Somme Institute EYE

I am an eye cream aficionado. It’s not that I know everything about them, it’s more that I love and appreciate a good eye cream. It’s the skincare item I crave most. In an upcoming article I’ve written for Temptalia I categorized eye “creams” into several categories: serums, gels, liquid and cream.

Somme institute’s Eye Cream  is one I’d put in the liquid category. It’s a liquid cream in other words. The name is just EYE, nothing fancy, but very fitting. Somme Institute skincare has been used by me for almost 6 months. I’m always testing new products and giving them a fair shake but Somme is who I come home to for my basics. I recently repurchased the line when Hautelook had it on sale and believe me, I sure didn’t need more skincare, but I wanted it.

Somme Institute Eye

Somme EYE ($72) contains the same basic ingredients that are so wonderful in their 5 step skincare line. It’s infused with eye-specific Molecular Dispersion Technology 5 (MDTD5), a patented technology of vitamins A, B3, B5, C and E designed specifically to improve the eye area. The goal is intense hydration for this most delicate skin on your face. Somme Eye is recommended for all skin types. It will help with firmness and brightness.

I use this both day and night. In the daytime I’ll use a small pump and mix it with my concealer. I like to  wear It Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye and the best coverage for me is mixing it with my Somme EYE. It goes on more smoothly without settling into fine lines while at the same time moisturizing and protecting my eyes. If I use a serum on my eye area, I wait for it to dry and then use a little Somme Eye over it. At night when I use all my Somme products, it fits right in.

Somme Institute Eye

I like the sanitary pump it comes in since I don’t have to worry about cleaning a spatula or being lazy and putting in a used one. Not all eye creams are recommended for the orbital bone area but Somme Eye is safe for this region and won’t wander into your eyes stinging them.

Somme Institute easily became my basic skincare company of choice. 5 products in their basic regimen, Boost Warming Mask and Eye – all are gentle and extremely effective products that fit into my life perfectly. – Marcia

*pr sample first time, purchased second time

Rouge Bunny Rouge – my Cheeks are In Bloom

I’m about to eat my words – and delicious words they are! In my very first Rouge Bunny Rouge order from Zuneta I purchased a  Cheeks in Bloom Blush Wand in the color Vermeer. I was very excited about this particular item because it was a cream blush and I love my cream blushes. Once I received it I liked it but I didn’t absolutely love it. I do my orders with a friend so that we can get free shipping and I mentioned that I thought this was just okay.

Flash forward and I found myself reaching for it every single day. I’d do my eyes and then decide what I wanted to wear on my cheeks and lips – it always seemed to be Vermeer. I realized that this was indeed a find. I wrote a guest blog post for My Beauty Bunny that you might like to read about this blush at that point.

Once this realization occurred you know what happened next don’t you? Yes, of course, I ate my words and ordered the other Cheeks in Bloom Blush Wands by Rouge Bunny Rouge. I couldn’t help it, I really couldn’t.

The 4 available blush wands are:

VERMEER is described as semi-transparent, medium soft rose petal pink. My description is that this is an easy to wear warm pink. For me it wears well with just about everything. This is my absolute favorite of these and my most used.

RUBENS which is described as semi-transparent, medium sangria, with ice. Great on cool, medium and darker skin tones. While I have cool toned skin, it’s very fair and I can wear this without a problem. It’s not as dark as it sounds since it is semi-transparent. It’s obviously a cool toned blush with a blue undertone to the rosy finish.

swatches of Vermeer and Rubens:

GOYA is described as semi-transparent, medium perfect peachy coral. I love this one too. It’s a soft peach on me and wears well with all my warmer shades of makeup.

MANET is described as semi transparent, medium warm rosy coral. When I first looked at this I was sure it was going to be too dark and too warm for me, but it looks beautiful and will work even better with the darker eyeshadows I wear in the cool weather.

The US price of these blushes is currently $45.58 (they were $43.43 though when I bought them). They obviously aren’t inexpensive but to me they are worth every penny. I love picking between my four blush wands deciding which one is going to spend the day with me. They are smooth, they glide on and the packaging is perfect in my opinion. Cream blushes are favorites of mine but most come in pots. With long nails I can’t always manipulate the pots easily but with this adorable little blush wand it’s easy to apply. I swipe it along my cheeks and blend with my fingers.

