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making faces :: j'adore dior encore

i feel like dior is one of those brands that gets the short shrift from me. at least, i think that's how i feel, undeservingly bad.
rowan ellis :: bluebird of paradise
because i don't really know what a short shrift is. i just assume it's something that's bad and more that it's

it's true that i wasn't blown away [at all] by their fabled diorshow mascara. but i did really like their hydrating concealer until i found the new nars radiant creamy concealer, which works a little better for me. and their nude skin foundation and powder have both served me well. my greatest problem with dior is that i often feel that their colour selections mirror things that i already have in my considerable stash, whereas other brands have tended to come out with things that felt more unique to me. so all of my dior desires seem to get put perpetually on hold, while i'm off grabbing things that seem a little more immediately "necessary".

i have to say that i fell in love at first sight with a couple of their recent releases though, including- surprisingly for me- a palette of blue eye shadows from their "bird of paradise" summer collection. i also stumbled across a brand new display of cream blushes, which quite took my breath away- another surprise since i'm not normally a cream blush fan.

the shadow palette in question is called "blue lagoon", which for those around my age might conjure up  cheesy images of a young brooke shields stranded on a tropical island, gradually learning how to repopulate the world with her co-strandee. indeed, the shades of the palette do have a disturbing late disco/ early 80s vibe to them, in that they appear very bright and blue and mostly pastel. the truth is that the colours, while they have good pigmentation, are much more subdued than you might think. that's either going to be a bonus or a disappointment.

the first shade is an intense baby blue and this one actually is quite bright, although it blends out fairly easily. it is going to have some impact. it's not exactly matte, but there isn't a lot of shimmer to it. it's a satin finish that gives a very clear, pure colour.

blue lagoon colour #1
i don't have a lot of shades like this in my collection. shu uemura sky blue is brighter and has a gold shimmer that makes it warmer.

l to r :: shu uemura sky blue, blue lagoon
the lightest shade in the palette falls a little short of a true highlighter for me and is a little deceptive because it doesn't look like a highlighter at all. i think that this shade is the reason why some people have been disappointed in the palette as a whole, because you really would expect the light, almost icy blue that you get from looking at the colour in the pan.


the immediate assumption would be that the shade is weakly pigmented or patchy. it actually isn't- i had no trouble getting smooth swatches and it's quite visible on my eyes- it's just not the colour it looks like. for a very pale blue, it has a surprising golden warmth underlying it. i actually love using this one as a blending shade around the edges of the others. it gives a sort of watery dimension that adds to the overall look.

blue lagoon colour #2
the closest shade that i have to this is nars "heart of glass", which is cooler and whiter- more of a winter than a summer tone.

l to r :: mac surreal [d/c], blue lagoon #2, nars heart of glass
in the lower right lies my favourite shade in the whole palette. it's a very light green with a lot of bright white-yellow. it's shimmery but not frosty and gives a wonderful brightness to the eye. i love using this shade on the lid, because it makes me look awake and alert and generally more bright-eyed and bushy-tailed [is that really something that i want?] than i do normally. it blends seamlessly with the other shades- with any shades really. on darker skins, i think it could be a highlighter, but it would take some blending, since the colour is very pigmented.

blue lagoon colour #3
i don't have another shade that approaches this one. highlighter shades lack the green dimension. green shades are deeper. even a light green like mac "aquavert" is very different because it's deeper, more of a true green and less white.

l to r :: blue lagoon #3, mac aquavert
adjacent to that is another stunner of a shade. it's a medium teal with gold shimmer that's both warm and cool. the blue teal base lends coolness, whereas the fine gold shimmer is so suffused in the powder that it warms everything up just a little. it's very, very pigmented and blendable at the same time, which makes it appropriate as either a bold colour or as part of a softer wash. i love it as a crease colour, where it can add depth. it is just slightly too soft, which means that you need to use a light hand when blending or you can lose a lot of the colour. if you can follow that simply rule, it's a great shade.

blue lagoon colour #4
i find that most teal blues are actually lighter or brighter, because the base shade here is quite deep. mac "teal blue" is a good example of this.

l to r :: blue lagoon #4, mac teal blue
in the centre of the palette is a dark, rich teal shade. it's not what i'd call blackened- it definitely looks teal when applied, as opposed to black with a teal cast. although it's the darkest shade in the palette, it's not tremendously dark when compared to other such shades. you could use it to shade the crease or outer corners for emphasis, but you it's not limited to that. if you were going to try a surprising smoky eye with this palette, it would make an amazing and not-too-intense shade for the lids.

blue lagoon colour #5
there are some comparable teal shades, but i find that most of them are darker, like mac's "birds and berries", with a lot more black in the base. the intense teal blue base makes this more jewel-toned.

l to r :: blue lagoon #5, mac birds and berries [l.e.]
although the one shade is a bit surprisingly pale, the pigmentation on all the shades is good. the thing to remember is that what you see in the pans is not necessarily what you get in use, but thankfully, dior is sold at counters where you can always swatch the colours to see how they look on you.

