Browsing Tag

Fall 2011


Dior Mitzah Camel and Ebony Comparisons

September 19, 2011
Dior Camel and Ebony are compared below to Dior City of Gold, Dior Sienna, Chanel Khaki Rose, Chanel Particuliere, Dior Underground, Dolce & Gabbana Chocolate and MAC Dim the Lights.
To see how Camel compares to neutral nudes, like Dior Nude Chic and Dolce & Gabbana Nude, scroll down two posts (linked here).
I found Dior Camel truly unique. There wasn’t a shade I owned similar to it at all. Granted I don’t typically gravitate towards yellow-based shades unless it’s a gold shimmer. Dior Ebony wasn’t exactly unique as I found it very similar to Underground. The two are practically identical except when you scroll down to the bottom photo, you might be able to see that Underground has a slightly purplish base while Ebony is more neutral black/brown. In real life you can only see the difference if you look very closely. In the photos I doubt you will be able to tell the two apart unless you tilt your head, squint and try to look for the difference.

I hope these comparisons help. I’m not sure I would classify these new Dior shades as must-haves as they are fairly neutral and not exactly knock out colors. Still they provide a polished subtle elegant look to the fingers which I really like. Quint/quad comparisons to come soon. I didn’t get good swatch comparisons from this weekend so I will have to redo them.

Dior Mitzah Picks: Camel & Ebony Dior Vernis and Mitzah Quint

September 19, 2011

I’ve been eagerly waiting for the release of the Mitzah Collection to Sephora in the US. The collection was designed to commemorate Mitzah Bricard, Christian Dior’s legendary muse who was known for her love of leopard. The Mitzah Collection features pieces for eyes, face and nails in shades of camel, chocolate brown and beige in a jungle-print theme. While traveling in Paris last March, Café Makeup was lucky to find the collection early and shared beautiful photos of the palette and nail polishes. The collection has finally arrived in the US exclusively at Sephora and
My picks included the new eyeshadow quint Mitzah #753, Camel Nail Polish #622, Ebony Nail Polish #912 and the new Golden Brown DiorShow Mascara #598 (not featured). All are currently exclusive to Sephora and are limited edition.

The Mitzah 5 Couleurs Eyeshadow Palette ($60 for 6 g / 0.21 oz) palette is a collection of neutrals with a slight kick. The four outer shades have an embossed animal print in the powder and have a very subtle finely milled shimmer. The shimmer is so slight the colors glow with a slight sheen. The colors in the palette include a dark aubergine-brown, a medium caramel brown, a soft camel with a light orangey tinge, a warm beige and a soft greyed-brown.

After seeing this swatched and reviewed on Beauty Moogle Zone, Café Makeup, Iron Spy I was worried it would be too warm for my olive skin. Still I could not resist the lovely descriptions of the satiny finish and when I tested the palette at Sephora I fell in love. The colors are very soft and refined. I find them a bit different from the traditional Dior palettes which typically have at least 1 high frost shade. This palette has a very subtle sheen in all shades and a very natural finish. If you’re looking for high impact or high shimmer, you might be disappointed with this one but I love it.

It’s usually difficult for me to use all 5 shades in Dior quints, however the Mitzah Quint has a wonderful layering quality and today I put all 5 shades on my eyes. I apologize I do not have photos to share, but for my application method, I started with MAC’s Cream Color Base in Seaside, applied the pale cream all over the lid, then followed with the bronzey top right about 1/2 way up the lid brushing the color back and forth into a soft gradient from the lashline upwards. I then took the bottom right greyish brown and smudged it right along the upper lashlines heavily. Next I took the upper left aubergine and applied it from outer corners about 1/4 way into the eye. Last step was to take the middle orange shade and lightly dip a soft fluffy brush and blend the two dark shades just to soften the edges.

Camel and Ebony Nail Polishes ($22 each for 10 ml / 0.33 fl oz) are both opaque creams. I love this photo from Dior’s International Website. They apply beautifully with 2 coats and have a gorgeous glossy sheen on the nails.

