Saturday, December 29, 2012

Chanel Les 4 Ombres "Raffinement," #39, Spring 2013

The pink/mauve/brown tones in Raffinement fill a gap in my makeup wardrobe, which I discovered when I added new cobalt blue and magenta clothes to my wardrobe last spring. While I don't match my clothing and makeup, it was evident that I needed something cooler than the shades I already owned.  The texture is creamy, silky, easily blended, and a dream to apply.  The wearing time is excellent - eight hours without fading - even without a primer.  I lined with Chanel's reddish brown Grenat waterproof pencil and tightlined with a black liner.  Le Metier de Beaute's Tamarak liner also looks good, particularly if it's tightlined on the bottom lid.  My only issue with the quad is the lightest color which doesn't look as pink as it does in the pan when applied.  It looks OK when applied to the inner corners of the eye, but it's a bit much as an under-the-brow highlighter. A very light hand helps.  Emerveille Illusion D'Ombre looks much better.  Emerveille also makes an excellent base for a slightly different look.

 Raffinement is allegedly the replacement for the discontinued Kaska Beige, and though both are lovely, they are quite different as you can see in the photos below.

Sorry that I can't enlarge the swatch photos - Blogger is at it again. 

Kaska Beige works well with the other warm-hued products (and clothes) I use regularly, and the palest color, a warm yellow, is richly pigmented enough to look yellow.  While all the shadows in Raffinement are shimmery, Kaska Beige had one matte shade that I find useful if my lids are puffy.  The quality of the shadows were just as silky and smooth as Raffinement, in my opinion,  and just a tad deeper in hue. I will miss Kaska Beige. I'm on my second quad, having gone to pan on all four colors in the first. Needless to say, I bought backups. I hope Chanel will reconsider discontinuing this versatile quad. 

I bought my Chanel quad at Nordstom Pentagon City.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Nordstrom Eye Shadows, "Natural Palette"

I discovered Nordstrom's Exclusive Label cosmetics during this month's special holiday event.  I couldn't resist the Natural Palette, which contains 16 eye shadows for $15.

The shadows come in a black, magnetized, cardboard palette.  The glamorous cover is designed to approximate sequins.  It's already beginning to wear a bit from taking in and out of the box. There is a generously sized mirror inside and two double-tipped sponge applicators.
With the exception of numbers 4, 10, and 16 above, the shadows are saturated enough to produce a nice, subtle natural look as the palette title indicates.  Numbers 4, 10 and 16 look white on my medium skin tone; I won't be getting much use out of these.    Numbers 1, 2, and10 are matte. Numbers 7, a dark peach, and 11, a charcoal black, contain a bit of glitter.  The rest are shimmery.
I created a nice look using #3 as a base from lash to brow, it has beautiful golden sheen that keeps it from looking flat; #14, shimmery taupe, on the lid below the crease; #7, a shimmery dark peach, dotted in the center of the lid; #5 in the crease and along the lower lash line.  Oh, and I used #5 to fill my eyebrows.  There was a bit of glitter fall out below my eyes from #7, but the particles are so small that they were only apparent in my magnifying mirror. 
 Shadows 1, 2, 3, and 4 swatched above, without primer.

Nordstrom Natural Palette Swatches  III
Shadows 5 through 16 swatched without primer.

The darker colors begin to fade after 6 hours or so without primer,  but easily lasted 8 hours using NARS Smudgeproof Eyeshadow Base.  While most of the colors worked for my NC45 skin tone, particularly the darker ones, I would welcome deeper saturation of some of the lighter colors.   Still, these shadows are a steal at this price point.  I'm looking forward to trying the other Nordstrom exclusive beauty products.

Sorry the photo sizes are mismatched.  Blogger has not been cooperative lately.


Friday, December 14, 2012

This and That

Woman with black lipstick

 Photograph: Alamy in The Guardian.

I was delighted to discover that beauty columnist Anita Bhagwandas writes about the latest beauty trends for black and Asian skin every month in The Guardian.  She has written interesting and useful articles about foundations, damaged hair, among others, and most recently, how to sport a gothic look.  Not what she calls the "full-pelt" Gothic look, but modified a one in which one facet - eyes or lips - gets the Goth treatment.  In her last column of the year, she will feature her picks for best products of the year. 

