Dec 31, 2016

Marc Jacobs Le Marc Liquid Lip Creme - Swatches

Marc Jacobs Le Marc Liquid Lip Creme - Swatches
Marc Jacobs Le Marc Liquid Lip Creme ($28 each) at Sephora

As someone who loves neutral-nude lip colors, Marc Jacobs lipsticks are definitely among my favorite.  There are sooo many shades of beige and brown and pink and dusty rose and any other MLBB shade I can think of in the Marc Jacobs lip color range, and the formula feels fabulous on the lips.  The new Le Marc Liquid Lip Cremes seem to follow the trend with 6 shades ranging from soft to deeper neutrals in a lip-friendly liquid lipstick formula.  These new lip colors are similar to glosses in their texture - creamy liquid formula - but of course are much more pigmented.   The Le Marc Lip Cremes provide full coverage and a soft satin sheen.  Scroll on for swatches.

Burberry Liquid Lip Velvet - Swatches

Burberry Liquid Lip Velvet - Spring 2017 - Swatches
Burberry Liquid Lip Velvet ($34 each) at Sephora

Burberry Liquid Lip Velvets are a new formula combining a comforting whipped cream texture with a pigment-rich matte finish.  I spotted these at the Burberry counter at Nordstrom, and according to the SA there, these are available for presale - can pick them up around January 14/17 (check your local Nordstrom for details).  These are also available online at Sephora.  Available in shades ranging from pale nudes, neutrals and bright reds and deep oxblood, the Burberry Liquid Lip Velvets are the latest in the matte liquid almost-lipstick trend.  The formula feels soft and creamy, and the finish is a  velvety matte.  Not totally dry, but it does settle into a soft matte finish.  Scroll on for swatches.

Dec 22, 2016

Easy Glam: Red Lips & My Version of a Winged Liner

Easy Holiday Makeup Look:  Red Lips - My Version of  Winged Liner
Easy Holiday Makeup Look:  Red Lips & My Version of a Winged Liner

Of all the makeup trends that pop up every year, winged liner seems to be the one that has stayed put (and grown in popularity) year after year.  This is also the makeup look I never manage to get right.  After quite a few failed attempts, though, I have figured out why following the winged liner trend is never ever going to work for me.  I amn't sure if I should describe my lids are hooded or droopy or just that my eyes pop out so much that my lids disappear when I am staring straight ahead ๐Ÿ˜ณ, but whatever combination of issues my eyes have, the fact is the only way a winged liner would look good on me would be if I walked around with my eyes half closed and my brows lifted up.  Not very practical in real life, outside of photos.  What does work for me is keeping my liner thin along the lashline and lifting it up only toward the outer corner of the eyes.  While this is not really much of a wing, it does give an illusion of elongating my eyes rather than making them look rounder/wider.  Using a fine-tipped liner/brush is essential, at least for me, since that gives much better control with the application and also helps with the tightlining.  Scroll on for more photos, products used, and an easy how-to.

Tutorial - Winged Liner for Older eyes - Red Lips
Products Used:  NARS Key Largo eyeshadow quad - DHC Eyeliner - Milani Corallina blush - Smashbox lipstick (Infraed Matte) - Urban Decay Perversion eyeliner pencil

Dec 19, 2016

Lancome La Palette Des Reves (Paris En Rose - Holiday 2016 Color Collection)

Lancome La Palette Des Reves - Paris En Rose - Holiday 2016 Makeup Collection - Swatches
Lancome La Palette Des Reves (Paris En Rose - Holiday 2016 Color Collection)

I saw the Lancome La Palette Des Reves palette in a Lisa Eldridge video a while back, but I never did see any much mention of it online.  I finally found this palette at Ulta, in-store, and I think this is part of Lancome's holiday 2016 makeup collection (Paris en rรดse).  I don't have any official/PR information, and I could be wrong about this ๐Ÿ˜›.  Anywho, the palette is housed in elegant, textured gold packaging that's small enough to slip into a clutch - looks like a mini-clutch too.  The 6 eyeshadows in this palette include a matte cream shade, soft shimmery neutrals, and a dark matte shade.

Lancome La Palette Des Reves Eyeshadow Palette
Lancome La Palette Des Reves eyeshadow palette (translation - the palette of dreams)

The colors in this palette are inspired by Paris in the winters - lights and shimmery snowflakes - to day to night holiday nude and smokey eyes.  Scroll on for swatches.