These 4 delicious Cheeks in Bloom are worth eating words over.  Here’s the magical words directly from RBR:  When acts of magic happen in our world, the weave of the Enchanted Garden opens and captures it as swiftly as the wind’s winged messenger. This line of blushes was born in just such an auspicious instance – when the muse inspired the great painters.

Charge your cheeks with ultra-sheer, natural-looking colour in a starry instant. A decadently ravishing sitting-by-a-glowing-fire flush, or an innocently alluring frolicking-in-the-meadow bloom is yours.

This magical-sceptre-of-a-blush enlivens your face with a subtle youthful shine and a hint of even, blendable colour.

A palette of four charming shades will paint you into a soft aquarelle inspiration or a vivacious oil-on-canvas muse. Those lucky souls who find themselves gazing at you will be suitably distracted.

Contains a blend of natural oils and spherical powders for a super-soft emollient cream-to-powder finish in an easy to use portable wand. Imparts most natural youthful blushed cheeks; gives you a great flexibility in application. The most natural way you can blush!

If Rouge Bunny Rouge creates more of these blushes, can you guess who’ll be placing an order??? – Marcia

BeneFit wants to know – do you “wanna” or “gotta”?

Are you an Annie or a Maggie? Benefit Cosmetics would probably like to know. ‘Annies’ are  girls who “gotta” look gorgeous all day according to Annie Ford Danielson of Benefit. She believes that Annies have people to see, places to go and things to do. On the other hand Maggie Ford Danielson says that all ‘Maggies’ “wanna” have it all and wanna shimmy all night long.

Benefit has created two limited edition, Sephora exclusive, sets of eye makeup. You can pick EYE GOTTA, THE ANNIE COLLECTION or EYE WANNA, THE MAGGIE COLLECTION ($36 each). Both sets contain a trio of powder eyeshadows and 2 mini Creaseless Cream shadow pots.

Staying with my khaki obsession I bought The Annie Collection. It contains a trio in one block with Canopy (a warm nutmeg), Purple Haze (gilded purple) and Spiced (golden olive). The creaseless creams are Flash (platinum fawn) and Foiled (shimmering sand). The kit is absolutely adorable and the colors are all very pretty but I’m not thrilled with this set.

What I like:

–          Canopy is a beautiful easy to wear shade that I think would suit anyone that likes a light brown shadow. It’s not unique but it looks pretty on

–          Spiced is also a pretty khaki shade

–          If you used everything in the kit the price is great. It is easy for travel because you’d have several looks you could do with these 5 shadows.

–          Creaseless Creams are good eyeshadow primers imparting pretty color while helping to keep shadows staying fresh looking.

What I don’t like:

–          Purple Haze gives me rabbit eyes. I love purple eyeshadow but this one just doesn’t work for me.

–          The creaseless creams are very shimmery. For some people this is a plus, for me it’s a negative. I have several of these but these particular ones just don’t work for me.

–          The eyeshadows fade away during the day. I am lucky to get 6 hours with them looking fresh. I’ve tried the powder shadows with a variety of bases: creaseless creams, Too Faced Shadow Insurance, IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Lines and even Benefit Stay Don’t Stray. Nothing really helps. They just fade and don’t look the same late in the day.

–          The little booklet that it comes with is so simplistic that I’m not sure who their audience is for the set. The book shows one powder e/s at a time. Most of us buying a set like this go beyond one single color. I’d have appreciated them showing me looks using all 3 of the shades or maybe two together.

Here are some eye looks I tried with this set:

(Over TFSI, Spiced on lid, Purple Haze in crease)

(Over Foiled Creaseless Cream, Spiced in crease)

(Over Flash Creaseless Cream, Canopy on lid, Spiced in the crease)

(Over Benefit Stay Don’t Stray, Canopy only)

I hate being this negative in a review but I’m disappointed in Annie and I think I’d be disappointed in Maggie too. I’ve read rave reviews of this, specifically on Vampy Varnish. I’m linking her review since this is what made me hit the buy button at Sephora and I’d like you to see two sides of the story.

