Notes from the Editors of The Lipstick Page Forums: A Dedication to the Art of Beauty and Fashion.
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· Fashion Notes: Is the bride too beautiful?
· Montale Powder Flowers review
· Angelina Jolie, Keira Knightley
· The perfect blush: then and now
· Beauty Notes: Chanel Moiré lipstick part 2
· Beauty Notes: Chanel Moiré lipstick
· How to choose a lipstick shade: then and now
· Stash musings
· Cosmetics ennui
· Favorite "high end" beauty products
· Beauty breakthroughs
· October 11, 2007 3:08 AM by Dain
· October 11, 2007 12:58 PM by Colleen Shirazi
· August 13, 2007 7:16 PM by Dain
· August 13, 2007 8:41 PM by Colleen Shirazi
· August 10, 2007 8:18 PM by Dain
· August 10, 2007 8:35 PM by cmm
· August 10, 2007 8:47 PM by Colleen Shirazi
· August 11, 2007 7:46 AM by cmm
· August 11, 2007 8:25 PM by Colleen Shirazi
· August 9, 2007 2:32 PM by cmm
· August 9, 2007 9:10 PM by Colleen Shirazi
· August 9, 2007 11:25 PM by Dain
· August 7, 2007 12:31 AM by Dain
· August 7, 2007 3:59 AM by Audrey_H
· August 8, 2007 2:20 AM by Dain
· August 8, 2007 2:41 AM by Colleen Shirazi
· June 3, 2007 8:36 AM by cmm
· June 3, 2007 9:49 PM by Colleen Shirazi
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Fashion Notes: Is the bride too beautiful?
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Thursday, October 11, 2007 2:28 AM (Eastern)
"I want to give women an artificial perfume," said Chanel. "Yes, I really do mean artificial, like a dress, something that has been made. I don't want any rose or lily of the valley, I want a perfume that is a composition." No. 5 is famous for being the first perfume to heavily rely on synthetic floral aldehydes as a top note. Before synthetics, perfume either had to be applied very heavily before going out to ensure that the fragrance would last, or frequently throughout the night.
Chanel applied the French aesthetic theory that "ugly" placed next to "beautiful," by contrast, makes the beautiful object appear more so. In this era almost all perfumes were floral and "pretty" - designed to enhance a woman's beauty with more beauty. Instead of the scent of flowers, Coco wanted a perfume that "reflects my personality, something abstract and unique." She believed that a perfume should serve to spotlight a woman's natural beauty using contrast - i.e. the artificial perfume would make the woman's natural beauty more evident.
From Chanel No. 5 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
I read the Chanel quotes quite some time ago, about No. 5 being a deliberately "un-beautiful" scent, but it took me a long time to fully grasp the theory. I think we are conditioned to perceive if we choose the most beautiful cosmetics and accessories, it will make us the most beautiful overall, but it's been some time since I believed that.
I feel there is a balance, or should be, between the beauty of your accoutrements, and your own natural beauty. In short, whatever you're wearing, should not be too much more beautiful than you are. (Nor too much less so.) It should complement (often misread as "compliment") and enhance, rather than dominate.
It's a fine balance, and I've seldom seen it done well these days. I suppose the obvious example would be modern celebrities, who are dressed by modern stylists. Most of the time I hate their look. Not that I hate how they look, most of them look great, if a tad thin these days; what I dislike is few stylists seem as interested in enhancing their clients' looks as in making some kind of artistic statement (presumably to get other, better stylist jobs). It's not the same thing.
I stumbled across this amazing, if short-lived, blog: An Alabaster Brow, and was struck anew at how customized the older film stars' clothing, hair and makeup were, relative to what you see today.
Check that smokin' Joan Crawford! (Crawford was incredibly beautiful in her youth, before The Brows.) Some of the looks are really quite simple, others lush, even jaw-droppingly elaborate; what's consistent is how perfectly each look is tailored to the actress.
