Tuesday, May 31, 2011

May 2011 Favorites

Even though May had 31 days in it, it did seem to go by rather quickly. Here are the products (some I have talked about before, some I have not) that I got a lot of use out of and helped keep me purdy throughout the month: 

  • Le Metier de Beaute eye lash curler is in a class of it's own. This replaced my Shu-Umera curler the instant I tried it. Ever since, I have been giving Shu the cold shoulder. Retails for $18.00 and is worth every penny.

  • Butter London's nail lacquer in 'Snog' looks great to use in a summer pedicure or for those more daring, just as great on the fingers. It is as hot-pink as you get without venturing into neon territory. Retails for $14.00

  • Chanel's Base Lumiere is a fantastic illuminating makeup base that gives you that "glow from within" look, perfect for layering under your foundation. Retails for $42.00 

  • Edward Bess' Ultra Luminous Shadow in 'Storm' is my holy grail shadow to date. I love how buttery soft the texture is and the color is gorgeous! I have a weakness for silvery/mauvey taupes (and yes that is a color! ;) ). Retails for  $30.00 

  • Le Metier De Beaute's Crease Brush is a recent acquisition of mine. From the day I received it, I wondered how I got by without it. The capability to make my makeup look blended is awesome with this brush. Retails for $45.00 

  • Chantecaille's Brillant Gloss in 'Love', with one swipe my lips look perfectly kissable. *mwaaa* It is also such a delicate pink -- perfect for running my errands in. Retails for $28.00

  • Another one of my favorites is Le Metier De Beaute's Dualistic Eye Pencil in 'Tamarack' which can serve as both an eye shadow base or as a liner. The color depth of this gorgeous brown is something that one can only be appreciated in person. Retails for $36.00

What were your May favorites? Please share, I love finding new product discoveries.

La Mer's The Eye Concentrate

The cream, the myth, the legend...La Mer

So I want to mix things up a bit on my blog and talk to you about skincare. I know that 99% of my posts have focused on cosmetics but I am also very passionate about skin care. I feel that unless you invest time and money into skincare and really take care of your skin, then the world's priciest makeup is pretty useless and will only make you look so good. You really do want to focus on the literal foundation of our face, which is our skin. I am not going to lecture you on the importance of eating fruits and vegetables and drinking enough water, we all know that by now (goes to heed her own advice and consumes some leafy greens).........

One area of the face, I would really pay attention to is your eye area. This is especially important given the fact that the skin surrounding your eye is not only more delicate, but thinner than any other area on your face (so are your lips, but I will talk about that in a later post). For those two reasons alone, it helps to explain why many women, myself included, suffer from product allergies.

The cream I use and have been a loyal devotee to is La Mer. As I approached 30 I really started to take good care of my skin. I've never been the type to sleep in my makeup, but I really stepped up my game and got regular facials and really started using great products - enter La Mer.

The Eye Concentrate is a high-end, luxury eye cream that retails for $165.00 for 0.5 oz., but before you completely discredit it on price alone, know that it lasts me on average 9 months - no kidding - using it once daily at night! For daytime, I like to use an eye cream that contains SPF in it. It is full of active ingredients and a little really does go a long way. It disappears into my skin, is non-greasy, and does not irritate my eye area, while at the same time moisturizing it. It comes with a silver-tipped applicator to dab the product on with, but I have an allergy to metals (I have sensitive skin, I'm telling you) so I just use my ring finger. Before discovering that I had that metal allergy, I remember using the applicator to apply the cream and feeling how cool it felt to my eye area which help accelerates in reducing puffiness. *Remember to always dab creams/gels onto your surrounding eye socket in a clockwise motion and never tugging at the eye area.*    

I will just say that even if I could not "afford" this eye cream I would find a way to buy it (kidneys fetch a high price on the black market, right?) I kid, but honestly, I do think this eye cream is that good. I've been using this particular eye cream for about 3 years now and have really noticed a difference. I notice it helping diminish my fine lines and wrinkles. It may not all be the eye creams credit (thanks mom and dad), but I am not willing to take that gamble to find out. It also helps fight puffiness and dark circles. This little gem has been my secret weapon for years; that and YSL's Touche Eclat into tricking people that I am well-rested! Ha, I am a mom after all! 

