Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Dolce and Gabbana Femme Fatale Eyeshadow Quad

Dolce and Gabbana's Dustin Lujan, at Saks in New York, choose Femme Fatale to use in my makeover weekend before last. I would never have chosen it on my own. There are gazillion taupe quads out there, but they aren't all equalFemme Fatale, as you can see, contains a winter white, mauvish taupe, medium and dark brown.  The difference between this one and the others I've tried is the rich pigmentation, which makes all the difference, the finely milled texture, and the amount of shimmer added. 

The mauvish taupe is an excellent, if unexpected, base for the medium and dark browns in the quad.  It isn't noticeably mauve on the eyelid and has enough pink and gold shimmer to keep it from looking flat, giving it a satin finish instead.  The medium and dark brown shadows are matte, richly pigmented, and finely milled, making them super easy to blend.  They feel almost creamy when blending with fingers.  The degree of pigmentation makes them look as though actual shadows are cast on my eyes, instead of blocks of ash sitting atop my skin as so many others have.  The medium brown is dark enough for me to use in the crease for a nice office look; the darker brown creates a more dramatic look.  Both also look great as liners, dry or wet.  The winter white has just enough shimmer to give it depth, but not so much that it appears as a gash of metallic silver under your brow, or so little that it is just a blot of white.  There was a tiny bit of fall out when applying the darkest brown as a dry liner, but none from the other colors.  I noticed just the slightest bit of fading after eight hours. 

These swatches were applied with the sponge applicators that came with the quad.  The medium and dark browns can be built up to much darker shades, the darkest one almost black.  I love that all four colors in this quad will work beautifully for a wide range of skin tones, from the fairest to the darkest.  Here's another staple for my arsenal.

Dustin used Stromboli in these photos, an olive green liner shot with gold flecks, which I liked a lot.  I'll swatch Stromboli for you in another post.   I'm going try using other liner colors with this neutral quad to achieve different looks.  It has been so overcast here lately that I decided to inject some brightness in my makeup this week.  I used Femme Fatale with the Stromboli liner, LMdB Peau Vierge Anti-Aging Complex as my foundation, a bronzer, and the golden Dolce and Gabbana lipgloss named simply Gold (pictured in this post) over a light rust-colored lip liner.  My face looked bright, and I felt bright!  
I bought Femme Fatale from Dustin Lujan at Saks.  Call him at 212-940-4949 to consult about products and especially colors since those shown online are not entirely inaccurate.  Or visit him in the store.  Tell him I sent you!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Vogue Knitting Live 2013 and Some Makeup


View from the 26th floor Marriot Marquis in Times Square.  I could barely approach the window!

Thank goodness the snow arrived this week instead of last when I was in New York.   I went there primarily to attend Vogue Knitting  Live (VKL) at the Marriot Marquis, and while I would never have had to have left the hotel for VKL events, I wouldn’t have visited the Fashion District or shopped for makeup.  To get right to the point, VKL New York was a bit of a disappointment this year.  I arrived at my hotel about noon on Friday and went straight to the yarn market only ot find that it was a zoo already.  The usual complement of vendors were there, crammed into small spaces on two floors.  I had to fight my way into the Habu booth.  I was interested in finding some mercerized cotton yarn and any kind of Habu, but everything looked a big blur of sock and novelty yarn.  For the first time ever, I was faced with yarn and bought nothing. I was tempted this Habu Cotton Gima:


But I decided to just take a photo and order later if I decide what to make out of it.

I took one class on knitting peblums.  Granted, I learned something new, but I could  have done the same by reading instructions in a book or finding them on the Internet.  A class should have value added not readily translated into written instructions, in my opinion.  The instructor did have an interesting story about her work with Ralph Lauren, but it would have been even more itneresting if she had had a garment or two of her own design to show us and if she had shared more of her experiences as a knitwear designer.  The Vogue fashion show, so inspiring last year, was full of pedestrian designs and didn’t live up the Vogue name.  While the Marriott Marquis was comfortable hotel, the Hyatt, where it was held last year, was a better venue for Vogue Knitting Live.

This is not to discourage attendance to VKL generally.  I realize that these events are dependent upon hotel availability and the instructors the organizers are able to recruit; the Chicago class roster looked much more interesting for instance.  Also, there were a couple of three-day long design classes that looked interesting, but that I couldn't take because I could only stay in New York for two days. 

That said, it was good to be around knitters and my roomie, Diane.  We talked about knitting, design, bounced ideas off of each other, and tooled around the Fashion District looking for beads for her class, notions at M & J Trimming, and got a makeover for her at the Meatpacking District Sephora.  It was also great to see Shirley Paden, master knitter and designer.  Shirley, by the way, will be back in DC in February to teach her day-long design class and finishing class at Looped Yarn Works near Dupont Circle in DC, February 15-17.  I highly recommend it.  You can read my review here.

I also got to visit with my buddy Dustin Lujan at Saks.  Dustin works for Dolce and Gabbana Beauty now and gave me a beautiful makeover.  Here are some of the things I got:

D&G 2013

I’ll write a full review in other posts, after I’ve had a chance to take decent photos, but will say that the taupes in the quad are a good match for my skin tone, which is unusual.  Most taupes just look like a blot of gray on my eyelids, but these look like a natural enhancement – i.e. actual shadows.  The green eyeliner works surprising well with the taupes, giving them a different look.  The concealer is the best I've used, and as others have said, the Passion Duo lipstick is luscious. 

