Saturday, April 30, 2011

Dolce & Gabbana Italian Summertime 2011: Passione Nail Lacquer

Passione is a vibrant deep magenta that appears more purple-toned in low lighting. The first coat goes on very sheer and optimal coverage is achieved with 3 coats. I found I have an almost identical color in my stash: Deborah Lippmann's Between the Sheets, so if you happen to have that one in your collection you can confidently pass this one up. Illamasqua's Grab is also extremely close, as you'll see in the photos below.

Dolce & Gabbana Summer 2011: Passione

  1. Dolce & Gabbana: Rose
  2. Dolce & Gabbana: Passione
  3. Lippmann: Between the Sheets
  4. Illamasqua: Grab
  5. OPI: Houston We Have a Purple
  6. Nars: Schiap

Shown on the left in low light and on the right in flash lighting.

On the left is Passione, and on the right: Between the Sheets

Dolce & Gabbana: Sole Blush

Picture above taken with flash
Sole is by far the most intensely pigmented blush in my collection. The only one that comes remotely close to it in terms of brightness is MAC's Bite of an Apple from the Venomous Villains collection. As you can see Bite of an Apple is somewhat lighter and more of a watermelon pink whereas Sole has more red tones. Despite its brightness I believe it will be flattering on a wide range of skin tones. I am fair-medium and have to use a very small amount on my brush and then blend, blend, blend; otherwise it seems to concentrate in a small area and appear slightly patchy, but once blended out sufficiently it looks very natural, healthy, and pretty! A little goes a long way and at this rate it will last me a lifetime. Those with darker skin may be able to apply it more liberally and may be pleased with the level of pigmentation.

MAC's Bite of an Apple (Venomous Villains) compared with D&G's Sole (Summer 2011)

Swatches blended out on the left with a heavier application on the right

Daylight indoors

With flash

Dolce & Gabbana Italian Summertime Collection Summer 2011: Selected Items

Hi everyone! I took advantage of Saks Friends & Family discount to splurge on some of the items from Dolce & Gabbana’s Summer 2011 “Italian Summertime” collection. Read on for a short description of the entire collection or skip ahead for photos of the products I chose.

This collection has an interesting variety of shades. I think the stars of the collection may turn out to be the brilliant, coral-red blush Sole and the coordinating lipstick Venere. To balance things out, there are also three more subdued lipstick shades available: Mandorla: a dulce-de-leche/flesh-toned nude cream; Perla: a very pale, frosty pink, and Luna, a pale, warm nude/champagne with shimmer. There are two new Ultra-Shine Lip Glosses: Acqua (clear), and Cannella, a brown-toned shimmer (I haven’t seen this one and don’t have a good description of the color), and The Precision Lipliner in Caramello.

There is a new (quite warm-toned) eyeshadow quad: Vulcano (softly shimmering yellow-gold, rust-brown matte, cranberry-rose shimmer, and a blackened plum with subtle burgundy shimmer); two eyeliners: Bronzo, a soft metallic taupe, and Agave, a dark cypress green. The aubergine mascara, Dahlia, is another addition to the growing number of items by the same name (available in the permanent range is a Dahlia lipstick, lip gloss, eyeliner, and nail polish). There is also a new nail polish, Passione, an eye-catching and glossy, deep magenta -- love it!

Hope to post some swatches and a few comparisons tomorrow. Thanks for reading, and I hope you all have a nice weekend!

These shades call to mind a fiery magenta Mediterranean sunset - beautiful!

Left to right: Perla and Mandorla

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Nars Summer 2011 Lips: Bolero, Carthage, Mayflower & Wonder

Here is a look at the four lip products introduced in the Nars summer collection:
  • Bolero Velvet Matte Lip Pencil: very pale, bright cantaloupe-pink
  • Carthage Matte Lipstick: extremely vibrant (verging on neon) fuchsia
  • Wonder Lip Gloss: sheer, orange-red with very subtle, gold micro-shimmer
  • Mayflower Lipstick ($24): semi-sheer, semi-glossy, medium warm rosey pink with very subtle, silver micro-shimmer 
Surprisingly, my initial favorite is the Wonder gloss. It looks scary-bright in the tube but goes on sheerly. Mayflower lipstick is nice and could be considered the safe, conservative choice. I like it but don't think it works well with my coloring. I've seen a photo of Anne Hathaway wearing it along with the Bolero pencil in a look created by makeup artist Molly Stern and it looks spectacular with her peaches-and-cream complexion (see photo at Product-Girl). Here are a couple of tiny shots of this combo on NC15/Bobbi Brown Sand skin:


The beautiful fuchsia, Carthage, looks gorgeous in the tube but could be difficult for the average person to pull off due to the extreme brightness factor. It is without a doubt a statement lipstick. I think I will be wearing it blotted down and overlaid with a champagne shimmer. Bolero creates a decent, albeit very matte, pinky-nude lip when worn sheerly and blotted a bit with fingertips, otherwise it is too bright on me. I plan to experiment with layering glosses over this one.

I didn't post lip-swatch photos except for small ones of Mayflower but if you haven't already, you can see all of these colors applied on the lovely Karen of Makeup & Beauty Blog.

Do you have any favorites or plan to get any of the lip products from this collection? I'd love to hear your thoughts on how you would wear some of these brighter shades!  



In flash lighting, left to right:  Wonder, Mayflower, New Order (featured previously), Bolero, Carthage

In sunlight, left to right: Bolero, Carthage, Mayflower, Wonder 

Have a great weekend!  

Friday, April 22, 2011

Nars Summer 2011 Eyes: Dogon, Exotic Dance, and Queen

Nars summer collection features quite an eclectic mix of colors and textures. There are two new limited edition Duo Eyeshadows ($33):  Dogon and Exotic Dance and a new limited edition shadow pencil Queen ($24). I did not purchase the vibrant blue trio Cap Ferrat, although it looks gorgeous--it's just that bright blue/green eyeshadow and me...let's just say we don't get along together well :(  Be sure to check out Karlasugar's page for swatches.

I really like the left shade -- it is difficult to capture the true color in photographs. It is a plummy-taupe with a soft, light shimmery green duochrome (a little bit like a lighter, plummier-taupier version of MAC's Club). The right shade is a nicely pigmented charcoal with blue-green shimmers that don't really show up much on the eyes. I like to use the left shade on its own. The right shade is useful as a liner or on the outer corners. A little goes a long way with this one!

Pictured below indoors with flash. These colors definitely appear differently depending on the lighting and angle of view.
Click to make it larger:

And here is Exotic Dance: a pairing of shimmery icey-white and a medium shimmery golden-bronze. The white side is somewhat sheer and has micro-shimmer. I experienced some fallout with this one. The bronze side has a smoother texture and better pigmentation. I think many may already have a bronze like this in their collection as it is a fairly common color and available from many lines--this is a nice one, though. Due to the texture of the white side I recommend trying this before buying.

Pictured below indoors with flash:

Moving on to our final eye product from the collection, here is the Soft Touch Shadow Pencil in Queen. This one would be more aptly named a glitter pencil because it is straight-up, chartreuse-green glitter in a transparent base. To be honest, seeing as I am long-past the age demographic that is best suited to glitter, I'm not sure I will get a lot of use out of this but may break it out to use sparingly on special occasions, holidays or the rare foray into the night-clubbing world! ;)

Oooh glitter is pretty when magnified! Here you can see the clear base

Finally, below are swatches of both duos and the pencil. These were done dry without a base. You could probably achieve more depth and vibrancy with a primer underneath:

Thanks for visiting!