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

Friday, November 20, 2015

By Terry Gold Jewel Lip Kiss Palette - Holiday 2015

Above: Viktor and Rolf Flowerbomb (mini) and Truffle Privacy Clutch in Rose Gold

The most stunning lip palette I've ever seen arrived from Beautylish earlier this week and of course in the blink of an eye it sold out on their website. The By Terry Gold Jewel Lip Kiss Palette ($118) is quite the splurge but has all the right colors of red, coral and pink to give the perfect glam look this holiday season. It is a limited-edition piece, so once it's sold out, it's gone for good. At the time of this post, it's sold out on Beautylish, but you can still find it Barneys New York, Net-A-Porter and Space NK. If this is something you've been eyeing I suggest you act fast. Because it's too good to not share, I have swatches and photos of the palette. It is a pricey investment but incredibly stunning with high quality long-wearing lipstick colors and the glosses are ultra smooth and hydrating on the lips.

Before I get into the review, a quick note on other By Terry launches this season. She has released several gorgeous luxury pieces for holiday including the Gold Elixir Glacé ($225) an illuminating skin-enhancing and smoothing face product, Gold Baume de Rose Trio ($339) 3 shimmering light special-edition Baume de Rose pots of white, yellow, and rose gold shimmer and a Baume de Rose Parure ($31) shimmering Baume de Dose ornament. Do note they are all limited-edition. I have been really intrigued by the Gold Elixir Glacé but haven't been to a counter to test in person yet. I hope to check it out this weekend, fingers crossed that it is still in stock somewhere by then.

The Gold Jewel Lip Kiss Palette comes in a plum-brown pouch and a large rectangular mirrored compact. There is a double-sided lip brush in the compact which is actually usable and decent quality. Most lip palettes I've tried have brushes that are pretty much useless, so it was nice to see a good on in this kit. There are five high-pigment lipsticks and five lip lacquers that have a balmy feel. The lipsticks are creams while the lacquers have some shimmer.

The top row has lipsticks which are semi-matte in finish. They are super rich in pigment and have a bit of shine when you apply them, but they dry to a velvety finish. Still once dry they don't look like they are dry, they give the lips a nice healthy glow of color. Being super pigmented they do require precise application. I'm not the best at applying bright or dark lipsticks evenly, if you're like me you probably want to line and blend lipliner around the edge of your lips first. The colors do have a soft vanilla scent about the same strength as MAC and Tom Ford Lipsticks. It's noticeable but not strong and after a little bit the scent did fade.

The colors in the top row are lipsticks, shade descriptions from left to right:

Red with a blue-pink undertone
Bright blue-based pink
Bright red with a blue-base
Orange red that pulls very bright
Deep red with neutral-cool undertones

The glosses in the second row are sheer to medium in coverage. They feel ultra plush on the lips. The shimmery ones are smooth in finish. Colors from left to right:

Sheer light beige (goes on my lips clear)
Sheer jelly fushcia (goes on pretty much clear on my lips)
Bright coral red shimmer
Cool-toned pink with silver shimmer
Shimmering neutral beige-tan

Swatches on my Chanel Beige 30/40 skin, you may want to check out the swatches on Beauty Professor as well, she and I are almost identical in skintone, right now she's a bit more tan than I am, but we usually are around the same shades in foundations:

Two more views of the palette to try and show the difference in undertone for each of the reds, here is the palette without flash and in indoor light:

Palette in outdoor direct sun with flash:

Top row of lipsticks swatched on me:

Bottom row of glosses swatched:

One more shot below:

My overall assessment is that this is indeed a stunning palette, especially for the holiday season. I'm not usually a red-lip wearer but I have been incorporating more color into my daily makeup wear. The best thing about this palette is that it has a diverse range of reds with different undertones. Each lipstick color is distinct enough that you can see the difference between each shade. Having a palette allows you to mix the colors and layer them together to get different depths or shine with the gloss. Lasting power of the lipsticks is quite impressive. They do leave a stain on the lips so when I was swatching these, I was particularity happy to have some of the Bite Beauty Lip Wipes from the Discovery Set on hand.

