Sunday, July 12, 2015

Guerlain Terracotta Joli Teint Healthy Glow Powder Duos in Light Brunettes and Natural Blondes

Earlier in the spring Guerlain launched a new range of Healthy Glow Powder Duos ($53/0.35oz), currently offered in four shades categorized in Guerlain's traditional Terracotta "Blondes" and "Brunettes" classification system. From lightest to darkest they are: 00 Clair/Light Blondes, 01 Clair/Light Brunettes, 02 Naturel/Natural Blondes, and 03 Naturel/Natural Brunettes.

You might assume that Guerlain has done the work for us in figuring out which shades are ideal for brunettes and which are best for blondes, but try not to get too hung up on the names. If you're blonde you might be surprised to discover that a "Brunette" shade works much better for you, and vice versa. 

The Blondes have a neutral tan shade with a pink-toned brightening shade, while the Brunettes have a warm tan shade with an apricot brightening shade, in varying degrees of intensity with Light being more pale and Natural being darker. All four of these are sheer, so you do not have to fear looking sunburned or like a strange oompa-loompa, as long as you do not go overboard with the more colorful (crescent) shade. 

It's worth mentioning that these have a noticeable fragrance, described by Guerlain as containing freesia, orange blossom, tonka bean and vanilla notes that "create the sensation of a cocoon" and have "sunny facets that embody the essence of Terracotta." I'm no fragrance expert, but I was not able to detect tonka bean or vanilla, but rather an unidentifiable floral "vintage makeup" sort of scent. It's not something that you would notice once it's on the skin, but you can definitely pick up a waft of scent when you open the compact and brush it on. 

I chose 02 Naturel Blondes (the darker blonde shade) because it provided the most noticeable color, and 01 Light Brunettes (the lighter brunette shade) because I thought a shade with an apricot tone might provide a more natural-looking warmth to the skin. 

Terracotta Joli Teint 02 Naturel / Natural Blondes and 01 Clair / Light Brunettes

On the left is Light Brunettes shown with individual swatches of the tan shade, followed by the apricot, and then both colors mixed together. On the right is Natural Blondes swatched in the same manner. You can see a bit of shimmer in these photos and swatches, which were taken in very bright sunlight, but in softer lighting the shimmer is barely detectable. 

Terracotta Joli Teint 01 Clair / Light Brunettes

Terracotta Joli Teint 02 Naturel / Natural Blondes 

These powders were designed to give a hint of sun-kissed glow to the skin rather than a full-on bronzed effect as can be achieved with the classic Terracotta bronzing powders. I found that they do deliver on this promise: at first when I applied them in the store I was underwhelmed with the pigmentation, but later as I was walking through the mall and caught my reflection in a mirror, I noticed that I looked brighter, healthier and dare I say, more youthful, but in the most subtle of ways. The effect was not something that someone could point to and say, "Oh, she is wearing makeup." It looked like my natural complexion, only better! 

Some might be disappointed if they purchase this product with the intent of using it as a true bronzer. At most, the darker shades could function as a light blush on fair skins. I'm not sure if these will show up well on medium, medium-dark or dark skin tones (for reference I wear MAC NC20 / Bobbi Brown Sand). This is the sort of product I would say is best to try in person to see how it will work for you.

Have you tried any of the Joli Teint powders? If so, let me know your thoughts on these. As always, thanks for stopping by and have a great week! 

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?