OK, I love Chanel polishes and got this one without thinking much. On the positive side: it's the same quality, one coat covers beautifully, no streaks or mess with application and nice glossy shine when dried. What dissapointed me most -- in the bottle you can see this very sexy and sophisticated midnight blue with sort of metalic shine to it and I was so hoping to see the same on my nails. Ah, after applying just one coat (so still not too much opaquness you see) I saw this deep blue (more like a blue hued black actually) and had to look really really close to the light to see this great shining depth of metalic (or sparkly, but not the glitter sparkly) -- perhaps in broad daylight this effect of depth would show better (will have to check and let you know ladies). Overall I'm not wowed beyond words -- it is a nice looking dark manicure but of my dark Chanel manicure I still prefer either Black Satin or Vamp (rich warm purple -- delicious).
Palettes -Yves Saint Laurent - Opium Legendes de Chine 2007
AJC 12/7/2007 3:19:00 PM
A multi-use compact for Holidays 2007 with Phoenix beautifully etched on the outside of the compact and on the product itself. 3 stripes of color: copper gold (picture 3# the reflection in the mirror shows this color most truthfully), sparkly pale pink with a "sun" dot in shade of orange and eggplant shimmer purple. With the exception of the orange all shades are super glittery -- glitter will actually show on the face (which I'm not so fond of for everyday use, but noticed that a few brush strokes will actually soften the glitter and the effect is better -- less disco and more glowy). The compact comes in a purple velvet sleeve with two pockets on the inside to hold a tiny brush (usless) and a double-sided sponge applicator (ok). The compact has a mirror, but because the compact itself is not v. big (0.28oz,/8g dimensions 6cmx6cm square) the mirror is quite little and I don't find it too comfortable to use. Use: Well, I guess YSL left it to us to really decide how to use as it doesn't come with much hints for the application. Eyes and complexion sounds quite vague and it is. I've tried it as a highlighter (but a bit too much sparkle to wear all over face), blush (ok, sparkle can be softened with a few brush strokes -- I'm just careful not to swirl too close to the purple shade, but a bit of it added to pink and gold shades actually creates a nice looking glowy blush). It works nicely as an eyeshadow too -- I use the pink as a base on the lids, coppery gold in the center and purple on the outside corners and as a liner, orange to accentuate the eye closer to the brow bone). At $57 USD it's a splurge, could definitely live without it, but I think I'll make a nice travel highliter / eye shadow compact when I don't want to tote around my meteorites pearls. I also love that as my NM gift it came beautifully wrapped with their 100th anniversary key-chain ;-) -- just an additional special touch IMO. I wouldn't buy again 'cause it's a LE for one and really 1 is plenty. Pictures above. UPDATE: After having it for a while, I'm taking a lippie off. I hardly ever use it due to its very visible shimmer particles and I still weren't able to figure out how to use that purplish stripe of color - it's a bit blah on the eye and doesn't really look good on cheekbones too (unless I was going for a garish zombie look. Well, the gold and peach do work ok as eye lid illumators, and when I travel and don't want to tote around my meteorites I'll take this instead but have to be careful to carefully brush away all this glitter.
Palettes -Chanel - Le Regard des Vacances - Exclusive Resort Makeup Collection
AJC 12/4/2007 7:20:00 PM
This is a NM Holiday 2007 gift set offer. Set includes black makeup case with firm sides and sparkly trim; Levres Scintillantes Glossimer in Seashell (v.v. pale shimmer), Inimitable Mascara Multi-Dimensionnel in Black, Lumiere Soleil Luminous Bronzing Powder (with slight nacre-like shimmer on the skin, but not glittery at all), and a mini blush brush. The bronzing/highlighting powder is wonderful -- gives my now winter pale skin a healthy glow without overdoing the bronzing -- it's more the effect of a healthy glowing skin rather than bronzed. I love the texture of LS glosses and this one looks pretty on its own (for nude shiny lips) or layered over any lipcolor for more pronounced effect. I also like the mascara a lot -- got a few samples of it before and now I can enjoy the full size. The mini brush works superbly as well -- way better than those micro brushes that usually come with compacts. The thing with this brush is that I'd have to tote it on its own as it comes whithout any casing at all (I don't count this clear plastic sleeve as a case) -- so it might get damaged soon if I don't think of a way to tote it safely in my makeup case. Overall it's a great gift set and I'm happy I got it (well, requested so to speak ;-)) At $140 it's not cheap, but I love love love Chanel beaute. I posted some pics for you to see.
