Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009

Rustic Copper:  Chanel Imprevu Blush

Chanel Imprevu Joues Contraste ($42.00 for 0.13 oz.) is a coppery-toned blush from Les Impressions de Chanel. The spring launch is slowly heading on-counter and online, and I imagine most counters will have it in the next two weeks. I totally recommend buying from Saks right now, ’cause they have *free* express shipping. Have I ever told you how much I loathe paying for shipping? So, yeah, Saks = awesome.

Imprevu is like a rustic, muted copper. Chanel describes it simply has copper, and it’s accurate… and yet I just want to throw the word rustic in there, too. It has little shimmer, a soft sheen, and is plenty pigmented for a cheek product. I found I had to tap excess off my brush before applying or else I’d end up with a very dirty look–so not sexy. I think this kind of blush color requires a light-handed application, and it can often look a bit dirty if you’re not careful. I actually think this would be particularly lovely on darker skin tones, though.

A part of me feels like this is out of place in the collection, because I wasn’t feeling it when worn with the Kaska Beige Eyeshadow Quad. I guess I have a tendency to want an entire collection work together. It also feels more like a fall or winter cheek color, rather than spring–which means it is first, surprising, and second, throws me off a bit.

I’m also not on board with the price for the amount you get (just 0.13 oz.!) — Chanel is one of the priciest blushes you can purchase (by the ounce). Dior, Dolce & Gabbana, and Givenchy are all equally high-end and often priced similarly to Chanel, but their blushes are all a better value than Chanel’s.  Don’t get me wrong — the quality and feel of the blush is lovely, but the price tag is inflated, even for high-end.

What do you think? Is Imprevu worth the splurge? Love the color?

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  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 6/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: If you’re a Chanel blush fanatic, this is a nicely pigmented, copper-ish shade that’s not overly bronzy or shimmery.

Availability: Nordstrom, Saks

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Monday, December 21st, 2009

A Fresh Face of… Roses?

Dolce & Gabbana Rose the One Shimmer Powder ($50.00 for 0.91 oz.) is a scented, subtle loose highlighter. It is scented with the same-named scent, Rose the One, also by Dolce & Gabbana (no surprise, I’m sure, ha!).

I know that some cosmetics are fragranced, but I can’t remember coming across a powder so deliberately scented before, so I was eager to try this (well, more to sniff it, I suppose!). It really does smell like Rose the One, which is a very feminine rose. There’s no better descriptor than fresh, sweetened roses. It’s not too sweet at all, which is something I was a little worried about. Surprisingly, you can even catch a little whiff of the rosy scent when it’s applied to your cheeks.

The loose powder itself is a soft, golden peach shimmer. It’s very finely milled, and it lays down quite well and doesn’t migrate all over the place, as some loose highlighters sometimes do. At $50, it is a splurge, but at least you can rest easy knowing you’ll likely have enough to last you a lifetime, with nearly an entire ounce of product. The product reminds me a bit of MAC’s Loose Beauty Powder ($22.00 for 0.28 oz.).

I would caution those with more sensitive skin that a fragrance-filled product may not be your best bet, at least not your face.  It does work quite nicely as a decolletage highlighter as well!  Otherwise, it’s kind of a fun product that puts a twist on wearing your favorite scent.

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  • Product: 26/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation:  If you’re in the market for a loose highlighter and wouldn’t mind smelling like a rose, check out Dolce & Gabbana’s Rose the One!

AvailabilitySaks


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Monday, December 21st, 2009

Chanel Les Impressions de Chanel Collection
Rouge Allure Lipstick: Insouciante (81), Incognito (82), Impertinente (79), Delicieuse (80)

New Rouge Allures for Spring

Chanel Rouge Allure Lipstick ($30.00 for 0.12 oz.) has four new shades added to the bunch with Chanel’s Spring Collection.

