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

Monday, January 5, 2015

NARS Eye-Opening Act - Beauty Look Book Picks


This month, NARS Cosmetics introduces a limited-edition collection called the Eye-Opening Act featuring Tilda Swinton as the face of the campaign. This collection focuses on creating different looks for the eyes with new products and colors.


All the items in the Limited-Edition Eye-Opening Act Collection are exclusive to Nordstrom through March 15 of this year:
  • Matte Velvet Eyeshadow Stick ($28 each for 0.05 oz / 1.6 g)
    • Flibuste - black
    • Dark Angel - brown
    • Reykjavik - grey
    • Glénan - blue
    • Nunavut - purple
  • Yeux Irresistible Eyeshadow Palette ($48 for 6 shades each 0.03 oz / 1 g)
    • All About Eve Duo Eyeshadow (right side) - Flesh-toned neutral with shimmer
    • Jezebel Eyeshadow - Shimmery sable
    • Thunderball Eyeshadow - Midnight gray
    • Colombo Eyeshadow - Vintage gold shimmer
    • Brousse Duo Eyeshadow (left side) - Sable
    • Coconut Grove Eyeshadow - Deep Brown infused with reflections 
  • Inoubliable Coup d'Oeil Eyeshadow Palette ($48 for 6 shades each 0.03 oz / 1 g)
    • Dalliance Eyeshadow - Dusty lilac stone
    • Pyla Eyeshadow - Smokey hunter green
    • Sidi Bou Saïd - Blackened grape
    • Pandora Duo Eyeshadow (left side) - Sheer white shimmer
    • Luberon - Iridescent sand with rose gold sheen
    • Pandora Duo Eyeshadow (right side) - Matte black
  •  Illuminating Multiple St. Lucia ($39 for 0.5 oz / 14 g)
    • Sheer Rose

I ordered some items sight unseen a little over a week ago and have been putting them to the test. I have my picks to share with you today. First up are the new Matte Velvet Eyeshadow Sticks. These are twist up creamy shadows that come in five colors. I've had really good experiences with the NARS Larger Than Life Eyeliners and Soft Touch Shadow Pencils so I thought these new shadow sticks might be a cross of the two products. I ordered Reykjavik, Flibuste and Dark Angel sight unseen.


The shades I ordered are quite intense and pigmented. I found Reykjavik (grey) and Dark Angel (brown) easy to apply straight on the lids along the lash line. They glided on without tugging. Flibuste (black) was a bit drier in texture and tugged a little bit on my eyes but I was still able to apply on the lash line fairly easily. The Velvet Matte Shadow sticks do dry very quickly and once they set they don't budge. For me, these work best as a liner. I've played with these by using a small smudge brush to apply them (take the brush and swipe the shadow stick, then use the product on the brush to apply to the eyes). Or I've also applied these directly to the eyes and blend with the fingers or a blending brush very quickly.

I like the sleek and simple packaging but given the intensity and pigment of the colors, I feel these act more like eyeliners rather than eyeshadows and wish they came in the Larger than Life Eyeliner form for easier and more precise application. That being said, for any darker cream shadow I usually use a brush to apply (versus fingers) whether it's a pot, twist up stick, chubby stick or compact form.




Here are a few swatched comparisons. I think the NARS Reykjavik grey is a phenomenal grey color. It's my favorite out of the ones I've tested because it's an intense grey without being too light or dark.


Next are the two Eyeshadow Palettes. These are my favorite items from the Eye-Opening Act Collection. Both are super compact and cute. I thought my favorite for sure would be the Yeux Irresistible but I actually really like Inoubliable Coup D'Oeil just as much, especially since it has a lot of new colors (versus repromoted shades).


Yeux Irresistible contains a mix of warm and cool. All the shades are available in other Single Shadows and Eyeshadow Duos with the exception of Colombo which is exclusive to this palette. For me this one has colors that will create a smokey or dramatic eye.