Staff at Into the Gloss recently interviewed Iman in which she talks about how she started modeling, makeup, aging, and being a muse for YSL (essentially a live, naked mannequin).  She looks fabulous at 57.  Absolutely inspiring. 

Knitting!  I finally decided how to finish a sweater I designed over a year ago.  Actually, it's a redesign.  The neckline and bodice turned out well, but the bottom is messy.  I learned the hard way that cotton yarn does not rib.  I knew that actually, but was so intent on getting the top right that I ignored the bottom.  So.  I decided to cut off the ribbing and knit straight down in stockinette.  An i-cord belt will cinch the waist.  I would have preferred an obi, but I can't find one in the right color.  I'm going to Vogue Knitting Live New York in January and hope to have it finished by then.  It may not be wearable, but it will be finished.  In any case, I can't wait to go to VK Live again.  It will be three days of yarn and makeup!

How was your week?


Monday, December 10, 2012

Claudio Riaz Instant Brow

I've been wanting this eyebrow brush for a couple of years after seeing it at Barneys in San Francisco.  I just couldn't pay $95 for it.  Thanks to Product Doctor I bought it for $39 at All Cosmetics Wholesale on Cyber Monday (I got 20% off the sale price).  I can't believe I'm so pumped about an eyebrow brush.

It's huge, as you can see in the comparison photos below.  It's a little over a half inch wide, while the Paula Dorf and Shu Uemura are 1/4 and 1/8 inches respectively.

The Claudio Riaz site instructs users to "pick up primer or color, press firmly at the inner corner of the brow, and follow the natural shape to groom and fill with one consistent stroke." The Barneys SA who did my brows filled in each brow in one stroke, but I'm not quite there yet.  I can do it two.  The badger hair picks up product quickly and in one stroke I can almost fill in an entire brow.  I have a couple of bald areas that are difficult to fill, so a second application to those areas with the tiny Shu does the trick. 

It's not a multi-tasker. The bristles are as stiff as those found in a hairbrush, and it feels that way too.  It's not uncomfortable - it feels like your scalp does when you brush your hair.  But damn!  My eyebrows look good!

Instant Brow sells for $49 at All Cosmetics Wholesale, and for $95 at and   The site doesn't indicate how long this sale will last.  They seem to have most of the other brushes as well as the makeup products.  I love my concealer and complexion highlighter pictured here

Pictured with Chanel's "Notorius" Sculpting Veil, which I also use on my brows.

Friday, October 19, 2012

By Terry Rouge Terrybly Lipstick and Lip Liner

Like many of you, I have a few red lipsticks.  I only buy one a year, well - may two, but I've been collecting for a while.  Ahem. 

I purchased my latest acquisition, Fanatic Red, Rouge Terrybly Lipstick, by Terry ($49), at Space NK during my makeover a few weeks ago.   It is an opaque, true red, with no evidence of blue or orange. The texture is creamy with a bit of shine.  Its rich texture reminds me YSL Rouge Volupte formula I love so much.  I didn't have to re-apply until after lunch; there was a bit of stain left so that I didn't look completely bare.

I also bought a Crayon Levres Terrybly lip liner in Red Cancan  ($33) to go with it.  I had intended to write about these days ago, but when I looked at the boxes to make sure I got the titles right, I discovered that both lipstick and liner are plumping products. I never noticed any plumping during or after my makeover, so I decided to take an extra day or to see if they really do plump and if the lip liner is really water proof and keeps the lipstick from bleeding as stated. By Terry describes the lipstick's formula as
A volumising and firming lipstick enriched with the By Terry exclusive anti-ageing Lumilip Technology to rejuvenate and embellish lips. An extra-comforting and plumping lip elixir which combines rich colours and active ingredients with an anti-ageing formula that works to prevent thining of the lips.
I still didn't notice any plumping.  By mid-afternoon the lipstick had started to feather a bit; it wasn't severe, but made the lip line look blurred.  On the second wearing I used Trish McEvoy's Flawless Lip Primer, which prevented feathering altogether.  The lip liner doesn't fade during the day, and the lipstick remains moist at the day's end.  I haven't used these by Terry products to attest it their anti-aging claims.

