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

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Chanel Le Vernis Nail Colour in Intention 633, Expression 635 and Exception 639


Chanel released three new Le Vernis Nail Colors ($27 each for 13 ml/0.4 fl oz) in conjunction with the Rouge Allure Gloss collection. The three shades include:
  • Intention 633 a medium camel-beige nude with a slight hint of gold shimmer
  • Expression 635 a medium-bright pink red cream
  • Exception 639 a deep wine brown with a hint of warm red
All three shades are similar to previously released shades so you may want to shop your stash if you have a lot of pink-reds or brown-reds. Unfortunately I don't have swatches to compare since I'm completely out of nail wheels and my fingers can't take a lot of swatching right now with the dry weather and load of polish remover.


Intention 633 is a warm beige with a slight hint of gold shimmer in the bottle. It has a bit of pink in it making a slight salmon colored tint. On the nails the gold isn't visible. I thought this would be my favorite since I adore neutrals, there's something about the color that is extremely unflattering on my skintone. It makes my olive skin look extremely sallow. I don't think I've given many Chanel nail polishes a thumbs down on color, but for me this is a definite no. If you can wear warm beiges easily, the formula is very nice and smooth. You can get full coverage with two coats. I do believe this is a unique color. It's reminiscent of Inattendu which is sheerer and more wearable (for me at least).




Expression 635 is a medium-bright pink red rose. In the bottle it looks like a straight red, but there is a slight hint of bright pink mixed in making it a softer red. The pink brightens the color so it's not quite as sharp as a true red. Out of all the Chanel reds, Pirate is the most blue-based that I've tried. Expression by comparison is brighter and more vibrant. Even though I own a lot of other reds, this one is a must for me. The mix of pink in it makes it really pretty. It has a similar vibe to Suspicious which is more blue-based, while Expression has more red.



Exception 639 is a unique brown and brick red mix. It's not quite a vamp, but it's not brown, and it's not red either. It's a mix of several different shades making it a reddish brown. The formula is really phenomenal with this one. It's smooth, pigmented and very glossy. The red in it gives the color a bit of warmth so it's not too dark on the nails. In direct light it appears more red, in natural light or the shade, it will look more brown. It reminds me of Accessoire minus the plum and with a bit more warmth.

 This is in direct sunlight so it looks more red than it does in natural light:


Out of the three, I like Expression (the pink one) the best even though I own so many pink-reds. Given the similarities of all the colors to previously released shades, I can't say any of them are must-haves, even for a die-hard Chanel Nail Polish collector like myself. Still, Exception (the brown) is a very nice brown brick red with a classic but soft touch. If you missed out on previously released nail polishes, I would say these are good classic shades everyone should have in their nail polish collection.

Bottom line: Expression and Exception are nice to have, but not must-haves. If you have similar skin to me, I would say skip Intention. I usually always look forward to new nail polish releases from Chanel. They make such lovely colors and I adore the formula. This collection's releases were a bit disappointing for me because I feel like they could have released more unique colors. Or re-released some past amazing limited-edition colors (such as any of the Russies, Haute Chocolat, Kaleidoscope, Wonderland, Malice etc.)

All three shades are available at Chanel counters and boutiques now. Online at Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdales, Saks and Chanel.com. Will you be getting any of the shades or are these a pass for you? If you already did buy these, what did you think?

P.S. Chanel Sweet Star is back in stock on Chanel.com, if you were waiting, I suggest you order soon! Swatches and original post here.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Lip Primer and Lip Balms In Rotation


This post is inspired by and dedicated to my reader Gabby who sent me an e-mail last month asking if I could recommend a good lip primer for underneath lipstick. She liked the Jo Malone Vitamin E Treatment I featured a while ago, but found it didn't do much for priming the lips for lipstick. It occurred to me that there are different kinds of "lip prep." One kind of lip prep is to prime the lips for lipstick, the other kind is more of a skincare/moisture treatment.

Above shown:


I have sensitive lips that are prone to drying and peeling with many brands of lipstick (like MAC and some Chanel formulas). I use lip balm liberally on the low key makeup days, when I'm running errands, or in the evening after I've taken my makeup off. In the mornings if my lips feel dry I will prepare the lips with lip balm after washing the face and let it sit a few minutes while I do the rest of my makeup (for me lips are always last).

