Browsing Tag

Summer 2012


Chanel Delight 607 vs. Quartz 525

April 23, 2012

Several have asked how the newly released Delight nail polish compares to Quartz from last fall stating they appear to look very similar. When I first saw Delight at the counters, I thought the exact same thing even though this shade was described as “bronzey”. I thought perhaps the department store lighting is playing tricks on my eyes. Once I got home, I put them together side-by-side and I found they were quite different which is why I didn’t include Quartz in my original comparison. I do strive for color accuracy for this blog, but varying monitors and differing light conditions can make it hard to tell what a color really looks like, even with numerous comparisons to other brands/shades. To answer those who have asked, this is what I found:
  • Delight is more golden, highly metallic/sparkley and warmer in tone
  • Quartz is not as frosty, has more silver/taupe/grey tones, and applies with a more subtle shimmer finish
Both shades contain multi-colored particles which makes these difficult to photograph. Quartz has those gorgeous teal flecks of micro-shimmer that you can only see at certain angles. Delight also has quite a few variations of metallic shimmers which is why it looks bronzey in the bottle but more lighter and more golden on the fingers. Multiple views below under different lights and at different angles. Note that I had no direct sunlight today, the weekend has been cloudy. I drove about 20 minutes away from the coast looking for a cloudless area (and an excuse to pick up one more sprinkles cupcake), but no luck finding sunshine today.

Swatched on the fingers, two coats for each shade:

And one last nail wheel comparison to Tom Ford Burnt Topaz (so you can see that Delight isn’t quite as bronzey, but more golden), Quartz (is one of those shades that looks different in every photograph), and Graphite (to show how Delight has a similar sparkley finish):

I hope this extra comparison post helps compare Delight vs Quartz! I personally really loved Quartz, but I think due to the taupe-ness, it can look a bit drab on some skintones sometimes (mine included). Delight has more glitz and warmth which makes me think this will be a bigger hit with a wider variety of skintones. It’s easier to wear in my opinion, even though it’s highly metallic, it’s still work friendly but has enough omph to wear on a nice evening out.

Also, for those who asked about the rest of the collection, I did purchase quite a bit from the Chanel Summer 2012 release, but most likely won’t be reviewing them due to time constraints. Some quick thoughts:

  • Bronzers are softer than last year’s and less brownish (at least on me) with a more finely milled shimmer. If I could only pick 1 it would be the Sable Beige. I don’t think they are must-haves, but that is just my opinion. I still bought both.
  • Sable-Emouvant Duo is gorgeous. It’s a pumped up version of the Taupe-Delicat, definitely a must-have, although probably very similar to other bronzey-coppers and beige shimmers from other brands. The pigment is excellent and the shimmer isn’t overly-frosty. Stunning and very easy to wear.
  • Sirocco or Calypso Glossimers aren’t must-haves if you have a lot of Chanel Glossimers already. The golden-beige is very sheer and virtually transparent. I found the coral is a bit different from other orangey glosses Chanel has released, but still very close.
  • En Vogue Rouge Coco Shine applies with a pinkish sheen rather than the orange it appears to be in the tube, different enough from Flirt to justify owning.
    Empreinte Rouge Coco Shine looked really pretty in the tube, I haven’t tried it on the lips yet, I assume it will barely show up on my lips.
  • Brun Intense eyeliner was a pass since it was a basic matte brown (I already love and adore BB’s Gel Eyeliners).
  • Peach Cuivre eyeliner is an intriguing metallic peach that I could not resist. I have no idea how I’m going to wear it though. I suspect it’s similar in concept to those metallic eyeliners from Armani but I don’t know how they compare (I never checked out the spring collection in close detail).
My top 5 picks from the collection include the nail polishes in Island and Delight, Peach Cuivre Eyeliner, Sable Beige Bronzer and the Sable-Emouvant Duo. For more details/discussion, I found the Chanel Summer 2012 forum on Specktra helpful with descriptions, extra photos, swatches and all those extra tidbits of awesome info from Chanel lovers around the world.

Chanel Island, Delight and Holiday for Summer 2012

April 22, 2012

Chanel Summer 2012 has started to trickle in at counters. I’ve found the summer items at Macy’s in Southern California (I hear Nordstrom Seattle has it as well and Bloomingdales in NYC) I think you can expect to see these at all Chanel counters in the upcoming week. Late Friday evening I came home with the three new nail polishes in Island 597, Delight 607 and Holiday 617 ($26 each). They are perfect for right now and for the upcoming summer season. I found it nice to see a little variation from the recent releases we’ve seen from other brands this spring.

Chanel Island #597 is a soft opalescent pearly beige that flashes some seashell pink. It has a sheer see-through finish, but glides on smoothly and evenly with 2 coats. It reminded me of an older nail polish Angora, but when I swatched them side-by-side, I found Island to be more pinkish. This color makes the fingers glow with a subtle but natural sheen. It’s reminiscent of the long-discontinued Island single eyeshadow (which I wish they would bring back). If you’re looking for a gloss to match this perfectly, it seems Seashell would be a close match.


