Browsing Tag

Spring 2013


Chanel Taboo #583 Le Vernis

March 20, 2013

There are a series of mini-releases coming out from Chanel this spring-to-summer. One is called Revelation de Chanel which features several glossimers and a new nail polish called Taboo #583 ($27 for 13 ml/0.4 fl oz, made in France). I found Taboo Le Vernis in Beverly Hills this past weekend at Neiman Marcus (although they did not have testers).

Taboo #583 is a glorious vibrant purple metallic. There is a rich deep purple base that is infused with an iridescent red plum sheen loaded with micro sparkles of silver, blue and purple. Taboo’s shimmer actually shows up on the nails (yay!) but it’s not over-the-top. In the sunlight you can see flashes of plum-red in the bottle. On the nails it’s pure purple, the red isn’t visible but it does prevent this from looking too dark. It’s that red iridescence and sparkle that brings this shade to life even though it is a darker shade. The complexity of this shade made it a bit difficult to photograph, here are several shots to give you a better idea.

Coverage is rich and smooth. Application was flawless with two coats. I used with Deborah Lippmann’s Rehydrating Base Coat and the Dior’s new Gel Top Coat. I did see a tiny bit of shrinkage on three fingers (but not all) with the top coat.

Swatches with any kind of lighting brightens the effect of the shimmer. Taboo’s shimmer is visible, but it’s still a dark purple on the nails without any visible red metallic flashes (except with a flash or in direct sunlight).
In direct sunlight:
Under artificial light:
Another shot with flash, you can see the complex rich sparkles:

Under artificial light:

I couldn’t find a dupe from Chanel or Dior, although I suspect there might be some OPI shades that are similar (I didn’t pull any to compare). Taboo has a beautiful rich sparkle that I find unique. Here is Taboo next to Vendetta and Strong:

Three sets of nail swatches, all the same order and shades, just different lighting to show you the various undertones, shimmers and colors: Chanel Provocation (reviewed here), Chanel Strong, Chanel Vendetta, Dior Licorice (reviewed here), Tom Ford Dominatrix (reviewed here).

I adore Taboo. It’s a beautiful vibrant yet deep purple
that glows without looking fluorescent.  It does have a fall-ish feel
(rather than spring or summer) but I still love it. I am dying to check
out the glossimers in the Revelation de Chanel collection. Hopefully
this week!

Taboo is a limited-edition shade. Available while supplies last at Nordstrom, Saks, Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdales and

Will you be picking up Taboo? If you have, did you find any dupes?


Dior Diablotine 643 and Gel Top Coat

March 19, 2013
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Dior’s nail polishes seem to keep getting better and better with each release. For spring they have released some killer shades for lips and nails this spring with their Sparking Shine collection. There are new shades of lipstick, a new revamped version of their addict gloss and new items for nails. The new nail items include Princess, Délice, Diablotine and Spring Ball ($24 each). In addition, Dior has released a new Gel Top Coat ($24). I didn’t plan on purchasing the Gel Top Coat, but my Dior rep insisted that it was the most amazing thing ever, so it came home with me from Nordstrom. I decided to try Dior Diablotine 643 first along with the Gel Top Coat.

