Chanel Illusion D’Ombre Long Wear Luminous Eyeshadow – 82 EMERVEILLÉ

Cream shadows never had my attention because I was under the impression that they would be difficult to apply and to work with. In the last year or so, it appears that both the high-end and low-end lines have been releasing moussey textured cream shadows that are equally long wearing and application friendly.

The Chanel Illusion D’Ombre Long Wear Luminous Eyeshadow in 82 EMERVEILLÉ is my favorite because of its warm peachy tones that works well with my skin color. All of the Illusion D’Ombre shadows come in glass jars with a teeny applicator (not pictured). Much like MAC paint pots, the glass jars are heavy, bulky, and not travel appropriate.

The screw top lid must be on tight and the jar must be stored upside down to preserve the product. Because it will dry out easily, I stopped myself from purchasing more. I felt that EMERVEILLÉ was the most useful and versatile shade; and, so far, it has proved itself worthy. I agree with the initial claims – it is long wearing and doesn’t crease or smudge; the product glides on easily and can be blended; and, the texture is bouncey and moussey in the jar, yet creamy when applied to the lids.

According to Chanel, “this intensely shimmering long-wear eyeshadow offers true versatility.” Its “innovative gel texture is both soft and cushiony [which] allows it to be worn as eyeshadow or eyeliner.” The product comes with “a specially designed shadow/liner brush, developed specifically for this unique formula” (not pictured).

For application, I like to apply it with my fingers and then blend it out with a blending brush. In some cases, I’ll use a synthetic brush that is specifically designed for cream shadows. Either way, you need to work quickly after application because this sucker will dry fast and then stay there forever.

Chanel Illusion D’Ombre Long Wear Luminous Eyeshadow – 82 EMERVEILLÉ can be layered under eyeshadows or can be worn alone. Sometimes I like to brigthen up my inner corners with this color; or, I’ll line by bottom lashline with this along with a smokey eye. I don’t like to use this as a base because I don’t want to cover up its unique and pretty color. If I do apply this all over the lid, I apply a darker tone in the outer corners of my eye for definition.

For $36 each, this is an expensive product. This is just another version of the Armani Eyes to Kill shadows and the L’Oreal Infallible cream shadows. Because of the price point and the fact that other brands have come with similiar products, it’s not necessary that you go out and buy this right away. It’s nice to have and it’s pretty; but certainly not worth the nearly $40 price tag. However, I believe that EMERVEILLÉ is truly a unique shade that everyone should have in their collection! :)

How do you feel about cream eyeshadows?

Made in France.
Retails for $36.00.

*Quotes extracted from http://www.chanel.com.
*Pictures taken using CANON POWERSHOT SD1300 IS DIGITAL ELPH (12.1 Megapixels)

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Chanel Correcteur Perfection Long Lasting Concealer

Concealers are normally used to add additional coverage in conjunction with foundation; for some, when high coverage isn’t necessary, just a well-performing concealer should do the trick. Concealers also come in various textures and formulas (like foundations), and are available in cream forms, liquid forms, and powder forms as well.

Chanel’s long lasting concealer is a heavy duty concealer that is high coverage and lasts for more than 12 hours. I’ve discovered it can be worn with foundation and can also be worn alone. For me, I haven’t paired this with foundation except for on some unfortunate spots during a pimpley moment. It provided good coverage and blended in well – which is key, because after all, we’re not trying to give anything away. Half the part of looking flawless is faking it!

Packaging is the usual Chanel – a sleek tube, with a black, glossy handle and the Chanel logo. The tube is slightly frosted so it doesn’t give good color indication until you take the applicator out. I’m not a huge fan of the sponge-tip, but it’s quite precise when you need to dab a bit of concealer on a spot.

This product is described to be a “lightweight, gel-based concealer with all-day staying power [that] offers flawless, light-to-medium coverage.” It has an “ultra-smooth, supple texture [that] feels comfortable on skin, [and the] soft-focus pigments brighten dark areas and minimize imperfections.”

I use the shade 10-Beige Clair and it works well for my skin tone. I prefer to use this on lazy days when I’m not in the mood for a foundation routine. Usually on weekends, I dab this a few time onto my cheeks, around my nose, and sometimes on my chin. I tap it into my skin using my fingers and then swirl Laura Mercier’s mineral powder all over my face. It takes about 2 minutes and is very easy. The texture is gel-like yet creamy. Runny and liquidy concealers don’t conceal well because once you’ve smeared it onto your skin, you’ve blended half the product away. This concealer’s creamy-gel consistency sticks to the skin well – so when you tap it in, it disappears flawlessy but isn’t blended away.

