium to Full Coverage


I have a few favorites for medium to full coverage but I can't wear all of them now with hot humid weather. There are only two that truly hold up to the heat.
  • Chanel Perfection Lumiere Velvet ($47 for 1 fl oz) has never let me down. In my lightest I wear 20, I'm normally a 30, right now I'm a perfect match to 40. It's been a long-time go-to for me. It has a perfect velvet finish without looking too matte. It holds up really well in the heat and for the coverage and pigment I'm really happy it doesn't oxidize or darken.
  • Marc Jacobs Genius Gel Super-Charged Oil-Free Foundation ($48 for 1 fl oz) is my new favorite (tied with the Chanel Perfection Lumiere Velvet). It's an oil-free foundation that comes in a wide selection of color undertones. I matched myself at Sephora to Golden Medium which is really yellow (I swatched 4 different colors on my face at the store). It's concentrated but fluid so you only need 1-2 pumps to cover the entire face. It's lightweight but gives medium to full coverage. It blends out nicely and is easy to layer. I don't know what took me so long to try it but it lasts all day.
  • Tom Ford Traceless Perfecting Foundation ($80 for 1 fl oz) is something I repurchased recently. I'm usually Bisque 4 but it pulls light so I went up to Natural 5. I really adore this for the coverage, color selection and finish. In hot humid weather this time of year it just feels too heavy. It holds up pretty well to the heat but on the skin if I'm outdoors I can feel it.
  • Chanel CC Cream Complete Correction Sunscreen ($55 for 1 fl oz) is another Chanel love of mine. It has a high SPF of 50 and covers the skin really well. I wore this all through spring and have been using it on and off in the summer. In 83+ degree weather it feels thick on the skin although it holds up well and looks good. I'll be saving this for cooler days. It still works on warm days I just prefer something that feels more lightweight.
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Overall my top three picks for right now include the Chanel Perfection Lumiere Velvet, Marc Jacobs Genius Gel and Glossier Skintint. The La Mer follows close behind but due to the price and limited color selection I don't know how likely it is I will repurchase once I finish it up. NARS is almost always at the top of my list but I don't have a color match. Do you have a summer favorite right now? If yes, please share!

The Glossier Skintint was provided as a courtesy sample for review consideration. All others purchased by me.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Summer Loves


Happy Friday! I hope everyone had a great week - mine was a very long one and I'm glad it's almost the weekend. A few things I'm loving right now are summery-themed.

Glossier Coconut Balm Dotcom $12 is described as a "vacation in a tube." It does indeed smell like a dreamy vacation with a delicious coconut scent. It's Glossier's do-anything skin salve for the lips, eyes, cheeks or cuticles - basically anywhere you need an added moisture boost. It's very creamy so I've only been brave enough to test it on the lips and so far I love it. It's hydrating, soothing and smells incredible.



Tom Ford Fleur de Portofino $215 was one of my biggest summer splurges. It's a summery white floral citrus. Similar to the Neroli Portofino and Mandarino di Amalafi but with a floral twist to it. It's bright and very rich. Lasts all day on me and makes me feel like I'm at the beach. If you own either of the others I would say you probably don't need the Fleur de Portofino as they are similar. There are noticeable differences, the original Neroli is the strongest and more unisex, Mandarino is the most citrus, Fleur has floral notes which I like the most.


Supergoop! Sun-Defying Sunscreen Oil Broad Spectrum SPF 50 $12-34 has been in regular rotation. The concept of a sunscreen in oil form is new to me. I'm super hesitant about trying new sunscreens in general but this one has been gentle enough for me to wear without any irritation or reaction. It's meant for both the face and body but I haven't been brave enough to test it on the face.


Chanel Tutti Frutti $27 is my favorite coral pink nail color for summer. It's been on my nails a lot lately. I plan on getting a pedicure this weekend for the toes.


Smith & Cult recently launched Lip Lacquers $22 each. I've been testing a few that I ordered sight unseen. They are all relatively sheer in finish but have a lush glossy shine to them with a hint of color. My personal favorite is Her Name Is Bubbles (in large part because I like the name). I'll have a more detailed feature soon on the glosses but for now below are a few swatches. You can find them at Neiman Marcus, Net-A-Porter, Birchbox. If you want to see Her Name is Bubbles on the lips, you can see it in my peachy makeup loves post.



I hope you have a wonderful weekend! What have you been loving this summer?

