Browsing Tag

Fall 2016

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Giorgio Armani Lip Magnets

October 24, 2016
Armani Lip Magnet - The Beauty Look Book

Fall always seems to be a very popular season for new lip launches and Armani’s latest is the Lip Magnet ($38 each for 3.9 ml/.13 fl oz). These are long-lasting liquid lip products that have a matte finish but a slight lip gloss feel. There are eighteen colors total and I received a lovely box of six to play with. They are super pigmented, unscented, extremely long lasting and bold in color.

Armani Lip Magnet - The Beauty Look Book

Based on what I’ve seen I do think most of the shades are bold or deep, even the natural ones tend to pull a bit darker than nude or natural. The texture is very lightweight for a matte opaque finish lip product and they are not drying. Armani describes these having a “second-skin” effect with a formula that has a “gradual evaporation phenomenon” and a finish that is “four times thinner than a liquid lip color.” Lasting power is indeed excellent – they stay put and look fresh for hours after application. For someone who snacks throughout the day frequently and goes through coffee, tea and water a lot, I’m always having to reapply lip colors. These last through all kinds of eating. There’s no budging, or migrating from the lips. Some of the color will transfer to a cup or straw but for the most part the color stays true to the initial application for a long time.

Armani Lip Magnet - The Beauty Look Book

Many liquid lipsticks dry out my lips. These do not. One of the best things about the Armani Lip Magnets is the packaging. They come in short little tubes which are just so so cute. The applicator is unique compared to anything I’ve seen – they are almost like a calligraphy pen where there’s a well in the center to gather the liquid product. The ends are sponge tipped to a point for precise and smooth application.

Armani Lip Magnet - The Beauty Look Book

The colors I have to review are primarily bold and deep shades:

Armani Lip Magnet - The Beauty Look Book

300 is a bright peachy coral
302 is a classic warm red
400 is a deeper true red
500 is a fuschia pink
506 is a nude rose
601 is a vampy plum

Armani Lip Magnet - The Beauty Look Book

Each one swatched on bare lips, for color reference I’m wearing the Tom Ford Waterproof Foundation Concealer in Bisque set with NARS Powder Foundation in Punjab:

Armani Lip Magnet Lip Swatches - The Beauty Look Book

If you like bold lip colors I think you’ll find a lot to love with the Armani Lip Magnets. As a nude lip lover 506 is the lightest and most natural color I received to try out. These are currently exclusive online to Giorgio Armani Beauty and also available at Sephora but are expected to launch at all other counters in the next couple weeks so I have not been able to see if there are any other light/natural shades to pick from. 506 pulls more rose and deep on my lips compared to what I see in the tube which makes for a good fall neutral. By comparison to a few other matte-finish, liquid lipsticks or velvet-finish lip products:
  • Chanel Rouge Allure Ink is sheerer and lightweight in texture, most of the colors pull extremely bright with the exception of Amoureux (swatched here), the Armani Lip Magnets are bold but not garish and have a more classic glamourous feel which I think are easier to wear
  • YSL Vinyl Cream Lip Stain (three swatched here) are for the most part bright and bold like the Armani Lip Magnets but the YSL has more of a cream almost gel-like finish with a sheen, Armani has a more matte finish and more coverage
  • Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipsticks (two swatched here) are also thicker with an almost flat-looking finish
  • Diorific Matte Velvet Color Lip and Cheek Fluids (reviewed here) have a slightly thicker almost cushiony feel to the lips with a more natural sheen
Armani Lip Magnet - The Beauty Look Book
On the nails Chanel Gitane
My favorite of course is 506, but I also like the look of 300. The formula and packaging are both on point. As a nude lip lover I am hoping there might be one or two more neutrals to choose from. All eighteen shades are available now online at Giorgio Armani Beauty, Sephora and for pre-order at Barneys New York. I expect they will launch at Armani counters and in other stores by early November which is just around the corner. $38 each.

Have you seen or tried these yet? If yes, which colors?

Armani Lip Magnets provided courtesy of Giorgio Armani Beauty for review.
Uncategorized

NARS Velvet Lip Glide, 413 BLKR Cheek and Lip Palette and NARSissist Dual-Intensity Cheek Palette

October 17, 2016
The Beauty Look Book - NARS Velvet Lip Glide, 413 BLKR Cheek and Lip Palette and NARSissist Dual-Intensity Cheek Palette

I’ve had some NARS bits that I’ve accumulated that I had not yet swatched or reviewed for you. By now their Sarah Moon Holiday collection has already launched so much of this post contains items that are old news. Today I’m reviewing:
Up first are the Velvet Lip Glides. These are described as comfortable high-pigment products that glide on as a gloss but have the lipstick finish. They have a slight semi-matte finish but on my lips the colors I picked out still have a slight sheen. There’s an almost weightless airy feel but they will cover the lips all the way with a few strokes. When I bought mine I ordered them sight unseen and went with the safe colors.

