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Summer 2011

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Dior Summer 2011 Eyeshadow Palettes in Rosy Nude 534 and Rosy Tan 754

May 2, 2011

Dior hit it big this summer with their bronzers and quints, in particular with and Rosy Nude 534 and Rosy Tan 754. I’ve featured Aurora and Sunset here along with Aloha here and Paradise here. Many of you ask me season over season “who did it best this season?” For me it typically depends on product category. Often times I cannot pick my favorite because I tend to fall in love with multiples. But to answer the question: who did it best for the eyes for summer 2011? The answer: hands down, is DIOR! I haven’t been this excited about a Dior Quint since Iridescent Leather (Fall 2008) and Goldfever (Summer 2008). The quints for summer 2011 do not disappoint.

Rosy Nude 534 and Rosy Tan 754 ($58 each) are both the prettiest palettes of shimmery neutrals I think I have ever seen. Both are medium to high frost but look lovely on the eyes without being too glitzy. The texture is soft and smooth. Pigment is rich and easily blendable. I typically can only wear 3 shades at one time per quint – I consider my eye lid space small and especially since I have no visible crease – contouring abilities are limited without looking fake. With these quints, I still prefer 3 shades but the texture is layerable and blendable enough so I have been able to wear all 5 shades at once.

How do I wear these? There are a number of ways. In the few weeks I’ve had these, I’ve typically worn 3 shades (just pick 3 in any palette) and you can layer them together:
  • Method 1: apply lightest shade first 1/2 way up the lid, smudge darkest shade on top along lash line, apply medium shade above dark color to blend upwards
  • Method 2: apply any medium shade first and mix with the darkest color in each palette blending on lids, then apply a wash of a lighter color on top to give a glow
  • Method 3: just layer lightest to darkest in a gradient pattern (lightest all over, and blend each progressively darker shade on a smaller portion of the eye, ending with the darkest shade along the lash line smudged over a pencil liner)
Rosy Nude 534 is the lighter option with: shimmering cream, shimmering sandy champagne, glowing fawn, glittery peach-pink, soft candy powder pink.

Rosy Tan 754 has a high frost pink, shimmering deep chocolate with gold flecks, frosted cool creamy white, warm frosty taupe-tan, warm cocoa satin.


They are both must haves in my opinion. Even at the high price they are still must haves. To put it into perspective for product/cost.

  • Dior costs $58 for 5 shades, approximately $11.60 for 1.2 grams
  • MAC for a shadow pan costs $11 for 1.5 grams
While I’m always one to have an eye on brands who skimp on product, I do recognize that there is so much more to a product than just the quantity of product. Yet, even a high quality product that is way overpriced is like a punch in the stomach. That being said, to me, the Dior Quints are reasonably priced for the quality, packaging, color, texture, uniqueness and convenience. I don’t need a cream base for these to apply well, although layering over a cream shadow does extend the wear for me.

Make sure you check Amy’s gorgeous reviews if you missed them on Café Makeup. Here they are swatched on my arm without any moisturizer or base (applied with fingers):

Here are comparisons to a few other neutral quints by Dior. First set has Endless Shine (Holiday 2010) and Crush Glow (Summer 2010):

Second set has Elegante and Parisian Lights (Spring 2009):

Third set has Iridescent Leather (Fall 2008) and Earth Reflection (2008):

Swatched next to Crush Glow in sunlight:

Iridescent Leather, Earth Reflection and Rosy Tan:

Elegante, Parisian Lights, Endless Shine (note these aren’t as sheer as they look on my arm, the swatches are crummy plus I think these apply wonderfully on the eye – they just need a base for better application on the arm):

Those who are interested in a nice points program, check out the Dior Diva US program (save your original receipts, authorized retailers are listed on the website). I redeemed a bunch of receipts last year for the highest tier and the gift they sent was very generous.