I like to use lip balm for lip prep in the morning, but Gabby is right, not all lip treatments are necessarily good for priming the lips for lipstick wear. A long time ago, MAC used to make a clear lipstick product called Lipmix (now they have the squeeze tube versions) that I used for a lip primer. They discontinued it but released their MAC Prep + Prime Lip ($16) which is a clear primer in a twist up tube. I like that this is color-free and really helps to smooth out the surface of the lip. It has a moisturizing feel but dries to a slightly tacky-matte feel to help lipstick and lipliner glide on easily. It also helps lip products stay put. Some lipsticks and glosses have a high shine finish or a glossy sheer formula which have a lot of slip. Those won't hold up much longer than usual with the MAC Prep + Prime, but for your regular lipstick formula and gloss, the Prep + Prime Lip helps extend the wear of my lip products and also helps it glide on better.


For lip balms, I have a lot in rotation. In this post I'll focus mainly on the clear treatments I've been loving. I prefer lip balms in stick or squeeze tube format because I find them easier to apply, but the only stick lip treatment I use these days is the Caudalie Lip Conditioner ($12). One tube lasted me quite a long time, even with regular use. It's smooth and lightweight without having that waxy feel. It has a soft lightweight citrus scent which is really nice. It soothes dry lips instantly. (Also in this Hand + Lip Duo Set.) Right now I'm on my second tube.

I've been a long-time Chanel fan, but haven't always been a fan of their lip balms. The Hydra Beauty Nourishing Lip Balm ($50) is a newer one that they released (to replace their Hydramax). It has a really smooth and slightly hard texture. It's smooth, lightweight and moisturizing. It has a soft hint of the fragrance used in the Hydra Beauty line. I like that it comes in a sleek-looking pot. It feels nice and smooth on the lips, but for me others are more hydrating. This is something I will use this to the end, but I probably will not repurchase. It's a good one if you have normal lips. If you have lips prone to drying with lipstick use, you may need something richer.


By Terry Baume de Rose ($60) is a classic. It's the most expensive lip balm I own, but it's at the top of my list of favorites. It's soothing, hydrating and feels super luxurious. It has a soft rose scent with a slightly pink tint, but it goes on the lips clear. One pot is very large and will last you a very long time. (You can see reviews of the tinted versions here and here.)


Malin + Goetz Mojito Lip Balm ($12) is #2 on my favorites list. It comes in a little squeeze tube and has a clear gel-like formula. It glides on easily, doesn't slip, moisturizes and feels amazing. There is a regular version as well which I also like. I prefer the Mojito one because it has a fun soft sweet lime scent without being too citrusy.


Last but not least is the Tatcha Camellia Moisturizing Lip Balm ($36, also in some holiday gift sets). It's a clear jelly-like solid with a thin layer of crushed 24K gold leaf on top. If you've ordered anything from Tatcha you know how beautiful the packaging and presentation of all their products are (even their shipping boxes are packaged and sealed beautifully). I've been using the Tatcha Lip Balm regularly. It has a lightweight refreshing scent unlike any other lip balm. The gold flakes break off the surface and add a hint of gold shimmer to the lips, but it's only on the surface. Some of mine transferred to the lid and I haven't removed it. This one feels very nice on the lips and provides instant moisture and relief to dry lips. It's a huge thumbs up from me. (Original review here.)


If I were to narrow down my top picks, the MAC Prep + Prime Lip is a definite must for me to prepare the lips for lipstick. For lip treatments, it's a three-way tie between By Terry, Malin + Goetz and Tatcha.





I hope you found this roundup helpful! I would love to hear about your favorite lip treatments, especially with the winter season approaching with dry weather, I think most of us will be in need of an extra moisture boost.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Concealers In Rotation


For years I've stuck to concealers from two lines: Clé de Peau Beauté and By Terry. I've never had much need for concealer but my skin changed this year. These slightly dark circles under the eyes started to appear and I've needed a lot more coverage in certain areas of the face with scars and blemishes. Both of my go-to concealers still work really well for me, but I've been experimenting more with other brands and products. I thought I'd share a round up of the ones I have in rotation right now plus what tools I use.


