Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Chanel Paradoxal - Worth the hype?

In the words of Jane Austen, 'It is a truth universally acknowledged that ............ every season Chanel will design the must-have nail colour of the season'. It started with Jade, then came Particuliere, Nouvelle Vague was this summer and now Paradoxal has hit the shelves.

I managed to pick up a bottle of Chanel Le Vernis Nail Colour in Paradoxal first thing the day it came out and the sales assistant said they were expecting it to sell out by lunchtime. Previous must-have colours by Chanel have ended up on eBay for 2,3,4 and even 5 times the RRP of £16.50 so the lesson is if you want it, buy it immediately!

The question is, is it worth all the hype?

Before I answer, I must confess to being a bit of a nail junkie. I adore colour and am like a human magpie for all things shiny, so nail varnish is the perfect way for me to express this. As you can see from the photo above, I have the most recent Chanel sell outs but I was a little hesitant over this latest as I had thought it could be a little too similar to Vendetta. For this reason, I have taken some photos of this shade on my nails so that if you were thinking the same thing, you can compare the two.

Vendetta is a very dark purple that can almost look black in certain lights. It has a metallic edge to it and is best described as black with a hint of purple.

When I saw Paradoxal in person and tried it out, I was surprised at how light it is. It is almost more similar to Particuliere than Vendetta. It is a cool mushroom colour with subtle metallic lilac running through it. At first glance it looks like a slate grey, but the lilac that is shot through it gives it that modern edge. It has proved quite difficult to photograph, despite my best efforts, but at least it gives you an idea how it looks on the nails.

I love purple and this shade was not what I expected, but I think it is a fantastic colour for Autumn/Winter. Neutral enough to be worn everyday to work, but the added twist gives it that extra air of sophistication. There are many colours on the market that may appear similar, for example Nails Inc have some great greys and OPI do fabulous metallics and shimmers, but the nearest dupe is probably Nails Inc Fulham Road, which is available at www.bathandunwind.com for just £5!

So, to answer the original question, yes, Chanel have done it again and Paradoxal is worth the hype. I think it would look fantastic on any ages and is the perfect shade for any woman looking for a bit of Parisian Chic. If you prefer bold, statement colours, this may not be for you, but if effortless elegance is what you are after, Paradoxal can't be beaten.

The Garden Pharmacy still had some stock last time I checked if this post has whetted your appetite:


Chanel Fall Collection 2010

I had a quick look at the rest of the Chanel Fall Collection and it is stunning. I think it would probably suit cooler skintones as there are a lot of deep purples and smokey greys but there is something for everyone. There are 3 new blushers, a bright pink, deep plum and neutral rose, a smokey eye shadow quad, 3 new shades of the Rouge Coco lipstick, 2 eyeliners and 2 single eye shadows in khaki and grey.

I couldn't resist the eyeshadow quad and rose blush, but I could easily have bought everything if my budget had allowed! Although I really enjoyed the Summer pop up collection of nail varnishes and lip products, this new collection is my favourite from the last few years. When my bank balance has fully recovered, I will undoubtedly be back for more.

I will try and post some photos of the eyeshadow quad and blush this week but a word of warning if considering entering a department store this week, there are so many beautiful Fall Collections out now, particularly at Dior and Estee Lauder, not to mention Nars and No.7, that your wallet could take a beating!

Happy Shopping


Lulu Guinness Autumn/Winter Collection: Makeup + Handbags = Heaven!

I have been silently longing for a statement Lulu Guinness handbag for years now but I have always managed to talk myself out of actually purchasing once (I prefer to spend all my money on makeup). However, the latest Autumn/Winter collection has provided me with a reason to part with my cash, it is centered around makeup!

The range features handbags in a range of sizes as well as good selection of smaller purses so there is something to fit a range of budgets.
Makeup Grid Purse £50

My favourite is the medium Cosmetic Shop Edith bag. Every season Lulu produces a statement bag in the style of a specific shop front, previous seasons have included a seafood shop, London souvenir shop and a florists. In keeping with the makeup theme, the latest is a cosmetic shop front. It is full of all the exquisite embroidered detailing that you would expect from the brand and at £250, it is going on the top of my birthday list (I'd better make sure I ask nicely).

Medium Edith Bag

I love the small satin purses that could be used for change or makeup, but I find the Black Cosmetic Shop Wallet, £125, the most practical. It combines the shop front and embroidery detail of the larger bags with all the features you would expect from a quality wallet or purse. If you want the iconic design but are not so keen on the handbags, this would be a great option. Combined with a smarter, more traditional leather bag, when you pay for your latest cosmetics purchase, this wallet will demonstrate both your personality and style.
The new Lulu Guinness Collection is available online at www.luluguinness.com and www.qvcuk.com.

