Wednesday, March 28, 2012

NARS face basics

            I've been schooling myself on the basic face base, again. Now that it's spring, I've been wearing minimal to no eye makeup, lots of mascara and pretty blush and lip colors. I've re-examined my current selection to find basic face items to use as starting points in my daily routine. The exercise helped me fall in love with my NARS basics all over again. In this post I'll write a few thoughts on each item.
1.NARS Smudgeproof eyeshadow base -I'll dab a spot on each eyelid and blend out with my ring finger (like you're supposed to do for eye creams). The formula may have a slight edge on UDPP, but I don't mind using either. (UDPP has cost effectiveness on its side though).  I've also tried Too Faced's primer as well however I don't like the smell. The tube seems small, but it's been going for a few months now.
2. NARS Copacabana multiple (reviewed here) - I'm currently avoiding powder cheek products for allergy reasons, so I'm relying on cream highlighters. NARS Copacabana gives my skin the lighter version of the J.Lo glow when applied to my cheekbones. It's not to warm or frosty; it's a natural light beige based glow which looks good in conjunction with almost any cheek color. I use my finger to pick up product as opposed to smearing the stick on my face.
3. NARS Sheer Glow Foundation in Deauville - In the poor winter light, I let myself get away with slightly off-color foundation matches. However, in spring, a natural face means a natural looking face. I don't have the option of tinted moisturizers; almost all have chemical sunscreen (I'm allergic) or don't don't appeal to me. For example, I swatched Too Faced's new BB cream the other day and it was full of glitter! To make do, I'm using my all time favorite foundation formula: NARS Sheer Glow. I have two different colors: Deauville and Ceylan (reviewed here). I'm always declaring allegiance to one side, only to change my mind a month later. Currently, I'm Team Deauville. I mimic a tinted moisturizer finish simply by using less product. It's not nearly as awesome as being able to use the new NARS tinted moisturizer, but it keeps me happy!
          Thanks for reading! What are some of your most basic items? Do you have a brand that you seem going back to? (On that note, I would recommend reading Everyday Beauty's recent post on favorite brands)!

Love, Dovey.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Fragrance minis

           As a sample collector, it's simply inevitable that I end up  with a large number of fragrance sleeves and vials. However, the number of scents that make it into my rotation are quite limited. As you can imagine samples come from all genres and I, like most, fall into a certain niche. In general, I'm a 'pink' scent person. As a cheerful chipmunk, I can take maximum doses of bright and optimistic florals with citrus. Hints of musk, jasmine, vanilla, and sandalwood appeal to me. More relaxed citrus based scents are ok. I generally dislike oriental, spicy, powdery, or opulent scents. Two sample vials I remember completely using up were DKNY Fresh Blossom and Kate Spade Twirl. Today' I'm sharing the four sample scents that successfully made it into my rotation.

1. Dolce + Gabbana Light Blue - I'm sure I've mentioned this on the blog and twitter before. Out of the four shown here, Light Blue has the best chance running dry due to use! It's not my typical kind of scent, however it's perfect for winding down at home after a long day.  I wouldn't wear this during daytime; it's too relaxing for me. Light Blue's top notes include Sicilian Citron and apple; the crisp scents add the perfect dash of energy to an otherwise warm cedar/amber/musk base. I might buy a rollerball size one day.

2. Tocca Graciella - Graciella is a medium weight floral musk with definite water tones. The florals include ylang ylang and rose de mai. For some reason, I was expecting Toccas to be lighter floral scents. The inclusion of apricot and asian pear results in a mellow fruity tone that I really enjoy. I think the apricot and pear really add a pleasant and unexpected dimension to the scent. However, after the initial burst, it becomes harder to find these elements, and I am left with a more watery and floral musk dry down. I'm really not a water scent type of person, so though I am intrigued, I would not purchase this. I'm pleased with the overall construction the scent, which makes me want to explore other Tocca fragrances (perhaps Cleopatra or Bianca).

