Saturday, November 26, 2011

Laura Mercier Nail Lacquer "Twilight"

Twilight is part of Laura Mercier's Limited Edition Moonlight Collection.  It is a reddish purple, with purple sparkles and an occasional red flash.  It's a beautiful polish.  That said, it is very much like Chanel Paradoxal as you can see from the comparison swatches.  Paradoxal is much more sophisticated; when applied, a smoky gray veil subdues even the further its subtle purple shimmer. 

Paradoxal only requires one coat to fully cover the nail bed, while Twilight is thin and requires two coats for even coverage.  Actually, three coats are better. 
Most critically, Twilight doesn't wear well.  I wore it for a week with my usual Lippmann Rehydrating Base Coat and Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat.  I re-applied with CND Stickey Base Coat and Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat.  This is how the tips look after two days.

Chanel doesn't look this worn after a week.  Paradoxal is still available on and at Nordstrom.  Twilight is limited edition and available at Nordstrom and  Let me now if you've had better luck with it.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Vichy Pureté Thermale 3-in-1 Calming Cleansing Micellar Solution

I learned about cleansing waters on The Beauty Look Book, where Sabrina reviewed Lancome's Eau Fraiche Doucer.  These waters claim to remove makeup and tone the skin without the need for a follow up cleanser.   You just dampen a cotton ball or pad with the product and wipe off your makeup.  Thinking it was a just a simple toner, I had been using YSL's Instant Pur cleansing and toning water for quite a while and loving it.  I got a generously sized bottle in a GWP, and after finishing it I bought a full-sized bottle.  I was disappointed when YSL changed the formula - it cleansed equally well, but had too much fragrance for my liking.  I was happy to try Lancome after Sabrina's review.  Since then I have also tried Dior Instant Cleansing Water and Koh Gen Do Cleansing Spa Water.  They range from $35-39 for a 6.7oz bottle, Koh Gen Do is $39 for 10.15 oz. - all expensive to use as a daily cleanser to remove a full face of makeup including foundation, blush, and eye makeup.  So I has happy to find Vichy Pureté Thermale 3-in-1 Calming Cleansing Micellar Solution at my local CVS drugstore for $16.

Vichy claims that

"face, eyes and lips are perfectly cleansed in one simple step. Even the most sensitive skin feels soothed. Ultra-effective: cleanses and removes makeup without rubbing." 

It removes makeup, including mascara, as it claims and has not caused break outs or redness.  It cleans as well as its more expensive competitors.  It does leave an ever so slight filmy feeling, but nothing like that left by cleansing cloths.  It comes in bottle of thinner plastic than the other cleansers and has pour spout rather than a pump, but that's a small sacrifice given the cost difference.  I know there are other cleansing waters in this price range but they are not locally available to me.  I love mail/Internet orders, but postage can be costly, and sometimes it's nice just to be able to pick up something at the drugstore. 


Given my love for oil and milk cleansers, most of the time I still use Vichy Pureté in place of toner to remove the last vestiges of makeup including eye makeup rather than as my primary cleanser.    I do use it some mornings to clean my face and neck before applying makeup or on a day when I don't wear much makeup.

Monday, November 07, 2011

Space NK at Bloomingdales,Tysons Corner, Virginia

I'm so glad that Space NK has opened at Bloomingdales at Tysons Corner!  It brings a few niche brands that I haven't seen in the Washington, DC Metro area, including Lipstick Queen; by Terry; Eve Lom; Malik and Goetz; Vincent Longo; and my favorite, Rococo Nail Apparel.

Sales Associate Rebecca with a customer

Though there are obviously many, many more brands than those I've listed above, DC's new Space NK doesn't carry all the lines included in their stand alone brick and mortar or online.  Notably absent were Jemma Kidd higher end products, Ellis Faas, and Kjaer Weis.   I hope they'll be added later.


Space NK founder, Nicky Kinnaird, will be in town November 12th, for beauty consultations.  Call 703-556-4569 to reserve your spot.  They're going fast!

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Dolce and Gabbana Perfect Finish Creamy Foundation

Perfect Finish Creamy Foundation is one of Dolce and Gabbana's newest products.  It provides medium to maximum coverage with an SPF of 15.  Of the 15 shades offered, Amber 148 and Soft Tan 160 match my NC45 skin tone when blended in.  But Amber 148, subtly pink in tone, turned gray within an hour of application, so I went with Soft Tan 160, which  Yes.  I tested the foundation for three days applied over Olay Regenerist Moisturizer SPF 50, using a variety of application methods.  On the first day I used the foundation brush included in a gift with purchase Saks featured that day, which resulted in maximum coverage. Naturally, it seems heavier than a liquid foundation when first applied, but is weightless after it dries down. It looks matte at first, but settled into a semi-matte look and is not at all cakey. It did not turn gray or oxidize.  But it  Fortunately I just worked in my cube that day! 

I used Le Metier de Beaute Peau Vierge Anti-Aging Complex on the second day, and applied the foundation with a kabuki brush.  Peau Vierge's illuminating quality canceled the foundation's orangy tinge, and the kabuki brush made for a sheerer application.  Love.  I used  a Sephora 44 stippling brush the third day which gave even sheerer coverage.  Love even more.

The creamy consistency of this foundation won't be suitable for me during the hot, humid summers here, but it will be perfect during the cold winter months. 

The foundation comes in an elegant, but heavy glass jar, and comes with a spatula. I will decant into a smaller plastic screw-top jar for daily use, so that I don't have to dip daily into the larger container and risk contamination.  It will also be handier for travel.
I've include an image of the color chart Saks mailed; the one on the site no way near represents the true colors.  Though the mailed chart is more accurate, given the vagaries of skin tone and color matching, I strongly advise you to visit a counter and get testers before purchasing.

Click to enlarge

I'm impressed with the quality of this product and would like to try the powder foundation, which has gotten rave reviews, but I'll wait until I can visit the Saks counter in New York in January.
I bought my foundation from Alissa Masuda at the Post Street Saks in San Francisco, 415-438-5224; It's also available on the Saks site.  


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