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Fall 2010

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Le Métier de Beauté Le Cirque Kaleidoscope Eye Kit

September 26, 2010

The Le Cirque Kaleidoscope Eye Kit by Le Métier de Beauté ($95) was launched a few weeks ago and it is truly stunning. This kit has one of the most unique color combinations I have ever seen – I don’t think I have ever seen a palette quite like this. Each shade has a complex mix of colors that give off a luminous sheen. It’s beautiful when layered (from the top shade to the bottom) and extremely versatile for a subtle daytime look and gorgeous for evening as well. I’ve been eagerly anticipating this ever since the lovely Gaia gave us her preview on The Non-Blonde (about 2 months waiting!). My kit didn’t come with the colors named, but you can see the color names on Gaia’s blog and note that each color is currently not available for sale individually.


There are four shades in the kit. All are shimmery but not overly so. The shadows are high in quality, soft and easy to blend. The texture is hard to describe, but this palette seems to be softer than most other Le Metier shadows I’ve tried which allows you to blend all over the eye with ease. I agree with Gaia’s review that they are slightly powdery with a bit of residue after you swipe the product with the brush, but there is no fall out when applied to the eye. I would have never thought of combining these shades together, but when applied the final result is gorgeous.


Here are my descriptions:
  • The top shade is a multi-dimensional color, light beige-grey with an opalescent pink & green sheen. I couldn’t find anything like it. It reminds me of colors like MAC Hush and Vex in that there is a slight duochrome quality, but the Le Métier is not as frosty, it simply glows. I’ve compared it to MAC Vex (more pink and lighter) and Paul & Joe #18 (more silver, no duochrome).
  • The second shade is a shimmering (slightly frosty) neutral taupe. I’ve compared it to MAC Satin Taupe and Le Métier Corinthian. It’s almost an exact dupe to Corinthian, but the Le Cirque taupe has less silver shimmer making it less frosty and more glowy.
  • The third shade is a shimmering plum-brown. I’ve compared it to Bordeaux (almost an exact dupe, but the Bordeaux is frostier and has more red) and also Stila Twig (darker, more pigmented and more brown). The Le Cirque shade has this special red sparkle flecks that the other shades do not.
  • The bottom shade is a deep smokey brightened purple. It’s more intense than Le Métier’s Water Sapphire and deeper in color. This shade is the least shimmery but it does have a subtle sparkle which gives it some depth.


The top shade (when photographed at an angle, you can see the green in it):

Top shade comparisons:

Second shade:

Align Center

Second shade comparisons:

Third shade:

Third shade comparisons:

Bottom shade:

Bottom shade comparisons:



If you own Bordeaux or Corinthian, you may think you won’t be needing this kit. I wasn’t able to compare these in person before purchasing it but I still think it is well worth the price given that Le Metier Individual Eyeshadows cost $30 each. I like that the shadows in the Le Cirque Eye Kit have this luminous quality that allows you to layer each shade and get a soft or deep glowy eye. The compact comes with a mirror that flips up. I find it a bit difficult to hold in my hand and apply with this mirror, but I suppose it could be handy for touch ups.

At this time I do not know if this kit is limited edition or not, I have yet to see a Kaleidoscope Kit that is permanent, so this is one thing I would recommend you get now so you don’t regret missing out once it’s sold out.

Those not familiar with this line, Le Metier de Beaute is a luxury brand available at Bergdorf Goodman, select Neimans and Nordstroms, Fred Segal and various boutiques and salons. Check their website MetierBeaute.com for listed locations. I have a number of reviews on this brand you can check out by clicking the Le Metier de Beaute label below or on the sidebar.

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YSL Rouge Volupté Perle 104 Stellar Pink

September 21, 2010
When YSL Fall arrived instores during the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, I fell in love with the Rouge Volupté Perle in Beige Caress #101. I had swatched the other shades and initially thought 103 and 104 resembled MAC Lame/Sequin, but on another occasion swatched them again and looked at the colors in natural light and was surprised how wearable #104 Stellar Pink was and ran right back in to get it.

I would describe it as a soft mauve pink rose with a slight (very slight) blue iridescent quality. I normally can’t wear any lip items with a blueish sheen but this one is just beautiful. These have a super soft texture and feel like a lip balm on the lips but show up quite well. I like that these have a glossy sheen for the finish and they taste like candy. The scent isn’t too noticeable but does smell like other Rouge Voluptés.