The Glossier Lip Balm was provided as a courtesy sample for review. All other items purchased by me.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

July Beauty and Grooming Favorites


The month of July has flown by so quickly I can't believe it's already over. It's been a while since I've shared my monthly favorites so I decided to try something new - I've compiled a list of favorites in skincare, haircare, makeup and grooming in a his and hers edition. My husband has always been a well-groomed man and likes testing new things but is very particular about smells, textures and performance. He will research products to death before he splurges on grooming products so I always try to bring him home samples to try when I shop at Sephora or Nordstrom. When he saw me gathering a pile of products for this post, he said wanted to participate by sharing a few of his favorite grooming products too. I hope you enjoy this roundup of favorites we've been testing for the past month!

First up for me include fragrance, body, skin care and hair care favorites.

  • It was love at first smell with L'Artisan Mûre et Musc Eau de Toilette. This tiny Coffret Miniatures Set is the cutest thing ever with my two favorites the Mûre et Musc and Las Chasse Papillons. It's too small to have a spritzer so you have to dab it on the skin but it's perfect for a clutch or small bag.
  • For body I've been loving the Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse for a dry body oil. It absorbs into the skin quickly and has an amazing smell. You can often find the deluxe minis online from https://us.nuxe.com/ - they have lots of good promos from time to time.
  • For the face I've been loving the First Aid Beauty Vitamin Hydrating Mist. It's hard to describe the smell but it is very fresh and slightly sweet/citrusy. It makes the skin feel nice and hydrated and has a lightweight feel.
  • Beautylish has finally started carrying the travel sized Bioderma Sébium and Sensibio H20 Cleansing waters separately. They are the perfect size and price to try them out before buying the full sized versions. I'm obsessed with mini sized beauty products - these are beyond cute.
  • The Drybar Mudslide Hair Mask is the most incredible hair treatment that I've tried. I bought mine from Sephora in store (I don't see it online, but it is available as a mini in this set). It leaves the hair super soft and silky. After I use it I can air dry my hair without it getting frizzy (no hair dryer or flat iron needed). I use it as a weekly treatment.
  • R+Co is a new brand I've been experimenting with. I picked up two of the items from Space NK and the Moon Shine Shampoo and Conditioner are among the best I've tried ever. It cleans the hair really well and leaves it feeling well hydrated, soft and shiny smooth without being too heavy. It leaves the hair feeling bouncy and weightless all day long. Since it is a hydrating product I wouldn't recommend it for daily use but I like it 2 to 3x per week (I wash my hair daily but alternate shampoos). It smells amazing with a mix of orange, cardamom, fig, guava and amber. It sounds like a lot but it's not too sweet or rich in scent.


