Sunday, September 30, 2012

Dior Holiday 2012: Grand Bal Swatches

Department store lighting makes me die a little inside, but this is the only way I can get you information as soon as I get it. Below are guerrilla swatches of Dior Grand Bal Collection for Holiday 2012. 

Palette Grand Bal Carnet de Maquillage ($85)

The star of the collection is the Grand Bal Palette, inspired by the dance cards held by 18th century young women to keep track of their dance partners. It includes an eyeshadow duo of platinum and gold, two glosses, and one black eyeliner. The eyeshadow is super pigmented and creamy (the photo above is just one swipe). Texturally, they feel like the new Estee Lauder shadows. The glosses are a shimmering warm pink and a pearl white. As you can see, they're both very sheer. I didn't manage to swatch the black eyeliner since the counter's tester was glued down. 

The eyeliner is supposed to slide through the rings and hold the palette closed. According to the press release, the palette is a "must-have for the modern party girl," but I feel like having that mechanism is going to be such a hassle for touch ups that it wouldn't be worth it.

5-Couleurs Eyeshadow in Fairy Golds ($59)

5-Couleurs Eyeshadow in Night Golds ($59)

The two eyeshadow palettes in Fairy Golds and Night Golds are Dior holiday staples. I recall similar offerings from the past couple of years. Both are pretty, but I suggest a quick stash inventory before you buy.

L-R: Rouge Diorific ($36) in Diva #038, Marilyn #040, Diorling #037, Lady #039

Diva is a coral-tinged red, Marilyn leans fuchsia, Diorling is a true red, while Lady is a comparatively sheerer, watermelon red.

L-R: Dior Addict Ultra-Gloss ($28) in Lame Gold #424, Ceremony Red #774

Lame Gold is a gold gloss with gold glitter. Ceremony Red is red with microshimmer.

All in all, pretty but predictable. I wish a brand would come up with a holiday collection that didn't involve red and gold. I mean, year after year, how many gold glosses do we really need? Especially when we know pretty much every brand in the department store beauty level will be coming out with one. I suppose it's safe from a brand's perspective, but as a consumer it's creatively unsatisfying.

I swatched the collection at the Dior counter at Saks Fifth Avenue New York. If you'd like to order yours now, you can contact them at 212.940.2181. Do tell them I sent you!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Paul & Joe Color Powder CS in Inseparables

I've revisited the Paul & Joe counter many times since I first wrote up their fall collection (link here), and it is a testament to my recent exercise in restraint that I caved for only one of the Color Powder CS, in Inseparables

Doesn't that swatch picture surprise you? When I first saw the color I didn't think I could pull it off at all. I thought it would turn out to be a light peach-apricot, but when combined the blush became coral. Not all corals look good on me, but this one does its job wonderfully.

Eyes: Suqqu Kakitsubata; Lips: RMS Beauty Lip2Cheek in Rapture

Inseparables is super pigmented. I suggest a light hand when picking up the color, otherwise you'll spend a lot of time blending it out on your cheeks. I can't reliably comment on wear time since I'm a serial face toucher, but from what I remember most of it stayed on throughout the day. 

For your own, contact Caroline or Alex at the Paul & Joe counter at Bergdorf Goodman. 212.872.8648. Paul & Joe is also available at Beauty Habit

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Chanel Notorious Sculpting Veil for Eyes and Cheeks, Worn

I repeat: it's a gray-taupe contour shade. Chanel didn't even give me a chance to hate it (swatches here).

As much as possible, I mirrored the makeup look in Chanel's Fall 2012 show. I pondered for a quick second how I was going to bling my brows, then gave up.

· Face: Le Métier de Beauté Peau Vierge #2 mixed with Burberry Fresh Glow Luminous Fluid Base, RMS Beauty Concealer #22
· Cheeks: Chanel Notorious Sculpting Veil for Eyes and Cheeks applied to hollows of the cheeks and jawline with Hakuhodo 210 (a firm contour brush), blended furiously. RMS Beauty Luminizer to highlight
· Brows: Shu Uemura Mechanical Eyebrow Pencil
· Eyes: Using Suqqu Eyeshadow Brush L (basically a big fluffy eyeshadow brush), I lightly dusted Notorious on the lid and winged it out. Le Métier de Beauté Anamorphic Mascara in Jade for natural-looking lashes
· Lips: Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in Boy

As you can imagine, the key to using Notorious as a blush is a light hand and a lot of blending (seriously, don't scrimp on the blending). So far, it seems many think using it will lead to zombie face, but I examined the hollows of my cheeks pre-contouring and it looks like a grayed version of my skin tone, which is why I thought it would be perfect. You can also pair it with a light blush to blend in with the gray so that it looks more "natural," but for this photo shoot I used only Notorious. 

To be honest, the blush is a breath of fresh air in the otherwise stale beauty market of late. I feel like a lot of brands have just been producing different versions of the same thing (e.g. liquid lipsticks, matte/velvet formulas), and while that has always been the norm, this year's slew of releases feels particularly uninspired. 

That said, I wouldn't recommend Notorious to beginners, just because it is really easy to overdo it. 

