Sunday, June 27th, 2010

Chanel Plum Attraction Joues Contraste Blush
Chanel Plum Attraction Joues Contraste Blush

Strong Cheeks are BACK! for Fall

Given the release of Chanel Plum Attraction Joues Contraste Blush ($42.00 for 0.14 oz.)–a deep red-toned plum-burgundy with subtle golden sheen–we may be seeing stronger color on cheeks this fall. This is a color that will look a little different depending on your skin tone. On cooler skin tones, it’s going to pull a little more plum, while on warmer skin tones, it will pull a little more burgundy. It just has that nuance of undertones that makes it interact with your skin tone in a way that actually works to highlight it.

For those who don’t follow Chanel or rarely stop by the counter, let me tell you a little about what makes these blushes so loved. They are finely-milled, silky smooth powders that apply beautifully on skin. This is not a blush that will look chalky or powdery–it lays down on skin like it belongs there; the shades, no matter their hue, always look natural on cheeks. (Taken from an earlier review.)

It can be worn lightly or built-up for an intense, showstopping cheek, depending on your mood and the look you’re going for.  I wore it a couple of days ago with a neutral eye and stronger, vampier lip, and I think it worked out really well.  I tend to coordinate cheeks and lips together in a way that’s opposite of the lightness/darkness of my eye look.  For example, a dark, smoky eye pairs well with a lighter cheek and lip, while a softer, neutral eye pairs well with a stronger cheek and lip.

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  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: The formula is lovely, with its silky, fine-milled powder feel, and the way it melts on the skin and wears well throughout the day are all positive attributes of the blush. The only downside is the price/quantity ratio. Since it’s a darker shade, it’s definitely something that will appeal to some, not to others, and will be very much based on personal preferences.

AVAILABILITY: July 2010 at Chanel counters

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Saturday, June 26th, 2010

Chanel Pink Explosion Blush
Chanel Pink Explosion Joues Contraste

Blush for Hire: Will Work for Smoky Eye

Chanel Pink Explosion Joues Contraste ($42.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a beautiful, decadent luxury of a blush in a brightened pink with just a hint of blue undertones. Chanel blushes have a cult following, with fans coveting each new shade the brand releases. I don’t think Pink Explosion disappoints–it is the most wearable of three new and limited edition shades releasing with the fall collection.

For those who don’t follow Chanel or rarely stop by the counter, let me tell you a little about what makes these blushes so loved. They are finely-milled, silky smooth powders that apply beautifully on skin. This is not a blush that will look chalky or powdery–it lays down on skin like it belongs there; the shades, no matter their hue, always look natural on cheeks.

Like any range, not all shades may work for all skin tones–some are on the lighter side–but Pink Explosion packs enough pigment to go bubblegum pink. It’s just as easy to create a soft, petal pink flush with just a tap of the brush. Pink Explosion has a soft white shimmer that is nearly undetectable once it’s applied. Instead, it gives off a lowkey, luminous glow. I’m hesitant to even call it a sheen, because it’s so subtle.

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  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: I really love it for neutral and cooler skin tones–it’s such a pretty pink. It will work on warmer skin tones, but I think it’s perfect cooler skin tones. For those with warmer skin tones, it pairs well with smokier, cooler-toned eyes.

AVAILABILITY: July 2010

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Friday, June 25th, 2010

NARS Taj Mahal Blush
NARS Taj Mahal Blush

Orange You Glad for Blush?

NARS Taj Mahal Blush ($26.00 for 0.16 oz.) is a vibrant tangerine orange with a soft, golden sheen.  It is pigmented to the max, as many NARS blushes are, but this one is even more so than the average NARS blush.  I found it really difficult to get the amount I needed, so keep a buffing brush on standby for quick fixes.

When worn lightly, it can be a beautiful shade of lightened peach-orange with a golden shimmer-sheen.  It looks absolutely gorgeous on warmer skin tones, especially those with deeper complexions.  It can, quite obviously, be built up for a very intense look, if so desired.  Texture is soft, smooth, and the blush looks luminous when applied to skin.  It gives skin an added warmth and subtle glow from the shimmer-sheen, and if you go easy, it’s very, very wearable and flattering.

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Thursday, June 24th, 2010

Bobbi Brown Denim & Rose Palette
Bobbi Brown Denim & Rose Palette

Bobbi Brown Has the Denim Jeans Blues

Bobbi Brown Denim & Rose Face Palette ($60.00) is new for fall, but it works just as well for the summer, too. It’s available at Nordstrom’s now (at least online), and I suspect we’ll see it roll out to other retailers in the next couple of weeks.  It contains four eyeshadows, one blush, two lipsticks, and two lip glosses all housed in a single palette.

  • Navajo eyeshadow is a light white-beige with a matte finish. This is part of the permanent collection, but the rest of the shades in the palette are new (and limited, of course).
  • Gray Denim eyeshadow is a softened, browned gray with a near matte finish (seems like it has just a little satin in it).
  • Pink Granite eyeshadow is a shimmering pinky champagne with soft flecks of peach glitter-shimmer.
  • Dark Rinse eyeshadow is a blackened navy blue base with brighter blue shimmer and silver flecks.
  • Pink Rose blush is a neutral, matte pink blusher. It’s medium in darkness, and it’s quite wearable for all skin tones, cool or warm. On darker skin tones, it will be a very light flush.
  • Cool Rose lipstick is a semi-sheer light neutral pink with white shimmer.
  • Indie Rose lipstick is an opaque, darkened red with a plummy feel. It has a creamy finish and slightly glossy look.
  • Iced Lilac glitter lip gloss is a sheer confection of white and soft lilac shimmer.
  • Hot Rose lip gloss is a semi-sheer, blue-based milky medium pink. It’s definitely a cooler pink, but it should be wearable by both warm and cool skin tones, since it’s on the sheerer side.

