Showing posts with label Eyeshadow. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Eyeshadow. Show all posts

Monday, November 23, 2015

Charlotte Tilbury Nocturnal Cat Eyes to Hypnotise Duos

I picked up two of the Charlotte Tilbury Nocturnal Cat Eyes to Hypnotise Eyeshadow and Eye Pencil Duos ($39) from Nordstrom as soon as they arrived. It's taken me a while to get the swatches and comparisons edited but this gave me a few weeks to put these to the test. There are four shades in total, all limited edition. When I saw these at the counter they didn't have testers yet, but my heart skipped a beat when I saw The Huntress/Amber Moon (bronze) and On the Prowl/Supernova (plums).

The Nocturnal Eyeshadows are shimmering luminous eyeshadows that have a multi-dimensional effect. A brush or finger will pick up a lot of pigment, but they apply medium-sheer in pigment on first swipe. What's nice about these is that they are easy to build for a smokey eye. Over a base or applied wet the color intensifies. Dry, you get a softer shimmering effect on the lids. The shadows come in a small mirrored compact that is pretty sturdy for the size. The mirror is so so tiny though, it's hard to see anything with it.
  • The Huntress is a bronzey taupe with a slight khaki sheen on my skin, there's a bit of silver and gold flecks mixed in so you can see it's pretty complex
  • Amber Moon is a deep metallic bronze eyeliner, but the shimmer is very fine and the color is deep
  • On The Prowl looks similar to The Huntress in the compact, but if the light hits it at the right angle you can see more of a plum base, below you can see the shimmer particles are different in color
  • Supernova is a bright but deep sparkling plum, I don't think I've ever seen anything quite as pretty

Each duo comes with a mini Rock 'n' Kohl Eye Pencil, both of which have a subtle luminosity and have seriously impressive lasting power. I really like the formula and plan on checking out the other shades that come in full sizes. Right now the colors in the duos are only available in the duos. I hope that changes and that Charlotte Tilbury will add them to the permanent lineup.

The two colors I picked with close ups, swatches and comparisons:
On the Prowl + Supernova: an antique Byzantium aubergine flecked with pearl and partnered with a smoky plum liner.

Swatches of the shadow three ways, first is dry (no base), second is over Edward Bess Illuminating Eye Base in Suede (this is my holy grail eye base), third is applied wet. Because there is so much shimmer in these it's a bit hard to tell in photos, but the intensity does increase dramatically when applied over a base or with a damp brush. Supernova Eyeliner is just stunning. It's bright but deep at the same time.

Comparisons below to:

Chanel Illusion D'Ombre in Fatal (discontinued, swatched)
Chanel Illusion D'Ombre in Rouge Noir (swatched here)
Armani Eyes to Kill 27 (discontinued)
Urban Decay 24/7 Liner in Rockstar (also swatched here)
Aerin Cool Gel Eyeliner in Effortless Brown

The Huntress + Amber Moon: a smoky golden bronze partnered with a rich brown amber kohl.

Swatch comparisons below: 

Armani Eyes to Kill #15 and #24 (discontinued)
NARS Eye Paint in Baalbek
By Terry Ombre Blackstar in Brown Perfection
Urban Decay 24/7 Pencil in Underground

I'm thrilled with both. I love dark smokey shimmers that aren't the traditional black or grey color for a smokey eye look. If I had to pick a favorite, I would say I have a very slight preference towards the plum colors which surprises me. The combination is just so so pretty. If you are the kind to try before you buy, definitely visit your closest Charlotte Tilbury counter soon. These are both perfect to add a bit of glow and dimension to your beauty look for the upcoming holiday events but still neutral enough to wear for everyday.

