Saturday, June 30, 2012

Paul and Joe Summer 2012

I spent a couple of days (quite literally) in Bergdorf's this past week and in addition to my usual haunt, I stopped by the Paul and Joe counter. While my restraint is performing admirably and I walked away without anything, I thought you might benefit from some guerilla swatching of part of their fairy tail-y summer collection (I left out the nail polish and shimmering body lotion).

Shimmering Pressed Powder G Midsummer Nights

This picture does not even begin to capture the shimmer and glitter you get from a swipe of the Midsummer Nights Shimmering Pressed Powder. It's not my cup of tea, but if I liked glitter I would absolutely love this. It's by no means subtle, so I think it'll be great for nights out when you want your highlighter to truly shine. The best thing about this is the packaging is refillable with a regular pressed powder when you're done with it (and while I wasn't able to snap a photo of the packaging, Temptalia has me covered).

L-R: Face Color G in Nymph 001, Nubile 002, and Faune 003

L-R: Nymph 001, Nubile 002, Faune 003

Nymph is a light cool pink, Nubile a muted peach, and Faune a shimmery brick rose. Out of the three, Faune is my favorite because it is the most pigmented and I don't think I have anything like that in my stash. Nubile feels more like a highlighter because it's so sheer, and Nymph barely shows up at all. I had to layer it five times in the above swatch. Caroline, one of the Paul and Joe SAs in Bergdorf's, told me she liked layering the blushes over each other. She applied Faune on my cheeks then dusted Nubile on top, which resulted in a really beautiful flush. 

Top-Bottom: Lip Gloss G in Love Potion, Dream A Little Dream, and Fairie Kisses

L-R: Love Potion, Fairie Kisses, Dream A Little Dream

I raised a brow when Caroline told me these lip glosses were flavored because I felt it was too cutesy for someone who was no longer 11 years old. Then Child Xiao shook her head at the Grown-Up Skeptic Xiao for not actually relishing that there are flavored lip glosses being sold at Bergdorf Goodman, and asked to try on Fairie Kisses. While it is lime colored in the tube, on the lips it just softens the base lip shade and adds a little sparkle. Fairie Kisses was very comfortable to wear, and tastes like (yummy) green apple. Love Potion is strawberry flavored, while Dream A Little Dream is peach. 

My inner child is extremely happy, thank you very much.

The emory boards are not part of the summer collection. I just thought they were super cute. Cats and fishes, teehee! The patterned pouch I used as the background is a GWP, though I'm not sure how much you'll have to spend for that.

The Face Color G retails for $24 each, Lip Gloss G is $22 each, and Shimmering Powder is $40. The Paul and Joe counter at Bergdorf's has two of the nicest SAs Caroline Louw and Alex Runciman, and you can reach them at 212.872.8648 or 212.872.2759. 

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Sneak Peek: Chanel Fall 2012

After a week of waiting for Chanel Fall to be released on, I gave up and headed toward Neiman Marcus instead. I'm not usually loyal to a particular medium of purchase, but I really want to have a look at Brumes d'Or and the online site is the only way I have access to the product (and I'm trying to get to $100 for free shipping). They're usually so much better about releasing collections online, so color me perplexed that it's taking them this long. 

Chanel Nail Vernis in Vertigo 563 and Frenzy 559

I only swatched Vertigo and Frenzy because I wasn't interested in another fuchsia berry (Suspicion) from Chanel, and once on my finger, I also lost interest in these two. While nice, I was hoping for microshimmer in the polishes because that's when Chanel truly shines, and in keeping with my new resolution to pare down, I'm trying to ignore my grabby hands impulse and stop settling for just "nice."

Chanel Extrait de Gloss Troublant, Lumière d'Artifices Beiges, Joues Contraste Rose Initiale

The only thing I know I really want from this collection right now is the Extrait de Gloss in Troublant, a plummy rose with hints of brown that looks like the fall edition of my lips, as in if my lips (naturally) changed colors with the seasons it will look like that. I was most excited to see Lumière d'Artifices Beiges and Joues Contraste Rose Initiale, but so far my response to them is lukewarm. They reminded me of shades from the Le Metier de Beaute Blush Kit.

