Sunday, January 31, 2016

Chanel Les Sautoirs de Coco Collection, Part I

Between seasonal collections, Chanel releases a collection each year themed around pearls. Originally targeted at the Asian beauty market and their love for all things brightening, Chanel has finally figured out that women around the world adore luminous, beautiful makeup.

Before I discuss the collection in-depth, take a look at the promotional image for the collection. It's flawless! Here's the in-store setup, next to the Spring collection:

When I see the image on the right, the following words come to my mind: stunning, flawless, ethereal. Everything that I'm looking for in makeup. It's also the perfect counterbalance to Chanel's oversaturated hues of Spring 2016. There are some times in life when a collection is perfect for a woman; Chanel Les Sautoirs de Coco is it for me. So, I bought almost the whole thing.

I wanted to get this post up ASAP, so I have only one day of playing with the collection. Don't quote me on the exact wear time as a result. I'm also still adjusting to a new camera and trying to figure out my lighting. Photos look great on-camera but then dark once they're on my computer.

I'll start with the centerpiece of the collection: the ultra-luxe, collectors' item highlighter duo: Perles et Fantaisies Illuminating Powder (0.3oz/8.5g, $ 70). This inevitably will sell out and is limited edition. As a side note, I can see how 20MP makes all the difference now. I adore the crispness of this photo.

Before even talking about the item, let's talk about how well Chanel does items like this.  Even the box is embossed with pearls. Well done, Chanel.

The highlighter itself is a duo- white and pink. With the most careful of hands and smallest of brushes, one could wear them individually. I swatched them separately and swirled together. For my look, I swirled them together. I wore this as a traditional highlighter on my cheekbones and love it. It's quite different than other pink highlighters- this is, like a pearl, just soft and feminine.

I'm not the first, nor will I be the last, to observe that when mixed, this highlighter leans more towards the white side than the pink side. It's not a dupe for Becca Pearl though. I think the versatility of this piece, plus its luxe collectors' appeal make this a must-have. It's also very different than Chanel Coups de Minuit despite both having a pink cast. It's also a totally different type of shimmer than Dior's Spring highlighter (I'd call the later a sheen rather than shimmer).

Let's talk eyes. This collection features two new releases for eyes: The Les 4 Ombres in Tisse Ombre de Lune and Illusion d' Ombre 112 Iridescent.

Les 4 Ombres #258 Tisse Ombre de Lune (1.2g/0.04oz, $61).  If extremely pigmented, loud shades are your favorites, this will not be your quad. These shades are on-theme, very soft, feminine, and delicate. This is listed as limited edition. It makes me think of ladylike elegance.

When you have snow, you use it for a backdrop. It's actually very true-to-color:

Tisse Ombre de Lune #1 (Ombre Shade) appears to be an off-white in the pan but pulls a lovely light champagne gold against my heavily pink-undertoned NW15 skin.

Tisse Ombre de Lune #2 (Highlight Shade) is the shade that caught my eye initially. In the pan, it appeared to be a lovely silver with blue undertones; it pulls a true silver against my skin. When I re-tested this with a brush spritzed with just a touch of MAC Fix+, this turned almost into a foil! Love!

Tisse Ombre de Lune #3 (Ombre Shade) is a lovely, shimmering light pink against my heavily pink-undertoned NW15 skin. In the pan, it almost looks apricot, but I think my undertones take over. I really like this shade.

Tisse Ombre de Lune #4 (Intensify Shade) is a sultry deep grey with noticeable silver glitter flecks. I'd be hesitant to use this during the day, but it makes this quad workable for an elegant evening out. This is extremely pigmented and the most prone to fallout.

Here's a shot in full sun, swatched. I used my finger to pull the swatches since it seemed as representative as anything else:

The silver shade pulled blue here in the sun- but against blue eyes it looks silver.
Ladies, wear a primer with this quad. Can I yell any louder? I had no problem with pigmentation or wear time as long as I used the proper tools. Primer is one of them. I also found that brush selection was critical with this quad. After trying my Haukuhodo J004G, MAC 233, and MAC 242 with little success and a lot of frustration, I found that the quad sprung to life with my Tom Ford Eyeshadow Contour Brush. Seriously, it was night and day, like I'd picked up a totally different quad.

Unless you pile Shade #4 all over your lids, it's going to be almost impossible to overdo it with this quad. Two thumbs up from this makeup lover who gets ready early AM.

When I tested these pieces, here's how I wore them. I wore  Iridescent IdO as a highlight in the inner eye, OdL #1 up near the brow bone as a highlight, OdL #3 in my inner lid to about the 1/3 mark, OdL #2 on the outer 2/3 of my lid, and OdL #4 blended in the crease just a touch. I paired with Ardell Accent lashes #301 for some ladylike drama.

