NARS Trouville Nail Lacquer: The Rundown

For Spring 2012 NARS offers a pretty seashell pink nail polish named ‘Trouville’ for fishing village in France. The name goes along nicely with this interestingly edited collection. I can’t say this isn’t a color that is easily dupeable (because it is) but it is a beautiful color that is muted enough to go well with everything yet provides enough of a pop of color to make itself known when seen.

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NARS Trouville nail polish for Spring 2012 (w/ HDR)

I knew this was a dupeable color but I purchased it (with a 20% off code) because it was a creme finish and I wanted to test the formula. It streaks pretty badly at one (1) coat, evens out at two (2) coats but looks the most flawless with three (3) coats.  Performance-wise it held up as well as I have come to expect from NARS polishes.  I wore it for only three days but within that time there was some tipwear (I was typing like crazy during that time) but no chipping.  I would highly recommend using a ridge filler and waiting at least 5 minutes between coats to allow the polish to dry.

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NARS Trouville — two coats with a very streaky start

Because the color is so easily copied by other (and cheaper) brands, this isn’t what I would call a ‘must buy’.  But if you’re into collecting NARS polishes, this is a very pretty color that is work-safe and conservative office safe.

NARS Trouville comes in the standard 0.4oz bottle and currently retails for $18 USD. It is available for purchase at NARSCosmetics.com, Sephora.com and Nordstrom.com as well as other upscale beauty retailers.

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Various coat levels of NARS Trouville nail polish

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NARS Trouville with flash — two coats and you can see some streaks

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NARS Trouville nail polish for Spring 2012 (no flash/HDR)

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Preview: Estee Lauder Brasil Collection

So who knew about this Macy’s exclusive Estee Lauder Brasil Dreams collection in advance because I sure didn’t!

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Estee Lauder’s Brasil Dream collection–exclusive at Macy’s!

I’ve recently gotten into taking Samba classes so when I saw this display in my local Macy’s my eyes were immediately drawn to the bright colors. However, the real stars of this collection are the insanely pigmented blushes! Check ’em out!

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The real stars of the Brasil collection–the blushes! Women of Color, haul these immediately!

I can tell you that after swatching these in store they are all very, very pigmented and you need very little to get it to show up on you if you have dark skin. Whether swatched with my finger or with a brush I was pleasantly surprised at the color payoff and how easy it was to build intensity. Out of all three of these, Fearless is my favorite with The Siren close behind. None of them contain any shimmer so for those of you who are glitterphobes I think you will enjoy these. I ordered mine from Macys.com and they are scheduled to arrive early next week. I will do swatches as soon as I can and a review a few weeks later.

The blushes retail for $28, are limited edition and are available at Macy’s counters and at Macys.com.

Sephora V.I.B. Discount Event!

Yes, it’s that time again when Sephora sends their shopaholics the coveted event bringing shock and awe.  Look what landed in my mailbox today…

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Sephora VIB Spring Event - 29 March 2012 - 6 April 2012

Billed as “9 Full Days of Savings For a Stylish Spring”, Sephora invites all VIBs to a special Chic Week event with a special ‘preview day’ on March 29, 2012 in all Sephora stores, Sephora inside JCPenney and Sephora.com (use code CHICVIB for US checkout only). The event runs from 29 March through 6 April of 2012. If the preview day is anything this year like it was last year, be prepared for sheer craziness, long lines and people acting as if they’ve never seen a Sephora before in their lives. If you aren’t a VIB but know one, try to ask politely/bribe/kidnap one as VIBs can bring a friend with them on March 29 to also get the discount. Pay it forward, folks!

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Sephora VIBs -- Resistance, is futile.

So, any of you VIB readers planning on hauling anything for 15% off? I’d highly suggest snagging the NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer and the Illamasqua Human Fundamentalism palettes.

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My bank account hates it when these postcards arrive from Sephora

Illamasqua Human Fundamentalism: PicSpam!

Came home today to the most wonderful package from the UK. It was the pieces I ordered from the Spring/Summer 2012 Human Fundamentalism collection!!

Sit back, relax and enjoy the eyeshadow product PicSpam. A review will follow in a few weeks but as these pieces are starting to slowly appear on Sephora.com (with a Not In Stock message for now) I wanted to give my readers a quick look and swatches for reference.

DISCLOSURE> I own stock in LVMH (Louis Vuitton Moët Henessy) which is the parent company of Sephora.

