Thursday, December 1st, 2011


Anselm Reyle for Dior Collection for Spring 2012

Christian Dior once worked as a gallerist and kept art close to his heart throughout his career as a visionary couturier. In tribute to this history, Dior has collaborated with German artist Anselm Reyle to create the limited edition Anselm Reyle for Dior Eyeshadow Palette ($110.00). This striking palette features a camouflage pattern in shades of silver, grey, charcoal and violet. In addition, there will be five limited edition Reyle-inspired shades of Dior Vernis ($23.00 each) available: Ultra Violet, Pink Graffiti, Electric Blue, Metallic Silver and Untitled Black.

Anselm Reyle was born in Tübingen, Germany in 1970 and currently lives and works in Berlin. Reyle’s stripe paintings are instantly recognizable as responses to the formalist vocabulary of Clement Greenberg that defined the art of the 1950s and 1960s. Reyle references iconic abstractionists ranging from Kenneth Noland to Otto Freundlich. Reyle’s “objets trouvés,” a reference to his multi-media installations that include sculpture and found neon lights, are in constant dialogue about the role of modernism today. He is one of few contemporary German painters examining the lessons of abstraction and their place in contemporary painting at a moment when figurative painting has gained critical momentum.

The palette and Vernis shades are part of a larger Anselm Reyle accessories collection—featuring bags, shoes, and jewelry—which will launch worldwide as well in January. Reyle immersed himself in the heart of Dior and was given cart blanche in the design process. He played with colors, shaking up the codes of the mythical Avenue Montaigne Couture House, which offered all its savoir-faire to serve its imagination.

“Most of my work builds on object that already exist, which I then transform. I applied the same philosophy.” — Anselm Reyle

availability: January 2012 at Saks Fifth Avenue and Dior.com. It will also be available at Dior Boutique Art Basel.

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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?

Monday, November 21st, 2011


Holiday Gift Guide: The Best of Holiday Color

As promised, here is the next installment of our most comprehensive gift guide to-date! This post features my top picks from various holiday color collections that have launched this year.  There are a few more holiday shades I haven’t reviewed or swatched, so there might be a few more of my favorites to come.

Eyes

Cheeks/Face

  • NARS Miss Liberty ($27) gives cheeks a really glistening glow, very apropos for the holidays.
  • Guerlain Parure de Nuit ($67) is the one product I’d recommend above all others for the holidays, and I say that because it’s a product I keep reaching for (to the point that I had to forcibly remove it from my reach).

Lips

  • MAC What Joy! ($15.50) is a berry-red with subtle micro-shimmer and healthy shine with good color coverage.
  • Illamasqua Belladonna ($20) is a fierce magenta pink with opaque color and lots of shine.
  • Bobbi Brown Party Alice ($24) — super pretty pink-coral, perhaps not seasonally appropriate but divine anyway.
  • NARS Joyous Red ($24) is a muted orange-red that’s workable on cool and warm-toned skin.
  • Chanel Triomphal ($32) is a pinky-red with great vibrancy and glossy shine; and Chanel Empire is perfect for those who love a brighter pink with yellow undertones.
  • Dior’s holiday lip colors ($32 each) were my surprise hit for lips this season–they’re so pretty on and wear well.

Nails

  • China Glaze Let It Snow ($3-4 each) is a perfectly festive set of twelve polishes, and all of them are available individually, so you can pick your particular poison.
  • Zoya Gems & Jewels ($8 each) is short and sweet with beautiful shimmers and extra-fun glitters (because they’re horizontal!).
  • Dior Merveille is a festive orange-red with golden shimmer that will work well on warmer skin tones.
Thursday, November 17th, 2011

Dior Versailles Rouge Dior Lip Color
Dior Versailles Rouge Dior Lip Color

Dior Versailles Rouge Dior Lip Color

Dior Versailles (527) Rouge Dior Lip Color ($32.00 for 0.12 oz.) has a pinky-coral base color with peachy-gold shimmer finished with a glossy shine. The color coverage is semi-opaque–there’s some translucency but looks better from afar (the translucency is harder to detect). It does have a bit of a frostier finish, but there is also a fair amount of shine to it. MAC Mellowarm is more orangeand lacks the golden sheen, Dior Coral is a bit more orange with less of a sheen, Korres #18 is much pinker but has a golden sheen, Guerlain Gems is a touch more coral (less pink) and has the same golden sheen, and (finally!) MAC Fresh Salmon is much pinker.