Here is some more information about the Eye Concentrate per La Mer's website:

"A deeply conditioning cream formulated with hematite, a magnetically-charged mineral, to help dramatically dissolve the appearance of dark circles, surface discolorations and unevenness. The look of lines and wrinkles is softened. Over time, a visibly healthier, smoother and more luminous look is revealed." 

Bottom line: You get what you pay for! A terrific product that really does deliver results! 

What eye cream do you use? 

Monday, May 30, 2011

Becca's Tangerine Dream Nail Polish

I was thrilled when I was presented with the opportunity to do an international swap and pick up some new products from lines that I had zero experience with. Suddenly the vigor to try makeup that I could not pick up locally sparked some enthusiasm in me! Besides, I need to break out of my beauty rut.

I had seen reviews on Becca in the past, courtesy of some stellar UK bloggers (Visionary Beauty, and Modesty Brown, etc.) but admittedly I never paid that much attention since I knew that brand was not available to me. When the idea of the swap was presented with Jane, from Modesty Brown my interest in these brands were sent into high gear. I am swiftly becoming quite the nail polish aficionado and knew I wanted to try a nail polish. I went to Becca Cosmetics (an Australian company) website and settled on 'Tangerine Dreams' - described as "a bright sunset coral." Becca's 'Tangerine Dreams' is part of her Halycon Days collection, which now includes nail polishes, and was inspired by the flower child in all of us. I have always been a fan of coral and love that every summer it reappears in stores, gracing both fashion and cosmetics.

I was so excited to get to try a new brand of nail polish, a brand that I had heard good things about overall. For the last two days I have been walking around with three different nail colors and decided that enough was enough -- a proper at home manicure was in order. Time to give 'Tangerine Dreams' a go.

I had just read a review that the nail polish was on the thicker side so after that the bar for this bottle was set pretty low. I could not have been more pleased when applying this. There was first, little to no odor and it applied like a dream. It was not thick at all and in fact I got away with just one even coat, something that always impresses me! The brush was wide, not as great as the newly redesigned Dior nail polish brush - my favorite nail polish brush! Like Deborah Lippmann, Le Metier De Beaute, and Butter London polishes, these are formaldehyde, toluene, camphor, and DBP free. Becca polishes are not tested on animals either, something I know is a concern to many of you.

With Memorial Day weekend being the unofficial kickoff to summer, what better way to usher in the new season than with a bright, cheery shade that screams "SUMMER"?!

I cannot attest to the staying power of this polish since I just did my nails, but for the life of me I cannot seem to get a polish to last on me longer than three days without at least some minimal chipping. I think being a mommy it is part of the territory, especially a mommy that still begrudgingly lovingly changes diapers and washes her hands constantly! It doesn't matter if it is a drug store brand or a department brand polish they all have pretty much the same staying power on me.

You can buy Becca cosmetics stateside from b-glowing.comdermstore.com, or beautyhabit.com. For those living in the UK you can find Becca Cosmetics at Zuneta.com. Zuneta will also ship worldwide. Australian beauties can pick up Becca from Adore Beauty or Active Skin.

Retails for $15.00 USD or £12.

What are your favorite coral/orange nail polishes? I would love to know! 

Sunday, May 29, 2011

EOTD Le Metier De Beaute Penelope

I just happened to be walking through utopia the cosmetic section of Newport Beach's Neiman Marcus when who do I stumble upon, but none other than the fabulous Kayla from Le Metier. You know, the charismatic brunette who does all those fabulous Le Metier Youtube videos we are all fascinated by, and also widely known by Twitter followers.

I was greeted with a great and warm response. I'll admit I was a bit starstruck shy to meet her. I was immediately put at ease by her down-to-earth attitude. We conversed about makeup and Le Metier as if we were old friends.