The coverage is impressive and for me, acts as an impromptu-foundation when I’m in a hurry. It covers the areas that need a bit of coverage and lasts all day – so it pretty much deserves a spot in my makeup bag. Like all of Chanel’s products, the concealer is scented but it doesn’t irritate my skin. It’s expensive for a concealer, but it’s the longest lasting product I own.

Made in France.
Retails for $40.00.

*Quotes extracted from http://www.chanel.com.
*Pictures taken using CANON POWERSHOT SD1300 IS DIGITAL ELPH (12.1 Megapixels)

BUXOM Big & Healthy Lip Cream – “White Russian”

Is it just me, or is Buxom’s “White Russian” lipgloss the hardest product to find? Recently, I was able to get my hands on this highly popular lip product because I ordered it on Sephora’s website, after many failed attempts to find it in stores.

The Buxom Big and Healthy Lip Cream range is new to me, as I’m not too interested in lip-plumping products. I was really only interested in this particular color. It is described to be “a creamy, pout-perfecting gloss for voluptuous lips.” When you apply this, you do feel a cooling, minty sensation that does tingle. This is the plumping effect and it doesn’t really bother me because it doesn’t sting like other plumping products.

The “creamy lip gloss delivers velvety-smooth color with intoxicating shine, [and] the hyaluronic filling spheres infuse lips with moisture for creamy soft perfection.” Also, “vitamins A and E help keep the skin supple, yet protected.” The tingling sensation does last and you definitely feel it on your lips. For me, I don’t notice any plumping effect because my lips don’t really need it; but, I’m one of those skeptical people – and, I find it hard to believe that ANY product will effectively “plump” your lips temporarily.

Compared to my Chanel and Laura Mercier glosses, I would classify the Buxom gloss as sticky. In fact, the application is goopy and you have to work with the applicator to get it as smooth as possible. I’ve noticed that if your lips are dry or chapped, I wouldn’t suggest applying this particular gloss because there’s nothing soothing or moisturizing about this product. It stays on long after application because of the sticky-factor; and, even after eating and drinking, bits of the gloss will remain. In fact, I can confidently say that this is the longest lasting lip product I own.

The color itself is pretty and that’s what all the craze was about. The nude-pink color is milky and semi-transparent. On my already pigmented lips, the nudey color does show up – but just until the gloss begins to wear off. I like the frosted packaging but it’s quite thick and bulky compared to my other lip gloss tubes.

Retails for $18.00.
Made in USA.
0.14 oz.

*Quotes extracted from http://www.sephora.com.
*Pictures taken using CANON POWERSHOT SD1300 IS DIGITAL ELPH (12.1 Megapixels)

Illamasqua Nail Varnish – “Milf”

As promised in my most recent Illamasqua Nail Varnish post, here’s a quick review on the color “Milf.” First of all, the name of this polish is funny; and, second of all, it’s a minty color that is muted and not bright, like “Nomad,” from the previous nail varnish post.

Again, the formula is easy to apply and I like the thickness of the polish. It glides on easily but isn’t streaky and difficult to work with.

The color isn’t a true mint – in fact, it’s kind of pastel, too. I find that Illamasqua’s colors are unique and you hardly find dupes for their colors. I appreciate this because if you’re like me and you own a lot of polish, all the pinks, corals, and pruples begin to all look alike!

Wear time is excellent with these polishes. For me, it doesn’t begin to chip until the 5th or 6th day. And, by then, I’m ready to change the color because I’ve gotten bored. So, nearly a week’s worth of wear time is good enough for me. The finish is what I like the best – high shine and glossy, without shimmer and glitter. It’s straight and to the point; and, as always, the opacity of this color (along with other colors in the range) is awesome.

*Pictures taken using CANON POWERSHOT SD1300 IS DIGITAL ELPH (12.1 Megapixels)

Chantecaille Future Skin Oil-Free Gel Foundation + Real Techniques Expert Face Brush

Before falling in love with Chantecaille‘s Just Skin tinted moisturizer, I was testing out the Future Skin gel foundation. I didn’t purchase them at the same time because I wanted to give each product its own fair chance during my experimentation phase.

The Chantecaille Future Skin Oil-Free Gel Foundation has made it to the top of my foundation list; and for that reason, I’ve been using this for a month straight. The finish, texture, and formula is perfect and is exactly what I expect in a well-performing and high-priced foundation.

