Sunday, May 24, 2015

Chanel Les Beiges Collection Nail Colour for Summer 2015



Happy Saturday everyone! If you follow me on Instagram you may have already seen some of these photos. I came across the Summer 2015 "Les Beiges" collection at Nordstrom recently and, being the nail polish fanatic that I am, you know I was unable to go home without at least one of these in my shopping bag! My initial pick was #663 Lovely Beige, but not long afterward I kept thinking, why not get the others and make it a complete set? Yes, I am a little obsessive that way! So here you have a peek at all four of the shades in the collection. 


Left to right: Lovely Beige, Precious Beige, Beige Pur, and Beige Rose 
  
Lovely Beige and Precious Beige 
Lovely Beige (#663) is a light mocha creme with slight rose/red undertones--kind of like a milky hot chocolate with cinnamon! I love shades like this, but tend to be in the mood for them more in the fall or winter. This one has a nice formula that covers evenly and is fully opaque in two coats, but you might even be able to get away with only one.

Precious Beige (#661) is a delicate, warm, flesh/taupe-beige with subtle silver shimmer, which is not very apparent once on the nails, but does lend some dimension. I own similar shades, but the very fine shimmer in this one makes it unique in my collection. No complaints about the formula, but note that it is somewhat sheer so you will probably need to apply three coats if you prefer opaque coverage.    

Precious Beige and Beige Pur 
Beige Pur (#659) is a pale, sheer buff beige without any shimmer. This is one of my favorites. It is the most neutral of the bunch, and is a perfect shade to achieve a natural but polished look, suitable for any occasion. I wouldn't be surprised to find a dupe for this from Essie or a number of other brands--but let's face it, not many other brands feel quite as luxurious as Chanel!

Beige Rose (#655) is obviously not a beige at all, but this pretty and feminine ballet pink creme ties in nicely with the color story of the Les Beiges collection. One caveat, and it could just be the bottle I got, but this particular shade seems to require a little more care than the others to avoid streaking.   


Beige Pur and Beige Rose 

One coat
Two coats
Three coats 

Overall, this is a nice selection of easy-to-wear shades. I can't say that any of them are groundbreaking or statement colors, but I reckon that is not to be expected within a "Les Beiges" collection. Instead, they are the type of elegant and understated shades that will stand the test of time.



Wishing everyone a safe and relaxing Memorial Day! 


Saturday, May 2, 2015

A Look at the Tom Ford Soleil Collection for Summer 2015


Hi everyone! I made a quick stop at my local Saks today to take a look at Tom Ford's new summer release. The assistants at this counter (Dadeland Mall, Miami) said that the limited-edition Eye & Cheek Palette went very quickly and most of the other items were close to being sold out as well. I ended up going home with one lipstick, Skinny Dip, and one of the new Cream & Powder Eye Colors, #01 Naked Bronze. There will be more detailed posts on these coming soon, but in the meantime I'd like to quickly share some of the photos I took at the counter with my phone. I'm sorry they are not the best quality, but hope they will be helpful if you are considering any of these items! 

Small Bronzing Powders: Gold Dusk and Terra ($65, permanent) and Shimmering Body Oil ($95)


The Cream & Powder Eye Colors are an interesting new concept from Tom Ford. I have long been a fan of Ford's cream shadows so naturally I was curious about these. I swatched all of them with the glittery powder shadow layered on top and it really gave a wonderful effect. The difference was most noticeable in the case of the darker shades--especially Midnight Sea, which was transformed most dramatically. With the Golden Peach and Naked Bronze shades the sparkle shadows are much closer in tone to the cream shadows, so there is not much of a contrast, although you will still get a lovely effect when the light catches the sparkles on your lids.   

Cream & Powder Eye Color, left to right: 03 Golden Peach 02 Black Oyster, 01 Naked Bronze, 04 Midnight Sea 
Cream & Powder Eye Color: 01 Naked Bronze and 04 Midnight Sea
Cream & Powder Eye Color: 03 Golden Peach and 02 Black Oyster

In-store swatches: Golden Peach, Black OysterMidnight Sea, and Naked Bronze  

  • Golden Peach is a mid-tone rose-gold cream shadow with a sheer peach sparkle powder. 
  • Black Oyster is a charcoal cream shadow with a sheer silver sparkle powder.
  • Midnight Sea is a dark brown with olive tones cream shadow with a sheer teal sparkle powder. 
  • Naked Bronze is a warm burnished bronze cream shadow, with a sheer gold sparkle powder. 
Comparison, left to right: Golden Peach (2015) and Pink Haze (2013) 

Golden Peach is a gorgeous item, but while swatching it in the store I kept thinking of how much it reminded me of another of Tom Ford's limited-edition cream shadows, Pink Haze, which I purchased back in the summer of 2013. I pulled it out as soon as I got home to compare to the swatch I had taken in the store (I am that weirdo that drives home from the mall with carefully guarded makeup swatches on her arm, haha).

