Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Le Metier de Beaute On the Coast Kaleidoscope, Swatched and Layered

Even with my own eyes, I cannot believe how stunningly beautiful Le Metier de Beaute On the Coast Kaleidoscope is. Created exclusively for Saks Fifth Avenue, this palette of three neutrals and one blue is perfection.

As soon as you open the kaleidoscope up, you know that this is a special one. In the pan, the shades are muted yet rich. You can see their promise. In the sun, they come alive. 

Swatched, from top to bottom.

Each shade shimmers in the sunlight, and at an angle you can see the sheen, especially in the second shade. Oh, what a taupe!

In the shade, the shades turn matte but deepen in color.

I also layered all four shades together, starting with the top and ending with the blue. The result is a lovely, multi-dimensional violet.

Once more, with all five swatches.

Le Metier de Beaute On the Coast Kaleidoscope for Saks is a treasure. If you have a chance to acquire this, don't hesitate.

Update: Now you can see it on my eyes!


Monday, April 23, 2012

My Perfect Jeans, Styled

The other night, I declared to Messy Wands that I'm the Batman of online shopping. She concurred. While there have been some great heartbreaks, for the most part I manage to snag great deals on the last of anything in my size. This is a combination of luck and hard work: I stalk sites, run multiple Google search phrases, and sometimes even give up my weekly cup of Starbucks.

Tonight I thought I'd write a post on my favorite pair of jeans, and Googled up stock photos. This is how I discovered that these same jeans are still available on one site, and at 62% off to boot. Singer22 has the Vintage1 Serena Motorcycle Jeans in Speed Wash in sizes 24, 26, 27, and 28 for $79.

You're probably wondering why I chose motorcycle jeans as my perfect jeans. It's because I find this particular pair of jeans so incredibly versatile. Yes, I have sleek skinny jeans, and I have grungy boyfriend jeans, but when I want that magic in-between, I go for these jeans with their intricate detailing.

This and next two images from Free People.
These have only 2% Lycra, so there's not much stretch; the fabric is thick and wrinkles beautifully. The waist is nearly the same width as the hips, which means they hang off my waist in that slouchy-cool way. (Some sites recommend sizing up. I find that my regular size fits me fine, but I have slight curves.) The leg is skinny but not form-hugging, and the zippered ankle means you can wear these pants with absolutely any type of footwear: boots, heels, flats, sneakers, and even Oxfords as I like to do so.

I find that I really can wear these jeans with anything. My style is about juxtaposition, anyway, so I love to pair these jeans with nicer tops and shoes, whether delicate or chunky. This one is with a Joseph sweater and Belstaff boots.

In person my jeans are much darker than the catalog photos seem to show, but I ordered mine from Free People (on sale, last pair in my size, several years ago) and it's the same Speed wash. Below, I'm wearing the jeans with Jeffrey Campbell Oxfords and a boyfriend blazer from J. Crew.

Here, I switched the blazer out for a leather jacket from Banana Republic, and threw over it a scarf from J. Crew. The wool beret is from Velvet Lounge in downtown Frederick.

Now do you see why this pair is my favorite? Give these motorcycle jeans a try. You may be pleasantly surprised by what they add to your wardrobe.


Saturday, April 21, 2012

On the Coast Le Metier de Beaute Kaleidoscope Now on Saks

Thank goodness for my late-night browsing sessions. If you're a fan of Le Metier de Beaute, then you know that three exclusive new kaleidoscopes are being released in honor of the brand's arrival at Saks Fifth Avenue. The beautiful Le Metier de Beaute On the Coast Eye Kaleidoscope is an online exclusive, and sources were reporting that it wouldn't be released until this Monday. Beauty bloggers were getting heartburn over the prospect. Half an hour ago, I was sitting at the computer in my pajamas, and decided to scope out the Saks website ahead of the release date.

Imagine my surprise when I found On the Coast looking back at me on the screen, ready for the taking.

Using my kendo reflexes, I hit that order button. The palette sounds completely beautiful. The four shades are described as an effervescent beige champagne, a shimmering tan-taupe, a soft satin brown, and a deep champagne cobalt. Such a dream! And now I can sleep like a baby on Sunday night.

