Sunday, October 9, 2011

Face: Le Metier de Beaute Oscar de la Renta & Silk Road Kaleidoscopes

Unexpectedly, I have found myself the lucky owner of a rare Le Metier de Beaute Oscar de la Renta Kaleidoscope.

Yesterday I visited the Le Metier de Beaute counter at Neiman Marcus Mazza in DC simply to see if they had received the new Ken Downing Lip Cremes, Purple Haze and In the Know (reviewed by Messy Wands). They did not, but I hated to leave empty-handed. The sales associate set me up with Bali and Uma Paro, two close-enough lip glosses that will serve in the interim. Since I already was looking at the Bordeaux lipstick and nail lacquer sets by Ken Downing, she swatched on her own hand all three lipsticks from the collection and showed me just how many delicious combinations one could make by layering Bali or Uma Paro on top. I decided I'd also get Wine on the Vine/Bodacious Bordeaux and Red My LIps/Gypsy Rose Me.

I asked about eyes to go with bold berry red lips, a holiday party look of sorts, and the sales associate promptly steered me into a makeup chair. She laid down Peau Vierge Anti-Aging Complexe SPF 20 (I missed the shade number) as foundation, then blushed and contoured with all four shades in the Flawless Face Kaleidoscope. The result was lovely. Starting in on the eyes, she brought out the Silk Road Kaleidoscope, which I already had. I told her as much and said I'd be interested to see how she uses these colors. Perhaps she was determined to impress me with something new, because she then brought out a second kaleidoscope.

This one looked familiar, with its rich creamy red top disc, and when the sales associate told me it was the limited edition Oscar de la Renta palette, I nearly squealed aloud. Apparently this location received only ten of these kaleidoscopes. I had drooled over Best Things in Beauty's swatches, but since the edition was for Fashion's Night out in New York City only, I didn't entertain any ideas of acquiring it myself. And now I was going to see it on my own face!

Below is my reconstruction of the steps taken using the Silk Road and the Oscar de la Renta to achieve my look. Let me preface this with a couple of caveats. 1.) The layered eyeshadows have a depth, richness, and subtlety that my photos absolutely do no justice to. It was pitch dark out by the time I got home, and I spent an hour snapping photos with my iPhone 3G in no fewer than three rooms in an attempt to capture the best lighting conditions. I've included in this post a variety of shots under warm indoor lighting to give you an idea of the chromatic range. Interestingly, the purple-blue-green appears only at a distance; close up, only the brown shades are visible. 2.) The sales associate and I communicated through gestures and a few written notes--I'm deaf--so there are no verbal instructions to accompany these steps. The sales associate had me hold a mirror so I could look at the results in between each step. As a result, I am able to remember fairly well where each shade goes, with only one or two uncertainties. Let's get to it.

1.) Smudge Dualistic Eye Pencil in Champagne all over eyelid, then blend with brush. Line upper and lower lash line, plus inner lower rim.
2.) Apply Silk Road first shade (Tapestry) along upper and lower lash line.
3.) Apply Silk Road second shade (Damask) along upper and lower lash line.
4.) Apply Silk Road third shade (Ikat) along crease.
5.) Apply Silk Road fourth shade (Brocade) along upper lash line.
6.) Line upper and lower lash line with Liquid Eyeliner in Noir.
7.) Apply Oscar second shade (shimmery champagne highlighter) to inner corner, all the way up to the brow bone.
8.) Apply Oscar fourth shade (neutral pink-peach eyeshadow) to arch, beneath brows.
9.) Apply Oscar second or fourth shade (can't remember, sorry) along upper and lower lash line.
10.) Apply Oscar third shade (smoky navy-green shimmer) along outer half of bottom lash line, and along outer half of crease.
11.) Apply several layers of Anamorphic Lash Mascara in Midnight Blue.
12.) Tidy up brows with Brow Bound Eyebrow Pencil (most likely in Mahogany).
13.) Line lips with Lip Liner in Rose.
14.) Apply Oscar first shade (red lip lacquer) using lip brush.
15.) Layer over lips Sheer Brilliance Lip Gloss in Bali.

Ta-dah. As I said, pictures truly do not do justice. The directions are the important part, so that other readers who wish to can recreate the look. (Of course, one can always experiment!) The end result is worth it. Other sales associates kept coming over to us and checking out our progress. Ileea, if I have got her name right, did a remarkable job. This look is meant to be dramatic, perfect for going out to a classy nightclub or a luxe cocktail party. I was so sad I had no place to be that night!

A couple of comments on the quality and performance of the products. The eyeshadows performed beautifully, layering and blending together to achieve a true depth that some other makeup lines can lack. The Oscar de la Renta lip lacquer initially looked shrill under the fluorescent lights, but when I got home and looked at it in more natural lighting, it turned out to be a very classic and wearable blue-leaning red. Because it's a lacquer, it fills in lip lines and smoothes out any imperfections, but it's also very slippery: anything that comes near your lips is going to end up with some red on it! The only product that I didn't care for was the Peau Vierge Anti-Aging Complexe. I felt that it didn't "disappear" on my skin, and that it actually brought out tiny bumps all over my face. However, I am sensitive to chemical SPF, so it may have been a reaction on my skin's part; also, I was wearing mineral SPF moisturizer beneath (Tarte Smooth Operator) and the two products may have not mixed well. I can't recommend this foundation.

Items from the look that I took home with me:
Oscar de la Renta Kaleidoscope, Bali Sheer Brilliance Lip Gloss,
Midnight Blue Anamorphic Mascara, Champagne Dualistic Eye Pencil.

Further swatches, for those who may be interested: close-ups by Beauty Moogle Zone of the Oscar de la Renta Kaleidoscope; and swatches of the Silk Road Kaleidoscope by Modesty Brown and Messy Wands.

The whole experience was wonderful, and I learned a lot. I'm going to have fun playing with my Le Metier de Beaute Oscar de la Renta Kaleidoscope.



  1. That lip is fabulous on you! Lucky girl going home with the Oscar de la Renta Kaleidoscope!!

  2. Thanks for the compliment, Perilously Pale! I've recently started following you, so it's a wonderful surprise to find a comment from you on my little blog. Thanks for taking the time to check out my post.


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