Wednesday, May 4, 2011

My Favorites: April 2011

I thought it might be fun to start a monthly series on my current favorites, and see how my product loyalty waxes and wanes. The series will be about cosmetics, since my hair and skincare do not change that often.

Here's what I was loving in April:

April favorites

Swatch order
1. Anastasia Brow Gel, Granite
2. Edward Bess Daydream Bronzer (I tried, but this product is being retired ... by me)
3. Chantecaille Lumiere de Rose highlighter
4. Chantecaille Blush, Whisper
5. Edward Bess eyeshadow, Dusk
6. Laura Mercier eyeshadow, Topaz
7. Chantecaille eyeshadow, Granite
8. Chantecaille eyeshadow, Basalt
9. Chantecaille eyeshadow, Perle
10. Shu Uemura eyeshadow, M Beige 800
11. Laura Mercier lipstick, Bing Cherry

I'll try to have fewer favorites next month. One more swatch and I'd have needed a second arm.

Anastasia Brow Gel in Granite. For years, no make that decades, I have worn Clinique Brow Shaper in Shaping Charcoaled, but on a recent Sephora trip I decided to try the Anastasia tinted gel brow groom. I love it. Although my dark ash blonde hair has some gold and red highlights, my eyebrows are straight ash, zero warmth, and this gel is as good as it gets, even if a touch dark.

Revlon Colorstay Liquid Eyeliner in Black. I am a self-admitted eyeliner klutz. I cannot manage a natural line above the lashes that doesn't make my eyes look smaller, so I always tightline, but it's such a bother to wash that brush every day. On a whim I tried the Revlon Colorstay liner, and I can't believe how easy it is to use. Unlike a floppy brush of typical liquid eyeliners, the applicator is firm, like a felt-tipped pen. Also, it is pointed enough that I can draw a fine line at the base of my lashes and then push the tip up in between and then connect the dots from above. Wearing such a deep black so close to my eyes (and yet hidden within the roots of my lashes) makes my eyes look awake and refreshed.

Edward Bess Daydream  Bronzer. This bronzer, in the color Daydream, almost changed my mind about bronzers, which I maintain make me look like an Oompa Loompa QT reject from the 70s. I reviewed Edward Bess bronzer here. It was an April favorite, but it's just too warm and weird looking on my pink skin.

Chantecaille Les Pétales Lumière de Rose Highlight. I initially disliked this product, forced myself to use it for a month, and can now safely retire it to the Purgatory Box. It's a color that should flatter both cool and warm-toned people, but it isn't KEEPER worthy for me.

Chantecaille Blush in Whisper. Soft neutral rosy-beige that leaves a moderate rosy flush. This is a great blush for very fair people, but it is extremely hard to find, since it has been discontinued. Therefore, it likely will not reappear in a future Favorites post.

Edward Bess Dusk eyeshadow. I have three EB eyeshadows, and Dusk is my favorite in the crease, blended out well for a natural look. A cool-neutral taupe with the tiniest hint of moss, Dusk makes my eyes look luminous, never shimmery.

Laura Mercier Topaz eyeshadow. Topaz is in the lustre formulation, but it is subtle enough to wear as a wash over the eye, and that is exactly how I wear it. It's one of those eyeshadows that makes me do a double take in the mirror because my eyes look so good. Topaz is a taupe with pinkish bronze undertones, the perfect neutral to make my eyes gleam with the appearance of sparkling robust health.

Chantecaille Granite Shine Eye Shadow. If I am not wearing Laura Mercier Topaz or Edward Bess Dusk in the socket, I am wearing Granite, probably the hardest working eyeshadow in my collection. Granite is another cool-neutral taupe that provides a luminous glow and melts into the skin.  All of the eyeshadows in my April list work very well in under fluorescent lighting in an office where few of the women bother to wear makeup, and all mentioned in this list are flattering to maturing eyes..

Chantecaille Basalt Iridescent Eye Shadow. Basalt in the iridescent formula is a different color from the matte (Lasting) Basalt. Slightly warmer, like minerals in the sun, Basalt is another one of Chantecaille's taupes, lighter than Sel and lighter even still than Granite. It makes a gorgeous neutral lid color that melts into my skin and complements all of my crease colors. I have been wearing Basalt on the movable lid nearly every day for the last few weeks with one of the above-mentioned taupes in the socket, and the very moderate gleam turns back the clock a bit.

Chantecaille Perle Iridescent Eye Shadow. The color of this eyeshadow is a complex neutral ivory duochrome cooled with both pink and purple undertones. Sounds obvious, like a MAC pigment, but the effects are more subtle--like the gleaming shine you see in rainwater when the oils first rise to the surface on asphalt. What it is NOT is an all-out sparklefest. Using a pencil brush, I poke a tiny bit of Perle into the highest point of my brow arch and then smooth it all out with the Shu Uemura 800. And on days when I am not using the Lumière de Rose highlight, I'll take a wide eye fluff brush (Stila #5) and apply Perle to the cheekbones--under my blush--in a C shape up to meet the end of my eyebrows. I then apply a bit down the bridge of my nose, on my cupid's bow, and just below the crease in my chin and press-roll it into my skin with my fingertips. Like Chantecaille Granite, Perle is one of my hardest-working eyeshadows.

Shu Uemura M Beige 800. This excellent brow highlighter has been in heavy rotation since the mid 90s. I must be on my fourth pan by now, and that is unprecedented for fickle me. The Shu matte shadows are never flat or chalky, and I can wear this every day with any look I choose. I don't know what I will do when I can't get this color any more, as I have only one backup left. I suppose I could have Three Custom Colors duplicate it, but I imagine I'll just find something new.

Laura Mercier Bing Cherry Cream Lipstick. Absolutely my favorite go-with-everything red, especially complementary to subtle taupe eyes. Reviewed here with lots of exclamation points and a puddle of drool.

Photo mine.


  1. I think I just died and went to taupe heaven! You favourites really appeal to me. I have Dusk on order but I have a feeling I'm going to have to add a few of your eyeshadows to my wishlist. I'm loving your description of Perle too, very evocative!
    Jane x

  2. Great post! Your monthly favourites all look lovely. The Chante highlighter looks pretty in the above swatch and in the one on the review you wrote and the packaging is gorgeous! Whisper also looks like a lovely shade. I've not tried anything from Chante, really need to change that :) x

  3. Thank you Jane and Nat. :) I haven't yet mastered lighting and definition in my picture taking, but I hope to improve over time. The skin swatches in this post do nothing to show the beauty of those colors, especially the taupes.

    Jane I can't wait to read about your impressions on Dusk. I believe you have Intimate, and although they look so similar online, they are not.

    Nat, I adore Chantecaille. It is probably in my top3. Some people dislike that the eyeshadows are not isn't as deeply pigmented as some other brands, but I like that because it lets me control how much color goes down, and I can keep it from looking obvious.


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