3. Miss Dior Eau de Parfum - Miss Dior seems like a scent worn by a young chic sophisticate. It's a weighty floral (jasmine) with citrus and patchouli. The patchouli isn't really noticeable to me, which I like. The scent is a bit sweet. The scent is a bit heavy for me, but I'll try to finish it anyway.

4. Givenchy Play for Her - From the its namesake 'Play' I was expecting a playful energetic fragrance. However, Givenchy Play is a more relaxed feminine scent that isn't overly opulent or complex. It seems like a fairly mild mixture of woody, citrus, and floral scents. This seems like a good scent for a down-to-earth girl who doesn't want to be overwhelmed by flowers. Overall, I think this is a nice scent, but it's a bit too relaxed for my personality. I need something a little more high strung!

         Thanks for reading this episode of fragrance minis! Now that it's warmer, I've rekindled my interest in fragrances and will try my hand at more fragrance writing. What samples or scents have appealed to you lately?

Love, Dovey.

P.S. Sporadic internet service and a tighter schedule have made me a bit slower in replying to comments; however I do plan on getting to them and genuinely appreciate everyone who has taken the time to leave a note!  Hearing from friends, both old and new, always lifts my spirits, especially during busy times :)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

LUSH Seanik shampoo bar review

          This is my third bar of LUSH Seanik shampoo bar. Seanik shampoo is a sold shampoo designed to volumize hair, which my hair desperately needs. It's the closest solid counterpart to LUSH's famous BIG shampoo.  At first I was skeptical about how well a solid bar could wash my hair. However, the shampoo bars actually are more sudsy than normal shampoo. Only a few swipes are required.  Volume is added by removing oil and also adding in sea salt which will help follicles stand up (like the beachy hair effect). Irish moss seaweed and Japanese Nori seaweed soften, while lemon oil adds shine. It really leaves my hair squeaky clean and soft with a little extra volume. I have an incredibly oily scalp so a stripping shampoo helps me a lot. With Seanik, my hair is less weighed down by oil or products and therefore has more volume.  I think if you have a similar type of hair, this might work for you. However, if your scalp is on the dry end, I would steer clear of this aggressively cleaning bar. Seanik smells beachy; it has some mimosa and jasmine mixed in.

           Here's the inside of my local LUSH. There's something magical and irresistible about all those bright colors and good smells. It makes me want to scoop everything up and put it in my little wicker shopping basket! While I was shopping for Seanik, I ended up checking out with the the H'Suan Wen Hua hair mask as well.

          Much of the attention at LUSH stores is drawn towards their bath and body products, however my favorite items are the haircare products. My LUSH routine leaves my hair feeling soft and healthy, as opposed to the synthetic slippery feel which can come from the dimethicone/silcone build-up from regular haircare products.  Other LUSH shampoo bars I've tried in the past include New (red, cinnamon scented) and Karma Komba (the green one; citrus, pine, patchouli scented). Both were milder shampoos than Seanik. In the future I'm hoping to try Jumping Juniper (the purple one) which is supposed to be for oily hair as well. A plus side of solid shampoo bars is that they're is eco-friendly and save on packaging and shipping (it's smaller and lighter without the liquid). A bar will last me 1.5-2 months. In addition to my Seanik shampoo bar, I use LUSH America Cream conditioner (smells like pudding) and Jungle conditioner for deeper conditioning.

          In summary, I love my Seanik shampoo bar! I have a little LUSH tin so I can easily carry it around with me on my travels to keep my hair fluffy. Have you ever tried LUSH shampoo or haircare? What are some of your favorite hair products?

Love, Dovey.

Monday, March 19, 2012

My skincare routine

          My skincare routine is constantly evolving. It's difficult to figure what works since the effects are often slow to show. I've picked up a few things here and there by reading reviews from bloggers with similar sounding skin to mine, so I thought it might be helpful to share my current skincare routine.  In general, I have combination skin. My T-zone is especially oily in the summer, but normal in the winter. My skin is sensitive to a number of makeup and skincare products and often gets irritated or breaks out in small bumps along my cheeks or forehead if its not happy. In this post, I've listed my current favorite skincare products and how I use them. Enjoy!