Update 4/22: It looks like the kaleidoscope (only 60 units) sold out sometime this morning. People are understandably upset. If Saks and Le Metier de Beaute have any sense at all, they'll do a second run. I'm calling this "Coastgate."

Update 4/23: Le Metier de Beaute is making amends and creating more On the Coast kaleidoscopes to be ordered through The announcement can be found on the former's Facebook wall. Coastgate averted!

Update 4/25: All of that drama was worth it. In person, On the Coast is delicate and beautiful. See my swatches.


Thursday, April 19, 2012

Yellow Folds (Yes, That Proenza Schouler Skirt)

It is always a special day when I bring this Proenza Schouler skirt out. The folding is so inventive, and every angle reveals a different look.

Skirt: Proenza Schouler. Shirt and belt: J. Crew. Sandals: Anthropologie.
Normally I like to drown my outfits in commentary, but in this case words would add nothing. I'll just let the pictures speak for themselves.

The skirt is a thick yet light wool, and the fit is slouchy. These photos mute the color somewhat; in reality it's a bright pale mustard yellow. Running along the edges are thick seams, and the slit goes all the way up to mid-thigh.

I love to wear this skirt with patterned heels and chunky wedges, but today I went with my favorite leather sandals from Anthropologie. Gladiator-style with an unique pointed toe and a wooden sole, they attach in the front via a latch-and-button system. The footbed is contoured to fit your curves, so that I can tramp around in them all day. In fact, I've been tramping around in these things for five years.

Today was a typical April day, not quite warm and not quite cool (or simultaneously warm and cool). This outfit is perfectly balanced for such a day.


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

YSL Glossy Stain 05 Rouge Vintage

YSL Glossy Stain 05 Rouge Vintage does something remarkable: it's a red lip that doesn't feel like a red lip. It feels like red viewed through a sepia photograph, or a black-and-white film. It feels like, well, a vintage red. Well-developed and beautifully decanted.

The gloss-stain-hybrid goes on richly and precisely, though at least two coats are required to get rid of any patchiness. By the way, 07 Coral Aquatique didn't have this problem when swatched immediately after delivery. Three other glosses were in the same package, and I got around to swatching them only after a couple of months; all three turned out patchy. I'm now worried that this particular formula deteriorates quickly.

At least I've discovered another nice feature of the YSL Glossy Stains: you can dramatically increase the intensity of the color simply by adding a layer.

If you're a bit nonplussed by the black leather jacket, please know that I snapped this photo on my way out the door to dinner. I ate a very messy panini, and the stain barely survived. There was no smearing or traveling, however.

As you can see, the first set of photos pulls slightly warmer than the second set. In person, Rouge Vintage resembles more the second set. I've seen this shade described as a medium or deep (perhaps it depends on the number of layers?) raspberry, though I feel that the label fails to convey its indisputable redness. The color really is lovely, and manages to be a sophisticated yet casual red. If you're a bit self-conscious about wearing deep blue-red lipsticks, this may be a good alternative.

YSL Glossy Stain 05 Rouge Vintage is a unique red in my stash: muted yet deep, and wholly refined.


Monday, April 16, 2012

White Cotton, Two Variations

It's only the middle of April, and it was ninety degrees out today. The heat prompted me to look through my archives and pull out two outfits I loved to wear last summer. Both are in light, airy, white cotton, proving that simplicity can be the most stylish choice.

Shirt and shorts: Gap. Sandals: J. Crew.

Shirtdress: Edun. Sandals: J. Crew.

Tomorrow I think I'll wear my yellow cotton shirtdress.


Sunday, April 15, 2012

Coming Soon: Liptropolis Set by Lipstick Queen

My profile states that I am "almost as obsessed with lipsticks as with books." Imagine, then, my delight at finding the Liptropolis Set by Lipstick Queen. Volume One of the Lipstick Library consists of a storybook box and three lipsticks in a new semi-opaque formula. The colors are Upper East, the elegant nude; Central Park, the refined peach; and Soho, the fashionable red.