My husband's name is Andrew. He's always been a well-groomed man for which I am really grateful. For his group of favorites, he's tested a few new brands in shaving and also pulled out some tried and true staples to share in this month's roundup. In case you shop for any of the men in your life, he says he hope this is helpful for gift ideas or recommendations if they are looking for something new to try.
  • The L'Occitane Cedrat Stick Deodorant is an alcohol-free and aluminum salts-free deoderant (two of the things he checks for on the ingredient list). This one from L'Occitane lasts all day and smells really good. It doesn't make his skin peel or feel oily. The entire Cedrat line has a good mix of masculine citrus and wood.
  • For skin his go-to moisturizer is the Jack Black Double Duty Face Moisturizer with SPF 20. He uses this daily and it leaves the skin feeling hydrated and soft. It dries down to a nice feel so there is no oily or greasy texture and absorbs into the skin quickly. He does wish it came with a higher SPF but so far it's the best one he's tried and he's stuck with it for quite some time.
  • For shaving, two brands have been in rotation. First his regular go-to is the L'Occitane Cade Plisson Razor + Shave Cream Duo. His quick take on each:
    • The L'Occitane Shave Cream is the best he's tried because it's thick, it lathers up well, and it keeps the blade from touching his skin. According to my husband, the cream is gentle with a clean scent and doesn't break out his skin.
    • The L'Occitane Plisson Razor is crafted in France and comes with wood, chrome and brass handle. These come with the Gillette Blades that are easy replace. He likes the look of the wooden handle and the shape is tapered and long so it fits well into his large hands and won't slip while he shaves.
  • Harry's Shaving Sets come in several options. He tried the Truman Set which is priced at $15. It includes 1 Truman Razor Handle, a 3.4 oz shave cream, 3 German Engineered Blade Cartridges and 1 Travel Blade Cover. The packaging and presentation for the price point is all on point. According to my husband, he believes this is truly is the best shaving set for the price (he says drugstore prices can't even beat all that is in the box for $15).
    • The Truman Razor is well designed and even though the handles are plastic, it's very good quality with some weight to it so it doesn't feel cheap. He likes the modern look and design and the blades are good for the price but not quite as sharp as Gillette.
    • The Shave Cream is ok - the packaging is on point and it does the job but it has a slight menthol scent and isn't as thick as the L'Occitane (which gives him a better shave). He still thinks it's definitely worth trying out. He ordered the Foaming Gel to give it a try.
  • For scent, his go-to these days is the Chanel Bleu de Chanel. He likes the travel size because it's easy to carry in his briefcase and also doesn't take up a lot of space on his desk at his office. He says it's got a good masculine scent (that's all he gave me for the description, lol).
  • For the hair, his favorite styling product is the Drybar The Chaser Shine Pomade. He's claimed several of my tubes as his own. He likes this because it's lightweight and keeps the hair looking groomed and soft. It helps manage his hair without feeling or looking greasy. I agree with him and like how it adds shine and makes the hair soft - it lasts all day and leaves the hair feeling soft. Because we use it daily, we've gone through around 8 tubes already.
  • Last but not least he's obsessed with the Muji clear flat zip pouches. The website is under construction but the options we bought are shown here. He likes the texture and feel.
That wraps up our July favorites for beauty and grooming. As always I would love to hear what your favorites were for the last month. If you have any recommendations for men grooming products my husband says he is open to suggestions! Also if any of you or if the men in your life know of any good men's grooming blogs - please shoot me an e-mail or let me know in the comments below :)

This post features some items that were sent for review consideration including the Marc Jacobs Lip Lacquers, Harry's Truman Set, L'Occitane Cedrat, Clarins Lip Perfectors and Burberry Shell Eyeshadow. All other items purchased by me.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

On My Radar / New In Beauty


Happy Wednesday everyone! I have a roundup of new beauty releases on my radar. I was planning to share this tomorrow but there's a super special amazing deal that can't wait. Fall collections are trickling in and the new releases look amazing. My first post will be on NARS fall (which is incredible) and I'm currently swatching my picks from Chanel. Several have asked for the post on my travel carry-on contents - I promise to have it up as soon as I can! I'm editing the photos today and tomorrow. Here's what's on my radar from the top left then clockwise:

Sephora Pro has launched a collection of 5 brushes in the hakuho-do + SEPHORA PRO Brush Collection. Each brush comes encased in a beautiful rich red box. The brush tips are a pale white and grey color. Handles are lacquered in a shiny red with silver embossed labels. The presentation is just phenomenal. I'm testing the brushes this week and hope to have a review with first impressions soon.

Tom Ford Beauty has some amazing things coming out this fall. I'm most excited about the Skin Illuminating Powder Duo (currently available for pre-order, I've ordered it). I'm also intrigued by the Skin Primers that come in a Pink and Peach version.

One of my BFFs shared her love about Korean Skincare Peach and Lily over the weekend. She ordered some of the Cremorlab Sheet Masks and said "you need to try them." She has super sensitive skin and also knows her ingredients as she works in product development and closely with chemists. If she says something is good I trust her 100% - I'm ordering a few over the weekend. If you have any recommendations I'm all ears!

For Chanel fall I'm obsessed with the new Le Vernis shades in Vert Obscur, Ecorce Sanguine and Chataigne. Two are very very dark but they are perfect for fall. The new Les 5 Ombres de Chanel is to die for. My personal favorites are the four new Stylo Yeux Eyeliners.

Fresh has a new Limited-Edition Rose Face Mask launched to celebrate their 15th Anniversary. They've teamed up with London-based artist Jo Ratcliffe to create a beautiful special-edition floral design for the packaging. It's gorgeous.

Guerlain Fall isn't expected to arrive until next month but there is a new Terracotta Bayadère Face & Eyes Contour Palette that has caught my eye. I need to check it out immediately.

Marc Jacobs Beauty has three new face products that just launched. I need the Under(cover) Perfecting Coconut Face Primer for sure. It wasn't on display at my Sephora last week but I hope to check it out soon. There is also a new Re(marc)able Full Cover Foundation Concentrate and a a new brush to go with it called The Face III Buffing Foundation Brush.

