Browsing Tag

Holiday 2010


MAC Chez Chez Lamé, Rosé Olé, Vintage Selection & Let Me Pop

December 29, 2010
I know what you’re thinking: Not another Cham Pale review! Even more so, MAC on this blog?* I realize you’ve seen this collection reviewed practically everywhere, but per request, here are my thoughts on the MAC Cham Pale collection and comparisons to other shimmer powders and paint pots.

Overall impression: I love the theme of shimmering pales (as seen in last month’s Loving Right Now: Shimmering Pales post). I’m all about the glowy and luminous but when I started seeing swatches and reviews on other blogs I was a bit let down. Everything looked so frosty! Still, curiosity got the best of me so I took a peek at the MAC counter the day after Christmas. I can report that my favorite bloggers did an amazing job in swatching with great accuracy. The colors are indeed very metallic in this collection, however I was able to find a few things that worked for me when applied with a lighter hand.

What I picked out, thoughts and descriptions:

Chez Chez Lamé Special Reserve Highlight Powder – This is a soft pale beige gold shimmer. I have a soft spot for MAC MSFs even though they tend to be overly frosty so I couldn’t resist these new highlighting powders. On my skin, the shimmer is more finely milled and less frosty. I also find these less frosty than Bobbi Brown Shimmer Bricks. I was pleasantly surprised! This is extremely pale however – if you’re a Chanel Shell or darker I would recommend using this with a super light hand to avoid super-frost.

Rosé Olé Special Reserve Highlight Powder – This is described as a soft pink with gold shimmer, on me it’s a peachy-rose, slightly bronzey. Same finely milled shimmer quality on the cheeks. I think this will look great on the eyes. Since it’s darker it’s not quite as contrasted on my skin. I recommend also applying with a lighter hand, I don’t think these will photograph well if applied heavily – you will most likely end up looking oily from the shimmer/shine.

Vintage Selection Paint Pot – I was the most anxious to see how the Paint Pots looked in real life. I thought I would pass on them all as they looked glittery and chunky. They are significantly more sparkly than any other paint pots I’ve seen, yet there were two that I liked blended out. Vintage Selection is a lovely light mauvey-pink sparkle. Those who don’t like micro-glitters may find this too over-the-top. Normally I avoid glitter like the plague, but this one is pretty blended out. Even though these are creams, for some reason I find MAC Paint Pots to be a bit hard to blend and need a bit of help from eye creams.

Let Me Pop Paint Pot – A unique coppery peach that is light enough for me to wear on the eyes without looking ill. This too has glittery chunks, so I recommend if you do venture to try this, try it on in small doses.

The comparisons of similar products with swatches, MAC Chez Chez Lamé:

The comparisons of similar products with swatches, MAC Rosé Olé:

MAC Paint Pots, MUFE Aqua Cream & Laura Mercier Metallic Creme Eye Color:

I found most of the Cham Pale colors original and different from others (with the exception of the repromotes). I don’t think this is a universal palette of colors. The paleness of everything will definitely not suit all skintones. The glittery frosty aspect of the lipglosses and paint pots will definitely be out of many women’s comfort zone. I personally don’t know who would wear those glittery lipgelees ever. But to each their own.

If you’re wondering how the shimmer highlighters compare to other high-end brands, well, I still have to tell you they just don’t. Even though these are finely milled and not-too-frosty, The Dior Skinshimmers and YSL Holiday Powder and Chanel just have a more natural glowy quality. Compred to the frost level of NARS Multiples, Blushes, and highlighters, the MAC is more subtle in my opinion.

I was surprised myself that I left the MAC counter with anything – you all know I’m not a huge fan of super-frost or glitter. I won’t say anything is a must-have, but I do recommend if you’re at all interested to explore this collection and check it out in person if you can. You might be surprised to find something fun and different.

* As an update to the rude commenter and others who like to throw insults on a regular basis – I did not mean to imply I am too good for MAC. I do like quite a few items from MAC, in fact a substantial percentage of my collection consists of MAC products, but mainly from older collections. Those who have actually read my blog for a while know I do not typically cover MAC collections by choice simply because it is a widely accessible brand that is well covered in blog reviews, message board reviews and videos. I blog about what I want to blog about and what I like. What I like is variety. If you are offended by luxury brands then this is not the blog for you to read.