The Charlotte Tilbury Nocturnal Cat Eyes to Hypnotise Duos are limited-edition. I bought mine at Nordstrom. You can also find them at Bergdorf Goodman, Beautylish, Net-a-Porter, Selfridges and Charlotte Tilbury.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Armani Luxe is More Holiday Collection - Luxe is More Palette, Eye Tints and Lip Maestro

Armani's holiday collection this year is called Luxe is More and the items launched are definitely luxury beauty pieces. I've been a fan of Armani for a long time but found that my favorites were previously released items such as the Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadows and older blush formula. Many of the items have gone through reformulations and revamps and I haven't kept up with new launches as much. The holiday collection did catch my eye and I splurged on four items:
  • Luxe is More Palette ($140) has ten eyeshadows, one finishing powder and two shades of cream foundation
  • Eye Tints ($38 each) come in shades 16, 17 and 18, I picked up 17 and 18
  • Lip Maestro ($36 each) launched in six new shades, each color has a velvety matte finish, I picked up one Pearly Nude 508
Up first are the individual items for lips and eyes, Lip Maestro 508, Eye Tint 18, Eye Tint 17:

Swatches of the three colors below, Lip Maestro 508, Eye Tint 17, Eye Tint 18:

I'm an Armani Eye Tint lover. These are shimmery cream eyeshadows that come with a sponge-tip applicator. They look super shimmery and frosty but blend out to a smooth finish with a glow. Swatches and review of some other shades in this post here. There are three new shades with the holiday collection, I picked 17 and 18 even though I suspected there might be duplicates in my current stash. I'm a sucker for a good neutral shimmer and these looked so pretty at the counter. Eye Tint 18 is a silvery cool shimmer. Eye Tint 17 is a champagne pink shimmer.

Some swatch comparisons below:

Burberry Wet and Dry Glow in Optic White (review)
Armani Eyes to Kill Intense #9 (review)
NARS Velvet Eyeshadow Stick in Goddess (review)
Armani Eye Tint #12 (review)
Nudestix Magnetic Eye Color in Angel (swatched)
Burberry Wet and Dry Glow in Shell (review)
Armani Eye Tint #8 (review)
Nudestix Magnetic Eye Color in Twilight (swatched)
NARS Velvet Eyeshadow Stick in Oaxaca (review)
Armani Eyes to Kill Intense #4 (review)

I think the Eye Tint 17 has a similar effect to Eyes to Kill Intense 9, the Eye Tint has less frost/shimmer and a tad bit more pink, but the overall finish is almost identical. Eye Tint #18 pulls more silver/cool on my skin but that's because I have a lot of olive. If you're more pink it will probably look more neutral.

Next up is the Lip Maestro in Pearly Nude #508. The Lip Maestros this round have a matte finish and are more like a velvety matte liquid lipstick. Finish is sheer to medium but you can build the color. Lasting power is pretty good, much better than the regular Armani Glosses and the thick texture adheres well to the lips. Pearly Nude is more like a pearly pink with a very slight cool undertone. There is a slight sheen to it because of the pearl shimmers, but the finish is definitely matte.

Swatch comparisons below to:

Armani Gloss D'Armani 503 (discontinued)
Surratt Beauty Lip Lustre in Soigne (review)
Marc Jacobs Hi-Shine Enamored Lip Lacquer Rebel Rebel (review)
NARS Lip Gloss in Baby Doll (swatches)
NARS Lip Gloss in Ophelia (swatches)
NARS Lip Gloss in Risky Business (swatches)

Last but not least is the Luxe is More Palette. I swatched this in store and fell head over heels in love with the colors - I think any neutral makeup lover would gasp with awe at how pretty this palette is. The pigment of the shadows is medium but buildable. The shimmer is very fine - visilble on the skin but not frosted. All the colors have shimmer with the exception of two (top row has a matte cream, middle has a soft matte black). I've been playing with this for over a week and have mixed feelings. It's no doubt beautiful, stunning and gorgeous for an understated glowy eye look. The price is over the top and even though you do get 10 eyeshadows, a powder and two cream foundations in a large sturdy double-tiered mirrored compact, it's over priced and you can dupe the shadows with other brands. Also the bottom tier has a powder and foundation that seems like it will only suit light to medium skintones. I'm lucky in the sense they are a perfect match for me, but if you're super fair or tan to dark, the bottom deck won't match your skintone.

The palette does come in a black pouch with two eyeshadow sponge-tip applicators. The bottom deck has two black sponges for the face products. For me they are all too small to be super useful, although they are good for touch ups.

