Sunday, February 23, 2014

Laura Mercier Spring 2014 Metallic Creme Eyeshadows: Copper Sunrise and Golden Mist

Introduced in Laura Mercier's spring 2014 collection, Spring Renaissance, are two new, limited-edition Metallic Créme Eye Colour shades ($23/0.3oz), Copper Sunrise and Golden Mist. For those who are not familiar with Laura Mercier's Créme Eye Colours, they are lightweight, blendable cream shadows with intense pigmentation. They work well either on their own or underneath powder shadows. One thing to keep in mind when using these is that a little goes a long way! This product does not completely set, so some color will transfer if you rub your eyes with your fingers--but for the most part they stay put. To avoid creasing it is best to apply a thin layer. I seem to get the best results when I concentrate most of the color on the lid and then blend it upward so that there is the least amount of product in the crease area. 

Left to right: Copper Sunrise and Golden Mist 

Shown above are full-intensity swatches of Copper Sunrise and Golden Mist. These are basic, but pretty, shades that fit in well with the overall color palette of the Spring Renaissance collection. Copper Sunrise is a warm mid-tone amber-bronze and Golden Mist is a lovely pale champagne-gold. Below you can see how they both look when blended out. 

These two shades work so well together. I like to use a little of the Golden Mist shade all over the eye and then add some of the Copper Sunrise on the lid and blend it out towards the crease. Add a little liner and mascara and I'm done. It doesn't get much easier than this! 

Below is a comparison with a few other shades in my collection. I own only two other Metallic Créme Eye Colours, Burnished Copper and Platinum. While doing these comparisons I noticed that the placement of the shade-indicating colored band on the tube has changed and is now at the top. If you stand these up on their caps, it will be easier to figure out what color is inside without picking up the tube--a minor, but noticeable improvement.  
Left to right: Laura Mercier Burnished Copper, Copper Sunrise, Golden Mist, Platinum, and Boots No. 7 Vanilla

As you can see, Copper Sunrise is quite a bit lighter than Burnished Copper. I expect these two will pair nicely. Burnished Copper is the first Metallic Creme Eye Colour I ever purchased. It's an amazing, intense mahogany brown and remains one of my favorite shades in the line. 

Platinum is more of a cool-toned champagne, whereas Golden Mist is a pale golden champagne. I like both of these but have a weakness for gold, so Golden Mist is my favorite of the two. 

On the end is a similar product, Boots No. 7's Stay Perfect Eye Mousse, in the shade Vanilla, a shimmery pale icy pink. The Boots No. 7 cream shadows are comparable to Laura Mercier's in packaging and finish but have a slightly lighter, whipped consistency. 

Are you a fan of Laura Mercier's Metallic Créme Eye Colours? If so, what are your favorite shades? 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Nature Photography: Birds and Blooms

Back in early December I started to notice this curious, friendly little bird that would flutter over to land on my car side view mirror and stare at its reflection. Day after day I would pull into the driveway and there it would be, excited to be reunited with the car mirror! 

Well, it's been over two months now and it is no longer enchanted with the mirror, but I do still see it at least a few times a week hunting for insects in my yard. I even find myself looking for it when I go outside and when a few days go by with no sight of it I start to worry that maybe it has found another home! I will surely miss it when it finally goes. 

I believe (but could be wrong as I am not a bird expert) that it is a Philadelphia Vireo, which is a small songbird native to Canada that migrates during winter to Central America and Mexico. Apparently, this fellow made a wrong turn at some point and has decided to stay in Florida instead! 

Curly-tailed lizard in my neighbor's yard. They are fond of hanging out on large rocks and these terra cotta pots.

Can you see me?

The bougainvillea in my yard is out of control, but I love it! 

Thanks for visiting! 

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Laura Mercier Enlightenment Eye and Cheek Palette for Spring 2014 - Swatches and Look of the Day


The Enlightenment Eye & Cheek Palette ($55) is a limited edition item included in the Spring Renaissance collection. This pretty little palette includes two blush shades and four shadows in a compact-sized palette, covered with brown fabric and secured with a magnetic closure. 

The four (0.3 oz) eye shadows included are:

Angelic - a shimmery golden ivory
Grace - a shimmery light plum-taupe
Pure Glow - a shimmery light amber
Innocence - a frosty pale pink

These shadows are all quite light and shimmery, without any sparkles or micro-glitter. The look they create is soft and eye-brightening. They are smooth, blendable, and nicely pigmented. My favorites are Pure Glow and Grace. Angelic is a nice, albeit basic, highlight shade. The pale pink, Innocence, is slightly too cool-toned for my taste, but is pretty nevertheless!


The two (0.2 oz) blush shades included are:

Blushing - a bright watermelon pink
Awakening - a light peachy-pink with a subtle sheen

The blushes have a soft, powdery texture and a satin finish. Although Blushing may appear daunting in the pan, the pigment is somewhat sheer and blends easily, so this shade would easily be wearable on any skin tone. I think it is such a cheerful shade of pink, don't you? Awakening is an easygoing, neutral peachy-pink that would work well when you want just a touch of color and prefer the focus to be on lips or eyes.

From left to right: Blushing, Awakening, Innocence, Pure Glow, Grace, and Angelic 


Blushing and Awakening 

Wearing Awakening blush

I found the shadows to be a pleasure to work with. In this look I applied them over Nars Smudgeproof primer. I will say if you are not a fan of shimmer, this may not be the palette for you. I also think many may find themselves reaching for their favorite matte dark-brown, or mid-tone crease shade to supplement these shades, but despite any minor shortcomings this palette is a winner! When used all together, these light, shimmery shadows create an airy and fresh effect that is perfect for the season, and the two blush shades are both beautiful and flattering. Visit Beauty Reflections for more views and swatches of this item.