Uncategorized – Shopping For a Good Cause

December 13, 2010

This year our beloved Karla Sugar had a brilliant idea to put together something called – a collaboration of almost 50 different beauty bloggers and brands. In the spirit of the holidays, we wanted to make a meaningful contribution to charity — knowing that the most effective donation to any charity is cash. So we’ve donated some of our makeup on the auction block. Winning bids will be donated directly to Doctors Without Borders.

We’re raising money for Doctors Without Borders because women are always disproportionately affected in any disaster. This organization is committed to bringing quality medical care to people in crisis, regardless of race, religion, or political affiliation. They treat rape victims in Papua New Guinea; they make sure women don’t die in childbirth in Pakistan; they helped flood victims in Mexico and earthquake victims in Haiti. They work in 65 countries around the world, and your donation will make an immediate impact. Click here to learn more about MSF.

As a reminder, the auction is live now, and will close on Monday, December 20 at 5 pm CST. Don’t miss out! There are some great hard-to-find items many have generously donated.

What I’ve donated for The Beauty Look Book:

Dior’s Sunset Cafe Quint
Paul & Joe Alice in Wonderland Daydream Set

This year’s participants:


Chanel Holiday 2010 Rouge Cocos: Magnolia & Patchouli

December 6, 2010

I featured most of Chanel’s Holiday 2010 Collection back in October, but neglected to review the 2 new Rouge Cocos in Magnolia 117 (pink) and Patchouli 107 (brownish-peach-nude). Here they are swatched and reviewed.

Magnolia is a light pink with subtle gold sparkles, but it’s mostly a non-shimmer lipstick. On me it runs on the slightly cool side. It works best of me when worn with a light touch. I think I like this on lighter skintones. It’s hard to capture with the camera – but on me it looks a bit fake like a powder pink.

Patchouli is a natural peachy brownish nude shimmer. If you’re familiar with Perle, Patchouli is similar in texture and finish with the shimmer factor and is more peach brown where Perle is more pink. I love this one.

Compared to a few other Rouge Cocos, l to r: Rose Dentelle, Magnolia, Patchouli, Perle and Rose Comete

One last view of the 2 holiday shades:


YSL Touche d’Or Highlighter & Colorama Palette

November 18, 2010

I’m slowly getting into YSL. It’s one brand I have long resisted but every once in a while something catches my eye. The holiday collection has the most beautiful highlighters this season with the new touche eclat-type highlighter and soft sparkling pink pressed shimmer powder.

I may be the one lone woman who doesn’t like the Touche Eclat from YSL, but I fell in love with the Touche d’Or Golden Touch Highlighter ($40) for holiday. It’s named “golden” but on my skin it went on more neutral-champagne than gold. It has a beautiful sparkle finish. I personally found it a bit too sparkly for every-day wear on the face, but it’s lovely on the eyes. If you’re looking for a glowy cream highlighter without too much sparkle opt for NARS Luxor Multiple or Edward Bess All Over Seduction in Sunlight or Afterglow.

The pressed Metallic Shimmer Powder in Colorama ($65) is absolutely stunning. It comes encased in a metallic leather compact which is similar in color to the Pink Gold Nail Color. The powder is finely milled and goes on a light pink shimmer. On my Chanel Shell Teint Innocence skintone it’s not too pale that it’s frosty. It has a lovely soft glowy finish on my cheeks. I’m not the biggest fan of the compact design but at least it’s sturdy. The product is just so gorgeous that I can overlook the flashy packaging and still love this. I find this similar in concept to Armani’s Blush #12 – in the compact and swatched on the hand it looks too light to be a blush, but on the cheeks it gives a wonderful soft glow. If Armani’s #12 worked on you, then chances are you’ll really like this highlighter. If Armani’s #12 didn’t work, then perhaps you might find this too subtle. I do think the YSL will serve as a more pigmented highlighter for darker/tan skintones though. The Armani is sheerer in finish which is why it might not show up so well on darker skins.

Swatches on bare skin, one with high flash:

Outdoor natural light:

My local Bloomingdales had a national event with a lovely GWP which made the high price tag more justifiable. My favorite item out of all the goodies was the full-sized powder brush which I look forward to trying out soon.