The case is old world: heavy in the hand and the cap stays on with a magnetic closure. 
I give the lipstick an A+:  the formula is wonderfully creamy, color intense , and not at all drying. It looks moist without looking glossy.  I normally have feathering issues, so I won't consider that a flaw.  The lip liner is performs better than most of the others I have in that it is long lasting and the color is perfection, but didn't live up to its claim to prevent feathering.  So it gets an A-. 
You can order yours from Space NK or call Rebecca at Space NK Tysons Corner, 703-556-4569.  

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Chanel Ombre Contraste "Notorius" Sculpting Veil for Eyes and Cheeks

As odd as it looks, this is a brilliant product.  I love to contour my face when I have time.  Ombre Contraste Notorius Sculpting Veil for Eyes and Cheeks takes some practice to apply but looks beautiful when done right.  I brushed the sculpting powder from the hairline toward the center of face, beneath the cheek bone.  Then I applied blush on to the cheekbone, overlapping Notorious just a bit, which helps to blend.  Viola!  Sculpted cheekbones. 

Ooops, a little scratch...

Chanel describes Notorious' color as mauve-taupe, but I seen a hint of red in it too. 

There's room from this cool-toned contour product in my makeup collection as well as a warm one. My other favorite contour product is Tom Ford's Shade and Illuminate Sculptor. I use Number 2, a warm dark brown. It looks great with the warmer toned blushes I use, but Notorious pairs perfectly with the cooler-toned products such as Chanel's true-red Rouge blush from the Byzance collection.

It doesn't look as good as an eye shadow on my NC45 skin tone, but per Charlestongirl, it makes a great eyebrow product. 

For other Notorious reviews see Messy Wands and Glossed in Translation.

I bought Notorious from Georgia at Saks, Chevy Chase, Maryland, (240) 497-5363.  It's also available on


Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Zelens PHA+Bio-Peel Resurfacing Facial Pads

I had the pleasure of getting a makeover from Space NK founder Nicky Kinnaird last Saturday at the Tysons Corner store inside Bloomingdales (see my Space NK post here).  Under Ms. Kinnaird's direction, sales assistant Rebecca Rahmani gave me a nice neutral look:  taupe eyes and red lips. simple but very well done.  I bought a few things, including a by Terry lipstick and lipliner, Cate and Austin sunscreen, a bottle of deep purple Jin Soon nail polish, and Zelens PHA+Bio-Peel Resurfacing Facial Pads.

While preparing my skin for the makeup application, Ms. Kinnaird noticed hyperpigmentation across my forehead.  I notice it every morning too, but have just ignored it even though it looks grayish under my foundation.  Ms. Kinnaird recommended Zelens PHA+Bio-Peel Resurfacing Facial Pads ($95 for 50 pads), a chemical exfoliant.  It worked like a charm - the dark patch was gone within a couple of days as well as the horizon crease across the middle of my forehead!  I look at it a few times a day just to make sure and yes, the dark patch and crease are really gone.  This product is definitely a keeper.

According the Space NK site:
Zelens PHA+ Bio-Peel Resurfacing Facial Pads contains a unique formula combining polyhydroxy acids (PHA) with alpha hydroxy acids (AHA) and beta hydroxy acids (BHA). Pre-soaked resurfacing facial pads are infused with four different acids: polyhydroxy acids , lactic acid, citric acid and salicylic acid.
Significant advantage of PHA is the fact that their large molecular size allows slower (gentle) topical penetration. Thus, this acid can be used for the exfoliation of sensitive skin without side effects. Furthermore, this acid has strong humectant properties and it binds atmospheric water to form a a natural gel-film that gives hydration, plumpness and smoothness to the skin.

Ingredients:  Water (Aqua), Alcohol Denat., Propylene Glycol, Bis-PEG-18 Methyl Ether Dimethyl Silane, Glycerin, Sodium Lactate, Salicylic Acid, Lactobionic Acid, Citric Acid, Lactic Acid, Perfum (Fragrance), Disodium EDTA, Linalool.

Usage: daily, morning and/or evening after cleansing. Gently wipe one pad over face and neck avoiding the eye area. Follow with moisturizer. Ms. Kinnaird wiped the back of my hands as well. Good idea.  Each pad is about 2 inches in diameter and contains enough product to cover the entire face and neck.  I can't imagine that I'll need to use this product daily, especially now that the dark patch is gone, but I'll use a couple times a week as I would any exfoliant.  You can order yours from Space NK online or call Rebecca at Space NK Tysons Corner, 703.556.4569.