I also propose that online shopping has contributed somewhat to a gap between what looks good "on paper" and what looks good on. Where women would have tried on each item before even considering buying, we now tend to decide first what we might buy and then try imagining what it looks like on. I'm not saying it can't be done, but it is well to be conscious that that's what we're doing; that the focus of clothing and accessories has subtly changed from (or reverted to) "is fabulous on" to "looks fabulous in a picture" or "sounds great in a description."
Montale Powder Flowers review
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Wednesday, October 03, 2007 11:05 PM (Eastern)
Mmmmm...day two of this stuff. I tried a bit out on my wrist yesterday, then, deciding I liked it, applied it properly, and did the same today.
This begins as the kissing cousin of Chanel No. 5, indeed. I even get a bit of the aldehydes, as if Montale had initially decided to replicate No. 5...soft abstract rose, sweetish powder and white flowers, perhaps a hint of violets in the background (you'll have to forgive me if I'm off about violets, I haven't smelled nor seen them in at least 22 years)... When first applied, I'm getting No. 5, but sweeter, and light on the aldehydes.
Sometime in Hour 2, approximately, Powder Flowers veers off into pure baby powder, à la Johnson & Johnson. Strong, sweet, baby powder. (At this point the fragrance imo could be a touch more complex.)
Powder Flowers sort of toggles between the two...J & J baby powder and Chanel No. 5...for Hours 2, 3, maybe 4. After that it changes again, into something heavenly, "I can't stop smelling myself," a cloud of ambery goodness that lasts at least an hour or two. (Here you will want to have applied some closer to your nose, so it can waft right into your face.)
After that it fades some...becomes a soft baby powder/ambery thing, which, as in the other Montales I've tried, lingers softly for more hours, and remains on clothing until the following day.
Only in the beginning does it resemble No. 5, (sort of) down to the aldehydes. What's constant is the baby powder note. If you don't like baby powder, or powder in general, you're not going to like this.
But Powder Flowers stays pure baby powder only temporarily, and generally moves in and out in a dance with Chanel No. 5 (the original one I should say, there is a new one out), and a sort of dense ambery vanilla and woods thing.
This is a fine perfume. As much as I've been trying to narrow down which Montale I want, I almost feel as if each new one I try is a bit more delightful than the last. Right now I'm dithering between this and Jasmin Full (part 1, part 2).
Bet you weren't expecting that! I've decided Chloe from 24 is my favorite tv character of all time, narrowly edging out Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Fred from Angel.
What brings this image to mind is the hour-by-hour quality of Montale perfumes. They're far from linear; they are the opposite of linear. If you're not head-over-heels over how it smells now, wait an hour. Or two. Or eight.
image courtesy www.geekmonthly.com
Angelina Jolie, Keira Knightley
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Thursday, September 13, 2007 1:22 PM (Eastern)
Angelina Jolie ad for Shiseido
Again with the utterly colorless background and dress, making her sublime blue-green eyes jump out at you.
You'll note how simple her makeup is here. Just a little eyeliner and neutral shadows, nude lipstick, and mascara.
Pub coco mademoiselle
I'm less crazy about the Keira Knightley ad for Chanel's Coco Mademoiselle perfume. I actually like Keira Knightley, thought she made a bold and brilliant debut in her films. What I find disturbing, is this trend toward 1970's-style anorexic thinness. It didn't work in the 70's. What's up with bringing it back?
The perfect blush: then and now
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Monday, August 13, 2007 1:41 PM (Eastern)
Then: The Lipstick Page Forums Beauty & Fashion Blog: The perfect blush
Now: Hm. I agree with Dain, that blush should be regarded as a foundation product, rather than as a color cosmetic. It's true you can create entirely different looks using different blushes, and if you employ a wide variety of lip colors, you might want a few blushes to coordinate with these (warm blush with warm lip, cool blush with cool lip, delicate blush with red lip), but the word is "might." You might not want to, or need to, if you have already found the perfect blush.