My personal preference for blending concealer is for rounded brushes made of synthetic materials. My most reached-for tools include the MAC 252, Chanel Concealer Brush #10 and Trish McEvoy Medium Laydown #40. All of them are about the same medium size which works best for me. I've tried smaller detail brushes during makeovers and while they are good for precise application, I usually find larger brushes for cream products work better for me. They blend concealers well and also double as cream shadow brushes. Some days I will use fingers or a sponge, but my preference these days is for the brush.

Concealers I use right now:

  • Clé de Peau Beauté Concealer in Almond is my current skin tone match. The Cle de Peau Beaute concealer is the best stick formula I've tried. It covers the skin very well but looks natural. It works well under the eye area when dabbed on with fingers to warm up the product and doesn't look cakey. The color selection is limited but they recently added two shades (all shades swatched here). This is one of the best I've tried, it's pricey but performs well and a tube will last you a very long time.
  • NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Custard and Ginger are new discoveries for me. I've had several of the older formulas in gift with purchase compacts in the past but wasn't impressed with the formula so I never thought to try the new formulas. A NARS artist recommended I try this during a makeover when I asked for a foundation with full coverage. She suggested the Radiant Creamy Concealer and it really does cover incredibly well and blends out to have a soft velvety looking finish. It comes with a sponge wand tip. I use both Custard and Ginger and mix them depending on what area of the face I am trying to cover. I've found this to live up to all the hype.
  • Edward Bess Extreme Cover Cream is a full coverage creamy concealer in a pot. This one is definitely the most creamy that I've tried. It's also the most pigmented but blends nicely to cover areas completely. Since the pigment is really intense, I recommend using only a tiny bit, otherwise it will be too heavy. The container is tiny but the formula packs a punch so it will last a very long time. All the shades swatched and review here. The color selection is a bit limited, but Medium is a good match for me. This one has a slightly dewy finish but does not get oily as the day wears on.
  • By Terry Touche Veloutée in Beige #3 is a highlighting concealer in a click pen type of packaging. This one gives a brightening effect even though the color Beige matches my skin tone exactly. I like it best under the eyes to cover dark circles and brighten the skin. It's also good on days you have a bit of redness around the nose. This one has a smooth medium coverage and dries to a semi-matte but natural finish.


Swatches of the shades below (with Clé de Peau Beige for reference):


If you ask me to recommend just one concealer, I would say that I think picking a good one depends on where you want to use it and what you want it to do: eyes, spots, cover completely or brighten? For me, a concealer for under the eye won't necessarily be suitable for spot coverage along the jawline or cheeks.

For under the under eye area, I look for colors that either brighten or have a bit of warmth. Many artists want to go lighter than my skintone to "brighten" the area, but it really just ends up looking ashy if it's too pale. If they insist on using one that is 1-2x lighter than I think they should I usually ask them to try 2 shades on me just to make sure I can see it for myself. I think all the concealers I listed above will work for under the eyes because they have a good blendable formula, but my favorite for under the eye area is the By Terry Touche Veloutee. It has a slightly sheerer coverage compared to the others which prevents the area from looking flat.

For cover up on spots or acne scars, the Edward Bess will give the most opaque coverage followed by the NARS and then Clé de Peau Beauté.

My top two picks include the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer and Clé de Peau Beauté, but there are a few downsides. If you test the NARS concealers at the counter or store, you may find it difficult to find an exact match and might be in between colors (like myself). When it comes to foundations, powders and concealers I want to find an exact match, but it's not always possible. There are times I have to buy two shades to mix which can get pricey. If I can't find a almost exact match for concealer, I will skip it all together, but I've made an exception for the NARS. I found the price of the NARS reasonable and the formula is really amazing so I did not mind splurging on 2 tubes to mix colors. The downside for the Clé de Peau Beauté is also a limited color selection and price of $70 is very steep. That being said, I do think if you can find a good match I do think formula is well worth the price. A tube should last well over a year even if you use it on a regular basis as a spot cover. 





I hope you found this round up helpful! Do you have a favorite concealer?

