03 February 2012

making faces :: le métier de beauté, je t'aime

although we're generally well-served in montreal, it can be a wee bit frustrating that there are certain well-loved brands that have never made an appearance here. that goes for everything, but in this case, of course, i'm talking about cosmetics. more specifically i'm talking about french-sounding but american-based le métier de beauté, a relative upstart, founded in 2007 and distributed in the united states through nordstrom, neiman marcus, bergdorf goodman... basically all the usual suspects for high end cosmetics except sephora, which means that the brand remains tantalisingly distant north of the 49th parallel.

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.

fig, chameleon
i started with two shadows: olive tinged antique gold "chameleon" and shimmery cassis "fig", both part of the brand's permanent collection. pricing is on par with prestige brands like guerlain and armani, but these are a somewhat better deal, since the pans are larger than most powder shadows. they come with a little mirror, which is a nice thought, but i never find myself using those things for a single shadow. [also, simon and hecubus were romping around while mummy was trying to do swatches and they ended up cracking the mirror on my "fig" shadow about seven minutes after it came out of the box.] the packaging reminds me a lot of nars. it has that same matte, rubberised texture. i know a lot of people don't care for that, but i'm personally a fan, since i find shiny packaging can get scuffed and cheap looking in some cases. [yes, yves st. laurent, i mean you.]

chameleon
"chameleon" is a shade i've seen widely discussed and praised on the internet and no wonder. it's definitely gold, but it's nowhere near as yellow as something like mac's "goldmine" or even nars "etrusque". it has a dirty quality that makes it much more subdued. and it also has a noticeable hint of green, so it's a fair bit cooler than a lot of gold shades. mac's "gaellic gold" shares some of its "tarnished" characteristics, but is noticeably darker. "gorgeous gold", a permanent shade from mac that's also a green-tinged gold is much brighter and yellower. the texture on "chameleon" is nice- it's light enough that the colour can be used quite sheer, but it can be layered for emphasis without looking heavy or caked on.



l to r :: lmdb chameleon, mac gaellic gold [l.e.], mac gorgeous gold


 MORE GOODIES AHEAD...

 
fig
"fig" is the shade of a rich wine with a lot of fruit, equal parts red and purple. i adore this sort of shade and, although i assumed it might look a lot like something i already had, but i justified it by saying [to myself] that i use those sorts of deep plum/ aubergine shades in a lot of different looks, so it would just give me one more bullet in my arsenal. so imagine my surprise when i swatched it and found out that it didn't look anything at all like any of the shades i already had. well, i suppose such things are relative and if you don't wear these sorts of shades a lot, then maybe the differences wouldn't matter to you, but still... mac's "beauty marked" is much darker- it looks almost like a sooty black alongside. "star violet" is warmer, browner and lighter [although i think the two would look amazing used together]. "nocturnelle" is more pink/ purple and lighter. armani's "lust red" is darker and has a lot of red sparkle rather than a shimmer. shocking as it was, i had to admit defeat...



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.

kona
although they haven't received the same rave reviews as the eye shadows, i couldn't resist trying the le métier de beauté lipsticks. their best-known lip products are actually a liquid lipstick type product, but as much as those might be fun, my affections will always belong to the tube. portable, easy to apply even without a mirror, never makes a mess unless it's terribly abused, i think it's the cosmetic equivalent of a shark- it doesn't need to evolve any further. to the surprise of absolutely no one, i decided to go for the deepest, vampiest shade available. also to the surprise of no one, i decided to order the shade named after a type of coffee. ok, technically "kona" is a place and the coffee is just named after the location [all le métier de beauté's permanent lipsticks are named after places], but i can almost guarantee that there are more people who think of coffee when they hear that word.

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.

kona
now, when it comes to vampy lipstick shades, not everyone loves them. i do. i'm not shy about the fact that, given a giant warehouse full of lipstick [i should be so lucky] i would naturally gravitate to the richest, darkest and most sultry among them. that's just me. and that is why i gravitated towards "kona". if you look around the internet, you won't find very many pictures of this baby at all [go ahead, google your heart out]. i suspect that's because there just aren't a lot of dark lip lovers who are dedicated enough to pay high end prices for their fix. and even to a lot of lipstick devotees, dark shades tend to get written off as looking the same. if you are a fan, however, this one is a real beauty.

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.

products used

face ::
mac prolongwear foundation "nc15"
dr. hauschka concealer "01"

eyes ::
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

cheeks ::
body shop sun lustre bronzer "radiant blush"* [very light apricot pink]
mac blush ombre "springshine"* [soft tan]

lips ::
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.

4 comments:

PerilouslyPale said...

Do happy you weren't disappointed! I have wanted Fig for so long. I need to rectify that! Love that lipstick on you!

Kate MacDonald said...

Thanks! Fig is incredible. It's so pigmented, I can't imagine ever going through it, and yet it's smooth enough that it doesn't look overdone or anything. Totally fallen for LMdB.

Moushka said...

Just discovered your blog. Those colours look amazing on you. If I had your colouring, I'd wear those gorgeous, vampy shades tout le temps :) Unfortunately, I have wimpy "summer" colouring and anything darker than MAC's Sophisto makes me look like a vampire, not a vamp.

Kate MacDonald said...

Aw... A lot of the issue with wearing darker colours is just a sort of intimidation. I've always worn them, including when I was a blonde (which I am again now... it changes frequently...). That said, I feel like I can't wear the more natural looks without seeming washed out. We all envy what we think we can't do :-)

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