Preview: Tom Ford Fall 2012

I daresay Tom Ford has knocked it out of the park with his Fall 2012 beauty offerings!

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From left: Dominatrix nail lacquer, Emerald Lust eyeshadow quad, Aphrodesiac lipstick

Tom Ford Fall 2012 blesses us with a palette of strong jewel-toned colors which is a wonderful exception to the usual sage greens and dusky browns from most other makeup brands.  As I like wearing royal purple, kelly green and deep pinks in the fall, I chose the products I felt I would use most and go with what I wear. Dominatrix is a gorgeous jewel-toned dark purple with gold-bronze shimmer.  The Emerald Lust palette (which I think should have been titled Teal Lust) combines a seafoam green, royal blue and blue-green shimmer shade with a sparkly white shade.  And Aprodesiac,  a stunning fuchsia pink, is the perfect strong pink lipstick to go with those having cool skintones (much nicer than Flamingo).

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Emerald Lust eye shadow palette by Tom Ford for Fall 2012

Tom Ford is a straight-up luxury product.  The nail polishes flow beautifully, the eye shadows are nicely pigmented and made in Italy (where the best powders are made) and the lipsticks are so insanely pigmented and wear so well it is my favorite ‘brown girl friendly’ go-to lipstick.

Tom Ford Fall 2012 collection is available now at NeimanMarcus.com, Saks.com and their freestanding stores.

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Dominatrix nail lacquer by Tom Ford for Fall 2012

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Aprodesiac lipstick by Tom Ford for Fall 2012

Guerlain Terracotta Sun In The City Illuminator: The Rundown

Florida is known as the ‘Sunshine State’.  Little did I know Guerlain had managed to press it into a compact and have it waiting for me on my trip to Disney World this past Easter.

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Guerlain’s Terracotta Sun In The City Golden Illuminating powder–sun in a compact

I had no intention of buying this product.  That all changed with the MUA at the Guerlain boutique in the France pavilion at EPCOT swiped it on my skin once and raved at how it looked on me.  I was about to tell her she was blowing smoke up my skirt but one look in the mirror and I was floored.

And so I bought it.

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Close up–the imprinting on this compact is insanely detailed.

Part of Guerlain’s Summer 2012 collection, the Sun In The City golden glimmer powder is a shiny addition to the Terracotta bronzing line this luxury brand is famous for. Weighing in at a hefty 15 grams (.52 oz) it comes in a plastic mirrored compact imprinted with the words ‘Terracotta’ on top and is about the size of an adult’s palm.  As with other memorable Guerlain pressed powders it has an imprint on it designed to impress.  Sun In The City has a gorgeous wavy imprint that makes it look like gold weaving in the wind.  It almost makes you not want to use the highlighter so you don’t mess up the pattern but trust me, you’ll get over it.  You need very little to get a rich brush of gold on your skin.

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Closer shot of Sun In The City highlighter on my cheeks and nose bridge. Brings warmth and definition to dark skin.

The reason I love highlighters so much is because you can use them so many ways.  I like to use them to highlight the bridge of my nose, under my browbone and to emphasize my cheekbones before applying blush.  And of course there is the most common and alluring way to use a highlighter—to emphasize the tops of ones cleavage/décolleté.

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Sun In The City highlighter on my cheeks (under Chanel Joues Rouge Contraste blush in Malice) and on the bridge of my nose.

As compared to two of my other favorite highlighters, Guerlain’s Sun In The City highlighter is more golden than theBalm’s Mary LouManizer and not at all pink and iridescent like Guerlain’s Cruel Gardenia released this past Spring.  I don’t own the Bobbi Brown Gold Shimmer Cheek Glow but it does look similiar to Sun In The City.  According to Temptalia.com, Guerlain’s highlighter is more opaque which is good for olive to dark skin. If you are fair to medium-skinned and price is an issue, I think you could use the Bobbi Brown gold shimmer cheek glow as a suitable dupe.

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Highlighter comparison swatches from top: Guerlain’s Cruel Gardenia, Guerlain Sun In The City, theBalm Mary LouManizer (with Flash)

For those with deep to dark skin you need to be careful to choose a highlighter that is translucent enough to give you a glow and not look ashy.  Guerlain’s new highlighter, as with all of their highlighters I’ve tried, does this and more.  Try blending it with their Terracotta bronzer in #3 (yellow undertones), #4 (red undertones like mine) or #8 (all ebony skintones) to deepen the gorgeous warmth of dark skin.  The effect is similar to combining theBalm’s Mary LouManizer and Betty LouManizer but more opaque and richer color.

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Guerlain’s Terracotta Sun In The City highlighting powder is great on dark skin!

At $70 the price for Guerlain’s Sun In The City  is steep however, there is more product than in Cruel Gardenia or Meteorites perles.  Because of its pigmentation and neutral coloring, and it’s manufacture in Italy (the best pressed powders seem to come from there) there is definitely value in this luxury product.  Unlike with Cruel Gardenia and Meteorites I didn’t notice the trademark violet scent.  This was somewhat dissappointing to me as I love the smell of violets synonymous with Guerlain products.

