Saturday, December 17, 2011

Dior Celebration Collection Holiday Eye Palette

Dior's Celebration Collection holiday eye palette features lovely neutrals housed in an adorable tweed and leather mirrored compact.  This palette is the best of many worlds: beautiful packaging, practical colors, buttery shadows (except for one which I will go more into detail later), and stay put liner.  The shades in the palette are perfect for every-day wear as well as for night.  I love how the liner in this palette is an actual gel liner and not just a darker shadow.  It's great for traveling because of it's size and practicality.

I was really surprised by the packaging.  I fell in love with the bow and charm detailing, but the quality of the leather and tweed is so much lovelier and nicer than I expected.  It's such a pretty piece to have on your vanity.

The only thing that I'm not a fan of is the brush.  The brush is a mini dual-ended sponge tip and stubby liner type brush.  The sponge is your typical sponge applicator, which you may or may not find useful depending on whether or not you actually use sponge tips.  I personally don't use them.  The liner end is completely useless because it practically gouges your lids out.  It is so scratchy and stiff, I wish I hadn't tried the thing.  Had the bristles been softer, the size and shape of the brush are great.  If you purchase this product, don't bother with the brush at all.

The base shade is a golden khaki.  The color shade is a dark brown/bronze.  The shine shade is white/ivory.  The liner is dark chocolate brown.  All the shades except for the white/ivory shade have a shimmery iridescence  much like the shadows in Dior's 5-Colour Iridescent Eyeshadow quints.  The white/ivory shade is a more powdery than the other shades and has bits of fine glitter.  This shadow doesn't apply as nicely as the other two in the palette, but it works just fine for an inner corner highlight.  I think it's much too sparkly to use as a brow bone highlight.  Dabbed lightly on the center of the lids, this shade adds some overall sparkle to your look.

Here are some swatches in varying light around my apartment.

Natural light

Closer to sunlight

Natural light

Direct sunlight from window

If you like easy, go-to palettes, this is definitely for you.  There's no guess work with this palette.  The shadows are such a pleasure to use and the packaging is only a plus.  I highly recommend.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Chanel 2011 Holiday Lip Products

I know I’m late on this one, as Chanel’s holiday collection has been out for a while now, but I went back and forth so much about purchasing products from this collection that I wanted to save posting until I had decidedly decided what I was getting.  Chanel’s 2011 holiday collection features glammed up traditional holiday shades, lacing their products with sparkle, shimmer, and gold.  One might think this collection boring, but I found I liked the simplicity and sophistication.  However, because of the lack of uniqueness, I found myself skipping out on a lot of the collection.  Like I said, I fought with myself on a lot of the products.

Initailly in my cart on, I had Beige Lame, Rouge Carat, Enivree… and I think a couple of other items.  Slowly but surely I talked myself out of purchasing those products.  I couldn’t justify it mostly based on what I already had in my collection.  These didn’t stand out enough for me. I only ended up picking up two of the lip products:  Rouge Allure Laque in Empire and Rouge Allure Extrait de Glosse in Triomphal.  I already owned RAL in Dragon, which I will also feature in this post. 

 Chanel’s Rouge Allure Laque is THE BEST liquid lipstick formula on the market, in my humble opinion.  So SO SO sad that Chanel has decided to discontinue this formula.  WHY?!?  For what?  I do not know, but if you want to snatch up any remained ones, you better get to it fast because the news has been spreading like wildfire and many of them are no longer available.  How I am kicking myself for not getting a backup of Dragon…

The formula goes on like silk and doesn’t dry out the lips. The applicator is very easy to use, which makes this product even more amazing because it’s easy to apply without any extra tools (ie. Lip brush).  It is a slanted doe-foot applicator but, as you can see, it is much more angular so you can get a really nice crisp line.  The sponge is stiffer than your typical doe-foot applicator so there’s les “squish” and better control of the product. The formula lasts a good 6 hours on my lips and is very resistant to fading even after eating.  Dragon had the slightest bit of fading in the center of my lips after lunch.

Empire is very similar to Ming except that it is a slightly warmer pink than Ming and has gold sparkle.  There isn’t a huge difference between these two on the lips, so I think you could probably skip if you already have Ming.  If you’re looking for a backup of Ming and can’t find one, Empire is a suitable substitute.

Chanel’s Rouge Allure Extrait de Glosse is also my favorite lipgloss formula.  They are pigmented but not overly so and non-sticky.   They do feel a little thick on the lips, but not incredibly noticeably so.  If I used gloss more often, I would certainly purchase more.  I own Confidence and now have added Triomphal from this holiday collection.

 The applicator on this is also different from most lip glosses.  The sponge applicator is beveled on both sides.  It took some practice to get used to the flex and give of the applicator at first.  I think in the end, this type of applicator gives you more control of the gloss.  It’s nice because a shade like Triomphal is quite pigmented and it would be annoying to have to whip out a lips brush to apply gloss. 


Here are swatches of the products.  

Dragon, Empire, Triomphal.

I'm still figuring out how to take decent lip swatch photos.  I don't own any fancy cameras or anything.  Until I do, I hope these arm swatches will suffice.  