You can read my review of these on Beige Caress, but to recap – the Perles have a more forgiving finish than the regular Rouge Voluptés which due to their opaqueness can look a bit fake and thick if not applied carefully. The Perle formula is more natural but still shows up pretty well on the lips.


If you already have MAC Lame and don’t mind the frosty quality, then I’d say it’s pretty similar in color. I find adding a bit of clear gloss or lip balm to MAC frost finish lipsticks can tone down the frost quality. (Lame is one of the few shades I have gone through a full tube of, although I always find I need to tweak it a bit with gloss to keep it from looking too metallic on the lips.) Here is the YSL compared to MAC Lame and Chanel Legende (mini size):



Pricey at $34 but I like that this lipstick does not require any additional work (liner or gloss) to make it work on me. It’s an easy swipe and go type of shade. I found mine at Nordstrom. I’m not all that familiar with YSL so I can’t say whether or not this is limited edition or not.
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Bobbi Brown Sparkle Eyeshadows: Black & Black Velvet

September 18, 2010
I’ve never been happier that it’s finally Friday. I survived the first week at my new job and don’t want to think about anything work-related or work-appropriate for the next few days. I thought it fitting to feature the new Sparkle Eyeshadows ($24) from Bobbi Brown’s Black Velvet collection which are loaded with visible sparkle and glitters. Both of which I think are not exactly appropriate for the office but perfect for going out (just my opinion).

A small intro: When I saw Bobbi Brown’s Black Velvet Collection (see my previous review here) all the counters near me seemed to be missing the testers and product to sell for the new sparkle eyeshadow colors. Having dismissed her past sparkle shadows as too glitzy, I wasn’t too concerned that the counter was missing these in their inventory. However when I passed by the counter last weekend and saw these in person I changed my mind.


If you’ve tried her sparkle shadows you know that these are chock full of sparkle. These are Bobbi Brown’s “grown-up take on glitter” and while I’m rarely attracted to glitter for makeup, I am oddly in love with these. The texture itself in the compact seems chunky and testers that aren’t handled with care do tend to look broken or dented with gaping holes. But I think they will hold up better when handled with your own personal love and care. They feel slightly creamy – but this is probably because of the softness. They are very pigmented, easy to blend, easy to layer for a sheer to full coverage smokey eye. I have surprised even myself as I am IN LOVE!

Black Sparkle is a blue-based black while Black Velvet is a smokey metallic mauve-purple. Gorgeous and intense. There is nothing subtle about these, but not too over the top for date night or going out for drinks. I don’t think you need both – if I had to only pick one I would opt for Black Sparkle just because it’s deeper and more dramatic. If you remember MAC’s Style Black collection – these are more complex and deeper than the black or purple shades. They also apply better dry. I haven’t tried these wet, but I imagine they will apply with a foiled-like finish if applied with a damp brush. It will be interesting to see how the shades from MAC’s Villains collections will compare.

These come with a clear flip-top lid, much like the compacted glosses which is nice to keep the glitter from spreading to other shades in the event you put these shadows in palettes:

A few close ups:


Black Sparkle


Black Velvet Sparkle


Swatches:


Overall winners for me. I do recommend you start with a sheer application and layer it for a heavier eye. These are very intense so applying a lot in the beginning might result in a black-and-bruised looking eye. I have lids without a crease so I have applied these along the upper lash line and blended upwards for a smokey liner-type shadow. I have found that applying the metallic shadows from the Black Velvet Collection on top of the sparkle shadows intensifies the look. Do give yourself plenty of time to experiment. I think these need some practice to get used to – I wouldn’t recommend trying these out if you have a short amount of time to get ready unless you’re an expert with dark smoldery shadows.

Enjoy your weekend! I know I will!

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Becca Fall 2010: Prairie Moon Palette & Fig Beach Tint

September 10, 2010
Ordering online has both pros and cons. While it can often times be more convenient, it can be frustrating to get something different than what you see online. I was in San Francisco when I received the e-mail for a 15% off promotion. Being a huge fan of their shimmer powders (both pressed and loose) I ordered a few fall items online from my iPhone because the promotional photos were stunning, but the items that arrived were not quite what I expected.

