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Trying Out A Few New Nudes: MAC, Burberry & Zoya

February 21, 2011

I’m always looking for that perfect shade of nude even though I have quite a few favorites (Chanel Mythic & Luminous, Bobbi Brown Beige Gold, MAC High Tea). Everyone has a different interpretation of what they see as a true nude (see an older post here, What’s Your Definition of Nude?) – for me a true nude is something flesh colored. Light nude beiges don’t always work for me, many require tweaking with layering of extra gloss or liner (what I call my high maintenance nudes). Sometimes there are nude colors that are simply too neutral or beige and end up washing me out, but my curiosity always gets the best of me, I can’t help but check out every variation of beige.

A few new discoveries, thoughts, and swatches: MAC Viva Glam Gaga 2 Lipstick & Lipglass, Zoya Naomi Nail Polish, Burberry Trench Eyeshadow, MAC Gana Blush (from the Mickey Contractor collection).

First up are the newest additions to the MAC Viva Glam series: Gaga 2 Lipstick and Lipglass. Both are creamy neutral grey-beiges in the tubes but go on with a slightly peachy cast on the skin. These are true nudes, both of which I find fall under my “high maintenance” nudes category. The Gaga 2 Lipstick resembles concealer on my lips. It has full coverage (the amplified formula) with rich and creamy texture. Having tried other MAC nudes like Cherish, Creme d’Nude and Peachstock, I know this one will work better once layered over a darker liner (and blended of course) like MAC Stripdown and then topped with clear lipglass. I’ve swatched it alone below. Thumbs down by itself – the color just makes my skin look dirty and I look lifeless. Gaga 2 Lipglass is the exact same shade of nude, it’s not quite as flat and has the tiniest bit of sparkle in the tube. The shimmer doesn’t show up on the lips. For some reason the glossy texture makes it more forgiving on the lips. Thumbs up for this one! It’s a wearable nude, but I think MAC Revealing Lipglass is a more universally flattering beige nude. This one is also featured below alone (no lipstick or liner underneath).

In direct sunlight:

Zoya Naomi is an opalescent beige with a soft silver sheen. I ordered this from sight unseen along with a few of the Zoya Spoons. I haven’t tried too many Zoya Nail Polishes yet, but so far I’ve been extremely pleased with the finish, pigment and wearability of the colors. However, my experience with the Zoya neutrals is similar to my experience with Essie neutrals – what you see in the bottle doesn’t always translate to what you get on the fingers. In this case, I found Zoya Naomi a bit too warm for my beige skintone. I had to tweak it with a layer of a sheer silvery pink to get it to work. (Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post to see what I used.) Lovely color with 2 coats, just needed a slight change for my own liking.

Burberry Trench Eyeshadow is one of the best nudes I have ever tried. It’s deceptively boring and dull looking in the pan and swatched on my fingers, but it has a soft velvety texture that brightens and evens out the eye lids with a subtle luminescence. I love it. This isn’t entirely new (bought it back in late August in San Francisco’s Nordstrom) but I haven’t gotten around to reviewing it. I really love Burberry’s soft eyeshadows. I can’t wait for them to release more colors.

Burberry Trench finger swatched (on the hands it just melts/blends):

MAC Gana Frost Blush from the Mickey Contractor Collection was exclusive to select MAC Pro Stores and online. It’s a soft champagne grey pink shimmer powder that looks pretty on the eyes and as a highlighter on the temples. I don’t know if it’s still available or easy to find. It’s the closest thing I’ve found to Estee Lauder’s Tom Pecheux Highlighter (reviewed here) but with a pinkish/grey sheen. Those who can’t find it and want something similar that you can still find, MAC’s Beauty Powder in Play it Proper similar in effect.

Gana Swatched on bare skin:

All the new nudes swatched on arm, two views:

Have you tried any of these nudes I just reviewed? What are your thoughts if you have tried them? I’m especially interested to hear your thoughts on the Viva Glam Gaga 2 Lipstick and Lipglass – how are you making these work for you?

Butter London Tea With The Queen

September 3, 2010

Butter London’s Tea With the Queen nail lacquer is neutral, understated and polished. Retails for $14 and described perfectly on as being “on the pink side of tan, very neutral.” It’s a sheer cream that applies smoothly without streaks. Being on the sheer side, it’s slightly transparent, but not so sheer that the color is invisible. The manicure below is with 2 coats. It’s like a tinted nude pink tan. It goes well my Pink Little Stam and matches my favorite flavor of Izze in Sparkling Grapefruit.

In natural outdoor light, no flash, it was slightly cloudy today:

Here it is with 3 coats versus 2 coats, the different is subtle but in real life it looks richer and more opaque with the extra coat:

Compared to a few other pink nudes, no swatches, but I do have swatches of Jade Rose and Inattendu on other posts. These all apply true to what you see in the bottle.

I found mine at


True Nude: Edward Bess Sundown Lipstick

August 18, 2010
Everyone has a different definition of “nude.” Even each brand has their own interpretation of what they envision as nude (see various products with the word nude in their name in this article, What’s Your Definition of Nude?) I have been on the quest for the perfect true nude, but now that I have found it, I’m not sure how I feel about it.