Overall: Dior wins my heart for eyeshadows this summer. I didn’t even test Chanel’s summer quad (because of that lime green), although I did think Chanel won for spring. Dior’s Rosy Nude and Rosy Tan are versatile, gorgeous, and wearable for year round and for any occasion. The neutrals balance out well with brights for lips and cheeks but also work as the perfect accent for neutrals on the rest of the face.

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Giorgio Armani Mediterranean Eye Palette Summer 2011

April 28, 2011

Armani has established a long standing tradition of releasing a collection in their Bronze Mania/Mediterranean theme for summer each year. Armani has released their latest edition of the Mediterranean Palette in a four-pan eyeshadow quad for Summer 2011 ($59).

Going back as far as I can remember, Armani has released different variations of double-decker palettes for summer usually a bronzer and eyeshadow combination. I am excited this year they have released a full sized quad. Even more excited that this summer is one of the first seasons I’ve seen something appears to be something truly Armani. Something gorgeous, glowing and gloriously neutral. You might find these links interesting to see the history of Bronze Mania in the following awesome reviews:

The Summer 2011 Mediterranean Eye Palette has four shimmery summery shades. From top to bottom I would describe them as:
  • warm shimmery deep bronze
  • complex apricot champagne infused with a warm gold shimmer
  • warm coppery gold frost
  • warm champagne cream glow
The texture is soft. Pigment is rich. The colors are easily blendable. It’s stunning in the compact and on the back of the hand. The shades are amazing when you pick them up with your fingertips. There is a little instruction card that comes with the palette to give you ideas on how to create a day or night look. The verdict? I don’t think it’s a must-have. I’ll explain why below. First, here are the photos in direct sunlight and with a high flash:



Instructional card with helpful diagrams:

Swatched on a slightly moisturized arm, although no base was really needed to pick up the color:

Closer swatches so you can see the sheen:

So why am I not raving like crazy about this one? For some reason, warm shades like the ones in this palette simply blend together and melt into my skin so you can’t really see much. I need a good moist base and a slightly damp brush to apply wet for them to show up on my olive skin. Plus, I can only use 3 shades at most for these colors. Another thing – I noticed it looked very familiar and went through my quads in search of a dupe. I found it virtually identical to Chanel Spices. The Armani is more intense and more pigmented, but the effect is strikingly similar.

The differences are noticeable, but subtle:

I just know on my eyes, both quads will look identical. If you have pinkish undertones or fair skin, I think this will be *the perfect* combination of colors for you. I envision it will be stunning on blue-eyed and green-eyed girls. As much as I love neutrals, it doesn’t really show up on my eyes. Your mileage may vary. I worry when some really take to heart when I say I’m not in love with something. I don’t want you to write something off simply because I do. As other bloggers have noted in their reviews, this is a beautiful palette. Indeed it is. Due to the vastness of my stash, I knew there was a likely chance that I would have something similar.

If you liked the colors in Chanel Spices but don’t like Chanel quads, this Armani is the one for you. The texture is more blendable than the Chanel and more visible on the skin so it will stand out more on most of you (even if it just blends away into nothingness on me). Armani is more pigmented/intensified so it’s slightly better for the wear.

All in all the quality is still amazing. The pigment is surprisingly good. The texture is to die for. I’ll figure out a way to play with the colors and layer them to make them show up better. I already have ideas of layering these with a few of those powder/cream Eyes to Kill Hybrids that I think will be interesting.

At the time of this post, I don’t think it’s online yet. I found mine at Neiman Marcus instore. I did not check out the other items in the collection so I can’t comment on those. I’m still smitten with Chanel and Dior. More on the Dior quints soon. If you have an Armani counter near you GO and play with this to decide for yourself 🙂

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Summer 2011 Bronzers: Chanel, Dior & Guerlain

April 25, 2011

Chanel, Dior and Guerlain have all designed stunning bronzers for this summer – the most beautiful I think I’ve ever seen. I splurged on five and featured Chanel Bronze Corail & Bronze Rosé here and Dior Aurora and Sunset here. I have not yet featured Guerlain but several have asked for comparisons asking which one is best. Others have asked if I could compare Chanel to other summer collections such as Lancome, Estee Lauder, MAC.