Too Faced Sweet Peach Eyeshadow Palette - Swatches

Too Faced Sweet Peach Eyeshadow Palette - Swatches
Too Faced Sweet Peach Eyeshadow Palette ($49) at Sephora

Too Faced Sweet Peach eyeshadow palette is not a new launch - it was released around spring-summer earlier this year - but it is now available again as part of the Too Faced Sweet Peach Collection.  The palette features 18 eyeshadows, all infused with the juicy scent and antioxidant-rich essence of peaches.  The colors included are a lovely mix of pale creams, gorgeous peaches and corals, rich bronze, and deep purples and browns.  I tried this palette in store and didn't notice the peach scent.  I didn't try smelling the palette, though - I don't mind swatching testers, but I do draw the line at sniffing them ๐Ÿ˜.  It's definitely a pretty palette, with a charming peach-colored tin packaging, and the eyeshadows housed inside are just as pretty.  Scroll on for swatches.

Dec 18, 2016

MAC Spellbinder Eyeshadows - Swatches

MAC Spellbinder Eyeshadows - Swatches
MAC Spellbinder Eyeshadows ($22 each) at maccosmetics.com

MAC Spellbinder eyeshadows are a newish launch, and I have been waiting to give these a try ever since I spotted the promo pictures.  I love how rich and vibrant the colors look on model, and the eyeshadows themselves have a strange velvety appearance.  I recently tried these at the MAC counter, and at least in terms of packaging and design, these eyeshadows are definitely different from anything I have tried so far.  The eyeshadows are packed in a pot, similar to a lot of cream eyeshadows, but the pot/tub is actually mostly a heavy magnetic base, and the eyeshadow is only in a small portion at the top.  I haven't checked a new, untouched eyeshadow, but there's definitely a lot less product in there than might appear from the size of the pot.  The eyeshadows themselves are - MAC claims - magnetically charged pigments that bind together and create a dense, pigmented vibrant look.  Because they are magnetized, the eyeshadows feel quite strange to touch.  They mostly just move around in the container when pushed around, but once picked up on brush or fingers, they are look and feel like smooth metallic eyeshadows or pigments - a bit less prone to fallout than pigments, I think.  Scroll on for swatches.

Dec 17, 2016

Chanel Coco Codes Spring 2017 Makeup Collection - Photos, Swatches

It seems a bit strange to talk about spring makeup collections now, but the makeup world always seems to be a step or two ahead with the seasons.  Still, I was a bit surprised to find Chanel's spring 2017 makeup collection - Coco Codes - at the Chanel counter at Nordstrom.  The collection, designed by Chanel Creative Makeup and Colour Designer Lucia Pica features conventional colors like gold, black, red, and white - more common in winter and holiday makeup collections - and creates a new trend for spring with glossy reds, soft gold, and tints of darker tones.  Scroll on for photos and swatches.

Dec 16, 2016

Viseart Eyeshadow Palette Dark Matte (04) - Swatches

Viseart Dark Mattes Eyeshadow Palette 04 - Swatches
Viseart Eyeshadow Palette Dark Matte (04) at Sephora

Viseart is a brand that has been quite popular among professional makeup artists and is now available to us ordinary makeup lovers thanks to Sephora.   The Viseart makeup range includes a lot of palettes, but perhaps the most popular are the Viseart 12-shadow palettes.  These are currently available in 9 different shade-formula combinations of mattes, shimmers, satins and neutrals, bolds, and brights.  The two that I have been most interested in are the mattes - neutral matte (01) as well as the dark matte (04).  I spotted the Viseart Dark Matte (04) palette recently at my local Sephora and got some swatches to share.  Scroll on for more.

Dior J'adore Eau de Parfum

Dior Jadore Eau de Parfum Perfume Spray - Review
Fragrance Notes (as listed on sephora.com): Ylang-Ylang Essence, Damascena Rose Essence, Sambac Jasmine Absolute. 

Style:  Feminine. Luxurious. Sensual. 

Dior J'adore is an iconic perfume that celebrates femininity and luxury in a floral bouquet of Comoro Islands ylang-ylang, Damascus rose, and sambac jasmine.  It is housed in an elegant drop-shaped glass bottle with a long gold stopper.  The fragrance itself is a fruity-floral blend with top notes of ylang ylang, heart notes of rose, and base notes of jasmine.  The perfume opens with sweet floral ylang-ylang notes that stay prominent on my skin all through the day.  As the perfume warms on the skin, the floral rose and jasmine notes blend in with the ylang-ylang adding a heavier note to the perfume.  I am not sure what adds the fruity notes to this perfume, but I do feel there is a sweet fruity in this perfume and a warm creamy note mixed in with the florals as it dries down.  The first time I wore this perfume, my husband told me I smelled of jasmine - the flower is commonly worn by women in southern parts of India where I am from but I really hate wearing it (which is why I assume he mentioned it).  Anyway, I was quite surprised he detected the jasmine note right away because I couldn't.  While I can detect the floral notes in this perfume, I don't really pick it up as rose or jasmine.  It's a light, fresh floral that's not too heavy or overwhelming, and I like the hint of fruity sweetness I detect in it.  

