Tuesday, September 2, 2014

After Dark Total Look Kaleidoscope from Le Métier de Beauté, Part II

Yesterday I showed you some swatches of the soon to be released After Dark Total Look kaleidoscope from Le Métier de Beauté, and today I wanted to show you even more swatches and some looks I've worn since receiving it.  
My favorite of the 4 shades as been the blush, as it's a great everyday kind of color for me.  The gold flecks you can see in the pan don't apply as an obvious gold shimmer (no Orgasm dupes here, which I'm personally happy about).  You do, however, get a realistic looking blush color that is flattering to the skin.  The face contour or bronzer is a definitely on the warm side of the spectrum, but I don't think it made me look like an oompa loompa.  I could be wrong. 
I had mentioned yesterday that the shimmering sapphire shade has larger mica flecks in it, which is evident in close up shots.  The color looks much smoother from a distance so I would say it's a detracting feature per say, and since Le Métier de Beauté eye shadows are meant to be layered anyhow, it may be less apparent when worn that way.
When I first saw the shimmering patina shade (1st pan) of the After Dark kaleidoscope, I was curious as to how it compared to Levity from the Gravité kaleidoscope.  Happily, they do not look the same when swatched, and the softness, intensity, and complexity of the After Dark shade in comparison to the stiffer and more mossy green leaning Levity is striking.  
After Dark 1st pan
Levity from Gravité kaleidoscope
In these last photos, I used more of the shimmering sapphire shade with the green closest to my upper lashes.
The After Dark Total Look kaleidoscope will be available in early September and retails for $95.  I'm happy to have received it as part of the VIP subscription program!

Monday, September 1, 2014

After Dark Total Look Kaleidoscope from Le Métier de Beauté, Part I

August was the first month of the second year VIP subscription program from Le Métier de Beauté, and we were treated to an eye and face kaleidoscope called "After Dark".  Set for general release in early September, VIP members got early access at a significant savings, one of the definite perks of the program.
Composed of two eyeshadows, a blush and a bronzer, After Dark is supposed to provide evening glamour.  Given my lack of evening jetsetting, I've been wearing it during the day, which works just as well.  There is nothing here that screams "nighttime" to me in particular, although I'd love to see some tutorials from Le Métier de Beauté on what they were envisioning.
The top layer is a burnished olive green eyeshadow that is insanely pigmented and rich.  Such complexity with the shadow, truly gorgeous and a little goes a long way! I can just tap my brush in the pan and pick up enough color to work with.  In fact, the first time I tried it I used two much shadow and had to buff it out quite a bit in order to not overdo it for daytime wear.  
The many colors of sapphire (Source: Krikawa Jewelry Designs)

The second layer is described as a shimmering sapphire, which would normally bring to mind something dark blue.  Not the case here, as the color is more of a iridescent peachy mauve.  While Ceylon blue sapphires are the most prized and well known of this particular gem, I'm thinking this shade matches the palest peach sapphire at the top of the above picture. There are larger flecks of mica in this color, which is evident in closeup shots but the effect on the eye is lovelier than it looks in closeup shots.
My particular favorite of After Dark is the blush, described as a shimmering mauve.  I think it's warmer than a true mauve, perhaps because of the gold shimmer you can see in the pan.  It doesn't really read as a gold shimmer on the skin, however, instead providing realistic color that is anything but flat.  The pigment and texture are lovely. 
The last pan is a matte face contour, although I'd call it a bronzer as it reads rather warm in tone.  It's somewhat powdery in the pan, but applies easily with minimal (if any) fallout.  I think all of the colors could be used as eyeshadows if desired, so if the contour is too warm for your complexion, its saving grace may be as a shadow.
Now for swatches!  The burnished green patina photographed so pretty I kept taking pictures of it, but I'll limit myself here:-)
The two shadows layered in the "couches de couleur" fashion.
Blush and bronzer
Tomorrow I'll have some looks I've worn with the After Dark kaleidoscope as well as some comparison swatches.  The After Dark Total Look kaleidoscope retails for $95 and should be out soon.  I hope those in the U.S. are having a safe and happy Labor Day!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Paint Ball Inspired NOTD: Estee Lauder's So Vain and Black Plum

Recently I received an email from Estee Lauder featuring an interview with Eleanor Langston, a former magazine beauty editor and current owner of Paintbox nail salon in NYC.  One of Paintbox's classic designs is called "Paint Ball", and the minimalist design and color scheme really appealed to me.  So, I copied it with two Estee Lauder polishes called So Vain and Black Plum.
I used Julep's dotting tool which connects to the Plie wand, and it worked quite well.  I did have a bit of smearing of the dot on my index finger when I applied my top coat, probably from not having allowed it to dry long enough.
So Vain, Black Plum
So Vain turned out to be a surprising favorite for me, as it's a good nude shade for my skin tone and has a bit of shimmer in it that is more evident in strong light.  Application was seamless and I'm going on day 4 of wear with only a chip where a nail is flaking.
Estee Lauder polishes run a whopping $21 each, and I got these two as part of the Delectable Lacquers gift set last year.  Definitely more economical that way.

