Showing posts with label Lancome. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Lancome. Show all posts

Monday, September 14, 2015

Lancôme Auda[city] in Paris Eyeshadow Palette

Lancôme recently launched a 16-pan eyeshadow palette called Auda[city] in Paris ($68 for 16 shadows each x 1.3g/0.45 oz). This palette was designed by Lisa Eldridge and inspired by the streets of Paris. It's Lancôme's first multi-palette with light neutrals, taupes, purples, smokey greys and darker browns. It comes cased in a large mirrored compact and double-ended eyeshadow brush. The eyeshadows have different textures including matte, satin and metallic.

There are mixed reviews on this palette - I've been playing with this one for a few days now to put it to the test. Overall I would say it's a good neutral palette that has a wide range of colors to create a multitude of looks. I like that each color is distinct from each other so there aren't any repeats within the same palette. The look and feel of the shadows is very natural with a sheer to medium finish. Most of the colors are buildable in pigment - by using a denser brush or dampening it you will get more pigment. Texture is soft and sheer - the shimmers have a lot of powdery kickup and when applying on the eyes I experienced a lot of fall out onto the cheeks. It was easy to clean up though and I usually have some sort of fall out with powder shadows whenever I blend and swipe (creams excluded). Once on the lids - lasting power was pretty good. I tried with and without a base - a base definitely helps, my favorite is Edward Bess Illuminating Eye Base or a cream shadow stick like NARS Velvet Shadow Sticks or Laura Mercier Caviar Eye Sticks.

The finish of each color in this palette is either hit or miss. Some are sheerer than others. A couple of the darker shades are best applied with a detailed brush damp and then smoked out - if you use a fluffy brush for some of the deeper colors you will see uneven application. The nice thing about the darker shades being sheer though is that they are easy to build slowly. If you're a smokey eye novice and worried about overdoing it - this is a good starter palette.

  • Filigree is a light ivory gold shimmer, pigment is medium
  • Choquette is a matte cream peach, pigment is medium
  • Parfait is a light matte cool pink, pigment is sheer to meidum
  • Joie is a frosted champagne shimmer, pigment is medium-full
  • Voyage a warm matte terracotta tan, pigment is sheer to medium but easy to blend
  • Santé is a soft matte brown, sheer to medium pigment, this is a good blending shade to soften harsh edges and finish the eye look by adding warmth
  • Kitten Heel a metallic duo chrome pink gold copper, pigment is medium with a lot of fallout, but on the lids it stays put
  • Tenacity is a glorious metallic taupe, it's frosty but so so pretty on the lids

  • Exhibition is an orchid shimmer, finish is very sheer, this is my least favorite in the palette
  • Zip Me Up is a deeper orchid purple shimmer, also sheer in finish, my second least favorite
  • Volcano is a shimmery grey, finish is sheer to medium
  • Audacious is a satiny smokey brown shimmer, pigment is medium
  • Couture is a soft semi-sheer dark matte brow, color is really soft unless you apply with a damp detail brush or small smudge brush
  • It List is a satiny black with tiny bits of silver shimmer flecks, pigment is medium
  • Clock Strikes 12 is a metallic grey that is very sheer, but buildable if you pack it on
  • Nuit is a cool-toned metallic black gunmetal, pigment is medium

Quick eye swatch with a super natural look:

One last shot:

My overall take on the Lancôme Auda[city] in Paris Eyeshadow Palette is that it's a decent palette. If I were to rate this on a scale, I'd give this a B rating. I think it's a good wearable palette that will take you from day to night looks without any other shadows required. The variety makes it versatile and will allow for a number of different looks. If you're new to eyeshadow and want the convenience of a palette, this is a good starter palette. There are a number of women I know who don't wear much eyeshadow - if you want color but want a natural palette that's fun to experiment with this is a good option.

Compared to other palettes, I do think there are better options out there for richer more vibrant color/pigment. That being said the Lancome Palette does appear to be designed for a natural look versus bold rich color. I'm not a huge fan of the brush it comes with - one is a synthetic small brush that seems better suited for creams. The other side is a larger fluffy side which is good for pigmented shadows, since this palette is sheer to medium it doesn't pick up color well. It is a really good blending brush though.

In terms of larger palettes, the Urban Decay Naked series still rules them all as the best ones for the price of $54 each (at least in my opinion). Based on feedback I've received from previous reviews I've posted I know they aren't everyone's cup of tea. I like Urban Decay because of the soft textures, rich pigment, gorgeous shimmers, wearable metallics - for many the palettes are just too much in terms of frost/shimmer. For others, some can't get over the look of the packaging. The MAC x15 Naturals Palettes are also good if you're looking for variety but come at a much higher price tag of $85.

