Sunday, October 31, 2010


I started these many months ago and finished last night.  I'm pretty sure I used the Formula Toe Up Socks for All Sizes by Lisa Kay, for the lattice pattern, but did my own Turkish cast on and heel.

Lattice socks

Yarn: Socks that Rock, given to me my Olga
Colorway: Korppi
Needles: US3

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Chanel SOHO Collection, "Stunning" Rouge Coco Hydrating Creme Lip Color

I think I've finally found "my" pink lipstick.  Though I like the ones I have, I still found myself looking for one that I liked just a little better.  This one, Chanel Rouge Coco Hydrating Creme Lip Color in Stunning, from the limited edition Chanel SOHO Collection, is the best one so far. 

Chanel SOHO Collection, Stunning
Chanel Rouge Coco Hydrating Creme Lip Color in Stunning

Chanel makes similar shades, but I think the secret to Stunning, for me at least, is that it has a hint of brown, which makes the color blend in with my complexion, rather than creating a sharp contrast the way many of the others do.

Chanel SOHO Collection, Stunning

If I want to deepen the color even more, I fill in my lips first with a brown lip liner.  Stunning was sold out at the newly re-opened SOHO store, and on the Chanel site for many weeks, but I asked the store staff to call if they got a new shipment, which they did for the SOHO gloss "Stunt," and I kept checking the site, and finally scored one.  I hope Chanel will decide to make this collection permanent, especially the lipstick and lipgloss, since these colors make great basics.

I discovered makeup artist Lisa Eldridge's website a few months ago and have really learned a lot from her videos.  My latest favorites cover make-up removal  and creating a look with dark lipstick.  I found that some dark lipsticks made me look ghoulish, but she provided a solution for that.  I know - you're probably saying, "don't use them!"  But I wanted to adapt the look for myself and learned how from her video.  She's also done videos showing how to create other looks, on makeup brushes, and skincare. I also really appreciate that she includes tips for women of color.

By the way, Urban Decay goes on sale Monday at Hautelook; here's an invitation.   Be sure to get there early.  Some products sold out in minutes the last time.  Rescue Beauty Lounge is having its annual 5-hour 50% off sale November 1 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. EST. And Clarins is on sale at Gilt Groupe until midnight, November 1st  - here's an invitation.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Sephora Friends and Family Sale

The Sephora online sale is on!  20% off using the code FF2010.  The sale ends November 3rd. What are you going to buy?  I've got my eye on the new Fall Guerlain eyeshadows and couple of Bobbi Brown palettes.  

If you want to earn 5% on your purchases, go to Sephora through the Mr. Rebates portal.  Mr. Rebates an online site that allows you to earn cash or points when you shop online.  Cash can be transferred to your PayPal account.  Online stores such as Saks, Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, Target, Barneys, NARS, Yves Saint Laurent, Giorgio Armani Beauty, Bobbi Brown, Bliss, Blue Mercury, ASOS, Banana Republic, Urban Outfitters, Apple, and many other cosmetic, apparel, electronics, and bookstores hire Mr. Rebates to provide coupons and the cash/points program for consumers.  It's BBB rating is A+.  If you're going to spend, you might as well earn a little, right?  I earned extra cash for Christmas last year.

Full disclosure:  these are referal links.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Le Metier de Beaute Kaleidoscope Flawless Face Kit

Le Metier de Beaute Flawless Face Kit

I love this kaleidoscope.  Its shape doesn't immediately seem travel-friendly - whenever I think of travel-sized makeup products, I think small and flat, with smaller amounts of product - but the barrel-shaped Kaleidoscope is perfect.

The kaleidoscope comes with four products:  Classic Flawless Face Finish Translucent Compact Powder; Highlighter in Whisper, Rouge Radiance Powder in Echo; and a Bronzer.  The powder was too light for me so Lisa, Mazza Neiman Marcus' Le Metier Rep, replaced it with the Eye Brightening and Setting Powder.  After applying the Peau Vierge and concealer,  I apply the Brighening and Setting Powder on my entire eyelid, the bronzer as contour in the cheek hollow, the Echo Powder Rouge on the center of the cheek bone, the Whisper highlighter on top of the cheek bone, all with the same brush, then set it all with T. LeClerc loose powder.  Having four products in one palette that swing out easily and are big enough to drip the same brush into is perfect and fast.

Le Metier de Beaute, Flawless Face Kit
From left the right:
The Bronzer
"Echo" Blush
"Whisper" Highlighter
Brightening and Setting Powder

Eye Brightening and Setting Powder I use loose powder on my lids to create a smooth and oil absorbing for eye shadow.  It's my version of primer and works for most eye shadows.  The Eye Brightening and Setting Powder does this well, provides a good highlighting color for eye shadows that one might use, but the real the bonus is that though it's supposed to set under eye concealer, which it does well, it's also a great under eye concealer by itself if your under eye circles aren't too dark.  I brushed it on quickly before I ran out to do errands last weekend and did a double take after application.  My under eye circles looked less dark, and face generally brighter.  It does not settle into the small lines around my eyes.  This is a great multiple-use product.  It is also sold in a compact by itself.

IMG_1265I was little skeptical about the Highlighter, because it seemed too light and too pink, but it worked for me too. Since it's a highlighter, I use it sparingly, just on top of the brow bone, blending into the rouge. It looks a little pale and light at first, but settles in to highlight imperceptibly. I'm going to try it as a highlighter under the brow bone the next time my makeup color palette is pink or purple. "Too light" seems to be one of my recurring first impressions, which has turned out to be wrong many times. I should press on past it from now on.

