Nail of the Week: Chanel Espadrilles…dupe!

I really wanted Chanel ‘Espadrilles’ nail polish after I saw it on Sabrina, but no only is a Chanel counter a few hours away, it’s likely the counter would not have this color yet. Boosted by confidence from past lab mixes, I headed to the lab (aka makeshift space on my work desk) to mix a dupe.

Espadrilles is a bright orange red. So obviously, would would need a red to mix one. I know I have a reliable one in the OPI ‘Over and Over A-Gwen, from the Gwen Stafani, my first red love. Next, perhaps a yellow? After mxing Zoya ‘Creamy’ (a yellow) in the the OPI, and vice versa, I wasn’t satisfied with the results – too muddy and not bright and sparkling.

Next I tried mixing a little of the red OPI into a bright orange cream – OPI ‘Brights Power’ – and…bingo! I got what I wanted, a bright orange red! I really like this combination enough that I am ok with not having Espadrilles, although I did keep a lookout of it in the Chanel Changi counter, though did not see it.

OPI 'Over & Over A-Gwen' mixed with OPI 'Brights Power'
OPI ‘Over & Over A-Gwen’ mixed with OPI ‘Brights Power’

I think I need a back up of Over and Over A-Gwen, it is such a useful one to have!

Left: OPI 'Over and Over A-Gwen' and right, mixed with OPI 'Brights Power'
Left: OPI ‘Over and Over A-Gwen’ and right, mixed with OPI ‘Brights Power’

Bonus: I also like the look of OPI ‘Pineapples Have Feelings Too!’ but didn’t really like the online swatches that I saw – the multicolor glitters are drowned by the yellow – so layered Milani ‘Gems’ over China Glaze ‘Golden Opportunity’ and voila! A big stash of polish is really a useful one!

Milani 'Gems' over China Glaze 'Golden Opportunity'
Milani ‘Gems’ over China Glaze ‘Golden Opportunity’

Review and Swatches: Chanel Mediterranée Nail Polish

Chanel Mediterranee (2)When I first saw the Chanel Mediterranée nail polish online (summer 2015 collection), I headed straight to Michelle’s blog (aka the nail polish library) to check if she thinks there are dupes –  similar colors in non-Chanel price would be awesome. She did not, and I perfunctorily ordered one. Love blues, and this one looks like a stand out, therefore prone to quickly disappear from counters.

And ta-da! Here it is. It’s a wonderful blue indeed, not too bright and in low light there is a dusty quality to it. The closest similar thing I have in my arsenal is OPI’s Suzi says Fengshui.

The formula of my bottle is a bit thick, but nothing that a few drops of Seche Restore can’t help. I did two coats here, but in a jam, one coat should be fine. I’ve had mine on for 6 days and there is very, very minor chipping.

Now, it seems that I love this BUT in truth I am on the fence. It’s a bit off with my skin tone, especially on toes. The dusty quality that makes it unique seems to be working against me. I’ll play with it a bit before deciding whether I’m keeping it since the color is indeed quite unique.

Chanel Mediterranee (3)

Chanel Mediterranée OPI Suzi says Fengshui

Review and swatches: Cargo ‘Key Largo’ blush and MAC Prep+Prime BB Cream

Cargo Key Largo powder blush and MAC Prep+Prime BB Cream
Cargo Key Largo powder blush and MAC Prep+Prime BB Cream

I’ve been loving a couple of new makeup lately, the Cargo ‘Key Largo’ powder blush (didn’t these used to be called beach blush?) and MAC Prep+Prime BB Cream (the liquid version).

The Cargo blushes have achieve legendary status amongst beauty addicts and the beauty blogosphere, but I wasn’t too impressed with my first one that I did not bother to buy another. But a recent Hautelook sale brought me ‘Key Largo’ which looks absolutely ravishing online that I must have it. It does not disappoint although time will tell if I am keeping this, as I have several blushes already yielding the same color when applied on the cheeks.

I am also not a fan of BB creams in general for various reasons that evolved over the many years of observing the BB cream hype. I still think ‘BB Cream’ as a marketing jargon rather than a functional product category but I’ve found myself not as averse to them as previously. In my mind, however, they are tinted moisturizers.

With that said, I tried the MAC Prep+Prime BB Cream (the liquid version, not the compact) at a MAC counter recently. It was in the early evening after a tiring full day of left-brain activity. My makeup has faded here and there, and I let the beauty associate put the bb cream on my face (shade medium plus, applied with the MAC 130 brush, which I’m now contemplating to get). Voila, my face was instantly brightened  and smoothed. Alas, I went away with a tube, and have been using it almost exclusively for more than a week.

I use the shade medium plus, and it matches my facial skin tone relatively well although it is slightly darker compared to my neck. However, two of my favorite face primers/bases have a slight white cast, so he end result is good. What I like most about the MAC Prep+prime BB is the oil control, which is excellent amongst tinted moisturizers and foundations I’ve ever tried. Shade comparison with other foundations is below.

Comparison swatches
Comparison swatches

The coverage is sheer but buildable to medium, and the finish is quite natural. The strange thing is that I’m able to coax stellar performance out of my tub of Chanel Universal Loose Powder when used with this BB cream, which I have not been able to do by pairing it with other foundations/bb creams. Until now, I’ve  been one of those people quite puzzled by the hype surrounding this  powder, but now I understand – the powder does set and prolong makeup.

I am currently trying out Paula’s Choice Resist Triple Action Dark Spot Eraser 2% BHA Gel, so my skin is  bit raw and plenty red. But below you can find the evolution from bare skin, to a layer of the MAC Prep+Prime BB Cream (applied with a skunk brush), two layers, and the finished result with the Cargo Key Largo Blush and Chanel Universal Loose Powder (in shade 30). It is quite a natural yet sufficiently polished everyday-look for me, which takes less than 10 minutes to achieve (including a smudged taupe smokey eye).

Left to right: bare face with a swipe of MAC Prep+Prime BB Cream; with one layer; with two layers.
Left to right: bare face with a swipe of MAC Prep+Prime BB Cream; with one layer; with two layers.


Done! With Cargo Key Largo powder blush and Chanel Universal Powder shade 30
Done! With Cargo Key Largo powder blush and Chanel Universal Powder shade 30





Review and Swatches: Le Blush Crème de Chanel in Affinité, Révélation, Présage

Le Blush Crème de Chanel Affinité, Révélation, Présage
Left – Right: Le Blush Crème de Chanel Affinité, Révélation, Présage

Le Blush Crème de Chanel is something of a quandary for me. I’ve owned and used three of them (Affinité, Révélation, Présage) since September last year, and have played around with primers, foundation, application methods, etc and to me, they are just ok products. I was about to give up on them when, at years’ end, these blushes make so many ‘best of 2013’ lists, and there I go experimenting some more. By God, I will make these work!

But alas, non. Il n’est pas destiné à être – it’s not meant to be.

The problem is the lasting power. They fade after 2-3 hours. By afternoon there is nothing on my cheeks. I’ve tried various combinations of primers, foundations, application methods, but the three sisters Affinité, Révélation, and Présage just don’t want to roll with moi. I have to pile it on to make them last a while, but in the morning such pile is just ridiculous looking. Which is a shame, as the colors are lovely and they are easy to apply. Unexpectedly, I loved Révélation most (when I though Présage would be the one) – the color is lovely on the lips or cheeks, a pale pink on me, not too warm, buildable, and works across a multitude of eye looks.

I hope you will have better luck with them.

Left to right: Affinité, Révélation, Présage
Left to right: Affinité, Revélation, Présage (click to enlarge)