If you want a softer palette with shimmers but ones that have more subtle shimmers I'd recommend this Lancôme Auda[city] in Paris Eyeshadow Palette or the Dior Eye Reviver (reviewed here and here). Given how many eyeshadows I've tested and own, I can't call this one a must-have, although for the price it's nice to have - the quality is good and shadows blend/build nicely on the lids.

Overall a good wearable and versatile palette that's nice to have, or nice to start out with if you're building a makeup collection. The overall look and feel is extremely beautiful - it's a palette you can wear for a number of occasions. You can find the Lancôme Auda[city] in Paris Eyeshadow Palette available now at Lancôme counters. Online at Sephora, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue and all other Lancôme retailers.

Have you tried this palette yet? What's your favorite large eyeshadow palette?

This palette was provided courtesy of Lancôme for review consideration.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Summer Beauty Pick-Me-Ups

Ulta Beauty is turning 25 today and to celebrate their birthday they have 25 online beauty deals with free shipping on orders of $25 or more. Ulta Beauty is a regular stop for me for beauty staples, especially for nail care. My go-to products are the CND Stickey Base Coat, Super Shiny Top Coat, Butter London Nail Scrubbers and the Tweezerman Pushy Nail Cleaner. I've teamed up with them to share some beauty pick-me-ups from a recent store visit. If you haven't been to an Ulta Beauty store recently you will be amazed at the selection they have today - the lineup of products has expanded so you will find a wide range of items with a mix of drugstore and mid-end brands all in one store. If you're in need of something new in beauty but aren't sure what to look for, Ulta is a nice place to shop at your own leisure and browse without feeling any pressure to buy. I always discover something new.

Up first is the Mario Badescu Skin Care Facial Spray. It has aloe, herbs and rosewater and with a super relaxing lightweight scent. It's one of the most affordable facial sprays I've tried and I think it's highly under-rated. It hydrates the skin with a superfine mist. I like that it's truly refreshing without that heavy feel.

Nude clutch by Truffle

For eyes I picked up one of the Naked2 Double Ended 24/7 Glide On Pencils. They come in a variety of colors, I picked one with Pistol and Perversion. For eyeshadow palettes, the Naked Basics2 Palette is a no-fail option. I already own one but bought one as a birthday gift for a friend. I swatched it below next to Naked Basics. Both are staples as far as matte shadows go.

One of my friends swears by Lancome Définicils Mascara and she always has the perfect lush black lashes. I've only tried minis before. I'm giving this one in the full size a try. (If you have a favorite Lancome mascara let me know.)

I didn't realize Ulta Beauty carried Becca Cosmetics, but now I do. I picked up the Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed in Rose Gold. I debated between the pressed and poured version. The pressed seemed to have more pink undertone so I opted for this one. It has the prettiest warm rosy champagne gold shimmer. The left side is a heavy swatch, right is blended out a little.

For nails, I like to shop for cheaper finds like OPI and Essie. I play around with both a lot but don't buy many because of the lack of testers. Two staples include Peach Daiquiri and Topless and Barefoot. Both are relatively affordable options although they don't last longer than 3 days on me, but for the price I think they are worth it. I just need to make sure I reapply top coat 2-3 times throughout the 5-7 day period I have the color on. Although I switch things up frequently to swatch so sometimes it doesn't really matter.

Peach Daiquiri needed three coats for me.

Topless and Barefoot is the best neutral nude pink. It's not too nude and not too pink. Two coats works ok, I find a third coat gives this one complete full coverage.

For lips the options are endless. There are so many different finishes, formulas, textures and packaging options. I think I got a bit lost with all the options but I wasn't in a rush so I was able to take my time to browse. Stila was one of my very first beauty loves back when I was in high school and all the way through college. I'm glad through all the changes that they've kept some of the original line. The Lip Glazes are always fun. Apricot is a staple glow. Kitten is a fun frosted champagne beige shimmer.

Urban Decay has some really good new lip products out. I think many have been out for a while but my focus has always been on their shadows and Naked Palettes. The Revolution Lipstick in Naked is a neutral nude pink cream. It has medium to full coverage and has a slightly glossy sheen. There are a number of neutrals to pick from and they have different finishes from matte, sheer and regular. The High-Color Lip Glosses are full-coverage glosses. Almost like a liquid lipstick but still glossy in formula. Kinky is a really pretty light neutral pink beige. I'm completely obsessed with it.