Skincare - Body -Sally Hansen - Flawless Hands Skin Brightening Hand Creme SPF 20
AJC 10/31/2007 8:50:00 PM
I like the high SPF, however, the moisturization level is only so so. Lotion absorbs quickly and the scent is unobtrusive, I just wish it moisturized a bit better. Good hand creme for a good price. Ingredients: ACTIVE INGREDIENTS: Ensulizole 4% Octinoxate 2% Oxybenzone 4% INACTIVE INGREDIENTS: Water, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Dimethicone, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Coco-Caprylate/Caprate, Butylene Glycol, PEG-8 Beeswax, Sodium Hydroxide, Dipropylene Glycol, Centella Asiatica Extract, Echinacea Angustifolia Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, SD Alcohol 40-B, Titanium Dioxide, Sodium Cetearyl Sulfate, Xanthan Gum, Soluble Collagen, Arctostaphylos Uva Ursi Leaf Extract, Morus Alba Bark Extract, Tocopherol, Retinyl Palmitate, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Panthenol, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Seed Extract, Ceramide 3, Cyclopentasiloxane, Ethylhexyl Cocoate, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Retinol, Lecithin, Glycolipids, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Fragrance, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Ethylparaben, Propylparaben, Diazolidinyl Urea, Butylparaben, Isobutylparaben, Disodium EDTA .
Palettes -Laura Mercier - Exclusive Trendless Eye Portfolio
AJC 10/29/2007 9:47:00 PM
A brown leather case holds: • 4 Eye Colors in Vanilla Nuts (matte), American Coffee (matte), Coffee Ground (pearly) and Bamboo Dark(matte). • 1 Black Ebony Eye Liner (powder not cream). • 1 Brown Copper Kohl Eye Pencil (slightly metallic, soft enough for easy application but stays put). • 1 Black Thickening & Building Mascara (haven't tested yet). A Double-Ended All Over Eye Color (huge for the area, but pleasant in application) & Eye Crease Brush, Double-Ended Flat Eye Liner & Pointed Eye Liner Brush (v. precise application) and a Double-Ended Smudge & Corner Eye Color Brush are also included. It's a Neiman Marcus exclusive for their 100th anniversary. It looks chic in this leather zippered case. The mirror on the inside lid could definitely be much bigger but instead there is only a quite narrow elongated mirror -- good for eye makeup but for the price I wouldn't mind being able to see the rest of my face at the same time. I assume that steep price includes not just the leather casing but also the brush set. I must admit that the brushes are fine quality and do their job well. I also like that each end of the brush is labeled to identify what the brush is supposed to do -- which can be useful. At first I was surprised to see the size of the All Over Eye Color brush -- it's quite big, but that really helps in all over (!) eye color application -- usuallly I used much smaller brushes for that, but with this one it's only one swipe and I'm done. The shadows. I really like the 3 matte eye colors -- I've been looking for a while for a nice set of brown matte colors for a natural look and these are perfect. The lightest Vanilla Nuts is perfect for the corner of the eye and as an all-over base on the lids. American Coffe, warm medium-roast coffee color I must add, looks great when applied close to eyelashes and Bamboo Dark is rich and dark -- perfect for that sultry smokey eye effect. Coffee Ground is the only pearly color in the palette and I see it as an odd ball here. Yes, it's pretty and maybe it was added for versatility, but I don't think the pearliness of this shade works well with the other matte shades. But I'll probably use it on it's own as it's still pretty -- just doesn't seem to fit into this story IMHO. The black eyeliner(which due to being a powder could double as an eyeshadow easily) is charcoal grey when applied dry and ebony black when applied wet -- it stays put all day and is easy to apply with the included brush. I haven't really tried the mascara yet, as I'm still using my YSL -- will update my review when I do try it. I like the fact that the eye colors come in these cute little jars and I like the leather casing and I like the double ended brushes (for the $$ you're actually buying a brush set too, and this one doesn't disappoint -- good quality and portability). It's a splurge but I feel like a painter when playing with this palette (ahh the jars the brushes the palette -- you get the picture) ;-)) I give it 4 lippies because of the price tag and small mirror. I put down that I wouldn't buy it again, but only because it'll last long and one really gets one of such LE items like this one. But the quality is great -- shadows stay put all day and brushes are great too. I've added a picture that you can find in my profile.
