Wednesday, August 25, 2010

OPI Glitzerland - Lots of Glitz & Even More Glamour!


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*I included the last photo, even though it is slightly out of focus, because the other photos were not able to capture the glitter's iridescence properly!

OPI Glitzerland was launched this Fall of 2010 with the Swiss Collection.

Collection Thoughts: The Swiss Collection is hefty, with twelve colors to choose from. I was only attracted to three colors but wound up purchasing two. [Yes, I took one out.. SELF-CONTROL!] I can't necessarily pinpoint the Swiss inspiration in the colors, other than the inclusion of red from the Swiss flag, but at least the names of the polishes are cute and memorable!

Color & Finish: Glitzerland is a champagne gold with a slightly beige base color and it as glitzy as the glamour girl in each of us could ask for! As you can see in the above photos, the polish appears to have a metallic finish in the shade and in natural light. The shimmer looks more subdued and leans toward the effect of a fine glitter foil. In the sunlight, however, Glitzerland really comes to life.. just like Paradoxal! The multi-faceted reflects of the glitters provide a hippity-hoppity show of rainbow-colored shooting stars for our eyes to take in with glee *tehehe* That's why it would make such a fabulous top coat for other polishes!

Application & Wear: The first coat gives my nails a sheer layer of glitter. The gold base is apparent but my nail line is still visible. The second coat builds up the color significantly. The glitters start to pop but my nail line is still visible. The third coat gives my nails complete coverage, with no visible nail lines! Furthermore, this polish does not chip easily! Even with my Seche Vite Top Coat, my Chanel varnishes chip after the 3rd or 4th day, but I wore Glitzerland for a week and it didn't even chip once! It did, however, fade at the very edges of my nails but that is normal wear and tear ;)

Dupe: Orly Luxe is the more intense, metallic version of Glitzerland. Luxe, however, has fewer iridescent glitter particles. Glitzerland is also a bit more beige while Luxe looks more like a true yellow gold against my hands' skintone. I will be reviewing Orly Luxe next so that you can see the differences. Personally, I find Glitzerland more wearable on a day-to-day basis.

Verdict: I feel that Glitzerland is the only must-have polish from the Swiss collection. I picked up another polish from the collection, Lucerne-tainly Look Marvelous, but I prefer Glitzerland, as it can be worn all year round!

RAEview's Rating: A+

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Chanel Paradoxal: My Love Affair


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*Please excuse the sloppy paint job! I didn't have time to clean it up before the sun went down but I did manage to capture the versatility of the color.

Chanel Paradoxal is one of the two varnishes released in the Fall of 2010.

Color and Finish: I gave this post the title "My Love Affair" because my favorite color to wear on my fingernails is gold. I'm not one to cheat on gold and wear a dark color consistently but Paradoxal has been my go-to shade since I've purchased it. Indoors and away from the windows, it's a rich and creamy, graphite-tinged, ultra-cool purple. It's nowhere near as dramatic as black but has more edge than your average purple. In the sunlight, however, Paradoxal transforms. I catch myself staring at my nails in front of the window just to peek again at the mesmerizing effect of Paradoxal's burgundy and violet shimmers. The purple base color of the varnish also changes to a more vibrant and red-based. This varnish's color is heavily dependent on the lighting!

Application: Paradoxal applies similarly to Particuliere, so I recommend two thin layers or one heavy coat. I've tested both methods numerous times now but I prefer the latter to avoid brush strokes. Also, this varnish sets fairly quickly. I prefer rapidly drying nail varnishes because it allows for fewer opportunities to dent-or ruin completely-my nails!

Dupe: This shade has no dupe. Yes, a few may be somewhat similar but duality of the varnish is what makes Paradoxal truly unique! No other shade I own [or have seen] looks so creamy in the shade and under fluorescent lights but so shimmery in under the sun's rays. And unlike with Mistral, the shimmer particles are quite apparent!