Updated 10/10/12 to enter Rebecca's correct phone number at Space NK, Tyson's Corner:  703.556.4569.


Friday, September 28, 2012

Chanel Illusion D'Ombre Eye Shadows: Apparition and Destination

I couldn't resist buying the two new Illusion D'Ombre eye shadows, Apparition and Destination, from the Blue Illusion de Chanel Limited Edition Color Collection.  I love the gel-like texture of the Illusion D'Ombre eye shadows, the smooth application, and their staying power. 

Apparition has pulled away from the side of the jar a bit, but this has not affected the shadow's performance.

Enough gray was added to both shades to keep them from becoming that bright electric blue of the '70s.  Nothing wrong with electric blue, it's just that some of us aren't comfortable wearing eyeshadow that bright anymore!  These have less shimmer than the previous editions, and not only silver, but a bit of purple and pink as well.  These changes help maintain the integrity of the color,I think. 

I used the lighter shade, Destination, as a base, applying all over the lid, and most sparingly under the brow.  Then I applied the darker Apparition from the lash line half way up the lid, blending well so that there was no sharp line of demarcation.  These lovelies each came with one of those wonderful little brushes that are perfect for eye lining, but I found my fingers were best for application and blending.  I bought the Crayon Khol eyeliner in "Marine" to match.

I love the look, but I won't be wearing it to work even though Chanel toned down the sheen. has sold out of the shadows.  I bought mine from Tressa at the Downtown Seattle Nordstrom, 206-628-2111.


Sunday, August 05, 2012

July Favorites

This summer has been far busier than I ever imagined it could be so I've relied on some old favorites with a couple of new additions.

Le Metier de Beaute "Echo" blush:  This is my second compact.  I've hardly used any other since I got the first last year (or year before last).  It's a lovely pink color with a golden shimmer that looks beautiful on a wide range of complexions. 

Le Metier de Beaute "Tamarack" Eye Pencil:  lining my eyes is faster than applying eyeshadow.  Tamarack is great for my NC 45 skin tone as it blends easily and just keeps my eyes from looking bare.

Jouer Luminizing Moisture Tint:  As I've said before it's perfect for humid summers in Washington.  It’s oil-free, fragrance-free, buildable, and water resistant.  Reviewed here.

Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Stretch Mascara:  I love the way this mascara adds natural looking length.  It doesn't add the volume that I need so I use it as a second coat over the regular Eyes to Kill.

Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet "La Sensuelle:"  What an incredibly under-rated lipstick.  Though widely described as a matte lipstick, it has a bit of shine, giving the lips a moist look.  This color in particular has become a staple in my makeup collection.

Claudio Riaz Eye and Face Conceal 9:  This a pricey concealer at $58 for .01oz., but since finding a good color match in general, and a concealer that doesn't go on ashy in particular, are critical, I caved on this one.  This is perfect color for me this summer.  There's one shade darker.  It's a bit thick and opaque so a little bit completely covers.  I got mine at Barneys in San Francisco. 

Claudio Riaz Complexion Highlighter 2:  The Barneys SA applied this over the Eye and Face Conceal.  It looks glittery in the container, but it just brightened the area under my eyes.  It's a nice look!

What were your summer faves?

Edited for grammar.

Friday, July 20, 2012

a Sephora in El Paso!

During our family union in El Paso last weekend, my aunts, cousins and I went shopping at Cielo Vista Mall.  On my way to the little Sephora inside JC Penny, I happened by a brand new stand alone Sephora store!

I don't understand what took so long. The ladies in El Paso love their makeup and they look good. I've always been certain Sephora could make a mint there. They made a bit from me that day!

I can't say they have brands I hasn't already seen, but the store was so beautifully laid out that everything looked new. They have one of the new and cool nail studios, another counter solely devoted to brushes, and one of largest collections of travel-sized products I've ever seen. I was also pleased to see the return of YSL to El Paso. One of the local department stores carried it but after inexplicably giving it the worst location in the store for years, discontinued it.

I've heard some complaints about Sephora staff elsewhere, but he El Paso staff was warm, friendly, and helpful. They struck the right balance of being helpful and leaving me alone to browse.

As I said, I bought a few things.

Reviews to come.