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Chanel Phenix 687 Le Vernis for Holiday 2014


Chanel Phenix 687 Le Vernis ($27, limited-edition) is the new polish for holiday. It's part of the Collection Plumes Précieuses de Chanel. It's a beautiful classic red cream. The formula is very fluid and applies smoothly like most Chanel nail polishes. In my mind, Chanel can do no wrong when it comes to reds, but Phenix is very similar to past nail polish releases. I don't mind similar colors but for those who don't want dupes, you many want to shop your stash before buying. Still, if you've tried a lot of different reds you know how there are a multitude of variations. Some are darker reds, others brighter, some with different undertones like blue or orange. Finding a good red that doesn't clash too much with your skin or make it look drab can be challenging sometimes. Chanel Phenix is a bright red with the perfect mix of orange and pink in it to brighten the hands and give them a polished classic look.

More photos and swatches of Phenix, it applies perfectly with two coats:





In terms of comparisons, there are Chanel reds that are extremely similar. From arm's length they will look identical. I tried to do some swatch comparisons, but if you've photographed reds before, you know the challenge in capturing the differences no matter what lighting you use. I'll add descriptions to explain what I see the differences are, but bottom line is that many are extremely similar.

  • Chanel Coromandel is deeper in color and more opaque, it also has more orange
  • Chanel Rouge Rubis is almost blue-toned compared to Phenix, it has a cooler undertone
  • Chanel Dragon is darker and more red making Phenix look almost orange next to it




  • Chanel Rouge Flamboyant is similar but a bit darker in undertone
  • Chanel Pirate is quite a bit darker, sheerer and definitely more blue-toned
  • Chanel Enthusiast (discontinued) is the closest match to Phenix, but Enthusiast has more orange undertone and is more opaque




I find Chanel Phenix to be a gorgeous brighter red that pulls slightly warm. I think it will be flattering on most skin tones. If you already own a lot of reds, you may want to skip Phenix and opt for something more unique unless you are a die-hard Chanel fan or collector.

Chanel Phenix is limited-edition. Available at all Chanel counters and boutiques. Online at Nordstrom, Saks, Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdales and Chanel.com.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Chanel Sweet Star Le Vernis


Chanel Sweet Star Le Vernis ($27 for 13 ml / 0.4 fl oz) is a new limited-edition polish described as a "unique metallic silver shade reveals an iridescent glow that changes with the light." It's a complex color that has a multitude of different pearly shades infused into one polish. It reminds me of a butterfly wing the way the color changes as you move your hands. It has a silver and purplish base with shimmers of silver, grey, purple, blue and violet. I bought mine at the Chanel Boutique on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. It's also online now at Chanel.com.


Sweet Star has a beautiful smooth formula. It applies very easily on the nails and even though it has a slight transparent quality, I was able to get very good even coverage with two coats. I've tested a lot of different brands of nail polish and have many loves, but I always find Chanel seems to perform best for me (it's in the top five brands for me which include Chanel, Rescue Beauty Lounge, Dior, YSL and Formula X). Many of my readers have commented that they get 2-3 days wear time out of Chanel - I usually get anywhere between 5-7 days of wear with the right base and top coat (my favorites here). If I don't use a base or top coat, tip wear begins almost instantly. 

Three photos here show how the color shifts depending on how the light hits it making Sweet Star very difficult to capture.


Swatches in different lighting below also shows how complex the color is:






I don't think I have anything like Sweet Star. It reminds me of some of the older Hard Candy and Urban Decay shades from the 90's but I don't own them anymore so I can't compare. I did pull three other shades I thought might be similar, but after swatching them, it appears they are completely different. Below is Dior Silver Purple (discontinued), Chanel Quartz and Chanel Graphite. I highly recommend you check out Color Me Loud and Indigo Kir Royale for additional Chanel Sweet StarLe Vernis comparison swatches.



Chanel Sweet Star is one of the most unique nail polish colors I own. It's very edgy without being too loud. I think it's definitely worth looking into. I found mine at a Chanel Boutique, but you may find it at various counters. Online at Chanel.com.