Chanel Delight #607 is the color I was anticipating the most. It’s a high-sparkle complex bronzey-gold. I found that it has a similar finish to that of Graphite (sheerish base loaded with sparkles and highly metallic). However, the first coat is much much more pigmented than Graphite or even Gold Fingers. On the nails the pale-neutral-gold shimmers stand out. For me, it looks like a pale gold rather than a bronze on the fingertips. I’m sure there are similar shades from OPI (I’m thinking something from the Muppets collection or a warmer version of Glitzerland, possible close to China Glaze Swing Baby), but I usually miss out on most of the limited edition OPI colors. The finish is smooth with full coverage using 2 coats. There is no gritty feeling even with all the sparkles. It’s nothing like anything else Chanel has released. In the bottle it looks warm, on the fingers it’s a neutral-warm metallic. (Note the color changes depending on the angle and the way the light hits the metallic particles in bottle, sometimes it looks more bronze, other times more golden.)

Chanel Holiday #617 is an orange-coral. Coral is a hot shade this year and with so many brands releasing coral shades, many have asked me, “how is this one similar/different?” I would say it’s close to last year’s Dior Aloha, but minus the jelly finish. Compared to this year’s releases, Chanel Holiday is predominantly orange. Most of the other corals have pink or red undertones. There is still some red in Holiday, but I’d say it’s more of a burnt-orange/coral blend. The first coat is sheerish but it applies smoothly and gives full coverage with 2 coats. I thought this might be similar to Enthusiast, but Holiday is quite a bit more orange.


Comparisons on the nail wheel: 

I love these new colors from Chanel. I think they are all must-haves. They are wearable for work and everyday but edgy enough to not be boring or too neutral. I think these will sell out really fast, so if you’re considering these, I highly recommend you call your local counters sooner than later to see if they’ve received the summer items.

Coral Nail Polishes for Spring and Summer

April 7, 2012

Coral seems to be all the craze this year for spring and summer nail polishes. My peachy-coral obsession for blushes has now transitioned into nails. I’ve already reviewed a number of new peachy corals this year: Chanel June, Laura Mercier Cabana, Dior Riviera and Chanel Distraction. Many have asked about the newest from Dior Bikini. From promo photos it can be difficult to identify differences between so many similar shades. I gathered what I could find online, here they are lined up:

In real life, here is what I see below, they are all more similar than promotional digitized photos appear to be. (Many thanks to my Twitter friends who let me know Dior Bikini arrived online at Here is the verdict, left to right:

  • Chanel Orange Fizz – is the lightest and brightest, it’s more orangey than all the rest
  • Dior Bikini – has the best coverage, it’s more of a true peach, with slight reddish tones, slightly darker
  • Chanel Distraction – semi-sheer medium jelly finish with the subtle iridescence
  • Laura Mercier Cabana – most jelly-like, slightly more pink undertones
  • Dior Riviera – most vibrant coral red

A few more swatches to other oranges, peaches and corals: Rescue Beauty Lounge Coral, Revlon Demure, Dior Sweet Orange 334, Dior Bikini 231, Chanel Distraction, Dior Riviera 537, Laura Mercier Sizzle, Chanel Orange Fizz, Chanel June, Chanel Miami Peach, Laura Mercier Cabana.

Overall, if you have Chanel Distraction or Laura Mercier, you do not need Dior Bikini. I do believe Dior Bikini has the best formula and richest coverage. I really do love it (even though it’s almost identical to other corals) and it would be my vote for the season’s best coral. At this time I haven’t seen Dior summer anywhere on counter on the West Coast (Southern California), although it has just arrived online at and as well. I suspect it will arrive any day in store.

Have you checked out any corals for nails this summer? What is your favorite? Or do you have a classic coral in your collection that you’re loving right now?


Dior Vernis Saint-Tropez 401 Nail Lacquer

March 19, 2012

Last summer Dior released a beautiful limited-edition nail polish called Saint-Tropez 401 to celebrate the opening of their new boutique in Saint Tropez. It sold out almost immediately from select Dior Boutiques and online at and I have been drooling over the photos from Café Makeup, àla peach, and Fashion Polish for quite some time wishing I did not wait so long. Luckily for those of us who missed out, Dior has decided to re-release this shade in their summer collection this year. At this time, their summer collection isn’t out yet (in the US at least) but many of us have spotted Dior’s Saint-Tropez instores at Nordstrom counters (it’s not online as far as I can tell right now, if you have a Dior/Nordstrom counter near you, I highly recommend calling them to see if they have this yet).

Dior Saint-Tropez ($23 for 10 ml/0.33 fl oz, Made in France) is a beautiful beachy aqua blue cream. I find it fairly close to the classic Tiffany blue color, just slightly deeper. The formula seemed a bit thicker than most other Dior nail colors I own and required a slow and steady application. One coat was sufficient for me, but to get completely even coverage, two coats are necessary. The color is striking and brightens the mood. I wanted to wear this past the weekend but fear it’s borderline non-work-appropriate for my office. Definitely more of a toe-color for right now. Come summer and warmer weather, I think I will be brave enough to wear at work on the fingers. For now it will be saved for weekends or toes.

