Tuesday, December 27th, 2011

Chanel Blush Horizon de Chanel
Chanel Blush Horizon de Chanel

Chanel Spring 2012: Chanel Blush Horizon de Chanel

Chanel Blush Horizon de Chanel ($58.00 for 0.53 oz.) is a new and limited blush for springtime. It’s described as an “elegant highlighting face powder” with “subtle gradations of rose, coral, and peach.” Though Chanel says you can apply them on their own or applied together, you’ll tend to use at least a few strips at a time, as they are very skinny and won’t accommodate most blush brushes in just one of those little strips!

If you stay on the upper half, you’ll get a pinker look, and if you stay on the bottom half, you’ll get a peachier look. When you swirl, it’s a pink-coral with a peachy sheen. Tarina Tarantino Parasol is a more pigmented pink-coral. MAC Stunner doesn’t really have any coral to it, but it is similar to the upper portion of this blush. Chanel Pink Cloud is similar but less pink and subtler on. Benefit Bella Bamba is pinker but with a light hand, similar enough on.

At first glance, this was very reminiscent of Guerlain’s Blush G Serie Noire, and for the most part, it is. The strips in this product are much, much skinnier, so it’s difficult to focus on particular shades, but the shades of each strip are very similar to Blush G. Chanel’s doesn’t have the darker orange shade (which you’ll find at the top of Blush G), but everything else is similar, so the end result can be similar. If you tend to prefer a darker, more coral blush, then you’ll prefer the Blush G, since you have that darker orange shade to yield those results. Chanel’s is more of a pink-coral to pink-peach. The other major difference is Guerlain’s has a stronger golden sheen, while Chanel’s appears a bit softer. Blush G has more pigmentation overall, due to that darker orange shade, and Chanel’s is less intense. If you missed out on Blush G, this is a good substitute, though.

The texture is really nice–soft, smooth–and the finish looks lovely on the skin, as it’s luminous and glowy without being frosted or emphasizing pores or imperfections on the skin.  Given that it’s not supposed to deliver a lot of color, it’s true-to-form; it gives a subtle flush but tends to yield more luminosity.  I expect on fairer skin tones, you’ll see this as more of a blush and highlighter combination, while deeper skin tones will find it works mostly as a highlighter.  A nice bonus is–despite the high price tag–it’s a good value, because it’s over half an ounce of product (most blushes are between 0.15 to 0.30 oz.). On me, it wore for around seven hours and started to fade; it was noticeably faded after nine hours.

The Glossover

LE
product

Blush Horizon de Chanel

A
Given that it's not supposed to deliver a lot of color, it's true-to-form; it gives a subtle flush but tends to yield more luminosity.  I expect on fairer skin tones, you'll see this as more of a blush and highlighter combination, while deeper skin tones will find it works mostly as a highlighter.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Dupes
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Tuesday, December 27th, 2011

Chanel Eclosion Eyeshadow Quad
Chanel Eclosion Eyeshadow Quad

Chanel Spring 2012: Chanel Eclosion Eyeshadow Quad

Chanel Eclosion Eyeshadow Quad ($57.00 for 0.24 oz.) is described simply as having shades of “peach, gold, beige, and plum.”  It looks like it’s joining the permanent range, per Chanel’s press release.  This color palette should work across skin tones, both warm and cool, light to dark.

The upper left shade is a peachy-orange with a soft frosted finish. It’s not quite peach, but it’s not quite orange. I almost thought it was in the vein of corals but it doesn’t have enough pink in it. The pigmentation is rich, and the texture is buttery and dense, so it’s very soft and smooth. Dolce & Gabbana Jewels has a slightly similar shade, which appears more orange and less vibrant. Make Up For Ever #153 is the closest shade I could find, though it has a golden sheen.

The upper right shade is a pale ivory with yellowy gold sparkle. This is the frustrating shade I mentioned earlier; it is sheer, powdery, and the sparkle gets everywhere. I tried to use this on the inner third of my lid, and the majority of the shimmer landed underneath my eye, plus the sheerness made it look like virtually nothing was on my lid. MAC Carefree is similar but a little yellower in the base color and doesn’t have fall out issues. Make Up For Ever #101 has a stronger gold sheen instead of the gold sparkle.

