Showing posts with label Palettes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Palettes. Show all posts

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Tom Ford Summer 2014 | Unabashed Eye and Cheek Palette, Solar Gold and Moonlight Lip Shimmers

Tom Ford Beauty Summer has arrived with a new Unabashed Eye and Cheek Palette ($95) two new Lip Shimmers in Solar Gold and Moonlight along with a repromote of the stunning Skin Illuminator in Fire Lust ($65). All the items are limited-edition. I purchased the palette and lip items online as soon as I saw them since Tom Ford beauty items tend to sell very quickly.

The Unabashed Eye and Cheek Palette comes in a large white and gold mirrored compact similar in size to the Tom Ford Bronzers. It has three shadows in a glittering light beige/tan/taupe, a soft mauve brown matte and an intense navy/indigo color. There are also two cheek products which include a golden bronzer and a coral shimmer blush. The colors are absolutely stunning - I'm completely in love with the bronzer/cheek colors. The eye colors are also beautiful when used together. I've been applying the eyes starting with the medium shade first and then with the glittery color added on top. The indigo color is a bit tricky to use. It has intense pigment but can be quite messy when applied. I found it best to use as a liner along the lashes by dabbing/pressing onto the eye over a pencil or gel liner. Once on the eyes it doesn't budge, but there is fall out and can get messy. The glittery tan is indeed very sparkly (similar to She Wolf). If you're not 100% in love with every color in the palette, the good news is most of the colors can be duplicated with other shades.

The bronzer is unique in the sense it is more golden and lighter. I wish this came in a full size. I suspect it is very similar to MAC Trace Gold (which I can't find at the moment) if you want a dupe. The blush is a cross between Tom Ford Flush and Love Lust blushes.

Left to right: Gold Dust Bronzer, She Wolf Trio (partial swatch, discontinued), Unabashed Eye and Cheek Palette (partial swatch), Tom Ford Blushes in Savage, Flush, Love Lust, Ravish.

The Lip Shimmers are hit/miss for me. For the price and given my love for other Tom Ford lip products I had high expectations for these. Solar Gold is a very sheer gold. It goes on with only a slight tint similar in concept to the Gold Dust Lip Lacquer from a few summers ago. The texture is semi glossy and moisturizing - it feels incredible on the lips. I do wish the pigment was richer. Moonlight was a huge miss for me. It went on blotchy and uneven. It does feel really nice on the lips but the color just simply did not work on my lips. I have used this mixed with the regular Tom Ford lipsticks and it adds a nice sheen to the pinks or peaches.

Out of the two I like Solar Gold the best. Even though it's sheer it's still nice on the lips. If you want a white shimmer lip, I'd recommend you opt for the regular Tom Ford Lip Lacquer (which I adore and think is a must-have for everyone). Or use NARS Copacabana Multiple mixed with any clear gloss.

Left to right: Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in Brilliance (discontinued), Burberry Trench Kiss Lip Gloss, Tom Ford Gold Dust Lacquer (discontinued), Solar Gold and Moonlight, Tom Ford Lip Lacquer, NARS Copacabana Multiple, MAC Sugar Rimmed.

I'm a huge Tom Ford fan but have mixed feelings about this collection. I adore the Eye and Cheek Palette but wish they had released a large bronzer/blush and a separate eye palette. I don't think I could pull off the eyes for everyday but the look is very pretty for evenings or non-corporate work environments. If you're not a fan of the eyes or mixed palettes, you can get a similar effect with the Tom Ford Gold Dust Bronzer or any of the blushes swatched above (amazing in pigment and quality and worth every penny).

The lip shimmers are hit/miss. Solar Gold is nice to have but not a must-have. Moonlight was a fail for me, but if you've tried this and love it I'd love to hear how you've been wearing it.

All items are limited-edition. In stores now and selling out quickly.

Unabashed Eye and Cheek Palette appears to be sold out online at many places but keep checking online as they might restock. Currently available at Harrods, Selfridges, Nordstrom (backorder). For SKUs if you want to search physical stores info on Bloomingdales and Neiman Marcus.

Lip Shimmers are available at plenty of locations still such as Nordstrom, Saks, Bloomingdales, Neiman Marcus.

Fire Lust Skin Illuminator is also going fast. Right now it's still available at Saks, Neiman Marcus, Harrods, and Nordstrom (backorder).

Did you see Tom Ford Summer yet? What did you think?

