Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Preen Resort 2013 Highlights

Preen is one of my favorite lines, with an unerring grasp of color and print against a backdrop of razor-sharp tailoring. The resort 2013 collection stays true even in a lighter context to all the elements that the line is known for. Between the juxtaposed prints, colorblocked sleeves, sheer inlays, peplum skirts, and sequined panels, this collection is almost too busy. But Preen deftly wraps these all up into one cool package.


Thursday, June 21, 2012

Coming Soon: Le Metier de Beaute Pallid Incandescents Kaleidoscope by Dustin Lujan

Flush, Lambent, Refulgent, and Ultraviolet . . . These are the dreamy names of the shades in Le Metier de Beaute Pallid Incandescents Kaleidoscope, an exclusive limited edition created by makeup artist extraordinaire Dustin Lujan.

Le Metier de Beaute Pallid Incandescents Kaleidoscope Eye Kit will be available the first week of July exclusively at Bergdorf Goodman (212-872-8612). Pallid Incandescents costs $95, and Messy Wands (who also has amazing swatches of the kaleidoscope) reports that there are only 100 units of them. Dustin Lujan is legendary for his complex and inspired combinations of colors, and for the careful thought he puts into every look.

Dustin's press release explains:

Pallid Incandescents, 
   A collection of fun summer hues inspired by the complexity of light. Noting soft resplendent hues of natural lighting such as crepuscular rays to something as whimsical as a sunset. Then moving into the night with vivid electric shock of neon bulbs and glowing street lights. This is truly a look for pastel days and neon nights. Whether it be out and about as a gleaming goddess or out at night as an ethereal vixen. The hues and tones are perfect to bring light into the eyes as the pastel hues intermix and light up the entire face. Set your summer aglow and come into the light with Pallid Incandescents Eye Kaleidoscope.

Use of Pallid Incandescents,
  This Kaleidoscope can be used with our classic use of couches de couleur to give a soft lavender hue or used reverse to give a bit more vidid look. But I really want to encourage color placement and give four great shades that can be used together or alone. For day use with refresh or revive eye base and noir liquid liner or vamp it up for night with noir dualistic eye pencil base with aqua or bleu liquid liner. For day face use blush kaleidoscope with palm springs lipstick and carmel cream lip cream. For night use fresh blush and vamp up the lip with Uma Paro lip stick and top it off with Hibiskiss lip gloss. Model is wearing night look.

I for one cannot wait to get my hands on this kaleidoscope. Pastel and neon? Yes, please!


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Le Metier de Beaute Chauvet Pont d'Arc Kaleidoscope

I have another summer jewel to share with you from Le Metier de Beaute, this one the Chauvet Pont d'Arc Kaleidoscope.

Inspired by the Chauvet cave paintings in France, said to be the oldest known to man, this kaleidoscope is an unexpected constellation of four muted yet rich shades: shimmery Umber, Ocher, and Madder; and matte Crystalline. The shades are meant to match the evocative hues of the thirty thousand-year-old cave paintings in "pigment, beauty, and intensity."

The nerd in me loved the concept of an eye palette based on prehistoric cave paintings. But how do you translate idea into reality without falling to the twin perils of abstraction and literalness? They swatch lovely, as Messy Wands demonstrates, but as we all know the real test lies in how they perform on the eyelid.

As I began to apply all four shades, I understood that Le Metier de Beaute has succeeded in creating a compelling, unorthodox look that remains true to its source.

Combined, the four vivid shades of Chauvet Pont d'Arc Kaleidoscope transform into a smoky rust-tinged lavender that the eye yet wants to translate as a mineral gray. Because the matte teal is layered over the first three shimmery shades, the result is a tension between depth and flatness that never ceases to fascinate.

Now, my artistic technique for this look:

1.) Line upper lash line and inner rim with Le Metier de Beaute Dualistic Eye Pencil in Champagne (this shade is such a workhorse).

2.) Apply Umber all over eyelid, right up to the underside of the brow bone. This color blends out to an extremely light wash of lavender touched by red. I almost could've used it as a brow highlighter, but refrained. I did extend the shade to the outer corner and bring it down along part of the bottom lash line. I used a regular eye shadow brush, so that the resulting "line" was messy as opposed to tight. I just wanted to bring some of that beautiful mauve shimmer to the lower part of my eyes.

3.) Apply Ocher to bottom center of eyelid, and blend outward without covering up all of Umber.

4.) Likewise with Madder. While I used a medium eye shadow brush for Umber, I switched to a small eye shadow brush for Ocher and Madder.

5.) Line upper lash line, starting from the inner edge of the iris, with Crystalline. Now, this color goes on strong! Dab your brush in the pan, and it comes back coated in matte teal. I ended up with two scary-looking thick stripes of teal on my eyelids. (I like to use Sephora Pro Natural Smudge Brush #11 for a more diffuse line.) But then I switched to the small eye shadow brush, and all that teal blended out easily onto the eyelid.

Addendum: I keep talking about the matte teal, but I don't want you to think the final look skimps on the shimmer. The usual lighting that I employ seems to minimize the shine and shimmer in any product. Below is a photo taken a few hours under a different light source. You can more easily see the shimmer, and also the competing flatness in the darker areas.

6.) Coat upper lashes with Le Metier de Beaute Anamorphic Lash Mascara in Midnight Blue. The color is distinctly blue to the naked eye, but really only if you look closely and know what you're looking for. Otherwise, the blue mascara lends a subtle interest to the eye; I chose blue over black or brown because I felt it had the most interesting interactions with the first and last shades in the kaleidoscope.

