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Laura Mercier White Magic Collection for Holiday 2013

Laura Mercier White Magic Collection for Holiday 2013
Laura Mercier White Magic Collection for Holiday 2013

Model is wearing: Foundation Primer, Oil Free Suprême Foundation in Vanilla Beige, Secret Camouflage in SC-4, Loose Setting Powder in Translucent, Eye Canvas in EC-3, Illuminating Eye Colour in Crystal Fantasy and Opal Fantasy, Tightline Cake Eye Liner in Gunmetal Smoke, Faux Lash Mascara in Black, Mineral Illuminating Powder in Candlelight, Brilliant Glacé in Pink Prism, Nail Lacquer in Angel Wing.

Illuminating Eye Colour ($24.00) (Limited Edition)

  • Pearl Fantasy
  • Crystal Fantasy
  • Opal Fantasy

Tightline Cake Eye Liner ($23.00) (Limited Edition)

  • Gunmetal Smoke

Caviar Stick Eye Colour ($24.00) (Limited Edition)

  • Twilight
  • Sterling

Brilliant Glace ($24.00) (Limited Edition)

  • Pink Prism
  • Rose Prism
  • Nude Prism

Creme Smooth Lip Colour ($26.00) (Limited Edition)

  • Flamingo
  • Mocha Myth

Nail Lacquer ($18.00) (Limited Edition)

  • Butterfly Wings
  • Angel Wings

Second Skin Cheek Colour ($24.00)

  • Orange Blossom (Permanent)

Mineral Illuminating Powder ($32.00)

  • Candlelight (Permanent)

Availability: November 2013 at Nordstrom, Sephora, Laura Mercier

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YSL La Laque Couture Colour Collection at Selfridges

YSL La Laque Couture Colour Collection
YSL La Laque Couture Colour Collection

Yves Saint Laurent Beauté are bringing a kaleidoscope of colour to the Christmas season with the highly exclusive and indulgent La Laque Couture Colour Collection; the entire collection of La Laque Couture nail polish in one beautiful, sleek and luxurious black acrylic box. Enjoy a rainbow of iconic YSL colours, with 24 timeless shades to express one’s mood, style and femininity. Each shade embodies a story, a desire, an adventure or an irresistible impulse. With the La Laque Couture Colour Collection, the YSL woman can change her enamel as often as she changes her handbag or shoes. The La Laque Couture Colour Collection. The ultimate gift this Christmas.

Availability: Selfridges, YSL UK, Brown Thomas (€450.00) — I have been waiting to see if it pops up all over the world, but it seems fairly exclusive — wish it would make its way here!

YSL La Laque Couture Colour Collection
YSL La Laque Couture Colour Collection

Clarins Forest Eye Quartet Mineral Palette

Clarins Forest Eye Quartet Mineral Palette
Clarins Forest Eye Quartet Mineral Palette

Clarins Forest Eye Quartet Mineral Palette ($42.00 for 0.10 oz.) is described as a series of “autumn hues” of “khaki, satiny taupe, intense bronze, and pale gold.” The formula can be used wet or dry, depending on the intensity one desires. Three of the four shades had very nice color payoff, while one shade had more of a glimmering, metallic consistency and look, so it was sheerer (the press release actually calls it a “beige illuminator,” so sheerness would make sense here). The darkest shade felt like a cream eyeshadow–did not feel like a powder at all. All four shades wore without fading or creasing for almost eight hours, and the glittery shade had minor fall out over time. Worth noting, the palette seems like it has plenty of product, but by weight, it’s a mere 0.10 oz.–which is about half of what you’d expect spread across four eyeshadows.

Forest #1 is a medium-dark, olive green with warm, brown undertones and a satin finish. It had nice color payoff, and the texture was silky-smooth and blendable. theBalm D4 (LE, $16.00) is more matte. Dior Bonne Etoile (384) #1 (LE) is darker. Urban Decay Jealous #1 (LE, $18.00) is warmer. theBalm Lead Zeppelin (P, $16.00) is darker. MAC Fiction (DC, $15.00) is very similar. Guerlain Coup de Foudre #1 (LE) is greener. bareMinerals Eureka (P) is more frosted. bareMinerals Speaker Box (LE) is slightly darker. Make Up For Ever #148 (P, $20.00) is more olive. See comparison swatches.

Forest #2 is a glittering golden beige with a metallic finish. It had sheer color payoff, and this is the shade the press release describes as a “beige illuminator.” It’s not much of an eyeshadow–best worn alone as an all-over wash or layered on top of something more opaque to change the texture. I noticed a little bit of fall out over time with this shade. MAC Phresh Out #1 (LE) is lighter. Kat Von D Galore (LE) is yellower. Guerlain Crazy Paris #2 (LE) is slightly warmer. MAC Vanilla Diamond (LE, $21.00) is lighter. Bobbi Brown Bone (LE, $28.00) is lighter. See comparison swatches.