Below: Prairie Moon Palette ($65) & Fig Beach Tint ($25)

Prairie Moon Palette comes in a sleek brown mirrored compact (same size and style as all previous Becca palettes). The shades in the palette left to right are:
  • Macchiato Gloss – sheer light chocolate red
  • Voile (Demi Matte) – matte ivory
  • Nappa (Demi Matte) – matte dusty grey-tan-brown
  • Chenille (Shimmer) – shimmery forest green with grey and gold shimmers
  • Sagebrush (Compact Eyeliner) – deep forest green shimmer

Here you can see it’s not quite like the promotional photo:

The Macchiato gloss was surprisingly sheer from what I saw in the compact. It has a super sheer tint similar to the Black Chocolate lipgloss from Bobbi Brown’s Black Velvet Collection. I don’t have the new BB to compare to directly, but from what I tested at the counters, the Becca gloss seems to have slightly more pigment.

The eyeshadows have medium pigment and are very easy to blend. In typical Becca style, they layer with each other beautifully. Voile and Nappa seem more of a true matte rather than a demi-matte like other Becca shadows of the same formula. Other “demi-mattes” like Doeskin, Boucle, Tweed, Chantilly etc. all have a soft semi-matte base with the slightest bit of glimmer. I don’t see any glimmer in the Voile/Nappa shades. Chenille is stunning for a sage green-grey sparkle. It’s making me reconsider checking out other khaki greens for eyes. Sagebrush is also beautiful – I’ve swatched it both dry and wet to show you both methods of application. I think these are meant to be applied with a damp brush.

Swatches of Prairie Moon, each photo has the same order:



The color palette goes well with this season’s military theme, especially Chanel’s Khaki Vert:

Fig Beach Tint is also new for fall, online it looked like a pretty mauve pink with a hint of plum:

The actual product is a nude pink. It has a strong artificial cherry scent and the finish is very sheer when blended out. This was also very different from what I expected. When I applied it on my cheeks I could barely see anything. I’ll need to experiment more to see if it will show up better with more layering.


Prairie Moon is not the first Becca palette I’ve purchased that looked completely different from the promotional photo, so this order wasn’t a complete surprise. The palette is still very wearable and the colors are very well suited for the fall season. I think it’s a great palette to keep in your purse for touch ups on-the-go or for a quick look that is easy to pull together. While the eyeshadows have a green/khaki theme they do appear very versatile and I see them going well with most of the colors I have in my closet. However, had it not been for the promotional discount or if I had been able to see or test this in person first I probably would not have purchased these items.
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Chantecaille Tiger in the Wild Palette, Anais Lip Chic & Classic Lip Gloss

August 31, 2010
Patience is not a virtue I possess. I wanted to wait for Beauty Week at Neimans, but in short, failed. As soon as I saw the new Chantecaille Tiger in the Wild Palette $78, I had to bring it home with me. The minimums of the GWPs are usually high and in past years have been rather disappointing. I didn’t think it was worth waiting for, so immediately straight to the cash register I went. The is different than I expected, much prettier in person, unique for fall in my opinion, but still suitable for year round as it is very classic. The Tiger Palette has an overspray making the colors look harsh and almost sharp. Underneath is a lovely glowy palette of ivory, silvery grey with the slightest hint of sage, a lovely smokey navy-plum, and a soft apricot blush. It’s really lovely. I also picked up Anais Lip Chic $30 (very sheer peach) and Classic Lip Gloss $28 (neutral peachy-brownish, but very pigmented).

Tiger in Wild Palette, Anais Lip Chic, Classic Lip Gloss


With Overspray

Swiped (each shade swiped on the left half of each shade)

Swiped on the left side of each circle

Natural light, swiped on left side of each circle

Swatches

Anais + Classic

Anais Lip Chic (it’s very sheer, I wish I had gone with Capucine for more color)


Applying Classic Lip Gloss on top of Anais Lip Chic (so you can see the color)

Both Anais + Classic

Overall thoughts: Pricey but beautiful. I really love this palette. It has that typical Chantecaille glowy quality for a subtle but not-too-subtle look. I think the blush is dupe-able in other brands. The eyeshadows have this beautiful shimmer that I find extremely unique. The photos do not do it justice. I think the palest shade is similar to Laura Mercier Stellar Eyeshadow. I could not find an exact dupe for the silver or navy-plum shade – but I’m sure there are similar colors in other lines.