Mascara -Guerlain - Golden Lash Mascara Top Coat Holiday 2007 LE
AJC 10/26/2007 2:28:00 PM
It's a nice "gadget" to glam up a girl's Holiday look. It's best applied on the lashes when the mascara is already dry -- no clumping then. Initially I was surprised to see the wand of this product: it's not your usual spool but rather a thin plastic applicator throughout the wand. The tip reminds me of the honey spoon (you know, those special wooden spoons to scoop out honey and pour on a toast) -- it has spiral ridges and you simply swipe it over the lash tips. The effect is what I expected -- is frosts lash tips with this interesting golden crust. I refer to it as a crust because after the product set in and dried on my long lashes I felt like I had something on top of them -- it kind of hardened, but it might be just a matter of getting used to it. My lashes did look pretty and v. Holiday-like -- especially from an angle I could see this delicate sparkle -- quite an intriguing result. I won't purchase again: 1. it's a LE; 2. even if it wasn't it's just one of those totally unnecessary products that you'll use infrequently. Don't get me wrong -- it's nice to have one, and that will suffice.
Powders -Guerlain - Forever Gold Sublime Radiant Powder Holiday Collection 2007
AJC 10/24/2007 11:55:00 AM
Forever Gold is a body powder with this v. fine multi colored glitter. Because of this glitter I'd say it's for special occasions only. Compared to other body glitters I've seen or used I do like that the particles are small and in many colors -- it catches light better and looks more true to a skin (well, as much as a glitter can be). Packaging is v. elegant but I suspect that the fancy looking atomizer was just added to hike the price up -- I don't find it to distribute the powder really well when sprayed, I still need my brush to spread powder around. Perhaps if I sprayed more vigorously it might work better -- but then I'm afraid to create a powder cloud around me and suffocate in this luxury cloud ;-) Shortly, to me the fancy looking atomizer is a great marketing device rather than a practical tool. If you love LE products that look so lavishly elegant you might be happy with Gold Sublime. I don't really use glitter all that often, but I'll probaly keep this one for its good looks and air-tight packaging (which hopefully will prolong product's shelf life -- 'cause I'll have it forever).
Highlighters -Guerlain - Meteorites in Gold Temptation, LE Holidays 2007
AJC 10/24/2007 11:37:00 AM
I'll start with the negative. When my Gold Temptation arrived and I opened this pretty golden box I was shocked to see that all the powder balls were immersed in powderized meteorite dust!!! I estimate that about 3-4g of the product simply disintigrated into a pretty much useless powder. I blame it on the new (and oh-so-raved about in those ads) size of the meteorites -- they're mini compared to the standard versions, which can look pretty, but it also means that there is more surface to rub off and less meteorite ball surface to last. I was almost ready to take it back to NM -- honestly I still might to ask for an exchange, as my heart still bleeds. Another thing might be that the texture of this edition of M. is less compact and more prone to falling apart -- I've noticed that many of the balls were actually close to fall apart :-(( Positives: The effect is truly and amazingly glamorous! It's the highlighter I've been looking for in a while. You can read what the individual colors are supposed to do in the ads, I'll tell you that they actually impart this Hollywood glamour dewy glow on my cheekbones. I'd compare the effect to a nacre-like dewyness. It's not good for all around the face I'd say. But to highlight strategic points on ones face GT does a SUPERB job -- glowing cheeks and I like to apply a bit of it on my upper forehead, right where I can feel my skull bones and extend it to the hair line -- I won't apply on the forehead directly due to my combo skin. I love this Holiday edition and I think I should request an exchange for an uncompromised product -- it's so beautiful I want it to last as long as possible. I also have a picture of this item in my profile -- in the middle I placed one of the Pucci meteorites for size comparison. UPDATE: As to the reviewers complaining about excess shimmer particles -- yes there might be some when I first apply the powder, but I've noticed that those particles get brushed away when I blend in the powder with several brush strokes and what's left is only a nice delicate glow. I still think these are my favorite Meteorites!
My first disappointment when it comes to Chanel nail color. I own Magnolia Rose and thought that this would be her more pinkinsh sister. Ah, wrong I was. It is super sheer -- two coats won't cover my nails without a nail peeking out, which still would be OK as I don't mind a sheer manicure sometimes. But what truly disappoints is the glitter used in Pink Satin. I was expecting another like of Magnolia R. -- with beautiful all over delicate sparkling shine, with v. fine glitter particles. With Pink Satin, however, it's the opposite -- glitter is more pronounced yet scattered throught the polish so randomly that it seems misplaced. By this I mean that it looks like someone accidentally mixed in a dab of glitter -- said, "ooops, maybe no one will notice it was a mishap" and off it went onto production line. It's just a very unoriginal effect you'll get with this polish. I bought it along with Chanel's new edition Delice and to cover my disappointment in Pink Satin I topped two coats of PS with one coat of Delice -- aha, and that was the bulls' eye! The result is a v. natural and elegant, slightly sheer manicure -- the mirror shine of Delice saved the day and may be the reason for me to keep PS, only so I can layer it under Delice.