The lower left shade is a medium-dark beige brown with a pearly sheen. It’s soft and smooth, and the color payoff is nice. Make Up For Ever #13 is more metallic and a bit darker. MAC Sweet Satisfaction is similar but seems warmer. MAC Grain is a touch lighter, while MAC Arena is a little darker.

The lower right shade is a reddened burgundy with red-brown undertones. The pigmentation is intense and opaque, while the texture is silky smooth. Make Up For Ever #17 is more metallic and browner. MAC Festive Delight is redder and lighter. MAC Cranberry is redder and lighter. Inglot #452 is more metallic but similar in color–just a touch lighter.

With the exception of one really frustrating shade to work with (more on that later!), I really enjoyed this quad. I think it’s fairly dupeable, though, so you may want to shop your own stash to see if you can recreate the color palette yourself. I can’t recommend something that has such a dud in it at this price point.

The Glossover

palette

Eclosion

B+
With the exception of one really frustrating shade to work with (more on that later!), I really enjoyed this quad. I think it's fairly dupeable, though, so you may want to shop your own stash to see if you can recreate the color palette yourself. I can't recommend something that has such a dud in it at this price point.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Tuesday, December 27th, 2011

Chanel April Le Vernis
Chanel April Le Vernis

Chanel Spring 2012: April Le Vernis

Chanel April Le Vernis ($25.00 for 0.40 fl. oz.) is a berry red cream that’s opaque in two coats. It’s a new shade for spring (and according to Chanel’s press release, it’s not limited edition!). The formula on this felt really lovely; it was thin without being streaky or watery, but it applied easily to the nail and evened out nicely.  I’ve had good luck with Chanel’s lacquers; they last about a week on me without chipping and just have minor tip wear.  It’s a darker shade that’s still lighthearted; it’s like the last few days of winter and the first few days of spring.

For whatever reason, creams always seem like they will be dupable, but so often, they really aren’t. Essie Size Matters is a much deeper, darker shade, that appears redder. Instead, Butter London Blowing Raspberries is the shade I have that is most similar, but it is a bit more berry–it is fairly close, though, and with the price difference, it may be more palatable. Zoya Sarah reminded me of April, too, but it is very shimmery and redder, so it is quite different.

The Glossover

P
product

April

A
The formula on this felt really lovely; it was thin without being streaky or watery, but it applied easily to the nail and evened out nicely.  I've had good luck with Chanel's lacquers; they last about a week on me without chipping and just have minor tip wear.  It's a darker shade that's still lighthearted; it's like the last few days of winter and the first few days of spring.

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Saturday, December 10th, 2011


Chanel Spring 2012 Makeup: Harmonie de Printemps

From the break of dawn to the descent of twilight, skies reveal an enchanting array of hues with the arrival of Spring. Inspired by this brilliant seasonal change, Peter Philips, Creative Director of Chanel Makeup, infused glowing, sunlit colour into the Spring 2012 Makeup Collection, HARMONIE DE PRINTEMPS. Subtle gradations of rose, coral and peach sculpt the face, giving it a soft radiance, while rich garnets and vivid pinks dress the lips.

Blush Horizon de Chanel / Glowing Blush Harmony ($58.00) (Limited Edition)

In one elegant compact, five pink and peach tones mimic the luminous hues of sunset. This unique powder blush lends itself to multiple effects: blended together, the harmony is ideal for sculpting and accentuating the natural contours of the face. Using just the pink shades creates a fresh, youthful flush, while on their own, the peach tones produce a warm, sun-bronzed glow.

Poudre Universelle Compact / Natural Finish Pressed Powder ($45.00) (Limited Edition)

  • Jasmine Luminous beige

Les 4 Ombres / Quadra Eyeshadow ($57.00)

  • Eclosion Peach, gold, beige, plum

Stylo Yeux Waterproof / Long Lasting Eyeliner ($29.00)

  • Garnet Garnet

Ombre Essentielle / Soft Touch Eyeshadow ($28.50)

  • Rose de Mai Pink
  • Tigerlily Golden orange

Rouge Coco / Hydrating Creme Lip Colour ($32.00)

  • Superstition Golden beige
  • Paradis Pink coral
  • Charme Pink
  • Destinee Plum

Rouge Coco Shine / Hydrating Sheer Lipshine ($32.00)

  • Candeur Pastel pink
  • Flirt Soft coral

Levres Scintillantes / Glossimer ($28.50)