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Benefit Cosmetics Boi-ing Concealer in #5: The Rundown

Concealer is a beauty product I discovered was indispensable for ‘erasing’ my sleep-deprived caused dark circles under my eyes from too many all-nighters as an Engineering student in college. It’s also been a godsend for covering my acne scars and any evidence of late night partying.  So as soon as I got word from The Muse that her highly-recommedned Boi-ing concealer from Benefit Cosmetics was being produced in darker shades, I was on it in picoseconds. Obviously other gals had gotten wind of this because I had to go to two Sephoras and three Ultas before I finally found one to take home with me.

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Benefit’s Boi-ing Concealer in Shade #5

Benefit Cosmetics has released three new shades of their Boi-ing Concealer in #3, #4 and #5. #3 is a medium neutral, #4 a medium-deep with yellow undertones and #5 a medium-dark with red undertones. Their pitch wording on the product reads as follows:

“You name it, boi-ing hides it! This industrial-strength concealer camouflages dark circles, shadows and discoloration for a seamless, natural-looking finish without creasing or fading. it’s the concealer that goes the distance.”

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Yeah, this is as dark as it gets for now.

Weighing in at a hefty 3.0 grams (0.1 ounces), it comes in a black screw-top shallow plastic pot encased in a paper ‘peep’ box. The cream is slightly stiff to the initial swipe of a finger, but warms to your body heat and spreads nicely when using your finger. If you use a concealer brush the stiffness takes a bit longer to go away as the product warms to your skin. I noticed no product ‘drag’ as I do with my MAC Studio Finish concealer but it wasn’t as smooth going on as my NARS concealer. Unfortunately this product did crease on me (and perhaps because I have very oily skin) and I had to use a little bit of MUFE HD translucent powder to set it and discourage any further creasing. The pigmentation is very good and I was able to cover my light acne scars as well as I have been with my MAC Studio Finish concealer or my MUFE Full Coverage concealer. It is a shade lighter than my MAC Studio Finish concealer and about two shades lighter than my NARS concealer.

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Benefit’s Boi-ing Concealer swatch in #5 (deep) no flash/HDR
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Benefit’s Boi-ing Concealer in #5 (deep).

One of my biggest peeves with Benefit is that their concealers did not come in darker shades for beauties of color. It seems they’ve finally listened to this market. I am dissappointed that there wasn’t a deep color with yellow undertones and a darker espresso-like color for deeper undertones. #4 color is best suited for those NC42 and under while #5 for NW 45 and under. My second pet-peeve is this product contains mineral oil (paraffinum liquidium). While not the first ingredient, if you have sensitive skin and want to try this, I highly suggest purchasing from a retail establishment that takes returns like Sephora or Ulta. I have sensitive skin and haven’t had a reaction to this product so far after almost two weeks of use but I took a chance. Overall I am pleased with this concealer but it is only because Benefit made one that fits my skintone. Were I an NW45 – 47 this may work best as a color corrector rather than a concealer.

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There’s Mineral Oil in this?!? Why?!?

An interesting point to note is this product is made in France, not the US. I find French-made cosmetics to be of very high quality so I believe that has a lot to do with the very nice performance of this product. Benefit’s Boi-ing concealer retails for $19 USD and is available at Sephora, Ulta and other upscale retailers.

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Benefit’s Boi-ing Concealer in #5 (deep)
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Clockwise: Benefit’s Boi-ing concealer in #5 (deep), no flash, no flash/HDR

Preview: Guerlain by Emilio Pucci [Summer 2012]

I love Guerlain.  And I love Pucci.  Put them both together and it rockets right to the top of my Summer 2102 beauty shopping list.

Natalia Vodianova--the face of Guerlain looking gorgeous for the Emilio Pucci Summer 2012 collection (Source; British Beauty Blogger)

Les Meteorites Pearls D'Azur tricked out with the Pucci art on the tin for Summer 2012 (Source: British Beauty Blogger)

Terra Azzura blush/bronzer with Emilio Pucci motif--amazing! (Source: British Beauty Blogger)

There are eleven (11) pieces in this special collection.  According to ChicProfile.com, here’s a breakdown of what’s included:

Terra Azzura Bronzing Powder & Blush

Formed with the iconic Emilio Pucci logo, it has separate bronzer, blush and possible highlighter strips that when all used together provides a bronzy blush glow to the skin.  I’m a fan of the Terracotta bronzer so I’ll more than likely pass on this.

Meteorites Perles d’Azur

The world-famous meteorites highlighters that are more than worthy of their reputation.  I own the Cruel Gardenia highlighter and the color is amazing on dark skin.  If you’ve ever wondered if this would work for you definitely give it a try!

Terra Azzura Brush 

This is in pretty Pucci print case!  More than likely I’ll get it because it’s Pucci, my mom wore Pucci in the late 70’s so I’m programmed to want it.