Verdict: Cool purples are hard for me to wear because the grey tones can make my hands look ashy. Paradoxal, however, is a success! I have seen it look a bit muddy on some women who have a bit of ruddiness to their skin but thankfully, my hands are much more yellow than my face so Paradoxal suits my hands well.

RAEview's Rating: A

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Chanel Particuliere: A Peculiar Color for a Particularly Particular Girl


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The title is a mouthful, isn't it? I adore alliterations and I couldn't resist using this one because I feel it truly suits me! ^_~ Now, on to the varnish..

Chanel Particuliere was released in the Spring of 2010.

Color: Particuliere has been called all sorts of fancy names, from taupe to mushroom. But when Laura of Lollipop26 deemed Particuliere akin to mud, I laughed out loud. Mud is a bit dark but it's an adequate description! I prefer to think of Particuliere as a mousy brown or milk chocolate with a bit of extra milk. It has an ever-so-slight grey lean but I think that's due to the creme finish.
I had this color shipped to me so when I first pulled it out of the box, I thought.. "Oh dear, this is going to look awful on my hands," but it turned out beautifully! It did not make my hands look tan or ashy, which a lot of varnishes seem to do. And I couldn't stop peeking at my nails throughout the day because everywhere I went, girls asked what polish I had on!

Finish: It is a creme finish, as previously stated, and perfectly opaque in two coats. I despise visible nail lines so to achieve such richness in two fine coats makes Particuliere a winner in my book. This is the quality that I've come to expect from my Chanel varnishes - the darker shades, at least!

Dupe? I own Essie Mink Muffs and it is NOT a dupe. It's noticeably darker than Particuliere. Also, I want to make it clear now that I do not call anything a dupe unless it really is a perfect match. Why? Because "dupe" is short for duplicate. By definition, then, a color cannot be considered a true duplicate unless it is a perfect match.
Some of you may think that is too technical but I have OCD and my perfectionist tendencies can't be helped. WAT CHU GONNA DO BOUT IT? oOooOOO Rae used slang and typed shorthand! =P I kid, I kid.. calm down!

Though Particuliere is a limited edition item, it is [thankfully] still available at a few department store counters. Call your local Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom or Macy's and see if they can track one down for you. Pick it up while you still can! If you want a more affordable alternative, Rimmel's Steel Grey polish is similar to Particuliere. Steel Grey is lighter and has more of a lilac-smoke lean than Particuliere. Either way, happy hunting!


Best,
Rae

P.S. I have so many nail varnishes to review: OPI Swiss and the newest addition to the Suede family, Orly Luxe - biggest bling for your buck, if I say so myself, and of course.. Chanel Fall 2010's Paradoxal and Jade Rose. I will try to incorporate more cosmetic reviews from now, too ^^

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Burberry Cosmetics - An Overview


General Thoughts: This line is targeted at fair-skinned women and is not well-suited for those over NC35 or NC40. Online swatches, other than for eyeshadow, are very inconsistent with how the products look in real life and I recommend you use caution when ordering online. Burberry has created a range of cosmetics that caters to the insanely popular and in-demand "make-up but no make-up LOOK." Only a few of the products have metal packaging: the foundation compact and powder compact, for instance. The lipstick and liquid foundation are plastic, as well as several others. The price point of the range is justified, right on target with other designer cosmetic ranges. Currently, it is only available for purchase at 6 Nordstrom stores and Nordstrom Online. The US Burberry site recently launched the cosmetics as well. I enthusiastically recommend their products and if you're interested in seeing the products in action, please watch my video!

