Browsing Tag

Fall 2012


Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Palettes 02 Terra Sienna and 06 Boudoir

November 10, 2012

Giorgio Armani has reformulated and repackaged their eyeshadow quads into eight new color options. The new Eyes to Kill Eye Palettes ($59 each) come with a double tiered black lacquered compact. The top layer has four eyeshadows, underneath there are two sponge-tipped applicators. At the Armani counter it was hard to not to fall in love with them all. I decided to try two safety neutrals first: 02 Terra Sienna and 06 Boudoir. The packaging below:

Both shades I picked turned out to be fairly similar. They are both neutrals with two shimmery light shades and two darker matte shades. Those who have been long time Armani fans will be pleased to learn that the latest eyeshadow formulation is a significant improvement in pigment and texture over the past quads. Over the years it seems Armani has reformulated almost all their color products. I noticed many of the Maestro singles are no longer for sale – I asked the Armani rep if they were being reformulated too and at this time he wasn’t sure but said it wouldn’t surprise him if they did.

Terra Sienna is the cooler-neutral option with a light cool champagne frost, a lovely warm taupe shimmer, a matte brown and a matte dark brown. The texture is soft and well pigmented and easy to blend and layer. The matte shades did feel a bit dryer in texture but still applied beautifully. This is a great neutral for everyday.
Boudoir is another beautiful neutral but warmer. It has a soft peachy shimmer, a soft seashell shimmer, a warm terracotta matte, and a warm dark matte brown. I normally wouldn’t have looked at this in the past because of the terracotta shade, but I found that layering it brings warmth and depth to the eye. It’s quite lovely.

Close ups and swatches:

The shades I picked are similar to the Neo Brown Eye and Face Palette from fall. Here they are side by side for reference:

I’ve tested these for a few weeks now and can report that these are amazing in pigment and texture for a natural soft eye. The look is natural but not too natural and the shades are easy to layer. I’ve been applying with brushes rather than the sponges but they are nice to have for touch ups. If you’re looking for something even more basic and neutral, check out the 04 Effeto Nudo – I thought it was too basic for me but the formula of these palettes is really nice so I might go back to check it out. I didn’t pull any palettes or eyeshadows to compare or dupe. Given the fact that these are neutrals I’m fairly certain there are close dupes out there, but I like the convenience and texture of these. Plus Armani always releases the most amazing neutral shimmers I couldn’t resist.

A few other reviews I highly recommend you check out:

So many brands are releasing new quads this time of year – Armani, Chanel, Burberry and Edward Bess. Have you checked them out yet? What were your thoughts about Armani’s?


Chanel Notorious Ombre Contraste

October 24, 2012

Chanel Notorious Ombre Contraste – Sculpting Veil for Eyes and Cheeks ($43 for 4g/0.14 oz) is a new limited-edition release from the Contrastes Essentielles Collection. We first saw a glimpse of this back in March as seen on Café Makeup’s Chanel Runway Report. It finally arrived on counter just a few weeks ago. I purchased mine from Saks NY, it is available at select Chanel counters and right now on

Chanel Notorious is a multi-purpose contouring product for both eyes and cheeks. The description “mauve-taupe” suits the product perfectly. On me it’s more taupe with a hint of mauve-grey. It has a satiny finish – glowy but very subtle on the shimmer factor. The texture is soft and blendable – based on the pan, it doesn’t resemble the European/Asian baked formula, but it doesn’t quite resemble the US formula either. I suspect since this is more for eyes and cheeks it has a completely different consistency than the Joues Contraste blushes.

Based on the runway previews I expected a pigmented grey that was layerable for a strong contoured effect. It does layer well for a more intense effect, but I found the formula rather sheer. For me, the color didn’t show up well on the face – I suspect it’s my medium-tan skintone that prevents it from showing up well. I tried a number of techniques with different brushes, no luck. A number of others have shown this to be a success on the face – I suspect they are lighter in skintone than I am.
On the eyes however, I absolutely loved it. Notorious provides a wonderful contour. It’s one of those magical shades that is so versatile. It layers well over metallic creams or sheer shimmers, it looks amazing layered with other colors, it’s a wonder-product to help blend out harsh edges for a smokey eye. The sheerness and layer-ability helps contour the eye to create a soft gradient. It’s a much-needed shade in my collection. In the compact it’s the same color as what I envision a space-rock to look like.

I pulled a few other greys and contouring shades to compare: Chanel Furtif, Gris Exquis, Burberry Pearl Grey, Burberry Earthy, MAC Emote and NARS Notorious (discontinued). I found Chanel Notorious to have enough warmth to suit my olive skintone as the perfect contour – other greys tend to be quite a bit more silver/blue-based (which is nice, but more sharply contrasted with my skintone).