The Beauty Look Book NARS Velvet Lip Glide Stripped, Unlaced, Playpen, Bound

The Beauty Look Book NARS Velvet Lip Glide swatch Stripped, Unlaced, Playpen, Bound

The colors I bought:

  • Stripped is a beige nude which I found to be a very good neutral nude that doesn’t wash me out or look streaky on the lips, huge thumbs up for this one!
  • Unlaced is a light pink beige which unfortunately doesn’t work well with my lip or skintone by itself, it’s too light and pale, finish is a bit streaky because of the contrast it has with my natural lip color but you can smooth it out with some blending
  • Playpen is a warm peachy coral which should work for me because I love these colors, but there’s something about the undertone that makes it pull orangey and makes my skin look a bit yellow when I wear this one, I found this odd because it’s almost identical to a few from Chanel and Tarte (swatched below) but there must be something about the drydown that turns the NARS a bit orangey on me
  • Bound is a perfect mauve neutral, I feel like I’ve been looking for a color like this for a long time and I’ve finally found the one
The Beauty Look Book NARS Velvet Lip Glide swatch Stripped, Unlaced, Playpen, Bound

Swatch comparisons:

The Beauty Look Book NARS Velvet Lip Glide swatch comparisons

Swatched above:

Next is the 413 BLKR Cheek and Lip Palette which is exclusive to NARS boutiques and NARS online. I also bought this sight unseen in part because NARS palettes excite me and also because the pink shades looked just perfect.

The Beauty Look Book NARS 413 BLKR Cheek and Lip Palette

The Beauty Look Book NARS 413 BLKR Cheek and Lip Palette

The Beauty Look Book - NARS 413 BLKR Velvet Matte Lip Pencil

It contains, 3 blushes in a satin pale pink, a neutral rose blush, a deeper raspberry blush, Laguna Bronzer and a bright electric fuchsia lip pencil. This palette did not work for me. The colors for the cheeks ended up looking muddy on my complexion and darkened quite a bit giving me a burnt look. The lip color pulls too bright and too cool-toned on my lips. This is one I should have gone by my palette rule of not buying because I knew there might be a chance I would not like at least one of the colors. Quality-wise the powders are soft and easy to blend. The lip pencil went on the lips smooth but I couldn’t get over how garish the color was against my olive skintone, I literally wiped it off immediately. They just don’t work with my skintone.

The Beauty Look Book - NARSissist Dual-Intensity Blush Palette

Last but not least is the NARSissist Dual-Intensity Cheek Palette which I’ve featured a few times before but never posted swatches. I liked this one so much I bought a backup although given the holiday palette launches I probably should have skipped the backup. I’m a huge fan of the Dual-Intensity Blush formula (also for the eyeshadows) because they’re the perfect hybrid of powder and cream. They meld beautifully with the skin and last all day on me. The shimmer is just perfect in each color as well. After swatching the palette next to individual colors I did find a lot of almost-dupes. If you haven’t bought it yet and were still debating whether or not to get it, I think it’s a great option, especially for travel. However if you already own a lot of the others (I own all of them and yes they were all splurge-worthy) you may want to skip and opt for the holiday palettes instead.

Colors include a soft opal with a pink sheen, shimmering peach, shimmering pink and warm bronzey tan shimmer. They all have some degree of shimmer but aren’t frosty.

The Beauty Look Book - NARSissist Dual-Intensity Blush Palette Swatches

Swatch comparisons below to four of the other Dual-Intensity Blushes (Liberation reviewed here):

The Beauty Look Book - NARSissist Dual-Intensity Blush Palette vs Individual Swatches

A quick side by side rundown of the palettes in this review lined up by the Holiday 2016 offerings. I just ordered the Sephora exclusive  which just popped up online over the weekend and have high hopes for it. Most of the rest are available at NARS stores and narscosmetics.com right now and will launch at other stores/counters on November 1st. I’m trying to wait and see in person before splurging.