dior 5-shadow palettes retail for $60 canadian, which works out to $12 per shadow. because dior's pricing on foundation, concealer and mascara is generally equivalent to that of other prestige brands like chanel, armani or yves st. laurent, it's easy to miss that their colour cosmetics are a little less- priced more along the lines of nars or lancome.

also new from the house of dior is a collection of new cream blushes in bright, happy, juicy shades for summer. i don't often make completely spur of the moment purchases, but when i saw these little pots of magic in their shiny display, i couldn't wait to try them. there are four new shades, although i only got to see two, because i literally arrived within an hour or so of my counter having put the display up and they hadn't received their full set of testers yet.

i felt like i was very well-behaved, limiting myself to one of these lovelies, because the second i tried them on, it was immediate love. i chose magenta-pink "pareo", but i could have just as easily bought both and come back for the other two.

as i mentioned in the intro, i'm not a huge fan of cream blushes. as much as i love the idea of them with their dewy finish and easy fingertip application, they rarely last more than an hour on me and the ones that do have a tendency to set too quickly, so that i can always see the imprints of the original few dots on my cheeks.

this formula, though, is quite fascinating. it's a cream, but only just. it's more like a spongy powder, because it doesn't have the liquid feel of cream formulas at all. it's not entirely dissimilar to the yves st. laurent "creme de blush" formula, but you get about double the amount of product for $20 less.

although it looks crazy in its little glass pot, "pareo" is a very light, cool pink when applied lightly. build it up a little more and see its magenta madness. apply with a brush for the softest colour or just smear it in layers with your fingers for a more intense application. dior cheek cremes are not particular about how you use them and are extremely forgiving. applied too much? they blend out. application looks splotchy? smooth it out with a brush or fingers. you have a lot of control over the exact colour you end up with.

l to r :: pareo swatched heavily, pareo blended
the wear time isn't as good as the best powder blushes, but it's as good as most good powder blushes [mac, chanel] and that means it's actually a pretty good investment.

in case you haven't heard, cream blushes are the new liquid lipstick. just like everyone last year and early this year released a liquid lipstick, everyone is rushing to do cream blushes this year. that didn't really excite me, but having tried these, i've regained some faith. then again, it could just be that i really like this particular formula. it's extremely easy and quick to work with, which makes it a god send for those of us who often have to apply makeup in a hurry going to work.

the colour can be built to the point where it's comparable with intense shades like mac's "azalea", but it's likely you'll more often use it as a deep cool pink, a shade range that is sadly lacking in my stash.

l to r :: pareo, mac dollymix, mac azalea
dior cheek cremes are $30 each and worth every penny. "pareo" is one of four new shades that should be hitting counters any day now.

so it seems that i've learned that i should give into those dior-longings more often, because there does seem to be lots to discover.

here's a look i did featuring both of the products reviewed here and one more thing- a dior addict lipstick in "fashion week" a sheer purple berry. i hadn't tried the formula before, but now that i have, i see why it's called "addict". it's a wonderful semi-opaque colour that really leaves my lips feeling moisturised and that blends perfectly with my skin.

[please try to ignore the crazy cat lady wound, which is evidence of what happens when you're in the midst of a leisurely cuddle and a pigeon happens to land outside the window immediately behind the bed. honestly, i'm so covered in this sort of thing that i hardly notice them anymore.]

the base ::
marcelle beauty balm "light/ medium"
nars radiant creamy concealer "vanilla"
nars tinted moisturiser "terre neuve"
mac paint pot "painterly"

the eyes ::
dior e/s palette "blue lagoon"*
urban decay 24/7 e/l "invasion" [dark teal]
chanel le volume mascara

the cheeks ::
dior cheek creme cream blush "pareo" [bright magenta pink]
hourglass ambient lighting powder "diffused light" [bright yellow-white highlight]

lips ::
dior addict l/s "fashion week" [sheer purple-berry]

in light of my recent sci/art series, i thought i'd add a word about who these products would be best for on that spectrum. certainly, both "blue lagoon" and "pareo" are natural products for a light summer. both have the appropriate coolness, with the delicacy required for that colouring [assuming you don't go too heavy on "pareo"]. i think that "blue lagoon" also works well within a bright winter or possibly a bright spring palette [might need to be combined with some warmer shades] and a light spring could wear these shades as well. "pareo" would really work across the summer and winter spectra. it's a little cool for someone with a warmer skin tone, although a bright spring person could possibly get away with it if they leaned towards the cooler side of their skin tone range.

i'm thinking of going back and tagging previous looks i've done by season, although who knows if i'll actually get around to it.

dior products are widely available at department stores and, in canada, at shoppers drug mart. the summer "bird of paradise" collection is already distributed everywhere. the "summer mix" collection, which includes the cheek creme in "pareo" and other colours, is in the process of launching. in canada, i know that flagship [read: major downtown] locations of the bay have received it and it should be rolled out to other locations shortly.


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