My khaki obsession will continue I’m sure, until something better comes along, and I’ll find use for this Benefit set, but it might be spending a lot more time in a drawer than it does on my cosmetic table. — Marcia

The world of khaki with TheBalm All About Alex and Urban Decay 24/7 Smog Liquid Eyeliner

“I think the world just fell off its axis” – this is a quote from my blog partner Lisa when I told her that my new obsession with eyeshadows is now KHAKI. I have a feeling that everyone that knows me from my 12 years of writing about cosmetics will be saying the same thing. For years I was known as the “queen of purple”. I owned every purple eyeshadow that I could find. If it was purple, it was mine. So how did I go from that to khaki? Well it all started with Rouge Bunny Rouge’s Absynnian Catbird. I became totally enamored with that shade and me being me, I kept on going. I am just a little  pretty obsessive when it comes to eyeshadows. I want to try every nuance of a shade that’s available. This is the reason why you’ll be seeing a lot of this shade in my reviews from now on.

One of the shadows I had to have after seeing it on blogs is All About Alex from TheBalm ($16).  I started searching for the color to see how others described it and if I should get it. Temptalia is always raving about TheBalm eyeshadows so hers is the first blog I checked out. I then found Delicate Hummingbird and Vampy Varnish and I was sold. I needed to feed the obsession. So what do I think??

I think it’s wonderful!! This is described online as a ‘golden khaki olive’ which I think is spot on. There’s enough green in it to satisfy this new fascination of mine but enough brown in it so that I don’t feel like I’m really wearing too much green. All About Alex goes on like a dream. There is absolutely no fallout from the shadow. It glides on like silk. Even though the shadow itself is soft in texture it’s not powdery. If Goldilocks were judging this one she’d be saying “It’s just right!” There’s a very subtle shimmer to this that I notice more in my 10x mirror than I do in real life.

I’ve been playing with it to see what combinations I like with it so here are a few picture of ones I’ve found. I’ve been rediscovering several shadows in my collection since this is such a change for me.

Above 3 is my well loved but broken Rock & Republic Exile eyeshadow along with TheBalm All About Alex. In all pictures I’m wearing UD Smog eyeliner.

Above is Beauty is Life in Marakkesh which I’d describe as a safrron shade (review upcoming) along with The Balm AaA and UD Smog.

Now that I have another fabulous khaki eyeshadow in my collection I needed just the right eyeliner. Almost every eyeliner shade I use looks the same on me. I have very dark lashes so everything looks sort of dark brown on me. In my collection the only liner I have that is close to khaki is MAC’s Superslick in Desires and Devices. I was interested in the new Urban Decay 24/7 Waterproof Liquid Eyeliners from the first time I saw them on blogs and Smog seemed to be the color closest to a khaki. It’s described as a deep brown with golden shimmer and iridescent sparkle. Surprisingly I see the sparkle and shimmer in Smog; I usually don’t without looking in a magnifying mirror. But it’s so subtle that it just adds interest rather than a startling look for someone of my generation.  Smog looks like a khaki in some lights but in general it’s got more brown than the olive green that a khaki should have. The comparison picture shows MAC Desires and Devices and UD Smog. I’ve shown two shots since in the first one they look much more similar than they do in a close up. I then swatched two browns (Stila and MUFE #12) so you could see that these two liners aren’t quite brown, that they do have the green undertone that makes them more khaki-like.

(Liners shown are MAC Desires and Devices, Urban Decay Smog, Stila All Day liner in dark brown, Make Up For Ever #12 Aqua Liner in Mat Brown)

What I like best about Urban Decay’s 24 7 Smog eyeliner is how long it lasts. I’ve worn it on extremely hot and humid days and it looks fresh from start to finish. I also like the brush – it’s thin enough to get the line that I prefer yet firm enough to make the eyeliner easy to apply. I like the color of the MAC slightly more but I often get it in my eyes since the formula is so wet and the brush isn’t nearly as easy to use. I’ve yet to have that problem with Urban Decay’s. At $18 it’s also a good price for this type of liner. There are some good swatches at Pink Sith for all of these UD 24/7 Waterproof eyeliners if you want to see all the gorgeous shades. Even though UD says they are waterproof I use my regular eye makeup remover to take them off. They come off in flakes but they still come off easily.