Packaging: You can see the gorgeous texture of the paper. It is heavy cardstock and I absolutely adore this attention to detail! It's just a nice touch to the Burberry tradition. I didn't take photos of the metallic paper inside the boxes but I showed it in the video!
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Foundation Powder Compact: It was difficult to capture the embossing on the metal packaging but I did the best I could. I should have taken a picture of the closed compact but obviously, I forgot to. This is my second favorite product from the line! Available in 9 colors and let me just say.. it is one tough foundation to match to! A perfect online match will be impossible to achieve. Just pick whichever color you are in the liquid foundation. I use a large powder brush to sweep it all over my face to set the Burberry liquid foundation. This is so lightweight and sheer a powder that your foundation will never cake up or look too powdery-matte. Full-coverage lovers beware :)
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Details, via Nordstrom Online: Formula - An outstanding texture to be used dry for a sheer finish, or damp for more intense coverage. Comfortable all day long, it blends effortlessly. Benefits - An innovative formula that protects and refines the features. Seamlessly adherent and imperceptibly smooth. Protection - The formula keeps the skin soft and supple. Contains UV filters to protect from damaging environmental exposure. How to use - Burberry Sheer Foundation helps minimize any unwanted shine. Apply lightly for a natural look. Apply with a wet sponge for a velvety finish or a dry sponge for more sheer finish. Includes protective fabric pouch debossed with Burberry check. $55 USD.

Burberry Sheer Luminous Fluid Foundation: I have discovered my replacement for my favorite [now discontinued] Dior HydrAction tinted moisturizer! The shades run very fair and I have 05 Trench, my summer shade, as I am quite tan at the moment. I would say 05 is best suited for NC25-30 so it's noticeably a bit dark for me, even now. I will DEFINITELY need to purchase 04 or 03, come winter! I use my fingertips to apply this and I don't use a moisturizer, only primer, beforehand, as this foundation is very moisturizing. The fairest of fair ladies will appreciate this range of colors most but if you are very oily or acne-prone and you are looking for a foundation with at least medium coverage, this foundation is NOT for you! The finish is very luminous and if you don't want a dewey look, you should also avoid this product. I have combination skin and it lasts at least 4 hours alone, just like my Dior HydrAction, but it does make me look oily at 3 hours if worn alone! It's best to set with a long-wearing powder, like the Burberry compact foundation.
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The foundation display was unlike any other I've seen so I couldn't resist throwing in a picture! And isn't the foundation bottle an architectural marvel? Okay, I admit that's a bit extreme but it's a foundation bottle, for goodness sake.. I think we can afford to drool over it, right?! I love it ^_^
Details, via Nordstrom Online: Formula - A sheer and light cream fluid. A gelled structure for optimum light diffusion. Benefits - A subtle finish and natural glow that illuminate the skin. The skin feels beautifully bare, supple and comfortable. Protection - Hydrating formula. Contains UV filters to protect from damaging environmental exposure. How to use - Gently shake the bottle. For simple application, rub the foundation in your fingertips and gently sweep across your face, as you would a moisturizer, to give a really even tone. Apply with a brush for medium cover or with a sponge for a maximum coverage. 1 oz, $52 USD.

Blush: Peony 04 is well-pigmented and easy to use. It reminds me of Dior's blusher but it is much more powdery in texture than I would prefer. I don't like messes of powder dust all over my compacts. Nonetheless, the shimmer is very understated and this color is best for those of a fairer complexion. 03 Rose Blush, however, is the most universally flattering!
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Details, via Nordstrom Online: Get a bright and radiant finish with warm glowing skin, reminiscent of the freshness of a spring morning. Formula - This airy micro-powder ensures rich shades. Silicones provide an easy glide. Benefits - An effortlessly natural fresh complexion and a healthy glow. Protection - Provides moisturizing benefits. How to use - Apply Burberry Light Glow on the hollow of your cheek to slim face, or apply it at the top of the cheek to highlight the face. Includes protective fabric pouch debossed with Burberry check. $42 USD but it comes with more product than your standard designer blusher!