I compared the 3rd shade of the Blush Kit to Lumiere d'Artifices and found that the former more gold and shimmery. Rose Initiale is similar to a mix of the 2nd and 4th shade of the Blush Kit. That said, since they're not complete dupes I'm still considering the Chanel pieces.

As usual, Sabrina of The Beauty Look Book is on point with her Chanel coverage, so head on over to her blog for her thoughts and comparisons.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Rescue Beauty Lounge Georgia On My Mind Collection: Santa Fe Road and Abiquiu

Just as I was about to throw down the towel and declare a beauty rut, a package arrives on my doorstep to remind me that not every company is bound by "colors of the season." Many of the varied counters in department stores are owned by the same parent company, and the products of the season tend to have the same vibe, so trips to the beauty floor quickly become stale. Ji from Rescue Beauty Lounge works on her own, (dare I say) unpolluted by outside influences. She picks an inspiration and charges on with it, and I absolutely love her for doing so. Her most recent collection is inspired by the artist Georgia O'Keeffe (Ji describes the entire creation process in this blog post). 

Ram's Head White Hollyhock and Little Hills, 1935

There are seven luxurious shades to choose from in the collection, and I purchased all of them (I've gotten into the habit of acquiring full RBL collections during pre-orders). For today, however, I'll show you my two favorites: Abiquiu and Santa Fe Road. Abiquiu is lime green with silver microshimmer, while Santa Fe Road is an apricot orange that sports a denser microshimmer.

direct sunlight


A close-up of the microshimmer in Santa Fe Road:

Both polishes apply flawlessly and could very easily be one-coaters. They are $20 each.

Ji just finished shipping out pre-orders and will release the collection to the public soon. The best way to get latest updates on Rescue Beauty Lounge is to follow the brand on their Facebook or Twitter.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Friday, June 22, 2012

Le Métier de Beauté Pallid Incandescents, a Dustin Lujan Exclusive

I've had to keep the lid on this story for over a week but finally the embargo has lifted! Here's the scoop on the latest Dustin Lujan exclusive eye kit for Le Métier de Beauté, Pallid Incandescents. When Dustin told me he was going to tackle a pastel eye palette, I whooped with joy. Pastel textures are notoriously fiddly, so the idea of having them in one of the best eye shadow formulas in the market was worth the embarrassment of a skipping Xiao down 8th Avenue (true story. I'm dramatic about makeup like that).

The palette is Dustin's way of playing with light. Here is an excerpt from the press release:
A collection of fun summer hues inspired by the complexity of light – soft resplendent hues of nature, such as crepuscular rays to something as whimsical as a sunset, then moving into the night with the vivid electric shock of neon bulbs and glowing street lights. This is truly a look for pastel days and neon nights. Whether it be out and about as a gleaming goddess or an ethereal vixen prowling the night, the pastel tones are perfect to bring light into the eyes as the colors intermix and illuminate the face.
When I swatched and layered it for the first time, I remarked that it was like he was trying to capture the twinkling reflection of a shimmering pond. 

In-store lighting

Natural lighting

Clockwise: Top to Bottom

L-R: Bottom to Top

The names of the colors: 
  • Flush – a matte buttery pink 
  • Lambent – a shimmery turquoise
  • Refulgent – a matte coral
  • Ultraviolet – a shimmery lilac

In the pictures below, I applied the palette in the company's couches de couleurs style, layering the kaleidoscope from top to bottom. I lined the bottom of the eye with the lilac shade, while focusing the green shade closer to the waterline.

Dustin originally wanted to pair Pallid Incandescents with the Bleu or Aqua Precision Liquid Liner, but I didn't own either so as a concession, I lined my eyes with Noir and patted the green shade over it. The result was (surprisingly) a glowy forest green.