Friday, November 8, 2013

GIorgio Armani Eccentrico Face Palette | Holiday 2013

Giorgio Armani's star product for the holiday is the Eccentrico Face Palette ($88 for 8g/0.27) a limited-edition highlighter palette. The palette has one tier of powder with a silvery overspray and small flat face brush underneath. The powder below the overspray is a mix of pinks, orange and a cool white shimmer. Mixed together you get a beautiful pink glow. Although this is called a face palette, I think this is best used as a cheek blush or highlighter. The quality of the powder is excellent - it's finely milled and the shimmer is very refined and natural making the skin glow. It's dark enough for me to wear as blush alone. My feelings about this are a bit mixed mainly because of the price. At $88, most other Armani palettes in this range have a cheek product plus three eyeshadows. I do realize this comes with a little brush encased inside, but I still think this one is definitely overpriced. Armani does have discount promotions through their own beauty side occasionally (most I've seen is 20%) which could bring the price down to the $70ish range. Still I think this should have been priced in the same range as their eyeshadow quads at $59 (even if it is a luxury holiday and limited-edition product).

The packaging:

With overspray:

Partial overspray:

Most of the overspray removed:


Comparisons show that Eccentrico has a soft quality that makes the skin glow. The shimmer is finely milled versus a high shine frost. Comparisons below to shades that have unfortunately all been limited or discontinued, but I hope this helps to gauge the level of pigment and shimmer:

Overall a lovely blush palette with exquisite packaging. However it's one I just can't get really excited about - especially with other palettes this holiday like ones from Hourglass and Chanel which are more affordable and still unique and creative (in my mind). I will get a lot of use out of Armani Eccentrico - it's a lovely wearable pink that is safe. As usual your mileage may vary with this. I know some who absolutely love it. I agree that it's lovely - for me at $88 I expected more. I tried tracking this down at counters but couldn't find it anywhere in store. Others have had better luck though.

Armani Eccentrico is limited-edition. It retails for $88. You can find it online at Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus and

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Chanel Charming Ombres Matelassées | Holiday 2013

Chanel Charming Ombres Matelassées Eyeshadow Palette ($80 for 9g/0.32 oz, limited-edition) has finally arrived in stores. It's a stunning soft delicate palette of neutrals - all shades are come in a lovely quilted pattern. The colors are soft powders but with decent pigment. Layered over a base the colors show up much better on my medium skin. The colors left to right include:
  • A soft delicate champagne ivory shimmer
  • A satiny fawn tan brown
  • A glimmering chocolate gold shimmer
  • A soft semi-satiny brown
  • A cool grey matte tinged with slight blue tones

Chanel Charming retails for $80. It's limited-edition. My counters report they have received a very limited supply, but not to worry. It's online at numerous locations. I bought mine online from Nordstrom. You can also find it online now at Neiman Marcus and

The colors layer quite well together on the eyes. Each color in this palette is wearable enough to wear all five shades at once. I layer from left to right (light to dark). This palette is sometime I envision to be an everyday kind of palette. The middle gold shade gives it a slight holiday feel, although not quite as glitzy or glamourous as the beautiful Illusion d'Ombres in Fatal and Initiation. I suspect layering either shade on top of this powder palette would add a bit of glitz for the holiday.

Shown without flash, there's a soft glowing quality from each color:

Close up of the shades, here in sunlight:

Here, under artificial light with flash:

The colors swatch very nicely on the skin and the eyes. Being the neutral lover that I am, I adore each shade in this palette. There is just no comparison with the finely milled satiny shimmers here.

In sunlight, no flash:

Comparing this to other Ombres Matalassées Palettes, Charming proves to be the safest neutral. Pearl River (limited from the spring 2013 Hong Kong collection) was a more edgy non-neutral. It's been sitting in my drawer neglected and unused although I keep intending to use it (I keep getting distracted with Le Metier de Beaute kaleidoscopes and Edward Bess palettes). 51, Montaigne (also limited edition from 2012) is more yellowy and khaki-colored. Charming is the warmest, although still a neutral. Here are the palettes side by side for comparison.

Overall, Charming Ombres Matelassées will be one of my staple work-horse kind of palettes for everyday. It may be too neutral for some although I do love how the shades can be layered for a subtle warm smokey eye. If you're looking for something different and unique, I'd suggest you opt for the holiday Illusion d'Ombres (reviewed here). This one is definitely must-have for me (although pricey).