After playing with this, I think based on my past reviews of other natural palettes like the Chanel Fall Les 5 Ombres and Dior Eye Reviver Palettes, most of you will either love or hate this. I find the overall feel to be similar to the Dior Eye Reviver Palettes in the sense that it's natural with a subtle shimmer (versus high shimmer frost). The Armani Palette does have more shimmer and the pigment is slightly richer than the Dior. Compared to the Chanel, the Armani has better pigment, but it's still a very natural-looking palette. If you want high impact color and pigment, I would not recommend this for you. Still if you can get to an Armani counter, definitely test this.

I am really happy with this palette, but I do think it's extremely expensive and very splurgy. By comparison, you can get the MAC x15 in Warm Neutrals or Cool Neutrals for $85 each. Or if you want to build your own MAC palette, you can do so at the MAC stores or online for $160 (palette + insert cost $10, each pro-palette shadow is priced at $10).

Swatches of the shadows in the top deck include: matte cream, shimmering shell, shimmering gold, shimmering pale gold, silver, white frost, shimmery cool mauve, shimmery taupe, satiny plum, matte black

Bottom deck has two shades of cream foundation, I like these under the eyes as brighteners for me, and one finishing powder that disappears completely on my skin, it's a nice setting/touch up powder

Palette ingredients:

Bottom line, I love the Eye Tints, but I knew that I would. I do think they are very similar to other shades so if you already own a good champagne shimmer or silvery shimmer, no need to get these as they will be dupes. The Lip Maestro in Pearly Nude is a gorgeous neutral pink with a very slight hint of cool undertone. The formula is strange to me as it's a matte, but has a sheen to it. I'm usually not a fan of matte lip colors but this one is nice. I did find that I had to layer the color to get it to show up on my pigmented lips, but I didn't have to pack it on. If your lip pigment is light to medium, you probably won't have to layer like I did. The Luxe is More Palette is the ultimate splurge. So many of my readers are almost anti-shimmer with eyeshadows, if you are ultra conservative with shimmer and like a soft glow, you will really like the colors in this palette. They are natural and understated but give the eyes a brightened look effect. If you're one who likes more pigment and color payoff, I recommend you try it in person before splurging.

You can find the Luxe is More Collection at all Armani counters now. Online at Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Selfridges and Giorgio Armani Beauty.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Chanel Les 4 Ombres Signe Particulier, Illusion D'Ombre Rouge Noir and Le Volume de Chanel - Holiday 2015 Vamp Attitude Collection

I picked up four eye makeup items from the Chanel Vamp Attitude Collection. All are listed as limited-edition with the exception of the Illusion D'Ombre. I've been such a huge fan of Chanel for years and the holiday collections usually are absolutely stunning so I had high hopes for this release.

What I picked up, below from left to right:

Illusion D'Ombre ($36) in Rouge Noir
Les 4 Ombres ($65) in Signe Particulier
Le Volume de Chanel ($32) in Rouge Noir
Le Volume Ultra-Noir de Chanel ($32) in Noir Khôl

I am a lover of the Chanel Illusion D'Ombre Long Wear Luminous Eyeshadows. I own almost all of the colors and wear them on a regular basis. They offer the prettiest amount of sparkle to the eyes without being over the top and they layer nicely together. I know they aren't everyone's cup of tea (some feel they are too sheer or too sparkly). I'm a huge huge fan. When I found out there would be a Rouge Noir color launched I knew I would either love or hate it since I rarely like reddish colors for the eyes. I absolutely love this color. It's dark enough that it doesn't look red, but at the same time it's red and plum enough that the color shows up on the eyes. This one does take some layering, it's not a one-swipe wonder, but I think it's gorgeous. That being said, after pulling some other deep wine eyeshadows, I do think it's very similar to Armani Eyes to Kill #2 and NARS Dual Intensity Eyeshadow in Subra reviewed here. Both the Armani and NARS have deeper richer pigment with one to two swipes while the Chanel requires some building. The nice thing about the Chanel is you can swipe it over the lids for a softer wash.

I had very high hopes for the Les 4 Ombres in Signe Particulier. The eyeshadow quad releases from past seasons have been phenomenal with beautiful designs, excellent pigment and stunning unique colors. This year's was one of the first disappointments from Chanel for me. I did swatch in store and saw that the pigment was very sheer and patchy. I thought it was just an over-handled tester that caused such poor application. I tested the brand new one I bought at home multiple times with several different brushes and applicators. The texture is very smooth and silky to touch but application is so sheer I could barely see any color payoff on the skin. I regret buying this. The colors are a soft sheer pale pink, a medium taupe shimmer, a deep plum-red, and a yellow gold shimmer. The packaging and embossed design is so so gorgeous. I wish the color payoff and pigment was better. If you love this - let me know what brushes you use, would love to figure out how to make this work.