I am not a huge fan of floral perfumes, but J'adore is an exception.  It's not my favorite perfume, but I love how simple yet elegant this perfume smells.  I could wear this all year round, though I would reach for this more during cooler days or in the evenings.  The perfume does last a long while on my skin.

Dior Jadore Eau de Parfum Perfume Spray - Ingredients
Dior J'adore Eau de Parfum - Ingredients*
alcohol - parfum - aqua - butylphenyl methylpropional - benzyl salicylate - hexy cinnamal 
hydroxycitronellal - citronellol - ethylhyexyl methoxycinnamate - alpha isomethyl ionone 
hydroxyisohexyl 3-cyclohexene carboxaldehyde - limonene - linalool - butyl methoxydibenzoylmethane 
ethylhexyl salicylate - geraniol - BHT - benzyl benzoate - citral - cinnamyl alcohol 
benzyl alcohol - benzyl cinnamate - methyl 2-octynoate - farnesol 
CI 191940 (yellow 5) - CI 14700 (red 4) - CI 42090 (blue 1)
*check product packaging for accurate information

Dec 15, 2016

Surratt Beauty Artistique Blushes - Swatches

Created by celebrity makeup artist Troy Surratt, Surratt Beauty features products that combine Parisian elegance with Japanese innovation and simplicity.  My local Sephora recently started carrying this brand, and I just had to get swatches of some of the products to share here.  First off are the Surratt Artistique blushes.  These blushes are sold as slim refill palettes and are meant to be used with the Surratt customizable palettes, so the packaging might not seem much for the price.  The product itself, though, is quite amazing - finely milled, very pigmented, and available in a range of colors from classic rouge to the palest peach.  Scroll on swatches.

Dec 11, 2016

Make Up For Ever Artist Rouge Lipsticks - Swatches

Make Up For Ever Artist Rouge - MUFE Lipsticks - Swatches
Make Up For Ever Artist Rouge Lipsticksn($22 each) at Sephora
Make Up For Ever recently launched their Artist Rouge lipstick range with lipsticks saturated with 25% more pigment (than the older MUFE lipsticks) and available in innovative, bold colors.  The creamy, nondrying formula is extermely pigmented and available in matte as well as creamy finish.  The color range varies from nude/neutrals to deep plums and reds, and there is even a black lipstick - definitely a color for every skin tone and makeup mood.  Scroll on for swatches.

Dec 9, 2016

Tom Ford Cream Foundation Brush 02

Tom Ford Cream Foundation Makeup Brush 02 - Review
Tom Ford Cream Foundation Brush ($72) at Nordstrom

As wonderful as buying a gorgeous new lipstick or a beautiful eyeshadow palette might be, my favorite products to buy are makeup brushes.  With a little care, they last a long time - never expire - and makeup application is so much easier (and better looking) with a good makeup brush.  Among the makeup brushes that I have tried, Tom Ford brushes are one of my favorites.  The brush I am reviewing today is the Tom Ford Cream Foundation brush.  Made in Japan, this brush features a lacquered brownish black handle, a gold ferrule, and a supersoft brush head made of natural hair.  The densely packed bristles are arranged in a small, fluffy cotton ball like shape.  This brush is designed to be used for applying cream foundation, but I have only used it with liquid foundations (currently, the extremely runny Diorskin Nude Air serum foundation) so far.  Scroll on for more.

Dec 8, 2016

Belif The True Cream - Aqua Bomb

Belif The True Cream - Aqua Bomb
Belif The True Cream - Aqua Bomb ($38) at Sephora

While I love trying out body scrubs and lotions, I never ever mess around with what goes on my face.  I have oily-combination skin that doesn't take too well to experimenting with skincare, and while I rarely get acne breakouts now, I have had a long struggle with pimples and still have the scars and marks left behind on my skin.  For the longest time, I was using Lush's Dream Cream - a hand and body lotion designed for sensitive skin - as my face cream.  As strange as it sounds, it's what calmed my irritated skin and helped sort out the breakouts.  It's only recently that my skin has calmed down enough for me to branch out with my skincare.  I discovered Belif Aqua Bomb thanks to a GWP sample from Sephora (about the time when Korean skincare was the latest trend), and I fell in love with it right away.