Update: I’ve added one more comparison photo below. Some have commented it resembles Burberry Rosewood. It’s in the same family, but I feel quite different. I apologize I don’t have time to swatch these but I hope this helps as a reference guide. It’s definitely likely there are dupes – in doing a quick search I couldn’t find any, but I didn’t search for all the possibilities. Below: Burberry Rosewood, Le Metier Corinthian, NARS 413 BLKR, MAC Satin Taupe, MAC Smoke & Diamonds, NARS Ashes to Ashes.

I really like Chanel Notorious. I didn’t like it as a blush/contour, but I love it on the eyes. Perhaps it will take more experimenting for it to show up on my face. For reference on other skins, see it swatched on Blondy Candy, Messy Wands, Best Things in Beauty and Indigo-Kir-Royale. As an update, a darker-skinned follower tweeted me an additional look at Notorious on darker skin at Adventures In Makeup.

If you’re considering this, I recommend you order soon. It’s limited-edition. Did you try or buy Chanel Notorious? What were your thoughts? If you tried it – can you share your skintone too for my other readers below?


Le Métier de Beauté Nouvelle Vague Kaleidoscope

October 20, 2012

Le Métier de Beauté Nouvelle Vague Kaleidoscope ($95 for 0.56 oz/16gms) has been widely raved about by many. I’ve been waiting for this kit since August when I saw the press release and previews in the Neiman Marcus book. It finally arrived at Neiman Marcus counters and online. It’s a beautiful palette of pinks combined with an intense true black. It does not disappoint and fully lives up to my expectations.

The shades in the palette have names, but they aren’t labeled anywhere on the packaging so I will refer to them as layer 1, 2, 3, and 4 but according to Le , the shades are named as follows:

  • Layer 1: Nouvelle, described as a “sheer mink negative” is a soft warm shimmering seashell pink, to my eye this is almost identical to the one in Antiquité Poupée
  • Layer 2: Gamine, described as a “satin pink celluloid”, a frosted cool pink
  • Layer 3: Icon, described as a “silky matte Parisian mauve”, a lovely mauve-nude satin, the perfect contour shade, but not in the traditional nude or brown
  • Layer 4: Fin, described as a “smoldering black carbon”, an intense true black with slight shimmer, definitely the deepest darkest black I own (darker than MAC Carbon, my older Shu Uemuras, Chanel Black Star, Burberry Midnight Black etc.)

The texture is smooth and colors have amazing pigment. The Couches de Couleur layering technique is pure genius with all their kaleidoscopes. This one is no exception. While most press photos showed this kit in the black packaging, mine arrived in silver from Neimans. It appears most others are also in silver packaging. The actual kit is cooler-toned than online promotional photos. When I first saw it, I was concerned that it might give me a pink-eye look with all the pinks. However, the combination of the mauve and the black prevent it from looking too pink.
Close ups and swatches, (L to R) Layers 2 and Layer 1:
(L to R): Layer 4 and Layer 3:

A few sets of comparisons, first up pinks compared to Le Métier de Beauté Antiquité Poupée, Rose Champagne and Bobbi Brown Pink Pearl:

Second, the mauve compared to Burberry Antique Rose and swatched next to MAC Mauvement:

The black shade swatched next to Burberry Midnight Black, Le Métier de Beauté Thunder, and Urban Decay Zero:

I think it’s a beautiful kit that will suit a wide range of skintones. It stands out among other beautiful releases this winter season. I’ve found it beautiful for both day and night looks. The black is finally what I’ve been searching for for many years. It’s a true intense deep black that doesn’t go on grey or blue (like most other blacks do). It made the perfect look for a night out (went perfectly with a little black dress) last week when my husband and I celebrated our four year anniversary. I matched it with a sheer pink cheek (Bobbi Brown’s Pale Pink + 24k Shimmer Brick) and a rosy pink lip (Chanel Stresa Aqualumiere plus Bon Bon lipgloss, both discontinued).

It should be available to all Le Métier de Beauté counters now. I found mine at Neiman Marcus in store. Did you try or buy Nouvelle Vague? What were your thoughts?

See two beautiful eye looks on Messy Wands and Temptalia.

Dark Vampy Nails – Fall/Winter 2012

October 7, 2012

I’m loving dark vampy nail polishes right now. This season has brought us some beautiful new shades. My current favorites: Chanel Vamp (not new but a classic), Tom Ford Minx, Chanel Malice (new for holiday), Chanel Provocation (Fashion’s Night Out release) and Chanel Vertigo (fall). All provide full rich coverage with just two coats. Most of these have already been featured on this blog, but here are my favorites this season swatched side by side (I hope you don’t mind the repeats below).