Swatched below with a heavy hand, and the colors still are very sheer:

Finally there are two new mascaras in the holiday collection. I'm a fan of the Le Volume de Chanel Mascaras so I knew I had to try the Rouge Noir version. I'm thrilled with it - it thickens, volumizes, defines and doesn't smudge or flake. I might need a back up of this. In addition to the Rouge Noir, there is a new deep dark black called Le Volume Ultra-Noir de Chanel in Noir Khôl (also limited-edition). I had high hopes for this and a few swipes applied an ultra dark color. It looks amazing and it's super dark. The formula thickens the lashes evenly for a volumized look. The downside is it smudged terribly on my eyes. I tested it on several occasions (5 different days to be exact) before deciding it was a flop for me. I thought on the first occasion that I might have not powdered my concealer properly, so the next few times I tried the Noir Khôl on one eye and a regular Black Le Volume on the other eye. Each time, I had one side that smudged (the new one) and the other side did not (one with the classic formula/color).

I'm desperate to make the Ultra-Noir mascara work, if you tried it and love it, can you please share what makeup or skincare you use under the eyes?

I did consider purchasing the eyeliners in Rouge Noir and Or Safran, but decided against buying since I tend to wear black, brown or bronze colors. If you picked those up or tested them let me know what you think! Overall the eye makeup products were either hit or miss for me. The Le Volume de Chanel in Rouge Noir was an absolute hit for me. I love the Rouge Noir Illusion D'Ombre but it's not an absolute must since it's so close in color to other shades I own. Misses were the Les 4 Ombres and Noir Khôl Mascara.

You can find the Chanel Vamp Attitude Collection items at all Chanel counters now. Also online at Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdale's and along with all other Chanel retailers.

Did you pick up anything or try the colors from this collection? What did you think?

Chanel Vamp Attitude Collection for Holiday 2015 - The Beauty Look Book Picks

Here's a sneak peek at my picks from the Chanel Vamp Attitude Collection for holiday 2015. I stopped by the counter a few weeks ago and have been playing with everything. It appears that the US did not receive the Rouge Noir 18 Le Vernis shade this round and instead featured a repromote of the Vamp 18 Le Vernis color. I have swatches and comparisons coming up so stay tuned, but many of you have been e-mailing me asking what I picked from the collection. Here's the list:

Les 4 Ombres Eyeshadow Palette in Signe Particulier
Illusion D'Ombre in Rouge Noir
Le Volume de Chanel in Rouge Noir
Le Vernis in Rose Infusion and Vamp
Lèvres Scintillantes Glossimer in Rose de Lune and Étincelle

I'll have swatches and the full review for eyes, lips and cheeks today. Nail polishes are still going through the test so I'll have swatches + comparisons up as soon as possible, but it's most likely going to go up next week. Everything I picked up is listed as limited-edition except Vamp Nail Polish and Rouge Noir Illusion D'Ombre.

You can find the items now in stores and online at Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdale's and along with all other Chanel retailers.

Did you pick up anything from the collection?

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Kat Von D Beauty: Lolita Lip Duo and Metal Crush Eyeshadow in Synergy

I've been hauling a few things here and there from Sephora and recently picked up some items from Kat Von D Beauty. The Metal Crush Eyeshadow ($21 for 2.8 g) in Synergy has been on my wishlist for a long time but it's something I always forget to pick up in store so I ordered it online. It's a glorious copper bronze with the most amazing texture and shimmer. The Lolita Lip Duo ($19.50 for 2 x 0.10 oz) is a new limited-edition pack of two mini liquid lipsticks in the classic Lolita shade (dark chestnut rose) and a new Lolita II (dark terracotta). The Lolita Everlasting Liquid Lipstick is something that appears to have reached cult status. By the time I decided I wanted to try it, most of the shades in the formula were sold out (and many still are). As soon as the Lolita Lip Duo popped up online I decided this was the time to try it out (although Lolita is also in the Sephora Favorites Give Me Some Lip Set too).