Dec 5, 2016

An Easy Berry-Toned Neutral Makeup Look

Fall Winter Makeup with Berry Neutrals - NARS Grenadines, Coconut Grove

After a couple of days sporting a dark vampy lip, I figured it's time to get back to what I love most - a soft neutral makeup look.  Today's makeup look has a lot of my old favorites - products that I have been using and loving for a long time now, and also old because, well, some of these are now discontinued and unavailable even on Ebay or Amazon. ๐Ÿ˜› I bought a lot of makeup when I moved to India a while back (at that time, I wasn't certain about returning to the US) - and most of this was brands I wouldn't find easily in India.  NARS was at the top of the list, and while I am a little - okay, a  lot - embarrassed at how much makeup I have hoarded, I do love my NARS eyeshadows.  NARS Grenadines - a dusty matte garnet shade that looks more like a blush than an eyeshadow and is one of my must-haves.  It doesn't seem to be available anywhere currently, and I am so glad I bought it when I did.  I have seen similar shadows, though, in MUFE and ABH.  Scroll on for products used and an easy how-to on this berry-toned neutral makeup look.

Dec 4, 2016

Clinique Pop Matte & Pop Liquid Matte Lip Color + Primer - Swatches

Clinique Pop Matte - Pop Liquid Matte Lip Color + Primer Lipsticks - Swatches
Clinique Pop Matte & Pop Liquid Matte Lip Color + Primer at Sephora

Matte lipsticks and glosses - or liquid lipsticks - have been quite a trend this year, and it seems like every brand has managed to put out a range or two to cater to this trend.  Clinique joined the fray with it's range of matte lipsticks and matte liquid lip colors - Clinique Pop Matte Lip Colour + Primer lipsticks as well as the Clinique Pop Liquid Matte lip colors.  The colors in this range are what I typically associate with Clinique - basic plums, browns, pinks - all of which would work well on anyone looking for an easy but polished makeup look.  Scroll on for swatches of some of the colors in this range.

Dec 3, 2016

Tom Ford Lips & Boys Lipsticks - Swatches

Tom Ford Makeup - Lips and Boys Lipsticks - Swatches
Tom Ford Lips & Boys Lipsticks at Nordstrom

Inspired by the men in Mr. Ford's life, the Tom Ford Lips and Boys lipstick collection features smaller-sized (than the regular Tom Ford lipsticks) lipsticks with colors ranging from pale nudes to deep plums and everything in between.  The smooth, hydrating formula uses moisturizing ingredients like muru muru butter, chamomile flower oil, sofa seed extract, etc., for a luxurious yet lightweight lipstick that delivers rich color with a single swipe.  These lipsticks are available in matte, metallic, as well as cream finishes.  With 25 new colors added this year, there are now 50 lipsticks in this range.  Scroll on for swatches.

Dec 2, 2016

DHC Eyeliners and Prefect Pro Double Protection Mascara

DHC Makeup - Liquid Eyeliner Pen - Gel Pencil - Perfect Pro Double Protection Mascara
DHC Eyeliners and Prefect Pro Double Protection Mascara 
Product provided c/o DHC

DHC is a Japanese skincare and makeup brand with some amazing products that have quite a loyal following online.  The DHC Deep Cleansing Oil is a favorite of mine as are their Olive Virgin Oil Swabs (conveniently packaged cotton swabs presoaked in makeup remover).  I hadn't paid much attention to their makeup line, though, until I heard Lisa Eldridge gush over a DHC mascara in one of her videos.  DHC doesn't have a huge makeup line (at least here in the US), just a few basic makeup products in each category.  Their makeup philosophy seems to focus on a clean, polished makeup look utilizing a couple of easy-to-use products.  Thanks to the kind folks at DHC, I got to try out a few of their eyeliners, and of course, the mascara that I was so curious about.  Scroll on for my thoughts on these.