I love this blush! It's Nars The Multiple in Malibu. Note how it works with the different lipsticks (left to right): Chanel Moiré, MAC Strawberry Blonde, and MAC Sophisto. I could have gone through the bother of coordinating blush with lipstick, but there's really no need to.
I have never found a drugstore blush that could do what a spendier one does, although there are good drugstore blushes. L'Oreal tends to make good ones...they're not as complex as their Lancôme counterparts, with less, but still respectable, staying power. Jane used to make good blushes too but I haven't tried the "new new" Jane...the original brand produced some excellent blushes, then blushes with utter mediocrity, like half an hour's worth of lasting power; now I have no idea.
Milani was another shooting star of the drugstore blush world, with their beauty-board "lemmings" of Luminous and Mango Tango blushes. Now I understand they've tanked their blushes in favor of a bronzer-blush duo (with the bronzer outranking the blush). Luminous lives on--I believe it was the only one Milani kept, albeit in bronzer-blush form--as the famous look-alike to Nars Orgasm blush.
Imo there is no easy way to choose a blush. I went through a lot of beauty advice rigamarole, such as going for a peach blush (my coloring is on the warm side), or rose, or mauve, or...? You really have to try some on. Ultimately what worked for me was a complex blend of rose, the slight warmth of peach (the defunct Lancôme Rose Charmant) or bronze (the Malibu), slightly muted but not too brown. A definite base of rose, not red, peach, pink or brown.
Beauty Notes: Chanel Moiré lipstick part 2
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Friday, August 10, 2007 5:45 PM (Eastern)
Okay, I give up. It's not that plummy. To my eye it seems plummy, but it's more rose than plum. I also have Nars Jezebel, Mambo and Malibu on in this pic, and my hair is completely wet.
Beauty Notes: Chanel Moiré lipstick
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Thursday, August 09, 2007 2:02 PM (Eastern)
I finally chased down my sample of Chanel Hydrabase "Moiré" lipstick and wore it yesterday.
Wearing is believing...I'd forgotten how good this stuff is. Zero bleeding: the outline stayed exactly as I had applied it, hours later. It faded a tad in the center, but not much; simply a matter of dabbing some back in (or, conversely, applying slightly more in the center to begin with). Basically it was, put it on and forget about it. And it looked good.
The color Moiré is plummier than I'd remembered. It's primarily warm-toned plum, with some brown, some brick red, and the finish is matte, although the lipstick itself is moist. It's a classical, rather than trendy, shade.
How to choose a lipstick shade: then and now
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Monday, August 06, 2007 8:26 PM (Eastern)
How to choose a lipstick shade
Since writing the original post, I used up MAC Sophisto and Strawberry Blonde, all the way down to their inner metal tubes. They're sitting in my Back to MAC empties bag. Even though I have six MAC empties, sufficient to qualify for a free lipstick, I want to try something different.
Spice It Up...really didn't get worn that much. It's not quite "it" for me, a tad too dark, too cool and too dry (it's the one MAC Lustre formula lipstick I've tried that struck me as being at all dry).
Clinique Apple Brandy is what I'm wearing now, until I can find a replacement for Strawberry Blonde. Said replacement doesn't have to be a similar shade, just one I find versatile. As it is, Apple Brandy is going fast, probably due to the softness of the Butter Shine formula, so I anticipate using it up as well. But I won't buy any more Butter Shines...I find the formula too soft.
So where does that leave me? When I started seeking look-alikes for Strawberry Blonde, before I decided to not go with the same shade...I suppose you could say it was eye-opening. For one thing, most of the look-alikes were in the $22 to $24 price range. It's more than I've paid for a lipstick, but then this is the first time in a long time (coughsince discovering beauty boardscough) I've used up lipsticks. I don't buy them that often anymore; what I do buy has to work.