Last but not least I tried something from Tarte. The twist up chubby stick lip products come in a number of different finishes and textures. After swatching up a number of colors all over my hand, I picked out the LipSurgence Lip Tint in Sweet. It's a soft light pink with shimmer but goes on the lips a more rosy flushed soft pink. It has a soft minty scent and feels cool on the lips. I really like the way it looks and feels - I'm going to have to check out more of the colors soon.

Today on August 19th in celebration of their 25th birthday, they have 25 value sets available online. In addition they are running a sweepstakes through August 29th where 25 lucky Ultamate Rewards Members will win 25,000 points. Details here on

Do you have any recent discoveries from Ulta Beauty? What are your favorite beauty pick-me-ups?

This post was created in partnership with Ulta Beauty. Many thanks to Ulta Beauty for sponsoring this post. All opinions my own, more information on my disclosures

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Primers and Smoothers

I've been testing out a few new primers and smoothing products and thought I'd share my favorite staple primers along with some new discoveries. I'm not typically a primer kind of person. I've found most that I've tried don't really do much to extend the wear of makeup and end up adding an extra layer of product on my face that I don't really need. I've tried dozens of primers at makeover events and from tiny sample packets. There are so may different options on the market these days it can be a bit overwhelming. Different products offer a multitude of effects. Some will smooth the overall look of your skin, add a glow, give a matte look and then there are some that are just basic primers to help the application of your foundation. I have normal and sensitive skin. For your reference I've broken down my primer picks into two main different categories:

  • Tom Ford Illuminating Primer ($72 for 1 fl oz) is one of the best glow primers I've ever tried. I tested this on numerous occasions each time I was able to visit a Tom Ford counter under both the foundation stick and liquid formula. The counters kindly made a few small samples for me to test before I caved and purchased the full size (I'm still in price shock). The Tom Ford primer is packaged with a clever twist pump dispenser. It has a soothing fresh scent with a slight herbal undertone. What I like about this one is that has a more yellow-like pearly glow which I found perfect for my needs (most I've seen have a pinkish glow). It helps extend the wear of makeup and adds a glow without making you greasy. It helps smooth the skin and adds an all over glow to prevent your makeup from looking flat. Be aware that this is on the dewy side, if you're oily I wouldn't recommend this one. I also found this one works best with the Tom Ford Foundations. See The Convenient Beauty's review.
  • NARS Pro-Prime Radiance Enhancing Primer ($34 for 1.1 oz) is the next best alternative to Tom Ford's primer at a more affordable price. It has a reflective pearl quality that is the perfect mix of opal, gold and champagne. It has SPF 15 and a little goes a long way. I find this one photographs well with a flash. It has a creamy but thin and easy to blend texture to give an all over glow without being too glowy. Lasting power is better than average for me but it won't make your makeup last all day long (you will need a touch up in the afternoon). I really like this for the effect it gives and how it helps makeup look smoother.
  • MAC Strobe Liquid ($32 for 1.7 fl oz) isn't really a traditional primer, but I like to use it as one over moisturizer and underneath liquid or powder makeup. It's another great smoothing glow product with a super thin liquid texture. It dries well to help makeup stay in place and prevents it from sliding around - but note you only need a tiny bit on the face. It's on the more glowy side so I would recommend topping with a regular powder or foundation. This one is also good for mixing in with foundations to add a glow without making you look white. It has a more opal/blueish sheen.
  • Chanel Base Lumiere Illuminating Makeup Base ($45 for 1 fl oz) is one of the most fluid primer/bases I've ever tried. (I've repurchased this multiple times.) It has a blueish violet sheen but it disppears into a clear finish on the skin. The key to using this is to make sure you use a thinner lightweight moisturizer underneath otherwise it will make the skin oily. If you're a serum + moisturizer kind of person, I would recommend skipping one of the items before using this one. I like this best with Chanel foundations as it helps prime the skin with a subtle glow and also helps extend the wear of foundation. Make sure you use as little as possible - if you overdo it it will be too heavy and feel thick on the skin.

