Browsing Tag

Holiday 2013


Chanel Charming Ombres Matelassées | Holiday 2013

November 6, 2013

Chanel Charming Ombres Matelassées Eyeshadow Palette ($80 for 9g/0.32 oz, limited-edition) has finally arrived in stores. It’s a stunning soft delicate palette of neutrals – all shades are come in a lovely quilted pattern. The colors are soft powders but with decent pigment. Layered over a base the colors show up much better on my medium skin. The colors left to right include:
  • A soft delicate champagne ivory shimmer
  • A satiny fawn tan brown
  • A glimmering chocolate gold shimmer
  • A soft semi-satiny brown
  • A cool grey matte tinged with slight blue tones

Chanel Charming retails for $80. It’s limited-edition. My counters report they have received a very limited supply, but not to worry. It’s online at numerous locations. I bought mine online from Nordstrom. You can also find it online now at Neiman Marcus and

The colors layer quite well together on the eyes. Each color in this palette is wearable enough to wear all five shades at once. I layer from left to right (light to dark). This palette is sometime I envision to be an everyday kind of palette. The middle gold shade gives it a slight holiday feel, although not quite as glitzy or glamourous as the beautiful Illusion d’Ombres in Fatal and Initiation. I suspect layering either shade on top of this powder palette would add a bit of glitz for the holiday.

Shown without flash, there’s a soft glowing quality from each color:

Close up of the shades, here in sunlight:

Here, under artificial light with flash:

The colors swatch very nicely on the skin and the eyes. Being the neutral lover that I am, I adore each shade in this palette. There is just no comparison with the finely milled satiny shimmers here.

In sunlight, no flash:

Comparing this to other Ombres Matalassées Palettes, Charming proves to be the safest neutral. Pearl River (limited from the spring 2013 Hong Kong collection) was a more edgy non-neutral. It’s been sitting in my drawer neglected and unused although I keep intending to use it (I keep getting distracted with Le Metier de Beaute kaleidoscopes and Edward Bess palettes). 51, Montaigne (also limited edition from 2012) is more yellowy and khaki-colored. Charming is the warmest, although still a neutral. Here are the palettes side by side for comparison.

Overall, Charming Ombres Matelassées will be one of my staple work-horse kind of palettes for everyday. It may be too neutral for some although I do love how the shades can be layered for a subtle warm smokey eye. If you’re looking for something different and unique, I’d suggest you opt for the holiday Illusion d’Ombres (reviewed here). This one is definitely must-have for me (although pricey).

Chanel Charming Ombres Matelassées is a limited-edition palette. It retails for $80. Online now at Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus and


Diorific Vernis Minuit #995 | Holiday 2013

November 4, 2013
Dior’s holiday 2013 collection brings new nail lacquers in the special round packaging. Diorific Vernis Minuit #995 ($26 for 12 ml/0.40 fl oz, limited-edition) is a stunning vamp-plum mixed with red and gold shimmers. I thought this would be just another standard shimmery plum but Minuit really stands out with a beautiful rich glossy finish. The red and gold flecks are visible but the color is still dark enough to be vampy. In the sunlight this color glows.

Close up of the shimmers:

Swatched with two colors results in a slightly jelly finish. It has smooth coverage but is slightly transparent making the color look more red than plum. I prefer this with three coats for full coverage. The application was smooth and easy to apply.

In indirect sunlight the color is less red and more plum:
I pulled Dior Shadow #783 (discontinued, swatched here), Dior Liquorice #972 (discontinued), Dior Galaxie #992 (reviewed here), Chanel Taboo #583 (swatched here) to compare. Dior Minuit for holiday is closest to Liquorice but Minuit is darker and more dramatic. Compared to the others below you can see how the gold flecks in Minuit make it stand out compared to other shimmers.

One last swatch of Dior Minuit:

LOVE. If you’re thinking about this shade I suggest you buy soon. I’m 100% in love with it and think it’s worth every penny. Dior Holiday should be out at your counters now. You can find Minuit #995 online now at Nordstrom and Sephora.

Tom Ford Shameless and Trophy Wife Nail Lacquers | Jasmin Rouge 2013 Colour Collection

October 31, 2013
Above left: Shameless, Above Right: Trophy Wife

This holiday Tom Ford has released a Jasmin Rouge 2013 Colour Collection (details here) along with various holiday sets that will be coming out over the next few weeks. There are two new nail lacquers with this collection in Shameless and Trophy Wife ($32 each, now at Both are stunning classic colors. Being classics both Shameless and Trophy Wife are probably very similar to other reds and pinks from other lines. I haven’t had time to pull comparisons as these just arrived yesterday. I’ll pull some other shades this weekend.