I have a sizeable bronzer stash (I always want to be tan) so this summer I decided to go for the ones that seemed the most unique – namely Chanel, Dior and Guerlain. I have not checked out the other brands this year and most likely won’t since I already splurged on five pricey ones all before May/June when the real summer season begins. I definitely could go the rest of my life without buying another bronzer (or another piece of makeup for that matter).

Here are all five lined up plus swatches and further down, my thoughts and comparisons on Chanel Bronze Rosé, Chanel Bronze Corail, Guerlain Terra Inca, Dior Aurora and Dior Sunset.

Chanel Bronze Rosé

Chanel Bronze Corail

Guerlain Terra Inca

Dior Aurora

Dior Sunset

Swatched in different lighting, all with a very heavy hand:



I’m currently working my way to a NC40/Chanel Beige but I’m not quite NC35 yet. I am back to a Chanel Shell Teint Innocence and my Vitalumiere Aqua B20 is now too light. My thoughts on bronzer is that I’m open to anything. Orangey, brown, gold, pink, peach – I’ll wear and try almost anything. Note that I don’t love ones that look orangey but I don’t hate them either. If you pushed me to pick just one of the new summer shades I would probably be very upset. I like options. But here is what I’ve observed on each. Do note these were swatched with a heavy hand and that what you see on the arm is definitely not what you would see on the face.

Chanel Bronze Rosé 537 ($50) & Chanel Bronze Corail 547 ($50) – These are luminous and glowy but not frosty. I’ve taken a soft powder brush and swiped these up and down to blend/mix and then apply on the apples of the cheeks. If you’re the type of person who is afraid of bronzer or find most are too dark/muddy on you – Chanel’s are the perfect hybrid between bronzer and blush. The fact that there are 4 stripes in each compact allow you to get something that shows dimension without looking like a true bronzed-bronzer. The texture is so soft and glows. Pigment is soft to medium but totally layerable. It’s the goof-proof bronzer. I don’t think you can overdo it. So easy to use, apply and coordinate with virtually any eye or lip look.

Guerlain Terra Inca ($70) – Gorgeous but oh so pricey. I found this to be more of a highlighter. It’s not as frosty as some previous Guerlain Limited Edition Bronzers. If you remember Orient Sun, Terra Inca is a lighter softer less frosty version of Orient Sun. It’s like a softer more luminous MAC MSF. It’s absolutely beautiful but after applying it on my face, I could tell it’s not for everyone – the shimmer factor might be a deal breaker. It’s not as frosty as Bobbi Brown Shimmer Bricks – but you can definitely see it on the skin. The compact is magnetic which I find different. The packaging and design are absolutely stunning but not the most easy to use and must be used with care.

Dior Aurora ($46) & Dior Sunset ($46) – These are the least shimmery but still very luminous on the face. I prefer these for the most beautiful design and functional packaging. They give the best bang for your buck and I love that the brush is stored in a separate pouch instead of being inside the compact (does anyone ever use those dinky brushes anyways?). I will say these are very warm-toned. Aurora doesn’t go on orangey but the warmth might not work on everyone. Will this work on NC40’s? I can’t say for sure, but my Dior sales rep is around NC40-45ish and she was wearing Aurora beautifully when I purchased mine. That being said, test it out yourself first to check. Sunset is swatched with a SUPER HEAVY hand and looks orangey on my arm but on the face it is not orangey unless you pack it on. I wore it yesterday for Sunday Brunch and it gave a healthy warm tanned glow.

So which one is best? That is a tough pick. You definitely don’t need all of these, but I’m obsessed with bronzer like I’m obsessed with peach blushes and taupe eyeshadow. If I could only pick 2 – it would be Chanel’s Bronze Rosé and Dior’s Aurora, although Sunset by Dior is gorgeous as well.

I hope this helps you see a side-by-side comparison. There is no substitute for trying these on in person. If you go to the counter, I highly recommend you try these on the face and not just on your arm or hand. A good brush makes all the difference (versus your fingers).