Lips: Dior Plaza

When crafting this palette, Dustin wanted to create four great shades that can be used together or alone. Thus, you could apply Pallid Incandescents couches de couleurs from top to bottom as I did, or in reverse for a more vivid look, or be mindful about color placement and apply it the "traditional" way – matte pink in inner corners, green all over lid, coral in outer v, and the lilac as the accent shade patted in the center of the lid. Dustin told me in one of his test looks, he applied the palette over a black base of Noir Precision Liquid Liner to make the colors pop, which I can't wait to try on myself. 

For daytime, Dustin suggests pairing Pallid Incandescents with the Blush Kaleidoscope and Palm Springs Lipstick topped with Crème Caramel. For night, pair it with Radiance Powder Rouge in Fresh  and vamp up the look with Uma Paro Lipstick topped with Hibiskiss Sheer Brilliance Lip Gloss. The model in the promo photo is wearing the night look.

Le Métier de Beauté Pallid Incandescents retails for $95 and will be available first week of July exclusively at Bergdorf Goodman. Last I heard, there will only be a hundred units produced. I'm sure Dustin is taking pre-orders, so call him at 212.872.8612 and let him know I sent you!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Nude Pink Lips, Concoction Style

A few days ago, I was feeling particularly uninspired by the selection of pinks in my stash. It seems like there aren't very many nude pinks in there, and I needed one, just because sometimes a girl needs an amazing nude pink shade.

I found a couple by mixing and layering new and old favorites:

Dior Addict Extremes are actually super pigmented, and leaves quite a stain when I blot it off. For the above, I simply added a layer of Nude Peach (helps that the Lip Mist formula is sheer) over the blotted Plaza and I got myself a nude pink!

 Mixed Le Métier de Beauté Lip Crèmes in Purple Haze, Two Lips, Crème Caramel, and Sweet Crème 

One day soon I will show you my entire lip crème stash and you will understand why I constantly feel the urge to mesh them together. I described this concoction as a pink with just a little peach and iridescent shimmer.

And because this photo set is particularly cheekbone-y...

Happy Hump Day, everyone! Here's to a fantastic next half of the week.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Epic Brush Post, Part II: Cheek Brushes

This is part two of my ongoing brush series. The first can be found here.

The misconception I mentioned in my face brush post seems to be most commonly applied to cheek brushes. Generally, the softer a brush is, the more pliable it becomes, but since blush application should be targeted, anything too pliable causes loss of control. The thing is, I'm not necessarily sacrificing softness for firmer bristles. Everything I own feels really good on the skin. 

L-R: Hakuhodo 210 Blush Brush, LMdB Cheek Brush, Shu Uemura 20H

The Hakuhodo 210 is a cheek brush with a rounded head perfect for contouring. Its bristles are firm (but not bristly!) and it does a great job of maintaining its shape, which is crucial when what you need is extremely targeted application.

I have five other blush brushes, but each plays its own role in my collection. The Le Métier de Beauté Cheek Brush and Shu Uemura 20 are work horses. They are the ones I'll bring on travels if I could only have one cheek brush. They feature the standard shape (LMdB's is wider, Shu's more tapered) and work with a large variety of textures. I would repurchase both in a heartbeat if I ever lost either.

The Shu Uemura 20H is known as a contouring brush, but I don't really use it for that purpose. To me, it lacks the firmness and density to produce a proper contour. That said, if you want an all-purpose cheek brush, this is it. I like it because something about the shape makes applying blush really, really easy.

L-R: Shu Uemura 20, Yojiya Cheek Brush, Suqqu Cheek Brush

The Yojiya Cheek Brush is one of my softest cheek brushes. I use it for particularly pigmented blushes because it blends them out most effectively.

I'd say the only "dud" I have in here is the Suqqu Cheek Brush. The brush head is too small and feels too soft to be functional as a cheek brush for me, but I couldn't part from it because like its face counterpart, it is so soft. I usually use it with finishing powder to set my makeup.