1. St. Ives Green Tea Scrub -This is my current favorite exfoliator (and I have many). I use it daily, usually in the shower. Exfoliating is so important for my skin; it removes excess dead skin that can harbor acne causing bacteria and helps skincare ingredients penetrate better. St. Ives Green Tea scrub has many small size grains (similar to Philosphy) and a pleasant smell. It's on the more aggressive end of my exfoliators and has salicylic acid for skin turnover.

2. Avene Cleanance Soapless gel cleanserThis has replaced Philosophy Purity as my favorite facial cleanser. It foams only slightly, but massages around the face easily. I only need a very small amount each time so the bottle will last a long time. Somehow this Cleanance cleanser gives me the deep clean feeling I need while being gentle and non-irritating. I think I can actually tell the difference if I stop using this cleanser which really surprised me. I also find the thermal water scent relaxing.

Note: I haven't listed a makeup remover here since I'm still working on a favorite. However, it's a key step!  Even the best face washes might not be good enough to break down the last traces of foundation. 

3. Burt's Bees Almond Milk Beeswax hand creme - I apply to the back of my hands once in the morning and once at night. I've gone through a number of tubs in the past. This winter I thought I could get by with regular lotion, however that caused me to have dry and dusky hands all season long. Burt's Bees beeswax is the only thing that can save my dry hands when they're chapped. I even recall receiving a compliment on the quality of my hands one winter thanks to this.

4. Kirkland Borghese Intensive Eye Serum - This was a great find; it's cost effective and convenient. I use this serum both in the morning and at night. It's a serum, but it has a really thick (as opposed to runny) consistency that is almost cream-like. It's a bit lighter than your typical eye cream, but I like that since I have young eyes that do have some natural oil this is better for me. I even apply it to my lids during the day without worrying that my shadow will run. The pump dispenser is really practical and makes my routine much faster and more hygienic than digging into a tub. My eye area does seem to have improved. I think it's partially due to the product, and partially due to my daily consistency thanks to ease of use. Also, this is paraben free.

5. La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo - I use this only as spot treatment for breakouts and it does work to reduce acne size. It contains benzoyl peroxide which is a drying acne medication. I think you are supposed to use it all over the face, however it might be too harsh for me to do that at this point.

6. Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair serum - I try to use this nightly. A while back I had a sample and used it every day just to use the thing up. However, I noticed that the serum cleared up some breakouts and discoloration over time. This is a pricey product that I believe works.

7. Avalon Organics Vitamin C facial serum - I use this daily under facial cream, and sometimes alone. This is a product that seems balance my skin. If my skin is being really irate, I'll just wear this alone to avoid potential unknown irritants in other products. It has a brightening effect, which I'll guess may be from the acidity of Vitamin C. I've used up a few bottles of this and will keep using it.

8. Avalon Organics Vitamin C facial creme - This is my current day and night moisturizer. You might have noticed that I've simplified my day and night to be similar. It's partially for convenience and partially so I can identify what products actually are working/notworking for my sensitive skin. Since I do have some oil on my skin, I don't really need a heavy duty night creme at this point in time.  The Avalon Organics Vitamin C facial creme is a new product for me. It's thicker and almost waxier than a normal cream. I pick up some with my fingers, warm it slightly, and pat it on. It's not really easy to smear. I like that it's not oily, yet I feel like it gives a waxy(?) barrier to keep my skin from drying out. I'm not sure if it's love, but it's ok so far. I like the shorter ingredient list and that it's paraben free.

Note: I haven't found a facial cream that I really love yet. I've tried numerous department store samples and nothing really made an impression, save for Clinique's gel lotion which made my skin red and irritated, and a 'youth regenerating' cream that seemed to age my skin. Lately, I've been exploring drugstore options.

9. LUSH Tea Tree water toner - I use this as toner immediately after washing my face and sometimes randomly during the day if I'm at home. The tea tree oil and other herbs are supposed to be good for oily or breakout prone skin. I'm not sure it works, but the smell and feel is refreshing. The spray is also convenient if I'm not in the mood to properly wipe toner all over my face (which I should).