The complete product text:

Lipstick Queen introduces The Lipstick Library, a collectible storybook series of lipstick trios. Liptropolis, Volume One of the Lipstick Library, tells the story of Lipstick in The City. Inspired by the 1927 Fritz Lang film Metropolis, and with Manhattan as muse, the custom box opens like a book to reveal three lipsticks behind the Art Deco-styled cover, each named for a famed New York City neighborhood.

Lipstick Queen founder Poppy King, who calls Manhattan home, has often said that you can tell which neighborhood you are in by the lip colors spotted on the streets. "You know if a subway is going uptown or downtown by the lips," says Poppy. With Liptropolis, Lipstick Queen introduces a new formula. Not as sheer as the popular Saints, and not as opaque as the Sinners, these medium pigment lipsticks allow great laydown of the shade yet are slightly see-through with a super moist sheen. Each lipstick contains Shea Butter, Avocado Oil and Jojoba Seed Oil to moisturize, soften and protect the lips. Liptropolis imparts a New York state of mind and a New York state of mind and a New York shade of lip, but the story pays tribute to chic women of cities everywhere!

The set is available for pre-order at Barneys, and should ship in May. I'm in love with the concept. And Volume Two is coming soon.


Saturday, April 14, 2012

Deborah Lippmann Fashion

Mannequin hands: either you love 'em or hate 'em. Personally I think they are extremely chic, but you do need to make sure to choose a shade with some warmth and depth. Deborah Lippmann Fashion is an attractive option for a wide range of skin tones.

The reason? Fashion doesn't try to slavishly imitate a single actual human skin tone. Rather, the shade is a skillful mix of warm beige and cool grey that looks good even when it's not an exact match. The creamy finish also lends a sophisticated elegance to your manicure. While the above photo was taken in direct sunlight, the below photo captures the color more accurately as it shows up on my hands. In person, to my naked eye, Fashion pulls distinctly grey; at a distance, my nails do blend into my fingers.

I wish I didn't have red fingertips. I've had them for as long as I can remember, and they can render certain nail polishes unwearable. Due to the ring of red around each nail, it's probably impossible for me to achieve true mannequin hands. Nevertheless, Fashion is excellent for when I need to keep my nails a grown-up neutral but don't want to do a stuffy French manicure. Wear time is superb -- after five days, there's still not a single chip.

There are plenty of mannequin-hand shades out there, but Deborah Lippmann Fashion has that certain louche-cool je ne sais quoi that rescues it from being boring.


Guerlain by Pucci Terra Azzurra Summer 2012 Now Available on Sephora Online

The beauty community has been in a positive froth over the upcoming Guerlain by Emilio Pucci Terra Azzurra Summer 2012 Collection. Esteemed authorities are predicting one-day sell-outs at counters, and wait lists are a mile long; everyone is hotly anticipating the day the collection hits stores.

Imagine my surprise yesterday afternoon when, browsing Sephora's website, I came across several pieces from the collection already up and ready to be shipped at a moment's notice. Only beauty insiders can currently order them, but I believe in order to become one you merely have to sign up for Sephora e-mails.

The pieces up on the site now are: the Meteorites, the powder brush, the Capri eyeshadow quad, and the blue Kohl Kajal as well as the mascara in blue. (Plus one more very exciting piece . . . )

Of course, the real star of the collection is the glamorous bronzing powder & blush compact. Yesterday afternoon, it was not in stock yet. When I checked back past midnight, it had become available for ordering.

On their way to me now are the Meteorites, the powder brush, the Capri eyeshadow quad, and of course the bronzer & blush. The package should arrive on Wednesday. Summer, here I come.


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Rouge Bunny Rouge Enchanting Offer at Beautyhabit

When I learned from The Non-Blonde that the cult makeup line Rouge Bunny Rouge has made its way overseas to Beautyhabit, I suspected that a special offer would not be far behind. My favorite online apothecary stocks the finest products and often heralds the arrival of a new line with an e-mail offer. Sure enough, there it was in my inbox this evening.

Click to enlarge.