Sure enough it seems to be almost identical--the main difference being, of course, that with Golden Peach you will also be getting the attached golden sparkle top coat. As much as I love the shade, I could not justify purchasing this new version since I do have quite a bit of Pink Haze left in the jar and can layer my own sparkle on top if I want to achieve the same look. However, for those of you who missed out on Pink Haze or would like a backup for your collection this is a great opportunity to get this limited-edition color, albeit at a higher price point, as the addition of the sparkle powder adds to the cost. The Cream & Powder Eye Colors will set you back $60 versus $42 for a cream shadow alone.

Swatches in sunlight: Golden Peach, Black Oyster, Midnight Sea, and Naked Bronze  
Apologies for the smudged swatch above--this photo was taken after I had gotten home from the mall! 

Cheek Color 01 Pink Sand 
Cheek Color 01 Pink Sand shown blended out

Pink Sand is the type of flattering peachy-pink shade I am always drawn to for spring and summer. It is a beautiful face-brightening warm pink with a slight golden sheen. For me, it is a must-have!

What are your thoughts on this collection? Has anything made it onto your wishlist? In a way, I am not sorry I did not have the chance to see the $95 Eye and Cheek Palette, because I would surely have been tempted and at that price my budget would definitely have suffered!

Overall, this collection offers some beautiful items. Ford's lip colors rarely disappoint, the cream/powder shadows are innovative, and the cream blush is lovely. On the other hand, I was slightly disappointed that some of the products are from prior releases, such as the lip colors Sweet Spot and Paradiso, and also that the bronzers included are permanent products. I've always thought it much more fun to have all new, never-before-seen items in seasonal collections. How about you?

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Estee Lauder Courrèges Illuminations Face Powder




Estee Lauder recently released a small collection in collaboration with the iconic French fashion house, Courrèges. I chose just one item from the collection, the Illuminations Face Powder ($32/.24 oz). The product is encased in glossy white plastic with a transparent "porthole" on top, and has a smooth dome shape that is pleasing to the hand. It has the fun 1960s futuristic, space-age design that Courrèges is best known for. But aside from the interesting packaging, it is the product inside that really caught my eye! This is just the type of buttery-smooth, champagne hued highlighter I am habitually drawn to. And at $32, the price for this product seems fairly reasonable in comparison to Estee Lauder's Bronze Goddess Illuminating Powder Gelée, which is $40. (I tried both in the store and preferred this one because it provided more illumination, whereas, on my skin tone, the Bronze Goddess Gelée practically disappeared.)



Estee Lauder Courrèges Illuminations Face Powder


The shade in the pan is a beautiful pale, soft peachy champagne, but is less peachy and more champagne when applied on the skin (see other swatches and comparisons at Temptalia.). The texture and finish is so smooth--like that of a powder geleé but in a looser formulation, similar to a mineral powder. Overall, this is a gorgeous highlighter that I am happy to have stumbled across at Nordstrom last week. Although it is a limited edition and seems to have sold out quickly online, you might still be able to find it in stock at local counters.

  
 


Below is a comparison with some of the lighter highlighters in my collection. In retrospect, I wish I had included The Balm's Mary-Lou Manizer and Kevin Aucoin's Candlelight, rather than some of the more pink-toned highlighters shown here, but hopefully this will give you a better sense of the tone of the Courrèges. 



  1. Estee Lauder - Courrèges Illuminations Powder
  2. Bobbi Brown - Pink Shimmer Brick  
  3. Lancome - Blush Highlighter 001
  4. Estee Lauder - Crystal Baby
  5. Laura Mercier - Highlight 01
  6. Guerlain - Cruel Gardenia 
  7. MAC - Perfect Topping Mineralize Skin Finish



Swatches from left to right: Estee Lauder Courrèges Illuminations Powder, Bobbi Brown Pink Shimmer Brick, Lancome Blush Highlighter 001, Estee Lauder Crystal Baby, Laura Mercier Highlight 01, Guerlain Cruel Gardenia, and MAC Perfect Topping.

The Estee Lauder Courrèges collaboration is an interesting one that offers some unique products. If you are intrigued, I recommend checking the collection out at your local Estee Lauder counter soon, before it is gone!