  • Petillant Golden beige
  • Bonbon Soft pink
  • Bagatelle Pink

Le Crayon Levres / Precision Lip Definer ($29.00)

  • Rose Corail Pink coral
  • Bois de Rose Rosewood

Rouge Double Intensite / Ultra Wear Lip Colour ($34.00)

  • Rose Topaz Rosewood (U.S. Exclusive)

Rouge Coco Baume / Hydrating Conditioning Lip Balm ($32.00)

This moisture-rich lip balm combines ultra-conditioning benefits with a sumptuous, high-gloss finish. ROUGE COCO BAUME Hydrating Conditioning Lip Balm boasts an advanced Hydratendre Complex, which hydrates and softens lips, for a healthier and fuller appearance. Its sheer, lustrous texture glides on smoothly, leaving lips beautifully aglow.

Le Vernis / Nail Colour ($25.00)

  • June Pastel apricot (Limited Edition)
  • May Intense pink
  • April Garnet

availability: January 2012

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Tuesday, December 6th, 2011

By Aleta, Fragrance Contributor

Aleta is the associate editor of a national history magazine (World War II), and an unapologetic fragrance nerd. Growing up on a farm west of Portland, Oregon, she spent many summer nights attempting to make perfume by soaking flowers in cups of water (if only her mother had let her use the vodka). Her most prized possessions include a bottle of French cologne brought home by an American GI after World War II (L’Ardent Nuit by Cotay), a signed copy of Perfume: The Guide, and a handwritten “enjoy your purchase” note from perfumer Mandy Aftel. Other obsessions include lipstick, Pellegrino, Adirondack chairs, and yoga. You can find her at worldwarII.com.


Scents for the Holidays

My first college holiday season was…brief. November and December went by in a blur of studying, social events (okay dorm parties), and finals. My dad and I had to stop at the grocery store after he picked me up for winter break, and I realized that the campus bubble had utterly shielded me from the season–the music, the decorations, the food. Lesson learned: when you leave the nest, you either get yourself in the holiday spirit or it will pass you by.

One of the easiest ways I’ve found to fell merry and bright this time of year is to–you guessed it–surrounding myself with nostalgic, festive fragrances. Bonus: the fragrance notes we often associate with the winter holidays are ones that play nicely with big family meals and intimate social gatherings, times when everyone would rather smell the turkey, fresh-baked gingerbread, or their glass of Riesling rather than someone’s boldfaced eau. Here are some of my favorite fragrances for the season, most of which are available as dry skin-soothing lotions, pick-me-up cleansers, and candles:

Years of making orange pomanders has left me with a serious citrus fixation every December. My favorite is Fresh Hesperides ($32.00) it balances the effervescence of grapefruit peel with a dose of sugar. Aftelier Candide ($45.00) is also gorgeous, tempering its zesty orange notes with a kick of pepper. Pacifica Blood Orange ($22.00) is perfect for purists, plus the brand is widely available and an absolute steal .

Evergreens feature prominently in Western holiday traditions; Yankee Candles fill in for the Douglass firs I grew up with, particularly Christmas Tree. Holiday Bayberry smells like the fresh-from-the-attic decorations did when I was growing up. It’s a hard note to wear on the skin, but Pacifica’s Avalon Juniper ($22.00) is beautiful. The resinous juniper is perfectly balanced with juicy grapefruit, simultaneously warm and fresh. Those who grew up in warmer climates may resonate more closely with Chanel Sycomore ($110.00), it’s a gorgeous balance between sap and smoke–meant for men, I think, but gorgeous on anyone, anytime.

Vanilla and spice abound during winter, and there are too many fragrance iterations to count. Personally, I like something just a touch inedible, like Guerlain’s L’Heure Bleu ($71.00). It has recently been reformulated, but I never smelled its previous iteration, so I am unabashedly smitten with the bottle I purchased this November. If you grew up with anise and almond extract in your holiday cookies, this one’s for you–especially if you went through a rebellious stage involving countless sticks of Nag Champa ($71.00) incense. Many also love Guerlain’s Shalimar ($55.00) and its many vanilla-spice offspring, though it’s not one that grabs me. You also can’t go wrong with Bath & Body Works Warm Vanilla Sugar ($5.00), a gorgeous vanilla bean tempered with Basmati rice water and cinnamon. Spice lovers: try Pacifica’s clove-laden Madagascar Spice ($22.00).