10. Vaseline My lips have been unbelievably chapped and Vaseline is the only thing that seems to fix that. I apply a light layer in the morning and at night. I know petroleum isn't supposed to be good for you, but I haven't found an effective alternative yet. It's on my list of things to do.

        Thanks for reading about the products in my current skincare routine! Have you tried any of these? Do you have any skincare must-haves or recommendations?

Love, Dovey.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Chantecaille The Coral Reefs palette review

         Let me introduce you to my newest treasure: Chantecaille's 'The Coral Reefs palette'! The Coral Reefs palette is the star of Chantecaille's Spring 2012 collection. The palette is complete with three eyeshadows and a blush. The Coral Reefs is one of Chantecaille's environmental awareness palettes. Five percent of the purchase price will benefit the Marine Conservation Institutes and raise awareness for endangered reefs. As an animal and nature lover, I'm a fan of both the design and charitable cause. Previous palettes you may remember include the Tiger in the Wild palette and the Sea Turtle palette, both of which were gorgeous. As you can see, I decided not to miss out this time. I hope you enjoy my review of Chantecaille's The Coral Reefs palette!

        Chantecaille's charity palettes come with beautiful designs depicting their beneficiary cause. Here you can see intricate branches of coral covered with a gold overspray. It's hard to overcome the desire to preserve these patterns. Digging my brush into the pans felt akin to making a foot trail in the carefully raked sand of a zen garden! However the pain of pattern loss is overcome by the beauty of the shadows themselves (see swatches below). They're perfect renditions of classic colors. Pink Pearl is a pale pink highlight that has just enough shimmer to brighten. Reef is a cool biege warmed by a golden sheen. The interplay between cool base and warm light adds a beautiful complexity to the color. Driftwood is a chocolate brown with a hint of red sheen for interest. Coral, the blush color, is a sheer coral with a slight golden sheen. All the powders are finely milled and have great textures. They may be a little sheer, however this works well with the overall aesthetic.

          The casing is a white plastic with the coral design printed on top. I was surprised to see how large the pans were. Each pan should have 3g worth of product. For reference a MAC eyeshadow is 1.5g and a MAC blush is 6g. Therefore, you get a considerable amount of eyeshadow, and a more limited amount of blush.

           At the Nordstrom Spring 2012 Trend show I was lucky to have my makeup done by Chantecaille Nation Artist Eddie Hernandez. I rarely seek out makeovers since I'm often disappointed by the results. However, this makeover was wonderful. I loved everything from the skincare to the makeup application to Eddie's personality. I would highly recommend seeking him out if he's in your area.

          When applying Chantecaille's The Coral Reefs palette, Eddie used the following technique. First, using a fluffy brush apply Pink Pear from the brow down as a highlight. Pat reef on the lid up to the crease and line with Driftwood. When applying coral, start at the cheek bone and apply in downward diagonal strokes, imagining where the sun would hit your skin. Also, take a quick sweep underneath the brow. The effect was gorgeous; Reef adds the perfect amount of natural depth to my eye!

          Finally, I made a loose set of comparison swatches with another favorite palette of mine, the Urban Decay Naked 2 palette (reviewed here), and NARS blush. I figured many beauty lovers would have these in their collections, and it would make an effective comparison. Chantecaille Pink Pearl eyeshadow is more pink, sheerer, and less frosty than Urban Decay Bootycall. Pink Pearl is a very subtle highlight, while Bootycall is more intense. Chantecaille Reef is cooler and less golden than Urban Decay Suspect. Chantecaille Driftwood is more red, less golden, and less shimmery than Urban Decay Snakebite. I imagined that Chantecaille Coral blush would be similar to NARS Orgasm. However, you can see from my comparison swatches that Coral is significantly less pink than both NARS Orgasm and NARS Deep Throat. The colors aren't quite duplicates, however, they might be useful if you'd like to emulate Chantecaille's Spring 2012 look on a budget!

