Browsing Tag

Holiday 2009


Paul & Joe Holiday Event from Guest Writer Lakshmi

December 14, 2009

Guest Writer Lakshmi brings us a detailed account of her recent makeover at Bergdorf Goodman with the Paul & Joe team for their holiday event along with lovely photos of her amazing haul (credit to go to her friend Dhruv for taking these photos)! It looks like the Mesmerize Holiday Palette is a big hit this season – want to know how to use this and what products to coordinate with it? Read on for her experience . . .

L to R: Nail Polish 06, Lip Lacquer 07, Lip Lacquer 10

Intrigued by rave articles on Paul & Joe, I decided to go in for a makeover at Bergdorf Goodman and had Caroline do my make-up which was just wonderful, the whole experience was totally fun! Here’s what she used on me:

Skin Prep
Caroline started by cleansing my face with the Cleansing Milk N, followed by the Refreshing Toner. Since my skin is very dry at the moment she followed it up with a richer toner that you just press into the skin instead of applying with a cotton pad. All these skin products have an orange blossom fragrance that is very soothing. She then applied some moisture cream, which was a little too heavy, so she blotted away the excess moisturizer and followed with an application of their Protective Foundation Primer.

After the skin-prep, Caroline then proceeded with an application of the Protective Fluid Foundation. I am Indian with deeper skintones (MAC NC43) and unfortunately they did not have a perfect match for concealer so she opted for a Shu Uemura concealer from the neighboring counter as an alternative! She set my foundation with some loose face powder.

* Step 1) Eyes were first prepped with a layer of their eye primer
* Step 2) She then applied the lightest shade (lilac) from the Mesmerize palette all over the lid
* Step 3) The medium shade from the same palette was blended in the crease to warm up my eyes, because the lilac was a little too cool toned for my skin
* Step 4) The next thing she did which was my favorite part of the entire makeover – she took the darkest shade in the palette (the black sparkly one) and lined my eyes extending it into the outer V, while smudging this to make it look diffused and soft.
* Step 5) She then deepened this eyeliner effect with Pearl Powder in 001 (smokey black shimmer) and lined my eyes with a black pencil liner.
* Step 6) Finishing touches – just to give some sparkle she used the Pearl Powder 03 on the center of my lid, applied and blended lightly with a finger.

While seemingly complicated, this combination of products gave my eyes a soft smokey look with a wonderful gradient effect from the darkest black color at the lashline slowly blending upward and outward. She then applied their mascara in black, the brush is quite thick and the formula seems glossy and volumizing, so can’t wait to try that. Since she applied it with a disposable wand, I have yet to see the effect of application with the brush.

I had already seen so many things I wanted to buy and we couldn’t really decide on a face color that was suitable, so she just applied the darker shade of their bronzer as a blush. I think that this shade is very comparable to MAC’s Refined Golden bronzer.

She applied a lipliner (don’t remember the number but it was a brick colored one) filled in lips with a brick reddish-brown lipstick (not limited edition packaging), followed by Lip Lacquer #10. We also tried Lip Lacquer #07 which complimented the rest of the look perfectly too!

What I ended up going home with:

  • Pearl Powders in 001, 002 and 03
  • Lash Mascara in 01 (black)
  • Lip Lacquers in 07 and 10 – they are unlike anything I’ve tried and have an amazing finish…
  • Nail Enamel in 06

The gift with purchase was a beautiful Paul & Joe notebook in purple to match their holiday collection packaging!

Pearl Powders: 03 (top), 002 (front left), 001 (front right)


Nail Polish 06


Chanel Holiday 2009: Cage Doree de Chanel

November 11, 2009

The Chanel Holiday Collection finally arrived at Saks last week so of course I rushed over to check everything out.

I featured 2 of the Holiday Sets that came out in September, check out these posts for details and photos: First Look at the Chanel Holiday 2009 Gift Sets and Chanel Holiday 2009 Glossimer Duo.

For the collection, the standouts to me were the aqualumiere lipglosses and lipsticks, although they seemed to be more of a spring resort theme rather than a holiday theme. The lipsticks are unique enough that I couldn’t find dupes or similar colors in my Chanel collection.