Forest #3 is a deep, dark, murky blackened green with warm, khaki undertones and a sprinkling of bronze shimmer. It’s almost gray. The texture of this felt like a cream–there was nothing powder-like about it!–and blended and applied like one. I didn’t have any creasing with it, though, which is what I was most worried about. It’s incredibly pigmented–a little goes a long way. Too Faced Chocolate Moon (LE) is blacker. Urban Decay Cobra (LE, $18.00) is lighter. See comparison swatches.

Forest #4 is a golden taupe with warm, brown undertones and a frosted, metallic sheen. It had very nice color payoff, and the texture was soft, silky, and buttery. Sleek MakeUP Lust in LA (LE, $9.99) is similar. Too Faced Buche de Noel (LE) is darker. Urban Decay Shakedown (LE, $18.00) is less golden. Urban Decay Suspect (LE, $18.00) Burberry Pale Barley (P) is similar. Benefit Thanks a Latte (P, $20.00) is warmer. See comparison swatches.

P.S. — Clarins’ Friends & Family sale is currently in progress and ends on 11/13. They have a tiered system, so if you purchase one item, it’s 15% off; two items, 20%, 3 items or more, 25% off with code CLARINSFF13.

Also In This Review

A

Forest #1

Limited Edition
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B-

Forest #2

Limited Edition
Read Review
A

Forest #3

Limited Edition
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A

Forest #4

Limited Edition
Read Review
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Dior Minuit Diorific Lipstick

Dior Minuit Diorific Lipstick
Dior Minuit Diorific Lipstick

Dior Minuit Diorific Lipstick ($36.00 for 0.12 oz.) is described as a “sparkling cool red.” It’s a lightened, medium red with cool, blue undertones and a pink tinge, along with a soft, metallic shimmer. The shimmer is faint, so it has more of an overall effect of giving it a frosted sheen than over-the-top shimmer. MAC Prepare for Pleasure (LE, $15.00) is redder. MAC Relentlessly Red (P, $15.00) is more matte. NARS Luxembourg (P, $25.00) is slightly redder. MAC Love Goddess (LE, $15.00) is a touch pinker. Dior Marilyn (LE, $36.00) is quite similar–just a little darker/redder. See comparison swatches.

The Diorific formula is lightly creamy, richly pigmented, and comfortable to wear. The texture is creamy enough that it won’t pull or drag on the lips, but it stays put and doesn’t bleed or feather outside the natural lip line. Minuit is long-wearing, topping in at seven hours of wear, plus it leaves behind a residual reddish stain. It’s somewhat hydrating while worn, and it’s a really nice formula overall. It is lightly floral scented but has no discernible taste. I wish it wasn’t so close to last year’s holiday release Marilyn, though!

Tom Ford Tobacco Oud Eau de Parfum & Oud Wood Soap, Body Moisturizer Reviews & Photos

Tom Ford Oud Collection
Tom Ford Oud Collection

Tom Ford Oud Collection is an expansion of the usage of Oud in Tom Ford’s Private Blend fragrance range, which is centered around Oud Wood. I reviewed that scent a few years ago, and it remains my favorite fragrance of all-time (though it jockeys with Tom Ford’s Amber Absolute and Bois Marocain). There were rumors of Oud Wood being discontinued, but luckily the brand confirmed it was staying in line and merely being repackaged for the Oud collection launch.

The collection features three scents: Oud Wood, Tobacco Oud, and Oud Fleur. The latter I don’t have, so I can’t speak on, though it seems to be the more interesting scent between the two newer scents from early reviews. In addition to the two new eau de parfums, Oud Wood now has companions in the form of soap, shower gel, and body moisturizer.  Private Blend fragrances are available in the following sizes:  1.7 fl. oz. ($210), 3.4 fl. oz. ($290), and 8.4 fl. oz. ($520).

To quickly summarize Oud Wood, it opens with a spicy, smoky air–rosewood and cardamom–that is a little sharp initially, but it transforms into an amber and sandalwood mix with an underlying touch of vetiver with just a lingering smokiness. Towards the end, it is a mix of amber, vanilla, and woods; rich and earthy and warm. For a really great, in-depth look at Oud Wood, I recommend this review.

Oud Wood Bar Soap ($35.00) is a lot like the first forty minutes of the eau de parfum, but the scent doesn’t linger on my skin for very long–an hour or so post-shower, and I really can’t detect it. It produces a rich lather that’s hydrating, and thankfully, doesn’t leave the skin feeling squeaky-clean. The Oud Wood Body Moisturizer ($65.00) follows a similar pattern as the fragrance on a more muted scale that always wears close to the skin, though it lingers for far longer than the soap; after eight to ten hours, it’s mostly gone on me. It has the consistency of a slightly thicker lotion, but it is thinner than a cream. To contrast that against the eau de parfum, I can still get faint whiffs the eau de parfum of Oud Wood twenty-four hours later.

