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making faces :: twinkle like a star

you probably don't know how important holiday cosmetic collections are to public safety.

every year by about this time, i feel as if demons are gnawing at my insides, because i have heard so many holiday carols, been told too often that 'tis the season for any number of things and have had my prized fluevogs stomped on by over-eager shoppers. and the only thing that stops me from going on some bloody hate-fueled rampage is that it also happens to be the time of year [notice what phrase i didn't use there] when i get to plan and create a lovely festive dinner and when gilded eyes and scarlet lips rule the world. take away the latter and it puts a lot of pressure on my corn custard and compote to see me through.

in canada, holiday collections generally start raising their heads around the beginning of november, which is fine, but a lack of decent lighting has meant that i really haven't had much opportunity to photograph my recent acquisitions for sharing. but now, finally, i got enough feeble sunlight to capture some of the beauty of chanel's holiday offering, a symphony of soft, reflective sheens, like seeing candlelight against a polished tabletop.

chanel makes me happy
there is some of the typical holiday sparkle, but it's a very chanel type of sparkle- refined, understated, something that you notice during the course of a conversation rather than from a few blocks away. think lustre. think luminosity. that's the path we're headed down with this collection.

strangely, i chose to pass on the one lipstick in the collection- a limited dark red in the rouge allure velvet formula- despite my normal adoration for dark lips, since the shade doesn't actually show up all that dark and looked too similar to other shades that already exist. also, chanel has recently revamped their entire line of regular rouge allure lipsticks, which means that the holiday shade has to compete with an entire family of colours, one of which tempted me more.


chanel's bright star this holiday is undoubtedly their limited edition "harmonies du soir" eye shadow palette, which is indeed a harmonious blend of antique gold, a light, soft, apple blossom pink, a muted cranberry and an earthy taupe. the formula on this palette is different than chanel's norm, matching neither the usual american shadows nor the euro-canadian baked ones. all the colours have a soft foiled look to them, with lots of rich sheen but nothing that's going to be overly metallic on mature lids. they're just ridiculously smooth, applying so easily that there's almost no need to blend them afterwards. they melt perfectly into one another, but still last through a full day of wear. [the darkest colour is a little more prone to fading after seven or eight hours than its neighbours.]
natural light
with flash
natural light
with flash
natural light
with flash
natural light
with flash
the gold is unlike most other golds in my collection in that it's almost cool. other golds looked more yellow/ orange next to it. however, it's important to note that it doesn't have any trace of green like some other antique gold type shades [nars paramaribo or le metier de beaute chameleon]. it's most similar to the limited shade "skintone 2" from mac, which is a little deeper and yellower.

l to r :: mac skintone 2 [l.e.], harmonie du soir gold, mac goldmine :: natural light
same as above :: with flash
the white-pink definitely shows its rosiness on the lid- it doesn't look like a white or off-white highlighter. there are shades like this around, although i can't think of any that have this stunning finish. i found that this colour did wonders when applied to the centre of the lid, making me look immediately refreshed. i compared it to the limited edition shade "nanogold" by mac, which is peachier and has a very different, less smooth, consistency.

l to r :: harmonie du soir light pink, mac nanogold [l.e.] :: natural light
same as above :: with flash
the cranberry shade will probably be the one that's the trickiest to wear for most people, because it has a definite pinky-red tone. i compared it to more plummy shades- le metier "fig" [much darker] and mac "star violet" [browner], which can be easier to pull off. i like shades like this, but i did notice that, when placed near the light pink, it really did need something neutral to ground it.

l to r :: lmdb fig, harmonie du soir cranberry, mac star violet :: natural light
same as above :: with flash
which is wear the taupe comes in. it's a medium-dark brown with some grey to it. it's not dark enough that it's going to make a really dramatic, smoky eye, but it is dark and cool enough that it gives shape and definition to the other colours in the palette. of any of the shades, it's probably the most easily imitated- le metier "corinthian" is pinker, while mac "satin taupe" is just a little redder/ warmer. i do find that the glow-y finish of this shade makes it look a little lighter on application. there's a reason why this type of shade is so popular; it's very easy to wear, goes well with almost any other colour and suits both warm and cool skin tones. i don't mind having another addition to the neighbourhood, considering how often i use my existing taupes.

l to r :: lmdb corinthian, harmonie du soir taupe, mac satin taupe :: natural light
same as above :: with flash
also available in limited edition [and sold out in many locales around montreal] is the joues contraste blush "star dust". what has struck many people about this blush is that it's more like a sparkly highlighter than a true cheek colour, however, having tried it myself, i have to say that that evaluation depends on your skin tone. on me, "star dust" is absolutely a blush, a nice peachy-pink shade that gives a youthful, deceptively innocent flush to my complexion. if you look at the photos of me wearing it, you won't have trouble telling i'm wearing a cheek colour and i didn't exactly pack it on.

there is definitely a sparkle to the shade, which means that it's not necessarily something you'll be wearing to the office. it's a very refined, understated glitter, but it does catch the light. the nicest part about it is that i found that the glitter stays put, something that almost never happens. i apply it to my cheeks and it stays on my cheeks, rather than migrating into my nostrils, eyebrows and ears. that's a true rarity.

for such a light shade, the lasting power of "star dust" is nothing short of remarkable. both components, the colour and the shimmer, were roughly as visible after eight hours as they were after one. i love the smooth, luminous joues contraste blushes, but this one is a strong performer even among its classmates. although it kicks up a lot of powder in the pan, it doesn't look powdery once applied. i can't figure out why that is, but just to let you know that you shouldn't lose heart if it looks like the product spreads itself around. you're in good hands with coco. and in good cheeks.