For purchase information, visit yesterday's post.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Chanel Notorious Sculpting Veil for Eyes and Cheeks Swatch

I've been lusting over Chanel Notorious Sculpting Veil for Eyes and Cheeks ever since I saw it on the runways last year. A gray-taupe contour color? You bet my grubby little manicured hands are all over it. I'll endeavor to have face shots by tomorrow, but I wanted to get swatches up as soon as possible in case you want one for yourself. After all, the last time Chanel debuted an interesting blush it sold out within the week.

You can layer it for a darker, smokier color (for eyes) or sheer it out to a soft gray-taupe as a contour. Before you think how can that possibly be on my cheeks, remember with natural contouring people are not supposed to know you did it, and that should be a guide on how much color you use. If you need additional help, Arianne from Glitter Geek just wrote a marvelous tutorial on natural contouring, complete with step-by-step pictorials. 

For your own, contact Alicia or Cindy at the Chanel counter at Saks Fifth Avenue New York. 212. 940. 2151

Sneak Peek: Burberry Lip Velvet Long Wear Lipstick Swatches

Guerrilla swatches of the new Burberry Lip Velvet Long Wear Lipsticks, below:

L-R: No. 306 Pink Amber, No. 305 Honey Suckle, No. 304 Redwood, No. 303 Antique Pink, No. 302 Peony Rose, No. 301 Pink Apricot 

L-R: No. 312 Hawthorne Berry, No. 311 Bright Poppy, No. 310 Military Red, No. 309 Fuchsia Pink, No. 308 Pink Azalea, No. 307 Rose Pink

I haven't made my purchase so I can't say for sure how they wear. I tried on Bright Poppy and Military Red in store and they both went on smooth and even. They didn't sap moisture from my lips (at least, in the twenty minutes I had them on) and I must say I am definitely intrigued. I've been wanting to invest in a good matte for some time, but haven't been able to settle on a formula. Military Red might come back with me by the end of this week.

These are now available at Saks Fifth Avenue New York. I would like to thank the wonderful folk at Burberry who allowed me to swatch up a storm at their counter. If you would like to speak to a Burberry specialist but don't have a counter near you, please give them a call at 212.940.2836, and tell them I sent you!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Before It's Gone: Suqqu Kakitsubata 01 Eyeshadow Quad

The word around the blogosphere (Drivel About FrivolThe Non-Blonde, and @GlossedTweets) is Suqqu has discontinued their 01-06 eyeshadow quads. Of those, I own Ginbudou 06 and Keshizumi 04 (seen here). Here is a look at Kakitsubata 01 before it's gone forever.

taking cues from Alexander Wang Fall 2012

Kakitsubata is the most "neutral" of the Suqqu palettes I own. It's made up of a fleshy peach, coppered brown, matte violet and matte ivory. The violet was splotchy in the swatch but performed well when used as a liner, which is its official purpose anyway. The rest of the quad are buttery smooth. 

I am weird with earthy tones because I actually find it very hard to wear brown. I think Kakitsubata works for me because it leans copper, and I stumbled upon the right shadow placement. When I place browns on my crease the look ends up muddy, so instead I blended it all over my brow bone and it looked much better. I love making new discoveries. Eyeshadow suddenly became much more fun.

Cheeks: Paul & Joe Color Powder CS Inseparables; Lips: RMS Beauty Lip2Cheek in Rapture

I suppose this post is dedicated to those lucky 'uns from London and Japan where Suqqu counters exist, as it is no longer stocked on for US folk. I do think the colors in this particular palette are easily dupe-able, and I was really excited about the look and wanted to share... Please don't throw your makeup brushes at me.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Lipstick Bandits: Nudes

What do we mean when we say nude? Is it the color of your lips, the concealer lip, or somewhere in between? It gets a little confusing when we use this term when everyone has their own definition (rendering it not a very good word since it confounds communication), but I suppose in the beauty blog world we have pictures to make up for that. 

The Bandit Collective didn't define nude for this assignment, so I will be interested to see how my fellow masked villainsfriends see it (links below, as usual). For me, nude is somewhere in between concealer and original lip color, so in my mind there are many shades of nudes. And because I never properly wrote about it (but used it in this post), here's Rouge Dior #314 Beige Angelique.

I screwed up the white balance on my camera so I look much more olive in my pictures. It's an interesting color on me, and I'm surprised I actually like looking so bronzed (after years of wanting to look lighter). The purpose of stating it is just so you know the below is not a product of excessive bronzing. 

Eyes: Chanel Prelude Eyeshadow Quad; Cheeks: LMdB Creme Fresh Tint in Tenne

Beige Angelique is a beige peach shade on me. Going by the tube, I would assume it wouldn't go well with my skin tone, but in real life it works. I do think that as far as nude peach shades go, Burberry Nude Peach looks better on me. 

We are missing a lot of comrades this time around, but please do still give Bloomin' Beauty, Call It Beauty, Makeup Morsels, and Rocaille Writes a visit!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Rouge Bunny Rouge Raw Silence

I finally found a way to do product photography with the new lighting! Oh, this is such a joy.

