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! 

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Cinderella Eye Look Featuring MAC Stroke of Midnight Palette and Esqido Mink Lashes


Hi everyone! I ordered just two items from the MAC Cinderella collection: the Iridescent Powder Coupe d'Chic, and after some deliberation I also picked up the Stroke of Midnight eye palette because even though all but one of the shades are permanent colors, I only own Satin Taupe so I thought it would be a nice way to try some of MAC's neutrals that were not in my existing collection. 

Today I'll be sharing an eye look I did over the weekend using shades from this palette along with a bit of Pretty It Up pigment (also included in this collection but sold out before I could get hold of it--I have a mini version from a 2014 holiday set), and the very glamorous ESQIDO mink lashes.*

Stroke of Midnight Palette

  1. Vapour 
  2. Phloof! 
  3. Omega
  4. Quarry 
  5. Satin Taupe 
  6. Stroke of Midnight (new shade)

Coupe D'Chic Iridescent Powder
As you may have already discovered, Coup D'Chic Iridescent Powder is a bit of a glitter bomb, but I think it is perfectly appropriate for a Cinderella collection, and I really like it! Although it does have some color to it, it is too pale to work on me as a blush color, but it makes a lovely blush topper/highlighting shade.  
ESQIDO mink lashes in the style "Unforgettable"

My own lashes are short and straight, so false lashes really helped to transform this look from everyday neutrals into something more glamorous! 

I find frosty colors hard to pull off sometimes, especially as I am getting older, but I like the contrast of the taupe-bronze pigment with the frosty Phloof and icy-silver liner on the bottom lash line. Omega makes a great warm-toned crease shade and Stroke of Midnight works nicely as a defining shade. It is intense enough to be used as a liner on its own, which is handy if you are traveling with this palette and don't want to bring along a separate eye liner. 

Product List

MAC Pretty it Up pigment - lids 
MAC Omega - crease
MAC Vapour - above crease as a blending shade
MAC Phloof - inner corner highlight and along bottom lash line
MAC Stroke of Midnight - outer corner of top lash line
Stila Stay All Day Liquid Liner Brown - upper lash line
Smashbox Celebrate (pale silver) - bottom lash line
ESQIDO mink lashes in the style Unforgettable

Buxom Full-Bodied Lipstick Mistress
Dolce & Gabbana Ultra-Shine Lip Gloss #50 Glossy

Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer Sand
Vapour Organic Atmosphere Soft Focus Foundation S115
MAC Powder Blush Launch Away!
MAC Iridescent Powder Coupe D'Chic

*Press sample

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Bite Beauty Butter Cream Lipstick: Heather

Bite Beauty has introduced a new line of Butter Cream lipsticks for Spring 2015 ($28) in eight shades that are described as universal neutrals. What is unique about these is the "hand cut" technique Bite Beauty came up with to remove the waxy outer layer to expose the creamy core within. I'm not a fan of the flat top, but feel that the amazing creamy texture of these lipsticks more than makes up for any perceived flaws in design. At first glance, you may wonder if you are getting less product, but these actually contain .15 oz. vs. .13 oz in Bite's Luminous Creme lipsticks.

I found these at Sephora this weekend and had gone in planning to pick up the warm nude shade Caramel, but Heather caught my eye at the display and I dropped it in my basket and when I came home I realized I had forgotten Caramel, so ordered it online instead. These two shades seemed to be the most wearable for my skin tone, but the darker and cooler shades are sure to look lovely on others! Temptalia has compiled swatches of all eight shades, which are very helpful if you are unable to make it into a store to try these in person. After looking at her swatches I'm tempted to give Rosewood a try next.

Heather is a flattering neutral rose--a great "my lips, but better" sort of shade. It provides a nice sheen and the texture is creamy, but not heavy or sticky. The formula feels comfortable and is as hydrating on the lips as a balm would be, but with much more pigment. I did not notice any strong fragrance or taste. The wear time seems about average for a non-matte lipstick. Overall, I am loving both this shade and the Butter Cream formula! I do wish these were slightly less expensive but the formula is a winner, and if you spot a shade you like, I think these are definitely worth the splurge.  
Bite Beauty Butter Cream Lipstick in the shade Heather

Bite Beauty Butter Cream Lipstick in the shade Heather

I applied a couple of swipes of Heather for the semi-sheer effect you see here because I don't like the way dark lip colors look on me, but this shade can be applied a bit more heavily to achieve an opaque, slightly deeper rose. I think this shade will suit a wide range of skin tones. 

Have you had a chance to try the Butter Cream lipsticks yet? If so, what are your favorite shades?