Sun in the City Illuminator is a limited edition item and is available at Nordstrom.comSephora.com and in freestanding Bloomingdales and Neiman Marcus stores.

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Another shot of Guerlain’s Sun In The City highlighter (w/ flash

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Guerlain Sun In The City Higlighter–heavily swatched and sheered out (w/ flash)

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Highlighter comparison swatches from top: Guerlain’s Cruel Gardenia, Guerlain Sun In The City, theBalm Mary LouManizer (without flash)

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HIghlighter comparisons from left: Without flash, with flash.

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Gorgeous Guerlain Golden Goodness

Guerlain by Emilio Pucci Capri Eye Shadow Quad: The Rundown

Finally! I have gotten around to reviewing the Guerlain by Emilio Pucci Terra Azzura Capri eye shadow quad from the delightful Summer 2012 collection. I’ve had a few weeks to road test this product and see how versatile it is and how the shadow formula behaves.

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Guerlain by Emilio Pucci Eye Shadow Quad in Capri–French Riviera memories!

The Product Details

There are four (4) colors in this quad chosen to replicate a feeling of being in the French Riviera at summertime are as follow:

  • A shimmering ecru
  • A smokey brown
  • A satin pink
  • A semi-frosty peach coral

At first glance if you think you’ve seen a quad like this you probably have. MAC’s Call Me Bubbles quad that came out for Spring 2012 for Shop MAC/Cook MAC is almost identical at first glance. But unlike with MAC’s quad, I found all four colors in the Guerlain palette to be buttery smooth with amazing color payoff. More often than not I got too much product on the application with less effort than with my MAC shadows. For darker-skinned beauties NC/NW40+, these colors will definitely work for you however I would suggest using either a white eyeshadow on the lid, or a light color eyeshadow pencil such as Make Up For Ever’s Shadow Pencil in Pearly Peach (26E) or Urban Decay’s 24/7 Shadow Pencil in Sin.

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Guerlain’s new eye shadow palette by Emilio Pucci–Great for everyday!

The palette seems like it is all warm colors but there is enough neutrality for it to look nice on all skintones. Even with my screaming red undertones all of colors complimented me very well and I found myself reaching for this palette more often than not. Out of all of the colors, the cool dusty brown and peachy orange are my favorites for a surprisingly wearable summer smokey eye. The pink color is nice but as I have the Les Roses palette and this one is more matte, I use to enhance the peachy orange shade moreso than on its own. The beige color is fabulous as a highlighter or a light wash of shimmery ercu across the lids.

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Guerlain by Emilio Pucci swatches from bottom: Kohl Kajal, Eye shadow palette (no flash/HDR)

I would highly suggest using the included custom applicator to apply the shadow. My MAC brushes didn’t seem to play very well with this. And if you have oily eyelids as I do, definitely use an eyeshadow primer like Too Faced Shadow Insurance and a cream shadow as a base such as MAC’s Quite Natural or Painterly paint pots, or Maybelline’s Color Tattoo 24hr cream shadow in Tough as Taupe or Pomegranate Punk. Total weight by volume of all four shadows is .24 oz which is a very healthy amount compared to MAC’s usual .17 oz total weight for a quad.

Final Recommendation

While the price point is quite high ($59), the different finish of the case and quality of the eyeshadows (and big mirror in it) more than qualify the price. For women of color, the shadows do not turn ‘ashy’ but to make them pop I would suggest using a cream shadow underneath either a few shades lighter than your coloring or use a white shadow pencil. All colors are easily blendable and while this pallete is showcased for Summer, it is a lovely one to have year-round for olive to dark-skinned beauties.

The Guerlain by Emillio Pucci Capri eye shadow palette is a limited edition item and is available at Nordstrom, Sephora.com and NeimanMarcus.com

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Back of Capri eyeshadow palette by Guerlain by Emilio Pucci

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The velvet sleeve for the eye shadow palette–a true identifier of luxury cosmetics

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Guerlain by Emilio Pucci Eye shadow quad – Flash

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Guerlain by Emilio Pucci swatches from bottom: Kohl Kajal, Eye shadow palette (flash)

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Preview: Chanel Summer 2012 Haul

I know I said I wasn’t going to pick anything up from this collection but when I saw the pieces in person, I just had to have the lipgloss and nail polish.

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Chanel Summer 2012: Calypso Glossimer and Les Vernis in Delight

Glossimer in Calypso

In general I’m not a big fan of Chanel’s glossimers because while it is big on shine, most of them are bland in color.
Calypso (and also Jalousie if you can find it) is VERY pigmented which make it a must-have for me. Caylpso is a tangerine orange with shimmer and will give your lips a nice tropical kiss of peachy orange with or without lipiner.

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Swatch of Chanel’s Calypso Glossimer–a beautiful Tangerine shimmer lipgloss (w/ flash)

Les Vernis in Delight

It reminds me of SpaRitual’s Laughing In Pink. A beautiful warm beachy color that reminds me of the sun reflecting off of the hot sand on Miami Beach. Gorgeous next to tanned, deep and especially dark skintones. While it is paque in one coat, I can’t speak to the longevity of the wear until I’ve worn it for more than 1 day. The finish is slightly gritty but I like how it reminds me of beach sand.