Camel is a yellowed beige and Ebony is a deep cool brown. Both are pure love. I thought Camel might be too yellow but oddly once applied on the skin it just works. Might not be everyone’s cup of tea. This is one you have to see and test in person to really tell. I don’t think it photographs well on the fingers but in person I find it more flattering.

Ebony is a dark beautiful brown cream. It’s very similar to Underground which was released earlier this year. If you have Underground (slightly more purple undertone), you can safely skip Ebony (comparisons to come soon). These shades apply beautifully with 2 coats. The tapered brush makes application easier for those of use who have unsteady hands.

I highly recommend you check out additional swatches and reviews at Joey’space, Fashion Polish, and Café Makeup if you haven’t already. They have lovely comparisons and swatches.

Overall love. Bravo Dior! They did an excellent job creating a beautiful collections of neutrals with a kick. If you’re at all interested I recommend purchasing soon since all pieces are limited edition and exclusive to Sephora in the US. If you’re unsure about the quint because your coloring doesn’t do so well with warm shades, just use the middle shade with a very light hand. The other colors are very easy to wear and even on my warm skin worked just fine. At this time I won’t be reviewing the mascara I purchased. I have several tubes of other brands I have to use up. By the time I get around to opening up this one to test I’m afraid it will be sold out. At Sephora, the mascara tester looked like a dark brassy brown shimmer which I found intriguing.

I’ll be posting comparisons very soon in a separate post. Did you check out the Mitzah Collection at Sephora or elsewhere? What were your thoughts?


Color Focus: Shimmery Brown Eyeshadows for Fall

September 12, 2011

Shimmery brown eyeshadows haven’t been the focus of fall this year but I still managed to find a few new ones and eagerly grabbed them up. I was recently at a Burberry counter where the artist suggested a few non-brown shades commenting that women often gravitate towards the safety zone of Rosewood, Golden Trench, and Midnight Brown and said he didn’t quite understand it. How many brown eyeshadows can one possibly need to own? I smiled and said “guilty” fessing up to owning way too many browns. Long story short, I still love shimmery brown neutrals. The new shades for fall that caught my eye (clockwise from the left) are Guerlain Les Cuirs 07, Laura Mercier Chocolate Lustre Eye Colour, MAC Take Root Cream Colour Base, Burberry Midnight Brown No. 21 and MAC Carbonized Veluxe Pearl.

Burberry Midnight Brown ($29 for 2.5 g/ 0.088 oz) is my favorite out of all the new browns (possibly my favorite brown of all time) being the coolest toned (or most neutral) with silver/taupe shimmer. It has full rich pigment with a buttery soft texture that is so easy to blend and layer. See it reviewed here, also compared on lighter skin at Cafe Makeup.

Laura Mercier Chocolate ($22 for 2.60 g/0.09 oz) has the most red/plum undertones out of the new shades for fall. I believe this was a repromote from a holiday palette from last year. This is one of the darker shades which has quite a bit of intense & complex shimmer making it unique. Pigment is excellent with a medium-soft texture making it fairly easy to layer. Applying over liners intensifies the color. I wouldn’t recommend applying wet since a damp brush will ruin the surface texture. A slightly damp brush might work (with an emphasis on very light) to apply wet.

MAC Carbonized ($15.00 for 1.3 g/0.04 oz) is the deepest shade with a neutral dark bark-like bark base and soft warm brown metallic shimmers. I find it on the neutral-warm side compared to the others but looking at it alone, it appears to be a full on neutral. It comes in the veluxe pearl formula. I find the texture a bit hard but there is no problem with the pigmentation.
MAC Take Root ($17.50 for 3.2 g/0.12 oz) is an intriguing warm tan fawn color that I think is perfect for contouring the cheeks or eyes. It sheers out to a subtle finish that I think is perfect to use as a base for layering other eyeshadows or blushes. I think on fair skintones this will be too brown almost borderline reddish/orange. For NC30s to NC35s and darker I highly recommend you give it a try at the counter. Even if this isn’t really your color, you might be surprised. See both reviewed & swatched on KarlaSugar and Temptalia.