Friday, May 04, 2012

Eve Lom Cleanser

I'm new to Eve Lom products though they've been out for years.  The cleanser has quite a cult following, but I was always put off by the instructions: 
Massage a small amount of the Eve Lom Cleanser into your face and neck then immerse the muslin cloth in hot water. Wring out the excess water and place the cloth over your face for two to three seconds, this helps to open the pores allowing the aromatic oils to better penetrate the skin.  Repeat three times.  Rinse the cloth in warm water and remove all traces of makeup and cleanser making circular movements to exfoliate.  Rinse cloth in cold water and reapply to face for 5 seconds to close the pores.  Gently pat dry with a towel.
Honestly, by the time I get ready for bed, I just want to quickly cleanse my face and be done with it!    And I couldn't see the advantage of using a muslin cloth - wouldn't a regular towel do the trick?

Space NK gave me a generously-sized sample to try and a full-sized muslin cloth, so I gave it a whirl.  The cleanser is an oily, semi-translucent cream shot through with small granules for exfoliation that melts on your skin upon application.  It's an oil cleanser without the drip or spillage.  Like other oil cleansers, it emulsifies upon contact with water, in this case the application of the hot, damp muslin cloth.  Applying the muslin cloth three times was not as time consuming as I thought given that you only leave it on your face for 5 seconds each time.  Though the instructions on the jar indicate that one must do this three times, the instructions on the Eve Lom site indicate that once is enough, though application of the cloth three times allows for a deeper cleanse.

The warmth of my hand has begun to liquify the product during the photo shoot.  You can see the granules suspended throughout.

According to Eve Lom, a powerful blend of Egyptian chamomile, hops, clove and eucalyptus oil, together with cocoa butter cleanses, tones, exfoliates all in one.  Ingredients include:

paraffinum liquidum (mineral oil), cetearyl alcohol, peg-30 lanolin, bis-diglyceryl polyacyladipate-2, aluminum stearate, theobroma cacao (cocoa butter), peg-75 lanolin, chamomilla recutita (chamomile oil), eugenia caryophyllus (clove oil), eucalyptus globulus (eucalyptus oil), humulus lupulus (hops oil), phenoxyethanol, methylparaben, butylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben, isobutylparaben, p-chloro-m-cresol, eugenol, isoeugenol.
I love liquid oil cleansers, particularly the nice slip of the product on the skin, and watching my makeup melt.  Eve Lom Cleanser has that same slip and the added advantage of being a creamy product rather than a liquid, which makes it better for travel.  It smells faintly of eucalyptus. The makeup accumulated on the muslin cloth rinses out more easily than would from a regular face cloth and dries quickly overnight.  (Though not instructed to, I washed it out with a little soap after using.) The slightly rough muslin feels nice on my skin as I remove the last vestiges of makeup.  And it's huge:  13"x 20", much larger than a regular face cloth.  The cleanser removed my foundation, and eye make up completely, leaving my face soft and clean, with no filmy residue.  Week-long use did not cause my oily skin to become more oily, and it wasn't drying.  I'm sold!

The Eve Lom cleanser is available at Space NK.  $50 for 1.69 oz.; $80 for 3.38 oz.; and $135 for 6.76 oz.  It's a bit pricey, but a little goes a long way.  I applied too much the first time, so apply in dime-sized portions at first. 

Don't forget that beginning this Sunday, Space NK's new site inside Bloomingdales Tysons Corner, is offering my readers a free Nuxe Beauty Kit with any $50 purchase May 6-13th, plus free shipping. Just mention my blog, "When a Door Closes," when you shop at the store or purchase by phone (703-556-4569).  The Nuxe kit includes travel sizes of Micellar Cleansing Water; Creme Fraiche Moisture Emulsion; Refreshing and Relaxing Cream Mask; and Huile Prodigieuse, a multi-use oil for face, body, or hair.

Be sure join Space NK's N.dulge Rewards program. With N.dulge, you'll receive 1 point for every $1 spent. When you reach 100 points, you'll receive a $5 N.centive (reward). You'll also enjoy special privileges such as exclusive invitation, new product previews, and birthday treats.

You read my other Space NK reviews here.

Space NK provided the Eve Lom Cleanser without charge for review.


Sunday, April 29, 2012

By Terry Crayon Khol Terrybly Precision Waterproof Eye Pencil in "Brown Stellar."