         The bottomline: I'm enamored with this palette. The colors are basic, but beautiful renditions of basic. I had a "Say yes to the dress makeup" moment after my makeover with Eddie. The Coral Reefs palette is now a frontrunner for my big day makeup! I'm so pleased with my first Chantecaille experience.  I look forward to exploring more from the brand.

          Thanks for reading! Have you tried The Coral Reefs palette or Chantecaille recently? Are these sorts of colors what you've been wearing this season? I would love to hear recommendations from any Chante veterans out there!

Love, Dovey.

P.S. If you're left craving more from the world of Chantecaille, you can find my interview with Alex Chantecaille here.
NOTE: 2/2/2013 Some of the original photos underwent minor edits to correct typos and give a more accurate impression of the product.

Monday, March 12, 2012

OPI Kiss me on my tulips review

        OPI Kiss me on my tulips nail polish is my second pick from the OPI Holland Spring 2012
collection. Tulips are one of my favorite flowers, so I thought I would start with some tulip trivia. Did you know that although tulips are often associated with the Netherlands, their cultivation originated in the Ottoman Empire? Their were seen as as a symbol of abundance and indulgence. In fact, the wealthiest era of the Ottoman empire is often called the Tulip Era!

          OPI Kiss me on my tulips is a bright pink. It's not quite a hot pink, but close. It has slight blue leanings, but otherwise is a very straightforward pink. The color is brighter in sunlight (like my swatches below) but is more subdued in lower or indoor light. The formula was on the thicker side for an OPI, however it leveled well. The color is quite opaque and no more than two coats are necessary.

          The closest color I have to OPI Kiss me on my tulips is Sephora by OPI Arm Candy. You can see from my swatches below that they're almost indistinguishable. In person, Arm Candy is slightly brighter than Kiss me on my tulips. I've added swatches of OPI You're a Pisa work and OPI Koala Bear-y (reviewed here) to demonstrate how drastically different they are from the bright pink of Kiss me on my tulips despite a similar intensity. I loved fuchsias for February, however, it's time for a change to pinker pinks now that it's spring.

        OPI Kiss me on my tulips is a bright and optimistic pink to wear as I anticipate flowers emerging from their buds. I plan on using this as a frequent pedi color as soon as it becomes sandal season around here (which is not quite yet). Thanks for reading! What kind of pinks are you favoring this spring? What are your favorite colors from OPI Holland? Do you have a favorite flower?

Love, Dovey.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

OPI Did you 'ear about Van Gogh? review

         When the OPI Holland Spring 2012 collection was released, I knew I had to get my hands on OPI Did You 'ear about Van Gogh? nail polish. I loved the clean neutral color and the name certainly tickled my fancy! OPI Did you 'ear about Van Gogh is light and neutral stony chino creme nail polish. Depending on the lighting look more khaki or more stone. The significant khaki presence makes it more spring, as opposed to greyer 'greige' polishes. The neutral to cool color makes it easier for me to wear than nudes with warm or yellow tones. The formula is on the thicker side. It's not as smooth and dreamy as some OPI formulas, but it's not too bad. It levels out well and two coats is sufficient.

          I thought I would take a moment to discuss the color's namesake. Vincent Van Gogh was a post impressionist Dutch painter. You may know him for his vibrant paintings of Starry Night, sunflowers, wheat fields and a number of portraits and self portraits. The story of Van Gogh's lost ear is a famous one. It was originally thought that he cut it off himself during a fit of madness. More recently, historians argue that it was sliced off with a rapier during an argument with his friend (and fellow artist) Paul Gaugin. They purportedly kept a pact of silence so no-one knows the real story. You can read more about that story here. Here is a self portrait of him with his bandaged ear. Van Gogh's life story was quite tragic; his life was punctuated by episodes of madness and he died at 37 due to a self-inflicted gunshot wound. His work was appreciated by very few people until after his death.