NARS Palettes

Bottom line, love the Velvet Lip Glides in Stripped and Bound along with the NARSissist Dual-Intensity Blush Palette. The rest aren’t bad – the colors just didn’t work out for me but it’s bound to happen from time to time when ordering items sight unseen.
NARS Velvet Lip Glides and NARSissist Dual-Intensity Blush Palette are available at all NARS stores and counters. Note the blush palette is limited-edition. The 413 BLKR Cheek and Lip Palette is exclusive to NARS stores and their website.

Have you picked up or tried any of the NARS items I reviewed today? Or have you checked out the holiday collection? Let me know your thoughts!
Christian Louboutin

Christian Louboutin The Noirs Nail Colors for Fall 2016 – Miziggoo and Miss Mars

September 22, 2016

It’s hard to believe it’s already been two years since Christian Louboutin first launched Rouge Louboutin Nail Polish! Where has all the time gone? Since the first beauty launch from the luxury line there have been quite a few new additions for nails, lips and now perfume. For this fall season there are two new polishes that have been added to The Noirs Nail Colour ($50 each) in Mizzigoo and Miss Mars. As I still do not have any Louboutin beauty items at counters near me I ordered them immediately. They are simply lovely. Mizziggoo is a dark chocolate vamp brown cream and Miss Mars is a perfect steel grey metallic. Performance is perfect. My wallet is not happy but my fingers are. I know that a $50 nail color is very spendy. Many of you have asked me if it’s worth the price. I don’t think I could ever say that a $50 price tag for a nail polish is “worth it” but it doesn’t mean I won’t buy them. I’ve bought quite a few Louboutin Nail Polishes and I haven’t been disappointed yet.

They both have similar vibes to previously launched colors from other lines so you may want to shop your stash for dupes. I pulled a few other shades to compare (scroll down to the bottom). The verdict is that I’m still happy I bought both. The pigment is perfect, coverage flawless, lasting power phenomenal (up to 7 days without tip wear with a good top coat).

I’ve featured a closer look at the bottles and brushes in a few posts before but some of you have asked for another look. The brushes are thin and medium in length – longer than many other brands I own but still easy to use for precise application. The coverage is very good with the Noirs but I always use two coats. I’ve been testing the Nail Care Kit which is also very steep in price but very very good. Review on this soon.

Swatches below. Up first is Mizigoo which I think is just perfect!

Miss Mars is such a pretty steel grey. The brush strokes are minimal and shimmer/texture is very smooth:

Shown under indoor light where it looks more muted. Depending on the light sometimes Miss Mars appears less grey and more blue. 

Miss Mars:

Miziggoo:

Swatch comparisons below. Note many of the shades shown below have been discontinued:

  • Chanel Black Pearl (discontinued) is more green in undertone
  • Dior Metal Montaigne has a more metallic finish while the Louboutin shimmer is more evenly distributed, the Louboutin has slightly cooler undertones
  • Tom Ford Blackout (still available at Violet Grey) is deeper and more black
  • Chanel Steel (discontinued) is deeper in color
  • Louboutin Miziggoo is the most vampy brown color I have with the chocolate undertone, by comparison many of the others have a more red base
  • Dior Skyline is a lot more red in undertone and lighter
  • Chanel Rouge Noir (current version) by comparison almost looks red plum
  • Dior Hypnotic is also more plum
  • Chanel Western Light (discontinued) has a similar effect but the base is a lot cooler in undertone by comparison

One last look:

Bottom line flawless and I love them both. You can definitely find similar colors but I love the rich depth Miziggoo has. Miss Mars has a perfectly smooth shimmer and if you’re really picky with metallics and visible brush strokes this one is flawless with the smooth shimmer.
You can find them at Louboutin stores and counters now. Online at Nordstrom, Sephora, Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman and Christian Louboutin.

Have you tried these yet? If not, what colors are you wearing on your nails this fall?
What's In My Bag

The Fall Transition Makeup Bag

September 19, 2016
Fall Beauty Makeup Bag - The Beauty Look Book

As we transition to the fall season I feel a shift in my mood for makeup to cooler tones and my fragrance preference has changed for deeper more complex kinds of scents. I always look forward to new launches and beauty trends for fall and this season has brought quite a few smaller mini collections rather than color-themed launches (with a few exceptions). There doesn’t appear to be any “it” color this season and if right now you’re unsure of what to wear for the upcoming fall season I say go for anything! I really don’t think you can go wrong with any color this season whether it’s shopping your own stash or adding a new lip or nail color. Mauves and plums will always be a classic go-to for the fall and will be wearable all the way through winter. I’ve teamed up with Nordstrom to round up some of my favorite timeless and classic colors. If you can’t wear purplish plums on the lips or cheeks, you may want to opt for light to neutral mauves or reddish plums which I feel are easier to pull off.

