Friday, October 17, 2014

What Happens When I Walk Outside - Tom Ford and Charlotte Tilbury, a little CHANEL

I rang up Berfgorf Goodman earlier in the week to reserve the Tom Ford cream eye shadow in Platinum.  This is a repromote from a few seasons back and now offered as a Holiday limited edition item.  If you have many regrets about missing out last time, it would be a good idea to pick one up quickly.
The folks at the counter confirm this is not exactly identical to the original one.  I ended up getting rid of my old pot because it was slightly too cool toned for my skin and this one appears to be slightly warmer (and I think better suited for my skin).  They still have these in stock at this moment, so you can give them a ring (Natalie or Clif can help you 212-872-2813).  By the way, Clif was recently featured in a New York Times article regarding beauty counters offering more and more personalized services offered by brands.  I am unaffiliated with them of course, except for the fact that I spent a lot of money there!

More Tom Ford here, folks.  Clif steered me over to the new matte lipsticks and I thought you might want a good peek at the limited edition shade: First Time (L) and Black Dahlia (R).
  • First time is a white based, opaque and light pink (with coral tones). 
  • Black Dahlia!  Ah!  Too bad Tom Ford lipsticks freak my lips the heck out.  Reminds me a good bit of the now discontinued Black Orchid.  Black Dahlia appears more red and berry, while I recall Black Orchid being more blackended and purple in comparison.
Helen from lolassecretbeautyblog swatched all the shades, so do check it out! Here.

I now pit the Tom Ford against the Charlotte Tilbury!  (Cage FIGHT TO THE DEATH).
I mentioned in an earlier post that I was keen on purchasing two of the blushes, First Love and Sex on Fire (swatched them all here).  I was thinking that Tom Ford Ravish (original post here), which is one of my all time most versatile blushes reminded  me of Sex on Fire.  So I put them next to each other.
Tom Ford Ravish is on the left, Charlotte Tilbury Sex on Fire on the right.  Pretty close, even though Sex on Fire is pinker and duskier.  I bet lightly applied on the face I wouldn't see that much of a difference.  Right?  Right?

My wee Chanel haul, even though I never do well with Chanel nail polish.  This is the Fashion Night Out polish Sweet Star.  She's a beauty.

Annnnnnnnd, I very lightly blotted on some Tom Ford matte Black Dahlia which less than an hour into wear is already making me feel dry.  :(  So sad.  Do you notice a stronger brow?  Lovely Natalie in at the Tom Ford counter passed on some strong brow game tips.  Game on, brows!
Happy Friday, everybody!  What new makeup bits have you been looking at?

Thursday, October 16, 2014

You Asked and Winner of the Bellycorn Giveaway Announced!

Hrrrrrrrpppmmmmph.  Is it odd, or is it to be expected that the majority of your questions centered around food?  And lots of "best of" or "most favorite" type of questions.  Why do you ask such difficult questions?  Why not ask me what time I wake up in the morning or how I like my steak cooked?

Surprised at the hard questions!
I'll try my best to seriously answer your questions. 