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Chanel Summer 2012 Nail Vernis in Delight–shimmering sand for your nail

Retailing for $29.50 and $26 respectively, the Calypso Glossimer and the Les Vernis in Delight are limited edition products.

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Preview: Rescue Beauty Lounge Fan Collection is Here!

Finally! After voting over a year ago, I finally have in my hot little hands the Fan Collection from Rescue Beauty Lounge.

I am currently testing the colors and will post reviews along with any comparable shades (I’ll tell you right now my Color Hack senses aren’t going off). In the meantime enjoy the picspam/swatches and start making that shopping list. See RescueBeauty.com for updates on the general release date to the public.

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The Rescue Beauty Lounge fan collection--Selected from RBLs, by RBLs, for RBLs!

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Collection clockwise from top: Halcyon, Aqua Lilly, Cuprum(Cu), IKB: 2012 (No flash/HDR)

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From top: IKB: 2012, Cuprum, Aqua Lilly, Halcyon (3 coats each over bare nails)

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Deborah Lippmann Spring 2012 Collection: The Rundown

I’ll admit I am a total sucker for blues. From bright blue to teal green there is something about the color that grabs me. Perhaps because I was born under a ‘water sign’ (Scorpios represent!) or because I am in total love with the bright blue waters of the Caribbean and the South Pacific. And obviously I wasn’t far off as Deborah Lippmann tells Lucky Magazine, “I wanted to create something that felt like a vacation no matter where you are—whether you’re actually going away or just dreaming of it.”

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Deborah Lippmann's gorgeous offerings for Spring 2012: Mermaid's Dream and At The Beach

Even though our winter here in the Philadelphia suburbs has been relatively mild, I’ve definitely been dreaming of a vacation somewhere warm. So when I saw these two polish up for pre-sale on NeimanMarcus.com I immediately pre-ordered and was overjoyed when they arrived ahead of the estimated delivery date.

Deborah Lippmann’s Spring 2012 offerings consist of two complimentary yet different shades: To The Beach and Mermaid’s Dream. To The Beach is a textbook cyan blue cream which Deborah describes as, “The French Riviera in a bottle’ . I think of it more as Tahiti in a bottle but French Rivera works for me too. It goes on the nails very smooth and the consistency is neither too thick nor too thin. It isn’t opaque in one coat (and looks a tad bit streaky) but becomes a nice opaque cyan in two coats with a smooth glass finish. I personally like three coats to punch up the color intensity. It is more blue than Illamasqua Muse and more cyan than Sally Hansen Instra-Dri Brisk Blue. Sally Hansen’s Brisk Blue is a very close color hack of To The Beach. And by very I mean down to the finish and the color. Illamasqua’s Muse is too dark of a teal to be a dupe.

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At The Beach: Described as 'French Rivera Blue' the Programmer in me sees it as 'Textbook Cyan' (2 coats w/ flash)

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From top: Sally Hansen Brisk Blue, Deborah Lippmann At The Beach, Illamasqua Muse (2 coats w/ flash)

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From top: Sally Hansen Brisk Blue, Deborah Lippmann At The Beach, Illamasqua Muse (no flash/HDR)

Mermaid’s Dream is a gorgeous seafoam green pearl with flecks of turqouise glitter and it is hands-down my favored polish of this collection. A glitter-on-pearl look I’ve done separaterly using Boom Boom Pow over Nefertiti but never before did Deborah have a bottle containing both in her polish line. According to Deborah, she likes this as a ‘accent-nail look’ to just wear on your ring finger while the other nails are painted bright blue. This would definitely be a cool look as coupled with To The Beach but personally I think this shade is just too different and glamorous to not have it on all of your nails. Opaque in one coat, this is a perfect ‘glam’ shade to wear for a night out, the prom, full glitz beauty pageants and my favorite, just swimming in the pool when wearing jewelry isn’t a practical option. I have nothing in my nail polish color collection that comes close to this shade. This makes it truly unique and the ‘must have’ from this collection.  I would put it up there with Chanel June as the must-have ‘on trend’ nail shade for Spring 2012.

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Mermaid's Dream: A glitter and pearl seafoam green polish--a first for Deborah Lippmann (2 coats w/ flash)

With both shades I had minimal tip wear and both shades wore for over a week through intense 120wpm typing/coding through an 8 – 10 hour work day. The performance is in line with the other Deborah Lippmann polishes I own.

Deborah Lippmann polishes retail for $16 on average with some variation according to finish.  At The Beach retails for $16 while Mermaid’s Dream retails for $18.  Both colors are available now at LippmannCollection.com, NeimanMarcus.com and coming soon at Beauty.com.

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Deborah Lippmann's Mermaid's Dream from Spring 2012 collection

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Deborah Lippmann's At The Beach from Spring 2012 collection