Naomi Yasuda, celebrity manicurist and creator of Barneys Lady Gaga Nail Collection, was giving free D&G manicures that day.  Many of her nail designs are over the top for me, but she gave me a pretty lace and crystal manicure, which I will remove with great reluctance.


Naomi Yasuda D&G Mani
the crystals are not as milky as they appear in the photo.
I visited several Sephoras (they all seem to have different stuff).  The Times Square store had nail stations stocked with a variety of polishes and removers where customers can try on different looks.  I wish the Sephoras here had those. The stations were a mess thus no photos.  The stores in Time Square were just as crowded as the Square itself; Sephora did not seem to be sufficiently staffed to keep things in order.  The Soho store was just as crowded, but clean; had no nail bars, but they did have Edward Bess.  I wanted to look at his new eye shadow quads in person after seeing them all over the Net.  Given that eyeshadows look different on the eyelid than on the back of one’s hand, I should have tried them on, but they looked dupable out of my own stash, so I passed on them. 
The Meatpacking District Sephora was very elegant, which is not a characteristic that comes to my mind when I think of Sephora.  I should have taken photos, but I got totally caught up Diane’s makeover, then by actually looking around.  The store was bright enough to properly show the products, but not starkly bright like other Sephoras.  The walls were dark and potted orchids were scattered about.  Applicators and cleansers discretely placed around displays - so discrete they were almost invisible.  There were no cashiers; each sales assistant had an iPhone equipped with a price scanner and a credit card swiper.  Like the other stores, they carried Dolce and Gabbana and Giorgio Armani (surprise! I didn’t know Sephora carried Armani cosmetics).  Diane, who is not a makeup junkie, needed some basic products that she can apply easily and quickly with little fuss.   A sales assistant listened carefully to our requests and explanations, then sat her down at one of several clean and neat, mirrored stations and brought out some products out for us to consider. Here's what she got:
Diane's stuff  
From top left:  Marula Facial Oil; Hourglass Illume Creme-to-Powder Bronzer Duo; Bite Lipstick; Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment; Makeup Forever eye pencil; Anastacia tinted brow gel; Dr. Jart+ Waterfuse Smart Gel (BB Cream)
The sales assistant was very good.  As Diane commented, she really heard what we said, and nailed suitable colors for Diane at the first go.  We were really impressed.  I enjoyed helping Diane navigate products, decide what she really wanted and would use, and make recommendations.  Now I want to shop for my other friends! 
I bought a couple of things there for myself too, and at Inglot, which I will review later. 

I did not see my DC knitting pals; I know that some stayed in Washington for Inauguration events.  Did you go to Vogue Knitting Live?  What did you think? 

Friday, January 25, 2013

Sneak Peek: CHANEL Hong Kong Collection

For the opening of the new CHANEL fashion boutique in Hysan Place in Hong Kong, Peter Philips has created three exclusive products:  an eye shadow palette 'Ombres Matelassées' and two nail polishes.

This is a new interpretation of the 5 Ombres palette launched for the opening of Montaigne in 2012.  Its name is "Pearl River," recalling the reflections of the Chinese sea surrounding the city.  I'm loving these warm colors. 

The two contrasting nail polishes are named "Eastern Light" and "Western Light," to represent Chanel's vision of Hong Kong as representative of the perfect meeting point between eastern and western cultures.
Eastern Light, "an opaque white."

Western Light, "deep chocolate with a heart of pearly red." 

Having missed Chanel's chocolate nail polish years ago, I'm eager to see this one.

This exclusive collection will be available in February at Chanel Studios, including the Nordstrom Flagship Store in Seattle.  Call Ondrea Watson, Chanel Studio Counter Manager at 206-628-2111 for pricing and to preorder.

Photos and product descriptions from CHANEL.

(Edited for spelling.)

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet La Raffinee and Glossimer Paillettes

I use Chanel D'Ombre Emerveille as a base and highlighter with the new Chanel Raffinement eye shadow quad, which warms up the look a bit.  The few pinks in my lipstick and gloss collections are on the cool side so I needed new colors to go with my new eyeshadow look. One of my favorite Chanel makeup artists, Mikhal, coaxed me into trying two products in colors outside of my comfort range, Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet La Raffinee and Glossimer Paillettes.

La Raffinee, like the Raffinement quad, is rather unremarkable just too look at it. It's a kind dirty candy pink, with no hint of mauve.  It's no wonder I never bought it.  But it looks great applied. 

La Raffinee and Paillettes

La Raffinee and Paillettes V
 The Glossimer Paillettes is also a warm pink and pretty when worn alone.  La Raffiinee becomes brighter with Paillettes applied over it.   
La Raffinee and Paillettes VI
La Raffinee, Paillettes glossed over La Raffine, Paillettes
Mikhal lined my lips with a medium brown pencil first, applied La Raffinee, then dotted Paillettes in the center and spread toward the edges fading just before reaching the lined edges.  The darker liner just prevents me from looking like my lips are walking in the room first.  I use Rock and Republic blush Bedroom, also a muted pink, to finish the look.  (Don't you wish they'd bring Rock and Republic back?)


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