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Dior Electric Tropics Catwalk Duos: Aloha 638 & Paradise 558

April 25, 2011

This is a quick post to show you the two new nail shades from Dior in the Electric Tropic Duos in Aloha and Paradise, each $26 including a top coat. These colors are vibrant. I’m sure you could spot them from a mile away. They are that bright.

Aloha 638 was featured earlier (see one post down). My Dior Paradise 558 photo attempts = total fail. The neon simply does not do well with my camera. In this post are the comparison pictures of the two shades in the bottles and a few shots of Paradise. To quote Café Makeup, “Paradise is within an entirely different species of nail polish” – INDEED! I do have a couple Paradise swatches below. Note that I am not being modest when I say the photos below are extremely poor in quality and accuracy. Paradise is a jelly neon pink that dries to a matte finish. The texture is so interesting – just like jelly shoes. I highly recommend these sources for better swatches:

A few more pictures:

In real life Paradise is a hot sheer cool pink, it doesn’t glow like this in person, but this is the best I could do – see how it kinda blinds my camera:


One last shot:


Aloha (shown one post below) photographed much better! It’s my favorite of the two.

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Dior Electric Tropics Catwalk Duo: Aloha 638

April 24, 2011
Dior and Chanel have both released hot colors for nails this summer. Dior’s Electric Tropics Nail Duos are the winners for representing a “true summer” resort theme with Aloha and Paradise. Chanel’s Mimosa, Morning Rose and Beige Petale, while absolutely stunning, seem more “spring” to me, but I feel both collections are wearable for year round – especially for us Southern California girls.

There are two color options for the Electric Tropics Catwalk Nail Duos ($26 each, on Dior.com, personally spotted at Nordstrom and Saks) which consist of a bright neon jelly-finish nail color paired with a quick-dry top coat. Aloha is an electified tangerine and Paradise is a glowing neon pink. The fact that both Aloha and Paradise are fluorescent made these incredibly difficult for me to photograph accurately. My camera doesn’t do so well with neons. Aloha photographed better so I decided to feature this one first.

The duos each retail for $26 which seem incredibly reasonable in price considering full sized nail polishes retail for $21. Aloha 638 is a hot orange that looks incredibly bright when any bit of light hits the nail color. In real life the shade it looks a bit more reddish – like a burnt orange color. Regardless of the lighting though, Aloha glows. The texture is smooth and slightly transparent due to the almost jelly like finish but goes on with full rich color in two coats. It dries to a soft semi matte finish but there is still shine. (Paradise on the other hand dries to a non-shiny finish.) These are officially THE brightest shades I own.

There is a little instruction card that comes with each duo:

Here it is in direct sunlight – electric! Two coats Aloha, 1 coat Top Coat:

In different lighting, not direct sunlight, but with flash – still neon (note, in real life, it’s more reddish):

At an angle you can see how it’s slightly transparent/see through near the tips of the nails:

No matter what lighting – it looks fiercely fluorescent, like a super bright orange electrified. In real life you can see more of a reddish hint to it so it’s not a pure orange on me, but more of a tangerine bright.

I thought Chanel Orange Fizz (here) and RBL Coral (here) were bright. Nothing compares to the Dior. Next to Chanel Coromandel (here) the Dior Vernis Aloha looks like it has no red, but it really does.


Overall Dior is the winner for summer brights. My bright nails combined with the beachy coconut smell of Jo Malone’s Sweet Milk Cologne make me feel like it’s summer. I personally prefer the Aloha far more than Paradise. It will go with a crisp white shirt, a silk navy blouse, a white and black printed button down – the versatility is amazing considering it’s such a vibrant in-your-face bright.

So far the top coat seems to be like a winner. Smooth coverage and my nails are shiny. No shrinkage of bubbling (huge plus). The texture seems thinner than most top coats so it’s not quite as shiny as some others. I’m really impressed so far but I’ll have to see how it wears in the next few days to really decide.

