Dior Vernis in Waterlilly: The Rundown

Scented nail polish?  Say what?!?  The beauty side of my brain just told the geeky side of my brain to stop trying to figure out the chemistry formula involved and just buy the damned color because it’s ‘cool’. So yeah, I bought it.

DISCLOSURE ALERT > I own stock in Louis Vuitton Moet Hennesy (LVMH) group which is the parent company of Dior couture.

For Spring 2012,  as part of its Garden Party collection, Dior presents us with two scented nail polishes.  The first is a purple pastel called Forget-Me Not (aptly titled as the polish is the same color of said flower) while the other is a murky mint green aptly called Waterlilly.  As I already own tons of purple nail polish, and the price of this polish is pretty steep at $23 for .30 ounces, I opted for Waterlilly.

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Dior Vernis in Waterlilly--gorgeous pastel green shimmer polish

Packaged in a stunning silver box and contained it a beautiful glass bottle with ‘Vernis’ etched into it, Waterlilly smells pretty much like any other high-end nail polish out of the bottle.  The green is a mid-tone pastel with flashes of pink iridescence which are more apparent in the bottle than on the nail.   It comes with a wide brush I’ve seen in my Sally Hansen quick-dry polishes and I am not a fan of it.  The brush felt awkward in my hand and the polish seemed to want to stick to the brush more than my nails.  I worked my way around it and the color payoff is gorgeous to say the least. Against my cool skin it screamed ‘spring is coming!’ in a classy fashionable way.

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Dior Vernis in Waterlilly. 2 coats, no flash (HDR)

Compared to Illamasqua’s Milf, Dior Waterlilly is a darker green and not a cream polish.  Illamasqua Radium is more yellow-toned with shimmer.  The only thing I have close to the color of Waterlilly is Essie’s Mint Candy Apple with Pure Pearlfection over the top to add shimmer.  Even still, it isn’t as vivid a green as Dior Waterlilly but it’s close enough for a good color hack. If you have cool undertones, this color will definitely pop on you.  Warmer skin tones could also wear this color but as it leans more cool (think Illamasqua Milf) than warm (think Illamasqua Radium).  No matter your skin tone, this is a very ‘bleeding edge’ fashionable shade of green for spring that very few people will be rocking.

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From top: Illamasqua Milf, Dior Waterlilly, Illamasqua Radium (2 coats each with indoor flash)

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From top: Illamasqua Milf, Dior Waterlilly, Illamasqua Radium (2 coats each without flash)

Drying time wasn’t measured as i used Illamasqua top coat (quick drying) and Nicole by Opi Drying Drops to speed things up as I am beyond impatient about drying nail polish.  When dry, I did notice a faint violet smell but nothing that made me want to continuously sniff my nails.  It’s a nice touch but pretty forgettable as i noticed no smell after the first day of wear.  After two days of 120 wpm tying/coding, I noticed no discernable tip wear at all.  Like with other luxury nail polishes I own (Rescue Beauty Lounge, Chanel) I get no chipping of the polish on the nail and only slight wear on the tips.  Because of the etching (and this is just me), I find this bottle to be highly collectable and definitely worth having in your nail color wardrobe.  The price is steep for how much you get but considering this is a haute couture design house and not MAC for Gareth Pugh, and there are no existing true dupes for it, plus the outstanding wear makes it a worthy beauty investment.

Dior Vernis in Waterlilly is available from upscale retailers such as Nordtrom and Neiman Marcus and of course Dior.com and retails for $23/bottle.

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How cool is the etching of 'Vernis' on the bottle? So luxe.

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Sneek Peek: Mi Vida Loca ‘True Romance’ palette by Kat Von D

I’ve always seen the Kat Von D True Romance palettes but the colors never really did grab me.  That is, until I saw *this* palette.

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Mi Vida Loca True Romance palette by Kat Von D. Exclusive to Sephora. How gorgeous is this?!?

The palette consists of eight (8) bright shades and a sparkly blue eyeliner.  It retails for $34 and is exclusive to Sephora.  I probably won’t get a chance to review it completely until after I take it on my trip to Disney World for Easter but in the meantime I’d like to give my readers a look at this cool palette.  Please enjoy the pictures and swatches while you make plans to descent upon Sephora to score this delicious beauty goodness.

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Raised imagery on the tin. Inspiration was Kat's own back tattoo.

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Back of the palette showing shade colors and ingredients.