Sneak Peek: New Chanel Le Vernis Shades


Chanel has released quite a few nail lacquers this season in various collections. I have a sneak peek for you today. There is a lot of red this year. I've run out of nail wheels for comparisons and my fingers can only take so much swatching each day, so I'll do comparisons where I can. Many of my polishes are still in moving boxes too, so comparisons will be limited to what I can find easily. (I have a huge amount of respect for full-time nail polish bloggers who put their fingers through so much every week.)

The new shades this season include:




The Holiday and Rouge Allure Gloss collection shades can be found at all Chanel counters and retailers now such as Nordstrom, Saks and Neiman Marcus. The Collection Les Rouges Culte are a Chanel.com exclusive, Sweet Star has been spotted at various Chanel Boutiques and Chanel.com.

Here's another shot, there is a lot of glare from the flash and sunlight but it shows the differences in undertone for the various red options. I do think they are fairly similar in effect and color so for me I definitely did not need all of the reds but as a collector of Chanel Le Vernis nail polishes, I could not pass them up.


I hope to have Phenix and Sweet Star posts completed soon (fingers crossed I can finish them today). For now, if you've been debating whether or not to splurge I hope this line up of all the new shades helps you gauge how they look side by side.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Chanel Rouge Allure Gloss Picks | Sensuel, Affriolant, Sensible, Séduction and Distinction


Chanel Rouge Allure Glosses have finally arrived in the US in ten different colors ($34 each for 6 ml/0.20 fl oz). The newly released lipglosses are a color and shine lip product packaged in a long clickable tube similar to the Rouge Allure Lipsticks. I've been a huge fan of Chanel glosses in general and the new Rouge Allure Gloss does not disappoint. (These are replacing the Rouge Allure Extrait de Gloss formulas). I picked out five different shades:

  • Sensuel 11 is a perfect medium beige nude
  • Affriolant 13 is a hot warm pink
  • Sensible 15 is a softer warm baby pink
  • Séduction 18 is a stunning soft red
  • Distinction 21 is a gorgeous deep plum


The Rouge Allure Glosses are truly phenomenal. The formula is thick but smooth. There is a slight tacky feeling when you apply which makes them adhere to the lips well but at the same time they aren't sticky. The new Rouge Allure Glosses come with a sponge tip applicator which is almost identical the  older Rouge Allure Extrait de Gloss formula. The difference is that the new ones have slightly better pigment. The Rouge Allure Gloss has a really nice feel on the lips - it helps smooth them, plump them and add just the right amount of shine and color. They also stay put well (as in they don't bleed around the edges of the lip and don't disappear after 10 minutes).

Truffle Clutch in Blush, Bracelets by Celine and Tiffany

The colors I tested are easy to apply and blend. A couple swipes is all you need for medium coverage but they are definitely layerable for more color. The sponge tip applies to the lips perfectly - no lip brush or finger blending needed. The tip has a slight point at the tip so you can get precise application around the edges while the wider base allows you to glide across larger areas of your lip.

A closer look at the packaging shows that Chanel once again was able to revamp one of their classic products with an updated modern look while still retaining the classic Chanel feel, old Chanel Rouge Allure Extrait de Gloss vs new Rouge Allure Gloss:


Packaging of the new Rouge Allure Glosses have a clickable cap/applicator tip:


All the glosses at the Chanel Boutique on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills:



Close up and swatches:





Swatched on the lips, most of these shown below are with two swipes. You can definitely add one more swipe to layer each shade for more coverage and color.






It's pure love for these. In my mind these glosses have everything I want in a lip gloss: smooth coverage, soothing hydrating feel, medium shine, layerable color with good pigment. They just feel incredible on the lips. I give these a huge thumbs up. I'm sad to see the older Chanel Rouge Allure Extrait de Gloss formula go, but the new Rouge Allure Glosses are really amazing. There's a slight hint of shimmer in each color I have but it doesn't really show up on the lips. I love that the colors are classics with a modern feel and that they also have depth. For me these fall into the "need" and I think you really need to try at least one. They are a luxurious splurge but worth every penny.

The Chanel Rouge Allure Gloss retails for $34 each. You can find them now at all Chanel stores and counters. Online now at Nordstrom, Saks, Bloomingdales and Chanel.com.

 

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