I liked these other reviews of Dior Aloha which I think you’ll find helpful:

Happy Easter everyone!

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Diorskin Nude Glow – Healthy Glow Summer Powder in Aurora 001 and Sunset 002

April 22, 2011

The summer collections this year have some of the most beautiful bronzers I have ever seen. I’ve been trying to find Aurora and Sunset everywhere – it appears Saks received their items first in the US and finally Nordstrom just received them this week. (On Saturday Aurora and Nude Tan Quint were both sold out already.) Being the bronzer-obsessive woman that I am, I jumped on both bronzing powders, Aurora 001 and Sunset 002.

The Diorskin Nude Glow Healthy Glow Summer Powder couldn’t be better named. They both give a warm healthy glow. Each shade has a beautiful woven pattern with four different shades in each. Both have visible shimmer and if you swipe your finger into the palette you will see a highly pigmented frost. On the skin, however, the shimmer tones down and you get a beautiful glow. The shimmer, to me, is barely detectable on the face.

Aurora 001 is the lighter softer version with soft peach and different shades of brown and tan. It’s fairly warm, not quite peach, not quite brown, but a peachy-brown hybrid.

Sunset 002 is darker, warmer, deeper and it was borderline orangey when applied with a heavy hand – but I have gotten a bit of color so I think this will be gorgeous on Chanel Beiges/NC35’s (not quite there yet, but almost!). A bit of blending out and it looks just fine on me but I don’t mind a strong bronzer. I always want to be more tan, and unfortunately I’m really fair right now!

Side by side, blurry but hope you can see the undertone:

I couldn’t find any dupes. The woven pattern makes this easy to mix and blend all the colors together so you don’t end up with stripes on the face. Plus the combination of colors makes both of these unique.

Comparison Set 1: MAC Shooting Star MSF, MAC So Ceylon MSF, Dior Sunset 002, Dior Aurora 001, MAC Sunny By Nature MSF, MAC Warmed MSF, MAC Gold Deposit MSF



Comparison Set 2: Le Metier Maldives Magic, MAC Refined Matte Suntan, Dior Sunset 002, Dior Aurora 001, MAC Refined Golden, NARS Irresistiblement



Lucky girl Café Makeup has been able to play with Dior Summer for a few weeks since she found them in Paris. Definitely check out her series to see what Aurora looks like on Liz and Amy’s arm (both are lighter and cooler toned than me).

Overall I love both. I think once I get to be at NC35 I will be able to wear the Aurora 001 and have it show up. Sunset 002 is darker and more orangey but not too orangey for me. If you’re fair like Chanel Cameo or MAC NC30 – it may too much for you.

For reference, I’m currently Chanel Shell Teint Innocence, in between MAC NC30-35. My arm underneath is probably closer to a NC30 because the sun does not hit that area.

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Chanel Summer Glossimers in Pink Peony, Pensée and Aurore

April 16, 2011

I’ve been eagerly waiting for the Chanel summer glossimers ever since I saw them on Karlasugar’s preview. Thanks to a few others, we got a sneak peek from Best Things in Beauty and The Bethesda Bliss – both of whom described them spot on. Also check Karlasugar’s swatches. The colors this summer are super sheer with lots of sparkle. I agree with Best Things in Beauty when she describes these as “lipstick toppers.” Alone they will give a slight sparkle and sheen. Over lipsticks they will enhance and illuminate and give that extra oomph for a pretty pout. I’ve taken a few different shots in different lighting hoping you’ll be able to see how the sparkles catch the light. (Above photo is in direct sunlight.)

Pink Peony 267 is a rosey shimmer
Pensée 277 is a brighter coral peach
Aurore 287 is a light pink-opal with a gold sheen


Swatched you can see how they blend out for a sheer finish, I’m finding these glossimers smoother and less tacky/sticky feeling than the traditional glossimer, has anyone else noticed the thinner texture?

Compared to other shades, L to R: Pink Peony, Blossom, Pensée, Coral Reef, Aurore, Seashell


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