Chanel Vamp #18 – the classic vamp shade, mine has a slightly jelly finish, but this is probably one of the oldest nail polishes I own – I think this bottle was purchased before Chanel reformulated their polishes

Tom Ford Minx – a gorgeous metallic mink-vamp brown

Chanel Malice #637 – the latest release from Chanel for holiday (a more detailed review to come soon), this color is to-die-for, a gorgeous rich dark aubergine shimmer

Chanel Provocation – a perfect plum cream (limited-edition release for Fashion’s Night Out)

Chanel Vertigo – part of Chanel’s fall collection, a gorgeous dusty purple brown grey

What’s your favorite vamp shade this season for nails? Do you have any new favorites or are you pulling out your classics this month?


Dior Vernis: Nudes in Charnelle, Grège, Trench and Dune

September 24, 2012
I’ve been loving the nude-makeup theme this year from Dior. I haven’t had a chance to look at the new lipsticks or trios yet, but I immediately ordered the four new nail polishes in Charnelle #115, Grège #413, Trench #223 and Dune #715 as soon as I could ($23 each). I love the formula on these nail colors – they are smooth in coverage and very easy to apply. Charnelle is a pale nude cream with slight pink tones. It’s very sheer and required three coats for me to get even coverage. Grège is my perfect nude in the sense that it matches my skintone almost perfectly to give mannequin hands. There is some warmth to it so it’s not a dead-looking beige. Trench is my favorite. It’s a warm brownish tan shade. On my fingers it turns slightly cooler-toned than what you see in the bottle. Dune is a darker bark brown. It’s cool-toned.

Here are the four shades swatched on my fingers. All with two coats, except Charnelle which required three. Note that I’m probably around a Chanel B30-40 right now, NARS Alaska, Dolce & Gabbana Powder Foundation in Tan.




Nudes definitely aren’t new and there are only so many ways one can reinvent nude makeup. I can’t say any of these are absolutely must-haves, especially if you already have nude nail polishes in your collection. Still, these colors/formulas from Dior are quite nice. Since I collect nail polishes from Chanel and Dior, I found it easy to justify adding to my collection.

For dupes, I believe there are probably many other colors that will give a similar look. There are a number of other blogs that have done excellent comparisons to a wider variety of brands. I don’t own a lot of OPI, Essie or drugstore brands for nail polishes, but I recommend you check out Kais Obsessions, the make-up blogette, Fruity Lashes to name a few for more extensive comparisons.

Here are my comparisons:
Did you check out the new nudes from Dior? Any must-haves for lips, eyes or nails?

Chanel Fashion’s Night Out Le Vernis in Délicatesse, Provocation and Infidèle

September 13, 2012

Chanel Délicatesse, Provocation and Infidèle ($26 each, limited-edition for Fashion’s Night Out 2012) just arrived last night from I’m still playing with each of the shades but so far, I’m extremely impressed. I think each shade is gorgeous and perfect for fall. More swatches to come soon, but for now some comparisons. I thought Khaki Rose might be similar but as you can see above it’s quite different (so it didn’t make the swatch wheel).

Comparisons swatched below (same set, just two different views): Chanel June, Rescue Beauty Lounge Om, Chanel Rose Confidentiel, Dior Sienna, Chanel Rose Paradise, OPI Gouda Gouda Two Shoes, NARS Ratin Jot, Rescue Beauty Lounge Bruised, Chanel April, Chanel Fantastic, Chanel Vendetta, Dior Shadow, Dior Orchid, Chanel Vamp and Chanel Diabolic.


Tom Ford Fall 2012 Blush: Narcissist

September 6, 2012
Tom Ford has released a new blush for fall, a vibrant hot pink satin called Narcissist ($55 for .28 oz/8 g). The pigment is rich and intense but easily blendable with a soft loose brush (I’ve used MAC’s skunk brush to apply). It is indeed very bright on the skin/face (probably the brightest blush I own) but if applied and blended, it gives a lovely healthy pink flush. There is a soft satiny texture to the color – those familiar with Tom Ford Blushes know the texture is phenomenal. Although these are probably the most expensive blushes on the market, I think they are among the best in texture, pigment, and color. Some of his blushes have a more visible shimmer (like Ravish and Wicked, see them all swatched on Karla Sugar). Narcissist does have shimmer but it’s so subtle it’s not really apparent on the face. I like that it has shimmer because it prevents the color from being flat. Narcissist Blush and the two nail polishes, Minx and Dominatrix are the only items I purchased from the fall collection (sight unseen). The high price points make me unwilling to splurge without testing first. Also, the fall collection seems to be a mixture of intense bright colors I usually don’t wear (not really me, but still pretty). Rouge Deluxe has all the new items swatched.

My Tom Ford Fall 2012 picks:

Lightly tapped into MAC’s skunk brush, you see a lot of pigment:

Without a flash:

With flash:

Tom Ford Narcissist is the brightest pink I own. Here are a few others for comparison:

Overall I really adore Tom Ford Narcissist. The color is gorgeous, pigmented, blendable and looks beautiful on the skin. I can’t say I think it’s a must have though, simply because the price is so high. At this time I don’t know whether the fall items are permanent or limited, but I purchased mine from Saks.