Q:I've clumped the: "your favoritest makeup/brand/purchase ever in the whole world" questions together:
Can you spot the Chanel Narcisse JC, SUQQU Ginbudou and Addiction Soda Lunch? 
I think I have Addiction Revenge in there, too.  Maybe even a grey squirrel brush from SUQQU
A: Dontcha know?  I may put on the veneer of the picky and the fickle and of a connoisseur.  In actuality, I LOVE so many things!  I have a bias for the SUQQUs and THREEs and other Japanese high end brands, but at the heart of the matter, I am an all-consuming consumer.  It's very hard to pick a favorite.  And you can't make me.  HRRRMMPPPH!
Q: Amalia asks what makeup I would wear in a romantic sunset in Santorini.
 A: Amalia seems like a lovely human being, even offering to babysit the Belly Offspring, but IT'S A TRAP.  Sending a snow woman to Santorini would only mean heartache and a cup of Snow Water.  She's trying to kill me.
Q: What motivates me to keep at blogging, asks Angela.
A: Angela, I have no simple answer.  Partly: Fame, Fortune, Lifetime Supply of Bacon.  Ego.  Mass Destruction.  OCD.  I tried to stop many times.  Many more times than I've ever reported on the blog.  Yet here I am making Microsoft Paint doodles on the blog.  Obviously, I have problems.  This is like when I dated my dope of an ex-boyfriend for a few years longer than I should have.  Seriously.  I can't stop.  Help.
Q: A related question was how I come up with blog material.
A: Easy way is to keep on buying and keep on swatching.  Thinking about buying nothing and doing swatches via Microsoft Paint.  What do you think?
Q: Several of you asked what I am reading, my favorite authors, etc.
Dom Belly in shiny pleather.  This is a pretty accurate representation of my body.
 A: Would this be a weird moment to mention that I've read Fifty Shade of Grey something like three times?  Ok, well, that's just BRAIN TRASH.  I've become less of a voracious reader than I used to be, but my library notified me yesterday that my copy of Haruki Murakami's new novel is waiting for me!  Whee!  I have been disillusioned with his recent works (After Dark left me cold, 1Q84 was so bleck), but I remain ever hopeful that his new work remains faithful to the old magic of his earlier works.  I am currently reading To Kill a Mockingbird.  Can you imagine?  I've never read this before.  Also last week I finished two Gillian Flynn books: Gone Girl and Dark Places.  All fun reads.  Also last week (I like reading multiple books simultaneously), I finally finished the last of the Margaret Atwood Trilogy MaddAddam.  I like post apocalyptic genre of everything (movies, book, nightmares).
Q: So who won this ridiculous Bellycorn?
A:  I would like to congratulate TAMMY L. who is the proud winner of the Bellycorn, a.k.a. Tom Ford Nude Dip.  She is also receiving a little token of my slobbering affection, a shrinky dink of the Bellycorn. 
Q: What about the rest of us losers?
A: I will randomly draw five (additional) winners (or losers) from the rest valid entries and also will offer them a conciliatory prize of the Bellycorn Shrinky Dink.  Yes, not exactly Tom Ford.  :(  But ... ridiculous, kind of like this blog.  Winners (losers) to be announced soon.
Congratulations to Tammy.  And special thanks to each of you that entered, asked all your bizarro questions to provide excellent fodder for my doodles.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Four Hands Yields the Most Glorious Look

Why hello, hot stuffs. 

Ah! Sweet, utter relief to know today is Friday.  I have many plans this weekend.  Most of which involve puttering around the kitchen and also taking a trip to see a sculpture park.

On my little lunch break, reading Yahoo news articles, I came upon this ad.


What is happening here?  Did Ellen morph into this woman with four hands?  How do I also get four hands?

I attempted to recreate the above picture, but lacking additional appendages, I wanted to share the most amazing look I've ever created:

Hmm, you know how people sometimes post looks inspired by images?  I find I'm not so good at that.  I am actually wearing a new SUQQU quad that Nicole from Swatcharama purchased for me, Sakurabata.  (Thank you Nicole!)  Turns out that without my everyday Nars Pro Prime, everything I put on my eyes disappears into nothingness in a matter of a few hours!  All HAIL EYE PRIMERS!

Here is a better picture of SUQQU Sakurakaba I posted on my Instagram account yesterday, which was a mini color comparison between Toutouseki trio (posted here in detail) & Sakurakaba quad.  You can see in the swatches that the trio is much sheerer and cooler pinky peach.  Sakurakaba is a lush peach and the dark plum brown is glorious (but a little patchy in application).
Currently, I have 48 valid entries for my Bellycorn giveaway.  You may already own one of those and don't want to own another Bellycorn.  Yes, this I understand because cost of ownership of so many pretties is very high indeed, but for those of you aching to own one, you should enter today!  Click here to enter!  There is only a few more days to enter.

This weekend, I expect:
  • Pie baking
  • Farmers market visiting
  • Sculpture gawking
  • Serious eatin'
  • potential for some blog picture taking
What about you guys?  What's shakin' this weekend?

Monday, October 6, 2014

Charlotte Tilbury Cheek to Chic Blush - Swatch Set

I'm not 100% sure when the Charlotte Tilbury kiosk popped up at Bergdorf Goodman.  During the last beauty event, when I on the floor finalizing my purchases I noticed a small set up for the UK brand.  I tried to get a bit closer, you know, for um science and stuff, but the small area was densely packed with other er... scientists.