I've just ordered the Fire Drops Loose Glitter Pigments in Caress of Mink and Embrace of Cashmere, along with Succulence of Dew Sheer Lipsticks in Dark Juices and Fluttering Sighs. Via Zuneta in the past, I've stocked up on the brand's blushes and highlighters, and these are exquisite. Beautyhabit is only going to enable me further.

Ah, there are worse fates.


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Face, with Le Metier de Beaute Devotion Kaleidoscope

Don't hate me because I'm beautiful. Hate me because I have gotten my hands on a legendary-rare Le Metier de Beaute Devotion Kaleidoscope.

Released for Summer 2010, when the brand still was establishing itself, this kaleidoscope mostly passed under the radar. Now, it's at the top of many collectors' wish lists. How I got one (and at retail!) is a bit of a long story, which I'll save for the end.

What you really want now is to see the kaleidoscope in action. Cafe Makeup has wonderful swatches of the individual colors. I jumped right into experimenting with them on my eyes.

My initial impression of the colors in the pan was that they were too dark for a summer palette. Once I began to apply them, though, I saw how brilliantly pigmented each shade was, and how they all worked together in harmony to create dramatic yet warm looks. The third (orange) shade was especially amazing: a ray of brilliant, molten sunset. The fourth shade also was extraordinary, maintaining its midnight blue purity in gorgeous contrast to the orange. I found that I could tone down the blue simply by layering more orange on top, and vice versa.

For this eye, I lined my upper lash line and inner rim with Le Metier de Beaute Dualistic Eye Pencil in Champagne; I also ran the pencil along the outer half of my lower lash line. I then simply layered on my eyelid the first three shades on top of one another. I avoided the inner corners of my eyes. The first shade, a beautiful shimmering dark wheat, also was swept along the outer half of my lower lash line. Lastly, I took the midnight blue shade and lined my upper lash line, then smudged it upward. For my upper lashes, I used Dior Diorshow Mascara in Mitzah, a shimmering tawny brown that went very well with the summer theme.


The orange shade dominates this look. My intent was to keep things light for a daytime look by keeping the brow bone bare and not playing up the crease; the excess color simply gathered in the outer corners. I really liked how leaving the inner corners bare made it look like the eyeshadow had naturally grown out along my lash line, like a pair of butterfly wings.

The rest of my face required some thought. For my cheeks, I chose Guerlain Terracotta Blush Sun Shimmer Highlighter in Sunny Pink. The beautiful intense coral-pink shimmer with gold and orange flecks made the perfect accompaniment to Devotion. For my lips, I layered Kevyn Aucoin Liquid Cyber Lip Gloss in Datura (Gold) over Dior Rouge Lip Color in Versailles. I had received the Liquid Cyber Lip Gloss as a Barneys beauty bag GWP, and I was delighted by its flawless performance. Warmer than Estee Lauder Pure Color Lipgloss in Citron Kiss, Liquid Cyber Lip in Datura added a juicy orange sheen that made my lips look fuller.

These are my real nails!
Gorgeous, but I wasn't ready to stop playing with Devotion. I decided to see if I could shift my daytime look to one for the evening. I added more of the midnight blue shade, and blended the crease upward to the eyebrows.

Voila: a smoky eye for summer.

Gazing into the mirror, I was entranced by how the streak of rich burnished sunset-orange melted into the midnight blue depths. Now that you have seen the full glory of the Le Metier de Beaute Devotion Kaleidoscope, don't you really hate me?

The backstory: the Aurora Lip Kaleidoscope had sold out everywhere, even online, and I was frantic at missing out. Then I remembered a post on Messy Wands where a LMdB representative in Las Vegas named Alyxandra Joy had shared her services as procurer of kaleidoscopes. I texted her, and she got back to me saying yes she could get Aurora for me, and was there anything else I would like? Purely as a casual offhand hail mary, I told her Penelope and Devotion. She found both. She said I must be lucky, as she had tried and failed before to find Devotion. Well! I may not have won Mega Millions, but I got something as good: the Devotion Kaleidoscope.

Thank you so much for reading my feature (and making it this far). It was my pleasure to show you this beautiful kaleidoscope.

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