Shameless is a deep classic red cream. It has rich smooth coverage. The first coat is slightly transparent but still very opaque. The texture is medium-thin making it easy to apply smoothly. It also dries very quickly. I suspect this is very similar to Chanel Dragon and Pirate (more on this in a few days).


Trophy Wife is a deep raspberry metallic shade with a hint of fuschia. This is a gorgeous shimmer but the shimmer is very very subtle. On the nails you can see a slight metallic sheen. Due to the red base most of the time it appears to be a red with blue tones. I love that it’s not your traditional metallic fuschia which can sometimes be a bit too bright. This one is brightening but in a classic way.

Here it looks more red if the shimmer doesn’t flash:

More photos of each shade side by side:

I think both are absolute must-haves. The quality and pigment are really amazing (even if the colors can probably be duped). At this time I’m not sure if they are limited-edition or permanent colors. They should be arriving at Tom Ford Beauty counters very soon. Right now you can find them online at Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus and Harvey Nichols. (PS The two new lipsticks with the collection are Vampire Kiss and Rouge Fatal.)


Chanel Rouge Allure Radieuse #217 | Holiday 2013

October 24, 2013
This season Chanel has released a limited selection of lip colors for the holiday collection. I ordered Rouge Allure Radieuse #217 a cool pink cream ($34, limited-edition) sight unseen. Although I usually find most Chanel lip colors naturally flattering and easy to work with, Radieuse proved to be one of the few I’ve purchased from the line that does not work so well for me. Radieuse is absolutely gorgeous in the tube and swatched on the arm it’s quite lovely. On my pigmented lips and olive skin it turns very powdery-looking and blue. There is a sharp contrast between my natural lip tone and the slight transparent quality of the lipstick which results in a darkish looking ring around the edges. The quality and texture is still quite good like most Chanel lipsticks. Although I do try to go outside my comfort zone with makeup, I found Radieuse just didn’t work for me. It’s a bit too too pale and has too much blue. Even my husband commented that he was not a fan of this color on me.

Here it is swatched:

To fix this one I blended a heavy layer of Chanel Nude Lipliner and Armani Gloss d’Armani in 109.

I think this might be the palest cream pink lipstick I own. I pulled a few to compare: Burberry English Rose Lip Cover (discontinued), Pink Heather Lip Mist (reviewed here) and Armani Rouge Ecstasy #103 (reviewed here).

If you can pull off pale baby pinks (I usually cannot unless there is some nude peach or brown or rose mixed in) you will like this one. Those with olive medium skin (like me) or darker may find this one a bit too pale. If it had shimmer mixed in I probably could pull this one off a bit easier. You’re mileage may vary with this color. I’d love to hear your thoughts if you’ve tried this shade. Perhaps I’m being too picky with this one – but I will be playing more with the color to see if I can grow to like it more.
Chanel Rouge Allure Radieuse is available at Chanel counters now. Online at Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Saks and


Guerlain Crazy Pearls Meteorites | Holiday 2013

October 22, 2013

Guerlain Crazy Paris Meteorites Pearls for holiday ($58 for 30g/1.05oz, limited-edition) is a hybrid Illuminating/Finishing Powder. It is very sheer but glowy on my medium olive tone skin. There are multi-colored pearls of powder in this year’s holiday meteorites. There is a white pearl, matte peach, bright pink and some gold. I haven’t had much experience with Guerlain Meteorites in the past. Most shades I’ve tested were barely visible on my skin and while I know they are designed to be finishing powders, I found them too sheer for my taste to purchase in the past. My preference in the past for the perfect glowy finishing powder was for the Chanel Poudre Douce powders (now discontinued). The Guerlain Crazy Paris Powder is more sheer and glowy with visible shimmers compared to Chanel Les Beiges (which is best used more like an all over sheer soft setting powder). The Guerlain is also significantly sheerer and more sparkly than Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders (which I feel are more user-friendly for all over the face).
The Crazy Pearls Meteorites this year are visible on my skin to give that glow from within. I tested at the counter where the artist dusted this all over the face. For me this would be more of a special-occasion product to use all over the face. It’s a tad too glowy for me to use all over for everyday. My preference is to use it to highlight the cheeks (over bronzer or blush) and temples to add that soft glow. If you layer this more you will see a bit more pink on the skin. It’s still extremely subtle. If you want something more visible I would suggest you opt for one of the Hourglass Ambient Light powders (the best shade will depend entirely on your skintone, the holiday palette is a nice way to try three shades).