Of course, check out Karla Sugar for swatches of the whole fall collection. Note we do have different skintones and swatch differently. I usually swatch with a brush which is why mine are usually sheerer.

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Chanel Le Vernis: Rouge Fatal, Rose Insolent, Rose Confidentiel

August 24, 2010
For the fall collections, Chanel seems to be releasing quite a few more products than usual with a series of mini collections focusing on eyes and lips. Seasonal collections are being released earlier and earlier each year. Perhaps the reason why they have launched a few mini collections to keep us Chanel fanatics satisfied once the real fall season comes around. Chanel had just released their Eyeshadow Duos only a few weeks ago (I ended up with Taupe-Délicat 20, Misty-Soft 40 and Gris 35) and now another collection has been released called Rouge Allure Extrait de Gloss which has a new lipgloss, new rouge allure lipsticks, rouge allure laque repromotes and three new nail polishes.

Amy from Café Makeup has done an amazing series of reviews on the Extrait de Gloss shades she picked out. Her reviews helped me immensely and I just received my package today. I have not yet had a chance to try out the glosses but I immediately dove into the new Le Vernis shades: Rouge Fatal 487, Rose Insolent 489 and Rose Confidentiel 491.

All classic colors, cream finish, rich in pigment, insanely gorgeous:

  • Rouge Fatal – dark burgandy red
  • Rose Insolent – vibrant candy pink
  • Rose Confidentiel – nude rose-brown-caramel-like pink

The swatches, descriptions, comparisons, more swatches and thoughts (swatched with 2 coats, no base coat or top coat added):




Rouge Fatal 487
is a deep burgandy vampy wine red. Chanel always does an amazing job with their reds and I was the most curious about this. I pulled out some similar shades and the closest ones I could find were Rescue Beauty Lounge Killa Red, Chanel Lotus Rouge and OPI Chick Flick Cherry. Note it was extremely difficult to capture the difference between these with the camera, so I will supplement with my descriptions. They are all indeed very similar here is how they differ:
  • RBL Killa Red – more of a true red, brighter
  • Chanel Rouge Fatal – most brownish
  • Chanel Lotus Rouge – my Holy Grail burgandy red, this is similar, but has more blue, no brown tones
  • OPI Chick Flick Cherry – brighter, redder, more like a cross between a cherry/red apple


* Please read the descriptions rather than going off my swatches for Rouge Fatal, the swatches are deceivingly similar


Rose Insolent 489
is a bright pink with warm fuschia tones. Those who missed out on Riviera from the summer collection will be happy to know this one is virtually identical to Riviera (see my review on Riviera here and here). I have to say their pick for Rose Insolent is odd for fall, even more odd that they released one so similar to a previous collection. The difference is that Rose Insolent is warmer and a bit deeper – but it’s very very slight.



Rose Confidentiel 491 is a brown rose caramel pink. On the boring side in the bottle, but I think this one is my favorite out of the 3 shades. I don’t have anything like it in my stash – often times these brown-nude-pinks tend to look like mud with my skintone. This one is a pretty neutral which is definitely office/work appropriate. I’m thinking it might be similar to Rescue Beauty Lounge Om (which I don’t have yet) but more pink, perhaps more neutral?

(No dupe from my end)

Other thoughts: Someone e-mailed me asking if I noticed a difference in the formula for Chanel’s darker newer shades. She had mentioned that hers seemed goopy and thick which did not apply well. She thought it might be her base coat. I did not have a good answer for her because I have not noticed a difference, but then I usually don’t do my own manicures. Today with the swatching, I noticed a few goopy-clumping issues with all my reds (Chanel, RBL and OPI) which I attribute to the following (after a few tries):
  • One is that you might not have enough varnish on your brush, if you have too little, you won’t get a good coat, but then you don’t want too much
  • The other is that, it’s possible you’re not letting your first coat dry long enough
The formula is definitely still superb. If you’re having application troubles, it might be your application technique. If the first coat isn’t perfect, it’s ok, the second coat should smooth things out as long as the first coat is dry enough and you have enough product on your brush. (Disclaimer – I’m not an expert at application, this is just what I noticed while swatching my nail polishes today.)