Chanel Charming Ombres Matelassées is a limited-edition palette. It retails for $80. Online now at Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus and

Sunday, July 29, 2012

NARS American Dream Eyeshadow Palette

This fall NARS has released two new variations of their 6-color eyeshadow palettes. Product Girl gave us a sneak peek from an event she attended in July. I, of course fell in love with the neutral option, American Dream 9976 ($55 for .31 oz/9g, made in Canada) which contains Bellisima, Alhambra, Silk Road, Galapagos, Bali and Tzarine.

When I ordered mine from Saks online I couldn't find a listing of the colors. Knowing that most NARS palettes contain existing shades, I knew there was a chance that I would already own half the colors. Turns out, I already own all of them, but I still find most NARS palettes extremely convenient for ideas and also for travel (my other NARS eyeshadow palettes here and here, still wishing I had purchased last year's Nordstrom Anniversary NARS palette though).

Four of the shades come from some duos and two are available in single format. The shades with descriptions:
  • Bellisima is a pale ivory matte base loaded with tiny gold glitters
  • Alhambra is a warm champagne peachy metallic
  • Silk Road is a soft pinkish shell with pink and gold glitter chunks
  • Galapagos is a dark chocolate brown with tiny gold glitter flecks
  • Bali is a matte cool brown
  • Tzarine is a beautiful complex grey-blue shimmer with gold and silver flecks
More photos and swatches:

Under artificial light:

NARS American Dream has proved to be extremely versatile. I used it all last week and found that the shades fit nicely into any look, for both day and night, and worked well with a variety of shades from my wardrobe (last week I wore shades of black, aubergine, grey, pale mint and navy). I did have a bit of trouble with Silk Road's glitter particles. I already own this duo and most of the time I feel the glitter is conservative enough to wear on the eyes for everyday, however there can be fallout issues. With the warm weather this week, the glitter fell onto my face and would not budge.

When using this palette, I've found the colors work well over Edward Bess's Illuminating Eye Bases. I do like using a liner under the darker shades for added intensity in color, but I find it's not always necessary. I've used 3-4 shades at one time (at most) from the palette.

Two looks I did last week, which I hope will give you an idea on how to coordinate the shades with lip and cheek colors.

Look 1 with peachy cheeks and light pink lips: Armani Blush #2 and NARS Deep Throat Blushes layered, NARS Rosebud Lipliner with Chanel Imaginaire Gloss on top, four eyeshadow shades in Alhambra and Silk Road mixed all over the lid, Bali and Tzarine blended along lash lines smoked upwards.

Look 2 with pinky-bronze cheeks and a sheer glossy bronze gloss: Shadows in Bellisima and Alhambra mixed together, Bali and Galapagos layered (slightly damp) as a liner, NARS Lovejoy blush with a swipe of Desire on top for a healthy glow, NARS Hopi Velvet Gloss Pencil with a bit of Dior Addict gloss on top.

I believe this palette may be available in some stores now, however my Nordstrom associates told me they were not allowed to sell until August 1st. I purchased mine online from, I think it's also available at Barneys online too, it should be available at most NARS counters starting this Wedesday August 1st. I'm fairly certain the palette is limited-edition, but I'm not 100% sure.

Have you seen or tried NARS American Dream? Do you already own most of the shades? I personally love it.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Chanel Ombres Matelassées 51, Montaigne Eyeshadow Palette

Chanel has released a new beautiful palette to celebrate the opening of one of their new boutiques in Paris. The palette is called Ombres Matelassées 51, Montaigne ($80 for 6g/0.21 oz, Made in Italy). It comes with five stunning soft silky-smooth shimmery eyeshadows embossed with the classic quilted pattern. The colors aren't all that unique to Chanel's prior releases but the texture is amazing with an ultra-smooth finish and satiny feel. Pigmentation is medium, like most Chanel eyeshadows. The shimmer is very soft and subtle. At $80 this is extremely pricey (especially when you consider the fact that the Ombres Perleés de Chanel from Spring 2011 was $65). I fell in love with the beautiful presentation and packaging but I'm not really comfortable with the price. (I skipped the Vegas de Chanel face highlighter and so felt this splurge was justified.)

The colors, left to right: soft iridescent ivory, pale gold shimmer, satiny warm gold, khaki olive shimmer, soft greyed-black with a tinge of navy. A few more close ups.