Sometimes the brightest holiday memories attach themselves to a non-holiday scent. For me, it’s Victor & Rolf Flowerbomb ($100.00). Each year my parents would skip the Macy’s line for Santa and take me to Nordstrom to see Father Christmas. And in my mind, nothing conjures Nordstrom like Flowerbomb.

What scents keep you warm during these darkest months of the year? And for those who grew up in a non-western culture, I’d love to hear about the scents that speak to you during November and December!

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011


Holiday Gift Guide: Must-Have Beauty Products for Lips

One of the things I am most thankful for is that by becoming a beauty blogger and having the opportunity to try so may different products is that it’s opened up my eyes to how many fantastic brands and formulas there are. Not every brand does everything perfectly, and there are a lot of great formulas that are just varying degrees of great. Picking a favorite really comes down to a less quantifiable factor, I think. It might be the color range, packaging, scent, or the overall feel. These are all lip products I personally recommend from brands’ permanent ranges.

Lip Balms/Treatments

  • Kiehl’s #1 Lip Balm ($7.00) is nice for those who prefer a thinner balm with no shine. It’s very, very slick and thin on the lips, but it does a good job at moisturizing.
  • Jack Black Lip Therapy Lip Balm ($7.50) is my all-time favorite lip balm, and I have them all over the house–at my desk, purse, pocket, nightstand–and a stock pile of them in reserve. So, so hydrating and comfortable to wear. My favorite flavor is Lemon & Chamomile, with Original as a runner-up.
  • Philosophy Lip Shines ($10.00) are kind of a balm, kind of a lip balm; because they tend to run so sheer and have the thicker feel of a balm, I’m going to go with it as a lip balm! I like that they’re fragranced with Philosophy’s signature scents plus have some shimmer and shine.
  • Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment ($22.50) is a decadent balm that works well but wears away quickly–I like the product, not so much the price tag and how quickly it finishes, though! They do have tinted versions, though, and they’re some of the better lip stains because they’re more hydrating, but they are prone to uneven fading.
  • Sara Happ The Lip Scrub ($24.00) is my favorite lip scrub, because it holds together well, exfoliates lips, and leaves them feeling soft and moisturized.
  • Guerlain Terracotta Baume Au Couer Lip Balm ($30.00) is tinted and feels like butter on lips; it wears for a few hours before disappearing, but it’s moisturizing the entire time.
  • La Mer The Lip Balm ($45.00) is probably the priciest lip balm I’ve ever used, but it really does work well. It hydrates lips while still wearing well (you won’t have to reapply every hour).

Lipsticks

  • CoverGirl Lip Perfection ($6.99) is really rich in color, glides on easily, and wears for hours. The downside is the scent, so if you’re super sensitive to smells, you might look elsewhere, but these perform well overall.
  • Maybelline ColorSensational Lipsticks ($8.29) is a good go-to for a more affordable lipstick brand, and of course, like other drugstore brands, you can catch it on sale for much less than $8 a pop. I find the creamier shades are the best!
  • MAC Lipsticks ($14.50) straddle that price point that doesn’t quite break the bank, feels a little more high-end than some drugstore brands, and is an all-around good formula. Their range is one of the most extensive that I know of, and with that, does come some inconsistency–not every single shade is as great as the last, but they do have several favorites. Some of these include Angel, Russian Red, Girl About Town, Crosswires, Sweetie, Cosmo, Plumful, and Media–just to scratch the surface.
  • Korres Mango Butter Lipsticks ($18.00) are lightweight, comfortable to wear, and come with a fairly glossy finish and semi-sheer color. Shades like Natural Pink and Natural Purple are really easy to wear.
  • Bobbi Brown Rich Lip Colors ($23.00) are long-wearing, opaque, and comfortable to wear. For cooler skin tones, try Bare Pink, Cosmic Raspberry, and Mod Pink. For warmer skin tones, try Cosmic Raspberry, Soft Coral, and Sweet Nectar.
  • Giorgio Armani Rouge d’Armani Lipsticks ($30.00) are creamy, moisturizing, and long-wearing while delivering good color coverage in over forty different shades. Shades like #400, 402, 501, and 506 are really easy to wear on most skin tones.
  • Hourglass Femme Rouge Velvet Creme Lipsticks ($30.00) are rich in color and long on wear. For cooler complexions, I think shades like Ballet, Edition, and Fresco would work. For warmer complexions, try Edition, Muse, and Whisper.
  • Dior Rouge Dior Lip Colors ($32.00) is long-wearing and moisturizing with a wide range of shades. For warmer complexions, I recommend shades like Pink Songe, Andalouse, and Red Muse. For cooler complexions, I recommend Pink Caprice, Devilish Pink, and Daisy Plum.
  • Guerlain Rouge Automatique Lipsticks ($35.00) come really close to the Rouge G formula, but they are slightly less creamy, sometimes less opaque, and a smidgen less hydrating. They are really close but there is a noticeable difference on lips. I still really love the formula, though! For cooler complexions, I recommend Samsara, Cherry Blossom, and Champs Elysees. For warmer complexions, I recommend Violette de Mad, Rouge d’Enfer, and Coque d’Or.
  • Guerlain Rouge G Lipsticks ($47.00) is my all-time favorite lipstick formula, because it’s long-wearing, opaque, moisturizing, and the color range is really nuanced. For cooler complexions, I like Galia, Greta, Gabrielle, and Grenade. For warmer complexions, I like Galante, Gala, Gipsy, and Ginger.
  • Cle de Peau Beaute Extra Silky Lipstick ($52.00) feels like glossy silk on the lips; it’s super moisturizing and has a glossy shine. It wears well on me, too, despite how creamy it is. The shade range is really wearable and mostly universal, too.
  • Cle de Peau Beaute Extra Rich Lipstick ($60.00) is a decadent formula that’s rich in color, comfortable to wear, long-wearing, and has a formula that helps to plump and fill lip lines giving lips a smoother look. It’s totally over the top, but it’s an excellent formula, so you’re not just paying for brand name/packaging here.