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The 'cool' four eye shadow colors in the palette.

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Remaining four cool to mid-cool colors in the palette

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From top on NW43 skintone: Drama For yo Momma, No Regrets, Marya, Swan Son

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From top on NW43 skintone: Mad Max, Dublin, Sparklehorse, Altruism

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MAC Tour de Fabulous Lip Pencils: The Rundown

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Oh snap! It's The MAC Cosmetics Collection Formerly Known As Glamglass!

Once upon a time in MAC Cosmetics-land there was an upcoming collection known as GlamGlass. It promised a reinterpreted formula for the standard Lipglass I knew and loved. There was to be a new range of colors to fill the void in the current Lipglass lineup. But wait, there’s more! There was to be an extended range of new lip pencils as well. Colors sorely lacking in MAC’s current offerings. It was a bright range of colors that a brown girl like me rejoiced over.

And then the news came that due to supply/manufacturing/angry birds the Glamglass collection had been put on hold.

And then a few days ago we got news that the collection was indeed coming but not called GlamGlass. Regular bog-standard lip glasses but in a bright range of colors were coming along with their lip pencil counterparts. So, dear reader, here are some lip swatches from MAC’s Tour De Fabulous: AKA The Collection Formerly Known As Glamglass.

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In-store swatches. Top row: Lasting Sensation, Entertain Me, Embrace Me, Just Wonderful. Bottom row: Tour de Fabulous, StylePacked, Real Posh

There are eight (8) pencils and eleven (11) new lip glasses. Out of these, I swatched four of the pencils and three of the lip glasses that appealed to me. The four pencils I purchased are Lasting Sensation, Just Wonderful, Entertain Me and Embrace Me. The three lip glasses I swatched are Tour De Fabulous, StylePacked and Real Posh. I went for colors I felt were not already in my stash and which I felt suited my skin tone and would work for Spring/Resort 2012.

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MAC Tour de Fabulous lip pencil swatches (no flash)

Lasting Sensation is a coral-pink color. Just Wonderful is a berry pink. Entertain Me is a bright citrus-orange while Embrace Me is a strong blue-fuschia color. Like with 95% of MAC’s lip pencils, they are fairly dry when applying them directly to bare lips. They are long-lasting and pair well with lip glasses and lipsticks to promote longevity. My only gripe with MAC lip pencils is how rough they are when applying them. So much tugging that it is very annoying. I find rubbing a new point on a paper towel helps with the roughness a little. While I prefer the softness of Make Up For Ever Aqua Lip pencils, I’ve had no performance issues with MAC lip pencils. They are $3 less than MUFE lip pencils and frankly the difference in wear is negligible.

Of the three lip glasses I swatched, all of them were quite opaque in color which is a major quality I look for as a woman of color. Tour De Fabulous is a gorgeous pink-coral that is more cream than the pearl in the comparable Strange Potion from Venomous Villains collection. StylePacked is a crazy, amped-up bright blue-based pink that is the crazy cream neon cousin to the pearly Pink Poodle. I have nothing in my stash that looks like the berry-colored Real Posh. The closest I have is Illamasqua’s intense lipgloss in Hermetic and that is more on the red side than berry. Due to the craziness in my MAC store I barely made it out alive with the lip pencils so I did not pick up the glosses. As soon as they arrive from Nordstrom this weekend I will be able to swatch them alone, with the new lip pencils and compared with other lip glasses I have in my stash.

The lip pencils from this collection retail for $14.00 USD while the lip glasses retail for $14.50 USD. They are Limited Edition (of course) and are available at all MAC counters and freestanding stores, and also at MacCosmetics.com and online retailers like Nordstrom.com.

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MAC Tour de Fabulous lip pencils unboxed.

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MAC Tour de Fabulous lip pencil swatches (flash)

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From left: MUFE Aqua Lip Pencil #16C, MAC Embrace Me, MAC Process Magenta Chromagraphic pencil, MAC Magenta lip pencil, MAC Embrace Me (with flash)

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From left: MAC Lasting Sensation lip pencil, MUFE Aqua Lip pencil in 18C

Spring 2012 Chanel Blush Horizon in Eclat Douceur: The Rundown

It stared at me from across the Chanel Spring 2012 display, seducing me with its beautiful bright stripes and luxe black case. I heard a whisper that say, “Buy me!” So I finally found that AMEX birthday gift card I’d been hoarding and put it towards this beauty:

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Contents of the box include blush, slanted brush and velour pouches for both.