Pictured left to right:
Aqualumiere Glosses: Canari, Hirondelle, Colbri
Aqualumiere Lipsticks: Grenada, Tasmania, Galapagos, Maldives
Nail polish: Trapeze

Here are the comparisons to some other Chanel Aqualumiere Glosses and Glossimers within the same color families + swatches:

Left to right – Canari Aqualumiere, Candy Glow Aqualumiere, Coral Reef Glossimer, Hirondelle Aqualumiere, Courtisane Glossimer, Diamond Rose Aqualumiere, Colibri Aqualumiere, Wonderland Glossimer (LE), Whisper Glossimer (d/c)

* Canari Aqualmiere gloss has more pinky-coral in it compared to Candy Glow and Coral Reef
* Hirondelle Aqualumiere is not as frosty/sparkley and more natural than Courtisane and Diamond Rose
* Colibri Aqualumiere is more white than Wonderland (more sparkley) and Whisper (more beige)

Here’s a repeat picture of the Trapeze Nail Polish compared to Golden Sand and Antilope:

For the actual holiday collection, there have already been some great posts and pictures published on various blogs, so I didn’t want to do a rehash of everything. For more great photos/swatches/reviews, check out Makeup and Beauty Blog, Karlasugar, My Makeup Reviews and Beauty Moogle Zone (all linked to the actual Chanel Holiday articles for your convenience!).


New L’Occitane Limited Edition Scented Shea Butter Hand Creams

October 27, 2009

My favorite hand cream is L’Occitane’s Shea Butter Hand Cream. I almost always have a small tube in my purse or car in the Original Formula or Cherry Blossom scent. This holiday, they have released some new scents and kits that are great for gifts. The scents are subtle enough to not be overwhelming but not so faint that you can’t smell them.

The two sets I got were from the L’Occitane boutique and Nordstrom. I plan on splitting them up into little gift sets for friends and mixing them with some other items.

Individually, they retail at L’Occitane Boutiques for $10. However, there are several specials, promotions and sets where you can save money.

At L’Occitane Boutiques, they have a 6-pack set called Hand Cream Bouquet for $45 (comes to $7.50 each) that has 2 regular Shea Butter creams and 1 of each of the new scents Ylang, Rosebud, Frangipani, and Acacia.

If you don’t like all the scents, they currently have a promotion where you can mix and match any 3 for $27 (discount comes to $9 each).


At Nordstrom, they have a cute 3-pack called Enchanting Hands for $25 that has Shea Vanilla, regular Shea Butter and Frangipani.

There were a few other sets I saw instore that I don’t see online yet. Also new is a hand cream/lipgloss set which is cute. Check out your local Nordstrom for more sets.


Sephora has a few sets as well. Their Hands Celebration for $25 is a 3-pack containing Shea Vanilla, regular Shea Butter and Lavendar hand creams. Their Hands Delice set for $25 has Cherry Blossom, regular Shea butter and Lavendar hand creams.


I’m sure there are a lot more sets to check out and I expect more to be released in the next month or so for the holidays.


Nars Holiday 2009: Taiga Eyeshadow Duo + Mousson Cream Eyeshadow

October 25, 2009

Last week I shared a few other items from Nars Holiday 2009: Luxor, Brousse, Eurydice & Aigle Noir. This weekend I was able to check out the entire tester unit (since it wasn’t blocked by tools and tissue boxes from the event) and picked up two more items Taiga Eyeshadow Duo and Mousson Cream Eyeshadow.

No swatches for these, but Taiga has a sheer sparkley light golden color and a shimmery olive-greyish green. The duo does seem to be a bit more sheer than most of his eyeshadows, but is still gorgeous in my opinion. Definitely test it out before buying.

Mousson is the prettiest sparkley silvery-green color. I don’t have a crease so I don’t have to worry about creasing. I know a lot of ladies don’t like the Nars Cream Eyeshadows – I must be in the minority because I have several that I use regularly and love. I do find they fade faster than most, but I personally don’t mind!


Giorgio Armani Holiday 2009: Crystal Palette and Silk 94 Lipstick

October 25, 2009

Giorgio Armani’s Holiday collection has been arriving in stores in limited quantities, so if you like anything, I suggest you grab them fast! I called Saks today to find that they had sold out most of their palettes and had only one left which the SA was kind enough to hold for me.

I came home with the Crystal Palette and Silk 94 Lipstick:

Silk Lipstick #94:

The top layer of the Crystal Palette 2009 and Silk 94 (the embossed parts of the palette are overspray):

The bottom tier of the Crystal Palette:

One more view:

I wish they had released an eyeshadow the same shade as the lipgloss, it would have made a gorgeous eye color! No swatches yet since it’s too pretty to touch!