Dior Diablotine 643 is a bright coral pink loaded with highly-shine shimmer. I love that the shimmer is visible. The sparkling quality reminds me of those super shimmery Celestial Lights glossimers Chanel released years ago (some are still available I think, you can see them here, my first post ever!). The pigment of Diablotine is incredible with full coverage with two coats. I swatched all briefly before applying Diablotine on all nails and found the finish wasn’t quite as shiny as most Dior nail polishes. It’s still covers the nail fully with smooth finish, but dries down to a satin like sheen (not high gloss). You definitely need to add a top coat for a good shiny finish. In terms of dupes, I would say there’s no exact dupe, I’d say it’s a cross between Dior Riviera & Lucky, but loaded with bright shimmers.
Dior’s Gel Top Coat is really amazing. I’ve never had a gel manicure so I can’t compare this to the real thing. I tried the Dior top coats that came with the Catwalk summer trios from 2011 and wasn’t a huge fan. I thought they were just ok so I was skeptical of the Gel version. After putting it to the test, I can say hands down, the Gel version is a million times better. This applied effortlessly, smoothly and gave a ultra-high shine with that cushy glossy finish. I applied this on my latest manicure using Deborah Lippmann’s Hydrating Base Coat, two coats of Diablotine (let this dry for 3 minutes) and then one coat of the Gel Top Coat. Drying time seemed to be faster than most, but since I tend to be on the careful side, let the nails dry for 15 minutes before touching anything. On Day 1, the finish was ultra glossy. On Day 2, there was still a high shine but not quite as glossy as the first day. By the end of Day 5, my manicure is still as fresh-looking as the first day without any tip wear, chipping or peeling. When it comes to top coats, I’m super picky about any type of shrinkage, I’m pleased to report there was no shrinkage with the Gel Top Coat although I haven’t tested it with other brands or Dior cream shades. I don’t think I’ve ever had a top coat extend the life of a manicure this long.
Some more photos of Diablotine:

Dior Diablotine (2 coats) with Gel Top Coat (1 coat):

A few comparisons to: Tom Ford Ginger Fire, Chanel Holiday, Chanel Dragon, Dior Psychadelic Orange, Dior Plaza and Chanel Fracas. (Note, I didn’t include Lucky or Riviera, they wouldn’t photograph accurately this time for some reason, Diablotine is like Lucky+Riviera mixed, but frosted with multidimensional shimmer.)

Dior’s Sparkling Shine collection is available now at Dior counters and boutiques. I purchased my items from Nordstrom. If you have a wishlist developing you might want to take advantage of Nordstrom’s Triple Points next week – many counters will be having gifts with purchases in store (I’m not sure what it is this time). I recommend calling your local counter to find out. Another good place to order is the Dior Boutique at the Palazzo in Vegas they have Iridescent Leather quint (yes it’s back!) along with some other new exclusive nail shades in Nymphea/Cristal and eye singles.

Did you pick up Dior Diablotine? Or the new Gel Top Coat?


Le Métier de Beauté Pink Berry Crème and Coral Rose

March 10, 2013
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Le Métier de Beauté has released five new glosses (see line up with comparisons on The Ultimate Makeup and a snapshot of all shades on Twitter @BeautyGypsy). I purchased several from Neiman Marcus during their Beauty Event last month. My top two picks are Pink Berry Crème (a lip crème $36 for 0.22 fl oz/6.5 ml) and Coral Rose (sheer brilliance formula $32 for 0.22 fl oz/6.5 ml). Both are gorgeous spring colors.

Pink Berry Crème is a stunning rose gold in a pigmented creme formula. According to numerous sources, this is a re-launch of Cebu (formerly a Tyson’s Galleria exclusive) under a new name. I don’t have it to compare, but online reviews seem to show that these are indeed the same color. It has a gorgeous shimmery finish that isn’t frosty. Lasting power is average like most lipglosses. A few readers have e-mailed me about the scent of some newer glosses. Most I’ve tried have a lovely slightly burnt dusty vanilla smell. There are a few duo sets and also some exclusive releases that have a slightly different scent which is sweeter and a bit artificial smelling. However it’s not overpowering and fades within a few minutes. I’m not sure if it’s the same across all batches or just a few. 
Coral Rose is a high gloss coral peach. On me it’s surprisingly pigmented even though it’s on the sheerer side. There’s not really a plumping aspect to the formula but for some reason this one makes my lips look full. This one has no scent that I can detect. The finish has a high shine. I love it.
More photos below:

Lip swatches:

A few comparisons below show that there are similar shades, but both Pink Berry Creme and Coral Rose have a pretty sophisticated shimmer that I couldn’t find in any other gloss. Below glosses are from Le Metier unless indicated.