* Dr. Hauschka lipsticks in Amoroso and Adagio. I've swatched these; the colors are actually quite good. It's the formula I can't be sure about, since I haven't worn them properly all day, but they don't seem prone to fading quickly.
* Chanel Hydrabase lipstick in Moiré. This is surprisingly wearable, a blend of brick red, plum, twist o' fuchsia shimmer. I'll have to get hold of my sample of this and try it again. But even if I vote against Moiré, I'm already sold on the Hydrabase formula. It doesn't feel moist on, but it's way moisturizing, more so than lipsticks that feel moister on. Plus I like the medium coverage, it's hard to find...more color than a sheer, yet not as high maintenance as full coverage.
It's also quite scented (candied rose)--if you're looking for unscented, keep looking, or else try the faint vanilla of MAC.
* Something entirely different. Julie Hewett? Kevyn Aucoin? Sue Devitt? Ramy? YSL? Haven't decided yet.
And now, the incredible Patsy Cline; I included this so you would have something to listen to while reading this post! (The original video I had here, "Leavin' on Your Mind" by Patsy Cline, 1963, is no longer available.)
Patsy Cline - A Tribute
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Saturday, June 02, 2007 1:23 PM (Eastern)
As my cosmetics stash gently ages (see previous Rambles...), I feel I should rethink what it means to have a stash to begin with.
I've never been much of a "collector" in the sense that owning a lot of makeup, for the sake of owning it, has never appealed to me. By this I do not mean that owning a lot of makeup is bad. It can be very good, as long as you find a purpose for it. If I had use for two hundred lipsticks, I would own two hundred lipsticks. And I would love each one.
But two hundred lipsticks is not "me." One or two lipsticks is becoming, more and more so, "me." That could be seen as next to insane in this era of thousands upon thousands of lipsticks, but, again, a stash is personal, and must be customized to the customer.
So far a close candidate for the One or Two Lippy Policy is Chanel Moiré.
It looks nothing like that little swatch btw. Moiré is a luscious blend of many colors, starting with a warm, brick red base, laced with plum, rose, a bit o' brown, a twist of fuchsia shimmer, altogether Your Lips But Better, but not as bland as some YLBB shades tend to be.
Why Moiré, well it's the only Hydrabase I've tried. I would probably investigate the other Hydrabases before plunking down anything.
Nars. Which Nars? I have no clue. Unlike MAC, Nars is a brand not incessantly photographed. The price of Nars is comparable to Chanel's, so again I would investigate before buying.
Those are my two candidates, when my MAC Strawberry Blonde lipstick gets used up. I'm leaning more toward Nars than Chanel, if only because Nars lipstick is the "evil I never tried before."
Now, eyepencils...what I have: MAC Powerpoints in Permaplum, Grey Utility, Bordeauxline. MAC Eye Kohl in Heirloom. Prestige waterproof automatic pencil in Expresso.
Expresso is genuinely getting old, I've tried wiping a few layers off with a tissue; it's still difficult to get a good thin line out of it, or blend the line I do get. It's a good brand...easily the best drugstore eyepencil. But I'd like something more special in terms of color.
Enter Urban Decay 24/7 eyepencil in Bourbon.
Bourbon would appear to be a brown pencil swirled with gold, perhaps a bit of red; all that good stuff. I'd have to swatch it, but basically I'm looking for a brown eyepencil that would go with all the eyeshadows that brown eyepencils go with, but be special enough to be worn on its own.
I'm not in a hurry to replace my MAC eyepencils as the quality seems to be holding out, but if Bourbon works out, I might look at the purple 24/7's.
Blush...more than happy with Nars the Multiple in Malibu.
"Pinkish brown"...eh...does not do it justice. Malibu is a bit warm, a bit bronzy, essentially a deep rose color. It functions as part blush, with an element of a bronzer. You can use it as eyeshadow or lipstick...I don't, since I have better eyeshadows, and as a lipstick, it's too dry. As a blush, it transforms. Can't ask for more, there.
