Friday, December 28, 2012

Shopping Swatches: Urban Decay Naked Polishes

Urban Decay has further expanded its profitable NAKED empire with a set of new polishes based on six of their popular eye shadows: Hustle, Naked, Smog, Toasted, Creep, and Sidecar. I tried out five of the six today in Sephora and was pleasantly surprised! (All are shown above except for Creep, which is a black with silver glitter.) They went on smoothly and covered nicely in two coats, though the more sheer shades such as Sidecar and Toasted look best with three. Perhaps the only negative to these is that the amount of product you get is quite small, at only 0.16 oz each. Otherwise, at $26, this is a nice selection of neutrals and they really do resemble their shadow counterparts. Who knew the idea of having matching nail polish and eye shadow could be so appealing?






Apologies that Creep is missing from the lineup. I hadn't planned on posting these and when I tested them in-store I quit when I had used up all five fingers on my left hand! Visit Vampy Varnish, Beauty Junkies Unite and Belle in the Bayou  for a look at Creep and for more views of the rest of these shades in different lighting situations.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Monday, December 17, 2012

Chanel Spring Nail Color: Emprise, Fracas, and Accessoire

Hi everyone! I hope you are having a good Monday so far. Today I have a few photos of the three new nail polishes offered in Chanel's Spring collection, Printemps Precieux

Emprise is a soft, pale peachy-beige with a touch of silver frosty shimmer. The silver is only slightly apparent on the nails, mostly it just provides a pretty sheen. It applied like a dream and covered well in two coats, but three might be preferred by those who dislike any visible nail line (I used two thick coats in the photos below).

Fracas is a vibrant and cheerful warm pink with subtle shimmer. The shimmer that can be seen in the bottle is hardly visible once applied on the nails. This shade also applied smoothly and was opaque in two coats. I predict this will be a favorite when spring actually arrives! 

Accessoire is a glossy oxblood creme. This shade is unexpected for a spring collection, but in today's world, when it comes to nail color, anything goes! Again, there were no troublesome issues with application and it dried to a glossy finish that was opaque in two coats. 

The swatches below of Emprise and Fracas were taken close to sunset so the light here is a bit warm. I believe this caused Fracas to pull more orange, but in reality it is hot pink. My photo shoot was cut short after I accidentally stepped on a bee! Oh, the perils of blogging! ;) I recommend visiting The Beauty Look Book and Pointless Cafe to see more views of these shades. 

Flash lighting 

I wore Accessoire last night and to work today, where I took a few photos that show it in different lighting situations. It reminds me very much of OPI's Mrs. O'Leary BBQ, which is a gorgeous brownish-red that really does resemble the color of barbecue sauce. In dim light, as in the photo below, Accessoire can sometimes appear to be a dark chocolate-brown, but in brighter light the burgundy-wine tones predominate.

Indoor low natural light 
Full sunlight  
Full sunlight  
Full sunlight 
Indoor flourescent light 

Indoor natural light

I think all three shades are classic and beautiful...yet...I can't help but feel a twinge of longing for something more exciting or groundbreaking. I suppose the final verdict is out though, until I've had a chance to wear Fracas and Emprise for a full day or two. 

What do you think? Will you be picking up any of Chanel's spring nail colors? 

~ Thank you for visiting! ~

Saturday, December 15, 2012

A peek at Chanel's Spring Collection: Printemps Precieux

Chanel's spring collection is slowly making its way to counters. I absolutely love the look on the model in the promotional photos--simple, flawless, and quintessentially spring! I spotted the display in my local Saks recently and wanted to take home just about everything in the collection. It took great willpower to limit myself to three nail polishes, AccessoireEmprise, and Fracas (review forthcoming) and one eyeliner, Stylo Yeux in Or Rose

The two lip glosses included in this collection both look very lovely, as well as all of the lipsticks. I tend to reach for lighter shades, so my two favorite Rouge Allures were the light peach-nude Precieuse, and the cool pink Fantasque. Joues Contraste blush in Frivole is a pretty coral shade that is perfect for the spring season. It appears bright in the pan but is somewhat sheer, making it easily wearable. 

The star product of the collection, the beautifully-embossed powder highlighter, Poudre Signée de Chanel, is gorgeous as expected. It has a pleasant, soft and smooth texture and imparts a veil of sheer white-gold shimmer to the complexion. (I am so sorry I was unable to get any clear photographs of this product in-store with my sad iPhone camera. If you haven't already seen it, visit Best Things in Beauty for a great review of this item.) 

From left to right: Poudre Signée de Chanel highlighter, Frivole blush, and Raffinement eye quad 

If you look very carefully at the far left above, you may be able to see some of the shimmer from the Poudre Signée highlighter. These photos were taken outdoors in sunlight, after I drove home from the mall. A bit of the highlighter had worn off in the interim, but the shadows and blush were still going strong! 

The eyeshadow quad, Les 4 Ombres Quadra in Raffinement, has a selection of beautiful, basic (but not boring) neutral shades. It contains a medium-toned shimmery mink brown, pale satin muted pink/flesh-toned nude, a medium-toned shimmery warm fawn, and a dark matte chestnut brown (this shade was a bit patchy in comparison to the others). I especially love the two medium-toned shades in this palette--so, so pretty! All of the shades were smooth to the touch and nicely pigmented. If you like neutrals and brown shades, this palette is highly worth a look. I am seriously tempted to go back for this!   