Guerlain Les Cuirs 07 ($59 for 7.2 g/0.25 oz) is a gorgeous palette of warm neutral browns and beiges. The pigment is very soft on these shades with a slightly harder texture compared to the other quads I’ve tried. The shades do pick up well with a dense brush. For the colors to show up on my eyes without looking too dry, I needed a base that is more emollient and creamy. I haven’t worn this for a full day so I can’t assess the long-wearability of this. The colors are a rich warm chocolate brown (chalky in texture so this one needs layering), a soft beige cream, a soft warm beige tan with shimmer, and a soft neutral beige with shimmer. I find this palette very basic but lovely for a super natural softly contoured eye. It is on the warm side but easy to pull off on all skintones. See it on Karla Sugar, Rouge Deluxe and Best Things in Beauty.

Swatched with a few comparisons (two sets of each variation). Descriptions by comparison:

  • MAC Mulch is a warmer and lighter shimmery brown
  • Bobbi Brown Copper Cocoa is similar to Mulch but slightly more golden
  • NARS Fez is the most coppery and shimmery
  • NARS Galapagos is the most neutral brown like dark milk chocolate
  • NARS Mekong blackened brown with gold flecks
  • Chanel Le Bronze is the lightest bronze

Set 1 with MAC Mulch & Bobbi Brown Copper Cocoa

Set 2 with NARS Fez, Galapagos, Mekong & Chanel Le Bronze

Did you pick up any brown eyeshadows this season or are you maxed out on neutrals? What are your favorite shimmery browns?

Le Métier de Beauté Ken Downing’s Bodacious Bordeaux Lip and Nail Duo

September 11, 2011

This fall Neiman Marcus Senior Vice President and Fashion Director Ken Downing worked with Le Métier de Beauté to create three matching lip and nail sets in rich, bold and romantic shades ($49 each). I was hoping to be able to purchase the nail polishes separately since I rarely wear reds or dark shades on the lips but decided to try something new and picked out the Bordacious Bordeaux/Wine on the Vine duo which has the softest lip color out of all three sets.

Bordacious Bordeaux Nail Lacquer is a deep wine magenta that layers into a deep wine cream. The texture is fairly thin making the color slightly transparent. It required three coats for full coverage. I love that Bordacious Bordeaux is the perfect medium wine shade – not too vampy, not too red, not too brown. The thin texture took a bit of work for me to get an even application. Three coats evens out everything nicely.

Wine on the Vine Moisture Lipstain is a shimmering reddish pink stain. The texture is that of a soft lipstain and molds well to the lips so you can barely feel anything on. On the hands it looks like a soft red without any visible shimmer. On the lips it goes on quite a bit brighter for me. I don’t know that it will look this red on most women, anything with fuschia or bright red shimmer tends to pull very bright on me for some reason. Being a stain formula I find these last longer than the average lipstick. Here it is softly swiped on my lips.

Here they are swatched on the arm side by side.

All three sets are beautiful and classic for fall. Even neutral lovers like myself will find that they are fun and nice for something different. The lips are all darker than I’m used to but the colors are lovely for evenings out or special occasions. Best Things in Beauty has a few other shades swatched and reviewed that I recommend you check out as well. I like these sets but my heart still belongs to their eyeshadows and lipglosses which I feel have some of the most gorgeous complex eye-catching shimmers that are wonderful for layering. The upside of these lip/nail duos is that they require little tweaking. They work well just as they are.

Neiman Marcus Beauty Event September 2011

September 7, 2011

The Neiman Marcus Beauty Event starts in stores this Thursday, September 8. With a $100 purchase you will receive a tote filled with samples (see online for more details). Below is the list of some of the participating counters and their individual gifts from the Beverly Hills store.

ACQUA DI PARMA Colonia: Yellow hatbox with Eau de Toilette, Bath and Shower Gel, and Body Cream; $100 minimum purchase.

AGRARIA Luxury Bath Bar; $100 minimum purchase.

AMOREPACIFIC Cosmetics bag with Treatment Cleansing Soap, Moisture Bound Skin Energy
Hydration Delivery System, Bio-Enzyme Refining Complex, and your choice of Time Response Skin Renewal Crème, Future Response Crème, or Moisture Bound Rejuvenating
Crème sample; $250 minimum purchase. All of the above, plus Osulloc Premium Flower Tea Set; $500 minimum purchase.