I liked that the color glided across my lips easily and pretty evenly (especially given how much shimmer it has!). Versailles wore for four hours well enough not to need an reapplication, but it did need one by the sixth hour. I wouldn’t call it a long-wearing shade, which is what the Rouge Dior line-up is supposed to be. It’s good, solid wear, though, and what is really important is that it’s comfortable and hydrating to wear–no chapped lips after it fades away.

On a personal note, this is one of my favorite coral lipsticks (it’s very similar to my all-time favorite,  Guerlain Gems), so as one coral fiend to another, I definitely recommend it on the basis of color alone.

The Glossover

LE
product

Versailles

B+
As far as the color goes, it's a great coral--not too bright or orange or pink--and I don't find many that are just right like this, but the length of wear doesn't live up to the brand's marketing, which is really the biggest flaw of this particular product.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4/5

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Wednesday, November 16th, 2011

Dior Merveille Vernis Nail Lacquer
Dior Merveille Vernis Nail Lacquer

Dior Merveille Vernis Nail Lacquer

Dior Merveille (651) Vernis Nail Lacquer ($22.00 for 0.33 fl. oz.) looks like a fiery orange-red in the bottle, but it turns out a little less fiery and more coral-orange on the nails. Nubar Pink Flame is closer to the shade I expected from the way Merveille looked in the bottle (it appears redder on the nails than Merveille). There is faint golden-copper shimmer, but it doesn’t show up much in natural light–only in really bright lighting does it arrive (fashionably late) to the party.

I was also surprised that this wasn’t opaque after two coats–it seems like such a rich shade, but there is a hint of visible nail line after two coats. Even though the flow was even and fluid, it just didn’t provide as much color coverage as a polish should, especially this kind of a shade! This shade was a little thinner than others but didn’t seem watery when I was applying–but by the underlying translucency, it might be a touch watery. I do typically get a week of wear with only minor tip wear with Dior’s formula.

The Glossover

LE
product

Merveille

B+
I like this a lot against warmer skin tones, because it brings out the copper shimmer more. If you like the way it looks on the nail, it's definitely workable; if you want something more like the bottle, I'd skip.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Tuesday, November 15th, 2011

Dior Belle de Nuit Rouge Dior Lip Color
Dior Belle de Nuit Rouge Dior Lip Color

Dior Belle de Nuit Rouge Dior Lip Color

Dior Belle de Nuit Rouge (841) Dior Lip Color ($32.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a fiery orange-red with copper micro-shimmer. It’s more orange than it is red, almost like a coral-red, but more orange than coral!  The color coverage is mostly opaque, and the texture is creamy enough to allow the color to glide on evenly without skipping but not so creamy that it moves around.  This is totally my kind of color (but I’m starting to wonder what lip color family I don’t have some love for). Make Up For Ever #20 is a little redder but doesn’t have the copper shimmer. It’s actually similar, though deeper in color, to Chanel Mandarin. The new-for-the-holidays NARS Joyous Red is more muted, less red, and not as shimmered. CoverGirl Temptation is a touch more orange but still very similar.

Belle de Nuit is supremely long-wearing; it lasts for six full hours on my lips and proceeds to linger around for another two; at eight hours, it reaches that halfway point where it’s faded enough to be reapplied but if you’ve forgotten the tube at home, you still have a bit left on your lips. The best part about the long-wear is that my lips don’t feel chapped, dry, or otherwise dehydrated, which is impressive after eight hours.  Too bad this shade is limited edition!

The Glossover

LE
product

Belle de Nuit

A
Belle de Nuit wears excellently--six hours or longer--and makes it through drinks/meals mostly intact. It has good color coverage, shine, and is a great holiday shade for warmer skin tones.

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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