Today's post is really just an extension of the previous one, and a chance to profile one of those amazing reds we find from time to time. Rouge Bunny Rouge Color Burst Lipstick in Raw Silence is so unabashedly and delectably red it's almost criminal. The smooth, creamy formula makes it very comfortable to wear, but it's not so creamy that it slips and slides around the mouth. It was a no-brainer to pair this cool red with a crisp white shirt and pointed cat-eye.

On a side note, I always thought I had thin, fine hair because of the way it sticks to my head when it gets oily. Now I think I was just mistaken, or my recent hair routine is working, or my hair stylist is a genius. Either way, I'm now suddenly dealing with all this hair and I have no idea what to do with it. #beautybloggerproblem

Rouge Bunny Rouge products can be found on Zuneta (worldwide) and BeautyHabit (US residents). The color must be in high demand, because it's currently not listed on Zuneta and is backordered on BeautyHabit.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Clean Lines and Cat Eyes

Yes, I have to put that much for it to show up so little.

Lips: Le Métier de Beauté Dualistic Lip Pencil in Nudité; Contouring: Mistura 6-in-1 Beauty Solution*

I wish I could do a tutorial on this, but I'm really a beginner myself when it comes to drawing cat eyes. This one leans more toward the editorial spectrum rather than the more palatable everyday flick, but I really like it and would love to wear it out one day soon. 

I did finally learn how to find my favorite angle for the cat eye, which I've always struggled with. I just imagine an upward extension of my bottom lash line and stop at the invisible line where the tail of my eyebrow ends. I used Le Métier de Beauté Precision Liner in Noir to sketch out the line, then went over it with the black shade from Nouvelle Vague* for intensity. I couldn't find a nude lip color I liked from my drawer so I used their Nudité lip pencil, and was pleasantly surprised that the texture was creamy enough to hold its own. 

Products marked with * were provided by the company for editorial consideration

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Beauty PSA: Rescue Beauty Lounge Fan Collection 2.0

Just a short one to let you know that voting is now open for the Rescue Beauty Lounge Fan Collection 2.0. As always, I wish Ji could make all of them, but since time and resources are always in lack, we only get to pick two. I've narrowed my list down to five:

Finalist 1, "The color of grass kissed in dew."

Finalist 4, Red Rocks during sunset.

Finalist 6 (the picture of the fruit!!)

Finalist 7, whose inspiration board was too long to screen capture. Pink with hints of seafoam and gold shimmer.

and Finalist 12, because I cannot resist a good gray.

Voting is open internationally and ends September 19, 2012 at 12pm EST. Who will you be voting for?

All screenshots taken from the Rescue Beauty blog.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Chanel Prelude Eyeshadow Quad

Lips: Marcelle Jezebel; Cheeks: LMdB Creme Fresh Tint in Tenne

There isn't much to say about Chanel Prelude Eyeshadow Quad except it's an old favorite. My application has always been the same: lightest shade under brows and around inner corner, light taupe over eyelid, dark taupe in the crease blending to the edge of the outer corner, and dark brown as liner. I swipe a little of the dark brown mixed with the dark taupe on the bottom lashline to even the look out, and that's all there is to a simple smokey eye.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Dior's Four New Shades of Nudes

L-R: 115 Charnelle, 223 Trench, 413 Grege, Dune 715

The lighting makes these look a little darker than they really are, but hopefully you get the gist of how they look. They weren't in stock at the new Bergdorf Goodman counter, or I would have impulse purchased the lot. Charnelle is a milky pinkish beige, Trench is a light almost-taupe brown and my favorite, Grege is the closest to my skin tone, while Dune is a dark chocolate. For now, I think I'll be able to do without Charnelle and Dune, but no promises.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Marcelle Rouge Xpression Lipstick in Jezebel

Or more appropriately titled, "in which I finally become Canadian."

Sort of. The running joke among my beloved beauty blogger friends (inexplicably, many of whom are Canadian) is that I am already half one, and what more do I need than some of Canada's drugstore best to push me over the edge, or um, leap from the Niagara Falls and emerge the other side? I've heard great things about Marcelle, and now that I've tried it, I'm insanely jealous. This is their idea of a drugstore product?

Marcelle Rouge Xpression Lipstick in Jezebel was gifted to me by my dear friend Arianne of Glitter Geek when she visited New York a couple of weeks ago. Arianne knows me and my fondness for lilacs well, but what she didn't tell me was how luxurious the lipstick feels. It glides like smooth balm on the lips but it's super pigmented and the color stays in place. 

What's better: there was no trace of the plastic smell that I've come to associate with drugstore lipsticks. If I had to compare it, I'd say it's similar to Suqqu Creamy Glow Lipsticks, minus the rush of owning a luxury product. 

At only $12 apiece, the Marcelle Rouge Xpression Lipsticks offer you a rarity in beauty shopping: you don't have to think too hard about buying and it turns out to be such a worthy purchase. Arianne has swatched most of the Marcelle Rouge Xpression line, divided into neutrals and brights. In case you're interested in ordering, Marcelle is available to the US via their online store here.