Delicate, is well... delicate. Subtle warm nude beige, v. close to my natural lip color it enhances pout with sheer veil of moisturizing color with a satin, moist looking finish. I absolutely love the packaging of Rouge Allure lipsticks: black elegant column with golden inside that you pop in and out with a push of a finger -- something I've never seen in other lipsticks. I like that the scent is delicate and not overwhelming like with most Estee Lauder lip colors. I'm taking off one lippy for a relative short lip-life of this product -- it disappears in about an hour or so. But then again it is a pleasure to break out the elegant lipstick and reapply. I probably wouldn't repurchase this particular color as I like to vary my color selection, but I'd definitely take a look at other colors from this line.
Tools -Sally Hansen - No More Mistakes Manicure Clean-Up Stick
AJC 10/22/2007 1:19:00 PM
I love this product! OK, the tip does get dirty when dealing with darker nail polish -- but you can clean it with a cotton ball soaked in nail polish remover! That's what I do after each use and although the tip still gets a tint from my pigmented nail colors it doesn't bother me as much and the felt tip works much much better than any q-tip I've ever tried as it's sturdier and does a job better around cuticles or under nail if polish gets there. Another thing that some of the previous reviewers seemed to forget about: it's REFILLABLE, which means that when the tip starts feeling too dry to deal with the poilsh you can simply pour more of your own remover (not much needed or you'll flood the pen, but then you can simply tip it over the sink and let the overflow pour out) and, voila, the pen works like a charm again. For those more bothered with the tip getting tinted: well, there are 3 of those so I guess you can always devote one for use with darker polish and one for french and lighter polish and still have one replacement. I simply find it a great and v. helpful manicure tool.
LE for Holidays 2007 this is another superb nail polish from Chanel. Slightly beige in the bottle with lots and lots of sparkle -- super fine glitter (nothing of the large particles found in other brands' polishes) that when applied gives to my nails an almost mirror like finish. It's v. sheer and natural -- nails will show through after 2 coats of this polish. The way I love to wear it is as a finishing pre-top coat layer to my other Chanel polishes. Delice is sheer enough for another color to show through, but with it on top you're getting a whole different color and dimension (I turly love this elegant mirror sparkle on my nails) -- and it's also a great way to refresh your existing nail color collection by turning the old polishes into something fresh and new. It looks great on its own too, for those that like to wear sheer color.
The color of this gloss has been described v. well below so I'm not going to repeat it. However, I must agree with heaven07: my Blush Galce DOES HAVE this v. nausiating parrafin taste to it and I can't stand it. Too bad as the color and texture of this gloss are truly great. Perhaps it's that some of the LM products are sold past their expiration date or maybe they're stored inappropriately -- I can't explain why some of them are all right and some are terrible. So you SHOULD test (taste) it in person before buying as you never know with these particular guys. Too bad ;-/
Lipstick -Laura Mercier - Pink Champagne (Fall 2004 Lady Luxe Collection)
AJC 10/16/2007 7:07:00 PM
I got a large sample of this lipstick with my NM beuty purchase. Usually I'm more of a gloss gal but this lipstick is something I'll be buying! On my lips it's a v. neutral, nearly nude shade with a hint of rosey pink. Moisturizing and feels v. smooth and silky on the lips it also enchanted me with its glossy finish. Truly wearable color and moisturizing formula are a big plus. It's not a super long wearing lip color, but most of the moisture formulas aren't -- I usually eat it away or leave it on my cup brim ;-) But it's such a pleasure to reapply this lipstick that I absolutely don't mind doing that!
Lip Gloss -Chanel - Rouge Double Intensite - Tourmaline
AJC 10/16/2007 1:30:00 PM
At the Chanel counter I was excited to try out this long lasting lipstick. SA applied Tourmaline on me, but I was a bit hesitant -- normally I prefer nude or v. natural lips and this is quite a vibrant pink and the long lastin formula does not make it sheer at all. To tone down the intensity the SA used on my Ch's Aqua Crayon lipliner in Rosey -- she also showed me the trick that before the stain sets in I can use the liner to fill in my lips and alter the bright pink color of Tourmaline to a more wearable (for me) option. I liked it so I purchased both. While I won't wear it to work (still too much IMO) it's perfect for a dinner date and a night out -- it stays put and the stain actually stains my lips so even after a full dinner I still have nice rosy pout. Oh, and it's much much much less drying that other similar lipsticks, however, it's still unforgiving for chapped lippies.