Burberry 'Lip Cover' Soft Satin Lipstick: I purchased Tea Rose 08 based off the Nordstrom swatches but they are absolutely NOT true to color. Be wary if you choose to order online! Granted, the color is growing on me and I love that it leaves a stain behind. This means I don't have to reapply every 3 hours. The lighter shades, however, do not leave a stain so you will have to reapply every 3 hours - maybe every 2, depending on how often you sip on a latte. The next color I will be purchasing is Cameo 02, a must-have peachy pink! I added swatches to the video so check it out if you'd like to see what Cameo, Cameo Pink, and a couple others really look like.
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Details, via Nordstrom Online: Discover supple and light colors that reflect the natural lip tones. Formulas are hydrating and give a full lip in tone, coverage and color fidelity. Formula - Super-light 'second skin' texture provides intense moisture immediately after application. Combination of oils and light waxes helps easy application and extreme comfort. Benefits - Pigments dispersed in a clear gelled structure ensure high color fidelity. Shiny polymers offer perfect luminosity. Balanced color palette from nude trench tones to Burberry reds. Protection - Contains anti-aging ceramides for fuller lips. Guarantees continuous hydration. Contains UV filters to protect from damaging environmental exposure. How to use - Apply like a normal lipstick or apply to your finger and push into the lip to give a more natural color. To enlarge the mouth, use a lighter lipstick in the middle of the mouth. To reduce the mouth, choose a darker shade. $30 USD.

Burberry Sheer Eyeshadow: My favorite product from the entire range. I plan to collect every single shade.. and this is coming from a woman who is reluctant to purchase single shadows. They are so pigmented, last all day without a primer, and are true to color in pan. They also blend like a dream but I wish the packaging was a bit less bulky. They're slightly inconvenient to travel with.
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I took a photo of some of the shadows and edited the picture to show the shadows as true to color as possible. Unfortunately, Nordstrom has very yellow fluorescent lighting so you'll have to refer to my photo of Almond 06 and compare it to the color of Almond in this photo as a reference point!
Details via Nordstrom Online: Experience natural and earthy tones reminiscent of the English countryside and adaptable to all skin tones. Color selection captures the ease and versatility of the collection and ranges from classic trench coat-inspired shades to smoky metals. Formula - The innovative composition reconciles comfort with long-lasting wear. Light, yet creamy, this performing powder offers optimal adherence. Benefits - Ensures a smooth application and flawless color fidelity throughout the day. From the most natural look to the most sophisticated finish. Protection - Silicones provide extreme emollience and comfort. How to use - Enhance the contours of your eyes to give them a stronger definition. With the applicator, sweep the color gently across the eyelid to achieve depth. Apply to lower lashes if needed, taking it a little lower than you normally would across the eyes. For best results, apply effortlessly which will enhance natural contours of your face.
Includes protective fabric pouch debossed with Burberry check. $29 USD and worth every penny!

Burberry 'Lip Glow' Natural Lip Gloss and Burberry Lip Definer Shaping Pencil: The gloss is best suited for those who do not want a pigmented gloss. Unfortunately, my lips are quite pigmented and I prefer color that is apparent to the eye. Furthermore, the gloss is rather sticky, which my ultra-sensitive lips cannot tolerate. At the $27 USD price point, you're better off purchasing a Chanel Glossimer. The lip pencils are nothing interesting. Truly rectangular, black packaging with a metal cap with Burberry emblazoned on one side. Nice color selection but each one will cost you $27 USD. Personally, I'd never dish out that much on one lip pencil. [My favorite is Lancome's Le Lipstique - not only do you get a ton of product but it comes with a brush on the end!]
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These are NOT true to color! I wanted to show you the packaging :)

Burberry 'Eye Definer' Eye Shaping Pencil and Burberry 'Effortless Mascara' Volumising Enhancer: The eye pencils and lip pencils have the same packaging, which I really love. Though the packaging could have sucked me in, I didn't purchase any of the eye pencils because they reportedly have no lasting power and smudge easily. I suggest you avoid, too, at the price point - $27 USD. The mascara didn't really strike me as MUST-HAVE, either, and at $28USD, I would much rather pick up a YSL Effet Faux Cils or DiorShow. Still, I might give it a try eventually ;)
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I apologize for the blurry photo but once again, it was just to show the packaging of the products.