Armani has a new Luminous Silk Powder Foundation. I'm a 6.5 in the Luminous Silk and was matched to shade 4 at the counter. I'm not entirely sure it's the right match but I'm giving it a go anyways. The other colors in the 5, 5.5 and 6.5 range looked very pink to me. I'll report once I've given it a proper test.

Tatcha just launched a new Pore Perfecting Suncreen with SPF 35 (also available in a travel size). I'm really anxious to try this as I've been testing sunscreens all summer long. I have high hopes for this one.

Last but not least, many thanks to a couple of my readers who let me know Diptyque is on Hautelook for a limited time. There are a few select pieces available - but the deals are really good and it's worth a look. I bought two of the Lilac pillars although now I need a photophore to store it. This is my first time ordering from Hautelook.

What's on your beauty radar this week?

My Favorite Lipsticks of All Time


In honor of National Lipstick Day I've compiled a mini guide covering my absolute favorite lipsticks. I'm a your-lips-but-better kind of girl when it comes to lip color, but I like playing with all kinds of textures, formulas and finishes. A lot of women ask me what's the one lipstick I would recommend. My answer is usually, "well, it depends ..." The right lipstick really does depend on what you are looking for. Sheer or full-coverage? Matte or glossy? Neutral or bright? The options and types of lipstick available today is mind-blowing. I've split my favorites into several different categories. It was really difficult to narrow down my picks - I've tested dozens of brands and formulas, many of which are all very good. This is my edited list of tried-and-true.

Colors shown in above photo: Tom Ford Lip Color in Blush Nude, NARS Audacious Lipstick in Viviene, Burberry Beauty Kisses in Tulip Pink, Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in Intrepide, Edward Bess Lip Color in Island Blossom, Marc Jacobs Beauty New Nudes Sheer Lip Gel in Anais


So many lip products are scented. A lot of my readers are super sensitive to any fragrance in lip products. I too have a sensitive nose but don't mind certain scents like vanilla, rose (in small doses), fig or mint. I think most lipstick I've tried have some kind of scent or another. Finding a fragrance and taste-free lipstick with a smooth hydrating feel is a challenge, but the newly launched Burberry Kisses Hydrating Lip Colors are hands down the best ones I've tried. They come in a wide range of colors from nudes, rose pink, plum, coral, reds, brick and berries. There is literally a shade for everyone. The colors are shimmer-free (at least the ones that exist now). They cover the lip entirely and the color is easy to build. Full review + swatches in this post here.

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If you're looking for a full coverage lipstick that has super rich pigment but one that won't leave the lips looking flat or dull, there are three formulas that I am obsessed with. First is the the NARS Audacious Lipsticks. There is a wide range of colors available. If you love neutral lip colors, there are tons of options. Many look similar but NARS created them with slight variations in undertone so you're bound to find at least one neutral that will work whether you have pink, yellow, olive undertones. My top picks: Raquel, Anita, Barbara and Julie. Review + swatches on lips here. Note that most of the shades can be found at most NARS counters, however 10 of them are exclusive to narscosmetics.com and Barneys New York (Vanessa, Julie, Carmen, Ingrid, Dominique, Kelly, Sandra, Vivien, Silvia, Marisa).

Charlotte Tilbury K.I.S.S.I.N.G Lipsticks also have an amazing rich full coverage finish. They are super pigmented and very rich so they do require some blending or a tiny bit of blotting. She has some amazing neutrals and the perfect 90s pink-brown shades along with really good pinks and nudes. My top two favorites: Confession and Penelope Pink. Swatches of my picks here. Note these do have a vanilla scent.

Marc Jacobs Le Marc Lip Cremes have the most incredible opaque full-coverage formula. The finish is flawless and lasting power is very impressive. The color range is for those who prefer the bold lip. The range contains a lot of bright and deep colors. Swatches of the entire lineup in this post here. My top three picks are Infamous, Boy Gorgeous and Blow.

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Above Tom Ford Lip Color Sheers Skinnydip and Rose Soleil
YSL Rouge Volupté Shine #8, Volupté Sheer Candy #14, Volupté Shine 22, Volupté Sheer Candy #15
Chanel Rouge Coco Shines Confident and Intime

My personal lipstick formula of choice is usually glossy and semi-sheer. I find sheer lipsticks more forgiving on the lips so you don't need a super precise application. They are easy to swipe when you're on the go and the sheer glossy finish usually means fading is more gradual and natural. My top four sheer lipstick formulas are with brands that have a lovely shine and sheen with the perfect hint of color.