Another pro is the reds go on exactly the same color you see in the compact. So many reds turn color on me which makes it so hard for me to find good reds (a lot turn fuchsia and look completely different on my lips compared to what I see in the tubes). The lipsticks in the By Terry Gold Jewel Lip Kit are true-to-pan.

I will say that my holy grail perfect red is still the Rouge Louboutin Silky Satin lipstick. There is something magical in that color that makes it perfect and I haven't found anything close in any other lipstick I've tried. A close second is the Marc Jacobs Le Marc Lip Creme in Miss Scarlet for a bold but true red.

All that being said, I will be getting a lot of use out of this palette with the events of the upcoming holiday season. The colors can be toned down if you blot lightly rather than apply with a brush or fingers. The gloss helps sheer out color as well. If you're a nude-neutral lip lover, check out my post on Rosy and Red Tinted Lip Balms that are more forgiving and have a more natural finish. One of my favorite red balms is from By Terry which is her Baume de Rose Nutri-Couleur in Bloom Berry.

Bottom line stunning. 

The By Terry Gold Jewel Lip Kiss Palette retails for $118. Currently available at Barneys New York, Net-A-Porter and Space NK. You may want to keep checking in at Beautylish too in case they restock it. Since it's limited-edition, I do suggest you track one down sooner than later so you don't miss out.

The By Terry lip palette was provided as a press sample for review consideration. 
All opinions my own.

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?

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?

Monday, September 28, 2015

NARS Pro Palettes

Earlier this month, NARS finally launched their first customizable palettes with inserts for eye and cheek products. They are called the NARS Pro Palettes and the palette themselves come in two sizes, Small ($14) and Large ($18). A select number of their colors are available for purchase as inserts in blush, highlighter, bronzer, contour duos, and eyeshadows (prices range from $18 to 30). I've been a long-time NARS fan and I've depotted some of my powders to put into other palettes. The rubberized casing sometimes gets ruined and sticky over time so the only way for me to keep using them is to depot. I've tried a number of methods and about half of the products became ruined (cracked, dented, burned, etc.) I am so so happy that NARS finally has launched these palettes. I have the small one to share today. Prices and options are as follows:
Both palettes come in a magnetic black case (not rubberized like the full-size packaging). The small one measures a little over 7 inches wide and a bit over 5.5 inches tall, depth is about 1/2 an inch.

Each insert comes in a clear sturdy plastic case:

Products are labeled on the back in case you mix them up, you will still be able to see what colors you use if you look on the back:

The base of the pan is magnetized so the pans adhere to the bottom. I tried several variations and found that there is plenty room around the pans which makes it easy to insert or remove without touching the edges. Since everything is magnetic - once they are set in the pan, the pans stay put.

A few variations I tried to show what fits where and in what combinations. Online at on the Build Your Own Pro Palette Section of you can customize your own palette by playing with the different colors to see what fits. The small one fits the powder blushes perfectly. The other items have a lot more room around them which I don't mind - it makes it easy to interchange the colors or move them around.

Swatches of the shades featured above: Miss Liberty, Angelika, Desire, Orgasm, Deep Throat, Torrid, Luster, Lovejoy and Laguna Bronzer

Eyeshadow duos in: All About Eve, Alhambra, Sugarland, Cordura, Kalahari

Here's a quick size comparison of the NARS Pro Palette in Small to that of a couple MAC Pro Palettes (Blush x6 customized by me and Nordstrom's Finest x15):

I'm overall beyond thrilled that NARS has released these palettes. Since they are designed for makeup artists, they're currently exclusive to NARS boutiques and The shade selection is limited but I really hope they will expand the color offerings soon. In the meantime I'm going to be ordering a few more base palettes and attempt to depot some of my current compacts as carefully as I can.

As a quick update, there was a mess-up with one of my NARS orders so I ended up with a few duplicates. Instead of returning them, I've decided to give them away! Entry details below in the widget (must be 18 years or older, USA or Canada residents only). I'm giving away 1 small palette with Orgasm, Torrid, Deep Throat, All About Eve, Kalahari, Alhambra and Cordura (all brand new), entries must be made via the widget below. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Have you looked into the NARS Pro Palettes yet? Or do you already depot your current compacts?

The NARS Pro Palette was provided courtesy of NARS for review consideration.


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