A quick note, I notice that the lashes are lifting a bit here. I'm still learning with false lashes, so I'm willing to admit I'm far from perfect. I require very, very thick glasses so this is a new skill I'm literally trying to learn, blind.

Illusion d'Ombre #112 Iridescent (4g/0.14oz, $36) is also listed as a new limited edition shade. It's tough to pick up on the shade in photographs. It's nearly clear, with a pink pearl to it. Think of it as the IdO form of MAC Reflects Pink pigment with a twist. This shade is perfect as a highlight, or for a no-makeup look. It really does give a pearly sheen. If you look carefully at the inner eye, that's the pinky highlight that's present.

I mentioned that I'm struggling with my lighting setup right now (A common theme from when I started this blog), so most of my shots of Iridescent don't look right. When I get that figured out, I'll edit in a couple more photos. Until then, here's a shot of it in the sun:

It's a bit frustrating since I was careful to photograph before soiling the pristine surface. Oh, well. But here's a photo of it swatched. You can really see it sing here.

This is the most subtle and gorgeous item I've bought for awhile. I think of a butterfly wing or something equally light and fragile. Ethereal at its best.

This post is extremely long at this point, and I haven't touched any of the lip items or the repromoted eye item I picked up with the collection. So, I'll break it up and discuss the rest tomorrow.

I picked up my items in-store at Nordstrom, although they received limited stock. It's also available online at, and via Neiman Marcus as of this post.

Sunday Dreaming

It's been a long, long time since I've done one of these. Since I just bought a ton of makeup, there's not a lot that I've got my eye on, beauty-wise. But here's what I'm dreaming of:

1. Alexis Bittar Lucite Neo Bohemian Hinged Bangle ($130)

Let's talk jewelry for a minute here, okay? I'm obsessing over Alexis Bittar's designs as of late, but I've always loved his work with Lucite bangles. This is one of my favorite styles, and I already own it in multiple colors. This Fluorescent Melon shade is perfect for spring- and is making my heart sing. I may have to pick it up for a treat one of these days soon!

2. NARS Spring 2016 Color Collection

It's just a matter of days until NARS' Spring 2016 collection launches beyond the brand's website and Barney's New York. I have my eye on several key pieces- minty Dual Intensity eyeshadow Tavros and Impassioned blush among them.

3. Chanel Angled Powder Brush #2 ($60)

This was also promoted with the Chanel collection that I purchased, but I've been buying so many brushes that I couldn't pick it up right away. I've been looking for a large angled brush and really want to play with this one. I love the one Chanel brush that I have (#4), so I think #2 may be joining it very soon.

I'm working on a massive post recapping the new Les Sautoirs de Coco Collection and hope to get the first half of that up later today.

What are you dreaming about on this Sunday?

Saturday, January 30, 2016

#TreatYourself, or Never Go Shopping Exhausted

I promised big changes were ahead. Well, here I have the in-store part of yesterday's haul and a funny story for you.

I went out to nab a new camera (check, learning to use it and figuring out my lighting right now). I also noticed that the new Chanel La Perle collection had made it to my local Nordstrom. Having resigned myself to skipping, I still took a peek.

Skipping didn't happen; I bought essentially the whole collection. Swatching and photographing that it my number one priority right now since it's still relatively new.

Bottom line: never go shopping exhausted or "#TreatYourself" becomes  "the heck with it, buy it all, you can afford it."

Lots of goodies to come, including Chanel La Perle, Chanel Spring (I picked up the delayed quad the other day), Lancome Spring, YSL Spring, MAC Flamingo Flock, Charlotte Tilbury, and more...

Friday, January 29, 2016

NOTD: Julep Joy

While looking through posts that I started a long time ago, I found a few draft NOTDs started in a folder. While I work towards getting new content for the blog, why not bring them back?

Let me to try to decipher my notes about Joy. It's a lovely pinky mauvey purple with sheer tendencies; this photo is at least 3 coats. I have a hard time with Julep's polishes- this probably lasted about 24 hours without chipping if I'm lucky.

I'm not sure when this was taken, but there's certainly no green in my shots these days!

A bit of an update: I'm looking to upgrade my camera and lighting options, so any new pictures might be a little lesser quality. I'm working on it, though. I have some Spring 2016 items to shoot (including key pieces of the YSL, Dior, Chanel, and Lancome collections) and I can't wait to play with them. So readers, please forgive me if you get photographs of used items if my patience runs out.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

NOTD: OPI A Butterfly Moment

If there was a draft NOTD to discover while digging through Blogger, this one is a shocker! I would've thought that I'd have already featured it.  Oops. I can speak much more eloquently about it now though.