Since everyone has different interests and preferences for what they like in beauty, I’ve split the beauty recommendations by category for lips, cheeks, nails, eyes and fragrance. Many of you have asked for a full dedicated feature on fall fragrance for perfumes and one for home fragrance – I promise to have one on each very soon! I’m testing a few more items and will hope to have reviews over the next two weeks.

Up first are the lip recommendations, my personal favorite. Quite a few of you have asked for neutral light pink-mauve lip recommendations for colors that won’t turn too blue or fuchsia on the lips. I have a wide range from light to deep that I like.

Shown above:

  1. MAC Viva Glam Ariana Grande II Lipglass is a really pretty soft neutral mauve lipglass. It has a tiny bit of shimmer and looks very natural on the lips.
  2. MAC Lipstick in Modesty has been a classic light pink mauve lip color. It’s similar to Syrup which is another very pretty color. Modesty has a bit more warmth with more pink. The coverage is more opaque as well. They’re very close – some of my friends have told me they can’t wear Syrup because it’s a bit too cool toned, in that case opt for Modesty!
  3. Clarins Instant Light Lip Perfector #07 is a sheer tinted balm. It’s also a light mauve color and the formula is a really good one to add a hint of color + hydration.
  4. Bobbi Brown Luxe Lip Colors are relatively new to me. I discovered them this year and Bobbi is one of the newest shades that is a grege-beige color that doesn’t wash me out. It’s creamy and gives the lips full coverage with one swipe.
  5. Diptyque repackaged their Nourishing Lip Balm in tube format this season. It has a nicely hydrating formula that’s thick and coats the lips with a veil of moisture. In terms of clear squeeze tube balms I think the AmorePacific Moisture Bound Lip Treatment is still my favorite for sensitive lips that can’t tolerate scent. Both are very good though.
  6. Clarins Instant Light Lip Perfector #08 is a pretty warm deep plum red. Finish is sheer to medium. The color is deeper and brighter than the rest of the shades in the formula so this shows up better on the lips.
  7. Bobbi Brown Nourishing Lip Color in Desert Rose is a super creamy rose berry kind of shade. It’s a lush full coverage formula and very comforting on the lips. 
  8. Chanel Rouge Allure Ink just launched in eight shades. Most are very bright and vibrant – I bought the only neutral which isn’t plum or mauve. Amoureux is a pinky peach color. The verdict is still out on this one. I’ll have a more detailed review soon but for now below is a sneak preview swatch.
  9. Chanel Rouge Coco Stylo in Recit is one of the prettiest plum reds I’ve tried before. This formula is excellent and I highly recommend it. All the shades are phenomenal in that range.
  10. Bobbi Brown Luxe Lip Color in Neutral Rose is one of the most classic kinds of warm pink rose colors I can think of.

Next are cheeks. I’m sure by now many of you are already well stocked on plums or mauves for lips. For me finding a coordinating cheek color has been tricky. I used to always gravitate towards peaches, corals or bronze for the cheeks for the summer and finding a good versatile cheek color to go with any variation of plum/mauve was tricky but I have managed to find three.

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Mood Exposure is one I find goes well with the lighter mauve lips or darker lips. For something a bit more neutral with brown and pink mixed in is Charlotte Tilbury Cheek to Chic in Sex on Fire. It has the prettiest soft glow to it (not overly shimmery) so it wears very naturally on the skin while adding color and depth. MAC Blush in Plum Foolery is a classic shimmery plum. The gold shimmer adds an interesting warmth to the skin which I find naturally flattering. In the event you don’t do shimmer on the cheeks, you may want to check out MAC Breath of Plum for a matte version.

For a good natural highlight and contour, I don’t think it gets more classic than the Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze and Glow. It goes with everything for me and I love the packaging. The texture is really soft and blendable so it won’t give you a harsh contoured look or sharp frost.

For eyes I love a good neutral shimmer whether it’s tan, taupe, pink or bronze. Two favorites have been the NARS Dual Intensity Eyeshadows in Himalia (tan) and Telesto (bronze). For fall NARS launched a shimmery warm pink Rigel. These work well as an easy all over wash to brighten the eyes. Mascara wise I’ve raved about the Bobbi Brown Eye Opening Mascara. I just bought a second tube for my on-the-go makeup bag. It thickens, volumizes, holds the curl and doesn’t smudge. It has a big fluffy brush which grabs my skimpy lashes and coats them evenly. I’m so glad I discovered it! Lash curling is always a must and I still find that the MAC Full Lash Curler has been performing really well for my eye shape.