Comparisons to a few other shades, Chanel Ivory, Chanel Blazing Gold, Burberry Midnight Black, Chanel Black Star and Chanel Noir-Ivoire. (The greenish/olive shade wasn't compared because I don't own any of the Chanel khaki shimmers.) As you can see the theme is not extremely unique, but still extremely beautiful.

I'm not sure exactly where this will be available. My guess is this will be available at the counters and stores that receive the special exclusive launches (such as Les Jeans de Chanel, Vegas de Chanel, etc.) I know Nordstrom in Seattle has received the palette and have seen reports of this being spotted at various Boutiques and select Neiman Marcus counters. I'm assuming it will be launched online at eventually but at this time I'm not sure. I purchased mine at my local Neiman Marcus although they did not have any testers. See other photos at Best Things in Beauty and Luxury-Makeup Livejournal.

Overall beautiful presentation and extremely high quality. There is a lack of originality with the colors (I found them to be repeats of prior/existing shades) but the palette is a classic and I really love it. The texture is better than some of the singles, which I'm a huge fan of, but sometimes can be a bit chunky in feel. I personally cannot envision wearing all 5 shades at once. I've tried a few combinations and prefer to use 3 at most at one time. I find it wears very well and adheres well to the lids like the classic Chanel eyeshadows do.

Bottom line, it's a true luxury product, not a necessity. I love it but I don't think it's a must-have for those who have a lot of other Chanel eyeshadows. I simply think you will find this redundant. I like the convenience of having all shades in one palette and felt the presentation is just exquisite. At the price it's definitely a splurge. If I could only have 1 palette this season, I think it would still be Dior Grège 734 (reviewed here), although a few photos of summer collections have been surfacing and I'm kinda dying over the NARS trio coming out for summer (see it on here).

Have you seen/tried this yet? What are your thoughts?

Monday, November 14, 2011

Armani Madre Perla Palettes for Holiday 2011

Armani has released two palettes this holiday season for their Madre Perla Collection. The theme for the eyes and cheeks are shimmery golds, nudes, pearls and silvers. I found the collection has arrived in-store at Neiman Marcus. One is a Face & Eye Palette #1 (the golden one) and the other is designed as an Eye Palette #2. Both are $59 each and are limited edition. The two palettes contain three shades each, very reminiscent of Nude Contrasts from Spring 2010. I approached these with a bit of hesitation. As beautiful as the colors were from Spring, I have to admit both palettes have barely been used. All the colors (except the black) from the spring eye palettes show up similar on the skin which results in just one overly-sparkly eye when the colors are layered. Still, the palettes this season took my breath away as soon as I saw them. The palettes were a bit difficult to photograph to capture the dimensional aspect of the shimmer. I've tried several angles to try and help give you an idea.

Madre Perla Face and Eye Palette 1 is a trio of golds. The texture is soft, slightly powdery and fairly shimmery. Applying with an eyeshadow brush (or a denser brush) results in a very shimmery pigmented application. I wore this on the eyes last night to a play and it was beautiful but definitely on the sparkly side. The three colors you have are pale ivory, warm pale gold, neutral tan gold. I feel the colors are uniquely distinct from each other when swatched on the hand but if you want to layer three shades I think you can only create a subtle gradient. Since the payoff with a small brush was so pigmented I was worried it would be too frosty for the face, but applying with a regular brush brush (I used Bobbi Brown's when testing this one) resulted in a sheer but visible wash of shimmer. Love!

Madre Perla Eye Palette 1 is also beautiful with a cool sharp white with gold frost, neutral tan beige shimmer and cool lavender. I'm not a fan of lavender shades but I learned from Le Metier that this color can be a great highlight to layer over beiges/tans and golds. I really love the middle shade, it's like a soft beige with a slight hint of grey shimmer. I applied the middle shade first over most of the lid, then added the lavender to center on top and blended. I then added the ivory-gold as a very soft highlight near the top. Today I used Bobbi Brown Bronze gel liner to finish the look. Overall it's a stunner but very pale. Next time I will need to add a darker contour like Chanel Sand.

Here's another close up plus swatches:

Comparisons of last year's highlighter (less yellow and lighter) to this year's:

Palette comparisons from Spring 2010 to Holiday:

Overall all out gorgeous, not overly frosty, beautiful for holiday. I will definitely get more use out of these than the spring 2010 palettes. They are more versatile and wearable in my opinion.

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