Nov 28, 2016

Elizabeth and James Nirvana Rose and Nirvana Bourbon

Elizabeth and James Nirvana Rose Parfum Spray - Fragrance Review
Elizabeth and James Nirvana Rose Parfum Spray at Sephora
Fragrance Notes:  Rose de mai, geranium, vetiver
Style: Confident, refined, seductive

The first Elizabeth and James perfume launched a while back with Nirvana Black and White duo, and this year, the Olsen twins added another duo to their perfume line with Nirvana Rose and Nirvana Bourbon.  The bottle design is similar to the original Nirvana perfume, and the perfumes are housed in scarlet (Rose) and amber-colored (Bourbon) see-through dark glass bottles with gold accents.  I love the slim, modern, stylish design of these bottles.

Elizabeth and James Nirvana Rose is described as a sultry, refined scent that blends deep rose notes with vetiver and geranium to create a sophisticated perfume.  The perfume is housed in a beautiful scarlet-toned bottle with gold accents.  On my skin, the perfume opens with deep rose notes which gradually settle down and earthy vetiver notes start to shine through.  Within about half an hour, the perfume morphs to a grassy, earthy fragrance with floral rose notes lurking in the background.  While I generally delegate rose-based fragrances to the summers, Nirvana Rose with its interesting vetiver twist would work well as an all-year-round perfume.  The perfume also has amazing lasting power and stays all day even on my dry skin.

Fall/Winter Makeup: Dark Lips and Soft Copper Eyes

Fall/Winter Makeup: Dark Lips and Soft Copper Eyes

Every year, fall makeup collections and trends feature dark vampy colors (as well as gorgeous reds) which I sigh and admire on others but never ever dare to try out on myself.  Well, dare might be the wrong word - more like, I couldn't find a color that would work for me.  This year, though, I found the perfect dark vampy color - Urban Decay Vice lipstick in Blackmail. I have been living off a Sephora sampler of these lipsticks which has a couple of dark shades in it - Blackmail being one of them.  My favorite way to wear this dark lip is pairing it with soft eye makeup - sheer wash of color on the lids, copper shadow used as a liner, and tightlining to define the lashline without looking too harsh.  Here's what I used for this makeup look and an easy how-to.

Fall/Winter Makeup: Dark Lips and Soft Copper Eyes - Easy Steps Tutorial
Fall/Winter Makeup: Dark Lips and Soft Copper Eyes - Products Used for the Eyes
Bobbi Brown Longwear Cream Shadow Stick in Taupe
MAC Eyeshadows - Shale | Coppering
DHC Eyeliners* - Liquid eyeliner in Black* | Gel Eyeliner Pencil in Brown*
Mascara - Diorshow in Black
Fall/Winter Makeup: Dark Lips and Soft Copper Eyes - Easy Step by Step How To Tutorial
1.  Bobbi Brown cream shadow stick in Taupe applied all over lid - helps cancel out discoloration and works great as a long-lasting base/primer.
2.  MAC Shale applied all over lid with a fluffy eyeshadow brush  - blend out along the edges towards brow bone.
3.  MAC Coppering applied as a soft liner along lashline with a smudging brush - this gives a softer application and thicker line.  Also apply along lower lashline.
4.  DHC Liquid Eyeliner pen used to tightline along upper lashline.  The fine tip of this eyeliner is perfect for applying color between the lashes, depositing color between the lashes and giving a defined look without a visible harsh line.  DHC Gel Eyeliner Pencil in Brown used to line waterline.  Finish with mascara of choice - mine is Diorshow Mascara in Black.

For the rest of the face, I used my usual combination of foundation and concealer - Diorskin Nude Air Serum foundation (I use a combination of shades #30 and #40), YSL Touche Eclat, and Cle de Peau concealer.  For the blush, my winter staple is a now-discontinued cream blush by NARS - Montenegro.  The creamy dark berry shade adds a healthy glow to the skin (I use a Real Techniques stippling brush to apply).  For the lips, I have used Urban Decay lipstick in Blackmail.  This is a comfort matte formula that feels amazing on the lips and is incredibly pigmented.  Use over a lipliner for more opaque/complete coverage, but I couldn't find one and so skipped!  The lip color doesn't feather or spread even when applied on its own (with a lip brush), but this is one of those colors that does show the underlying lip texture unless used with a lipliner.  Anywho, scroll on for swatches of what I used and the finished product look.

Makeup Swatches - Bobbi Brown Taupe - MAC Coppering Shale Eyeshadows - DHC Eyeliner - NARS Montenegro Cream Blush - Urban Decay Vice Lipstick Blackmail
Fall/Winter Makeup: Dark Lips and Soft Copper Eyes

For a week or two, this has been my go-to makeup look, and I am so glad I got around to trying out this fall makeup trend.  I think the key has been finding the right "dark" lipstick for my skin tone, and I got really lucky getting the UD Vice sampler to try.  Blackmail is admittedly quite scary to look at in the tube, especially for a neutrals-only person like me, but it's also surprisingly easy to apply in sheer layers because of the fabulous comfort matte formula.

