Monday, December 30, 2013

Chanel Poudre Universelle Compact in Preface

I did not intend on purchasing anything from the Chanel Notes de Printemps Spring 2014 collection. Yes, folks, Chanel have always won the award for launching seasonal collections before anyone else... and they always will. One trip to my local Nordstrom, and the newest Chanel pressed face powder in Preface came home with me.

Now this is my first Poudre Universelle from Chanel, so I was not sure if it would be categorized as a setting powder or as a finishing powder. Thankfully, I've quickly come to learn that it performs extremely well as both. On my oily skin, this powder kept me matte while providing a luminous finish for a good eight hours before I needed to whip out a blotting sheet for my T-zone. For a pressed powder, this is probably one of the best I've tried. (But it still cannot quite hold a candle to my other loose powders, specifically La Mer's, when it comes to budge-proof oil control.)

Preface, itself, may look like it gives warmth to the skin due to its light peachy nature. However, it is more-or-less translucent when blended into the skin. Once it goes on, Preface leaves such a healthy, subtle glow to the face that makes one look well-rested. I would imagine that light to medium skin tones can wear this as an all-over face powder. Darker skin-toned gals, though, may find this a tad chalky.

The powder itself is very finely-milled, incredibly light-weight, and outshines NARS Light Reflecting Setting Pressed Powder in terms of ease of picking up product with a brush. (I can also see myself not going through it as quickly as the NARS, as I barely had to work my brush into the powder to pick up the product.) Yet it is not too powdery to the point where it kicks back product once I dipped my brush into the compact.

Is this a unique powder that I would suggest running out and getting right this instant? Not at all. Is it nice to add to one's collection? Absolutely. At $45, this is by no means cheap, but for the healthy, refreshed glow that Preface gives, I am willing to overlook the price. Now available at your local department stores Chanel counters, as well as
Saturday, December 28, 2013

Laura Mercier Color to Go: Natural Nudes

I'm a strong supporter that one can never have enough neutral palettes! Not just any neutral palette, but one that is extremely compact and travel-friendly.

Take a look.

The top tier boasts three office-friendly shades and one of Laura Mercier's infamous cakeliner. The quality and blendability of the eyeshadows are similar to that in her permanent range. My favorite look to create is pretty self-explanatory: buttercream as in inner corner highlight and under the browbone, rosewood on the lid, and cocoa brown in the crease. As for the cakeliner, I have to admit I don't find myself reaching for it as much as I should. Having to wet my brush with water or with the tightline activator in order to get the most out of the product can be a hassle on days when I'm pressed for time.

Now the cheek colors have been compared -- understandably so -- to NARS Laguna and Orgasm. Truth be told, the similarities are there when swatched on bare skin. However, they translate differently when applied on the face and certainly in the wear times. The Matte Bronze inside this palette stays true to its color without any signs of oxidation, unlike NARS Laguna that tends to oxidize an odd shade of orange as the day goes on. The blush, Sweet Mandarin, is a more mature, subtle version of NARS Orgasm, as it does not boast quite the shimmer factor. The formula of both the bronzer and blush is unbelievably smooth and pigmented.

Laura Mercier really knocked it out of the park with this palette. If there was one thing missing, it would be a highlighter. However, seeing how Colors to Go are released usually around the holiday season, maybe she'll incorporate one in her next palette for Holiday 2014!

Last time I checked, this was sold out on Fret not, as Neiman Marcus and Macy's online are both still showing availability, as should your local Laura Mercier counters.
Thursday, December 19, 2013

Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick in Nude Glow

As a highlighter hoarder, I find it appropriate that my first review is for a highlighter. A limited-edition one, that is.

Say 'Hello' to the beauty that is Bobbi Brown's Nude Glow...

What sets this highlighter apart from the rest in my collection is the fact that I can use this as both a highlighter, as well as eyeshadow palette (while incorporating one other transition shadow.) I know her previous shimmer bricks have allowed for both applications, but I've always found it a hassle to go in with a fluffy crease brush without picking up adjacent shades. Nude Glow, on the other hand, was designed for a no-fuss of an eyeshadow application with how the shades are laid out.

The looks one can achieve with this shimmer brick is endless. One can swirl a brush into all four shades or focus specifically on one quadrant. It's a golden highlighter, champagne highlighter, rose gold highlighter, and bronze highlighter all in one. Because of that, it's a great product across all skintones. For a subtle glow, I'd recommend going in with a small duo fiber brush like a MAC 188. For a more pronounced, concentrated highlighting effect, a fan brush.

Personally, I like using this as a standard highlighter, ie on top of my cheekbones, down my nose, Cupid's bow, and a bit on my chin. I lightly dusted it as an all-over face powder the first time I applied this product, and I looked like a shimmery disco ball. That said, the staying power is one of the longest I've come across -- a solid eight hours at the very least! Another plus is that this does not emphasize pores one bit.

Nude Glow is still available at most Bobbi Brown counters, and I can't recommend this product highly enough. I would go as far to say that this is one of the best holiday cosmetics purchases of 2013, and it's found a permanent home in my everyday go-to makeup drawer.