Up first is a review on the Metal Crush Eyeshadow in Synergy which is a super pigmented bronze shimmer eyeshadow. It's so soft and velvety it's almost like a pressed pigment. I have nothing but good things to say about this one. One swipe with a brush and it glides onto the lids beautifully. I would say the texture is similar to that of Urban Decay shimmer eyeshadows but the Kat Von D Beauty Metal Crush is softer. The color is high in shimmer but it's not over the top and wears beautifully as a smokey bronze. On my face it pulls warm. On the hand it pulls more neutral at least on me. Your mileage may vary depending on how warm or cool your complexion is. Being the neutral lover that I am I wish this formula came in more neutral shades like a soft peach, tan gold, or champagne. Most of the colors in this formula are edgy and very bold. 

You can apply these with a dry or damp brush.  The pigment is so good you really don't need a damp brush to intensify the color. Even blended out you can see there's still a lot of color that shows up. Lasting power is very good with this one - it stayed put all day from early morning until late evening without smudging or fading. Since the texture is soft and powdery there is some fallout when you apply it, but once it's on the skin it doesn't move unless you rub your eyes.

Here are a few swatched comparisons:

NARS Dual Intensity Eyeshadow in Telesto (c/o, review here)
MAC Pigment in Chocolate Brown (discontinued)
MAC Eyeshadow in Sable

Up next is the Lolita Lip Duo. I had very high hopes for this as there are over 3,000 reviews on the Everlasting Liquid Lipstick formula online at Sephora, most have extremely high ratings with tons of raves. I think I overhyped this in my head and the fact that Lolita was near impossible to find made me have high expectations. The formula is on point for a liquid lipstick. The texture is super pigmented so you only need a little bit to cover the entire lip. The lasting power is also quite impressive. Even with the matte finish formula the product doesn't feel dry on the lips. I will say this is half love, and half luke-warm. The regular Lolita is a dark chestnut brown pink which swatches beautifully on the hands but on my lips it turns very dark and cool. If it were 1-2 shades lighter and a bit warmer I think it would be 100% love. On my medium olive complexion I feel like it looks like dark death. Lolita II on the other hand is pure love. It's a terracotta orange pink shade that I expected to look like an orange brick brown color on the lips but I find the warmth makes it more wearable for my olive complexion. It does darken on my lips after it dries but I still really like it.

After doing some searching on Google it appears Lolita has gone through a few variations. Some show the original one to be lighter and more neutral which is something I think I would have loved. The current one appears to be darker and more cool-toned by 2-3 shades.

Note your mileage may vary depending on your skintone, for some reason these darken on my lips and look different than they do in the tubes and when swatched on the hands/arms:

Swatch comparisons below:

Marc Jacobs Beauty Le Marc Lip Creme in Mahogany (c/o, review here)
Tom Ford Lip Color in Negligee (swatches here)
Buxom Lip Foundation in Revealed (c/o)
MAC Lipstick in Velvet Teddy
Tom Ford Lip Color in Twist of Fate (review here)
Marc Jacobs Beauty Le Marc Lip Creme in J'Adore (c/o, review here)
Buxom Lip Foundation in Bare (c/o)

One last shot below:
Overall, two hits and one miss for me which isn't bad considering I ordered the lip duo sight unseen. I'm not sure if it's just a combination of my skin tone and lip tone which both seem to turn Lolita dark on my face. Synergy Eyeshadow is pure love. It's such a pretty warm bronzey color that seems perfect for year round. I hope they expand the color range in the eyeshadow formula because it's just so so good.

I'm still relatively new to the Kat Von D Beauty line. I do adore and love her Ink Liner which is among the best that I've tried. I've used up one and repurchased it. If you have any other favorites please let me know what you think I should check out.

The Kat Von D Beauty line can be found exclusively at Sephora. The Lolita Lip Duo is limited-edition while Synergy Eyeshadow is part of the permanent lineup. (P.S. Sephora's VIB Rouge Sale starts tomorrow 11/6 with code ROUGE20 online, stay tuned for recs and my wishlist!)

