Friday, December 10th, 2010

Chanel Energizing Multi-Protection Cream SPF 15
Chanel Energizing Multi-Protection Cream SPF 15

Chanl Beaute Initiale — Is it love?

Chanel Energizing Multi-Protection Cream SPF 15 ($75.00 for 0.1.7 oz.) is a quick-absorbing moisturizer with a cream consistency but the feeling and behavior of a lotion. It is designed to be used daily to “keep early signs of age and fatigue at bay.”

I wanted to try this particular moisturizer, because I really enjoyed Chanel’s Ultra Correction Lift Day Cream SPF 15 ($150.00 for 1.7 oz.). Chanel has several different product families available in skincare, and Beaute Initiale seems to be their “entry-level” range. It also seemed like it would be a good fit for my skin and aging concerns (more about preventation than reversal at this time). Hydramax + Active seems like another alternative for getting your foot in Chanel’s skincare.

My Skin: I’m 24 years-old with some fine lines around my eyes, slight but noticeable lip lines when I smile. My skin type is normal-to-dry in the fall/winter and mostly normal in the spring/summer. I am acne-prone and suffer from minor breakouts that seem to be more hormone or stress related than anything else.

There were so many things I loved about this cream, but it just doesn’t work with my skin type (normal-to-dry). I need more moisture, and I found my skin felt parched after a couple of hours after using this. I think those with oily skin  (but I would still recommend the Fluid for very oily skin types) could definitely consider this as an option for a daytime moisturizer. The cream dries down very quickly, within a few minutes, which is something I always keep an eye on when it comes to creams. Nobody wants to wait thirty minutes for their moisturizer to absorb!

It also spreads very evenly and well without leaving any streaks of white–it feels and looks like a cream, but the way it evens out so quickly makes it seem more like a gel. It dries down to a semi-matte, smooth finish. It is scented, but I found it pleasant–a fresh floral that didn’t feel heavy. I loved using it and wearing it for two to three hours, but for my skin, I need something heavier.

I’m not entirely sure why this isn’t sufficient, because I don’t have particularly dry skin, and there is a Fluid version (which I imagine is lighter and designed for oilier skin types). It is listed as a cream, so it should be heavier and more suitable for drier skin types, but it does not seem to be hydrating enough for my normal-to-dry skin, let alone dry skin.

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  • Product: 25/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: I recommend trying a sample of this for normal-to-oily and oily skin types. If you are oily or very oily, you may consider using the Fluid version, which comes in a pump and may be lighter (but I haven’t tried it myself).

AVAILABILITY: Nordtsrom

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Friday, December 10th, 2010

Estee Lauder Radiant Berry Blush
Estee Lauder Radiant Berry Blush

Thinking of Sugar Plums This Winter

Estee Lauder Radiant Berry Blush ($26.00 for 0.25 oz.) is a softened rose-plum with a subtle satin sheen. The texture of Estee Lauder’s powder blushes is incredibly finely milled, soft like silk, and smooth. These are buildable blushes that deliver sheerer color initially but can be layered for a more intense cheek look. I find these are very foolproof blushes; you can never go overboard, and they look very glowy, not shimmery or frosty.

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

RECOMMENDATION: I love this on both cool and warm skin–it is also absolutely gorgeous on really pale skin, because it can give a nice level of contrast.

AVAILABILITY: Nordstrom

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Thursday, December 9th, 2010

Milani Bing Cherry Lipstick
Milani Bing Cherry Lipstick

Try Out a Subdued Red!

Milani Bing Cherry Lipstick ($4.99 for 0.13 oz.) is a subdued cherry red–it’s like a sheer cherry red but it’s actually opaque on lips. There’s still the brightness of a cherry red, but I think this is a much tamer way to wear one if full-on cherry red is too much for you. It seems like it has a pinkness to it, but when worn, it seems a little more of a coral-red. It’s definitely an interesting color, though. I’m curious to hear what others who own think!

Milani’s Color Perfect Lipstick is a creamy, moisturizing formula with opaque color coverage. It does have a rather a synthetic/waxy scent, though, which may be too much for those with sensitive sniffers. I typically get three to four hours of wear on average with this formula.

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  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: Consider Bing Cherry if you’ve always wanted to wear red but never wanted to go for a full blown in-your-face kind of red.