You'll have to trust me, but this is three coats of OPI A Butterfly Moment. This is a discontinued shade from the Mariah Carey collection. A Butterfly Moment came in stark contrast to the blinged out shades that stole most of the attention in the collection.

But A Butterfly Moment was where it was at. It's a lovely, grown-up shade that's so soft and irresistible. Think of it with a cozy cashmere sweater and you're on your way.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Snow Day Beauty

With so much of the country experiencing snow within the past few days, I thought I'd re-start the blog by bringing you my snow day beauty favorites. This is the exact combination that I wore while shoveling for hours- and why I chose each carefully curated item.  This comes from a lifetime of living in areas with snowy winters- and never having the luxury of a garage/snow blower!

Please note the yummy throw- it may show up from time to time as a background. It seems right since we're talking winter. This picture really was taken by a fireplace (which was in use recently).

1. If you're planning to spend all day digging out in the snow, it's important to pamper your face a little bit more. I upped my moisturizer to L'Occitane's Shea Butter Ultra Rich Comforting Cream ($34, 1.7oz)(sample from last holiday's L'Occitane Advent Calendar) to give just a bit more protection. It has 25% shea butter, which allowed my sensitive skin to deal with the cold elements with nary an issue.

2 + 3. UV protection is a MUST, and you'll be getting a lot more UV (reflection from the snow) than you may estimate. Even though it's winter, protecting your skin is essential. I trotted out my regular daily duo- Chanel UV Essentiale  Complete Sunscreen UV Protection Anti-Pollution Broad Spectrum SPF 50 ($55, 1 oz) and Shiseido Sun Protection Eye Cream SPF 34 ($35.50, 0.6oz). In the time that I've been away from blogging, I have re-dedicated myself to a SPF'd lifestyle. This combo is my HG for use with daily makeup and provides as high of a SPF content as I can find.

4. A light base- I personally love Iope's Air Cushion XP as an awesome cushion compact. It's not available directly for sale online in the US, but it's worth tracking down. I'll post a full review in the coming weeks, as well as more info on how to find the most pale-complexion-friendly cushion compact on the market (IMO).

5. Even though I went au natural for blush and the cushion compact let my freckles (and rosacea) shine through, I have a few spots that I wanted to cover, plus my naturally-occurring dark circles. I could've pulled out my NARS Creamy Concealer, but Sephora Collection Bright Future Gel Serum Concealer ($14) has been in my rotation far more often as of late. PS- my NW15ish skin likes shade 01- Bavarian Cream.

6. Right now, my hair is a few shades darker than my natural shade, so filling in my brows is a must or I look silly. I adore my Tom Ford Brow Sculptor ($45) in Chestnut for a quick one-step brow.  (In case you're curious, I love using MAC Cork with some Fix+ for additional coverage.)

7.  This was one of two totally unnecessary steps, but honestly I wanted to test this out after getting a deluxe sample during the holidays. Any totally neutral eye pencil will do, but I wore NUDESTIX Magnetic Eye Color in Angel ($24), a lovely nude shade. It's my eyes but better. It wore decently well while exerting myself, but if I was going to do this over I'd pull out Laura Mercier's Eye sticks.

8. Pick out your favorite waterproof mascara. This is the one that I have open right now, Chanel Le Volume Waterproof Mascara ($32).

9. Your lips will need some pampering. Do it up right with the Rolls Royce of lip balms, By Terry Baume de Rose. I pulled out the special edition from Holiday 2015- the Gold Baume de Rose Parure Lip Balm ($31). It's Baume de Rose with shimmer. It's the best of both worlds- the luxurious lip balm and a glittery gloss.

10. Let's be honest, friends. Shoveling is an awesome cardio workout. Continue smelling awesome with a little bit of perfume oil. I pulled out one of my favorites, Elizabeth and James Nirvana White Perfume Oil ($35).

11. If you're heading out to shovel, or if you're simply taking a halftime break, a great dry shampoo is essential. Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Dry Shampoo ($28) is my HG and beats the pants off of any other dry shampoo I've tried.

If you want to simplify, simply edit out the mascara and eye pencil. I didn't wear them on the first day that I was shoveling.

What are your snow day beauty must-haves?

Monday, January 25, 2016


Hi there.... I wonder if anyone has even noticed that it's been more than a year since I've blogged. Like many others, I quickly flamed out and decided that chasing the blogging world wasn't for me. However, I do miss it- and talking about some of the fun products that I play with. I've thought about re-activating my blog for a long time- but it is difficult to find the light during winter.

If I am able to come back, this will be a different blog- QBB 3.0 I guess. Less focused on chasing the shiny penny, more about talking about items that I love.