In other news, I have been waiting...and waiting.....and waiting for my new laptop to arrive, and it's beginning to look like I will be waiting until 2017 for the thing to land here ๐Ÿ˜’  Of course, that also meant I could only stroll around window shopping over the weekend, but I did feel much better after I went to the Apple store to scowl at everything there.  Did you pick up anything over the weekend shopping madness?  Do share!

*products provided c/o DHC.

Nov 27, 2016

NARS Give In Take Dual-Intensity Eye and Cheek Palette

NARS Give In Take Dual-Intensity Eye and Cheek Palette - Swatches - Sarah Moon Holiday Gifting Collection
NARS Give In Take Dual-Intensity Eye and Cheek Palette at Sephora

NARS Give in Take Eye and Cheek Palette is part of the NARS Holiday - Sarah Moon collection and features a combination of blush and eyeshadows in the dual-intensity formula.  These can be used wet or dry - transforming from soft sheer washes of color when used to dry to more pigmented intense colors when used wet.  The eyeshadows are cooler/neutral-toned soft greys and browns.  The cheek colors can be used as blush and/or highlighter or shimmery bronzer depending on skin tone (that's how the shades appear on my medium-dark skin tone).  Scroll on for swatches.

NARS Give In Take Dual-Intensity Eye and Cheek Palette - Swatches - Eyeshadows
NARS Give In Take Dual-Intensity Eye and Cheek Palette - Swatches - Eyeshadows
NARS Give In Take Dual-Intensity Eye and Cheek Palette - Swatches - Eyeshadows
NARS Give In Take Dual-Intensity Eye and Cheek Palette - Swatches - Eyeshadows
NARS Give In Take Dual-Intensity Eye and Cheek Palette - Swatches Blush/Bronzer/Highlighter shades
NARS Give In Take Dual-Intensity Eye and Cheek Palette - Swatches
Blush/Bronzer/Highlighter shades

I have never been a fan of the NARS dual-intensity formula.  I just prefer regular pigmented eyeshadows, and I hate using a damp brush on products, but that's just my personal preference.  If you are anything like me, then don't bother with this palette.  The swatches above are what the colors would look like when used dry.  The dual-intensity formula works best when used as described - use dry for a soft, semi-sheer wash of color and for more intense pigmentation, use a damp brush.  You could also layer the eyeshadows on a creamy base for more depth of color if you don't want to risk dampening the product (which is what I usually end up doing with a wet-dry formula), but I do think the complex color and shimmer in these shadows show up best when used wet/damp.  The NARS Give in Take Eye and Cheek Palette is a good pick for those who know and love the NARS dual-intensity formula.  The eyeshadow colors are good for softer makeup looks and can be built up for more intense smokey eye looks, making this a very versatile makeup palette.  The blush/highlighter/bronzer shades are soft colors that would work well with most makeup looks, and again, depending on how much color payoff you wish for, these too can be used damp or dry. 

The NARS Give in Take Eye and Cheek palette has a good amount of product, and for $69, it is a fabulous buy but only if you love the NARS dual-intensity formula.

Nov 26, 2016

Tom Ford Soleil Lip Foils & Eye and Cheek Palettes

Tom Ford Soleil Winter 2016 Makeup Collection - Lip Foil - Eye Cheek Palettes - Swatches
Tom Ford Soleil - Winter 2016 Makeup Collection at Nordstrom

Tom Ford's makeup offerings are always a beautiful combination of luxurious packaging and fabulous quality, making them a must-have for those who love to add a touch of luxe to their makeup routine.  This year, though, the Tom Ford Soleil makeup collection for winter 2016 stands apart not just for all those reasons but also because, unlike every other holiday collection, this makeup collection is a celebration of summer.  The collection, which features gold and white packaging and shimmery finishes, is inspired by the island resorts where it's summer all year.  Not surprising, then, that the collection includes a dry oil spray, a broad-spectrum SPF lotion, and a beautiful makeup brush set.  The collection also features a new lipstick formula - Tom Ford Soleil Lip Foils - as well as two limited edition eye and cheek palettes.  The Soleil Lip Foils have a reflective, metallic finish and are available in 6 colors.  Scroll on for more swatches.