This past week, I received a note from Winnie, who was the former counter manager at the Tom Ford counter in the store.  You can see her foot in the picture below.  I was really glad that she is still around, and this time around managing the Charlotte Tilbury in the store!
What?  This picture not blurry!  Must be your failing eye sight!
I took it as an opportunity to check it out during my lunch break.  Luckily, it was quiet on the floor and I had the whole area all to myself.

I remember when the brand launched to much marketing hoopla in the UK a while back.  When it launched I was hoping to see some for myself, but on the whole, the initial feedback were mixed.  There are many reviews out there in the world wide web, and even more now that the brand is distributed in the US.  I don't have anything much to add, but I was very keen on checking out the range for myself.

On this day, I was particularly interested in the blushes and the lipsticks and managed to swatch all of them.  I decide to scrap the lipstick swatches because the combination of the meager indoor in-store lighting and my dopey phone camera, I was unable to capture decent pictures.

We are in business on the blush swatches though, since I got some good natural lighting by a big window.
Very quick impressions:

  • Plastic cases are very lightweight.  I've heard that the brand shares some affinity to Tom Ford.  But just by packaging alone, it appears to be a less luxurious presentation of a brand.
  • The blushes are very smooth and fine.  I didn't try any on my face, but there is a very appealing silky quality to the product.
  • They are much more shimmery than I initially thought and wouldn't have realized without seeing these in person.  Some colors are less shimmery than others.
  • The pigmentation is not high, but are not poorly pigmented.  As a comparison, Tom Ford is much more pigmented than these Charlotte Tilbury ones.
There is the "swirl and pop" method to the application that the brand suggests:  pick up the color of the outer ring of the blush and apply (swirl) to cheeks, and then take the brush to get the center "pop" color and apply that color again to cheek to "pop."  My swatches have blended the colors and I suspect I would be too lazy to try such a finicky application method.
  • First Love - Is a really pretty soft nude.  I think this was the lightest in pigmentation and was satin in finish.  On my skin, it translated into a beautiful mauve nude with a dose of brown.  
  • Love Glow - warm peachy pink.  The shimmer is strong in this one.
  • Love In the Drug - the inner darker pink dominates this swatch.  I think theoretically you can moderate the intensity of the application by avoiding this deep pink or using a lot of it.  This is also shimmery.
  • Ecstasy - please don't kill me!  But is this the Charlotte Tilbury version of the Nars Orgasm but not as glittery?  There is a very strong golden sheen to this applied color based on the shimmer in the color.
  • Sex on Fire - A little plum, a little red and a little brown!  I really like how this color looks.  Slight sheen, but not overly so.
  • The Climaxx - a warm orange leaning brown with a slight sheen.  I guess this might work as a bronzer but the shimmer might make it less applicable for that purpose.
Both First Love and Sex on Fire are absolutely lovely.  I think I'm going to see how Sex on Fire compares to Tom Ford Ravish as a potential dupe first before pulling the trigger.

I will take a look at the balance of the range at some point.  I believe the Bergdorf Goodman counter will have its official opening this week, along with a brand new gleaming counter.  Have to admit that the overly abundant marketing push makes the brand a bit less appealing in my eyes. I hate to be such a packaging snot, but the really light cases do nothing for me.  Probably more importantly, as the reviews have not been as wholly positive about all the products in the range, I will need to tread a bit cautiously.

Have you picked up anything from the line since the UK or the US launches?  How did your experience go?

Friday, October 3, 2014

Tom Ford Eye Color Quad in Cocoa Mirage

Cocoa Mirage might not be the quad you were expected me to post about today.  Yet, here it is, because I've been really using this (and spoiler alert: really liking it). 
A rambly post ahead, but still with some structure.  First a chat about Cocoa Mirage.  Second, a look for other Tom Ford similar quads.  Third, a chat about "layerability" compared to SUQQU.  Fourth, comparison to other "good" mattes.  And finally, a face/look spam-fest!