  • Lancome Visionnaire 1-Minute Blur ($55 for 1 fl oz) is currently available at Sephora locations in the US. I received a press sample of this (hence the white lab tube). It's a skin smoother/finisher designed to smooth the skin, erase imperfections and pores. It has a creamy neutral colored texture that disappears on the skin. This video has a good visual of what this will do for the skin. I suggest testing at the store if you can, reviews indicate this is either a hit or miss. I saw a noticeable difference in my skin texture when using this and used it under a liquid foundation (tested with Chanel and NARS). I loved the results for the overall look and it truly erased any signs of pores on my face. It helped my makeup last all day long (quite impressive) well through the evening. There is a very light fragrance to this which I found on the subtle side. The only thing I didn't like about this was that I could actually feel the layer of product on my face - not necessarily a bad thing, but I tend to prefer face makeup that is more weightless and thinner in texture.
  • Clinique Superprimer Color Correcting ($27 for 1 oz) I bought this at Sephora after reading rave reviews about the Superprimers. I was a bit overwhelmed with the color options and honestly have no idea if I picked the right one for me. I decided to go with the peach color corrector since traditional white ones are often too pale and white for my olive skin. I didn't notice any color correcting quality with this one but the color matched my skin pretty well once blended. It has a thicker airy creamy texture that has a velvety feel on the skin. The result: long lasting makeup all day long from morning until late at night (around 11ish before I took it off). The peach color disappeared and gave the skin a smooth matte look. If you test any of the options at the store you will see a noticeable difference on the back of your hand. I like that the primer didn't change the color of my foundation even though it has a peach tint. I'm not sure I picked the right option, if you've tried the any of the Clinique primers I'd love to hear your thoughts.
  • Dior Pore Minimizer Skin Refining Matte Primer ($42 for 1 oz) is a primer that wins for most innovative packaging. It's a tube with a pump dispenser. I have not purchased this after testing a couple counter-made samples but wanted to share my thoughts. This offers the most matte finish that I've ever seen. It smooths the skin out similar to the Lancome but has a thicker feel on the skin (at least for me). I found this blended well on the skin and provided a lovely smooth look. There was a huge noticeable difference. I felt it was too dry for my normal/combination skin even though it didn't look dry at all. I suspect if you have skin that is on the oily side, the Dior Matte Primer will work wonders for you.
Packaging and dispenser details:

My top three picks:
  1. For the best glow, I like Tom Ford's Illuminating Primer
  2. For the price and performance I like Clinique's Superprimer
  3. For the most visible smoothing result, Lancome Visionnaire 1-Minute Blur is a winner
Do you have any favorite primers, smoothing products or glowy bases? I'd love to hear about your thoughts and experiences for what has worked on your skin tone or skin type.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Lancome Eau Fraîche Douceur (Micellar Cleansing Water Face, Eyes, Lips)

I've tried a number of cleansing waters in the past from lines like Shiseido Pureness, Shu Uemura and Dior. Unfortunately the ones I fell in love with have been discontinued or reformulated and have been looking for another love for quite some time. I tried Lancome Eau Fraîche Douceur, a cleanser-toner, somewhat by accident. It was one of those weeks when I ran out of all my basics for skincare all at the same time. Not having time to shop and replenish that week, I dug into my sample drawer of unused minis from gifts-with-purchases. Lancome's Cleansing Water seemed to fit the bill for a quick-fix to tone and cleanse in one step. It was a last-resort kind of thing and I'm glad I tried it. It's done wonders for my skin and has reached the status of one of those life-changer beauty products for me.

Product Description: "Pamper and purify your skin with this refreshing cleansing water that instantly removes face, lip and eye makeup in one easy step. This magic formula with gentle Micellar Technology cleansing agents and soothing Rose de France, lifts and removes makeup and impurities, even waterproof and long-wear formulas, with no need to rinse."

This Lancome Cleansing Water currently retails for $35 for 6.8 fl oz (see more details on It's a gentle makeup remover for the entire face and comes in a sleek clear bottle with a well-designed pump.  The packaging is sturdy and easy to use. The pump dispenses just the right amount so nothing is wasted by over-pouring. Although it's designed as a makeup remover, I use this more as a purifying toner/cleanser.

Two pumps spritzed onto the cotton square is enough to cover the entire face. At $35 I find it fairly expensive for a makeup remover, but for a toner it seems to be decent priced. It will remove mascara and eyeliner, but not 100% for those long-wear formulas. For makeup removal in the evenings, I typically soak a cotton pad with a dual-formula makeup remover (something inexpensive like Neutrogena) to remove the eyeliner and mascara. I then cleanse the face completely with soap and water and dry. Next I tone. This is the point where I will sometimes use Lancome's Eau Fraîche Douceur instead of toner just to make sure any remnants of makeup left on the skin are completely removed.

For those who haven't read my skincare posts before, I have relatively normal but extremely sensitive skin.  I get red bumps or irritation from quite a few products. With this Lancome Cleansing Water, there was no irritation or drying from daily use of this product. There is a very faint scent which I would describe as "clean." I was amazed at how much extra makeup was removed from my face even after cleansing the skin with my regular Clinique Foaming Facial Cleanser. It clarifies the skin to make it feel clean but not dry. Some cleansing waters are too rich for my taste leaving a slightly sticky feel leaving a thin film on the surface of the skin. The Lancome leaves no film.