The formula is oil-free and does not claim to be long-wearing or long-lasting. Before purchasing this foundation, I did my homework and looked up reviews. It appears that it’s a highly popular foundation; however, those who disliked the foundation didn’t like it because it didn’t last long on the skin.

I would disagree. It lasts through the day for me – even though my summers here are humid and dreadfully hot – but, since I don’t wear this during strenuous activities, it seems to stay perfectly fine on my skin. I powder my t-zone and blot halfway through my workday, which isn’t unusual for me since I do that with all my foundations – whether they claim to be long lasting or not.

According to online resources, Chantecaille’s Future Skin “is an innovative oil-free gel foundation with a refreshing, lightweight texture. This unique formula is composed of 60% charged water, which transfers moisture into the skin without the use of oil as an emulsifier.” Apparently, this foundation “is made with reflective circular pigments that provide adjustable coverage (medium to full) and ease the appearance of flaws. It is also loaded with natural botanicals—including aloe, chamomile and arnica—that work to calm irritation and soothe sensitive skin. Rosemary, green tea and rice bran help prevent environmentally caused oxidation.”

I agree that the foundation is soothing. It calms my pinkish skin in the mornings and stays soothing throughout the day. My skin was not irritated by the formula and I didn’t have any breakouts or issues with this. The gel texture is light and fluffy; you can see its whipped texture at various angles in the photos. It blends seamlessly into the skin and disappears flawlessly after application. Coverage is medium and buildable; and, I like that I don’t have to use concealer with this product because I just dab a little more where I need it.

I use the shade “Alabaster” and it’s probably the most perfect matching foundation shade I own. This is excellent for pore coverage – it glosses over your pores and masks them perfectly. I’m usually not a fan of primer, but I use it reluctantly at times when I feel like my pores are gaping holes. My skin is left feeling and looking smooth and is perfected in a natural-looking way.

My biggest gripe is the packaging. I have BIG problems with this being in a tub and being exposed to air everytime I open it. The lid gets messy and I’m always scraping the product from the lid so I don’t waste it. I assume traveling with this would prove to be inconvenient and uncomfortable.

I’ve discovered you can use anything to apply this foundation – for me, it’s best to use my fingers or a synthetic buffing brush since it gets the job done quickly. Currently, my new favorite is the Samantha Chapman Real Techniques Expert Face Brush, which has been specficially designed to be used to blend cream and liquid foundations.

Made of ultra plush taklon bristles, it’s soft and dense and easy to use. The bristles grab the foundation just perfectly and helps it glides seamlessly. There’s no streaks when I use this brush and it buffs the foundation into the skin effortlessly. Plus, it’s affordable and came packaged on its own (and not with other useless brushes).

I’m in love with both the Chantecaille foundation and tinted moisturizer. It’s a hefty price tag to pay for either product and certainly isn’t necessary; however, I recommend them as good “investment products,” because you won’t be disappointed!

Retails for $72.00.
1 fl. oz.
Made in Japan.

*Quotes extracted from http://www.nordstrom.com.
*Pictures taken using CANON POWERSHOT SD1300 IS DIGITAL ELPH (12.1 Megapixels)

NEW: Urban Decay Eyeshadow – “Stray Dog”

So, it appears that in the land of makeup, the newly formulated Urban Decay eyeshadows has got everyone scrambling and freaking out. I approached this new line with caution, because really, if you own any of the Naked palettes you’re pretty much good to go.

Cleverly, I picked the shade “Stray Dog” simply because it was a shade that wasn’t included in any of the Naked palettes and seemed unique – though it is a neutral, taupe color. See? I don’t stray far from my go-to colors. :)

Compared to the old formulation, the new shadows are:
1.) richly pigmented
2.) velvety smooth
3.) and encased in a pot that can easily be depotted

It applies smoothly without any fallout IF you tap the excess off your brush before applying. I did notice that by doing this, the eyeshadow “crumbles” are left in its pan. In my OCD-mind, I find that wasteful since so much product gets tapped off. I suspect it crumbles easily because it’s so buttery soft. The color translates beautifully onto the eyelid whether you use a primer or not.

According to Urban Decay, the “even softer [and] amazingly velvety texture” provides a “richer, more dense and decadent color” that is smoother than the old formulation. The “uniform pigment distribution” promises superb “blendability [and] longer-lasting, crease-free” color.

This time around, Urban Decay has released an empty palette so you can pick and choose which colors you’d like to house in your customizable palette. The colors easily pop out of the pot and you snap it into the palette. For me, the palette didn’t interest me because it’s quite bulky.