The best part was sitting in her chair and having her do my makeup! I was so excited to see the look she created on me unfold in front of my eyes. First, she lined my lower lid with Le Metier's Dualistic Eye Pencil in 'Tamarack' and smudged it onto my eyes. Then she used their 'Penelope' kaleidoscope and applied 'Black Emerald' and put it over my lid focusing on the lower half. Then, she skipped to 'Satin Amethyst' and blended the dark, forest green in with the lavender (that alone was beautiful). She then applied my favorite shade, 'Bronze Topaz', and finished off blending in 'Blonde Amber'. She lined my waterline with 'Tamarack' and applied some of the color below the eyelid as well. She mentioned that you need the bottom of the eye to reflect the top of the eye for balance. I thought that was a really good makeup tip and something worth passing on to those with these wonderful kaleidoscopes. She then used their Precision Liquid Eyeliner in 'Noir' to make the smallest line along my lashes over the 'Tamarack' pencil. The finishing touch was Le Metier's Anamorphic Lash Mascara in 'Midnight Blue' (which is now on my wish list). That complimented the green and purple from the kaleidoscope so well. Afraid of color I am not and I really loved the dramatic effect she created for me. I think it really brought out my eye color!

Onto the rest of my face. She touched up my Peau Vierge in the lightest shade and used their Classic Flawless Finish Concealer in shade number 6 (they do not go in order from lightest to darkest), then used their Blushing Bronzed Duet in 'Travita' to bring out my cheekbones.

(Sorry, Kayla if I missed a step. I really hope I didn't. I was enjoying myself too much to pay full attention to the details of it all).

It was also a delight to see how much fun Kayla was having doing her "job" - she really came to life applying my makeup and it was a real pleasure sitting in her chair and "playing". I encourage anyone who is fortunate to live near her (she travels to throughout the West Coast frequently) to go pay her a visit. I'm so glad I worked up the courage to introduce myself -- she even recognized me (*blushes*). I seriously could not stop staring at my makeup. I just wish I could do half as good of a job as she did!

Here are the pics of the finished look:

Close-up shot

With my eyes open, doesn't the color pop?
I promise this looked so much better in person. This was also taken with a flash and I'm sure that washed the coloring out a bit.

Thanks again, Kayla! 

Friday, May 27, 2011

Sneak Peak

Here is a picture showcasing some of the goodies that I will be reviewing in the next week. I hope this picture whets your appetite! I'm excited to try my first Rouge Bunny Rouge eye shadow, and Becca nail polish sent by the fabulous Jane at Modesty Brown. I am also excited to use my Le Metier De Beaute brushes as they are made from high quality materials.

Have a fabulous extended weekend for all those stateside. To all my international readers have a great weekend! 

Le Metier de Beaute's Midnight Sky Eye Shadow

'Midnight Sky'

Le Metier De Beaute's True Color Eye Shadow in 'Midnight Sky' ($30.00) was not a color I was at all familiar with. While looking on Neiman's website for swatches I skimmed right past it because on the computer screen it looks like a mid-tone brown. Brown it is not. I was encouraged to try this color from the very talented and lovely Kayla known by many loyal Le Metier Twitter followers.

Like me, she has hazel eyes and per her recommendation on colors that she uses, suggested 'Midnight Sky' for me. Already a mega fan of 'Sugar Plum' (that is hands-down my favorite out of all of the Le Metier De Beaute shadows) I was game for it's color cousin.

At first glance, I was very pleased with the color. The color is nothing short of beautiful. One complaint is that it is so similar to 'Sugar Plum', the redundancy is not necessary (especially given the 10's of other colors I am currently lusting after). In fact, I put 'Sugar Plum' on one eye and 'Midnight Sky' on the other and even I could not tell the difference! 'Midnight Sky' is deeper in the pan with black undertones and 'Sugar Plum' is a lighter navy with pink and purple sparkles in it, but on the eye they look painfully similar.

A word of caution when applying this shadow you will definitely want to apply your eye makeup first  and then the rest of your "face", as the fall out from this shadow is immense. I was walking past a row of mirrors today in a home improvement warehouse and noticed the glitter on my cheeks! Eeeks! I must admit, as much as I hate to write anything less than a glowing review for anything Le Metier, this shadow for some odd reason fell flat of my admittedly high expectations. It wasn't very pigmented on the lids and applied chalky and was sandy to the touch as well.

I would say purchase this if you are wanting a deeper navy with shimmer and missed out on Splendid Frost (the holiday 2010 kaleidoscope). I am actually gifting this to my sister who has blue eyes and this really makes her baby blues pop! So sister = 1, my wallet = 0.

'Sugar Plum' is on the left on 'Midnight Sky' is to the right

'Sugar Plum' on the left and again 'Midnight Sky'  is to the right.

'Midnight Sky' on the left and 'Sugar Plum' on the right. This picture best demonstrates the differences but this was with two generous swipes of my finger.  You can see how jerky the 'Midnight Sky' looks here as well. 