ANNICK GOUTAL Gold pouch with Eau d’Hadrien Eau de Parfum; with purchase of large Annick Goutal Spray.

ANTHOUSA Votive Candle in Cucumber & Green Grass or White Gardenia; $75 minimum purchase.

ANTICA FARMACISTA Set of three Hand Soaps in Grapefruit; $85 minimum purchase.

ATELIER COLOGNE Leather pouch with Atomizer; with purchase of Collection Absolue or any large Cologne Absolue.

BALENCIAGA Black acrylic pouch with L’Essence Eau de Parfum; $130 minimum purchase.

BEAUTY BY CLINICA IVO PITANGUY Gold cosmetics bag with PreVious Rebalancing Formula,
PreVious Neck Lifting Formula, and SpecIfics Ultimate Eye Cream; $300 minimum purchase.

BELLECORE Après Contouring Crème; $295 minimum purchase.

BLISS Zippered bag with Fabulous Foaming Face Wash, Triple Oxygen+C Energizing Cream, and High Intensity Hand Cream; $60 minimum purchase.

BOBBI BROWN Berry to Go Collection includes Berry Lip Palette with Metallic Lip Color in Berry and Lip Colors in Pink and Brown, Crystal Lip Gloss, and Lip Brush; $100 minimum purchase.

BVLGARI White train case with your choice of Source Defense Serum, Serum Precieux, or Elixir Merveilleux; $300 minimum purchase. Mon Jasmin Noir: Eau de Parfum and Body Lotion; $80 minimum purchase. Bvlgari Man Eau de Toilette; $79 minimum purchase.

CARTIER Red box with Must de Cartier Body Milk; $125 minimum purchase.

CHANTECAILLE Blue metallic pouch with Flower Harmonizing Cream, Jasmine & Lily Healing Mask, Brilliant Gloss in Elation, and Tiare Eau de Parfum vial-on-card; $150 minimum purchase.

CHLOÉ Brown leather and white canvas pouch with Eau de Parfum; $110 minimum purchase.

CLARISONIC “Daisy Barrel” bag with Normal Brush Head; $149 minimum purchase.

CLÉ DE PEAU BEAUTÉ Signature cosmetics bag with Restorative Body Cream, Gentle Protective Emulsion, Lipstick in Replica, and La Crème; $300 minimum purchase.

CLINIQUE Silver cosmetics bag with Even Better Skin Tone Correcting Moisturizer SPF 20, Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief, Vitamin C Lip Smoothie Antioxidant Lip Colour in Strawberry Bliss, Quickliner for Eyes in Black/Brown, Eye Shadow Trio in Pink/Trax/Chocolate Chip, and High Impact Mascara in Black; $65 minimum purchase.

DOLCE & GABBANA The One for Men travel bag; $73 minimum purchase.

EDWARD BESS Full-size Deep Shine Lip Gloss in Dark Blossom; $200 minimum purchase.

ELIE SAAB Le Parfum: NM Exclusive Parfum and Soap; with purchase of large Elie Saab Spray.

ERNO LASZLO Heritage carton with C-Peel, Timeless Skin, and Intensive Decollete Cream SPF 15; $175 minimum purchase.

ESTÉE LAUDER Champagne cosmetics bag with full-size Sumptuous Mascara in Black, Pure Color Gloss in Magnificent Mauve, and Advanced Night Repair Eye; $100 minimum purchase.

FRESH Cosmetics bag with Soy Face Cleanser, Brown Sugar Eau de Parfum, and Brown Sugar Body Polish; $125 minimum purchase. All of the above, plus Brown Sugar Hand Cream; $150 minimum purchase.

GIORGIO ARMANI Dark gray bag with full-size Smooth Silk Eye Pencil in Brown Black, Fluid Master Primer, Luminous Silk Foundation in Beige, Fluid Sheer in Shimmering Beige, Eyes to Kill Mascara in Black, Regenessence Eye Rejuvenating Serum, Regenessence Multi-Corrective Rejuvenating Cream, and Acqua di Gioa Eau de Parfum Rollerball; $150 minimum purchase.