“Stray Dog” was the only color that caught my eye. It’s acutally not that glittery, but it has a sheen that is reflective and almost wet looking. It’s a great all-over color and adds great dimension to your lids when you use a lighter and brighter shade in the inner corners of your eye.

I like the new formulation and find them fun to play with. Many of the single shadow colors already come in the Naked 1 and Naked 2 palettes, so if you already have those, this may not be anything exciting to you. Perhaps in the very near future, they will release new shades to add to the permanent line.

Have you tried Urban Decay’s new shadows? What do you think?

Retails for $18.00.
1.5 g / 0.05 oz.
Cruelty free.

*Quotes extracted from http://www.urbandecay.com.
*Pictures taken using CANON POWERSHOT SD1300 IS DIGITAL ELPH (12.1 Megapixels)

Nail Talk: Butter London Nail Foundation & Illamasqua Nail Varnish – “Nomad”

My current favorite base coat is the Butter London Nail Foundation. Much like foundation for your face, this base coat is a beigey-skin color that neutralizes any imperfections your nails may have. Unlike the traditional clear base coats, by starting off with a your-skin-color, the nail varnish you apply afterwards appears truer and bolder.

I’ve also noticed that it helps even the goopiness in some nail polish formuals. For example, Essie polishes are annoying to use because it streaks and thins out when applying; for me, it’s impossible to get a smooth and even application. There’s something about Butter London’s Nail Foundation – I don’t know what it is, but it’s a foundation – for your nails. Clever.

Today’s choice of color is Illamasqua‘s nail varnish in “Nomad.” The shade on the left is “Milf,” which I’ll be playing with next.

“Nomad” is a rich, bright kelly-green shade that is kind of minty as well; the application was smooth, thick but not difficult to work with, and the pigmentation is impressive. It dries well before the top coat application and the opacity of the color is a bonus on top of the vibrant and glossy looking finish. The “formula is hard wearing and chip resistant and contains individual finishes from matte to high gloss,” according to Sephora’s website.

I really like Illamasqua’s polishes and am looking forward to indulging in more fun summer colors. What are some of your new favorite shades? What are your thoughts on the nail foundation?

*Pictures taken using CANON POWERSHOT SD1300 IS DIGITAL ELPH (12.1 Megapixels)

Chantecaille ‘Just Skin’ Tinted Moisturizer – “Bliss”

I’ve had the Chanetecaille Just Skin Tinted Moisturizer on my list for ages, but avioded it because of its hefty price tag. I caved and purchased it remaining totally skeptical at the start of my trial process. Although I have tried Laura Mercier’s tinted moisturizer and the recently launched NARS tinted moisturizer, I figured at this point, I was done with discovering a better one.

Chantecaille’s ‘Just Skin’ is considered to be a versatile product because of its “three-in-one formula [that] represents a new approach to foundation, powered by the latest Japanese technology.” Described as a “skin perfector,” I’m impressed with this product.

Long story short – I love this tinted moisturizer. I’m surprised by the overall performance of this product and now all my expectations for tinted moisturizers have changed. The most incredible thing about this product is that it looks just like your skin (hence the name of the product). It mimics skin’s texture and color, which honestly surprised me.

This product is extremely lightweight; and, the consistency is much like a creamy gel. It is considered to contain a “non-toxic mineral sunscreen” with a “new complex of botanicals that delivers protection from free radicals, smog and sun.” Coverage is light – meaning it smoothes lines, plumps the skin, and evens out skintone at most. Essentially, this is basically a complexion enhancer.

My shade is “Bliss” and it is the second to lightest shade in the range, next to the first shade, which is pink-based. The range only comes with 6 colors, however, I feel that any skin shade can wear this because the color blends out so well; it’s very forgiving. This is also very easy to use since you slap it on after your morning skin care routine and move on. I powder over my t-zone to combat oiliness since the product never claims to be oil-free.

“Just Skin’s anti-irritant, antioxidant and anti-pollution botanical extracts include honeysuckle, edelweiss and green tea. Sodium hyaluronate helps to seal in skin’s moisture. The result is a clean and natural finish.” I find that this is very soothing on my skin – it not only feels refreshing, but it also calms down my pink cheeks and relieves my skin when it’s having an attitude.

I like the naturalness of this product, but I admit it doesn’t do anything magical despite having removed chemicals and silicones (as compared to other products). If you already have fairly good skin with very little pigmentation problems, I’d say give this a go – otherwise, the barely there coverage would be pointless for those with pigmentation and texture issues. Unlike the product’s claims, I wouldn’t say that this is foundation or anything close to it. I agree that it provides a clean and natural finish; and, I also agree my skin is happily moisturized (though still oily halfway though my day).