For those that own 'Midnight Sky' was this your experience with this shade as well? I wonder if mine was just part of a bad batch? 

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Edward Bess Luxury Eye Brush vs. Le Metier De Beaute's Crease Brush

<Boxing announcers booming voice> : "Laaadieees and Gentlemen, tonight, we are going to witness the most anticipated match in crease brush history. Are you ready? In the left corner of the ring we have, standing at 16cm Edward Bess' Luxury Eye Brush and in the right corner, standing at 11 cm we have Le Metier De Beaute's Crease Brush. Let's get ready to rumble..." Ding, ding, ding.

To continue with my Edward Bess theme (?) I thought I would share some thoughts with you over his Luxury Eye Brush retailing for $40.00.

I was asked by a fellow beauty blogger (Jeanie!) which brush I would choose and at the time I had just received both and had not had the opportunity to use them both yet and could not provide her an answer.

Now, that I've been using this brush for a little over a week I can provide an answer. Although I like it just fine, I find myself reaching for my Le Metier de Beaute eye crease brush in #1 (for $45.00) more often. Despite the fact that the Edward Bess brush is taller and sticks out of my beakers, I find myself gravitating towards Le Metier. I guess I like the way the LMdB brush sits in my hand due to its shorter, rounded-end handle. I like the stiffness of the LMdB brush better than the Edward Bess brush even though it is not "stiff" at all. I guess what I am trying to say in a not so eloquent way is that the LMdB helps me blend my eye shadow in better with less "give" than the Edward Bess one. In my mind, the less give the brush has, the more control I have to achieve a more blended eye look. Because like they say "blend, blend, and then blend some more" with your makeup.
Round 1 Goes To: Edward Bess for handle length

Perhaps it is the pony and goat hair of Le Metier De Beaute's brush that I prefer over the natural bristles (I could not find out exactly what his brush was made from) on Edward Bess' brush that give it its extra softness.
Round 2 Goes To: Le Metier De Beaute for softness

Another thing to keep in mind when/if you are debating over the two brushes is your eye lid size. I have smaller, droopy eye lids and the Le Metier brush is perfect for that. I find that when I do use Edward Bess' brush it tends to swallow up my eyelid and extend to my brow bone. This is not exactly suited for blending my eye shadow into my crease.
Round 3 Goes To: Le Metier De Beaute for the actual brush size for my eye shape and size

Considering both are so similar in price, with LMdB's brush only being $5.00 more expensive, I wouldn't really use that as a factor. I think both brushes are made from superior quality so it really does come down to size for me. So if you were debating between the two, the winner is...
Round 4 Goes To: It's a tie for price and value

...Le Metier De Beaute's Crease Brush!!! (crazy applause from the audience).

What is your favorite crease brush?

Monday, May 23, 2011

NOTD Butter London's All Hail The Queen

I had been wanting Butter London's 'All Hail The Queen' nail polish ($14.00) ever since I heard it was universally flattering on skin tones. I had liked what I saw online and was eager to try it out firsthand. I'm pretty gun shy when it comes to buying cosmetics sight unseen, so I waited until I could find it in a store. The only problem was for months it was sold out where ever I went. Imagine my delight when looking at The Butter London stand at a local Nordstrom's a couple of weeks ago there was 'All Hail The Queen' and the tester too! Every once in awhile, I feel like the cosmetic gods like me.

With one swipe on my finger I knew that 'AHTQ' was a no brainer. It went on smoothly, dried quickly, and most of all I find the color to be sophisticated. Yes, there is shimmer, but in an intriguing "is there or isn't there" kind of way? Plus, it adds depth to the color.

All of Butter London's polishes are '3 Free' which means they are free from products that are known as carcinogens and do not contain: formaldehyde, toluene, and DBP (Dibutyl phthalate - a known cause for birth defects).

I think the color is perfect as a neutral for those that want a departure from baby pinks. I also like how easily this polish applied, seriously I found no flaw in applying it. I think it is appropriate for the office and would also look great if you were stepping out onto the town.

*As always I apply my polishes in two coats (unless it is unusually stubborn like 'Mimosa' was) with Seche Vite as my top coat and Butter London's Nail Foundation as a base coat.*

Can be purchased for $14.00 USD in high-end department stores (Nordstrom). Internationally http://www.zuneta.com/ carries the non-toxic brand.