A Van Gogh self portrait
          I've made a few comparison swatches to demonstrate the color of OPI Did you 'ear about Van Gogh. You can see that it is a far cry from last spring's OPI San Tan-Tonio. It's lighter and clearly not brown. I thought Sephora OPI Going Nude Eh? would be a close match, however you can see the Going Nude Eh? is more of a warm yellow based nude, while Did you 'ear about Van Gogh is has more khaki grey tones. However, you can see that Did you 'ear about Van Gogh is definitely not a grey when compared to Sephora by OPI Run with it.

Swatches from left to right: OPI San Tan-tonio, OPI Did you 'ear about Van Gogh?, Sephora by OPI Going Nude Eh?, Sephora by OPI Run with it
          In conclusion, OPI Did you 'ear about Van Gogh is a chic, airy, and slightly edgy neutral that will wear well for spring. I imagine that it would pair well with unabashed colors like Matisse blue or clover green. Thanks for reading! What were your picks from OPI Holland? Do you prefer neutral or bright nail colors for spring?

Love, Dovey.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Microdermabrasion with PMD

PMD Personal Microderm

         I have my share of small blemishes that exfoliation, gentle salicylic treatments, and patience haven't managed to erase yet. My interest was therefore piqued when PMD Personal Microderm offered to send me their at home microdermabrasion system for review. Microdermabrasian is mechanical exfoliation of the outermost layer of skin cells, usually by a trained professional. In this review I'll share my thoughts and experience with at home microdermabrasion.

        The microdermabrasion system comes with interchangeable heads and replacement heads (seen below with a dime for size comparison). The blue are for more sensitive skin, while the green is for more thorough abrasion. I've started out on the blues; they seem to be rough enough for me. The large heads are for use on body while the small heads are for use on the face. All heads will have to be replaced over time.

         The PMD Personal Microderm can be used once a week. Theoretically, it's simple to use. You hold your skin taut, and run the machine perpendicular to your face. You should run it only once over an area of skin and not over blemishes and the trick is to keep moving so you don't scrape off too much skin in one spot.. What makes the system a little tricky is that there is a vacuum like suction which probably serves to provide closer contact with the skin. Honestly, the vacuum effect is a bit frightening at first; it makes it hard to move along the skin quickly. I think managing the correct balance between too little or too much abrasion will take some practice.

         I also think how effective the system will be depends on your skin. I have thinner more delicate skin, so I worry about taking off too much with the PMD. It does leave pink marks behind which do disappear relatively quickly. However, if you are not careful, I've heard those marks can look more like wounds. For those with more robust facial skin, this system will probably be easier to use and work better. At this point, it's still a work in progress for me and my face. However, I am happy to use the PMD on my arm. I have a few old burn scars (from cooking) that I would love to remove. The body buffer is the perfect size to use on them and I feel safe using it on those areas.

          In summary, I've learned that microdermabrasion is essentially using a miniature sander to resurface your face. If used correctly, PMD may be cost effective relative to an in-office microdermabrasion. It may be a good option for those seeking more aggressive skin turnover than typical facial exfoliators provide. Right now, I'm still getting the hang of things. I've had the PMD Personal Microderm system for three weeks now and I haven't seen clear results yet (I'm reviewing because I was asked to in this time frame). I don't think it's a magic bullet for skin discoloration, however I'm hoping that I will see more results if I stick with it for a longer term.

          Thanks for reading my review! Have you ever had experiences with at-home or in-office microdermabrasion? Did they work for you?

Love, Dovey.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Interview with Alex Chantecaille

          The highlight of my day at the Nordstrom Trend Show was meeting Alex Chantecaille. (You can imagine how excited I was!) Alex is the Director of Sales at Chantecaille and daughter of Sylvie Chantecaille, the brand's founder. Chantecaille (pronounced shan-teh-kai) is a family business. The brand is known for botanical based skincare, a natural makeup look, and environmental campaigns. If you've passed by Chantecaille counters, you've most likely seen Olivia, Alex's sister and Creative Director, who models for Chantecaille collections. Meeting Alex was just as wonderful as I hoped it would be; she is genuine and personable, and as you can see above, beautiful too! In the midst of an incredibly busy day, she kindly agreed to answer a few impromptu questions about Chantecaille,  her inspirations, and what we can look forward to this year. Enjoy!