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Le Métier de Beauté x Neiman Marcus Breast Cancer Awareness Stephanie Kaleidoscope

This month Neiman Marcus and Le Métier de Beauté launched a special Limited-Edition Stephanie Kaleidoscope ($95) to celebrate Breast Cancer Awareness. It is inspired and designed by Stephanie Seban, a former Neiman Marcus employee, to help spread awareness about breast cancer. Proceeds from this kit are being donated to breast cancer research and awareness centers all over the nation, Le Métier de Beauté is give back 30% of total sales in support of the cause. You can read more about Stephanie's touching story on her website Stephanie Seban. The launch coincides with the Neiman Marcus Incircle Event and there is a gift with purchase available online and in stores that ends today 10/18. (More on this below.)

The Stephanie Kaleidoscope contains four eyeshadows named Light, Heart, Hope and Live. Per Neiman Marcus, the inspiration behind each color is as follows:
  • Light - A brightening neutral
  • Heart - The heart of the Kaleidoscope, soft pink
  • Hope - A golden ray of hope
  • Live - A lively cool taupe
True to Le Métier de Beauté style, each color is very soft with a finely milled texture. The colors have medium but buildable pigment. They layer together beautifully for a stunning unique look. They always come up with color combinations I would never think of, sometimes there are shades I look at and think I would never wear. However when I try them, I'm always impressed with how beautiful they are.

From top to bottom, the colors are breathtakingly beautiful. Light is a bright neutral cream champagne, on my skin it pulls neutral-cool. The shimmer is very finely milled and it's not frosty. The next shade Heart is a cool matte pink. I'm normally not one to wear pinks on the eyes like this one but I gave it a try and it looks quite pretty when layered with the other colors. It can also double as a very subtle blush. Hope is one of the warmest copper shimmers I've ever tried. It's a surprisingly pretty color when mixed with the pink and taupe, I think this kit would be more wearable if this were more of a neutral golden shimmer rather than a warm coppery shade, but I find it unique and really pretty. The last shade is Live which is a shimmering taupe with slight khaki and grey tones. There's a bit of silver shimmer mixed in which makes it a soft smokey shade. 

 Close ups of each color:

There is a special gift with purchase for Neiman Marcus Incircle which is their bonus point event for Neiman Marcus cardholders. You don't need a card to qualify for any of the gift with purchase promotions. The October Incircle Gift is with any $300 Le Métier de Beauté purchase which is fairly steep. I've had some kaleidoscopes on my wishlist for a long time and decided this gift was worth splurging for. There are two options of lip creme lip gloss, I picked the darker one Overcome which is a warm pink that's slightly red. The other one in store looked like a non-shimmery cream that is a pale pink. They didn't have testers so I didn't swatch it. Also in the gift is a Baked Blush called Victoria and a Liquid Luminizer called Lambent. At this time all three are exclusive to this gift with purchase. (If you shop online the gift will be added automatically at checkout.)

One last shot of the Le Métier de Beauté x Neiman Marcus Breast Cancer Awareness Stephanie Kaleidoscope:

I tried to take photos of an eye look I did a few days ago but the lighting conditions weren't the best and photos didn't turn out so well. I do think the matte pink and copper are outside of my comfort zone in terms of wearable shadows for everyday but when they are layered with the other two the result is really quite pretty and not over the top. If you're new to Le Metier de Beaute Kaleidoscopes, they have four swivel pans. Some are all eyeshadows, others have a mix of powder, blush, bronzer or gloss. The top flips up to reveal a mirror. They are beautifully designed and the quality of the shadows are phenomenal. (You can click the Le Métier de Beauté tag at the bottom to see previous reviews of other kits.)

Bottom line the Stephanie Kaleidoscope is a beautiful luxurious treat. If you can stop by the counter to see it in person I recommend doing so. It's a delight to hear that a sizeable portion of the sales are going towards a good cause. I'm happy I purchased it. The pink packaging is really cute.

The Le Métier de Beauté Stephanie Kaleidoscope retails for $95. It's limited-edition and exclusive to Neiman Marcus (online and in stores).

Have you checked out this kaleidoscope kit yet? What did you think?


design + development by fabulous k | COPYRIGHT © 2009-2014 THE BEAUTY LOOK BOOK