Three shades shown above swatched below alongside a few other colors:

For nails I have yet to see an “it” polish color for fall. I think the two classics you can never go wrong with are a good vamp in which case Chanel Vamp is a classic or a classic nude pink. For me the two best neutral nude pinks are Chanel Organdi or Tom Ford Sugar Dune (paler on me). A new dark almost-black shade called Gris Obscur launched with the Lip Inks. I spotted it in store at counters so it should be available online very soon.

Last but not least are a few fragrances. As mentioned above I’ll have a full fall fragrance line up but these are three I’ll be transitioning from season to season. First is the Viktor and Rolf Flowerbomb which I still think is the perfect date night fragrance and the one my husband loves the most on me. It’s one I consider very mainstream but one I think is just so so good in a spicy floral kind of way. I love that the Travel Spray version is indeed a spritzer versus the roller-ball format. Replica Lipstick On is one of the prettiest feminine fragrances that smells like vintage makeup. It’s hard to describe in words except that it makes me feel girly without having that overly sweet smell. Le Labo Santal is one I recognize instantly on anyone who wears it whether they are male or female. I actually prefer it in candle form for the home but I love all things with any kind of sandalwood in them. 

What colors and scents are you wearing right now as we transition to fall? Are you embracing any on trend makeup shades or wearing classics? There are lots of great new fall beauty launches and each one has been unique in it’s own way.

Would love to hear what you’re keeping in your fall transition makeup bag or routine right now! For more recommendations Nordstrom has their Fall Beauty Trend Event section with Ultra Pretty Neutrals and Bold Shades of what is trending now at their stores.

Many thanks to Nordstrom for teaming up to sponsor this post. Press samples featured include the Clarins Instant Light Lip Perfectors, Chanel Rouge Coco Stylo, Chanel Vamp and Organdi and Replica Lipstick On.
Bronzer + Blush Eye Makeup Lips Tom Ford Beauty

Tom Ford Beauty AW16 Color Collection

September 18, 2016

For fall Tom Ford Beauty has launched new items for lips and eyes along with a few repromoted shades. Many of you have been eagerly waiting for the review and I can say that the new launches do not disappoint. By now the items have arrived in store and counters – I ordered these sight unseen and only have one that I would say I regret buying. For the AW16 Color Collection, items include:
The item I was most excited about was the Eye Color Duo called AW16 which was featured on the runway for this year’s fashion week. The online stock photos are not accurate though. Based on the online images I expected a soft peachy shimmer and neutral-cool brown taupe neutral shimmer. The duo is a lot more neutral in real life. Many of you have asked how it compares to Nude Dip (originally reviewed here). I’ll show comparisons below. As a die hard Tom Ford eyeshadow lover there was nothing that would have stopped me from purchasing it. There are subtle differences if you look closely. The duo has a brighter shimmer for the pale side and the deep side is deeper than Nude Dip’s darkest color. However they are remarkably similar. Texture is the same for the duo and quads which is my favorite formula from Tom Ford. They are very pigmented and easy to blend. The shimmer is just unmatched with any other brand.

AW16:

AW16 layered over Platinum (the right side looks faded because I hold my camera sideways and the flash always washes that side out):

AW16 swatched on the left, Nude Dip on the right:

Next are the Cream Color for eyes, both repromoted shades Pink Haze and Platinum. I’ve received dozens of requests for swatches compared to the originals (yes I still have them, they are still good and haven’t turned in color or scent) and also compared to the Golden Peach Cream Powder Duo. The artist at my local counter said they were different, I think they are really close so there’s no need to re-buy if you already own these from past seasons. These are some of my favorite cream shadows. They are easy to blend, super creamy and work well with my skintype. I like layering them together for an effortless look.

Pink Haze is a medium warm pink shimmer. Platinum is the perfect fawn brown taupe.

Love Lust was repromoted with this launch but when I saw photos pop up online it looked drastically different from the one I own. Out of curiosity I had to buy it. I adore Tom Ford Blushes anyways so having an extra one was ok in my mind. It’s been a while since I’ve looked at their blushes because they really do last a long time, but the current one is lighter and less peach than the original one I have. I don’t know if there are differences in batches or if they changed the color. If you own it let me know what you think yours looks like.