I found both Pink Berry Crème and Coral Rose to be lovely additions for spring. The colors are naturally flattering without being too natural. The colors are perfect to wear alone or over lipsticks and are versatile enough to incorporate into any look. Both should be available at all Le Metier de Beaute counters by now. For online shoppers I’ll include a few links below. Note that Pink Berry Creme is a lip creme formula which is more pigmented and slightly more expensive. Coral Rose is the sheer brilliance gloss formula which is sheerer more glossy and a bit cheaper.
  • Pink Berry Creme can be found at Neimans (I would try calling your local counter to help you locate, it’s not showing up online right now at many locations)
  • Coral Rose can also be found at Nordstrom, Neimans and Saks

Did you try any of the new glosses from Le Metier? Thoughts? Which one is your favorite?

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Bobbi Brown Lilac Rose Shimmer Brick

February 25, 2013

Bobbi Brown has released a gorgeous new limited-edition Shimmer Brick called Lilac Rose ($42 for .4 oz/ 10.3 g, made in Italy). I’ve been a long time fan of her shimmer bricks even though the frost/shimmer factor is on the higher side (for me). A light swipe across the cheeks can make any blush glow. Lilac Rose has five shimmering shades of pink, gold and lilac. Blended all together creates a light pale frosted cool-toned pink. On me it goes on paler than what you see in the compact. These are designed to be worn on both eyes and cheeks, but for this one I prefer on the cheeks only. I’ll show each shade swatched individually and blended down below.

Individual swatches (left side is from the top of the shimmer brick to the right for the bottom of the shimmer brick)

All shades blended together, light then heavy:

I found that Lilac Rose applied quite frosty on the arm but not so much on the face. I’m a Chanel B30 right now and am at the skin-tone shade where this color looks very natural. On me I can’t say that it works as a blush, it’s much too light for me. It does add a lovely glow when layered over any pink blush. I love it – but you may find it has a similar effect compared to other frosty pinks. I pulled a few to compare for you:

Swatches, same set twice (in different light):

If you have Wild Rose from Bobbi’s last collection or Dior’s Pop Diamond (I think it was also limited), then I don’t think you need Lilac Rose. However, if you’re anything like me then you know how hard it can be to resist a pretty feminine pink shimmery highlighter. I give Lilac Rose a huge thumbs up, but since it is on the lighter side, I do recommend you try in person before buying.

I purchased mine from Neiman Marcus to take advantage of the beauty week gift with purchase (classic cheek/eye palette with minis). Saks is also having a gift this week as well (lip palette with minis). For the moment both gifts are available online. I suggest you order soon or call your local counters to secure the a gift before they are gone. Also sometimes stores will have step up gifts that aren’t available online.

Did you check out the Lilac Rose collection and bring anything home with you?


Chanel Western Light Le Vernis

February 18, 2013

Chanel has released a small beauty collection of three limited-edition items to celebrate the opening of a new fashion boutique in Hysan Place in Hong Kong. The three items include a 5-pan eyeshadow palette called Pearl River ($80) and two nail polishes in Eastern Light and Western Light ($30). It’s my understanding these will arrive in most Chanel Boutiques and select Studio Counters (Saks NY, Nordstrom Seattle, boutiques like the Wynn in Vegas). I ordered mine from Saks NY, however last week they did not have Eastern Light.
First up is Western Light Le Vernis, a dark vampy chocolate. Like some other classic Chanel colors, this one has a beautiful complex but subtle shimmer in the bottle. Unfortunately on the nail none of the pretty shimmer shows up. On me it applies like a very dark cream that looks like a pure black. The color has a thin slightly streaky finish with one coat, but with two thin coats transforms into a rich opaque blackened-brown. I have mixed feelings about this one. The quality and finish is stunning, but the color seems unoriginal to me. I can’t say it’s love simply because it’s so so basic for a $30 nail polish.

Close up of the shimmers:

A few more swatches:

In comparison to other vamps, you can see there are a lot of others that are more unique. Below are some Chanel bottles to compare. Further down there are a few more swatches from other brands.

Two wheels, same set of colors, just different lighting. First set is what the colors look like applied, very dark and vampy.

Second set in full sun with full flash to show the undertone a bit better.

I’m still undecided. Perhaps it’s the original Rouge Noir reincarnated? I don’t have the original to compare. But for now, I feel that it would have been so much better had they included some visible sparkle like the gold from Haute Chocolat or the silver from shades like Pink Satin.
Did you pick up anything from the Hong Kong Chanel collection? Thoughts? I’m debating whether or not to track down the white shade.