All photos from www.luluguinness.com

Estee Lauder Review & swatches: Eyeshadow Palettes in Blue Dahlia & Surreal Violet

The second part of my look at the latest limited edition collection by Estee Lauder, this focuses on the 5 colour eyeshadow palettes.
Both palettes have received a lot of press attention in the recent months as this is the first major collection for the brand by makeup artist Tom Pecheux. He produced a stunning look with the Blue Dahlia palette in the promos for the collection and the Surreal Violet palette is a beauty must-have in the October UK edition of In Style magazine.
Estee Lauder Blue Dahlia Eyeshadow Palette - £34
Both the palettes come in a luxurious gold compact, complete with traditional sponge applicators, a fine tip for eyeliner and 1 brush head.

I was a little surprised with the Blue Dahlia palette that only 2 of the 5 shades could be considered blue, so if you are worried that the palette could make you look more Pat Butcher than supermodel, don't be. None of the shades are chalky, they have been expertly chosen to be used together to create a sophisticated, modern look.

Blue Dahlia Eyeshadow Palette Swatches - clockwise around the palette starting with the pale highlighter

There is a pale highlighter, a mid blue and a dark blue, a dark taupe and a deep navy in the centre that could be used for liner. All in all, it is everything you need for a subtle, smokey or statement eye.

The surreal Violet palette is my personal favourite as I love purples on my green eyes, the vivid violet shade in the lower right corner being the standout colour.

Estee Lauder Surreal Violet Eyeshadow Palette - £34
Once again, there is a pale highlighter, 2 lilac/purple shades, a grey/taupe and a darkened purple in the centre that could be used as liner. I tried creating a very strong eye with this palette the other night and although i started with some trepidation, the result was fantastic, just what I was aiming for. The palette contained all the shades I needed and so made application both easier and quicker. Great for a glamorous night out.
Estee Lauder Surreal Violet Eyeshadow Palette swatches - clockwise from the pale highlighter
The textures of all the eyeshadows are perfect, I think I prefer them to the recent Chanel quad that I bought, they seem slightly less dry and powdery. Although expense purchases, they represent could value compared to some as all of the shades are wearable. At a push I would say that the Blue Dahlia would suit darker skintones, would look great with a tan, and I love the Surreal Violet on my fair, cool toned skin.

In reality though, I think you should go for what you love. The expertise that has gone into creating both palettes should mean that anyone could wear them without a problem as there are so many different looks you can play around with.

For some inspiration, check out Lisa Eldridge's video tutorial on an evening look using the Surreal Violet palette at www.lisaeldridge.com.

Estee Lauder Blue Dahlia Collection - Swatches & Review

As promised, here is a quick look at what I consider to be the key pieces from the limited edition Blue Dahlia Collection by Tom Pecheux for Esteee Lauder. The focus is the two 5 colour eyeshadow palettes and the 2 pure colour gloss sticks.

I am a very late convert to Estee Lauder. When I was younger, I always considered it as a brand that was more suitable for my grandmother than me. I am not entirely sure where this impression came from but as I had had it for years, I knew it would take something special to convert me.

Sure enough, this season's Blue Dahlia Collection tempted me and now I cannot understand my reluctance to try the range the so many years. The products I have tried so far I am very impressed by.

Out of the 4 items I bought, my favourite has to be the Pure Colour Gloss Stick in Rose Dusk. It is the perfect natural lip colour but better with a modern glossy sheen and is so quick and easy to apply. I have worn it everyday since I purchased it and am considering stocking up on a second, something I have never done before with any makeup!
The range has been designed so that the Rose Dusk lip colour is paired with the Blue Dahlia eye palette and the brighter Orchid Dream lip colour goes with the Surreal Violet palette. Although Rose Dusk is my favourite, the Orchid Dream is a fab bright pink, and the finish makes it just wearable enough for day to day if you are on the brave side (I would not be able to carry this off if it was matte). The swatches really capture the gloss finish.
From left to right: Orchid Dream, Rose Dusk
After taking the plunge, I can say hand on heart that I will definitely be buying more of the Estee Lauder Pure Gloss Sticks in the not to distant future. They are my new favourite lipstick.

The Blue Dahlia range by Estee lauder is available nationwide or online at http://www.garden.co.uk/. The Pure Gloss Sticks are £17 each.

A closer look at the eyeshadow palettes with swatches will follow in the next post.

Saturday, 28 August 2010

A love affair between 1 woman and her lipstick

Hi everyone,

Welcome to Lipstick Luvvies. I hope to be able to share with you my love of lipstick as well as anything and everything in the beauty world, likes and dislikes, product reviews, trends and maybe the odd makeup look if I am brave enough to post photos of myself (maybe in time!). Let me know if there is anything specific you would like me to blog about. I have no idea if anyone will read this and I may well end up talking just to myself but I will remain eternally hopeful that at some stage in the future someone might talk back to me!

Chanel Lipstick - My favourite!

Firstly, I'll say a little about myself and why I love the world of beauty so much. I grew up playing with dolls since I can remember and used to cut their hair and try and apply my mother's lipstick to them, doesn't really work on a Barbie Doll, had slightly more success with Girls World. However, I soon realised that applying it to plastic was futile and that putting it on me was far more exciting, so the dolls ended up in the attic and my first foray into real makeup began.