star dust :: natural light
star dust :: with flash
my first thought was to compare this to nars "new order", which is the only other sparkly blush i own. but the fact is that new order is much cooler and the shimmer is distinctly white/ gold, which gives it a very different overall appearance. colour-wise, "star dust is more similar to "rose ecrin", another chanel blush, which is deeper, more neutral and doesn't have sparkle. it's also somewhat close to edward bess "south of france", which is cooler and more mauve.
l to r :: chanel rose ecrin, star dust, edward bess south of france :: natural light
same as above :: with flash
ultimately, how you feel about this blush is going to be determined by how you feel about the sparkly finish. because of its quality, you will be twinkling the night away. if that's going to bother you, then this probably isn't the blush for you. if, however, you want a little dazzle to complete your look, this is a great example.

i did select one lip product, one of three limited edition glosses, called "intrigue". i'm a big fan of chanel's glossimers, which i find very moisturising, not too heavy and [for a gloss] long-lasting. my others have all had some sparkly or shimmer to them, but "intrigue" is a smooth brown-red-plum tone that applies like a light jelly. even for a glossimer, it's exceptionally soft and slick, which unfortunately means it doesn't last as long as some others. it takes a long time to fade entirely, though, so while i would say that i got the full effect for less than two hours, my lips did have a warm red tint to them for about four.

intrigue :: natural light
intrigue :: natural light
intrigue :: with flash
intrigue :: with flash
the closest shades to "intrigue" i had in my collection were armani's "603", which is browner and darker and mac's "plum fun", which is cooler, more opaque and has gold shimmer. i find that "intrigue" fills a gap between the two, which remain among my favourite glosses ever.

l to r :: armani 603, intrigue, mac plum fun [l.e.] :: natural light
same as above :: with flash
although i tend to where either lipstick or a gloss but not both, i have to admit that the combination of "intrigue" with the new chanel rouge allure "rouge noir" is pretty stunning. rouge noir on its own is a deep plum shade, with the usual combination of red, purple and brown tones. it goes on vampy but has a tendency to fade to a more muted stain. it's a little bit more conservative than some full-on vampy shades like tom ford "black orchid" and giorgio armani "609". i'd even feel comfortable giving this a whirl at the office.

chanel rouge allure rouge noir
chanel rouge allure rouge noir
but take a look at what happens when they're combined:

rouge noir + intrigue
rouge noir + intrigue
"intrigue" immediately pulls the red  to the fore and gives a glossy texture that has got to make this my most perfect holiday party lip ever.

in all the photos posted here, i'm wearing the products i've reviewed, so there's hardly any reason for me to list what i'm wearing in detail. i used stila's "lionfish" to line my eyes, as i find that these colours look really nice with a dark plum or brown eye liner. and i did use a mac's "creamy bisque" [l.e., substitute dazzlelight]. as a highlight, because i wanted a slightly different texture to contrast the satiny sheen.

the chanel holiday collection also includes an eye shadow duo, loose highlighting powder, a shimmery dark red nail polish, the aforementioned dark red lipstick, two more glossimers and a shimmery gold illusion d'ombre cream-to-powder shadow. all, i believe, are limited, so grab these goodies while you can.


as long as you're here, why not read more?


i keep seeing this ad for tictac candies:

am i the only one who finds the suicide bomber clown at the end a little unnerving? all the nice natural things like the bunny and the [extinct] woolly mammoth and the fruit get devoured by a trying-to-appear-nonthreatening-but-obviously-psychotic clown who then blows himself up. congratulations, tictac, i think this ad has landed you on about a dozen watch lists.

oh and by the way, showing me that your product will somehow cause my stomach to explode in a rainbow of wtf makes me believe that doing consuming tictacs would be a worse dietary decision than the time i ate two raw eggs and a half a bottle of hot sauce on a dare.

making faces :: hot stuff, comin' through

i don't even know what to say about the weather. the end of september saw temperatures at a scalding 36c/ 97f outside. this is especially annoying because we've had a moderate summer. most days it rained a little in the morning, the temperatures didn't creep into the 30s too often and there wasn't the normal stretch of a few weeks when it felt like we were living on the sun. now, we've receded into more normal fall weather, although it's still on the warm side for mid-october. that climate change thing is a bitch.

trying to think of something positive in the situation, it does put me in a perfect frame of mind to write about urban decay's naked heat palette. it's the latest in what appears to be an endless series of warm neutral and red eyeshadow palettes that have followed in the footsteps of anastasia's modern renaissance. [which i ultimately decided i didn't need after doing a thorough search of my considerable stash.] i do think that it'…

i agree, smedley [or, smokers totally saved our planet in 1983]

so this conversation happened [via text, so i have evidence and possibly so does the canadian government and the nsa].

dom and i were trying to settle our mutual nerves about tomorrow night's conversion screening, remembering that we've made a fine little film that people should see. which is just about exactly what dom had said when i responded thusly:

me :: i agree smedley. [pauses for a moment] did you get that here?

dom :: no?

me :: the aliens who were looking at earth and then decided it wasn't worth bothering with because people smoked even though it was bad for them?
come to think of it, that might mean that smokers prevented an alien invasion in the seventies.

dom :: what ?!?!?

me :: i've had wine and very little food. [pause] but the alien thing was real. [pause.] well, real on tv.

dom :: please eat something.

of course, i was wrong. the ad in question ran in 1983. this is the part where i would triumphantly embed the ad from youtube, except that the governmen…