So glad to have 'All Hail The Queen' in my collection, what polish would you like to add?

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Edward Bess Luxury Face Brush

My hubby has come to accept the fact that Edward Bess is the other man in my life at the moment, and he is willing to share the spotlight with him. So my "devotion" to all things Edward Bess continues....

Sometimes in a post you just want to write..."I like it. Buy it. I think you will like it too. Period."

This is one of those posts. I will admit my interest was piqued while reading other blogs that began praising Edward Bess' Luxury Face Brush time after time. I didn't need his brush, I had a MAC kabuki brush, but felt like an upgrade was in order (besides my little sis didn't have a kabuki brush of her own, see where I am going with this?) ;) I also figured that many people and esteemed beauty bloggers could not be wrong in liking this product. I  decided to take advantage of Neiman Marcus' free shipping promotion and ordered Edward Bess' Luxury Face Brush for $56.00. Oh, how that free shipping promotion has a way of compelling me and my credit card. For example I will press "order" on lavish, luxury face brushes without proper awareness of what I am doing. *Cough* *cough*.

Edward Bess' presentation is pure class. His items are so sleekly packaged, you feel like you are unwrapping a decadent gift. The brush comes in a box and inside, the brush is enclosed in plastic covering. I read on theeverydaybeauty that the plastic covering can be used to control the bristles and makeup application. I thought that was a good tip to mention and pass along.

Comparison shot of the MAC #182 and Edward Bess' Luxury Face Brush
According to Edward Bess' website, this brush "is  expertly crafted with hand-shaped natural bristles set in sleek weighted metal for superb application." I am so pleased to have added this brush to my arsenal of beauty tools. I particularly like it for adding my current blush to the apples of my cheeks. The brush feels really good in the hands, thanks to the weighted metal and I look forward to using this brush more in the future to and play around to see what other uses I can find for this (I know it will come in handy for powder foundation, blush, bronzer, etc.).

Overall: I give this brush two thumbs up for its softness, for it's versatility, and for its superior quality!

Can be purchased for $56.00 at http://www.neimanmarcus.com/http://www.bergdorfgoodman.com/http://www.zuneta.com/ or http://edwardbess.com/. In store it is available at Neiman Marcus in Beverly Hills, or Bergdorf Goodman.

What is your favorite face brush? 

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Liebster Blog Award

I was fortunate to be bestowed the Liebster Blogger Award from the sweet Nat at Raspberry Rouge. I stumbled upon her blog awhile back and now it is part of my daily routine of reading beauty blogs while sipping my tea as my daughter sleeps. I love longing over the fabulous offerings that she has available to her in the UK.

I love what this award symbolizes. I think there are so many amazing beauty blogs out there that deserve more recognition and praise

The Liebster Award is designed to bring well deserved additional recognition to those bloggers with less than 300 followers. If you receive the award you link back to the blogger that nominated you and nominate 3 more blogs. So my choices are:

Renee-Hearts - she took a break from blogging, but is now back and I for one am so thankful she has returned! She has breathtaking photos -- I drooled over her Le Metier de Beaute features! Plus, she has created an even greater desire for me to own my very own Chanel bag (darn her)!

Makeup Magpie - I'm in awe in the way she can capture an image and her indepth posts are pure pleasure to read. I find her blog to be both informative and eye candy for every makeup junkie out there!

Cute and Mundane - Is a recent discovery for me on the beauty blogging front. Her focus is on great makeup that is cruelty free! As an animal lover, I really commend her for her stance against cruelty.

I hate being limited to just three blogs. I really would love to add more, because I read too many blogs that I feel are deserving of this acknowledgement. Please check out the blogs I just mentioned if you are not already a fan of theirs!

So a big shout out to Nat from all the across the pond "Thank you so much for presenting me this award". 

Edward Bess Storm Eye Shadow

Sumptuous. Luminous. Stunning. These were the first words that came to mind when I first received Edward Bess' 'Storm' (no.7) eye shadow in the mail (have I mentioned how Neiman Marcus' free shipping has been making me do bad, bad things?!?). I had read really positive reviews on this eye shadow ever since it made its debut a couple of months ago. Ever since I spied the first pics and caught wind that Edward Bess had released two new eye shadows ('Storm' and 'Mirage') they both immediately went on my "wish list". I normally do not like to buy makeup sight unseen. Call me chicken and one adverse to buyers remorse, but I made an exception with this shadow and am so happy I did!