  • Insouciante (81) is a pinky-beige nude shade with a bright sheen. It’s pigmented, but it’s not ultra pigmented as some of the deeper shades of Rouge Allures are.
  • Incognito (82) is a muted medium pink that goes on semi-opaque with a nice sheen. On lips, it looks like a slightly flushed rosy pink with a glossy sheen and just the tiniest bit of gold shimmer.
  • Impertinente (79) is a reddish-plum that goes on opaque and has a light sheen. On my lips, it seemed to lean a little more reddened plum than plum, as Chanel describes it, but it’s the darkest and deepest shade of the four.
  • Delicieuse (80) is a medium coral-orange that applies semi-opaque and has a soft sheen. I liked how it looked on my lips, which is a little more of a muted coral shade than when I swatched it on my skin. It’s very wearable, perfect for spring, and did I mention, it looks beautiful with Futile? Oh, yeah, it does.

I wouldn’t let the skin swatches fool you, though — even though they seem only semi-opaque, they look nearly opaque on my lips. It seems like your natural lip color ends up blending seamlessly with the lipstick shade, so the color looks very natural, effortless, and beautiful on. Rouge Allures are very smooth, soft, and feel utterly lightweight on lips.  Sometimes they’re insanely pigmented (a la Noirs Obscurs), but often, they’re just good pigmentation; not the ultra bold shades, but color that covers and you know you’re having on but the color looks effortless.

My favorite shade was Delicieuse, but I am a coral fiend, so obviously that makes me a bit biased. Like the new nail lacquers, I don’t think these shades are totally original, but they’re lovely in their own right.  They are incredibly fitting for spring, though.  The quality of the lipsticks is phenomenal but whether they’re worth $30?  That’s more for you to judge!

What do you think?  Worth the splurge?  Meet your expectations?

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

  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: For easy-to-wear shades combined with the silky formula of Rouge Allure, Chanel has you covered.

Availability: Nordstrom and Saks

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Monday, December 21st, 2009

Chanel Les Impressions de Chanel Collection

Hot–No, Lukewarm–Springs with Empreinte de Chanel

Chanel Empreinte de Chanel ($65.00  for 0.49 oz.) is the signature product (and limited edition, of course) from Chanel’s Les Impressions de Chanel Collection for the spring.

Chanel describes the product as a “radiant glow highlighting powder” designed to brighten cheeks and brow bone with shades of rosewood, beige, and brown. It also includes an angled brush (the size you’d typically find in a compact, not a full-size brush), which is surprisingly soft and usable–though I’ll still use my full size brushes myself.

The compact has these lopsided circles in creamy white-gold, bronze, and peach outlined in the bronze. Then there are, of course, the two signature interlocking Cs in a shimmering, gilded gold (not quite a true gold). I was trying to furiously swatch away anything that would be an overlay, and though it seems like the circles seem to fade away, the color remains the same regardless. The Cs seem to be shimmery (as far as I could tell without destroying the compact) to stay shimmery as well.

Empreinte de Chanel is a warmed-up, peachy gold. It’s surprisingly pigmented, and it’s definitely something that would lovely as an eyeshadow as well as on top of cheeks. It reminded me of a more pigmented, way more shimmery version of Lancome’s Sparkling Cherub; Empreinte is also warmer and less brown (more gold).

Bottom Line: It’s soft, silky, and certainly looks beautiful on, but it is definitely a shimmery highlighter; so if you prefer a more subtle highlighter, you may want to test this in person first! The price is steep, and Chanel fans won’t be surprised, but if you’ve never considered Chanel, this probably isn’t the best product I’d take the plunge on (they have better; including Kaska Beige Eyeshadow Quad, if you are jonesin’ for spring).  The only thing that compensates for the price is you do get 0.49 oz. of product, which is quite a bit for a blush/highlighter product (typically 0.20 oz. or so).

P.S. – The entire Chanel Spring collection is now available at Nordstrom and Saks. You’ll probably have to search by name or click through the Chanel categories, but they’re up there. I just purchased Particuliere through Saks ’cause Saks has FREE EXPRESS SHIPPING (!) right now.