I love the packaging — zipped-up, denim-clad palette. It’s fun without being cheesy, functional and still original, and I really think it fits the collection’s theme. I don’t love when palettes combine both cream and powder products, just because powder products have a tendency to get dust outside their borders and into those creams. I did notice that the palette itself is taller than each pan of product, so the pans sit below an edge, which should combat some powder migration.

Dark Rinse is easily my favorite eyeshadow–it’s just so delectably pigmented, it’s hard to resist. It’s a rather smoldering shade of blue, too, and it would make for an excellent smoky eye shade. It could also work well on the lower lash line for a pop of color.

Overall, I think all of the colors in the palette work with each other, which is really important to me when reviewing a palette. Most palettes are designed to be more of a one-stop-shop, so if shades don’t jive well, it’s an issue. The one downside to this product was the lack of included brushes, even if they do tend to be mediocre, because this does have lip products in it, a miniaturized lip brush is helpful for on-the-go touchups. It’s not a deal-breaker, but it’s something I noticed when going to swatch the products (I typically use included lip brushes to dig out the product to swatch).

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

  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 5/5

Recommendation:  I think it’s a solid palette with quality products, and better yet, the products work well together.  However, if you’re not a fan of lip products in palette form, this has four (which is nearly half of the products), so you’re better off skipping.

Availability: Nordstrom

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Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010

NARS Oasis Highlighting Blush
NARS Oasis Blush

Quick Vacation to a NARS Oasis

NARS Oasis Blush ($26.00 for 0.16 oz.) is described as a “sparkling pink champagne.” I wonder how they settled on that description, because this shade is extremely difficult to describe aptly!

It actually looks like a rather muddy mess of pink, berry, and gold shimmer in the pan, but it’s quite beautiful when applied onto skin.  It really doesn’t look gorgeous in the pan, as many blushes often do, but don’t judge a book by its cover.  On skin, it becomes a rosy berry mauve with soft flecks of gold shimmer-glitter (not quite glitter, but larger than glitter!). The pigmentation is excellent, and like many NARS blushes, a light hand is a must!  (In fact, you may want to use a stippling brush or have a buffer brush on hand for diffusion of color.)

Despite being neutral to neutral-cool, it wears well on my warmer skin tone (which may be a little tanner, since I spent the weekend outdoors, though I was lathered in SPF for sure!) and is a great alternative to starkly cool pink blushes for those with stronger warm undertones.  There is some glittery bits in this blush, but it’s not overwhelming and doesn’t even seem to translate onto cheeks at all (just seems to disappears into a magical puff of glittery smoke and mirrors!), but cheeks do have a soft, subtle luminous sheen–that doesn’t emphasize pores–when all is said and done.

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Thursday, June 10th, 2010

Le Metier de Beaute Traviata Blushing Bronze Duet

My New Favorite Summer Blush:  Le Metier de Beaute Echo

Le Metier de Beaute Traviata Blushing Bronzed Duet ($65.00 for 0.49 oz.) is a blush-bronzer duo that includes Echo Radiance Rouge Blush (delicate coral-pink) and Sun Kissed Bronzer (sheer, light bronze powder). Normally, the blush retails for $30 and the bronzer retails for $55. I don’t own either (and couldn’t find it via googling), so I’m not sure of the size of each individually. All I know is that 0.49 oz. of product is a good deal of product no matter how you slice it. (The average blush is around 0.15 oz.!)

Traviata is part of Le Metier de Beaute’s Endless Summer Collection for the summer season. They also have Romeo & Juliet (which I will review soon as well!). The collection includes Bella Bronze Liquid Illuminator ($85); Canvas, Spicy, Jade, Sequoia True Color Eyeshadows ($30 each); Tamarack Dualistic Eye Pencil ($36); San TropezManhattan Color Core Moisture Stain Lipstick ($32); Lip Creme Lip Gloss ($36).

Echo is pure gorgeousness swatched and applied. Warm-toned beauties will love this shade in particular–it has the depth and dimension and sophistication that every blush should have. It’s smooth, soft, and wickedly pigmented but easy to use. It’s buildable, but it’s a richly pigmented product if you want it to be. It has a lovely soft, subtle shimmer-sheen of gold over a coral-pink base. I wore it lightly in this look. This is definitely a very “me” color, so I’m obviously a bit biased/partial to it! I love that it gives my cheeks a warmed-over glow but doesn’t emphasize pores with frostiness.

Sun Kissed is nice, but I was a little gaga for Echo that Sun Kissed didn’t leave much of an impression on me! It has the same soft, smooth texture of Echo, but it’s not quite as pigmented. It’s a nice subtle bronzer that doesn’t turn orange nor pull too red, which makes it a nice, universally appealing shade. There is a slight golden sheen but very little shimmer.

Even though the duo may give you more product for your money, Echo is really the star in this product for me. If you’re as sold on it as me, luckily you can buy it on its own for $30 rather than $65. I like that, to be honest, just because you aren’t roped into buying one product you’re so-so on and one you’re dying for simultaneously! (Hello, most palettes, I’m talking to you!)

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: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: Echo is to-die-for if you’re a coral blush fiend like myself. Truly a gorgeous, stunning shade that looks every bit as beautiful on as it does in the pan. Sun Kissed is a nice bronzer, and if you’re a regular bronzer wearer, the duo is certainly something worth looking into.

WHERE TO BUY: Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus

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