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making faces :: diorable

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i feel like dior are having a heck of a year. their colour collections have been exciting both for those
who love saturated shades and for those who like something a little softer, but their new and relaunched products are really catching my somewhat fatigued cosmetic eye. i'm always a sucker for trying a new formula, but lately i've been trying to temper that with ensuring that i'm also buying things that don't correspond to colours that i already have in my collection. and dior has very considerately produced things that meet both criteria.

thanks for making it difficult for me to pay my rent, dior.

i feel like there is more of a disconnect between dior the storied fashion house and dior cosmetics than with a lot of other lines. armani does seem to exude a sort of sophisticated sleekness that i see in their clothes. likewise chanel also seems to embody luxurious femininity. dior on the runway is decadent elegance. there isn't quite the wild abandon that you see in newer fashion houses, but there's always an element of the risque. it helps that john galliano was their creative director until he was fired after staining a legacy of beauty with some truly ugly antisemitism. but those edgier elements didn't die at his departure.

by contrast, dior cosmetics have tended to be beautiful but safe. perhaps its the sort of makeup you'd wear with a really stunning dior dress, something that complemented but didn't compete. but i don't walk around in dior dresses all the time. i wear a lot of things that could handle a little competition. so dior and i have remained a bit of a remove. i'm appreciative but not rapt. until this year.

for fall, alongside a beautiful colour collection that's been one of their biggest successes to date [if the number of sold-out shades are anything to go by], dior have refreshed their rouge dior lipsticks and introduced new dior blushes and the new colours definitely have sharper teeth than their predecessors.

the lipsticks are the most opaque of dior's lipstick offerings, the least shiny. they're satiny, not matte, but there's a lot less shine and slip than either the dior addict [semi-sheer] or sior addict extreme [semi-opaque] varieties. the new versions are $36cad, which is up a bit from the previous ones, but there are some promises made as to improved wear time and hydration. that also keeps them in the space they've carved out for themselves price-wise: higher than nars, bite beauty, hourglass [barely], but lower than other prestige brands chanel, armani and yves st. laurent. in fact, their most direct competitor price-wise is lvmh's newly introduced marc jacobs beauty, which in itself must have been incentive for dior to get a little more creative with the colours.

i picked up one of the new dior shades, montmartre, the first day i saw it in store, but i've been waiting to review it to give myself time to try it out in different situations. i've put this shade through its paces and the verdict is clear: magnificent.



i found the older rouge dior's to be a touch drying, particularly in my arid office. this new breed is nothing of the sort. it feels smooth and slick when it applies and settles to a soft, slightly flocked consistency, like the skin of an apricot. not once did my lips cry out for mercy on any of the occasions when i've worn montmartre.

the shade is... words fail me. in the strictest sense, it's a bright coral that leans quite pink, probably as close as you can get without actually moving to a purely pink shade. i have a feeling that on very cool complexions, it would be pink. but on me, it's just a pure, saturated coral with elements of pink, orange and red present. juicy and delicious.

montmartre
the best part? it fades after a few hours to a gorgeous stain that still looks pretty saturated. you're not left with a limp imitation a few hours after you leave the house. it's no longer full-force, but it's still definitely a bright, bold colour.

not too bright, not too soft
i do have two obvious points of comparison in my collection- and if there is one criticism i have of the new rouge diors is that more shades than not are dupe-able- but when you see montmartre next to them, its particular magic becomes more apparently.

the limited edition cult favourite "toxic tale" from mac is useful for illustrating how surprisingly wearable "montmartre" can be. "toxic tale" is brighter, more matte, a bit more orange. it looks nearly neon, whereas montmartre looks more fresh and refined. [both are looks someone might want to try.]

on the other side, you have lancome "corset", one of their almost-matte shades. it's a softer, more muted and more orange shade of coral. this one is just shy of bright on me, elegant but not what you'd call fun. i could get away with it in court.

l to r :: mac toxic tale [l.e.], montmartre, lancome corset
i sometimes struggle with corals, because the peachier ones look like death on my lips. too yellow and we part ways, although such shades are supposed to be universal. the pinker and redder ones are much friendlier on me, but it's rare to find this one that's this saturated and still rosy enough for me to carry off. this one scores on every front: enough pink for me to wear, enough red and orange to look sunny and fresh, enough depth to be wearable in a lot of situations.

to pair with my happy new lipstick, i decided to try a happy new blush as well.

i'm not exactly sure how many shades of the new blushes are available. there are a lot of shades shown on various web sites on line, but my counters- those which have received any at all- only seem to have received eight. what i can tell you is that there is a nice assortment of shades for all skin tones, from baby pink to earthy brown to bold red. i wanted to choose something that had the gumption to stand up to "montmartre", so my choice came down to either a vivid pink or a coral red. at the sales associate's suggestion, i went with the latter, a bold, satin-matte colour called "new red".