Friday, November 4, 2011

Bobbi Brown Party Eye Palette - Holiday 2011


Bobbi Brown's Party Eye Palette ($45) is a gorgeous limited edition eye shadow palette of champagne-golds that is a part of her 2011 holiday collection.  It is one of two eye shadow only palettes in the collection.  The other palette (Cool Party Eye Palette) is (you guessed it) a palette of cooler eye shadow shades.  As a neutral fiend, I couldn't pass on this palette, especially since I have been dying to try Bobbi Brown's eye shadows in their various finishes.  The recent 20% discount from Sephora's Friends and Family sale sealed the deal. 

The palette contains two Shimmer Wash Eye Shadows in Bone and Copper Sand, two Metallic Eye Shadows in Champagne Quartz and Pebble, a Sparkle Eye Shadow in Pink Blaze, an Eye Shadow in Black Chocolate, and a dual ended mini eye brush enclosed in sleek black, sturdy packaging with Bobbi Brown written in silver letters on the cover.

The brush that is included is rather cute and functional.  The eye shadow side (the fluffy brown side) of the brush is actually very nice.  It's soft and applies the shadows just fine.  The liner side, however, is very rough.  It feels like the brush is scratching your lids when you use it.  I tried wetting it, flexing it, and all sorts to try to soften it, but nothing seemed to work.  I don't know if it's just the brush in my palette.  I advise testing the brush on the back of your hand before going to town on your eye lids.

Below are swatches in various lighting in my apartment.  The shades from left to right are Bone, Champagne Quartz, Pebble, Pink Blaze, Copper Sand, and Black Chocolate.

Direct sunlight from window

Natural light

Natural light close to window

Natural light away from window

All the shadows are soft, smooth, and easy to blend except for Pink Blaze which is the Sparkle Eye Shadow.  Pink Blaze was slightly chalky and powdery, but this may be expected with an eye shadow that is supposed to give a more glittery finish.  Despite its less finely milled texture, Pink Blaze performed just as well as the other shades and did not leave much fall out.  The pigmentation on these shadows is not great yet not poor either.  They leave a sophisticated balance of shimmer and pigment on your eyelids.  The looks I've been able to create with this palette are subdued but classy and still pretty.

Overall, I recommend this palette.  I have several shadows that are similar in shade to the ones in this palette, but this is a keeper for me because I am in love with the finish of Bobbi Brown's shadows.  They seem to just make your eyes glow.

The palette is available at,, and at your local Bobbi Brown counters.

Friday, October 21, 2011

OPI Excuse Moi

For the holidays, OPI has released a 12 piece collection featuring a collaboration with The Muppets.  The collection is divided into 6 glitters and 6 non-glitters.  Although The Muppets have a special place in my heart, as I grew up watching them, this collection didn't wow me beyond my initial "squeeeee MUPPETS!" reaction.  The non-glitter polish shades didn't wow me at all or weren't my thing.  Most of the fushia/red shades I had something similar in my stash.  The glitters fascinated me, but they are more like glitter toppers than stand alone shades.  The only one I was interested in purchasing was Excuse Moi because it was the most stand alone glitter shade in the lot.

I applied two coats over a base and topped it with Seche Vite.  The consistency of the polish is pretty thick and gel-like.  You have to move kinda quick because it does dry fairly quickly.  It dries down gritty, so I suggest applying a top coat.  A top coat will also give the polish a shinier finish.  Before the top coat, I thought the polish looked a little dull despite it's glittery goodness.  And glittery Excuse Moi is.  It really sparkles and shines in pretty much any light.  It's definitely a fun polish to wear and totally reminds me of the holidays.  

When it came to removal, this one was a female dog of a job to clean up.  I highly suggest soaking a cotton ball or pad with remover and just placing it on top of your nail to let some of the polish dissolve before you get to scrubbing.  Some degree of scrubbing will be inevitable.  No matter how well you clean up, I bet you will find some glitter still lurking for a day or two to come.

Under various indoor lighting:

While OPI's Excuse Moi is a pretty and fun polish, I don't think I will be wearing this more than a couple times over the holiday season.  The clean up alone causes enough dread in me to skip and choose another polish instead.  But if you like glitter, sparkle, and flashy nails and the clean up is worth it to you, check this one out.  It's overall a fun one to have in your stash.

Mani of the Moment

Chanel Paradoxal, oh how I love thee. Paradoxal was the "it" color of fall 2010, but it will be my fall shade for many seasons to come. Not only is the color so unique and ever changing in the light, the formula applies like a dream. Opaque in two costs and dries to a shiny finish. I topped mine with Seche Vite anyway.  The only negative to this polish is that it is very difficult to capture it in photos.  The photos don't do it justice.  It's so much prettier in real life.

Natural light

Direct sunlight

Because it was a limited edition from last season and it was mostly sold out then, this polish will probably be hard to hunt down if you still want it.  However, there are a few Chanel counters that secretly still have a bottle or two in stock if you ask.  

Sunday, October 16, 2011

A Fresh Start

A new blog, a new start.

Here's to more frequent posts and better blogging.