7.) For blush, I experimented with Le Metier de Beaute Creme Fresh Tint in Ginger Lily and was delighted by the color and texture. Ginger Lily is a warm salmon that brings a healthy natural glow to my cheeks. I've learned to apply my blush way up and back along my cheekbones. If I apply closer to the apples of my cheeks instead, the placement simply disrupts the line of my cheekbones and does not flatter. A further note on color: I really like how the brightness of Ginger Lily counterbalances the smoky grittiness of Chauvet Pont d'Arc. I also even like how the two products are hardly in the same color family. Matchy matchy makeup is boring makeup.

8.) My lips, on the other hand, were cooled down by NARS Sheer Lipstick in Pago Pago, a pale pink infused with silver microshimmer.

9.) Step back and admire.

Chauvet Pont D'Arc is a strange creature. The final look is too dark and shimmery for the daytime, but it's not your typical night engagement smoky eye. This look would be wasted on any heterosexual man whose attention you are trying to attract. But for art lovers and science geeks, oh, this kaleidoscope is an absolute beauty.

Chauvet Pont d'Arc Kaleidoscope is (very) limited edition, and can be found for $95 at Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman, and Nordstrom. Now, I know that I declare myself deeply in love with every kaleidoscope I try. Looking at these photos, though, surely you can understand why?


Sunday, June 17, 2012

Le Metier de Beaute Indian Summer Lip Creme Lip Gloss Set

This is an unlikely pair at first glance, but the combination works marvelously. Le Metier de Beaute Summer Haute House Hues Indian Summer Lip Creme Lip Gloss Set (who comes up with these word strings?) features Ginger Snap and Copper Leaf, two shades that are meant to "evoke the warm, dreamy feel of the end of the season."

Ginger Snap is a warm shimmery salmon pink. As others have remarked, the semi-sheer formula seems to be more of a lip gloss than a lip creme. I was concerned that it might add little besides sparkle to my lips; instead, I was pleasantly surprised by how much life Ginger Snap brought to my face. My natural lips are deathly pale, so even a touch of color makes a big difference.

And Ginger Snap isn't just any old color. It occupies that sweet spot at the center of the magic triangle formed by pink, peach, and salmon. I would swear there's even some mauve in there. Chunks of shimmer are visible, and they catch the light beautifully. I look tanner instantly. It's a cliche, but this is a lip gloss I could wear all summer. 

At the other end of the spectrum, we have Copper Leaf. It's metallic. It goes on thinly and smoothly but is completely opaque. It's like layering foil over my lips. The color is, well, copper: a burnished sienna with a hint of orange.

I imagine this would look fabulous on darker-skinned girls, but even my pale self found it intriguing. I could wear this out one hot summer night to a dimly lit balcony party, with a floppy white blouse, chunky gold jewelry, and big easy hair. And a margarita in my hand.

Messy Wands gave me the idea to layer both shades. Normally I'm lazy with my makeup: I prefer one product that I can swipe on and go. Bonus points if I don't have to look into a mirror to apply. But I have to admit Ginger Snap/Copper Leaf is worth the extra minute.

I troweled Ginger Snap over my base of Copper Leaf, and wound up with this autumnesque pile of burning leaves juicy goodness. The color is rich, dimensional, and captivating. It also brought out my green-hazel eyes, and that's the icing on the cake, isn't it?

Comparing my layering effort with Xiao's, I would say hers contains less Copper Leaf and more Ginger Snap. I already had two layers of Copper Leaf on, so I had to really goop on Ginger Snap. Next time, I'll experiment with a thinner base of Copper Leaf. The Beauty Look Book has a gorgeous mix of the two, also.

Le Metier de Beaute Indian Summer (I'm not going to type the whole thing out) is my favorite limited-edition lip duo so far. It surprises you with unexpected colors and textures, as well as combinations. Find it at Neiman Marcus for $65. Indian summer is such a romantic concept, and these two lip cremes capture it beautifully.


Friday, June 15, 2012

565 Chanel Le Vernis Beige

Tonight I had fun perusing the gorgeous blog sale on Messy Wands (picking up a couple of items for myself) and it helped remind me how enjoyable beauty blogging can be. You get to interact with a warm, giving community while celebrating something that adds charm and happiness to your lives.

565 Chanel Le Vernis Beige has been making me quite happy. This polish is an elegant yet vibrant neutral.

A proper beige that leans yellow, Chanel Beige works because it aims to be a neutral, not a nude. There's a distinction. Soft pink microshimmer lends this shade iridescent life and counterbalances the yellow. My camera doesn't have the resolution to capture the shimmer in all its glory, but I think the photo below shows how the pink catches the late afternoon sun. To properly see the iridescence, go to The Beauty Look Book.

I find that I really like Chanel Beige on my fingers. I want to wear this chic shade with a white tweed dress suit, even if it is true that I neither own a white tweed dress suit nor have a place to wear a white tweed dress suit to (no afternoon tea party invitations in my near future). Cafe Makeup agrees that it's a sophisticated shade.

Instead of clashing with my skin tone, the yellow warms up the beige and makes it interesting. Move over, Deborah Lippmann Fashion; I've found a new favorite neutral. Below is Chanel Beige in shadow. You can see how soft the yellow really is.

505 Chanel Le Vernis Beige ($26) is available only online at, and is well worth ordering. A perfect neutral always is.


Sunday, June 3, 2012

Le Metier de Beaute Sheer Brilliance Lip Gloss in Ibiza

A quickie to share one of my favorite go-to lip glosses, Le Metier de Beaute Sheer Brilliance Lip Gloss in Ibiza.

Ibiza is an easy pink-peachy shade that looks very natural.

In my collection, I group it with Cannes (a bolder pink) and Dubai (more purplish).

You can see I use it so much, I'm already halfway through the tube. What else is there to say? Ibiza is a no-brainer. Keep it in your handbag.

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