I've been using this since around March/April. I do not use it everyday, but alternate with my La Mer and Paul & Joe Toners. Since using this, combined with Chanel's Ultra Lift Concentrate (previously reviewed here, update to come soon), my skin has improved tremendously. It feels cleaner, there are fewer breakouts and it overall just looks and feels clearer. The mini 1.7 fl oz lasted quite a long time for me. Since using it up, I've kept the little bottle and refilled it for travel.

Overall: Highly recommend.

Side note, my current skincare routine includes:
  • Cleanse with La Mer Cleansing Gel
  • Tone with La Mer The Tonic, Paul & Joe Refreshing Skin Toner or Lancome's Eau Fraîche Douceur
  • Moisturize at day only with Chanel Ultra Correction Lift Sculpting Firming Concentrate or La Mer The Moisturizing Lotion

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Inside My Makeup Bag

My makeup bag started this week with only 4 items (EB Daydream, Lancome Juicy Tube, mini blush brush, Chanel Boy Rouge Coco Shine), but since Monday it's accumulated quite a few more things this long work-week. Today, what is inside my Laura Mercier zebra print makeup bag:
  1. NARS Tzarine Eyeshadow Duo
  2. MAC Blonde MSF (limited edition from January 2009)
  3. Burberry Misty Blush (new for spring, review to come soon)
  4. Chanel Boy Rouge Coco Shine
  5. Laura Mercier Mini Double Sided Brush
  6. MAC Wolf Pearlglide (limited edition from 2008ish)
  7. Lancôme Yayoi Kusama Edition Juicy Tube in Dot Apricot (now at Nordstrom)
  8. Edward Bess Daydream Bronzer (my holy grail bronzer, reviewed numerous times here)
  9. Le Métier de Beauté Sheer Brilliance Lip Gloss Ibiza
  10. Le Métier de Beauté Sheer Brilliance Lip Gloss Captiva
  11. Shu Uemura ME Black 990
  12. Bobbi Brown Mini Blush Brush
Close Ups Labeled:

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Lancome Le Gris L'Wren 021

I'm sure you've already seen the previews of the holiday colors from The Lancome Blog. One can never really tell what to expect from backstage or runway photos. I was expecting a steel grey with a hint of blue but what arrived was a blue with slight grey tones in a metallic finish. The red shade Le Rouge L'Wren 020 (reviewed last week here) seems more holiday-appropriate but the blue shade is still lovely nevertheless and it is indeed swoon-worthy.

Here it is with 2 coats, no base or top coat:

I was prepared to do a full comparison to steely greys but since it's definitely more blue, I searched through my stash for blue-greys. Here it is compared to a few other blueish shades, l to r: NARS Full Metal Jacket, Rescue Beauty Lounge Stormy*, Lancome Le Gris L'Wren 021, MAC Blue India

* The Nars & RBL shades were previously featured here.

Overall thoughts:
Lovely color but I prefer the red one released in the holiday collection. In terms of the finish/texture Le Gris L'Wren gives full coverage with 2 coats but I found it slightly goopy making it a bit difficult to apply evenly. Do note that I am a bit clumsy when it comes to self application of nail polish. Not everyone will find this hard to work with. The metallic finish makes it a bit streaky if not applied with a steady hand. To me, Le Gris L'Wren seems like a pearl version of MAC Blue India. Still Lancome has caught my attention and I hope they will continue to release more shades in the US.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Lancome Mini Vernis in 020 Le Rouge L’Wren

Lancome and stylist L’Wren Scott have released two mini nail polishes for the holiday collection in Le Rouge L'Wren 020 (deep sparkling red) and Le Gris L'Wren 021 (shimmery steel blue-grey). Both are indeed swoon-worthy and I opted for the red one today since there's nothing like a good red nail polish to make a woman feel like a woman.

Le Rouge L'Wren is a deep wine red with tiny red micro-sparkles that are slightly brighter than the base. From arm's length you can't really see the shimmer but the finish is glossy and the red is uber sophisticated. It has just the right amount of red to prevent it from being too vampy. I know I have similar shades in my nail polish stash - I just haven't pulled any to compare. Off the top of my head I don't think any have the same red sparkle quality. Now if I could only find a lipgloss the same color ...

The holiday nail polishes ($14.50 for 6 ml) come in a mini version of the full size ($18 for 10 ml). It has the same style packaging but comes with a black twist off cap instead of silver. They are too cute!

Here is Le Rouge L'Wren in action:

Applying Bobbi Brown's Kir Sugar Lipgloss over MAC's VGVI Lipstick:

Getting ready to go out:

Just posing:

I did get the blue-grey one too. That color will be reviewed soon.

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