Lipglosses

  • Revlon Super Lustrous Lipglosses ($6.99) is a budget-friendly shimmery gloss that’s mostly sheer but delivers a fair amount of sparkle and dazzle. Like other sheer formulas, the range should work across skin tones.
  • Korres Cherry Oil Lipglosses ($17.00) are hydrating and comfortable tow ear, and about half the range delivers richer color, while others are sheerer (and are described as such). My favorites are #52, #52, and #22.
  • Make Up For Ever Lab Shine Lipglosses ($18.00) is a really wide range of glosses with three different finishes. I really like how Make Up For Ever has expansive color options for most of their products, and the lipgloss range is no exception.
  • Illamasqua Intense Lipglosses ($20.00) are a total must if you or someone you know loves opaque lipglosses–these are really rich in pigment, comfortable wear, long-wearing, and have a beautiful glossy shine. I recommend virtually all of them, but a few of my favorites are Belladonna, Hermetic, and Move.
  • Bobbi Brown High Shimmer Lipglosses ($23.00) are a new favorite for me; they’re very reminiscent of Chanel Glossimers but more affordable. Sheerer color with lots of dazzling sparkle! Because they’re on the sheerer side, the shade range is fairly universal.
  • Hourglass Extreme Sheen High Shine Lipglosses ($28.00) are super slick, comfortable to wear, and moisturizing. Some shades are sheer, some are more pigmented. Shades like Siren are beautiful and opaque with a really interesting metallic finish. Fortune is a great shade for everyone because it’s sheer and peachy-pink.
  • Giorgio Armani Gloss d’Armanis ($28.00) may not be as long-wearing as the brand claims, but a gloss that wears six hours without drying lips out while delivering good color coverage is rare. I really love this formula, despite the shortfall in wear (relative to their claim). I love shades like #401, 402, 404, and 505.
  • Chanel Glossimers ($28.50) are a classic gloss for someone who loves lots of shimmer and glossiness. These took me awhile to appreciate, but they really do shine and sparkle. These days, most shades are sheer, so they should flatter the full spectrum of skin tones. I really like shades such as Aurore, Coral Love, Futile, Meteore, Spark, and Sundress.
  • Le Metier de Beaute Lip Cremes ($36.00) are extremely creamy, non-sticky, and hydrating. It was one of my first high-end glosses (and probably high-end purchases in general)–who knew that $36 would become “normal” to me one day–and I absolutely love shades like Fraise Creme, Framboise Creme, and Papaye Creme.
  • Cle de Peau Beaute Lipglosses ($48.00) wear longer than the average gloss, have a great shimmer and shine, and are moisturizing. May I recommend #2? It’s a total staple for me.

What are your favorite permanent lip products?