Burberry Sheer Luminous Pressed Powder: The Pressed Powder is very similar to the Foundation Powder but without the bottom compartment for the sponge. My best friend purchased 01, which is for those who have yellow undertones and 02 is for those with pink undertones. Purchase the Foundation Powder instead! I don't recommend this product at all. This is $45USD but believe me, the foundation powder is sheer enough to set your foundation with and you're better off investing an extra $10 for one that you can use wet as a true foundation. Plus, you can use the powder foundation for touch-ups, too. Versatility always wins!

Burberry 'Warm Glow' Natural Bronzer and Burberry Beauty Brush: I do not want to pay $48USD for an orange bronzer but if you're of an olive complexion, it may still work for you. The brush is a masterfully designed Kabuki brush, priced at an exorbitant $52 but quite worthy of the price. It is incredibly soft and dense. At far as I've heard, there is no shedding, and it is best suited for its design intention - BRONZER. The shape would also work for all-over powder but I prefer using a shorter-bristled brush for powder.


This post took me over 3 hours to compile. Whew! Now on to edit my video.. I will post a link to the video once I upload it later tonight! Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t0WobS1CQ9A
In the video, I demonstrate how I used the products since I'm sure everyone is dying to see them in action ^_~ If you read this review first, you can watch the video from the start or opt to skip all the talk and head straight into the demo.

Best,
Rae <3

Friday, August 6, 2010

CHANEL Summer 2010 - MISTRAL




The star varnish of Chanel's Summer 2010 Collection was Nouvelle Vague, a gorgeous turquoise shade. Bright and vivid blues on my fingernails, however, turn my tanned hands into an ashy brown. I don't want my hands to look like that of a corpse, so I only wear turquoise on my toenails. And because I haven't lost all sanity yet, I refuse to pay $25 for a nail varnish that I will only wear on my toes. Hence, I opted out and purchased the collection's make-up instead! And rightly so, because Super and Genial - the limited edition Rouge Allures - sold out before I had time to purchase back-ups >.< But a month ago, I was at a very deserted Chanel counter in Orange County somewhere and I spotted a Pepto-Pink. Yes, that was Mistral! Mistral was sold out at the counter next to my apartment a mere week after Nouvelle Vague so I figured it had been sold out everywhere else. But my luck had changed and I picked up the last Mistral at this particular Nordstrom. The varnish was much prettier in the bottle than I had expected. I had seen the pictures online and figured it would be a generic pink. I hadn't even bothered to glance at it when I picked up the make-up but as I pulled the bottle out of its box, I was struck by how pretty it was! Too bad it didn't look as pretty on my nails.. Mistral, in the sunlight and in the bottle, is a gorgeous medium pink with just the right amount of blue. It has tiny pink, iridescent, and blue shimmers that sparkle as you tilt the bottle forward but NONE of that appears on my fingernails. "Lost in translation," clearly.

The formula is average, maybe less than average, quality for Chanel. It's nowhere near as smooth or opaque as Paradoxal [review coming soon] but it isn't as difficult to apply as some of the lighter shades that I've tried before. The first coat was definitely streaky and I had to use three medium coats to achieve the opacity shown in the photo above. I was most disappointed that the shimmers were nowhere to be seen, even when I angled my nails toward the sun. All I see is flat pink. On a positive note, the color did not make my hands look ashy!

In conclusion: Mistral is a generic pink. I'm still glad to own it, as it is a limited edition, but even if I found another, I would not purchase it.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

L'Oreal Cosmetics Overview


I had a much better overall experience with L'Oreal than I did with Maybelline, even though one of the foundations caused my skin to break out. I think I will pay more attention to L'Oreal in the future!

Products I'm Wearing in the Video:
Dior Forever Foundation in 021
Anastasia Brow Pencil in Medium Ash
Shiseido Lasting Lift Mascara
YSL Effet Faux Cils Mascara in Noir Radical [Nordstrom Exclusive]
L'Oreal Carbon Black Lineur Intense
MAC Beauty Powder in Alpha Girl
Dior Coral Fantasy Lip Gloss

I promise to have the review and tutorials posted soon. I just want to film those eye specific videos at my apartment, not at my parent's house!

Best,
Rae
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