Ecrin 4 Couleurs Eyeshadow Palette

  • #13 Capri (consists of a cream, pink, coral and brown shades)

Mascara Le 2 de Guerlain by Emilio Pucci

  • Indigo (dark indigo blue mascara)

Terracota Khol Kajal

I first saw this last year in the Guerlain boutique at the France Pavillion in EPCOT center in Disney World.  The creamy smoothness of how this applied to my eye and the pigmentation really impressed me. Turns out this product had been out of the Guerlain product line for several decades but was being reintroduced to consumers.  It is offered regularly in a dark black but for this collection it comes in a beautiful cobalt blue.  Definitely picking this up.

Terracotta Kohl Kajal (source: ATime4Beauty)

Terra Azzura Vernis

I don’t remember Guerlain ever having nail polish before so this is a first.

  • #01 Paradisio (coral pink with a dazzling brilliant finish)
  • #02 Riviera (electric blue indigo with a metallic finish)

Terra Azzura Gloss

  • #10 Porto Fino (Coral pink)
  • #11 Porto Ercole (Chocolate)
  • #12 Porto Azzuro (Indigo blue)

The international release date is scheduled for  3 June 2012.  In North America (more specifically the United States) It is possible that it could be released earlier by online retailers such as Nordstrom.com, NeimanMarcus.com and Bloomingdales.com.  I will keep you posted if anything changes. Lemming for swatches?  Then check out ATimeForBeauty’s website for more!  The website is in Russian but if you’re using Google Chrome as a browser you can easily get a ‘close to English’ translation.

Preview: Illamasqua’s Human Fundamentalism [Spring/Summer 2012]

Yes, fellow makeup addicts, Illamasqua, the edgy cosmetics house which sponsors your ‘alter ego’, has rolled out a collection that is truly spectacular for Spring/Summer 2012.

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Stunning photography to herald Illamasqua's Human Fundamentalism Spring/Summer 2012 collection. This is what my Alter Ego would look like.

Following on the heels of the equally-stunning Theatre of the Nameless Autumn/Winter 2011 collection, the Spring/Summer 2012 Human Fundamentalism collection is scheduled to launch at Illamasqua.com on 15 March 2012 and on Sephora.com on 20 March 2012. Would you like to know more? Of course you do…and Illamasqua is happy to oblige with an explanation of concept of this collection:

Get ready for a startling celebration of humanity’s connection with colour. Introducing the Human Fundamentalism collection, where blinding flashes of pigment provide a sharp contrast to neutral tones, creating a saturated palette that catapults your alter ego to new levels of self-expression. Mix contrasting textures to express your true self, spiraling from rich metallic to pale matt shades. This is nonconformity at its most fundamental. At its unpredictable best. — Illamasqua

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Illamasqua's Human Fundamentalism Spring/Summer 2012 collection

This extensive collection is a stunning mix of bolds and neutral colors to use in whatever combination suits you. My eye is totally drawn to the neutral 4-color eye shadow palette and the teal and yellow eye shadow singles.  The nail polishes look nice and definitely look dupeable but what isn’t dupeable is Illamasqua’s amazing nail polish formula.  I’ll definitely be hauling the polishes as soon as I get the eye shadows.

Just so you know, the teal lipstick is an EU (European Union) only product.  That means it can only be sold in the EU.  No they cannot ship it to you if you live outside the EU.  Yes, I have asked Illamasqua.

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My haul picks from this collection

A few bloggers were lucky enough to get a first look at the items from this collection. Check out the swag photos here, here, and especially here.

Illamasqua is one of my favorite cosmetic brands due to their attitude, diversity of colors and textures, and the artistry of their collections and photography. In my opinion this is their best campaign to date and another quote about this collection sums it all up for me:

Human Fundamentalism is an explosion of your alter ego. It’s becoming who you are and not who you’re told to be. Beauty isn’t conformity, but the fundamental human desire to express your inner self on the outside. To rise above mainstream limitations and exist in a world where individuality is received with celebration not derision, and breaking the mould is a sign of strength not instability. We stand for freedom of expression, embracing our glorious imperfections and showing the world we’re not ordinary but extraordinary, even if society refuses to accept it. We’re beyond conformity. Beyond control. Beyond hiding who we really are. We are not a religion, but the singular opposite. We are Illamasqua.

Werd.

And with that, enjoy the promo photo picspam and let your ‘alter ego’ set up her shopping list from this collection.

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This model looks very 'Jody Watley' and she's posed with a tricked-out ghetto blaster? Haven't seen one of these in years!

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This is without a doubt a perfect example of the makeup artistry and stellar photography Illamasqua is famous for.

The eye makeup is fierce! This reminds me of 'The Girlie Show' Madonna from back in the day!

Teal hair to match the teal lips--I SO wish the lipstick was going to be sold in the US.