Here are more photos, swatches and comparisons below.

Below it looks slightly more cool-blue, but it really pulls more aqua (like the photo above):

Comparisons to other blues, teals and greenish colors: Chanel Riva, Nouvelle Vague, Coco Blue, Dior Waterlily, OPI Thanks a Windmillion, Deborah Lippmann Mermaid’s Dream, Dior Nirvana

I find it most similar to Chanel’s Nouvelle Vague but as you can see above it’s not quite the same. Here’s one more view of the comparisons swatched:

Were you one of the lucky ones who bought Saint-Tropez last year? If not, do you plan on getting it with the summer release? Do you find it neutral enough to wear to work on the fingers? Or is it more of a toe/summer color for you (like it is for me)?

Kindly note, all my photos are copyrighted which means I do not allow republication or use without permission.

Estée Lauder Pure Color Illuminating Powder Gelée: Topaz Chameleon and Shimmering Sands

February 27, 2012

It feels as though I blinked and an entire week flew by without me realizing it. It’s almost the same with spring and summer collections these days. I could have sworn I just looked at the Spring Topaz collection from Estée Lauder and I was completely surprised to see the Summer Bronze Goddess collection at Macy’s during my lunch break on Friday. (Summer in February?!) Continuing the trend with the Pure Color Illuminating Powder Gelée, Estée Lauder has released another gorgeous embossed face highlighter this season called Shimmering Sands ($42 for .15 oz/4.5 g) which is a metallic bronzey pink. Topaz Chameleon ($40 for .17 oz/5 g) was from their Spring Topaz collection and I was lucky to find one in store this late after the collection launched. (It took me a while to decide to buy this one if you’re interested, I suggest you act fast).
Both highlighters are highly metallic but easily layerable for a more subtle glow. Illuminating Powder Gelées have a very unique gel-powder-cream formula. It’s not quite a cream like NARS Multiples but not quite a powder. Still, I wouldn’t describe it as a cream to powder since the finish is slightly dewy (only very slightly). Shimmering Sands and Chameleon Topaz both come with a beautiful embossed texture. I found both extremely pigmented with multidimensional shimmers. The formula seems to adhere to the skin quite well but blends in without looking like it sits on top like some metallic highlighters do. Although these are called “highlighters” there is so much color I can’t imagine wearing these over any other product (aside from powder and foundation). The tiny applicators pick up quite a bit of pigment but I prefer to use a full sized powder brush for a sheerer application over the cheeks. I love that the shimmers are not oversprays. Here are a few more photos side by side at different angles.

In direct sunlight with flash, here you can see the metallic flashes:

Topaz Chameleon is a warm golden copper. At first swipe I was intimidated by how warm and pigmented the color was and walked away. It wasn’t until after seeing it on Karla Sugar, Temptalia and Makeup and Beauty Blog that I decided to revisit and try on the face. I thought it would look too orange/copper/yellow but it surprised me. It warms up the face to give a summery bronzed copper glow. I do recommend using with caution. One extra swipe could easily overdo it. Make sure your face is well prepped with a good base and foundation. Without it this can emphasize pores (at least in my experience, I like to use Koh Gen Do’s Royal Massage Milk and NARS Tinted Moisturizer these days). This one is very limited in stores but can still be found online at a few places.

Shimmering Sands looks like a soft champagne bronze in the compact but goes on quite a bit darker than I expected – like a bronzed pink. On my skin the pink/brownish tones pull more strongly and gives me an almost brown-burnt look if applied too heavily. Finding the right balance might take a bit of work but this one is still lovely. The shimmer effect is more subdued compared to Modern Mercury (from fall 2011) and Topaz Chameleon. I find this to be more of a true bronzer rather than a highlight. Does this one pull brown/reddish on your skin or is it just me? Perhaps tan skinned or darker skin girls will find this less of a bronze and more of a highlight.

Here are all three Illuminating Powder Gelées from Estée Lauder: Modern Mercury (Fall 2011), Chameleon Topaz (Spring 2012), Shimmering Sands (Summer 2012).

Swatches, heavily on the skin. I recommend you check out the other blogs I linked above to see the sheer vs. heavy swatches. There is no way I would ever wear these this heavy on the face but sheered out it was hard to get photos of the arm-swatches. I think Temptalia’s photos demonstrate how well these blend on the face. Also re-visit the reviews from Cafe Makeup on Modern Mercury to see the effect on Liz (see how it blends out on the cheeks versus swatched on the arm).

Modern Mercury is still my favorite. I wish it was a permanent product as I do think it is something I would like to repurchase when I hit pan (not that it will happen soon, but still). Topaz Chameleon is close second. I feel the latest Shimmering Sands is too dark for me right now, but when real summer arrives and I get my tan back I think this will work better for me. I’m all about dramatic bronzers but even this one is a bit too much for me.