Could you describe the quintessential Chantecaille woman?
Modern, natural, and luxurious. Someone who appreciates beauty, but  in an effortless fashion, really embodies what it means to be chic, [and] also gives back.

What would you say makes Chantecaille special?
I think the fact that we're women making products for other women. It's my mother, sister, and I developing these products, communicating what we're all about, and sharing what we've learned. [We want] to empower women to feel better and look better, [to] give confidence as a sister would.

What inspires you?
 Honestly, nature. The simplicity, the intelligence and the beauty of nature and how well thought out it is. [From] something that just shocks you like a giant clam in Indonesia to a little hummingbird, it's all so perfectly created and there's so much to learn from that.

Could you share what colors you are wearing today?
I believe what I packed on my trip were the new classic palette we launched last fall, St. Barth's bronzer to get a little bit of warmth to the skin (it's a very lightweight beautifully milled bronzer), and our longest lash mascara.
Could you share a part of your daily beauty routine?
It's about feeding your face: from the morning cleaning it and refreshing it with rosewater. Using our vital essence every day, morning and night, gives a very redness calming, rosacea minimizing, healing experience. [I use] a lightweight moisturizer during the day and a richer one at night. [When] using our foundation, the coverage can always be controlled. If you're going out at night you can wear more, but during the day you can use a little bit to even out some red spots or areas of concern. And at night no matter how tired you are you have to wash your face!

For someone who's just starting on Chantecaille products what would you recommend?
We have an amazing value set called the Aromacologie starter kit that's in a really pretty faux croc pale pink travel zip pouch.  It has travel sizes of our foaming cleanser (naturally exfoliating and very softening), as well as the the vital essence full size, flower harmonizing cream (a very soothing basic cream that was originally developed as an eye cream), and a mini rose water (to spray throughout the day or [as a part of your] morning regimen).

What can we expect in summer or fall 2012 from Chantecaille?
In September we did the makeup for Christopher Kane. With the partnership we worked on creating a new cheek color from three of our current different cheeks: Cheer, Emotion, and Laughter. It was all about the focus on cheeks that pop, very natural eyes, pretty pink mouth with our color Comet, and bushy eyebrows (almost as if a girl had run up the hill, a very natural kind of flush). From that partnership we developed a new Poudre de perle called Akoya Pearl.

          I hope you enjoyed my interview with Alex Chantecaille! I'm grateful to have gotten the chance to meet her and catch a few pearls of Chantecaille wisdom. Have you tried any Chantecaille lately? I'd love to hear your recommendations! Do you visit counters when special guests or artists are in town?

Love, Dovey.

P.S. But wait, there's more! (More Chantecaille, that is). Stay tuned ...

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Nordstrom Trend Show - Spring 2012

Lakshmi, our Nordstrom Trend show host

        A couple of weeks ago I was invited by a Nordstrom beauty social media specialist to attend a Nordstrom Spring 2012 Cosmetics show. I dragged myself out of bed at 6 a.m. on a wintery weekend morning to arrive at the pre-show start at 7:30 a.m. Anyone can attend a Nordstrom Cosmetics trend show by purchasing a $15 ticket (which will later be given back in gift card form the day of the event). In this post, I will share what I saw, what was in the goody bags, tips to increase your giveaway chances, my overall impressions, and my experience as a blogger.

         The trend show is full of makeup, models, and presentations. Below, you can see a model promoting Valentino 'Valentina' fragrance. Jake from NARS promoted the new NARS Pure Radiant tinted moisturizer. Clarisonic promoted their colorful Mias and Opal.

        One of the best guests at the show was Bertrand Thomas, founder of Caudalie, who flew in from France (and had an appropriately charming French accent). He explained the story behind the family vineyard and the creation of Caudalie. He demoed Caudalie's Beauty Elixir on the crowd (see below). For the record, I liked the fresh natural scent!


 My favorite runway interlude was before the Burberry presentation: models looking fierce in trenches.