Swatch comparisons:

Last but not least are the Lip Contour Duos. Each product has a lip shaping liner with tiny glitter flecks and a cream lip color on the other end. The liners match the lipstick and they are both full coverage. The liners are on the stiff side and I broke the tips of a few when I applied them on bare lips although I will say they were a bit on the dry side. I found application best for the liner if I prepped the lips with a bit of balm first and then applied in short strokes. For me the liner glitter isn’t as chunky as I expected and is very subtle so even the conservative makeup-wearer can still wear these. The liners have a matte finish and truly extend the lasting power of the lip color. For me when I used the liner the lip color lasted a lot longer.

The lipstick side is a full coverage cream. They have a soft finish and glide across the lips. Many of the shades have a 90’s vibe to me and as a neutral lip lover I found quite a few options I can wear for everyday. In addition there are some lovely pinks, mauves and a plum. I skipped the bright reds as the only two reds I really wear are Edward Bess Amor Lip Gloss or the Louboutin Rouge Loubilaque.

There’s the AW16 Lip Contour Duo shade and eight in the regular Lip Contour Duo lineup (I picked out the lightest ones):

Colors as they apply on me, liners match lipstick almost exactly with the exception that the liners have tiny gold flecks:
  • AW16 is a super pale beige cream, this is the only shade I regret buying, alone it’s just pure death, if I layer a pinky or peachy gloss on top I can make it work
  • Public Display is a beige cream nude
  • Fling it On is a peachy pink color
  • Dream Obscene is a mauvey lilac color
  • Show it Off is a mauve plum (my favorite!)
  • I’ll Teach You is a deep fuschia pink
  • Make Me is a drop dead gorgeous plum
Close ups, first the lipstick:

 Lip liner side:

Quick look with AW16 + Platinum for eyes, Love Lust on the cheeks (current version which is almost like a highlighter on my skintone) and Public Display on the lips:

As a huge fan of Tom Ford Beauty I think there are some lovely items in the fall collection. The prices are among the highest in the beauty world but in my experience the quality, color payoff and textures are really good. The AW16 Duo has a lot of similar qualities to Nude Dip so if you’re debating which one to get, I’d say go for Nude Dip.

Out of the Lip Contour Duos, my favorites actually are the mauves and plums with Show It Off being the winner for me. In the neutral zone I think there are some good options but regular lip colors like Pink Dusk, Revolve Around Me and Spanish Pink are still my favorite neutrals from his line. Still the Lip Contour Duos are solid performers and the lipstick side is among the creamiest formula I’ve tried with full coverage in one swipe.

At this time I’m not sure which items are permanent or limited-edition. I think it’s safe to say the AW16 items are limited. There are also some new Private Blend Fragrances that have launched. I gave them a brief sniff at the counter and got a mini sample made of one, but of course I’ve forgotten where I put it and can’t remember which one it was. Once I find it I’ll report back.

You can find the Tom Ford Beauty Autumn Winter collection at Tom Ford counters now. Online at Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman, Saks Fifth Avenue and Tom Ford. Note that the BG Rewarding Beauty event is still going on through the 18th – as Tom Ford is pretty spendy the event is a nice time to have some savings off splurges. Details in this post.

Have you checked out the Tom Ford fall collection items yet?
What did you think? Any winners for you?
Uncategorized

Rouge Dior Lipstick Collection – The Natural Nudes Reviewed

September 14, 2016

This month Dior introduces a newly reformulated version of Rouge Dior ($35 each for 3.5 g / 0.12 oz) designed by Dior Makeup’s creative director Peter Philips. There are 50 shades total in two finishes: 35 classic luxe satins and 15 new long-wear mattes. The new formula is split into five different categories: natural nudes, pretty pinks, passionate corals, legendary reds and extreme/pastels covering a wide range of color options.

If you’ve followed Dior launches for a while you know that most of the line has been reformulated over the years. It’s been a couple generations of reformulations since I’ve tried the Rouge Dior formula because I’ve gravitated towards the glossy formulas like the Addict Fluid Stick, Rouge Dior Baume and Rouge Dior Brilliant. As one who likes glossy moist lipsticks I have to say the new Rouge Dior formula does not disappoint and I was completely blown away by how incredibly smooth, hydrating, pigmented and comforting the formula looks and feels. They have Hyaluronic Acid to plump the lips and Mango Butter to nourish and protect. The color payoff is very good while still looking natural.