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  • Product: 26/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: Chanel fans will likely enjoy this piece, but the price tag is a little steep for a product that’s good, but not great.

Availability: Nordstrom and Saks

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Sunday, December 20th, 2009

Chanel Les Impressions de Chanel Collection

Chanel Les Impressions de Chanel: Kaska Beige Eyeshadow Quad

Chanel’s Kaska Beige Eyeshadow Quad ($56.00) from Les Impressions de Chanel Collection is my very favorite piece from the collection.

When it comes to eyeshadows, Chanel and I don’t always get along; it’s always very hit or miss. (I find I’m a much, much bigger fan of Chanel’s lipglosses and lipsticks… hello, Dragon anyone?) Their Bird of Paradise eyeshadow quad from holiday was nice, but it didn’t quite hit the spot; we all know how I loathed their Les Folie Noirs eyeshadow quad. Even though some quads have been nice, I haven’t seen greatness since Beiges de Chanel.

Beiges de Chanel still wins over Kaska Beige, but the two are very close in terms of versatility, usability, and overall quality. Not everything that’s exciting has to include bold and bright shades, and Kaska Beige proves this with its subtle, neutral shades. It includes a soft fleshy beige with a matte finish that’s neither chalky nor dusty; a medium-dark chocolate brown with a slight reddish undertone and a matte finish; a lightly shimmered deeper chocolate brown with a copper sheen and red undertone; and a neutral-cool tanned brown with gold shimmer.

All four shades are very smooth, soft, and silky. Each one is pigmented without being too intense–they’re easy to use and coordinate with each other. I love that the fleshy beige shade can be used on the lid or as a highlighter.

I’ll definitely be doing a look with this soon, so you can see it in action, but ’til then, hopefully swatches can win you over in the meanwhile!

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

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

Recommendation: For soft, smooth eyeshadows in a very neutral, easy-to-use, and classic color scheme, Chanel has you covered this spring.

Availability: January 2010

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Sunday, December 20th, 2009

Chanel Les Impressions de Chanel Collection

Chanel Les Impressions de Chanel: Nail Lacquers

Three new, limited edition shades of creamy nail lacquer will debut in January as part of Chanel’s Les Impressions de Chanel Collection. The new shades are: Inattendu, Tendresse, and Particuliere. I didn’t receive Particuliere to review, so I haven’t seen it yet, but hope to pick it up once it launches on-counter at my local Nordstrom!

Inattendu is a warmed-up, creamy fleshy beige. It’s surprisingly warm, despite being so beige, which actually keeps it more interesting and not so flat and blah. The whole nude nails thing is supposedly a trend come spring, so we’ll see how far it trickles down to the consumer level. This one doesn’t match my natural skin tone so dead-on that it’s still noticeable. I found this shade to be more opaque than Tendresse — two or three coats (swatches are with three, for reference) seemed good to me. It’s a very smooth, slightly thick formula.

Tendresse is a milky, baby pink with a creamy finish. It’s almost a neutral pink, but I might call it a yellow-based pink, too. I like it, but it’s not particularly original or unique. I imagine you could easily find a much less expensive shade comparable to this one. Of course, if you’re like me and have a thing for Chanel lacquers… you might not be able to resist. I found that you could see the tips of my nails with two coats, so three coats was definitely a must-do for this shade. Like Inattendu, it’s soft, easy to apply, and looks seamless.

I’ve never had any application or wear issues with Chanel nail lacquers, though I’ve heard many complaints over how long it wears for. I usually pair my Chanel manicures with Zoya’s Color Lock System and always have good results with that technique. Chanel nail lacquers are certainly steep at $23 a pop (even other comparable high-end brands charge less for their nail lacquers, e.g. Dior and Givenchy). While both shades are pretty and perfect for spring, neither is so out-of-the-box that they’re must-haves or must-splurge, rather!

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

  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 6/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: If you’re on a budget, you can likely find similar shades amongst less expensive brands, but both shades are lovely, if the splurge is more your style.

Availability: January 2010

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