More photos and swatches:

It gives a glow from within kind of glow. The sparkles are visible on the skin but not glittery. Even though the pink shows up well on my skin it’s too sheer to use as a blush. It makes a lovely finishing product. I highly recommend you read the review and reader comments at Best Things in Beauty – there are many Guerlain fans that have chimed in on their thoughts and comparisons.
Is it a must-have? I’m not sure I can say yes or no. Those who are familiar with Guerlain Meterorites Pearls will most likely say yes. The Guerlain Meteorites have a unique finish compared to any other highlighter – one that is sheer but meant to be applied all over the face. I would say test before you buy. I am very happy with these – I find the finish is more visible compared to past Meteorites I’ve tested.
The Guerlain Crazy Paris Meteorite Pearls are limited edition. The collection is now at all Guerlain counters. You can find it online at Nordstrom and other online locations.


Guerlain Crazy Terracotta Healthy Glow Powder | Holiday 2013

October 21, 2013

I purchased the Guerlain Crazy Paris Terracotta Bronzer ($69 for 10g/0.35 oz, limited-edition) while traveling in San Francisco a few weeks ago. The mix of pink, peach and bronze was just so pretty it was nearly impossible to pass even though I have enough bronzers to last at least 10 lifetimes. When swirled together the powders create a soft peachy bronze glow. The pink portions are very subtle when mixed with the other colors but it makes this bronzer apply more like a soft nude blush rather than a traditional bronzer. There’s a good mix of matte and shimmer in this that it makes the skin glow. It reminds me of the Chanel Soleil Tan de Chanel Bronzer from 2012 in the sense that it makes a nice non-traditional bronzer. The mix of pink and peach prevents it from looking muddy on the skin.

The Guerlain Crazy Terracotta comes in a little black and pink pouch. The compact is quite heavy and domed at the top.

The bronzer under artificial light:



You can achieve a similar effect with regular peachy blushes however the mix of colors in Guerlain Crazy Terracotta gives a glow with some depth. This is hard to achieve with other regular blushes. The pink adds a unique touch of pink/peach when mixed with the shades of bronze. It has shimmer but it’s not quite as shimmery as the Guerlain Blondes or Sun Blondes. I’ve also swatched next to Chanel Sable Rose (from 2012) below.

Swatched with a heavy hand:

Overall a lovely glowy bronzer. It shows up well on my light-medium skin in a natural glowy way. I love it on the cheeks as a blush. If you have a lot of bronzers you can probably skip this – for me any face product with a hint of pretty pink mixed in is hard for me to pass. The glowy nature of this bronzer is enough for me to call it a must-have. You can find it at Guerlain counters now for a limited time, online at Nordstrom, Saks and Sephora.


Guerlain Sulfurous #861 Nail Lacquer | Holiday 2013

October 18, 2013

Guerlain has released a new nail lacquer with their Crazy Paris Holiday 2013 Collection called Sulfurous #861 ($23, limited-edition). It’s a blackened-purple smoky shimmery shade with excellent coverage and smooth application. The color looks prettier in the bottle than on my nails but I still think it’s a lovely shade. I couldn’t find any dupes for it. I’ve had great experiences with the other shades in the Guerlain line up in terms of pigment, lasting power and overall wear. I found Sulfurous to have a shorter life-span in terms of lasting power. I had tipwear on the end of the third day of wear, but then I did not use it with the Guerlain base/top coats. Sometimes using the same brands for base, color and top coat results in the best combination – I do plan on trying them soon.

Here it is with two coats:

I pulled a Dior Aztec Chocolate (discontinued), Dior Lemon Balm (discontinued), Dior Silver Purple (discontinued) and Chanel Vertigo to compare. Guerlain Sulfrous proved to be very different.

With the exception of the so-so lasting power (which could have been due to the base/top coats I used) I am overall pleased with the color. Guerlain Sulfurous is a unique smoky color that isn’t quite like your traditional vamp but still on the dark side. It’s limited-edition so I suggest you try to buy sooner than later if you’re interested. The collection should be at counters now. I spotted it at Neiman Marcus in San Francisco last week. It’s also online now at Nordstrom, Saks and Dillards.