Tom Ford Soleil Winter 2016 Makeup - Lip Foil lipsticks - Swatches Private Life - Spanish Flame - Aperture - Creme Conque
Tom Ford Soleil Winter 2016 Makeup - Lip Foil lipsticks - Swatches
Private Life - Spanish Flame - Aperture - Creme Conque
Tom Ford Soleil Winter 2016 Makeup - Lip Foil lipsticks - Swatches  Venus Rising - Creme Conque
Tom Ford Soleil Winter 2016 Makeup - Lip Foil lipsticks - Swatches
Venus Rising - Creme Conque

The Tom Ford Soleil Lip Foil lipsticks have a soft creamy texture and a metallic, frosty finish.  This isn't really a formula that appeals to me - I much prefer creamy satin/matte finishes or just plain glosses without any shimmer to them - but the lipstick feels quite smooth and light.  While the color payoff is quite good, I do think that the underlying skin/lip pigmentation would effect how the color would look like when applied.  

On to the cheek and eye palettes, the Tom Ford Soleil Eye and Cheek palettes are housed in a beautiful white and gold case.  The palettes include a blush, a highlighter, and 4 eyeshadows (similar to a regular Tom Ford eyeshadow quad), and are available in a cool and a warm-toned set.  Scroll on for more photos and swatches. 

Tom Ford Soleil Eye and Cheek Palette - Cool - Swatches
Tom Ford Soleil Eye and Cheek Palette (Cool)
Tom Ford Soleil Eye and Cheek Palette - Cool - Swatches
Tom Ford Soleil Eye and Cheek Palette (Cool) - Swatches
Tom Ford Soleil Eye and Cheek Palette - Warm - Swatches
Tom Ford Soleil Eye and Cheek Palette (Warm) 
Tom Ford Soleil Eye and Cheek Palette - Warm - Swatches
Tom Ford Soleil Eye and Cheek Palette (Warm) - Swatches

The Tom Ford Soleil Eye and Cheek palettes would be my favorite from this collection (okay, the makeup brush set too).  The palettes are perfect for travel, and the colors included are great whether you want a soft neutral look or a slightly smokier/darker makeup look.  I liked both the warm as well as the cool-toned palette, though I might like the cool-toned palette just a teeny bit more.

Overall, the Tom Ford Soleil Winter 2016 makeup collection is a great pick, especially if you are looking for a luxurious makeup gift.

Nov 21, 2016

Giorgio Armani Holiday Night Light Eye and Face Palette

Giorgio Armani Holiday 2016 Makeup - Night Light Eye and Face Palette - Swatches
Giorgio Armani Holiday Night Light Eye and Palette ($140) at Nordstrom

Every year, Giorgio Armani comes out with a gorgeous holiday makeup set, and the trend continues this year with the Giorgio Armani Holiday Night Light Eye and Face Palette.  The packaging is fabulous - the palette is housed in a glossy black lacquered case with the Armani signature in gold over it, and it comes tucked inside in an elegant suede-like pouch.   Inside the case, the palette is arranged in 2 tiers.  The top tier houses the eyeshadows while the bottom tier includes the face products - a Luminous Silk Compact Powder and 2 shades of Maestro Fusion.  The eyeshadows are a mix of shimmer and matte shades in brown, gold, and taupe shades along with an always useful matte black.  Scroll on for more photos and swatches.

Giorgio Armani Holiday 2016 Makeup - Night Light Eye and Face Palette - Swatches
Giorgio Armani Holiday Night Light Eye and Face Palette - Face products
Giorgio Armani Holiday 2016 Makeup - Night Light Eye and Face Palette - Swatches
Giorgio Armani Holiday Night Light Eye and Face Palette
Giorgio Armani Holiday 2016 Makeup - Night Light Eye and Face Palette - Swatches
Giorgio Armani Holiday Night Light Eye and Face Palette - Eyeshadow Swatches
Giorgio Armani Holiday 2016 Makeup - Night Light Eye and Face Palette - Eyeshadow Swatches
Giorgio Armani Holiday Night Light Eye and Face Palette - Eyeshadow Swatches
Giorgio Armani Holiday 2016 Makeup - Night Light Eye and Face Palette - Eyeshadow Swatches
Giorgio Armani Holiday Night Light Eye and Face Palette - Eyeshadow Swatches

I have mixed feeling about the Giorgio Armani holiday palette.  It is beautifully designed and packaged, and the quality extends down into the products included in this palette.  The eyeshadows are a lovely mix of neutral shades, and I love that there are matte shades included in this palette.  These would be  perfect for doing soft, neutral makeup looks (even using only matte shades) but could also just as easily be used to whip up a darker smokey eye or a shimmery gold holiday eye makeup look.  The eyeshadows are smooth and pigmented and seem easy to blend.  The face products included in the palette, though, limit the usefulness of the palette, making it ideal for lighter skin tones but not quite as useful for someone with darker skin tone like mine.  Still, I wouldn't complain too much if somebody decided to gift me one! :D

For those who can put the face palette products to good use, I think this palette would make a fabulous pick.