Edward Bess Sundown Lipstick ($32) is a true nude in the sense that it is flesh toned beige. It’s more of a slightly greyed beige brown in the tube, but when combined with the pink in my lip, it wears to a straight flesh color. If you like MAC Siss, then you’ll probably like this one too (although Siss was like death on me). Sundown is creamy with full coverage. Makes a good base for glosses whether it’s a sheer sparkle or a bright cherry and it definitely tones down the lip better than concealer (which can sometimes be too dry for the lips). I’m not brave enough to wear it by itself – I think it definitely needs some layering with other colors for me.

For nudes, I prefer Pure Impulse on me which almost looks pink next to Sundown. One of my darker skinned friends bought this recently (Filipino, probably around NC45ish) and it was the perfect nude on her. I wish I could have gotten a picture, it was a perfect contrast to her tanned skin. The other nude Edward Bess has is Nude Lotus which I have not tried yet, although it looks absolutely gorgeous on Jennifer from Edward Bess at Bergdorf Goodman (see it on her on their Facebook page).

Here is Sundown compared to Pure Impulse (see the lip-swatch of Pure Impulse here):

Have you tried any of the nudes from Edward Bess? What are your thoughts?


What’s Your Definition of “Nude”?

December 28, 2009

I love the theme of nude-colored makeup for everything ranging from eyeshadows, lipsticks, and glosses but find it amazing how many different interpretations there are of this word “nude.” I personally associate nude with something the color of one’s natural skin, but with so many different skintones how does one define “nude”? Is there such a thing as a universally flattering “nude” lipstick or blush?

Take for example the following products that have the name “nude” – all of which are very different and not entirely flesh or skin colored.

Blushes (clockwise from top left):
Bobbi Brown Nude Shimmerbrick,
Dolce & Gabbana Nude, Chanel Nude

Eyeshadows (clockwise from top left):
Dior Nude Look 565, Dior Nude Look 365,
Bobbi Brown Nude Eyeshadow, Dolce & Gabbana Nude,
Edward Bess Nude, MAC Nude (d/c), Stila Nude

Lips (left to right): Dolce & Gabbana Nude Lipgloss, YSL #1 Pure Nude, Trish McEvoy Sexy Nude Beauty Booster, Bobbi Brown Stonewashed Nude, Bobbi Brown Nude, Bobbi Brown Nude Glitter, Chanel Nude Rouge Allure, Laura Mercier Nude Lips (sheer), MAC Creme D’Nude, Laura Mercier Barely Nude

Do any of these nudes work to give you a true “nude” eye, cheek or lip? I am still on my neverending quest for the perfect flattering nude blush and lip combo. I find my definition of nude is quite diverse as there are brownish nudes, pale nudes, golden nudes, beige nudes, pink nudes, peachy nudes etc. My holy grail nude eyeshadow is MAC Camel which has long been discontinued.

Tell me your skintone and what your favorite nudes are (nude-colors that is, not necessarily products with the name “nude” in them)!


Bobbi Brown Nude Collection 2009

June 15, 2009

Bobbi Brown’s newest collection is another series of nudes. The new Nude Collection for 2009, consists of a new shimmer brick, eye palette, gel liner and four creamy lip colors. I’m a huge fan of nude colors, and this collection is absolutely lovely in my opinion!!! Here are the items with a couple promo pics:

* Nude Shimmer Brick Compact ($38 USD)

* Nude Eye Palette ($60 USD) contains Navajo, Pebble Metallic, Chino, Beige Linen Shimmer Wash, Maple Sugar Metallic, Caviar

* Creamy Lip Color ($22 USD) in Soft Blush, Rosebud, Rose Garden, and Twilight

* Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner ($21 USD) in Caviar Ink

Now, actual photos and a few comparisons:

Nude Eye Palette in her 3 Pan Palette:

Long-wear Gel Eyeliners:
1. Gunmetal Shimmer Ink
2. Caviar Ink
3. Graphite Shimmer Ink

Shimmer Brick Compacts:
1. Nude
2. Sandstone
3. Brownie
4. Pink Quartz

Creamy Lip Colors, left to right in Soft Blush, Rosebud, Rose Garden, and Twilight:

And a look into previous nude palettes, top to bottom:

* Original Nude on Nude: Nude, Cement, Wheat, Espresso, Malted
* Nude on Nude Shimmer Wash: Nude SW, Cement SW, Woodrose SW, Wheat SW, Mahogany
* Shimmering Nudes: Nude Beach Metallic, Nude Mist SW, Naked, Nude Glow Metallic, Mica SW, Nude Spice Metallic, Espresso
* Stonewashed Nudes: Navajo, Mica SW, Ash SW, Hot Stone, Stonewash SW, Rock SW, Espresso
* Nude Lip and Eye (eyes shown): Bare, Naked, Nude SW, Buff SW

* Promotional photos from Bobbi Brown Germany,