AVAILABILITY: Milani

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Thursday, December 9th, 2010

NARS Bad Influence Nail Polish
NARS Bad Influence Nail Polish

NARS Holiday 2010: Bad Influence

NARS Bad Influence Nail Polish ($16.00 for 0.5 fl. oz.) is a mushroom brown. It is one of two limited edition nail polishes from NARS for the holidays (the other being Pokerface). I have heard others compare this shade to Chanel Particuliere, but I find Particuliere grayer and less brown (I don’t comparison swatches, because I gave mine away). The are definitely similar, more so in natural lighting, perhaps 90% similarity. I only needed two coats to get creamy, opaque color.

I’ve had good luck with NARS polish in terms of wear–about a week with just minor tip wear but no chipping. Bad Influence wasn’t too thick or thin (but it is on the thinner side), and I didn’t experience any bubbling.

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  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: If Particuliere wasn’t in your budget, NARS is a good alternative that’ll save you a few bucks.

AVAILABILITY: NARS

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Wednesday, December 8th, 2010


Givenchy #14, MAC Prussian, Dolce & Gabbana #8, YSL #03, MUFE #3L, MAC Marine Ultra, UD Binge, Chanel Marine, tokidoki Skeletro, MUFE #15L

Dark/Navy Blue Eyeliner Comparisions & Dupes

As promised, here are navy blue pencil eyeliner comparisons! :)

  • Givenchy #14 Magic Khol is a sheer violet-toned navy blue.
  • MAC Prussian Powerpoint Eye Pencil is a darkened blue with a subtle violet edge.
  • Dolce & Gabbana #8 Eyeliner is a navy blue with satin sheen. (Review)
  • YSL Oriental Blue (03) Eyeliner is a medium-dark, brightened navy blue with a creamy finish. (Review)
  • Make Up For Ever #3L Aqua Eyes is a navy blue with satin sheen. (Review)
  • MAC Marine Ultra Chromagraphic Pencil is a medium-dark ocean blue with a creamy finish. (Review)
  • Urban Decay Binge 24/7 Liner is a darkened navy blue with purple tinge. (Review)
  • Chanel Marine Long-Lasting Eyeliner is a deep navy blue with a black-blue base and silver shimmer. (Review)
  • tokidoki Skeletro Glitter Eyeliner is a deep navy blue with a black-blue base and silver glitter. (Review)
  • Make Up For Ever #15L Aqua Eyes is a lightened dark blue with soft sheen. (Review)

Thoughts

DUPE ALERT! It appears that Dolce & Gabbana #8 Eyeliner and Make Up For Ever #3L Aqua Eyes are rather similar — possibly just the slightest difference in blue-ness.

DUPE ALERT!Both Chanel Marine Long-Lasting Eyeliner and tokidoki Skeletro Glitter Eyeliner are not far behind, just slightly darker and with a stronger blacker base, but the two themselves are quite similar. Skeletro has more glitter (whereas Marine has shimmer).

Formula/Wear: I have not tested Givenchy Magic Khol, so I cannot attest to its wear. YSL Eyeliners don’t seem to last all day on me, and Dolce & Gabbana can be hit or miss, but this particular shade lasted through a yoga session (and all day). tokidoki’s Glitter Eyeliners can be scratchy on the lash line because of the size of the glitter particles but wear fine otherwise.

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Wednesday, December 8th, 2010

NARS Petit Monstre Lipstick
NARS Petit Monstre Lipstick

NARS Holiday 2010: Petit Monstre Lipstick

NARS Petit Monstre Lipstick ($24.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a softened coral-red with subtle copper shimmer. This shade is a limited edition hue featured in NARS’ Holiday collection. It is similar to MAC Rose Maiden (which seems a little brighter), MAC Thrills Lipstick (which has a much more obvious and reflective copper-gold sheen). It really is a beautiful shade, and it is particularly flattering on neutral and warmer skin tones, but the subtle copper shimmer makes it a shade that can be worn by cooler skin tones, too.

NARS Lipstick typically wears four to six hours, with a shade like this lasting about five. It has a creamier texture that’s moisturizing, and this particular shade is more opaque (some shades can be quite sheer). I didn’t notice any waxy scent, as NARS lipsticks are typically unscented but may have the waxy base come through.

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  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: This is such a great fall/winter lip, and it can even work well for summer trends, too–because a little gold gloss can really brighten it up and make it a perfect summer coral.

AVAILABILITY: NARS

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