Eyeshadow. Now here I must echo Dain. You've got to replenish your Nars duo eyeshadows periodically. They do pay for themselves; the duos I acquired three years ago are still going strong, still look perfect, still...inspire.
Habanera is the "obvious" choice, if only because it's different. Not "different unwearable," from what I can glean (never seen it in person), but "I can create something amazing" different, "how did she do it?" different. But I'll probably end up getting something else. Forget it, Jake. It's Nars.
Okay so that's it for color cosmetics for me. I don't wear mascara, don't wear eyebrow products, don't do gloss or lipliner (shhhhh...). For that matter I don't do concealer, have no interest in full coverage foundation, have never actually worn liquid eyeliner. I need a few color cosmetics to keep me entertained/make me look good when I need to look good...the products have to perform, have to elevate, otherwise why bother?
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Saturday, February 24, 2007 6:52 PM (Eastern)
It's just crossed my mind...as I'm sitting here typing, on this cold, grey, rainy Saturday afternoon...that I've become so unspeakably bored with my cosmetics collection, that I haven't even felt like wearing any of it lately.
It's a fabu-licious collection, mind you; I can't knock a single item. They're very dear cosmetics, and I'm still happy to see them nestled in their drawer. I really don't know what my problem is. I'm trying to put my finger on it I suppose.
I went on a "zen haul" at Longs Drugs fairly recently, just to see what was happening at the drugstore. Not much temptation. The L'Oreal Colour Juice Sticks looked inviting enough, with their fruity scent, but they were $10 a pop. The Milani rack had completely disappeared--don't know if it's coming back or not. Was going to check out the Milani sheer lipsticks I keep reading about, but no dice.
image courtesy milanicosmetics.com
That Longs never did carry NYX--and that was the extent of my d/s queries: the CJ sticks, Milani sheer lippies and NYX. mumbles...
Department-store wise, I'd say I am slightly intrigued by the Urban Decay Ammo eyeshadow palette:
image courtesy urbandecay.com
I'm sorry, but that has to be one of the worst photographs of an eyeshadow palette ever. Still, at $34, you can try 10 different, interesting-looking shadows. You could do a lot worse.
That, and their 24/7 eyepencil in Bourbon, described on the site as "brown w/ teeny gold glitter." How cute is that?
I've been drooling intermittently over getting a full size of Chanel Hydrabase lipstick. The one shade I've tried is Moiré, in lovely sample form (that's not Moiré in the pic, just a stock photo).
image courtesy chanel.com
This is just really good lipstick. Medium coverage: more "there" than your sheer, less maintenance than full coverage. The candied rose scent is a bonus to me; it's addictive, and the formula is nourishing...almost dry on the surface, yet intensely moisturizing, so the whole works stays put and gives you baby soft lips.
Nars eyeshadow duos are always drool-worthy:
image courtesy narscosmetics.com
How about that for mouthwatering? It would take me days to figure out which ones to buy. Although I suspect, somehow, that each duo would work for me.
These are all mainstream brands. I would be curious to try something smaller, too.
Okay I feel better now.
Favorite "high end" beauty products
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Friday, February 16, 2007 8:28 PM (Eastern)
Conversely, some products are worth their higher price tag. The colors, staying power, texture, versatility, sometimes even the shelf life--I've had cheaper lipsticks and eyeshadows turn on me relatively quickly--all of these factors can make a more expensive item into a cheaper item in the long run.
image courtesy sephora.com
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Friday, November 17, 2006 1:08 AM (Eastern)
Once in a while, there comes along a beauty product that actually does change your life. Most of them don't, of course, but some of them do.
This has been on my mind for a while...because once such a product becomes part of your life, you tend to forget what your life was like before.
Here is my personal list of breakthrough products, starting with:
Oh I'm sure I'll think of something else right after I publish this.