Chat about Cocoa Mirage:
Cocoa Mirage is very unique in the Tom Ford eye shadow quad line up, missing the glitter shade (or two!) and featuring three mattes and one shimmery shade.  Not really sure why I passed this one up in the original launch of the brand, nor why I kept on passing by it, but I do have a demonstrated soft spot for complex shimmers and this is definitely not that.
(Unrelated rant:  Argh!  My new macro lens picks up dust I can not even see with my naked eyes.  I tried to zap them out but my 6 year old Macbook Pro is unable to handle all the graphics powering requirements and too slow with photo editing.)
I do like how hefty these quads are from Tom Ford.  Having recently felt up Charlotte Tilbury items in person, the comparison esthetically vastly favors Tom Ford.  Of course, one pays a very hefty price for this heft.
Packaging aside, how are the colors and how do the colors perform? 
It is not the softer, smoother and more unctuous texture of some of the later releases like Orchid Haze, Enchanted (dc) or Nude Dip but compared to the original generation of the Tom Ford quads, the quality is very good.  The issue with matte shades, specifically, is that there is a tendency for dryness and a chalky application effect on the skin.

In the case of Cocoa Mirage, I found the texture and feel of the matte shades to be very good, with pigmentation I find easier to work with, meaning not very pigmented and easy to blend.  They are super fine in texture easy not to overblend when I apply on my eyes. 

The swatches, clockwise from top left of the quad:
  • a very pale and opaque matte warm white. 
  • matte yellow toned tan. 
  • a dark matte warm brown.
  • a warm, red-toned brown with red shimmer.
A closer look at the shimmer shade in the quad, which has a beautiful texture and shimmer which is not complex, actually monotonal, but very pretty.

Other Tom Ford Comparison:
Dupey dupe abound?  I own several warm toned brown quads from other brands, but I see that within my Tom Ford collection, Cognac Sable might be somehow vaguely related.  But the very intense glitter, lack of matte and more distinctive orange tones clear indicate they are not really all that related.  No comparison
Ah, Cognac Sable, it be quite gleamy in the light.  I'm blinded!

I also compared it to SUQQU Matsukasa, another very warm brown palette, also a matte, satin, shimmer mix of shades.
What I actually did observe (and hopefully captured on camera) is the differences in layerability.  I know I tend to go on and on about how beautifully SUQQU layers (in every SUQQU post ever), but it was interesting to see how similar shades and finishes between SUQQU and Tom Ford layer to such different effect.

Take a look.  The SUQQU is on the left and Tom Ford is on the right.
Even though the shimmer in that dark shimmer shade in Tom Ford is pretty strong and distinct, it all flattens out to a very subdued shade when all the Tom Ford shades are layered one on top of the other.

Seems to me that the sheerer (and to me still even airier than Tom Ford) texture of the SUQQUs  allow the shimmers and the color differences of each shade to show more distinctly.  Hence the final layered SUQQU swatch shows a lot more distinction and complexity.

Now a Matte Matte Matte Matte Matte ramble:

I ended up taking a closer look at the matte dark brown shade in Cocoa Mirage to other very good mattes I own: Rouge Bunny Rouge, SUQQU and a KIKO Infinity single.
Of the ones I compared Rouge Bunny Rouge by far had the smoothest, most buttery (GAH!  hate that word) feel.  The pigmentation on this one is even and dense and applies like a dream.  There is absolutely no chalkiness, no extra ploof of dust when picked up with a brush in the pan.

KIKO on the other hand was also smooth but unlike RBR, kicked up a good bit of extra dust in the pan.  Pigmentation, not as strong as RBR, but can be built up on the skin.  As a more reasonably priced item, I still think the value is quite good on this one.

Matsukasa swatches weird, but applied over the pale base shade in the quad, it applies like a dream.  This is the least pigmented and the lightest in feel compared to the rest here.

Tom Ford is all around terrific.  Good pigmentation, nice texture, even application and excellent blendability.  Minimal dust kick up as well.

Are you still wondering which one is the best and if anything is truly worth it?  *shrug*  Dunno.

A Delicious Kimchi and SPAM-fest:
All I can tell you is that I am wearing Cocoa Mirage in each of these three looks.  Everything else, I have no recollection.  (bad bad bad bad bloggarrrrr)

Look One:

 Look Two:

 Look Three:


If you made it to the end, congratulations.  You did it!

This quad has been out a while.  Do you also own this one, too?  I am awful late into this aren't I?  What are some of your very favorite warm brown palettes and mattes.  I want to know!
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