Overall thoughts: The formula and application of these are typical of Chanel in my opinion. The shades aren’t the most unique and I know there are definitely dupes in other lines in addition to what I have posted. If you missed out on Riviera you will be excited about Rose Insolent. Unless you’re a die-hard Chanel fan or don’t have a lot of nail polishes in your stash, you might be left wanting more with these. I personally would have loved some shimmer, a little more kick, or something more unique – but I have 3 more weeks of freedom until it’s back to the grind, so at least I know I have some non-nude colors that I can wear to work and not feel self-conscious or out of place. On another note, Chanel does a wonderful job on the classic shades – these are perfect in true Chanel style (even if I was hoping for something a bit more unique).

I think they are worth every penny.


I don’t think these have hit stores or counters yet since the duos were just launched. I ordered mine from Chanel.com. These currently retail for $23 each in the US.
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Bobbi Brown Black Velvet Metallic Eye Shadows

August 21, 2010
Bobbi Brown has released another collection this fall called Black Velvet consisting of new lipsticks, creamy lip colors, eyeshadows and kohl eyeliner pencils. The standouts to me were the three Metallic Eyeshadows Black Berry, Black Charcoal and Black Cocoa ($20 each).

Those familiar with the Metallic Eyeshadows from Bobbi Brown know they have a luxurious texture – soft, pigmented and easy to blend. The new Metallics from the Black Velvet collection seem a bit different from her usual formula. They’re a bit harder in texture with a black base and different colored sparkles. The colors show up well when swiped on the finger but seem sheer when applied on the skin. They remind me of NARS Night Shadows – black base, sheer sparkle. I recommend that you apply these over a cream-based product such as a darker cream shadow or eyeliner – something a bit more emollient to pick up the actual color.


My descriptions:
  • Black Berry is a burgandy wine in the compact, but applies a deeper wine-plum shimmer
  • Black Charcoal is a charcoal silver color, applies a soft smokey grey
  • Black Cocoa is a glimmering chocolate gold, applies a smokey chocolate




Note that all apply well swiped on the finger, but when applied on the skin, you get a black base with bits of the colored micro-glitter (very tiny glitters):


More photos and swatches:



Swatches:

Swatched without a base, then swatched with a base:




Overall gorgeous and unique for Bobbi Brown – at least compared to all her other eyeshadows but I was disappointed in the finish of these eyeshadows because I was expecting the soft velvety texture that her Metallics usually have. When I think of the name of the collection Black Velvet, I think rich and lush textures and pigments. These are more of a soft smoke type of finish. Still good for a soft smokey eye, but alone, the colors are more subtle and you’ll get a slightly different variation of greyed black on the eyes with subtle bits of sparkle. To bring out the color you’ll need to use them over a cream base. I wouldn’t recommend using them wet simply because I think a wet brush will ruin the surface and texture of the eyeshadows. Perhaps using a soft damp brush might work, but I personally wouldn’t risk it. I was able to test them out at the counter and wasn’t quite sure if my fingers were just picking up the colors weird but after getting home and playing around with them a bit, I found out that they were indeed not the typical metallic finish.

I put Black Charcoal on my eyes as soon as I got home and it seems like even with a base it’s hard to see the shimmer. Bottom line is that I’ll need to experiment more with these. I think the intended result is a soft smokey eye rather than a shimmery smokey eye. This may be very much like last year’s Style Black collection from MAC, which took me a few tries to figure out just how to apply them on the eyes the right way.

So don’t write them off simply because I don’t know how to apply these. My regular Bobbi Brown artist wasn’t at the counter today when I stopped by so I didn’t get a chance to have her apply these on me. I’ll probably go back in the next week or so and ask for her tips. She’s a genius when it comes to applying makeup.

I passed on the other 2 matte shadows, I personally prefer the texture and color of Caviar and Smoke. The sparkle shadows that were supposed to be released were not at the counter yet. The lipgloss seemed really sheer. The creamy lip colors were black and then another that reminded me of Clinique’s Black Honey which I might go back for. I didn’t try the new lipstick or metallic lipstick. The Eye Kohls seemed pretty basic and I prefer her gel liners so I skipped those.

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