Expect to see lots more reviews on khaki. I still think that Rouge Bunny Rouge Absynnian Catbird is about the best shade I’ve seen but it’s expensive and not easy to get. Since I want to have others in the poor house with me, I need to find more than just these two beauties to tempt you with in the future. — Marcia

Le Metier de Beaute’ – Nordstrom’s nail polish set and Ecumes d’Or Lip Kaleidoscope

I had made myself a promise that nothing from Nordstrom’s Anniversary Sale in the cosmetic department would make it home with me. I had spent so much in California that I just couldn’t justify it. But then I found out that Le Metier de Beaute’ had a special anniversary set of 4 nail polishes for $25. Considering that one polish is normally$10 to $15 it was a bargain I couldn’t resist. I’ve previously reviewed Le Metier’s nail polishes since I have the 4 from the Le Cirque collection and the polishes are wonderful. The anniversary collection is called Rock ‘N Romance and there are 4 jewel toned polishes. Midnight Rendevous is a midnight blue, Heat of the Night is a very deep black cherry, True Romance is metallic nude and Chrome Passion is a chocolate with charcoal underones. I couldn’t resist. My manicure is brand new so I only have them swatched on a nail wheel but you’ll soon be seeing my nails in many reviews and I’ll be sporting these 4 beauties. Each and every one of these is stunning and will be well loved by me. Since Le Metier de Beaute’ creates their polishes without DBP, formaldehyde and toluene you know they are as good for your nails as they make them look. These will be available starting July 15th unless you are a Nordstrom card holder and can get them now from your favorite MA.

Speaking of other Le Metier items I’ve been unable to resist, there’s the amazing Ecumes d’Or lip kaleidoscope created by Dustin Lujan from Bergdorf Goodman (212-872-8612). I called and ordered this from Dustin and he was as nice and helpful as anyone I’ve ever dealt with over the phone. He explained to me why each shade was in the kaleidoscope as well as how to use it. Wearing a Le Metier de Beaute’ lip kaleidoscope is a delight. The colors work together in the amazing Couches de Colour way creating a new shade that is just luscious looking. Depending on how you layer the colors you can create different shades too. My lips always look fuller and sexier when wearing this.

When I received my package there was a card from Dustin that showed me how to use the gorgeous Penelope Eye Shadow Kaleidoscope along with this beautiful lip Kaleidoscope. If you are a fan of LMdB or have thought of becoming one, this is the perfect time to call Dustin and see what he has left for you. I’m madly in love with my newest Le Metier treasures and you’ll be seeing a lot more of them in the future. — Marcia

Vincent Longo Galaxy Dream eyeshadows – quite dreamy indeed

I can’t remember the last time I bought something from Vincent Longo. I don’t think it’s a memory problem either; it’s more that I can’t see the line in person so it slips away and hides from my credit card. From what I understand the line was on the way to the cosmetic graveyard. Now though life has been infused into Vincent Longo and new products are available. When I was recently in California our first stop was to go to the Space NK store in Bloomingdale’s at Fashion Island. When I saw the Vincent Longo display I remembered the review of eyeshadows by Everyday Beauty so I knew I had to check them out.

There are 5 new variegated eyeshadows that delight the eye just seeing the pans. The formula is called Pearl X and the new collection is called Galaxy Dreams. When you look at the eyeshadows you can see what a perfect name it is for the collection. What you see though is not necessarily what you get. Each shadow turns into a different lovely shade.  They are a mix of matte and pearl colors.

Code 6 Pink turned slightly taupe when I tested it

Novalea turned a combination of light blue and lavender

Destiny Rose turned an iridescent pinky purple on my hand

Etherea is a gold or bronze depending on your skintone

Luna Beach turns taupe on some people, silvery lavender on others

When Vincent Longo discusses these eyeshadows they talk about them being personalized and that’s what we found when we tested them. As you possibly know I’m very fair with cool undertones. I have a picture of Lisa’s hand taken at the store so you can see the difference between Luna Beach on her hand and on mine. (The order swiped on her hand is Novalea, Luna Beach and Etherea.)