YSL Rouge Volupté Shines and Volupté Sheer Candy Glossy Balms are a classic staple. The Rouge Volupté Shines have a cushiony feel with a wonderfully soft but sweet grapefruit candy scent. It's sweet but not overly sweet. Colors have medium lasting power because they are super glossy but have decent pigment for a sheer lipstick. My favorite shades are #8, #9 (swatched here) #22 (shown above third from the left) but really all the shades are amazing.

Volupté Sheer Candy Glossy Balms are super sheer and give the slightest wash of color but leave the lips glossy and pretty. I like the bright ones because they give the lips a nice soft wash of color that is bright but the sheerness tones down the color so it really gives them a natural tint. My top picks are #1, #9, #15-17 (#15 through 17 swatched and reviewed here).

Tom Ford Lip Color Sheers = pure luxury. Four shades were introduced for summer: two repromoted in Paradisio and Sweet Spot and two new shades in Skinnydip and Rose Soleil swatched here. I like these because they have a lot of color even though the formula is sheer. The brights are very bright but the neutrals are just amazing. I brought along Skinnydip and Rose Soleil with me on my month long trip to Europe and they were perfect for the entire trip.

Chanel Rouge Coco Shine always a favorite among my friends. This is the ultimate sleek modern chic lipstick. The formula is lush and glossy. It's the ultimate swipe and go kind of no-fuss lipstick. There is a shade for everyone in this line. I would be hard pressed to pick just one shade, if I did, I would say for light to tan skintones Boy is a classic.

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I don't usually like liquid lipsticks. I find the finish to be drying or cakey but the one exception is Dior Addict Fluid Sticks. Some may say they are more of a gloss, but others say it's a lipstick + lipgloss hybrid. I put them in the liquid lipstick category because the coverage and finish is super opaque like a lipstick. They go on like a gloss but it thickens a bit once it dries and has rich coverage like a lip color. There have been a number of shades released for summer and fall. I'm working my way through testing some, but the original shades are amazing. Lip swatches here.

Marc Jacobs New Nudes Sheer Lip Gels have a unique gel formula. They are called sheer but they aren't really all that sheer. The pigment and coverage is medium to full but you can control coverage easily. My favorite neutral is Role Play but there are a number of great nudes and corals in the line. Swatches + review of all the colors here.
 
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Last but not least, my personal top picks for the ultimate luxury lipstick. I know each person has their own favorite. Edward Bess has been a long time favorite. His lipsticks are perfectly creamy and go on the lips flawlessly. They have a natural shine with rich pigment. Each of his lipsticks contains the most perfect lush fig scent. Rose Demure is the perfect neutral rose. Island Blossom is the best bright peachy coral ever. Pure Impulse is my holy grail nude. (I love Island Blossom + Pure Impulse layered together.)

Tom Ford Lipsticks are amazing in all the formulas. The regular Lip Color is my favorite with Pink Dusk and Spanish Pink being at the top of my list (Pink Dusk is swatched here). The Tom Ford Lipsticks have this super rich super pigmented formula that I find unique. It provides coverage to the entire lip with lasting power that stays put from morning to night. The Lips & Boys from last holiday was pure genius. Most of the colors have sold out but you can still find some online. my personal favorites are Peter, William and Luca. Peter is the prettiest nude shimmer. These are some of the most expensive lipsticks on the market but in my mind they are worth every penny if you can splurge.

Surratt Beauty Lipsliques are something I've been accumulating one at a time since they launched at Sephora. I have a review of two shades Gamine and Hevyn here but have added 3-4 more colors over the past few months. Given the size and amount of product you get, these lipsticks are extremely expensive but the formula is phenomenal. It's a richly pigmented glossy lipstick in a sleek twist-up tube. Gamine is nude peach perfection. Hevyn is nude pink mauve perfection. There's no tweaking required with these - they are that good.

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I hope you enjoyed this roundup of my favorite lipstick formulas. As always I would love to hear about your favorite lipsticks. Do you have a favorite formula or color that you're obsessed with?

The Marc Jacobs Beauty Lipsticks were provided courtesy of Marc Jacobs Beauty for previous collaborations. All others purchased by me.

 

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