"new red" looks like a warm coral red in the pan, but it's actually much more peachy pink on the skin. it has enough red to give it some power, but the softness to work on lighter skin tones. it takes very little to get a lot of colour, though, so go easy on application, even if it seems light when you swatch it. the texture is very smooth and blends well, but the real thing you'll notice is how luminous it appears. i wasn't able to capture this in photos, damn me, but in person, it's almost shocking. this colour glows.

new red, not well photographed
i credit the fact that it is so finely milled that it almost doesn't look like a powder. it isn't quite as creamy as the rouge bunny rouge 'for the love of roses' formula, but it's not tremendously far off. if you choose to build this shade up [and on darker-skinned ladies, i think this would be beyond gorgeous], your skin won't start to look powdery as a result.

there are many, many coveted corals in the world of blush. mac's limited edition "marine life" powder is lighter and warmer. [i purposely mixed the shades in "marine life" to get as close as i possibly could, using mostly the coral-red side and adding just a little of the shimmery light pink. on its own the coral-red is a lot warmer and still lighter.] nars limited edition blush "boys don't cry" is brighter, warmer and redder.

l to r :: mac marine life [l.e.], new red, nars boys don't cry [l.e.]
my face has a tendency to swallow whatever blush i add to it. i can sometimes get 4-5 hours wear if i put on a lot of primer and layer/ buff, but most mornings, i don't have the time to work up to that, so i have to be contented looking sort of sallow by the end of the day. by my standards, "new red" stood up well, remaining visible with only moderate fading for about 6 hours. that probably translates to more on most people.

the shades in the new range are beautiful and i actually do find them quite unique. yes, there's a dupe for nars orgasm, because no company can possibly have blush without that, but the other shades are very different. even the light, cool pinks have a distinctive element. some shades are more matte, like "new red", while others have fine shimmer. the texture looks excellent either way.

what can i say? dior are doing some remarkable things and it's nice to see them offering palettes that are more befitting of their name. i'm officially excited.

here's a look i did featuring "montmartre", although unfortunately i haven't had a chance to get decent shots of myself wearing "new red" yet. for my sci/ art fans, i would say that this look definitely falls into the bright spring camp and nudges me towards thinking that that is the season where i 'belong'.




products used

the eyes ::
mac e/s "prized" [slightly peachy highlighter]*
mac e/s "skintone 2" [cool antique gold]*
mac e/s "burmese beauty" [warm brown with teal reflect]*
mac e/s "showstopper" [cool dark brown]*
rouge bunny rouge e/s "golden rhea" [light sunny gold]
marc jacobs e/s "the punk #1" [dirty oyster grey]
ysl effet faux cils e/l "gold star" [antique gold]*
ysl baby doll mascara

the cheeks ::
mac blush ombre "ripe peach" [bright coral-peach]*
guerlain highlighter powder "parure de nuit" [very light pink coral]*

the lips ::
dior rouge dior l/s "montmartre" [bright pink-coral]

*suggested alternates :: if you can find the limited mac quad "burmese beauty" anywhere, all four mac shades are from that. if not... prized = mac dazzlelight [lighter and has more shimmer]; skintone 2 = nars cyprus [lighter and softer]; burmese beauty = mac club [redder base]; showstopper [been reissued about a hundred times, so you may well have it] = nars coconut grove [lighter]; gold star = nars iskanadar eye paint; ripe peach = estee lauder peach nuance [warmer and a bit darker]; parure de nuit = mac lightscapade + nars sex appeal should bring you close.

Comments

Lucinda Veen said…
That shade of coral-pink makes your eyes look so blue and your whole face seem more alive! (Not that you usually look like a zombie, but you know.) If Montmartre is representative of bright spring, then I'd say there's a good chance that's where you belong.
Kate MacDonald said…
Thanks Lucinda! The shade was definitely love at first sight for me. (And actually, if you see me before I've had coffee, I do often look like a zombie...)

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