Products used: 

  • Eyes: Innocence (pink) on lids, Grace (plum-taupe) outer corner of lids, Pure Glow (amber) in the crease, and Angelic (ivory) brow and inner-corner highlight. Laura Mercier Graphite Creme Eye Liner on top lash line and Urban Decay Scorch 24/7 Eye Pencil on lower lash line. 
  • Cheeks: Awakening (peachy-pink) 
  • Lips: Laura Mercier Brigitte Creme Smooth Lip Colour (pale apricot nude)

Thanks for visiting! 

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Tom Ford Spring 2014 Display Images and In-Store Swatches

Tom Ford's spring collection features eight new, limited edition, lipsticks ($49) in a formula Tom Ford has dubbed Lip Color Conditioner, along with four new Nail Lacquers ($32). With this collection we see a return to elegant, white and gold packaging, which I love! "Sheer, natural, and effortless" beauty is the theme of this collection.    

I wasn't sure what to expect from the new lipstick formula. Being described as a lip "conditioner," I thought these might be very sheer and similar to a balm, but I found them to be pigmented and to perform in the same way as a standard lipstick, although perhaps not quite as opaque and creamy as Ford's original Lip Colors (which also retail for $49). 

  • Firecracker is a beautiful, fiery red-orange 
  • Sweet Spot is a mid-tone milky orange/coral creme 
  • In the Buff is a pale, neutral beige with fine shimmer
  • Incorrigible is a deep cool-toned fuchsia with micro-shimmer
  • Paradiso is a bright, rosy watermelon-pink 
  • Summer Fling is a light carnation pink with gold micro-sparkles
  • Bittersweet is a sheer chocolate-plum 
  • Pink Dune had not arrived at this counter yet, but is described as a pink-beige (visit The Beauty Look Book and The RAEviewer for swatches of this shade) 

Left to right: In the Buff, Bittersweet, Firecracker, Incorrigible, Paradiso, Sweet Spot, Summer Fling

Below are a few swatches taken with my phone camera. Please excuse the poor quality!

In the Buff 
This is a beautiful nude, but doesn't work with my sallow complexion and makes me look tired and sickly -- or I guess that could just be my normal appearance, haha! I think it will work well on others and would be great paired with more intense eye looks. 

Summer Fling 
I had high hopes for this one judging by the color in the tube. It is a lovely pink, but on my lips it turned slightly too cool-toned for my coloring. Through years of trial and error, I've found that warmer colors just seem to work better on me. Note that this shade has quite a bit of micro-sparkles, which tend to remain on the lips after removal. 

Another view of Summer Fling in brighter lighting

Sweet Spot
This peachy-coral creme shade is in my comfort zone. It reminds me of shades like Sushi Kiss and Razzledazzler that were released in MAC's All About Orange collection last summer. I'm curious to see how it will compare to those. 

This one is such a pretty, vibrant rosy pink. Although it is brighter than shades I'm used to wearing, it is going on my wishlist!  

Nice...if I were to ever dare to wear a red!

This one is perhaps too cool-toned for my skin tone, but I imagine it will look gorgeous on others! 

Despite the fact that I look like the undead here, I assure you that this is actually a pretty plum shade. Again, my coloring is entirely to blame. I'm sure it will look fabulous on deeper skin tones, the very young, and those blessed with perfectly shaped lips! If you don't fall into one of those categories you may want to give this one a try before splurging.

Left to right: Coral Beach, Indiscretion, Incandescent, and Sugar Dune

Left to right: Incandescent, Sugar Dune, Coral Beach, Indiscretion

  • Incandescent is a beautiful rosy-champagne beige with shimmer 
  • Sugar Dune is an elegant, pale nude with mauve tones 
  • Coral Beach is a mid-tone peachy-coral creme
  • Indiscretion is a vibrant rosy-watermelon pink

Another view in sunlight

Of the four, Coral Beach is the most sheer. I applied two coats at the counter and could still make out my nail line. The metallic Incandescent has quite good coverage and was completely opaque in two coats, as was Sugar DuneIndiscretion probably could have used a third coat for even coverage. These are all lovely shades, but I feel as if my collection is saturated with corals, watermelon pinks, and fuchsias at this point, so the two here that stood out to me and  have made their way onto my wishlist are the pale nude Sugar Dune and the beautiful rose-gold, Incandescent.

Below is a quick and sloppy comparison for Sugar Dune. I love this shade, but thought I might have a couple of similar tones in my stash. Some of you may recall a shade from Sephora by OPI a few years back, called Don't Feed the Hand Models. I loved it then and still do. You can see below that it is very similar to Sugar Dune but it has a much thinner, more sheer formula and, alas, it is long-discontinued. But if any of you still have this shade, it does make a nice substitute for Sugar Dune. However, I much prefer the formula of the Tom Ford. OPI's My Very First Knockwurst is also quite similar, but has just a smidgen more pink to it. Of the three, Sugar Dune is the clear winner in my book!

I always appreciate Tom Ford's well-edited seasonal collections, and can't wait to see what's in store for summer! Perhaps some new blush shades? Do you have your eye on anything from Tom Ford's spring

Model Betty Adewole