When it comes to lipstick, I have tons that I can recommend. It’s one thing I really like to experiment with, but for others so many factors come into play for finding the right one. Color options, coverage, finish, packaging, price and scent matter.  Most of my friends are not into the matte lip look, they want something that has medium to full coverage with a bit of shine, moisturizes and preferably under the $40 mark. Most are ok with a bit of scent as long as it’s not too sweet or floral. The Rouge Dior fits the bill on all counts. There is a bit of scent to them but it’s not strong and fades within a few minutes.
A quick look at the color range:

For my last post on the Skyline Fall 2016 collection Dior offered a special promo code on their website for a limited time. Out of curiosity I placed an order for some items to see what it would look like in person. If you want to see the full haul let me know and I’ll do a separate post. But first a look at the packaging and presentation. Orders come in a gorgeous gift box tied with a bow (which in my excitement removed and untied immediately). There are always samples online at Dior.com, promos vary every week or so and you can always see them at the checkout page. With any $100+ order you get a deluxe sized sample (mine was the Sauvage Cologne) and 2 complimentary smaller samples come with every order.

For my review I have a look at nine of the Natural Nudes in the satin formula. I had a serious OMG moment when swatching these because as a nude and neutral lip lover I always find at least one shade doesn’t work for my pigmented lips. It’s happened with Tom Ford, Charlotte Tilbury and a number of other brands. The OMG moment is because every single one of these colors is just perfect. There are a few I wouldn’t really call “natural” or “nude” but compared to the other colors in the launch they are all relatively natural.
Top Row: Premiere, Grege 1947, Rose Montaigne, Bal, Hasard
Bottom Row: Saint Germain, Promenade, Dolce Vita and Rendez-vous

A closer look at all the colors and descriptions as I see them. All of these have flawless coverage. It’s similar in effect to their nail polishes in the sense that they glide on and have a naturally glossy finish. They feel instantly comforting without being thick or heavy. While they do feel moist they don’t feel like they will slide off the lips.
  • Premiere is a cool-toned medium pink with a bit of brightness, I rarely can wear cool-toned blue based pinks because it makes my skin look sallow but this one is just stunning
  • Grege 1947 is a medium beige pink cream
  • Rose Montaigne is a lovely light pink, this is the most natural looking on me and had the least coverage, but still covered my lip entirely
  • Bal is a warm pinky rose neutral
  • Hasard is a light ballet pink
  • Saint Germain is a stunning medium rose neutral nude
  • Promenade is a warmer neutral nude
  • Dolce Vita is a muted orangey color with a hint of copper
  • Rendez-Vous is a neutral reddish color with a slight hint of plum

Closer looks at Premiere, Grege 1947, Rose Montaigne, Bal, Hasard

Saint Germain, Promenade, Dolce Vita and Rendez-vous

Swatched below on bare lips. For skintone reference I’m wearing the Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Foundation in Y315 set with NARS Powder Foundation in Punjab. All of the lipsticks apply nicely on the lips without emphasizing lip lines or creeping into crevices. Lasting power is very good as long as you don’t eat snacks. If you feel like your lips are dry and want to add a base, I’ve had good luck with the Dior Addict Lip Glow Pomade. It’s supposed to be a color reviver formula to adjust like the stick version. On me it just stays clear but I’ve been using it as a lip oil treatment which is easier to use and less messy than the Creme de Rose Balm.

Swatches side by side:

My top 3 favorites: Grege 1947, Saint Germain and Rendez-Vous, also Bal comes in close 4th

Since these had a naturally glossy satiny sheen some of them may look shimmery as the flash reflected off the surface. Even the colors that have some shimmer are very natural and soft in effect. To show the difference I have a couple shades to show with versus without flash:

For quick reference, other new colors that are part of the Rouge Dior launch:

  • Rouge Dior Brilliant ($35 each) in Miss #047, Premiere #060, Red Smile #080
  • Rouge Dior Contour Lip Pencil ($31 each), 7 new shades in Miss #047, Premiere #060, Red Smile #080, New World Matte #365, Sydney Matte #644, Euphoric Matte #756 and Mysterieuse Matte #994
Bottom line the satin formula is perfect. Just absolutely perfect. The rest of the week will be a lip-heavy week for posts as I have quite a few lipstick formulas going through testing and are ready for review. You may want to wait and see reviews on others if you’re trying to decide on one lipstick formula for fall, but I will say the new Rouge Dior is brilliant. I did not test the last round of formulas so unfortunately I am not able to compare the old vs new. The last Rouge Dior I bought was probably at least two years ago and I no longer own it so cannot compare it either. However, based on my experience trying other reformulations I can say that Dior does seem to improve the formula, texture, pigment and lasting power with each new generation of products.