GIVENCHY NM Exclusive coffret with Dahlia Noir Candle; $150 minimum purchase.

GLAMGLOW Mud Mask; $69 minimum purchase.

GUERLAIN Gold pouch with Secret de Pureté Cleansing Milk and Orchidée Impériale Cream, Serum, and Eye and Lip Cream; $200 minimum purchase. Shalimar tote; with purchase of large Shalimar Spray.

HALSTON Amber Eau de Parfum or Eau de Toilette, or Platinum Eau de Parfum or Eau de Toilette; with purchase of large Halston Spray.

HANAE MORI Women’s Butterfly: Tote with Bath and Shower Gel and Body Cream; $75 minimum purchase. Men’s HM: Bath and Shower Gel and After-Shave Balm; $75 minimum purchase.

HERMÈS Eau d’Orange Verte Eau de Toilette Travel Spray, Jardin sur le Toit Eau de Toilette Travel Spray, Eau des Merveilles Eau de Toilette Travel Spray, Voyage d’Hermès Eau de Toilette and Body Lotion, or Terre d’Hermès Eau de Toilette; with purchase of large Hermès Spray.

HOUBIGANT PARIS Quelques Fleurs Crème; $180 minimum purchase. Quelques Fleurs Royale
Lotion; $200 minimum purchase. Fougère Royale Deodorant; $130 minimum purchase. Duc de Vervins Deodorant; $170 minimum purchase.

ISSEY MIYAKE Florale Eau de Toilette; with purchase of large Issey Miyake Spray.

J.F. LAZARTIGUE Ultimate Summer Beauty Travel Bag; $85 minimum purchase of Pre-Shampoo Mask, Shampoo, and Conditioner.

JUICY COUTURE Juicy Couture Eau de Parfum; with purchase of large Juicy Couture Spray. Viva la Juicy Eau de Parfum; with purchase of large Viva la Juicy Spray.

KAPLANMD Blue sheer drawstring bag with Intensive Eye Concentrate and Night Replenishing Concentrate; $300 minimum purchase. All of the above, plus Purifying Foam Cleanser and Clarifying Toner; $400 minimum purchase.

KATE SOMERVILLE Mesh bag with Deep Tissue Repair and Quench Hydrating Face Serum; $150 minimum purchase.

KATE SPADE Twirl Body Lotion; with purchase of large Twirl Spray.

KIEHL’S SINCE 1851 Blue signature bag with Midnight Recovery Concentrate, Creme de Corps, Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate, and Rosa Arctica; $85 minimum purchase. All of the above, plus full-size Creme de Corps Soy Milk & Honey Body Polish; $125 minimum purchase.

JO MALONE Two mini colognes in case with any $150 Jo Malone purchase.

LA MER Crème de la Mer, The Regenerating Serum, The Eye Concentrate, and The Body Crème; $300 minimum purchase.

LANCÔME PARIS Blue satin bag with Génifique Concentrate, Génifique Eye, Définicils Precious Cells Mascara in Black, full-size L’Absolu Rouge in Champagne, full-size Le Lipstique in Mauvelle, and Color Design Eye Compact in Pink Pearls/Makeover/Sultry Mauve/Zip Me Up; $85 minimum purchase.

LA PRAIRIE Beaded silver clutch with Foam Cleanser, Cellular 3-Minute Peel, Cellular Resurfacing Cream, Cellular Lips Colour Effects in Maribou Glace, and Life Threads Ruby Eau de Parfum vial-on-card; $300 minimum purchase. All of the above, plus Cellular Power Infusion; $600 minimum purchase.

LAURA MERCIER Triangular bag with full-size Lip Glacé in Cocoa Lait, One-Step Cleanser, Perfecting Water, Repair Eye Crème, and Dual-Action Eye Makeup Remover Oil-Free; $125 minimum purchase.

LE MÉTIER DE BEAUTÉ Liquid Eyeliner in Artemis; $125 minimum purchase.

LOLITA LEMPICKA Si Lolita Eau de Toilette Purse Spray; $92 minimum purchase.

MAISON FRANCIS KURKDJIAN Your choice rollerball vial; with purchase of any large Maison Francis Kurkdjian fragrance.

