Friday, April 9th, 2010

NARS Belle du Jour Collection for Summer 2010

The NARS Summer 2010 Campaign was created and photographed by NARS Founder and Creative Director François Nars. Once again, François turned to his dear friend Amber Valletta and transformed her, drawing inspiration from longtime muse Catherine Deneuve’s portrayal of Sèverine in the movie Belle de Jour.

François began by applying NARS Makeup Primer to Amber’s face, followed by NARS Fiji Sheer Matte Foundation. For a fresh finish he set it with NARS Eden Loose Powder. NARS Orgasm Illuminator was applied to her cheeks, forehead and center of the chin to give her skin a subtle radiance.

For a natural flush, François started with NARS Enchanted Cream Blush on the cheeks, followed with NARS Orgasm Blush blended toward the temples to further highlight the complexion.

On her eyes, he applied the iridescent ocean-blue shade of NARS Burn It Blue Duo Cream Eyeshadow to the eyelid, blending upwards toward the base of the brow bone. Next, François swept the left side of NARS Pandora Duo Eyeshadow across the lid, and brushed the rich teal shade of NARS Cleo Duo Eyeshadow into the crease. Eyebrows were defined with NARS Blondie Single Eyeshadow, using the NARS Brow Shader.

He lined the eyes with NARS Mambo Eyeliner Pencil followed by NARS Nuits Blanches Eyeliner Stylo creating a full lash line. NARS Larger Than Life Lengthening Mascara finished the look.

Lastly, he prepared the lips with NARS Angélique Pure Sheer SPF Lip Treatment and topped them off with NARS Love Devotion Lipstick.

Cream Blush ($26.00)

  • Enchanted Soft-peach

Cream Eyeshadow Duo ($32.00)

  • Burn It Blue Iridescent ocean blue / turquoise

Cream Eyeshadow ($22.00)

  • Cayenne Spicy, deep brown

Lipstick ($24.00)

  • Love Devotion Sheer guava

Lipgloss ($24.00)

  • Coup de Coeur Sheer apple-brandy

Multiple ($38.00)

  • Lamu Fresh, glazed apricot

Nail Lacquer ($16.00)

  • Versailles Opalescent, champagne-gold

Availability: May 2010

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Friday, April 9th, 2010

Dolce & Gabbana Pink Lipstick
Dolce & Gabbana Pink Lipstick

The Summer Season: Dolce & Gabbana Pink Lipstick

Dolce & Gabbana Pink Lipstick ($30) is a pretty-in-strawberry-pink with a soft, frosted sheen. It’s not an ultra cool pink, though it does have cooler undertones. It is a semi-sheer lipstick that delivers some color but doesn’t totally block out the natural lip color. It wears well–about three to four hours–and feels incredibly smooth and creamy on lips without ever drying them out. Dolce & Gabbana lipsticks do have a particularly stronger rose scent, so those who prefer unscented lipsticks should probabyl pass on this one.

Is this the right pink lipstick for you? Would you wear it?

The Summer Season is a series of posts featuring bright, vibrant shades of coral, orange, and pink lipsticks and lipglosses — all perfect for a summer of fun — that runs through July 2010.

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Thursday, April 8th, 2010

Chanel Les Pop-up de Chanel Collection
Chanel Le Vernis:
Mistral (517), Riviera (537)

Chanel Les Pop-Up de Chanel:  Mistral & Riviera

Along with Nouvelle Vague, which I reviewed last week, Chanel launched two other shades of lacquer ($23) in their Les Pop-Up de Chanel Collection.

I bought these at my local Chanel counter (in Nordstrom) today, so if your Chanel counter hasn’t gotten stock in yet, I imagine it should be soon–I had done a pre-sale on these, so my favorite Chanel artist gave me a call when these were in (funny enough, her name is also Christine!). She said they only got fifteen Nouvelle Vagues in! Unfortunate for my pocketbook, along with my Chanel items, I also bought just as much in headbands… including one that matches Nouvelle Vague!! I couldn’t resist! Anyway…

  • Mistral is a baby petal pink with champagne micro-glitter It goes opaque in three coats and looks kind of squishy on. I had no issues applying this shade–standard fair for Chanel in my experience.
  • Riviera is a darkened bright pink cream. It’s opaque in two coats, though I swatched it with three. It was easy to apply and looked flawless on.