I’m thoroughly impressed with the Natural Nudes shades. As one who finds a lot of “nudes” end up washing me out, I am really quite pleased to find a new line of easy to wear shades that don’t need any tweaking. I’m set for now although the formula is so good I have to admit I’m a bit interested in some of the plum-reds which I think could be nice for fall. I’ll have to go investigate this weekend.

You can find the Rouge Dior at Dior.com and all other Dior counters. Have you had a chance to look at these yet? If yes what do you think? How do they lineup next to the previous formula?

Eight of the Rouge Dior Lipstick shades were provided courtesy of Dior for review. One shade Rose Montaigne was purchased by me.
Chanel Fragrance

Chanel N°5 L’Eau

September 12, 2016
Chanel N°5 L'Eau Perfume

On September 1st Chanel launched a new perfume for fall called N°5 L’EAU ($100 to $132) which is modern fresh take on the classic N°5. The new N°5 L’Eau is very different from the original, it is significantly lighter in feel with a very clean almost green zesty feel but floral with hints of musk. Notes per Chanel:

“Composed by Chanel perfumer Olivier Polge, N°5 L’EAU features dynamic, crisp top notes of Lemon, Mandarin and Orange that reveal lightheartedness and transparency. The emblematic heart of the bouquet unfolds with Rose, Jasmine and a new fraction of Ylang Ylang, more modern than ever. Behind this floral whirlwind lies an unprecedented sense of liveliness: the vibrant echo of Cedar, accompanied by soft and cottony Musk notes.”

Smelling this seems to give me that fresh feel of spring but the combination of musk, ylang ylang and jasmine makes it one that I feel one can truly wear year round. Part of me wishes it was launched in the spring though because I would have worn this all season long and loved it. That being said I will wear this for the upcoming season.

Chanel N°5 L'Eau Perfume

Shown above: Les Beiges Healthy Glow Sheer Colour SPF15 in No 20, Gloss Volume, Glossimer in Beige Star (reviewed here), Le Vernis in Organdi (reviewed here), marble tray from Restoration Hardware (less expensive alternatives here and here)

Strength-wise it’s in the Eau de Toilette form and it’s a light scent so I can spritz generously without having to worry about overdoing it. Lasting power is not as good as an Eau de Parfum, but I can smell it from morning until about lunch time before I find it has disappeared completely. I rarely reapply perfumes mid-day even if they fade on me unless they have a travel size you can buy separately. I know there are a number of travel size spritzers and vials that you can fill with your own scent but I feel like they aren’t as well packaged and tightly sealed like the ones that are made by the brands themselves.

Chanel N°5 L'Eau Perfume Styled

To date my favorite Chanel fragrance is the Les Exclusifs de Chanel in Beige. I’ve sampled a number of others each time I’m at a store that carries them (you can’t find them at all counters). Gardenia, Jersey and No 22 have all been tempting but my heart still belongs to Beige. I sniffed Boy last month and found it interesting too, I’m undecided on it as so many fragrances have captured my attention I need to limit myself to ones I truly love. The N°5 L’Eau is a clean floral like Beige, but at the same time it’s very different in overall feel and effect. N°5 L’Eau is brighter, cleaner and has a bit more of a powdery feel by comparison.

Chanel N°5 L'Eau Perfume Styled Shot with Flap Bag

On the nails above, Louboutin Miziggoo

I’ve always wanted a Chanel perfume in that classic bottle that came in a spray form and now I do. I had the original N°5 before (it was gifted) and it simply wasn’t me so I gave it away so I cannot compare it to the newly launched L’eau version.

Chanel N°5 L'Eau Perfume with Roses

Bottom line: modern, clean and fresh that dries down to a powdery floral. As perfume is very personal and scents often shift depending on your body chemistry, I don’t think there is any universal kind of scent. This one won’t be for everyone and if you need something with very strong lasting power, this definitely won’t be for you. I like it and will wear it frequently. You can find the Chanel N°5 L’Eau Eau de Toilette in a 50 ml for $100 and 100 ml for $132, both exclusively online at Chanel. The one I have featured in this review is the smaller size. If you’ve tried this I’d be curious to hear your thoughts! If not, let me know what your go-to is for this upcoming fall season. I always love reading about what my readers are wearing. 

Chanel N°5 L’Eau provided courtesy of Chanel for review.