MARC JACOBS Daisy Eau So Fresh Eau de Toilette; $88 minimum purchase.

MOLTON BROWN Heavenly Gingerlily Moisture Bath & Shower; $75 minimum purchase.

NARCISO RODRIGUEZ For Her: Eau de Parfum, Eau de Toilette, and Intense Eau de Parfum; with purchase of large Narciso Rodriguez Spray. Essence Body Lotion; with purchase of large Narciso Rodriguez Spray.

NARS Black pouch with Shimmer Nail Polish in Orgasm, Illuminator in Copacabana, and Sheer Glow Foundation in Santa Fe; $100 minimum purchase.

NATURA BISSÉ Purple bag with Diamond White, NB Ceutical SPF 50 Luminous Shield, Tensolift Neck Cream, and Diamond Extreme Cream; $300 minimum purchase.

NEST Votive Candle; $50 minimum purchase.

NEULASH Mirror; $100 minimum purchase.

NUFACE Infusion Serum Trio Pack includes Peptide, Stem Cell, and Vitamin C and Hyaluronic Serums; $325 minimum purchase.

OMOROVICZA Signature bag with full-size Radiance Renewal Serum; $300 minimum purchase.

ORLANE, PARIS Signature bag with Absolute Skin Recovery Care Polyactive Formula, Extreme Line-Reducing Re-Plumping Cream, Absolute Skin Recovery Care Eye Contour, and Extreme Line-Reducing Lip Care; $300 minimum purchase.

PRADA Candy Eau de Parfum; $108 minimum purchase.

RÉVIVE Sensitif Cellular Repair Cream, Eye Renewal Cream, and Fermitif Neck Renewal Cream; $300 minimum purchase. All of the above, plus full-size Serum Pressé; $650 minimum purchase.

ROBERT PIGUET Fracas Votive Candle; $100 minimum purchase.

SISLEY-PARIS Black/white pouch with Instant Perfect, Phyto-Levres Gloss Sheer Lipliner in The Glace, and Phyto Teint Éclat in Sand; $150 minimum color purchase. Red pouch with Lyslait Cleansing Milk, Botanical Floral Toning Lotion, Botanical Eye and Lip Contour Balm, All Day All Year Cream, Sisleÿa Radiance Anti-Aging Concentrate, Phyto Teint Éclat in Natural, Confort Extreme Nutritive Handcare, Comfort Extreme Body Cream, and Soir de Lune Body Cream; $350 minimum purchase.

SUPERSMILE Professional Whitening Toothpastes in Mandarin Mint and Cinnamon; $35 minimum purchase.

THIERRY MUGLER Angel: Silver wristlet with Shower Gel and Body Cream; $80 minimum purchase.

TRISH MCEVOY Green nylon signature bag with Lash Enhancing Eye Liner, Treatment Foundation SPF 15 in Beige, and Beauty Booster SPF 15 Lip Gloss in Sexy Nude; $125 minimum purchase.

TWEEZERMAN Folding iLashcomb; $20 minimum purchase.

29 COSMETICS Full-size 29 Preserves Night Moisture; $150 minimum purchase.

VAN CLEEF & ARPELS Oriens or Féerie Parfum Rollerball; $110 minimum purchase.

YVES SAINT LAURENT Black “Studs” pouch with Volume Effet Faux Cils Mascara in Black, Rouge Pur Couture in Rose Stiletto, Top Secrets Natural Action Exfoliator, Top Secrets Eye Makeup Remover, Waterproof Eye Pencil in Black Ink, and Opium Eau de Toilette vial-on-card; $150 minimum purchase.


Dior Smoky Khaki 481

August 30, 2011
This season seems to be the season of new innovations in eyeshadows. Chanel released their Sophisticated Eye Collection with new quads, singles and eyelash curler and Guerlain came out with nine new quads. Dior has also released a beautiful collection of Smoky Eyeshadow palettes with six new trios that have just started to trickle in stores (I spotted these at Nordstrom). Fab Over Forty has details on the full lineup and Cafe Makeup has a lovely feature on Smoky Pink #051. The trio that captured my attention the most was Smoky Khaki #481 ($48 each).