When Zuzu from Everyday Beauty reviewed Luna Beach she mentioned that it turned a beautiful shade of taupe on her eyes. I absolutely love taupe eyeshadows and when I tested the shadow at the store I saw taupe. But what I get on my eyes is a cool toned eyeshadow that’s on the silvery lavender side. It’s not what I bargained for but I really love the shadow and find it easy to wear.

I love the magical effect of taking all those shades and swiping my brush across them to come up with a completely different color. The pigmentation is good although it’s lighter than I expected. The shadow is silky soft and doesn’t bleed powder all over my face. What’s most important though is that it lasts well all day.

For the following eye I used VL Luna Beach on the lid, Le Metier de Beaute Rose Champagne on the browbone and the deep purple in Le Metier’s Le Cirque palette on the outer crease.

I really hope that Vincent Longo starts expanding into more stores so that you can see these eyeshadows and discover what the transformation on your skintone would be like. You can purchase Pearl X eyeshadows on the Vincent Longo website as well as by calling the lovely and helpful Teri Chiuminatta at Space NK in Newport Beach. (Space NK Newport Beach, 949-729-6803, email [email protected]

If you go to Prime Beauty’s blog today you’ll find her review of Code 6 Pink which I’ve ordered from a blog sale thanks to her raves. I’ll update with pictures when I have this in my hot little hands. — Marcia

Become a chameleon with Le Metier de Beaute

According to the Miriam Webster online Dictionary a chameleon has a few definitions: 1) any of a family (Chamaeleontidae) of chiefly arboreal Old World lizards with prehensile tail, independently movable eyeballs, and unusual ability to change the color of the skin  or 2) is one that is subject to quick or frequent change especially in appearance. According to Le Metier de Beaute’ a Chameleon is a golden khaki eyeshadow. I like Le Metier’s version better and when you see my photographs you’ll know why.

For me to buy this Chameleon eyeshadow from Le Metier de Beaute’ was a huge departure from what I’d normally buy but one thing I’ve learned from LMdB is that you need to take chances and you need to trust them. Even if an eyeshadow from them looks like one that every other brand carries you’ll soon learn that they have a magical quality all their own. Presto chango – Le Metier creates colors that are one of a kind.

I decided to experiment recently with Chameleon and a few other LMdB shadows. I began with Spicy which is a beautiful spicy bronzy brown that also has some golden undertones. It’s a striking shadow that stands on its own or works wonders with other shadows in the special “Couches de Couleur” method. I like to start with the darker shade first when I’m experimenting, then I’ll add the lighter shade and later play between the shades to create perfection. What I got from Spicy and Chameleon was a beautiful shade that was somewhere between the two, not as much brown as Spicy, not as much green as Chameleon. Top LMdB Spicy swatch, LMdB Chameleon swatch

Below Chameleon over Spicy

The next day I decided to see how well Chameleon would play with a cool shade like Fig. Fig is a shimmery violet with red undertones. I applied Fig heavily and then added Chameleon in layers until I ended up with a golden violet shade. Chameleon seemed to erase most of the redness from Fig making it a very interesting shade that was a brown with an undertone of plum.

Fig above, Chameleon over Fig below

The piece de resistance though turned out to be Thunder with Chameleon. I am totally in love with this combination – one of the best smokey eye looks I’ve ever done. Thunder is your typical dark charcoal. A great eyeshadow but not that unusual in color – until you start using it with other Le Metier eyeshadows that is. I was able to create a gorgeous charcoal with green undertone color that just begged for a night on the town. When I actually was out that night my friend wanted to buy what I had on my eyes instantly. There was just enough khaki and gold to lift the charcoal and make it look amazing.

Thunder swatch above, Chameleon over Thunder below and in pictures of my eyes. I used these intensely but you could create just as beautiful a color if you used them more sheerly.

Even though I used the word shimmery in this article, none of the shadows shown or described are what I used to consider to be shimmery. These are actually a satiny finish, they gleam without one drop of glitter.

While Chameleon doesn’t fit this definition perfectly (is one that is subject to quick or frequent change especially in appearance) it will change the appearance of almost any LMdB eyeshadow you own and you’ll have a wonderful time discovering those changes. – Marcia

For some great pictures of Le Metier de Beaute swatched quite intensely please check out Karla Sugar’s arm.