Burberry promoted their Sheer Luminous Fluid foundation and 'Fresh Glow' luminous base for women of different skin tones. I'm also convinced that I need a white popped collar trench.

         I'll take a moment to describe what was in the event goody bags. We received orange sherbet colored canvas bags with canvas colored trimming. I usually don't use free bags, but this will be good for the beach. Inside the bags were a bottle of water (appreciate that), a 0.34 oz sample vial of Moroccan oil, a fragrance sample, show booklet, a pencil, and sample vouchers for Purity and Laura Mercier primer which you had to redeem at the counter. If you plan on redeeming, I suggest you go early! I couldn't find any artists when I tried to redeem mine after my makeover.

Chanel international artist RC is sexy and he knows it. We received an impromptu dance performance (high kicks included) before delving into Chanel's spring 2012 line.

Sarah from Bobbi Brown promoted Bobbi's longwear products.

        The highlight of the show for me was seeing Alex Chantecaille, Chantecaille's Director of Sales and daughter of founder Sylvie Chantecaille, speak. She was refined, yet down to earth. She interjected a little humor when describing Chantecaille's skincare:  "My mother being French, she is a snob. She loves only the best!"Alex promoted Chantecaille's new Coral Reefs palette; 5% of the proceeds will be donated to the marine cause. In case you're wondering about her beautiful dress, it's Dries Van Noten. (I asked).

        Below, Dior promoted a Nordstrom exclusive tanning oil. (I wish I looked that good in a swimsuit). Laura Mercier promoted an exclusive makeup travel case. Estee Lauder promoted their new Topaz collection (seen on model). There were a lot of EL fans.

Two hula dancers and drummers performed a fun interlude to energize the crowd.

July Macklowe, founder of vbeaute, came to promote and share the idea behind the creation of her 'It Kit.'

         Above, you can see everyone going wild over a giveaway. There were a good number of giveaways during the show. Some were drawn out of a raffle and some were handed out randomly to the crowd. From what I saw, here are my tips to increase your chances of winning a handout: 1) sitting in the front two rows by arriving really early 2) if you can't manage the first two rows, sit near an aisle 3) be over the top enthusiastic 4) takeout whatever items from that brand you have in your purse and wave them in the air 5) have a sign.

Smashbox model at top, MAC model below.
       MAC was the crowd favorite. The artist presenting promoted the new Viva Glam Nicki (see on the model) and Ricki products. 100% of the Viva Glam purchase price is donated to helping women and children affected by AIDS. Don't you think the make up artist above resembles Kristen Stewart?

        After MAC, people started to stream out to get first dibs at the counters. However there were presentations worth waiting around for at the end. Susan (below) from La Mer gave a resounding, militant, and funny presentation. She said La Mer is essentially "Spanx for your face." Dell Ashley, national makeup artist and media darling, of YSL got the crowd into the spirit of things while promoting Touche Eclat.

        Overall, I'm glad I had the Nordstrom Trend show experience. My favorite part was hearing from brand founders and directors who flew in especially for the event. After the show, you could meet them at their respective counters! The brief model cameos and hula performance were also nice. The crowd got most fired up about the generous giveaways and raffles of which there were a number. I would describe each brand's presentation to be like a semi-educational product pitch. If you are looking to get a background/overview of what many brands have to offer that season, the trend show is a great place to start. If you're already a makeup guru who knows about makeup collections even before they're released, the presentations aren't as useful, but it is fun to hear from the special guests.

        Finally, I'll comment on my experience as a blogger/press. I really looked forward to the event and to meeting the Nordstrom beauty media specialist who invited me. It seemed like other bloggers in the recent past had positive experiences during a well-planned event. However, my experience was quite different. Even after asking around politely, I could not find the a contact person and even received a questionable comment about blogging, which made me feel a little sad. Aside from this, I had a good time. I had a great makeover afterwards and got to speak to one of the guests above (more on this soon)!

        Thanks for reading about my Nordstrom Spring 2012 Trend Show experience! Have you been to a trend show? What was your experience like? What brands do you think have the best Spring 2012 collections?

Love, Dovey.