Neither Mistral nor Riviera is as eye-catching (or unique) as Nouvelle Vague, which I fully expect to sell out and see on eBay for triple digits at some point. I don’t have previous nail shades memorized, but I’m sure you could dupe Mistral or Riviera without too much trouble–hopefully our lovely nail fanatics can chime in with their dupe recommendations! That’s not to say that these aren’t fun, feminine shades, because they are, but typically when I shell out $23 for a Chanel polish, I do so for the uniqueness of the shade!

By the by, I actually asked both my parents (who are so not beauty mavens!) if they could tell the difference between the $3 and $23 polishes (China Glaze For Audrey vs. Chanel Nouvelle Vague), and they both immediately pointed out the Chanel-shaded fingers as the $23 one. My boyfriend, on the other hand, was boggled by it, because he couldn’t, even after scrutinizing!

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 6/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: Nouvelle Vague is the most unique shade of the bunch, even if it similar to China Glaze’s For Audrey. Mistral and Riviera are pretty and have no formulation issues, but they’re less “ooh!” shades.

Availability: May 2010

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Thursday, April 8th, 2010

MAC Prep for Colour Collection
Just Add Colour Lipglass (note, sample packaging)

MAC Prep for Colour Collection

The Prep for Colour Collection is a short and sweet collection. I’m not even sure why they bothered with any color cosmetics, and I could have gone for repromotes of great permanent neutrals, too — just because MAC does have a great neutral range. The collection includes one lipglass ($14), three eyeshadows ($14.50), Prep + Prime Skin Brightening Serum ($40), Prep + Prime Face Protect SPF 50 ($30), and Prep + Prime Fortified Skin Enhancer SPF 35/PA+++ ($30).  I don’t have photos of Prepped for Glamour Eyeshadow yet, which I will purchase when it launches in-store on Thursday (so check back then!).

  • Hey Eyeshadow is is a gilded beige-champagne with a touch of peach.  It was a very shimmery, frosty finish.  For reference, it is a veluxe pearl finish, though!  This is a repromote from Fafi, but I know a lot of you love this shade.
  • Sorcery Eyeshadow is a burgundy-brown with a satin finish–it’s not entirely matte, but it’s not overly shimmery, either.  It has more of a satin sheen.  It reminded me of a a lighter version of Sketch.
  • Prepped for Glamour Eyeshadow is a darkened chocolate brown with a taupe edge to it.  It’s sheerer and lighter than Satin Taupe, but it also has less of a frosty sheen.  Pretty, but if you already have Satin Taupe, you could probably skip this.
  • Just Add Colour Lipglass is a reddened, dark fuchsia pink with fuchsia-pink shimmer.  It’s a frost finish lipglass, and though my sample comes in a square tube, online shows it in a regular lipglass tube, so don’t buy because it’s square :)  It’s a very pigmented, color-rich gloss–so if you’ve always wanted a darker pink than Pink Poodle but still very intense, this might be it.
  • Prep + Prime Brightening Serum is a clear, slightly watery liquid that pumps out.  It’s hard to describe — it’s cool and thin, and it absorbs into skin quite quickly.  I haven’t used it long enough to really be able to tell you about results, but I can at least tell you about the consistency!  Hopefully will have more for you later on in April…

There are no must-haves in this collection from me. While all the color products in this launch are high quality and well-pigmented, they’re not necessarily must-haves.  Hey is the closest to a must-have, but I think you could easily substitute All That Glitters, Gleam, or Retrospeck in its place.  Sorcery is too similar to Sketch and Beautymarked, while Prepped for Glamour is quite similar to Satin TaupeJust Add Colour Lipglass is pretty, but again, just doesn’t strike me as a must-have.  You can’t go wrong with any of the four, so this is more of a “there’s nothing super-duper original or so awesomely pigmented you have to get it” kind of a review.