Tobacco Oud opens with a burst of smoke, spice, and almost reminds me of incense burning at an altar. It’s dry, like walking in the woods during autumn, when it’s chilly enough that fireplaces are crackling, but there’s no snow or rain yet. Or stepping into a dry sauna–it’s just a lot of smokiness and drier woods to me; I keep thinking cedarwood (which is a note). There’s amber in the background, somewhere, that’s fleeting initially, and then it settles in for a long stay. It morphs into a mix of smoke, spice, amber, labdanum, and the beginning tendrils of vanilla. Finally, it becomes a more comforting, warmer scent that smells of lightly sweetened vanilla with a soft smokiness and a wee bit of spice that lingers. Oud is here and there throughout the first few hours of wear; it’s not the star–the smokiness from tobacco is definitely more in the forefront. If you’re looking for a strong oud note, it’s not in this scent. It has moderate projection and wore twelve to sixteen hours (two sprays) on me.  If you like Tobacco Vanille, Amber Absolute, Sahara Noir, or Oud Wood (or some combination of them), I think you’ll like this one.

Tobacco Oud has received some comparisons to Amber Absolute, which I can see and not see. I found Tobacco Oud’s metamorphosis was greatly influenced by the number of sprays; less than two, and it was very, very dry and lacked warmth, but three sprays gave me that warmth that I missed the first time I wore it, and that warmth made me understand some of the comparisons to Amber Absolute. With that being said, Amber Absolute is much, much heavier on the amber; it’s headier, thicker, warmer, cozier; when Amber Absolute opens, I get that resinous quality but not the smokiness that I wafts from Tobacco Oud. Amber Absolute is also sweeter throughout the wear, where Tobacco Oud turns slightly sweeter from the tonka bean after six to eight hours of wear. Even if the two had more similarities than differences, the most marked difference is that Amber Absolute is a monster–it has more projection, longevity, and overall, it is just more potent. Amber Absolute–one spray split between my wrists–is still a skin scent twenty-four hours after I’ve applied and taken a shower.

Tobacco Oud is standing in front of the hearth and warming your hands, a brief respite from the cool outdoors.  Amber Absolute is curling up in a luxurious blanket in your favorite chair and settling in for the night.

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Dior Golden Snow Eyeshadow Palette

Dior Golden Snow Eyeshadow Palette
Dior Golden Snow Eyeshadow Palette

Dior Golden Snow Eyeshadow Palette ($60.00 for 0.21 oz.) is a cool-toned palette that features five shades for the holidays. Overall, it was just all right; it had some powdery, slightly dry textures coupled with two glittery eyeshadows–so you have to love glitter to consider this one–and so-so color payoff. I had minor fall out (which is notable) with the two glitter eyeshadows, but they adhered better than the average glitter eyeshadow. The darker black eyeshadow was hard to blend, though.

Golden Snow #1 is a cool-toned, pink-tinged white with a frost finish. It had good color payoff, and the texture was very soft. MAC 2x Dare #1 (LE) is more glittery. Kat Von D Instaglam (LE) is similar. Disney by Sephora Treasures Untold (LE) is golden. Tom Ford Beauty Enchanted #1 (LE) is similar. bareMinerals Muse (P) is similar. See comparison swatches.

Golden Snow #2 is a warm-toned, muted gold with a glittery, metallic finish. It had good pigmentation, but the texture was a little chunky. I had minor fall out when I wore this. Dior Golden Flower #3 (LE) is lighter. MAC Greenluxe #2 (P) is lighter. Urban Decay Oz #1 (LE, $18.00) is darker. MAC Retrospeck (P, $15.00) is similar. Dior Fairy Golds #2 (LE) is similar. See comparison swatches.

Golden Snow #3 is a cool-toned white with a glittery, metallic finish. It had semi-sheer color payoff, and the texture was somewhat glittery but not as chunky as the golden shade. I did see some fall out with this shade during wear. MAC Angelic (P, $21.00) is similar. Dior Fairy Golds #3 (LE) is slightly pink-tinged. See comparison swatches.

Golden Snow #4 is a cool-toned, taupe with a metallic sheen. It had good pigmentation, and the texture was soft and applied smoothly. MAC Phresh Out #4 (LE) is darker. Marc Jacobs Beauty The Starlet #1 (P) is similar. Giorgio Armani Shimmer Greige (LE) is also similar. See comparison swatches.

Golden Snow #5 is a charcoal black–a little gray-ish–with a satin shimmer. It had decent to good color payoff, but the texture was on the dry side, and it was difficult to blend on the lid. theBalm A4 (LE, $16.00) is darker. Urban Decay Redemption (LE, $18.00) is lighter. Disney by Sephora Jetsam (LE) is similar. theBalm Sexy Stacey (P, $16.00) is also similar. Estee Lauder Black Chrome #2 (LE, $21.00) is blacker. bareMinerals Do Not Disturb (P) is similar. Inglot #451 (P, $6.00) is slightly cooler-toned. See comparison swatches.

Also In This Review

A

Golden Snow #1

Limited Edition
Read Review
B

Golden Snow #2

Limited Edition
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C+

Golden Snow #3

Limited Edition
Read Review
A

Golden Snow #4

Limited Edition
Read Review
B

Golden Snow #5

Limited Edition
Read Review