1.7 oz.
Retails for $64.00.
Made in Japan.

*Quotes extracted from http://www.nordstrom.com.
*Pictures taken using CANON POWERSHOT SD1300 IS DIGITAL ELPH (12.1 Megapixels)

Laura Mercier Lip Glacé

Recently, I’ve been on a huge Laura Mercier kick. The brand is becoming one of my top favorites with continuously well-performing products. Some of my favorite LM products are her lip glosses, mineral powder foundation, caviar stick eye color, and metallic creme eye color. Stay tuned for more reviews in the very near future.

I’m picky about lipglosses and this is why I rarely purchase them. For quite some time, I was very loyal to my Chanel glosses; and, although they still have a spot in my collection, I prefer Laura Mercier lipglosses now. I haven’t purchased any other lipglosses in the last 6 months because I found it pointless.

Before coming across LM lipglosses, I disliked the texture of all lipglosses. At the time, Chanel glosses were more tolereable than others. I foud the stickiness in all existing glosses annoying; yet, if it wasn’t sticky, it would slip right off my lips within an hour. I also found many formulations out there drying or overly-glossy – I just didn’t find it appropriate for work with all that high shine and obscene amounts of glitter. By accident, I stumbled upon LM glosses because I was just randomly swatching stuff at Sephora. And since then, it’s been love.

The pigmentation in the glosses are just right – it shows up just enough on your lips with an appropriate amount of shine. The texture is smooth and applies evenly onto the lips. As you swipe it along your lips with the applicator, it doesen’t goop around the edges of your lips or the corners of the mouth. Once applied, the formula adheres to your lips with the perfect amount stickiness. In fact, it’s so light, you forget you’re wearing the gloss.

My favorite staple colors are “Baby Doll,” “Bare Naked,” and “Bare Pink.” I refer to these as my staple colors because everyone needs to own a bright fun shade, a nudey-beige shade, and your every day soft pink shade.

The wear-time is quite good; a few hours without moving or transferring. After the initial gloss itself has disappeared through wear, a slight pigmentation is left behind almost like a stain, but not as stubborn. Your lips aren’t left dry and in need of more gloss; it just feels normal and unbothered.

Out of the 3 staple colors, “Bare Pink” is my absolute favorite and I find myself reaching for it pretty much every morning. It’s a soft milky pink shade that doesn’t apply patchy on the lips. And, I appreciate that it’s not so milky you’re looking like a Barbie doll – or worse, a porn star. Pinks are my favorite shades to wear, but it irritates me when the lighter pink shades are so milky and nude it just doesn’t work.

If you’ve never liked or understood lipgloss, I suggest you try Laura Mercier’s glosses. The promise of “a subtle contrast in texture” is convincing enough, right? Terrific color range and the texture of the gloss speaks for itself.

Retails for $24.00.

*Quotes extracted from http://www.lauramercier.com.
*Pictures taken using CANON POWERSHOT SD1300 IS DIGITAL ELPH (12.1 Megapixels)

Bronzey Smokey Eye

I was in the mood for a bronzey smokey eye that would be daytime-appropriate. I know that smokey eye makeup isn’t necessarily reserved only for nights out; however, by doing this during the day, I am stepping out of my comfort zone.

My look here is simple, just like pretty much the rest of my makeup. I don’t have lots of excess eyelid space and I have to work with what I’ve got. So, I stuck with some basic colors to do the trick using only 2 colors.

I used MAC eyeshadows in “Handwritten” and “Bronze.” The color “Bronze” is applied to the eyelids and “Handwritten” is used to smoke up the outer corners of my lids. By doing this, I’ve created depth and slight dimension. I noticed that only using “Bronze” makes my lids look incomplete and flat, so I like to use a darker and more smokey tone for the crease area.

As you can see, on their own, both shadows are quite cool. I prefer that effect espcially with smokey looks so that it’s not too overwhelming or smoldering for daytime. I used a dark brown eyeliner for my lower lashline to complete the look, along with using MAC “Espresso” for my brows.

To complete the bronziness, I used my new Chanel Soleil Tan de Chanel Luminous Bronzing Powder in “Sable Beige.” I’m loving this bronzer and I find that it’s so great for those who have fair skin. If you’re interested in learning more about this product, please refer to its own post.

As always, thanks for reading – and apologies for such a brief post. :)

*Pictures taken using CANON POWERSHOT SD1300 IS DIGITAL ELPH (12.1 Megapixels)