Armani Gold Rush Collection Picks Holiday 2010

November 13, 2010
I’ve been a long-time fan of Armani ever since I first saw it at the London Heathrow Airport back in 2001 for their natural looking elegant makeup line. These days their collections seem to have more pizazz with brighter colors that are anything but natural. I still love what they release. This Holiday, the Armani Gold Rush Collection has some beautiful options. My local Neimans didn’t have any testers for the new items but these days I feel familiar enough with the line I didn’t need to test anything to make my purchasing decisions. Also thanks to Karla Sugar (see her Gold Rush Swatches Part 1) I knew I had to have the black and gold shadows.

The items I picked out: Gold Rush Highlighting Shimmer Powder ($55), Eyes to Kill Shadows #13 Black and #15 Copper ($32 each)

The Gold Rush Highlighting Powder is a soft sparkly gold. It’s softer in texture making the shimmer powder pigmented and easy to pick up with a brush. (Some shimmer powders are harder in texture making the finish sheerer.) If you are familiar with the Spring Nude Contrasts Shadows (reviewed here), the texture and finish of the Holiday Shimmer Powder is similar. It’s somewhere in between finely milled shimmer and chunky shimmer with uber-tiny micro sparkles.

* the above photo shows the upper 1/2 with the mirror reflection so you can see the shimmer in different light, the powder is one color, not duo-colored

I don’t have large visible pores on my cheeks (just had foundation/powder on), but when I applied this over my cheeks – I suddenly had visible pores. I tried it again over a foundation/powder/cream highlighter, it had a much better result. It’s not SUPER sparkly but the sparkle is definitely visible. As beautiful as it is, I think this would be better suited for the eyes or décolleté – but that’s only my personal opinion.

Here it is compared to NARS Albatross and MAC New Vegas. From the swatches it’s hard to see the sparkle – I recommend clicking to enlarge for better viewing. The NARS is more finely milled but can go on frosty if applied to heavily. The Armani has no frosty finish, but has visible microsparkles.

The Eyes to Kill Shadows are AMAZING. The Copper Shade #15 is more of a golden-bronze rather than copper but I love it. This is a high sparkle color but blends out beautifully. The Black Shade #13 is a soft cool-toned black. They come with a little black cover inside. I’m not exactly sure what the purpose of these are – they don’t really seal the shadow since there is space around the cover once inside the pot. I’ll have to ask my makeup artist the next time I go. I completely forgot to check the silver shade.

The shimmer is very subtle but this is one of the few cream black shadows that give a soft smokey eye without looking too harsh. I found both blended better with the fingers than a brush. They have an interesting texture – not quite a cream, not a powder, not quite a mousse. It’s like a blend of all three types of shadow formulas. I recommend reading the description on Armani’s Website for a better description.

Left = #15 Copper, Right = #13 Black

* Numbers on the shadows have been updated and corrected, #15 is the Copper Shade, #13 is the Black Shade

Swatch comparisons to the other brands and colors:

Since they didn’t have testers of anything I passed on the lip items since I knew they would be bright. I did pick up a few more Rouge d’Armani Lipsticks (not part of the holiday collection) and the new Eyes to Kill Excess Mascara (all which will be reviewed in the near future).

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NARS Mélusine Eyeshadow Duo & Petit Monstre Lipstick for Holiday 2010

November 4, 2010

The NARS Holiday collection this year is described as “brazenly mesmerizing” on and the description is spot on. NARS has never failed to capture my attention even when his collections are clearly not me. No matter what he releases, his collections still manage to turn my head and I’m always drawn to the counter to play. I don’t always leave the counter with something but his collections are always so cutting edge I can’t help but be curious. I loved the little black card I received recently – it brought a smile to my face.

I fell in love with his Mélusine Eyeshadow Duo ($32) because it is truly unique and took my breath away. Just read Josie’s review on Pink Sith and you’ll be in love too. This duo is SO MUCH better than the promotional photos. One side has a complex opalescent grey-purple shimmer. It’s almost duochrome but not quite. The shimmer is so finely mixed together it’s hard to describe. The other side is a matte cool purple. It did not apply well on my arm but goes on much smoother and richer on the eyes. This purple is an enigma to me – you can see that it looks slightly red in some photos while others look more blueish purple. It’s a matte shade so there’s no reflecting particles yet it still looks different depending on what angle you hold the duo at.