YSL Rouge Volupté Shines

February 15, 2013

YSL’s latest is a new formula of lipstick called Rouge Volupté Shine ($34 each Nordstrom). I ordered mine direct from YSL a few months ago and have fallen head over heels in love with the shades I’ve tried.
  • No 07 Rose Infinite is a natural semi-deep rose plum. It has semi-sheer coverage but you can adjust the intensity. On the lips the intensity of the color increases if you swipe it back and forth 3 times. Applying a similar-toned lip liner first will help the color last.
  • No 08 Pink in Confidence is a soft neutral pink but leans slightly cool on my lips. It has a Chanel Rouge Coco Shine Boy feel in color but the YSL is more pigmented and slightly lighter on me.
  • No 09 Nude in Private is a warm peach. As with all the shades there are subtle sparkles in the tube but on the lips the shimmer and sparkle isn’t very visible.
  • No 11 Beige Instinct is a neutral nude shimmer. In the photo below it looks warm because of the lighting, in real life it’s really more flesh toned.
  • No 15 Corail Intuitive is a shade I picked up at a later date, it’s similar to No 08 Nude in Private but more peach with a brighter look.

Swatched on my arm you can see for a sheer lipstick there is quite a bit of color payoff. Since these are sheer they are still slightly transparent. These have a shiny glossy finish.

Here are swatches in direct sunlight without a flash so you can see the base color better:

I’ve been dragging my feet on reviewing these mainly because of lip swatches. These are difficult for me to capture accurately and it’s hard for me to get consistent lighting but here’s my best attempt. As always note your mileage will vary. I have pigmented lips and olive skin, so these will most likely look different on you.

Right now I’m short on time so I can’t do swatch comparisons to other shades or brands. I would say these are a huge improvement from the Rouge Volupté Perles in texture (less gritty) and formula (smoother) and finish (more natural). These are much easier to apply compared to the original Rouge Volupté formula and the sheer/glossy/shimmer makes it more naturally flattering to the lips. Compared to Chanel Rouge Coco Shines I think these have a similar finish in terms of the shine and gloss but with a bit more pigment (very slight). I haven’t tried other shades like the brights or darks but I can’t wait to experiment.

After searching online it appears most of the shades are online at YSL, but some retailers have select shades (I haven’t confirmed instore though). Nordstrom’s exclusive is No 17 Rose in Tension. Saks’ exclusive is No 18 Prune in Fire. Neiman’s exclusive is No 16 Orange Impertinent.

For quick reference, see a few shades swatched at Best Things in Beauty and all the shades swatched on Kais Obsessions.

Have you tried the Rouge Volupté Shines? What’s your favorite Rouge Volupté formula or color?


NARS Disco Inferno Nail Polish – Spring 2013

February 9, 2013

NARS has released a new nail polish for spring called Disco Inferno, a complex sheer sparkly metallic ($19). I’ve never found a nail polish so difficult to describe. It’s almost duo-chrome, but not quite. On me it’s an iridescent grey-purple-opal-blue infused with tiny silver micro sparkle flecks. Sometimes it flashes a hint of green, but on me it’s mostly purple-blueish. It has a 90s-ish feel – reminiscent of edgy metallics from the early Urban Decay/Hard Candy days, and some older Chanels like Fluorine and Metal Argent. As most have reported, Disco Inferno is quite sheer. Even with three coats it still has a slight transparent finish where you can see the nail tips underneath. I think it’s beautiful although I do feel that it is slightly too edgy to wear to a conservative work office.
Here it is swatched with three coats:

There’s nothing quite like it in my current nail polish collection. The most similar color I own is OPI’s Not Like the Movies (looks more similar on the nails than on the nail wheel or in the bottle). OPI’s The World is Not Enough has a similar edgy feel with a transparent finish but is still quite different.

Nail wheels have four coats (all shades are sheerish):

Nail swatch comparisons have three coats:

Bottom line gorgeous and listed as limited-edition. Available online at