Giorgio Armani is currently having a 20% off sale (use code ARMANI20), so this would be a good time to buy this palette.


 

Nov 20, 2016

Rouge Dior Lipsticks (2016) - Swatches

New Rouge Dior Lipsticks 2016 - Swatches
Rouge Dior Lipsticks ($35 each) at Nordstrom

Dior recently reformulated/relaunched the Dior Rouge lipsticks, and the collection now includes a mix of satins and mattes, with some very intresting colors added in - a pale grey and an almost blackish blue lipstick, for instance.  The longlasting formula is enriched with mango butter and hyaluronic acid spheres to moisturize and plump lips.  The packaging is similar to older Rouge Dior lipsticks with a tiny little detail - the inside of the caps is red (as shown in the pic above).   In comparison to the older version of the Rouge Dior lipsticks (click for swatches), these reformulated lipsticks seem a lot more pigmented.  Scroll on for swatches.

Rouge Dior Lipsticks Swatches 634 Strong Matte 028 Actrice 642 Ready 776 Soiree A Rio 555 Dolce Vita 844 Trafalgar 854 Concorde 439 Why Not
Rouge Dior Lipsticks - Swatches
634 Strong Matte - 028 Actrice - 642 Ready - 776 Soiree A Rio - 555 Dolce Vita
844 Trafalgar - 854 Concorde - 439 Why Not
Rouge Dior Lipsticks Swatches 047 Miss 080 Red Smile 263 Hasard 683 Rendezvous 962 Poison Matte 775 Darling 762 Opera 277 Osee 250 Bal
Rouge Dior Lipsticks - Swatches
047 Miss - 080 Red Smile - 263 Hasard - 683 Rendez-Vous - 962 Poison Matte
775 Darling - 762 Opera - 277 Osee - 250 Bal
Rouge Dior Lipsticks Swatches 644 Sydney 772 Classic Matte 672 Adoree 976 Daisy Plum 683 Rendezvous 988 Rialto 361 Rose Baiser 856 Celebre
Rouge Dior Lipsticks - Swatches
644 Sydney - 772 Classic Matte - 672 Adoree - 976 Daisy Plum - 683 Rendezvous
988 Rialto - 361 Rose Baiser - 856 Celebre
Rouge Dior Lipsticks Swatches 743 Rouge Zinnia 852 Plaza 772 Classic Matte 602 Visionary Matte 789 Superstitious Matte 787 Exuberant Matte
Rouge Dior Lipsticks - Swatches
743 Rouge Zinnia - 852 Plaza - 772 Classic Matte - 602 Visionary Matte
789 Superstitious Matte - 787 Exuberant Matte
Rouge Dior Lipsticks Swatches 772 Classic Matte 576 Pretty Matte 897 Mysterious Matte 207 Montaigne Matte 652 Euphoric Matte 756 Panache 964 Ambitious Matte
Rouge Dior Lipsticks - Swatches
772 Classic Matte - 576 Pretty Matte - 897 Mysterious Matte
207 Montaigne Matte - 652 Euphoric Matte - 756 Panache - 964 Ambitious Matte
Rouge Dior Lipsticks - Swatches 787 Exuberant Matte - 771 Radiant Matte - 999 Matte
Rouge Dior Lipsticks - Swatches
787 Exuberant Matte - 771 Radiant Matte - 999 Matte

Unlike in the world of fragrances, makeup reformulations are almost always a welcome change, and the new Rouge Dior lipsticks are no exception.  While I did like the older versions, they did seem a bit on the sheer side, and I didn't find the creamy glossy finish very unique.  These newer versions are available in matte, satin, as well shimmer finishes, and all of them are packed with pigment.  The texture feels smooth and light, and I love the range of colors included in this range.  There are softer nude/neutral shades as well as deeper reds and plums, and for the more adventurous lot, there are also a grey and a bluish black matte shade.   Overall, the new Rouge Dior lipsticks are a welcome update!