Here are the shades swatched with a heavy hand. If you're familiar with NARS Eyeshadows you are well aware that they have a smooth texture with medium pigment that is easy to build. All the shades here perform just like the individuals. They glide on the eyes nicely and layer well with each other. There is only one shade I've found requires extra work. In my experience with Thunderball (the single), I've found it works best when packed on the eyes with a detail brush as a liner. If you apply with a regular eyeshadow brush all over the lids, you may find it looks uneven and chalky. I found performance to be the same with this palette.
  • All About Eve II is a cool shimmering champagne pink with finely milled shimmer
  • Jezebel is a reddish brown color with subtle shimmer
  • Thunderball is a matte navy teal grey
  • Colombo is a shimmering gold with a very soft texture
  • Brousse I is a shimmering plum
  • Coconut Grove is a satiny dark brown that acts more like a matte on the lids



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Inoubliable Coup d'Oeil surprised me. With the exception of Luberon, all the other colors are very much cool-toned which can be hard for me to wear easily. That combined with the fact that I rarely wear green shadows on the eyes made me a bit hesitant to order this. I decided to give it a try and I'm really glad I did. Most of the colors with the exception of Pandora Duo are new and exclusive to this palette. The combination of these colors creates a unique and softly defined eye.

  • Dalliance is a sheer soft matte lilac tan, it goes on smoothly over an eyeshadow base
  • Pyla is a soft olive green with a slight grey tone and satiny shimmer
  • Sidi Bou Said is a dusty purple grape color with a satiny matte texture
  • Pandora I and II is a sheer iridescent cool white shimmer with a matte black
  • Lumeron is a shimmering coppery rose gold champagne




Last but not least is the new St. Lucia Multiple. This is a beautiful soft shimmering rose champagne. On my medium-toned skin it's a highlighter color (I use the NARS Radiant Cream Compact Foundation and All Day Luminous Powder Foundation in Punjab), but I suspect on fair skin tones it will look more bronzey with more color. This one has a finely milled shimmer with a super smooth texture (no glitter). On my skin it's light enough that I can wear it on the eyes without having to worry about getting that pink-eye look. On the cheeks it adds a very natural but visible glow to the skin. It's really stunning. It's a multi-dimensional color with lots of different colored shimmers in it. It has a rose base with champagne, silver, and pink shimmers that makes it glow. I found it sheer-to-medium in coverage. It's not invisible on the skin, but it is on the sheer side for my particular skin tone. You can build the color naturally.





I'm really pleased with the eyeshadow palettes and new multiple. The colors in the palettes make creating an eye look easy whether you want something for day or night. There is a nice simplicity to the color combinations that will give you a classic look with a modern edge. The small size of the palettes makes these easy to carry with you if you need to travel or carry something with you to take you from day to night if you can't make it back home to get ready. The new St. Lucia Multiple is really quite stunning. It is sheer but gives a really stunning glow. I have mixed feelings about the Velvet Shadow Sticks. If you're looking for a more pigmented version of the Soft Touch Shadow Pencils, you will probably like the Velvet Shadow Sticks. I like the packaging design and the rich pigment. I also found lasting power very impressive (they don't budge). I do think they set a bit too quickly for me and due to the intensity of the colors I think they work better as liners than shadows.

All the items in the NARS Eye-Opening Act are limited-edition. They are currently exclusive to Nordstrom counters and online. Have you checked out the collection? Or have anything on your wish list? I'd love to hear your thoughts?




This post was sponsored by Nordstrom. All opinions my own. All products purchased by me. For more information please refer to my disclosures.