With a name like 'Storm' you may be expecting a darker, moodier color. While I did expect a darker color, I am not displeased by this surprise in the slightest. In fact, this may just be my holy grail eye shadow (keep in mind as a woman, I reserve the right to change my mind at any time, hehe). Seriously though, the color is a gorgeous cool-toned light mauvey taupe. I find this color to be universally appealing to most skin tones and eye color.

Calling all taupe lovers! This is a must-have for you! I find the shadow to be so soft and blendable. I have nothing but love for this shadow.

I guess Edward Bess redesigned the packaging with this new-ish shadow. He dropped the square pan with a sponge tipped applicator and the name Edward Bess embossed on the shadow. The newly designed eyeshadow has a sleek "EB" on the outside and a circular pan with no applicator inside. I for one am not a fan of those useless "brushes" so that was a smart move in my mind. I have heard some complaints that ever since Edward Bess switched production from Made in France to Made in Taiwan, that the packaging somewhat possesses a cheaper feel to it. I cannot attest to this as this is my first (but certainly not my last) eye shadow, but I could not find a fault with this eye shadow. I love the staying power and how soft these feel.

Retails for $30.00 and can be found at  edwardbess.com or be purchased at neimanmarcus.com like mine was.

Final impressions? So glad that I took the plunge and purchased.

Do you own 'Storm' if so, what are your thoughts? What other Edward Bess shadows would you recommend?

Thursday, May 19, 2011

How I Store My Brushes

My beauty essentials. 

Storage posts are some of my my favorite posts to read about on beauty blogs. I also find it thrilling watching vlogs on YouTube detailing people's storage solutions. There is something enjoyable about getting a peak into someone's world without seeming creepy or stalkerish. I also obsess about how I store my makeup and just when I feel satisfied I go back and fiddle with it all over again, it's never ending, I tell ya!

You all know by now that I store my makeup in my beloved (yes, that is not an exaggeration in the slightest) Clear Cube, but now I'll show you how I store my makeup brushes. This idea earns me zero points in the creative department as I just saw this at MAC cosmetics counters and blatantly copied liked the idea. I found the Pyrex beakers online at http://www.homesciencetools.com and promptly ordered the sizes I wanted. I went with the 400ml beaker for primarily my face brushes and some miscellaneous MAC eye brushes. The 150ml beaker is used for my smaller eye brushes (like my Trish McEvoy and Le Metier de Beaute crease brush).

I hope you found this post to be somewhat insightful and helpful if you were stuck on ways to store your revered makeup tools.

Look for a more in-depth brush review and post in the future. 

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Le Metier De Beaute's Eye Crease Brush #1

Le Metier De Beaute's Crease Brush #1

Le Metier De Beaute's brushes are not new, but they are new to me. I waited months before purchasing the eye crease brush, despite fawning over it every time I visited the counter. Once, I heard they were back in stock I decided to take the plunge and buy it. I already had the angled foundation brush ($50.00) that I use to apply my Peau Vierge and it makes application a breeze, particularly around my nose.  Based off that experience, I figured that my crease brush would be just as positive.

Recently, I have really gotten heavily into brushes and can appreciate them more than ever before. I am not sure you are always able to appreciate a brush when it functions well, after all that is the point isn't it? We all can spot a brush that just isn't up to par. The brush may be shedding like crazy, be scratchy, doesn't have enough give, or too much give...there are lots of reasons why you may need/want a new brush.

Like an artist, you only want to surround yourself with outstanding tools to achieve the finest look. If you want some of the best tools than look no farther than Le Metier De Beaute's eye crease brush. The brush will cost you $45.00 and is made from both pony and goat hair. The brush can be found at high-end department stores such as Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman, and select Nordstrom stores. They can also be found online at those stores counterparts.

The only fault I could see with these brushes is their size. They come across as travel sized brushes, which does make it easy to toss it into your luggage and go. They may be lacking in handle length, but the quality of the brush was uncomprimised. I keep my brushes in a Pyrex beaker (just like you would find at the MAC cosmetic counters) and along side my MAC brushes, these brushes tend to disappear amongst their taller counterparts. As a result, I ordered a smaller Pyrex beaker specifically to store my smaller sized brushes. Each brush comes in a velvet pouch for storage, but I find those to be pretty useless given the way I store my brushes (I like them to be out in the open so I can see them and it makes accessibility a breeze).