Skip if you have…

  • Skip Hey if you have All That Glitters, Gleam, or Retrospeck (unless you use these 24/7, then you’ll probably love Hey!).
  • Skip Sorcery if you have Sketch or Beautymarked, particularly if you don’t use those very often.
  • Skip Prepped for Glamour if you have Satin Taupe, unless you’ve always secretly wanted Satin Taupe but didn’t like how frosty it was.

So, are you stopping by MAC (or shopping online!) for Prep for Colour or are you waiting until Pret-a-Papier?

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Thursday, April 8th, 2010

An Intro to Paul & Joe Beaute with Purple Clover

Paul & Joe Purple Clover (066) Face & Eye Color ($20.00 for 0.10 oz.) is one of three limited edition shades from Paul & Joe’s Sparkle Collection. What always stands out about Paul & Joe, to me, is how cute the products are from top to bottom. The packaging is elegant, despite being made out of paper (and cardboard) — it’s cute, lightweight, and fun to look at.

Purple Clover is decorated in a purple with teal butterflies outlined in orange and an orange polka dot overlay. Inside, there are little clovers in a deeper, darker purple with the surrounding shade a plummy pink mauve. Together, they create a sultry, smoky plum-mauve with silver sparkle. It’s a really stunning color — it reminded me a bit of Cle de Peau #107 Eyeshadow initially, but #107 is a little lighter and has a golden sheen. The texture of Purple Clover is smooth, soft, and blendable with a nice level of pigmentation that’s not overpowering or sheer.

And oh, did you see that you get a whopping 0.10 oz.? Most eyeshadows are about 0.05 oz., and the largest single eyeshadow (that I know of) is made by Guerlain (at 0.12 oz.). Nice to see that you’re not just paying for pretty packaging! :)

This is/was my first Paul & Joe beauty product, and I’m so happy I liked it! Sometimes, I fear that I’ll try a new brand, be less-than-impressed with it, and then there’s always this hesitant to try it again in the future.

What are your favorite Paul & Joe products?

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 5/5

Recommendation:  If you’re a sucker for cute packaging, soft and smooth eyeshadow, Paul & Joe may have your number.  If you live in NYC, you can head on down to the counter at Bergdorf!

Availability: BeautyHabit.com, Bergdorf Goodman (in-store only)

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Thursday, April 8th, 2010


Orly Nail Lacquer: Ole, La Playa, Bailamos, Fiesta

Orly Viva Collection for Summer 2010

Viva is a short and sweet lacquer collection featuring four bold, summer-ready shades. The formula on all four shades was excellent — thin enough that it wasn’t goopy or hard to work with, but the formula was richly pigmented. You could do just two coats on all of these shades, but I did three because that’s my style :) These were easy to work with and required no trickery or playing around to get a smooth, even application. I also love Orly’s rubber-grip bottles, because it makes it easier for me to hold onto the polish when applying!

  • Ole is a vibrant orange cream with just a hint of redness in it, but it’s still very much an orange. It’s not neon or construction orange, because it’s much, much deeper. This easily goes opaque in two coats, though the swatches feature three.
  • La Playa is a darkened navy blue cream. It has a very glossy finish on its own, and it’s quite pigmented. This had the thinnest consistency, but I had no troubles with it. It applied evenly and smoothly, and this one could get nearly opaque with two coats, but I did three just for good measure. It’s a very inky blue.
  • Bailamos is a teal-shimmered turquoise-blue. This is exactly what I think of when it comes to summer–lots and lots of aqua, teal, and turquoise. Two coats and it’s opaque, but the swatches are with three, for reference.
  • Fiesta is a bright medium pink with iridescent pink sparkle. It’s a fun, totally-pefect-pink for summer kind of shade. I think this would look particularly fitting on summer toes.

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 5/5

Recommendation:  If you love bolder, vibrant shades for summer nails, Orly’s Viva Collection offers an excellent formula in four fun-for-summer shades.

Availability: Orly in May 2010

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