These trios come with a new type of packaging with a sliding top and a mirror that flips open once the top slides back. According to the National Artists at the store, the mirrors are designed at the perfect angle so you can apply your eyeshadow while looking down. The compacts are on the smaller side with a small mirror. It’s great for a detail touch-up but too small to be ideal for normal application (in my opinion). Each trio has three colors with different finishes/textures designed to create the perfect smokey eye by layering. The colors in Smoky Khaki are:
  • Base: golden beige shimmer (soft and buttery smooth)
  • Soft smoky: dusty khaki-brown (subtle shimmer but very fine)
  • Couture smoky: high sparkle khaki gold

Don’t let the sparkle in these palettes scare you. They apply beautifully on the eye without having an overly glitter or frosty appearance. Yes, the sparkle is extremely intense, but the colors look amazing once you apply. The base comes in a soft smooth texture while the other two shades have a slightly harder finish giving them a more sheer finish. The colors are easily buildable though so I found the pigment payoff excellent with a bit of layering.

The trios all come with a small instruction booklet and diagrams. The application recommendations:

I tried this today using my regular eyeshadow brushes from MAC and Trish McEvoy and the result was a pretty polished neutral smokey golden khaki eye. Swatches over NARS Primer:

In outdoor natural light, no flash:

I played with only 3 of the palettes and all seemed to have the same quality and texture and color payoff. I love Dior’s interpretation of the smoky eye this season and am thrilled with the variety and uniqueness of each palette. For me, the traditional smokey eye palette of cream, grey and black doesn’t always work for my skin making me look dead and washed out. The new trios from Dior offer a diverse range of options to give a modern smokey eye. I highly recommend you check these out.

Guerlain Les Noirs 09 Écrin 4 Couleurs

August 26, 2011

After seeing all fall palettes from Guerlain in person at Nordstrom I added Les Noirs 09 ($59) to my collection of Les Bois de Rose 04, Les Gris 05 and Les Fumés 06. The Les Noirs 09 is a classic smokey eye palette with a soft matte black, a gunmetal frosted grey, a satiny dove grey and a pale frosted pink. The colors are simply breathtaking in the compact and apply with a smooth soft finish. The pigment on these shades is soft to medium. The frost for the 3 shimmery shades is simple and uncomplicated. The shimmer is visible on the skin but not overly frosty or glittery.

I played with this a few times this week. The quality and texture of the shadows is excellent however I’m not sure the colors are best suited for me. I find that dark grey and dark black shimmers can be difficult for me to pull off on my eyes and skin. To date, one of the few classic black/grey/cream palettes that work for me is Edward Bess’s Soft Smoke Trio. I also adore Bobbi Brown’s Black Plum Shimmerwash Eyeshadow as a dark black (on me) because it has a bit of brown and plum to give it depth on my eyes.

I typically need to layer blacks and greys over something with a bit of warmth or shimmer such as a dark bronzey-brown liner or cream in order to prevent the colors from looking too harsh or too dull. Most dark blacks wash out my skin. My experience with Les Noirs is typical of my experiences with most classic smoky eye palettes. The greys all looked similar on my skin and eyes even when layered. The pale frosted pink washed my eyes out. The palette is still gorgeous – just a bit more high maintenance for me. Chances are I just need more experimentation with this to get the layering technique down better – but after my first two tries, I know this will require a bit more practice for me to get the colors to work with my olive skintone.  I find that applying the darker gunmetal with a damp brush will bring out the shimmer and depth. Lining with the matte black with a fine tipped brush (also damp) brings out the intensity as well.

You can see this same palette swatched on Rouge Deluxe, Karla Sugar, and Makeup and Beauty Blog.

Comparisons to a few other brands: MAC Shimmertime Pigment, Armani Maestro 29, Guerlain Les Noirs, Chanel Gris Exquis, MAC Black Tied, Burberry Midnight Black, MAC Knight Divine

While Les Noirs is a gorgeous palette, I don’t think it’s very unique. That being said, I think it’s hard to create a good classic smoky eye palette that doesn’t seem too basic. Have you checked out Guerlain fall yet? What are your thoughts? Did you try Les Noirs?