Monday, February 20, 2012

Tom Ford Nail Polish, "Mink Brule"

I loved this color even in Bergdorf’s poor lighting, and was really surprised to discover after applying it home that it’s my perfect nude.  In my search for a good nude color, I only looked at colors with yellow undertones, totally underestimating the amount of red in my skin.  It’s hard to describe this color -  it's a dusty pink with slightest hint of brown.

I’ve worn this polish twice.  The first time I used Deborah Lippmann’s Rehydrating Base Coat, two coats of polish, and Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat.  I failed to take photos of that application, but the ridges of my nails didn’t show through as they do in these photos.  The mani lasted a week, with only minor wear on the tips and no shrinkage.  I used a-england base coat in the photos you see here, two coats of polish and Dior Top Coat.  I switched base and top coats because I’m out of the Lippmann base coat, and my bottle of Seche Vite contains some red polish, probably picked up from the last time I applied it over Chanel Dragon.

Color love aside, the formula leaves a lot to be desired, especially at a $30 price point.  During both applications, despite different base coats, the polish streaked and required two carefully applied coats to smooth out.  The brush is short so doesn’t hold as much polish as longer ones do, making it almost impossible to apply to the length long nails in one sweep, which compounds the problem.  The thickness of Seche Vite evened out remaining streaks.  The Dior topcoat, which is thinner, could not.  

It's Office Friendly!

Tom Ford Nail Polish is available at selected Neiman Marcus and Saks stores, Bergdorf Goodman, and online. 

I haven’t tried the second color I bought and realize that this tendency to streak may be an isolated incident, as batches may vary.  What has your experience been?

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Dolce and Gabbana Perfect Finish Powder Foundation

I had been curious about this powder foundation since I started using the Dolce and Gabbana cream foundation months ago but given the difficulties of finding the right color I didn't want to buy it without examining it in person first.  I stopped into Saks when I was in New York last month to get color matched and "Almond" turned out to be a perfect color for me.  It doesn't go on as orange as it looks in the pan, but imparts a healthy glow.  Love.

Click on photos to enlarge.


The powder section lifts to reveal sponge storage and another mirror.

It can be applied to dry or wet.  Both methods of application provide sheer to full coverage.  Dry application looks a little powdery at first but within 30 minutes or so settles into a natural look.  The wet application looks matte at first then looks natural within thirty minutes.   Dolce and Gabbana claims that these two applications provide very different looks – the dry application can provide a sheerer application than the wet, the wet application is supposed to be velvety -  but I can't tell the difference by mid-day.  Because I have oily skin, my face looks dewy either way.   

Still, this is one of my favorite foundations.  Both methods of application covered subtle discolorations, evening out my skin tone, and even covered a lighter shade of concealer.  Both applications are buildable and do not oxidize.  Why have I never tried powder foundations before?  (Well, actually, I have - turns out that the Jane Iredale compact product I've had for years turns out to be a powder foundation too!  I thought it was pressed powder.  Anyway…) The dry application with a brush is the fastest ever- speed and ease of application are requirements for my early morning routine.  I can’t wait to try it in the summer when my skin is super oily. 

I usually use Tatcha papers to blot oily bits after lunch.  Unlike some foundations that come off on the paper when blotting, this foundation stays put.  Though one could use it for touch ups during the day or for evening, I’ve found it really isn’t necessary, given the foundation’s lasting power. 

The Dolce and Gabbana Perfect Finish Powder Foundation sells for $59 at selected Saks stores and online.  The color chart on the Dolce and Gabbana site is better than the one on the Saks site, but I highly recommended getting color matched in person.  Check the Dolce and Gabbana sites for store locations.

Do you have a favorite powder foundation?

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Tom Ford Brow Sculptor

Tom Ford Brow Sculptor

Sorry that I've been slow to review the new makeup I bought in New York a few weeks ago.  Sabrina's post on Tom Ford lip glosses jump started me today, and I've used the comments I made on her blog as part of my review of Tom Ford's Brow Sculptor.

I love, love this product. The color, Taupe, is perfect for me. It's lighter than my hair color so doesn't look harsh, but dark enough to define my brows, and has no hint of red. The unique, self-described "calligraphy" tip makes for fast, easy, and varied application. Depending upon how you hold it, you can apply fine lines or broad swathes of color, and it covers any grays you might have. The sharpener screws out of the spoolie/brush end, and acts like a plane to sharpen the tip. I've used it everyday since I bought it and will repurchase when I run out.

Tom Ford Brow Sculptor IV

Tom Ford Brow Sculptor V

I also bought the Shade and Illuminate contouring and highlighting cream and two nail polishes.  Though the high price point was a factor, the surprisingly poorly lit counters at the New York Saks and Bergdorf  Goodman made me reluctant to buy more.  (I've read that some California and London counters are just as poorly lit.)  Neither store had skin care or foundation samples and that the sales associate (SA) at the Bergdorf counter was reluctant to make any for me. Finally convinced that I would not buy the foundation without wearing a sample for a day or two, she scrounged up a container from another counter to make a sample for me after she rang my purchases. I was in a hurry by the time I arrived at Saks so didn't ask for any skin care samples there. The promo photos of Bitter Bitch nail polish looked wonderful - I saw a beautiful muted taupe/mauve color in the promotional photos - but I didn't buy it because in Bergdorf's lighting it didn't look any different from Chanel's Vamp, which I already have.  I passed.   Perhaps I'll give it another look if the line ever arrives at DC counters and I have more time to step outside in the sunlight to look at it.  I hope we do get the Tom Ford line here:  some of the other products in the line look promising, but I won't buy before being able to assess colors in person.  The Brow Sculptor sells for $42 at selected Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman, and Saks stores and online.


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