The Hakuhodo 210 Blush Brush ($36) can be found at hakuhodousa.comLe Métier de Beauté Cheek Brush ($55) at any Neiman Marcus store, or, Shu Uemura 20 and 20H (both $50) at, and Suqqu Cheek Brush at (though highly marked up). Yojiya products are only available in Kyoto and select airports in Japan.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Burberry Lip Mist in Nude Peach No. 212

Arianne the Glitter Geek dubbed the above the "deer in headlights" look, which is both hilarious and wildly accurate, and I love her for eschewing her usual gorgeous smiling face and trying it out in one of her posts. I keep telling her that I look like a total goofball when I smile (I have proof!), which is why I have to do it the dead fish way, but I suppose it doesn't matter when we're all having fun. Have I mentioned how much I love my blog/twitter friends?

On to a more relevant topic, I found a peach-ish lipstick I could wear! (After I wrote this sentence, I was surprised to find out that I actually had a "peach" category and it had a whopping four listings in it.) I found it at the Burberry counter while I was browsing their Iconic Nudes summer collection (click here for comprehensive swatches on The Beauty Look Book). I was originally vying for Field Rose or Nude Honey but both were already sold out, and though I pouted like a child whose candy was out of reach, I decided I might as well try Nude Peach

First, the formula: Burberry Lip Mists are the sheer counterparts to Lip Covers, which I prefer because of late I've been all about sheer, lightweight lipsticks. In this relatively new market (Rouge d'Armani Sheer, Dior Addict Extreme, Guerlain Shine Automatique etc.), Burberry holds it own. I like the formula so much that I am ready to ignore a horrible first impression (my first ever Lip Mist melted at the base, and so did its replacement. The Burberry folk at Saks refunded me immediately though) and the heavy, heavy fragrance that comes with it. 

Now, I've never been able to pull off peach. I realized for anything yellow to work on me, it will either have to be entirely and undeniable yellow, or so little of it as to be negligible. Since peach is pale yellow-orange, peach has been a no-no for most of my life. 

Cheeks: Tarte Exposed

I fully believe it's the "nude" part of Nude Peach that makes it work, and it seems to work with everything. In the above pictures, I paired it with a confection of pastels on the eye. Today, I'm wearing it with a pink/khaki eye (using Le Métier de Beauté Bora Bora palette and Chameleon eyeshadow). I've been wanting to emulate the smokey brown looks from Burberry ads, and I'm positive Nude Peach will fit splendidly into that picture.

Burberry Lip Mist in Nude Peach No. 212 retails for $30 and can be found at Saks New York, select Nordstroms, or the Burberry web store.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Dior Addict Extreme Lipstick in 476 Plaza

Is anyone else experiencing a terribly cold summer? Because I'm shivering in the middle of June and that isn't right. 

That said, today was brilliant. I finished sending all the invoices for the blog sale (if you're supposed to receive an invoice from me but haven't, please email me!), shampoo-ed my hair after five days (trying out the "no shampoo" thing for what must be the fifth time and it seems like it's finally working) and had great, swishy hair afterward – I maintain that having good hair is tantamount to having a good day – and then I played with makeup for the sole purpose of having fun with it, and found a bunch of perfect pink/nude lip combinations. 

I will share those in the coming weeks, but for today, I give Kate Moss a run for her money (I wish). 

I used Dior Addict Extreme Lipstick in 476 Plaza, which incidentally might be the lipstick dupe to Le Métier de Beauté Mum's The Word.

Cheeks: Tarte Exposed

When I tried the Dior Addict Extreme Lipsticks the first time, for some reason I wasn't all the impressed and skipped it. Now that I gave it another swipe, I can't for the life of me remember why. The lipstick goes on like a gloss without the hassle of a gloss. It's moisturizing, comfortable, and just look at that shade! 

I realized I take a little time to warm up to Dior (remember how I felt about the nail polish brush, which is now my favorite thing ever?), but when I do I fall hard. For some reason I don't immediately think of Dior when I think of makeup, but it's actually one of my favorite brands for color.

Dior Addict Extreme Lipstick in 476 Plaza retails for $30 and should be available at most major department stores and Sephora locations.