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Linking up with The Nail Files hosted by Jennie Shaw!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Estee Lauder Double Wear Light Stay in Place Makeup in 2.0

 Disclaimer:  I purchased this.
Last December I purchased one of the few remaining Double Wear Makeup value sets in my shade 2.0.  Containing the foundation, matte primer, concealer, and foundation brush, it was an economical way ($42.50 for $80 worth of product) way to try out some new items and old favorites (the Double Wear concealer, review here).  Today I'll be highlighting the Double Wear Light Stay-in-Place Makeup in 2.0.

The Double Wear Light foundation is supposed to provide medium coverage and perform well on oily skin, which definitely appeals to me.  I've got more than a few skin imperfections that need smoothing out but do not want anything that translates as "mask-like".  My oil slick prone skin has helped me out in the wrinkle department, but it also incurs its own set of issues such as causing foundations to oxidize quickly, breakup, or fade away. 
The shade 2.0 turned out to be a good match for my fair but warm toned skin, and the coverage is buildable without feeling heavy.  I used a different brush than the one included in the set and have had no issue with the makeup settling into pores or being streaky/uneven. 
Outside light
In tandem with the matte primer included in this set, I can get a good 8-9 hours of wear with makeup still looking intact and without excessive glow.  I always have some oil breakthrough, but I did find that the combo of these two helped to prolong the foundation's wear time. 
Inside light
Overall, I'm quite happy with this foundation, thumbs up!  You can still find the makeup value set at some retailers, although the color selection is now rather limited. 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Posie Balm by Benefit

You know how sometimes you have low expectations for a makeup item and have no plans to buy it?  That's how I felt when I saw swatches of Benefit's sheer lip balms.  I have zero need for any more lip balms, as I'm currently swimming in them.
But then, I received a sample of Posie Balm in my July Birchbox.  I've got to admit, I really like it!  Yes it's sheer, but I like how glossy it is, how it moisturizes my lips, and how nicely it wears for several hours on my lips.  I've actually considered buying one once my sample is used up, which should be soon.
Over bare lips
Over Sweet Apollonia cheek & lip tint
The $18 is a bit steep for a sheer lip balm, however, so I may wait for my Birchbox points to build back up and get one that way.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Chanel Cream Blush in Intonation

Disclaimer:  I purchased this.
Described by Chanel as an "innovative powder-cream formula with sheer yet vibrant pigments for instant luminosity", the glowing reviews I saw online pretty much guaranteed I was going to have to try one of these babies out.  Of the two shades released in Chanel's spring 2014 collection, I chose the limited edition Intonation.  It looked slightly less intense than the reddish pink Chamade, and I'm sure the whole "limited edition" thing did it's number on my head:-)
Fortunately, the coral color is quite lovely and somewhat unique to my collection.  It's bright without looking garish, although a light touch is definitely in order.  I learned that the hard way when I applied too much and had to buff, buff, buff the color out so that I did look like Bette Davis in "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?"
I use my finger to apply a small amount to the cheek and then use a brush to blend it out.  The cream to powder formula blends very nicely into the skin and the wear time is really, really good.  I was surprised at the end of the day to still see intact color, as my oily skin usually breaks most makeup down after 8 hours or so. 
As much as I like Intonation, I don't feel the need to collect more as  I've got a number of other really nice cream blushes that are more reasonably priced.  My favorites are still the ones from The All Natural Face, with their $5.75 price, all natural formula, and how they look on the skin. 

Friday, August 22, 2014

Clinique's All About Shadow Quad in Olive in My Martini, At Dusk, Blushed, French Vanilla

Clinique reformulated their eyeshadow formula, which is a good thing in my book.  I wasn't a fan of the ones I've tried in the past, as I find them rather anemic in their color payoff and a bit pedestrian in shade offerings.  Well, they've amped up things quite nicely, IMO!
I do love how the plastic around each shadow matches, definitely an esthetically pleasing touch.  Olive in my Martini is a gorgeous khaki bronze, love the complexity of shimmer here. 
At Dusk is another favorite from the quad, as I love honey gold shadows.  Color payoff is great as well.
Blushed is a medium pink and I've now got two of them, as it was also in the GWP quad that I featured recently in a giveaway.  Again, good color payoff, and the color is softer when applied than it looks on the applicator.
French Vanilla is a matte cream and my lease favorite of the quad.  A decent brow highlighter, but it underwhelmed me overall.  It totally blends into my arm in the swatch below.
It's a nice compilation of shades, however, although I totally gravitated towards Olive in My Martini and At Dusk.
Above I'm wearing the eyeshadows paired with Plushest Punch Intense Moisturizing Chubby Stick (review here), as they came together in the Colour Cravings set ($39.50).  If you like the colors, this set is a good way to try several full sized Clinique products along with some deluxe travel items, at less than half their regular price of $93.50.  Clinique's shadow quads are $28, so everything else was $11.50 :-)
I gave my mom the Moisture Surge and she likes it enough she said she will buy another, so thumbs up on that.   I already love Clinique's mascara, although the sheer pink polish called Sweet Tooth doesn't interest me much.  Maybe I'll be pleasantly surprised by it.