Chanel’s Spring 2012 Blush Horizon in Eclat Douceur (Soft Glow) has to be the jewel of the collection. Retailing for $58 USD, it is a variegated blush that when stroked across all colors with a brush, yields a peachy pink color that reminds me a big of NARS Orgasm but sheerer. The color is buildable from sheer to a bright glow and the pigments are translucent enough not to appear ashy on women of color. I did not feel I had to work extremely hard to get the color to appear ( *cough* Benefit Hervana *cough).

As I have oily skin, if a blush is not pigmented enough my skin will eat it away pretty quickly. So for me and for other women of color I always recommend wearing a sheer wash of a creme blush underneath before using a powder blush such as this. For application of this Chanel blush, I used a densely-packed brush (MAC’s Split Fibre cheek brush) to pat it on and build to the intensity I wanted then blended out as necessary. I do not recommend using a standard issue blush brush. The brush included with this blush is densely packed, angled and applies very nicely.

This is definitely a pricey purchase but if you do not own one of these, I highly suggest picking one up. The pigmentation is gorgeous, the shade very flattering on both cool and warm skintones, and buildable enough to be visible on women of color.

Enough of my blathering, on to the picSpam!

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Blush Horizon de Chanel--mint in the box for Spring 2012

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Back of the Spring 2012 Blush Eclat Douceur...made in Italy?!? Whut?!?

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Sideways view--absolutely fabulous!

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Closer look without the flash (HDR).

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Swatches of Chanel Horizon blush from top: Over NARS Loukoum cream blush, alone, Over NARS Cactus Flower cream blush, alone. (No flash, HDR)

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Swatches of Chanel Horizon blush from top: Over NARS Loukoum cream blush, alone, Over NARS Cactus Flower cream blush, alone. (with flash)

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Chanel Spring 2012 Horizon Blush over Sofia Kashuk for Target creme blush in Rosey

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Close up of Chanel Blush Horizon from Spring 2012 collection. Gives a nice warm glow to dark skin when placed over cream blush.

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Chanel Spring 2012 Horizon Blush over Sofia Kashuk for Target creme blush in Posey

Spring 2012 Chanel Les Vernis in June: The Rundown

Spring 2012 colors already? I love you Chanel but it isn’t even Christmas yet!

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Unboxing 'June': The Limited Edition Chanel Spring 2012 nailcolor on everyone's list!

When I saw the Chanel Spring 2012 display my eyes immediately went to the Horizon Blush and the pretty apricot-colored nail polish called ‘June’. Part of the three (3) nail polishes from this collection (a red called ‘April’, a bright pink called ‘May’), June is a semi-sheer apricot crème that is not as visually stunning like Peridot or Black Pearl but it has a softness to it that goes with the theme of Spring.

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Chanel's Les Vernis in 'June'. A pretty apricot creme that screams Parisian Spring.

For dark-skinned women, oranges look particularly good on the nails and as this is an apricot color (which is darker than peach but lighter than orange) I feel it would work better for those with warm skin tones. Cooler skin tones like mine can wear this color, but compared to some of the corals I own it’s easy to see that while June is very wearable, it doesn’t ‘pop’ as well. The upside is this color is very muted and work-safe regardless of your undertones.

In terms of performance, Chanel’s polishes get high technological marks.  I’ve really never run into a serious chipping issue with their polishes (I’d always nicknamed it The Greatest when it comes to polishes until Rescue Beauty Lounge came along).  Coupled with Illamasaqua’s base and top coat, Chanel in ‘June’ kept is shine and integrity through a grueling day of driving, typing, writing database code and household chores.  Even without a base and top coat Chanel’s colors resist incidental chipping extremely well.

Luxury costs, as you all know and Chanel charges accordingly.  All of the polishes in this collection are $25 each.  This isn’t an extremely unique color and I feel you can find something at a lower price point that looks comparable.  I’ve included swatches of other colors along with June to give you a color range idea.

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From left: Hot Ticket 'Coral-Reef-ined', Chanel 'June', Sally Hansen 'Snappy Sorbet'

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From bottom: The Balm'Coral Reef-ined', Chanel Vernis in June, Sally Hansen 'Snappy Sorbet'

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June photographed indoors with flash

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Chanel 'June' photographed indoors without flash

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Chanel 'June' photographed indoors without flash (HDR)

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