Monday, July 21, 2014

YSL Babydoll Kiss and Blush - Rose Libre #3, Corail Affranchi #7 and Pink Hedoniste #8


YSL Babydoll Kiss and Blush ($40 each for 10 ml/0.33 fl oz) launched earlier in the spring with twelve shades. These are multi-purpose colors to apply on the lips and cheeks. The Babydoll Kiss and Blush comes in a rectangular tube and angled sponge tip applicators. I've been playing with these for the past few months and although I rarely match the lip and cheek colors exactly I find these work well. There are twelve shades total so far. After swatching these in store, I picked out three shades for my medium olive skin:

  • Rose Libre #3 is a cool neutral rose
  • Corail Affranchi #7 is a soft peachy coral
  • Pink Hedoniste #8 is a baby pink-peach

All the shades currently available shown below. There is a wide range of colors to suit everyone's taste and skin tone with pink, orange, plum and brown. I fell in love with #9 Rose Epicurien in the store but it's too cool-toned for my olive skin. For reference, all shades swatched on Planet Martha.


The Kiss and Blush shades have a velvety almost silicone-like feel to them. On the lips they smooth out quite well and dry to a matte-looking finish but have a velvety feel. They don't dry out the lips even though the product does dry down. You do need a perfect lip texture to wear these. These will emphasize any flakes or peeling areas. If you have lips that are on the dry side, prep them with a rich lip balm before applying (I'm currently loving Malin+Goezt or By Terry). They stain the lips which makes any fading less apparent. On my lips they last like a regular lipstick.

I was worried these might be difficult to blend on the cheeks because of the pigment but they actually blend really easily. I apply these by dabbing the tip onto clean fingers or directly onto the face. I prefer fingers since I almost always have powder and foundation on the face so applying directly from the sponge tip can get it a bit dirty. The color blends nicely for a hint of color. The pigment is visible on the skin and gives you color without looking clown-like.


The sponge tip applicators are beveled (on the nails, NARS Zaynthos, review soon):


Close ups of the tips front view, side view and back:

Swatched straight from the tube:


Swatched and blended:


On the lips, applied straight from the tube:







Thumbs up for the Kiss and Blush shades that I purchased. The colors do look a bit different on the lips compared to when you swatch them on the hand because of how they dry down. The coverage is quite good and covers the lip entirely without looking too matte. I am not a fan of matte or velvet finish lip products (I need a little shimmer or shine) but the Kiss and Blush shades from YSL aren't too matte. They make my lips look full and add color. On the cheeks they add a nice tint of color and last all day for me. I prefer them on the lips. At $40 each they are pricey but the formula hugs the lips and the cheeks quite well and the pigment is very good without looking too fake or overly matte.

I purchased mine from Nordstrom and Sephora (but available at all YSL counters and boutiques).






Have you tried any of the Kiss and Blush shades? What did you think? Do you have any shades you love that you think I should check out?

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Chanel Affinité 65 Le Blush Crème de Chanel

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Chanel Affinité 65 Le Blush Crème de Chanel ($38 for 2.5 g/0.09 oz) was one shade missing from most counters near me. Stores had received testers but no product to sell. Chanel.com had the color available for a few days before selling out. I had my name on the waitlists and was thrilled to find it arrived in stores at Nordstrom and online Nordstrom.com. Affinité #65 is a hot cool-toned pink. It's quite pigmented and visible on the skin - it's one of the brighter shades out of the six that were released for fall. Other Blush Crèmes in Destiny, Presage, Revelation and Inspiration were reviewed here. Out of all the shades, my top three picks are Présage, Révélation and this one Affinité.




Since Affinité is very pigmented, it does require blending on the skin for a more natural look. I've found either a foundation brush or regular blush brush work fine. My favorite is Tom Ford's Cream Foundation brush but any brush will do. I don't recommend applying over dry skin. It does work ok over a powdered face, but for easier blending, apply a sheer illuminator first to the cheeks. The slightly emollient base helps the color blend easier. Swatches, heavy and blended:



Comparisons below to Chanel Revelation (warmer), Edward Bess Love Affair (the EB has more blue and is dewier), MAC Dollymix Powder blush (similar in undertone):



Overall love. It's a beautiful bright pink shade that is easy to wear and coordinate into looks for both day and evening. It's layerable so you can adjust the intensity to your preference. I'm happy I was able to find it. I'm not sure why it's one of the hard to find shades, perhaps it was just one that sold out very quickly - the good news is that Affinité is not listed as a limited item on Chanel.com even though it is sold out. If you had difficulty finding this the past few months, know that you can find it now at Nordstrom.