A great benefit to Le Metier De Beaute's kaleidoscopes is the fact that you can use one brush (in this instance their crease brush) to apply all four colors. It really does save time from having to switch to a different brush every time you apply shadow on a different part of your eye (lid, crease, the outer v, liner, etc.) The brush also feels nice in the hand and is of very high quality.

Overall, I really like this brush and would recommend it whole heartedly. I am always on the quest for the holy grail of crease brushes and ordered Edward Bess' Luxury Eye Brush ($40.00) which arrived today. I will do a future update to let you know which one I prefer.

Up-close view of the Crease Brush

My crease brush collection. From top-to-bottom: MAC 224 SE, Trish McEvoy #6 Deep Eye Contour Brush, Trish McEvoy #29 Tapered Blending Brush, Edward Bess Luxury Eye Brush, and Le Metier De Beaute's  Eye Crease Brush #1

What are your must-have brushes?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Chanel's Lotus Rouge Photos and Swatches

Sometime's you just want to paint the town red.....

'Lotus Rogue' 

I decided to pull a 180 from Chanel's 'Morning Rose' and go with a moodier, sultrier color also known as 'Lotus Rogue' (455). Lotus Rogue may not be the most summer appropriate color there is, but the weather here in Southern California is not acting very summery either so I think we're even.

I realize now after falling twice for lighter warmer colors and hating the results, that my skin color looks best in darker warm colors. A deep burgundy color is set off nicely against my pale skin. I wonder how 'Lotus Rogue' flew under my radar for so long? I'm happy to have this nail polish be part of my stash and I think it will be my go-to color for when I want an in-you-face sexy red! Even my hubby said "Oh, wow!" when he saw my fingernails (it was pretty cute).

'Lotus Rogue' is part of Chanel's permanent collection and retails for $25.00. Neiman Marcus is offering free shipping with code FSMAYthat is good until 5.23.11 a perfect time to pick up a Chanel polish!

A real strawberry to show the similarity in color
Up close view of the nails

I love the contrast between kitties white/gray fur and my dark vampy nails

I think in the bottle this red seems a bit burgundy, while on my fingers it comes off as a true red (especially with two coats for better coverage). Either way, I'm happy with the color and the results. A classic red + classic Chanel = beauty perfection!

Chanel's 'Lotus Rogue' kid tested, hubby approved. ;)

What is your favorite red nail polish?

Monday, May 16, 2011

Chanel's Morning Rose Photos and Swatches

'Morning Rose (#557)' 

 I initially passed on, Morning Rose dubbing it as a "boring pink" polish instead opting for the much-hyped "it" color of the season, Mimosa was a bit prejudiced on my part. I am just happy to have been able to right a beauty wrong and exchange the polish for a more compatible color for my skin tone (thanks to the generous return policy of Nordstrom's) or so I thought.

The more I thought about Mimosa sitting in my nail polish holder going unused (with the exception of the one time I wore and posted pics) really unsettled me. I knew I would probably never wear that color again and yet I will admit there was some pleasure in knowing I had the "it" color for the Summer of 2011. I think it was that satisfaction that blinded me to the fact that a) I was not a fan of the formula, and b) the color was unsuited for my ruddy undertones, and c) at $25.00, it was an expensive lesson to learn. The more I read blogs singing the praises of Morning Rose, the more gutted I began to feel. I decided to try and see if Nordstrom even had any Morning Rose left in stock - they did, only two left! I asked about exchanging my Mimosa and they were very gracious and understanding. I hate to normally exchange things, but I really did not find much to like in Mimosa, and I knew it would go unused for here on out. I was jubilated to exchange it for a polish that more matched me and my personality.

Morning Rose is a pink polish with flecks of gold that add a sparkle taking it from "boring" to "intriguing". That extra "something" is what sets it apart and making it hard to dupe.   

When Chanel is on point they are unstoppable, and Morning Rose was no exception. The formula was right on. It was a relief after suffering disappointment with how thick Mimosa applied and my faith with Chanel had been renewed. I easily got a thin, even coat with Morning Rose but went for two coats to have more color deposit. I encountered no bubbles or thickness with application, yay!

