one of the things that gives the brand its appeal is that, unlike a lot of prestige brands, many of the colours it has to offer are vibrant, fashion forward and fun. they have staple, everyday shades, but they're known more for shades that are distinctive and nuanced- which also makes them hard to replicate. the brand's name basically means the craft of beauty- craft in this case meaning the sort of trade or profession that requires an artisan's skill, not something you put together at your scrapboooking meet. and the company seems to take that name to heart, evincing an artisan's pleasure at creating unique and beautiful things for unique and beautiful ladies.
and after reading so much about them on line, i suddenly though "i'm unique and beautiful dammit!" so i ordered a couple of le métier de beauté eye shadows and a lipstick in honour of that.
although many of their products seem to garner rave reviews, it's le métier's eye shadows that seem to set hearts a-flutter and serve as a gateway drug to the rest of their line. even someone grizzled and jaded like me has to admit that their colour selection looks pretty unique. what they're best known for are their limited edition "kaleidoscopes"- sets of four shadows in a hinged, stackable package that can be used separately or together. since many women seem willing to take out mortgages or use up college funds ["sorry kids! but isn't mommy pretty?!?!?"] to get these, i figured i should work my way up and not get all frenzied right off the bat.
|l to r :: lmdb chameleon, mac gaellic gold [l.e.], mac gorgeous gold|
MORE GOODIES AHEAD...
|l to r :: mac beauty marked, mac star violet, lmdb fig, mac nocturnelle, armani lust red|
the texture of "fig" is as good as chameleon- smooth, rich, even, buttery... all those words that are usually used to describe really phenomenal powders. the one difference is that "fig" means business. it deposits a lot of colour right away, so if you're looking for something more subtle, you'll want to use a very light hand.
having tried it, i think that le métier de beauté colour core lipsticks are getting a bit of a short shrift. i mean, they're a really nice formula, up there with chanel's rouge allures and guerlain's rouge automatiques. i don't quite think that they've hit the heavenly heights of guerlain's rouge g or rouge d'armani, but "kona" applied very evenly, especially considering that my lips were quite chapped when i tried it out. i wouldn't exactly say they're mositurising, but i thought "kona" did a decent job of holding moisture in and it didn't emphasise any of the flaws in my lips [which were more flawed than usual]. despite the dark colour, it's not 100% opaque. from even a short distance, it will look opaque, but the colour of your own lips will affect how the final shade looks just a little. so it's kind of like having something that adapts perfectly to you.
i love the fact that it's purple- not red or berry or black, but a really true purple. such things are rarer than you might think. it's very smooth and light, a creamy shade without any discernible shimmer to it and a satiny finish that gives the lips a faintly lustrous but not shiny appearance. it lasts quite well- comparable to mac's amplified creme finish or chanel's rouge coco- and doesn't feather or bleed.
in terms of relatives, it's probably closest to an older mac limited edition shade called "night violet". because "night violet" is a matte finish, i find it denser and darker [and dryer], than "kona", but they have the same sort of base. tom ford's "black orchid" is redder. mac's "cyber" is much bluer and a bit darker. yves st. laurent's "pourpre carmin" is a bit redder and noticeably darker. as i said, if you're a dark lip fan, these differences matter. if you're not, then you probably can't see the differences.
|l to r :: mac night violet [l.e.], lmdb kona, tom ford black orchid, mac cyber, ysl pourpre carmin|
le métier de beauté live up to their billing in terms of quality. as far as the shadows go, only rouge bunny rouge are as good and their colour selection is inventive and exciting. their lipsticks are on par with other high end brands and, although i don't think the colours overall are quite as unique as the eye shadows [a hard feat to match], they do offer a few things [like a couple of really dark colours] that are not standard among high end brands.
i couldn't decide which of these lovelies to wear first and so i decided not to decide and wear them all together. this is, of course, kind of a dramatic look, but i do think it's the sort of thing one could pull off for an evening out. i was really impressed at the lasting power of the shadows, which stayed true for hours without fading, creasing, or smudging.
mac prolongwear foundation "nc15"
dr. hauschka concealer "01"
armani eyes to kill e/s "#19- gold/ silver"
le métier de beauté e/s "chameleon" [dirty olive-gold]
le métier de beauté e/s "fig" [deep cassis]
mac superslick liquid liner "on the hunt" [black]
chanel inimitable intense mascara
body shop sun lustre bronzer "radiant blush"* [very light apricot pink]
mac blush ombre "springshine"* [soft tan]
le métier de beauté colour core l/s "kona" [deep reddish purple]
*suggested alternates :: springshine = benefit hoola; radiant blush = mac magically cool liquid powder "honey rose" [has more shimmer]
le métier de beauté products are available internationally from nordstrom, neiman marcus, bergdorf goodman and others. i ordered mine from nordstrom, which was reasonably fast [not as fast as zuneta, faster than sephora] and which allows canadian customers to see items priced in canadian dollars. [note- they also pre-assess duty and taxes and add it to your bill, so be prepared for a little jolt when you check out.] you can visit the le métier de beauté web site here to see products available.