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Saturday, May 21, 2011

Dolce & Gabbana Perla, Mandorla and Sole


This is the last post for my series on the Dolce & Gabbana Italian Summertime picks. Perla Shine Lipstick is a shiny cool pale frost, Mandorla Classic Lipstick is a pale fleshy peach, Sole Blush is a vibrant orange-red.


The lipsticks are rich in coverage but extremely pale on my lips. Both require extra work (ie darker lipliner and clear gloss) to make them work. In my opinion they are lovely but not goof proof. Mandorla surprised me - note that it looks like a nude brown peach in the tube but on the lips and swatched it went on quite a bit paler. (Perla has not been lip swatched.) No detectable scent. Opaque in finish. Lasting power above average. Colors are just too pale for my pigmented lips.



Sole is the winner in the collection. I do not have a picture of it on my cheeks, but this applies to give a beautiful healthy flush. It's on the warm side but not too warm. It doesn't turn orangey on the skin. It's simply stunning.



So how do these compare to what already exists? I don't own many bright orange-red blushes. The only thing I could think of comparable in intensity is NARS Cactus Flower. Check it out on Makeup Magpie here.


Same with the lipsticks, no exact dupes, although I suspect the ones for summer are easily dupeable. Here they are compared to Dolce & Gabbana Shimmer and Chanel Cashmere:


Comparisons swatched:

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Beauty Look Book's Guide to Edward Bess


Edward Bess has a beautifully edited, sophisticated and classic beauty line. I first discovered his products while flipping through a Bergdorf Goodman catalog and was instantly intrigued by the sleek black lipstick tubes all lined up in a row. I googled it but to my dismay, found it was only available in NYC. I could not see the items in person. Thanks to LeslieCZ, Alexa, Leanne, Blogdorf Goodman, Fab Over Forty among other Edward Bess fans, I was able to get the scoop. Several gave me wonderful recommendations and urged me to contact the Edward Bess counter Bergdorf Goodman. I'm so glad I did. I've never met a more helpful team of artists. On each and every occasion that I've called them, they have given helpful descriptions and recommendations over the phone as they listened to me describe my tastes/likes/dislikes. They put me completely at ease ordering items sight-unseen.

The items from Edward Bess are classics and naturally flattering. They are reliable staples in my beauty wardrobe and versatile to create a number of different looks.

Many of you have asked for my own recommendations of what I like from Edward Bess. I thought I'd put together a resource page of what I've tried that has been reviewed since I can imagine what a hassle it must be to search through over 600 posts =) I've loved almost everything I've tried (with the exception of the original mascara). I hope this helps!

Where to buy & info

Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus Beverly Hills, EdwardBess.com (prices, full collection and other locations on his website)

Eyeshadows: Ultra Luminous Eyeshadow & Trios
Lips: Ultra Slick Lipstick & Deep Shine Lipgloss
Cheeks: Compact Rouge, Blush Imperiale, Ultra Luminous Bronzer, All Over Seduction
Sets (Limited Edition)

Guest Reviews & Misc.

The Beauty Look Book's Top Five Favorites from Edward Bess
(only because so many have asked)

Daydream Bronzer (my holy grail)
Pure Impulse Lipstick
Forever Yours Lipstick
Dusk Eyeshadow
Soft Smoke Eyeshadow Trio
Island Rose Compact Rouge (oops, six!)

* Tip - Yes, the price points are high, but Bergdorf Goodman occasionally puts together beauty events and gift-card events, many times with nice gift-with-purchases. Their GWPs are usually one full-sized item (they pick out the item) and occasionally they have a step-up gift. I think their next one is in April.
 

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