I could not resist Petit Monstre Lipstick ($24) because of the name. I have featured my kitty a few times on my blog and many of you have asked his name. I have to confess that we call our kitty Monster. He’s the meanest little furry thing I’ve ever seen yet I love him to death. He was the best birthday present I’ve ever received. I had to have this lipstick for my kitty’s sake. It’s described as a “rich, luscious berry” and that is exactly how I would describe it but with a gold shimmer infused throughout. It’s not quite red in the tube or on the hand but it applies red on my lips.

One last view of Mélusine Eyeshadow Duo and Petit Monstre Lipstick:

Swatched on bare skin:

My thoughts on the other items:
Passed on the nail polishes and glosses. Was slightly interested in the new Sex Appeal Blush but it was simply too pale. Fell in love with the gold Étrusque eyeshadow but thought it would be too warm for my olive-toned skin. The other items were ok but not really my cup of tea. I found these at Nordstrom.

Laura Mercier Color Wardrobe Holiday 2010

November 1, 2010

This holiday season seems to be all about palettes and sets. Laura Mercier has quite a few options this holiday but the only one that stood out to me was the Color Wardrobe Palette. I purchased this from the last Neimans Incircle Event to take advantage of their gift with purchases but was under the impression the retail value was less than the $98 listed price. I will say my jaw dropped when I saw the price on the receipt. I do think it’s a relatively good value for 6 eyeshadows, 3 blushes (these have more product than a full sized blush), 8 lip colors, and 2 double ended brushes, however if I knew the retail price beforehand I probably would have passed on this.

  • Top Layer, Top Row: Chocolate, Sable, Twinkling Star, Stellar, Tiger’s Eye and Baroque Eye Colours
  • Top Layer, Bottom Row: Spice, Apricot Blossom and Lotus Cheek Colours
  • Bottom Layer, Top Row: Mulberry Stain, Hibiscus Stain, Shy Pink Stain, Plum Lip Glaze
  • Bottom Layer, Bottom Row: English Rose Stain, Brick Red Stain, Mocha Stain, Naked Lip Glaze

If you’re more into the individual products the good news is that most of the lip stains are available individually. I’ve been told that the 2 exclusive eyeshadows Twinkling Star & Tiger’s Eye are going to be released next year (these are a new sparkling formula). The three blushes are gorgeous but are similar to existing colors. I compared them at the counter and they are clearly different but still close to some shades.

Don’t get me wrong – this is a beautiful palette and very versatile to take you from day to night. The lip colors are neutrals with a kick. My favorite items are the brushes (Laura always does great brushes with her palettes unlike many other brands) and the blushes. I just would have rather purchased items individually.

The colors, descriptions, close ups + swatches of the top layer:

  • Chocolate – shimmering deep cocoa chocolate brown
  • Sable – cool silver-taupe
  • Twinkling Star – glittering champagne with a hint of pink
  • Stellar – neutral champagne nude
  • Tiger’s Eye – sparkling warm bronze
  • Baroque – warm tawny brownish neutral
  • Spice – the name says it all, a warm brown spice with slight shimmer
  • Apricot Blossom – reminds me of Orange Blossom
  • Lotus – bright pink with shimmer, brighter/cooler than Lotus Pink

The colors, descriptions, close ups + swatches of the top layer:

Lip Stains:
  • Mulberry – warm red brown
  • Hibiscus – bright healthy pink
  • Shy Pink – nude pink
  • English Rose – medium warm pink rose
  • Brick Red – not sure what to make of this color, it’s not really a brick red
  • Mocha – cinnamon mocha brown
Lip Glazes:
  • Plum Lip Glaze – sheer glossy plum
  • Naked Lip Glaze – light peachy-beige, almost clear

Overall a nice neutral polished and classic looking palette that isn’t too neutral. If you’re new to Laura Mercier or are looking for a versatile palette to go with virtually everything in your wardrobe this is a great pick for you. Great for travel and the product sizes are decent. I don’t know that I would be comfortable toting this around in my purse but the compact is fairly sturdy and comes with high quality brushes. It is on the pricey side but if you consider all the items you get, it’s a relatively good value.