When I'm in a hurry I frequently use just an eye pencil to line my eyes, not eye liner per se, but a pencil with color that I can apply in a wide line on the outer most part of my eye, top and bottom. 
Today I used By Terry Crayon Khol Terrybly Precision Waterproof Eye Pencil in "Brown Stellar."  It's a medium brown with golden flecks.  Though you might think the golden flecks would be too much for day, they provide just enough pop to define the eye without being overwhelming.

shot in daylight

The pencil applies smoothly without dragging.  It can be applied in a fine line or in a thicker khol style as I have here.  It's smudge proof and doesn't fade after wearing for twelve hours, as I did today, and survives my tearing, allergy-plagued eyes. The liner also wears well on the waterline.  It's my "go to" when I'm in a hurry.

I purchased my By Terry Khol Terrybly Precision Waterproof Eye Pencil at Space NK.
Space NK's new site inside Bloomingdales Tysons Corner, is offering my readers a free Nuxe Beauty Kit with any $50 purchase May 6-13th.  Just mention my blog, "When a Door Closes," when you shop at the store or purchase by phone (703-556-4569).  They are offering free shipping too.  The Nuxe kit includes travel sizes of Micellar Cleansing Water; Creme Fraiche Moisture Emulsion; Refreshing and Relaxing Cream Mask; and Huile Prodigieuse, a multi-use oil for face, body, or hair. 

In addition to By Terry, Space NK also carries Lipstick Queen; Eve Lom; Malik and Goetz; Vincent Longo; Rococo Nail Apparel; Life NK; Oribe Hair Products; Tata Harper Skincare; Clarisonic; Kate Spade Lipsticks; Hourglass; Jemma Kidd; and Kevyn Aucoin.  They do not carry Ellis Faas in this location, but may be able to get for you.

Be sure join Space NK's N.dulge Rewards program.  With N.dulge, you'll receive 1 point for every $1 spent.  When you reach 100 points, you'll receive a $5 N.centive (reward).  You'll also enjoy special privileges such as exclusive invitation, new product previews, and birthday treats.

See my post about the new Space NK Bloomingdales site here.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Life NK Picture Perfect Facial Moisturizer

It's been a while since I've used a mattifying product. When I first tried them years ago, none of them were effective on my super oily skin, so I've just used blotting papers and powders. Enter Life NK Picture Perfect Facial Moisturizer.*

Life NK products are exclusive to Space NK. The range includes skin care, body products, and candles. Life NK products are described as "ultra-clean," i.e. free from many synthetic ingredients. The Picture Perfect Facial Moisturizer is lightweight and contains sunscreen, conditioning and regenerating Bisabalol and Vitamins A, C and E, as well as Oat Bran to absorb excess oil. It is free of parabens, sulfates, silicones, parabens, sulfates, glycols, mineral oil, petrolatum, PEG, DEA, TEA, synthetic colours, silicones, and phthalates.

It does contain the ingredients below:

Though it is lightweight, it is not thin in consistency. It absorbed quickly, and didn't leave an oily finish. My skin just felt well-moisturized. It isn't cheap at $30 for 3.3 fl. oz., but a nickle-sized drop covered my entire face, so 3.3 fl. oz. will last a while. I wore the moisturizer for several days under the new NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer. Life NK claims that the moisturizer is ideal for sensitive skin, but I can't attest to that as my skin is not sensitive. It is an excellent mattifyer, however. I didn't need to blot at lunch time as I usually do. Only by the end of the day did small oily areas appear on either side of my nose, a vast improvement. This product is a keeper.

The Life NK Picture Perfect Facial Moisturizer ($30) for is sold online and Space NK stores nationally.

*Space NK provided Life NK Picture Perfect Facial Moisturizer without charge for review.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Sunday Riley Fools Gold Eye Shadow and Giorgio Armani Waterproof Eyeliner Pencils

I threw on Sunday Riley's Fools Gold yesterday without swatching first.  Well, I swatched months ago when I bought it, but hadn't touched it since.  I was stunned that this antique dark gold/taupe eye shadow went on so darkly and found myself wondering what highlighter and lipstick to wear with it.  Especially since I've gone into "spring brights" mode.  What can I say?  It was 8am! So I decided to use Giorgio Armani's #4 Antique waterproof eyeliner pencil, which I hadn't swatched either, in the upper and lower inner corners, and applied YLS Touche Eclat #3 highlighter under the brow.   Fortunately, it all worked, and I have a new favorite eye shadow.