I don’t remember all the shade names/numbers but this is what I saw:

* Crystal Palette – two tiered compact with crystals that contains a highlight powder oversprayed with silver sparkle, and 4 eyeshadows in shimmery cool charcoal, shimmery multi-dimensional teal, light silvery-blue, cool taupe grey
* Silk 94 Lipstick – sparkley (more shimmery than most armani lipsticks) golden-taupe
* Silk ?? Lipstick – shimmery warm red
* Lipshimmer 61 – matches the gold lipstick, but looks a bit more metallic/brassy
* Sheer Shimmer Powder #5 – I believe Armani had shimmer powders before, I can’t remember how many there used to be, but they are the same size as the blushes/bronzers, this one is a pale iridescent light pink (similar to Chanel Rosee Poudre Douce)
* Mascara Top Coat in a glittery bronze/gold


Laura Mercier Baked Eye Colour Palette for Holiday 2009

October 22, 2009

I normally get excited about all the holiday palettes and kits that come out every year, but felt this year there were too many palettes and not enough individual products to choose from. Laura Mercier has some gorgeous palettes which are nice if you don’t have a lot of products from her line. But if you’re like me and are looking for something you don’t already have in your collection, then you might be more inclined to wait and see what comes out for spring.

She does have quite a few bath & body kits that look interesting, but for her color items, the only thing that really caught my eye was her Baked Eye Colour Palette which retails for $48 and has 5 colors with a double-sided brush.

Left to right: Champagne, Sepia, Mink, Malt and Sterling

Overall thoughts: Champagne, Malt and Sterling are very sparkley and light. If you remember those Diamond Dust Eyeshadows from Bobbi Brown years ago, these are similar in concept. Light base color with loads of silver sparkle. These are nice and not over the top, but since they are so sheer, all three colors look the same on me.

Sepia and Mink are gorgeous shades, but feel a bit “over baked” making the pigment so-so. It’s still workable and they show up if you apply them with a brush that is slightly damp or over a cream base.

The Laura Mercier website states this is a $108 retail value which I am completely at odds on how they calculated this.

If you like Baked Shadows but want more pigmented and fun colors, check out the Gemstone Eye Collection which is exclusive to Saks. I actually never used the kit and ended up returning that kit soon after I received it in the mail because I couldn’t justify the price – but have to say the colors were stunning and if you don’t mind a splurge the brushes are fantastic and colors cute.


Nars Holiday 2009: Luxor, Brousse, Eurydice & Aigle Noir

October 18, 2009

My local Nordstrom was having a store wide event and each line was having makeovers or gifts-with-purchases. The place was packed, so I wasn’t able to see the new collection tester unit and was only able to pick up a few things. From Nars Holiday 2009, I came home with Luxor Multiple, Brousse Eyeshadow Duo (top), Eurydice Eyeshadow Duo (bottom) & Aigle Noir Soft Touch Shadow Pencil.

Luxor Multiple ($37) is an pale shimmery pink. The Nars promotional picture on their website is fairly accurate in showing how light it is. If you like light colors like Giorgio Armani Blush #12 and Chanel Wintersky, you will probably like this one. I feel it’s a bit pale and more on the sheer side for me (Chanel Shell/Beige, Armani Lasting Silk 5.5-6.5) but it’s different from any other cream product I have.

Nars Luxor vs. Giorgio Armani Blush #12 (see #12 comparisons at Armani Sheer Blush Comparisons & Giorgio Armani Sheer Blush & Giorgio Armani Fall 2009 Manta Ray):

For Brousse & Eurydice Eyeshadow Duos ($32 each), I felt the promotional pictures were a lot more exciting than the actual product, but I did find them both very unique for Nars and different from anything else I own as well. Brousse has a soft shimmery brown (think a puppy chocolate lab) and a soft purple shimmer. Eurydice has a brighter purple-eggplant with hints of fuschia and a dark complex charcoal.

Left = Brousse, Right = Eurydice:

Some comparison pictures:

1) Brousse (L) versus Cordura (R):

2) Kalahari vs. Brousse vs. Charade:

3) Eurydice vs. Dior Night Butterfly vs. Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill 3:

Aigle Noir Soft Touch Shadow ($24) is a blackened gold. Along the lines of Clinique Egyptian but in a chubby pencil form.

I haven’t had a chance to play around with the products except for the multiple. This will be a busy week for me, so I don’t think I will be able to get swatches up until the end of the week. Hope these pictures help a bit! I plan on going back to Nordstrom to check out the rest of the products in the collection hopefully when it’s not so crowded.