Stylo Yeux Waterproof Long-Lasting Eyeliner:
Top to bottom:  Or Rose (pale gold), Santal (shimmery brown), and Beryl (pale lilac) 

Rouge Allure Luminous Intense:
Top to bottom Precieuse (light peachy nude) and Fantasque (light cool rose/pink) 

I'm sorry that these in-store swatches aren't the best, and regret that I don't have any product close-up photos but I hope this has been somewhat helpful anyway! I feel I should explain that I didn't purchase as many items from this collection as I would have liked, because I have been trying to cut back on makeup purchases (gasp!). This is for a few reasons, including financial, but also because I already have so many items, and I confess I don't have time to use up what I have. So in order to be responsible both fiscally and environmentally I think the trend for me in 2013 will be: reduce, re-use, recycle. In any case, though you may be seeing slightly less of the "latest and greatest" collections from me, I hope to provide some interesting material in the coming year, and I also have many things to share which I purchased over the last few months and have yet to review--including some of my first Tom Ford products. Stay tuned! 

Do you have any items from Chanel's spring collection on your wishlist? Let me know in the comments! 

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Le Métier de Beauté Coromandel Collection Nail Lacquers

This holiday season Le Métier de Beauté brings us the Coromandel Collection: four intensely pigmented and glossy creme nail lacquers ($18 each) that are a welcome departure from the abundance of metallic shades we usually see at this time of year, while still being perfectly season appropriate.

As described by LMdB:
The season’s most buzzed about shades come together for an Orient-inspired collection. “Saturated shades of vibrant violet, blackened navy, jade green and red lacquer made a statement on nearly every runway,” remarks Neiman Marcus Fashion Director Ken Downing.
Taking inspiration from the intricate crafts of Asian artisans, Mr. Downing adds his own signature spin to the opulent color combinations that defined Fall’s runways to create his latest collaboration for Le Métier de Beauté: The Coromandel Collection. A mix of striking shades and punchy hues, The Coromandel Collection has just the right amount of “glam” and “edge” to take things up a notch.
All swatches shown below were done without using any topcoat.

Left to right: Made in the JadeIndo-Sheen RedCloisin-NavySaucey Plum

Cloisin-Navy is a very dark navy blue that almost looks black in low lighting. It has an excellent formula that covers well with just one coat and dries to a shiny finish. Dior's Blue Label is the most similar color in my collection, but it is slightly more smoky and indigo toned.   

Left to right: Cloisin-Navy, Dior Blue Label, E. Lauder Blue Dahlia, Jessica For Your Eyes Only, Nails Inc. Belgrave Pl. 

Left to right: Nails Inc. Belgrave Pl., Jessica For Your Eyes Only, E. Lauder Blue Dahlia, Dior Blue Label, Cloisin-Navy 

Indo-Sheen Red is a classic and festive, bright "neutral" red. Zoya's Rekha is very similar. Essie's She's Pampered and Orly's Unlawful are also along the same lines, but are a bit lighter and more vibrant. The formula is great -- perfectly opaque in two coats and dries to a glossy finish. If you are hunting for a new red this season, Indo-Sheen Red is well worth a look!

Left to right: Indo-Sheen Red, Dior Marilyn, Zoya Rekha, Essie She's Pampered, Orly Unlawful 

Left to right: Orly Unlawful, Essie She's Pampered, Zoya Rekha, Dior Marilyn, Indo-Sheen Red

Made in the Jade is a dark spruce green shade. When shown next to Nars' Zulu it appears to have some blue tones, but on the nails it comes across as a dark green rather than teal. Like Cloisin-Navy, in low lighting, it tends to look nearly black. Zoya's Cynthia is very similar, but has a thin, sheer formula that requires three coats to reach the level of opacity that Made in the Jade achieves with just one coat. 

Left to right: Made in the Jade, Zoya Cynthia, Nars Zulu, Illamasqua Rampage, OPI Here Today...Aragon Tomorrow

Left to right: OPI Here Today...Aragon Tomorrow, Illamasqua Rampage, Nars Zulu, Zoya Cynthia, Made in the Jade

Saucey Plum is a dark plum creme. Its formula did not provide quite the same amazing level of even and opaque coverage as the other three, but it was still very nice. Zoya's Anja is a close match, and Essie's Velvet Voyeur and Lippmann's Dark Side of the Moon are also similar, but I prefer the formula of Saucey Plum over these two. Dior's Smoky Plum is slightly more red toned. I'm a great fan of this type of plum shade, especially in the fall and winter. 

Left to right: Saucey Plum, Zoya Anja, Dior Smoky Plum, Lippmann Dark Side of the Moon, Essie Velvet Voyeur 

Left to right: Essie Velvet Voyeur, Lippmann Dark Side of the Moon, Dior Smoky Plum, Zoya Anja, Saucey Plum


This is a well-edited collection of beautiful nail lacquers that should appeal to those who like their nails dark and dramatic. I would have liked to have seen the navy and green shades lightened up just a bit so that you could really discern the color but, on the other hand, their darkness keeps them neutral and lends them a modern and sophisticated edge.  

Thanks for visiting!