Fools Gold is a black/gold powder shadow with a hint of moss green in some lighting.  One would think the gold would go on with a sheen, but it sparkles sparsely instead.  It's stunning, unlike any other color in my stash or that I've ever seen.  There's a little fall out, but very little due to its the creamy texture.  It's easily dealt with by applying eye makeup before foundation.  It lasted all day without creasing.  I love the packaging - I can see the color easily when searching in my stash.

The Armani eyeliner melted on my oily lids after a few hours; I made note to try it on powdered lids next time.  I decided to try the #4 Copper color with Fools Gold the today, and like this combination even better.  Though it's metallic, it's subtler for day and opens the eyes nicely without looking too shiny.  It's a nice eye brightener and shadow for any complexion, and unlike many others, doesn't looking chalky.  I think a subtle metallic finish may be the secret to the perfect eye brightener.  I powdered my eyelids first today, and it hasn't creased at all.

Fools Gold with Armani #4 Antique Waterproof Pencil
Armani Eyes to Kill Mascara
Tom Ford "Taupe" Brow Sculptor
YSL Touche Eclat #3 used under the eye brow

Fools Gold with Armani #5 Copper Waterproof Pencil
Armani Eyes to Kill Mascara
Tom Ford "Taupe" Brow Sculptor
YSL Touche Eclat #3 used under the eye brow

Sunday Riley's Fools Gold is sold at Barneys;  the Giorgio Armani Limited Edition Waterproof Eye Pencils are available at Barneys,, and Nordstrom.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Mani of the Week: Dior "St. Tropez"

Well - it should probably be mani of the weekend.  The intensity of this color blew my hair back, and if I had meetings scheduled this week, I would have applied this polish to only one nail, admired it, then taken it off in favor of a subtler color.  It's more aqua than it appears in the photo.  I've described in a past post here, how the Dior formula is thick and gloppy, and dried quickly on the brush, and this bottle is no different.  Oddly, two thick coats applied over butter London base coat still left the nail showing through.  I just wanted to go to bed last night after I finished - I'll add another coat tonight. Still, I love the color, and will wear it on the weekends. 

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Kanebo Sensai Lasting Treatment Rouge and Lip Liner Pencil

Color:  LT 05 "Kurenai Nihohi"

Kanebo Sensai Lasting Treatment Rouge ($40) is one of my favorite lipsticks. It reminds me of YSL Rouge Volupte, but with a little less slip, and a bit more staying power.  It lasts from the time I apply it in the morning, through my morning coffee, and leaves quite a bit of color on my lips after I eat lunch.  It is as moisturizing as the brand claims.  The hues are a little different than those I've seen other brands as well in that they are a little bit more muted more subtle, if you will.  You can see the color range on the Kanebo site. 

The Sensai lip liner pencils are among the best as well, rivaling Giorgio Armani and Chanel, my two favorites. They are long lasting, and can fill in your entire lip quickly, if youre inclined to do so.  The colors coordinate with the lipsticks.  The liners sell for $32; you can buy a refill for $16 when you run out.   Take a look at the colors here.

 LP 104 "Shirafuji" and LP 102 "Kimomiji"

I found the blunt shape a little off putting at first but it smooths into a point, as you can see on the left.

The Kanebo Sensai Collection is exclusive to Bergdorf Goodman.  I originally discovered this Japanese brand at Barneys in Seattle, where it was being discontinued.  Upon learning that the line would no longer be available in the US, my friend and I bought a backup or two.  Months later during a web search, I discovered it at Bergdorfs.  I checked it out the next time I was in New York and was disappointed to find a very small collection of products at a tiny counter that highlighted their skin care products, a blush and eye shadow or two, but no Lasting Treatment Rouge lipstick.  The last time I was in Bergdorfs in January, I finally asked the sales associates about it and it turns out that they have a full selection of lipstick colors in a drawer behind the counter!  I realize that they have no room at their tiny counter, but it's really unfortunate to have one of the best lipstick lines out there (imo) stuck in a drawer with no hint that its there!  While the entire Kanebo Sensai Collection is available at Bergdorf's, it's only partially available online.  You'll have to visit the store or call to order the lipstick and lip liners reviewed here.  Don't confuse them with "The Lipstick," which is available online.


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