IMG_1265The Echo Powder rouge is a perfect blush. I can't imagine that it wouldn't look good on everyone. I fell in love with the tester, and was very pleased to find that it was included in the palette. It's a peachy pink - the peach or the pink will dominate depending upon the other colors in your makeup palette on a given day. For example if your eyeshadow and lip color are in the pink family, the pink in the blush would stand out; the peach would stand out with a brownish palette.

Le Metier de Beaute BronzerThe Bronzer is golden brown, making it a great universal bronzer, but not too golden that it can't be used for contouring.  Contouring doesn't seem to be a standard practice any longer, but I find it useful to apply a little just under the cheek bone to accentuate the hollow, and a little in a straight line along the jaw line to deflect some jowly areas that are developing there.  Done with a subtle hand, it tricks the eye into seeing a slimmer face.  I have also used it as standard bronzer on my cheeks and it was perfect.  Another multiple use!  The Bronzer is sparsely infused with silvery flecks, but they're not evident on the skin. 

Used altogether, these products create a subtly chiseled face.  These colors would complement many complexions.  I'm not sure that Le Metier intended the palette to be customizable - it's not advertised as such - but if one of the Kaleidoscope's standard products doesn't work for you, ask your Le Metier rep if she's willing to swap it out for a product that does.  There's a little pin hole on the underside in which you could insert a pin or the end of a paper clip to push the pan out.  Or you could do it yourself if you already own other products you'd rather have in the palette.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Le Metier de Beaute Peau Vierge Anti-Aging Complexe and Foundation Brush

I took many of my new cosmetic items with me to San Francisco, including Le Metier Beaute Peau Vierge Anti-Aging Complexe and the foundation brush.
NM LM Peau de Vierge
Photo from Neiman Marcus

I got lots of complements on my complexion, including one from a Nordstrom beauty sales associate who stopped me as I walked by to ask what I used on my skin because it was so beautifully luminescent!  That's a first.  I love the way Peau Vierge makes my skin look too.   It banishes the shadows that my office lighting casts on my face, and reduces the need to use under eye concealer (sleep would help too, but in the meantime...). It is expensive, but a little goes a very long way.  I took about a teaspoon in this tiny little container, and barely made a dint in it over four days of daily use.

Peau de Vierge

I did not use foundation, just Peau Vierge, blush, eye makeup and finished with loose powder and lip color.  Here's Le Metier's description of its product:
Peau Vierge "Contains anti-aging powerhouse retinol, known for its ability to smooth and plump wrinkles from deep below the skin's surface, stimulating collagen cell rejuvenation and bringing elasticity back to skin. Retinol is delivered through a patented and proprietary delivery technology called Syntoc Actif, which encapsulates the retinol and allows it to safely and effectively penetrate the skin. Syntoc Actif provides 20 times more retinoic acid than traditional over-the-counter products and is absorbed into the deeper skin layers, making it the most effective cosmetic retinoid treatment on the market."

It is also talc-, fragrance-, and dye-free. 

Peau Vierge is tinted, coming in two shades: Light to Medium, and Medium to Dark.  I use the latter.  Though I thought it might be too light to me at first, it is not, going on very sheer.  Lisa Lingis, the Mazza Gallery Neiman Marcus Le Metier representative, told me that many of her customers with daker complexions use it too. 

It's possible to apply foundation atop Peau Vierge and maintain that fabulous glow. It has as SPF 20 factor, so there was no need to apply a separate SPF product, a bonus since I've read that retinol products renders one's skin sun sensitive.   I haven't been using it long enough to attest to its claims to even out skin tone, but my complexion looks more even while I'm wearing the product. I've joined the cult.

I love the way the nylon foundation brush applies product.  I've never seen another angled, flat one. 

Le Metier Foundation Brush

Perhaps this shape is why it doesn't seem to hold on to as much product as the oval-shaped foumndation brush I already owned, but releases it on my skin instead.  It also leaves a superior application of concealer, better than my finger or concealer brush.  I dot a bit of concealer on first, tap it out with the end of the bristles, then smooth it as necessary with a sweep of the brush.

I'm not associated with Le Metier de Beaute;  I won the products reviewed above in a Neiman Marcus drawing.

Artfibers, San Francisco

I'm back from a week-long business trip to San Francisco.  Though I seemed to have worked more on this trip than I do when I'm in the office, i.e. meetings all day and working through State's remote system at night, I got to see more of San Francisco than I usually do.  I managed to eek out some time to visit the newly re-opened Artfibers on Sutter Street.  You may recall that under new ownership Artfibers was moved to cheaper real estate in Pinole, 22 miles from San Francisco, but its customer base didn't follow it there, so they moved back to Sutter Street, thank goodness. 

ETA:  Artfibers never changed ownership.  Roxanne only moved it to a new location.  Sorry about the error.

Artfibers, San Francisco, Roxanne (right), and customer

Here's the owner, Roxanne on the right, with a customer.

Artfibers, San Francisco

Artfibers, San Francisco

I was happy to see that they still have the Yarntasting Lounge and they will help you develop custom patterns.  They also still carry some of their old favorite yarns like Golden Chai, Tantra, Kyoto, and Ming, among many others.

Artfibers, San Francisco, Yarntasting Lounge
Bucket of needles in the center of the table.

I bought a cone of Golden Chai though I haven't knit up the cone Golden Siam I bought last time I was there.  It's beautiful and couldn't resist!

Golden Chai

If you like vintage, there's a beautiful store, Torso, just next door to Artfibers.  I was astonished -  they carry real vintage, not just clothing and accessories a couple of years old.  I should have taken photos, but I was too busy looking.  Check out the site, it'll give a good sense of what they carry.


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