The only drawback I can see is that the pinkness of Morning Rose brings out the ruddiness in my hands (here we go again), something I am not crazy about. I personally, think I look best in darker nail polishes, duly noted. This isn't a knock against Morning Rose, as far as delivery I was pleasantly surprised. I just feel I may have hit two strikes with Chanel's Summer nail polishes due to my skin tone and I'm not eager for a third strike with Beige Petale.

I hope you can see the gold flecks that lie in 'Morning Rose' - it really is pretty.

'Morning Rose' on my fingers

I'm afraid 'Morning Rose' is not compatible with my coloring

What is your go-to polish for summer?

Saturday, May 14, 2011

EOTD: Le Metier De Beaute's Penelope

Here are two quick pics of me wearing Penelope Kaleidoscope ($95.00), one with the eyes open and another with my eyes closed to show the gradient of the colors.

I had fun using this kaleidoscope and here is one way that I wore the eyeshadow today:

Black Emerald was used as a liner at the lash line, Blonde Amber was used over the entire lid, while Pale Satin Amythest was used on the lower lid, Bronze Topaz was blended into the crease. I did not use Le Metier De Beaute's "couches de couleur" layering concept for this look. I thought it was nice to show a different way to wear this beautiful kaleidoscope of colors that was more appropriate for day time.

Other products that I used to achieve this eye look include - Le Metier De Beaute's Brow Bound Eyebrow Pencil ($36.00) in 'Fawn', and Le Metier's Anamorphic Lash Mascara ($34.00) in 'Aubergine'.

*All products can be purchased online or in-store at Neiman Marcus, and online or in select Nordstroms.*      

Le Metier De Beaute's Kaleidoscope Penelope


I unwittingly have been on a Le Metier De Beaute bandwagon lately, mainly due to the fact that it makes up the largest bulk of my makeup collection. I just received Le Metier's 'Penelope' yesterday after being fortunate to win her in a contest. I was so excited to show her off to you guys that I've yet to do much beyond take pictures and do swatches. I was having a bit of an off day today and didn't apply any makeup at all. I will be going into Beverly Hills tomorrow and I look forward to seeing the effect that 'Penelope' gives once applied to the eyes. I need to take her out for a proper spin on the town. 

'Penelope' is part of le Metier De Beaute's Spring/Summer 2011 collection. The whole collection was inspired by the Mediterranean. Colors from top-to-bottom are: Blonde Amber (a warm gold), Pale Satin Amethyst (a cool iced-lavender), Bronze Topaz (a warm tinged gold), and the stellar Black Emerald (a cool forest green). The end results is indescribably depending on if you layer from top-to-bottom (like in the picture) or bottom-to-top or any combo in-between.

I feel as if 'Penelope' was designed for me. I have hazel eyes and like to bring out the "green-ness" of my eyes, so I naturally gravitate towards colors that will facilitate this like golds and purples.

Le Metier takes great pride in the finely-quartered milled eye shadows that are greatly pigmented and blendable. The beauty lies in how you can build the colors up for dramatic effect or layer a single color for a more natural, simple eye. When you layer the colors, ala, "couches de couleur" the color does not get lost amongst the mix, but instead creates a stunningly beautiful effect. I like that this concept is for even the most makeup-challenged. I also appreciate that you can use one brush dipped into all four colors and not have to worry about which brush is good for a specific area on the eye. This is not only a time saver but a money saver as well (Le Metier's crease brush retails for $45.00).   

'Penelope' is beginning to trickle into stores and retails for $95.00.

Blonde Amber - inspired by the sandy beaches

Pale Satin Amethyst - reflective of the sun during dusk

Bronze Topaz - the sun at sunset

Black Emerald - inspired by the jewel tone of the ocean

Finger Swatches - All swatches done with one swipe of the finger except for Black Emerald, which was done with two (because the first time a) it was a bad swipe and b) the color was more sheer when compare to the other colors

'Penelope' on fingertips used to demonstrate how pigmented these colors really are! 

All Le Metier De Beaute's kaleidoscope have a flip top mirror

Penelope Label

*None of the photos were enhanced to show the true nature of these colors*

Will you be purchasing 'Penelope'?