Thursday, 23 August 2012

Field Notes: Autumn 2012 Swatches

A mixed bag of recent dabblings in department stores: Chanel Blue Illusion, YSL Rouge Pur Couture Les Mats, and Estée Lauder Vivid Shine collections.

1. Chanel Blue Illusion was previewed at the Haute Couture SS 2012 show and I'd been anticipating the two new (limited edition) Illusion D'Ombre cream shadows (both blues! one light, one dark) ever since -- given the idiosyncrasy of fashion seasons, we're talking months of calf-eyed mooning over backstage closeups here.
And after swatching them repeatedly over the past month? Resounding meh.
Swatches fom least to most light (natural):
swatches Chanel Blue Aerien Illustion D'Ombre Apparition Destination
The liner (Blue Aerien) is a moderately pigmented mid-tone blue matte with sparse silver shimmer that's only visible once blended out (second swatch). As with all non-shimmery Chanel pencil liners, I found it to apply patchily and to tug on my dry skin.
Both Illusion D'Ombre Apparition (deep blue-grey with silver, green and very sparse pink microshimmer) and Destination (silvery blue with the same microshimmer) are softly shimmery, moderately pigmented mousses like Rivière rather than the creamier, denser, more pigmented and much sparklier original lineup of shades (or the latter releases Abstraction and Vision).
All shades are limited edition and are available in the Oxford Street John Lewis and Selfridges in London -- may be able to order these by phone.

2. YSL Rouge Pur Couture Les Mats is a new, permanent collection of six shades of modern matte lipsticks: touted-as-moisturising, with a good bit of siliconey slip to ease application, but long lasting and highly pigmented, corrective satin rather than flat matte -- cf. Chanel Rouge Allure Velvets or Lancôme Colour Design Mattes.
I found these very impressive -- in particular 202 Rose Crazy, 203 Rouge Rock and 204 Rouge Scandal were intensely and smoothly pigmented -- although the darker 205 Prune Virgin (!) and 206 Grenat Satisfaction looked a little patchy on one swipe, and 201 Orange Imagine needed three-four layers to reach the opacity of the other shades.
YSL Rouge Pur Couture Les Mats matte lipstick swatches 201 Orange Imagine, 202 Rose Crazy, 203 Rouge Rock, 204 Rouge Scandal, 205 Prune Virgin, 206 Grenat Satisfaction
Based on the look and performance of 203 Rouge Rock on my delicious friend Mira Sundari, even through some epic ice-cream-and-waffle-nomming, I think these are worth every penny of their £23.50 pricetag and tacky gold packaging.

3. Estée Lauder Vivid Shine features a mix of limited edition and permanent shades, providing a bonanza of autumn-collection-awesome: saturated jewel tones, icy pastels, and unashamed sparkle being the main themes.
The eyeshadows are re-stamped but not reformulated from last year's Cyber Eyes release and the molten wet-or-dry "Illuminating Powder Gelee" formula was also used in this summer's limited edition Bronze Sands quint; a step up from MAC's Extra Dimension formula from spring. I finger-swatched these dry, because the EL counters were heaving in contrast to Dior, Lancôme and others, but you can hopefully extrapolate how much more intense they would be used wet based on Lipglossiping's excellent swatches from last year.

All swatches in natural light, without flash. I angled for fuzziness in the bottom pictures. Starred items are limited edition.
Estee Lauder eyeshadow swatches Cyber Silver, Arctic Sky, Cyber Ice, Cyber Pink
Arctic Sky is the only sheer sparkle in this batch; Cyber Silver and Cyber Pink are more pigmented and metallic-glittery while Cyber Ice is an all-out frost.

Estee Lauder eyeshadow swatches Cyber Copper, Cyber Gold, Lights Out, Cyber Green
As you can see, Cyber Green hasn't been tweaked to match its name since the original release. It's still a black warmed by copper, green and gold sparkle. Cyber Green along with Lights Out and Cyber Copper were the driest in texture and would need to be packed on with a very heavy hand or foiled with water/mixing medium to display much complexity on the eye.

Estee Lauder eyeshadow swatches Cyber Ruby, Magenta, Electric Orchid, Cyber Lilac
Cyber Lilac is the most complex and pigmented of this batch, and one of the shades that really show off this new formula's balance of pigment, creaminess and complex sparkle -- a great
illustration of why Estée Lauder makeup has been making a comeback in recent seasons. Cyber Ruby is a rich rose-brown with, yep, ruby and fuchsia shimmer; even softer are Electric Orchid and Magenta which balance gloriously unsubtle the-eighties-are-back tones with less textural bling.

Estee Lauder eyeshadow swatches Pop Pistachio, Ultramarine, Cyber Teal, Fire Sapphire
This last set mixes a sheer sparkle (Fire Sapphire) with two moderately-pigmented shimmers (yellow-green Pop Pistachio and blue-green Ultramarine) and another complex metallic glitter, Cyber Teal.
The first thing that struck me about these was their similarity to a few Addiction Aurora Reflection shades I owned. While Addiction are a step up still in texture, complexity and greater colour payoff, these EL shades are worth looking into as accessible relations. (Ignore Magenta peeking out on the right there.)
Estée Lauder Fire Sapphire is the less-pigmented twin to Addiction Blue Moon.
Estée Lauder Pop Pistachio is a flatter, less-sparkly, yellower cousin to Addiction Silent Scream.
Estée Lauder Cyber Teal is much more tauped (greyed and browned) and less, well, teal than Addiction Deep Forest.

Finally, some very messy field swatches of what seemed to be to be the four sparkliest nail polishes in the new line. From index to pinky: Smashed, Molten Lava, Explosif and Chaos.

[While I can't fault Tom Pecheux's eye, I do question whose nose in Haus Lauder is responsible for keeping that lurid fig scent in their lip products, season after season -- the latest batch of Pure Colour lipsticks did seem wonderfully moisturising and lushly pigmented, for those of you who like that kind of thing. There was a killer coral in the line too, from what I could tell between dry-heaves.]


  1. Omg, I LOVE the YSL mattes! I have two so far and just adore them! the reds are just beautiful! (I kinda 'like' the packaging *licks*). Since I didn't have the chance to get those blue IdO's I am more than happy I have nothing to regret, haha, and tbh, sky line wasn't 'wow' either. I am very surprised about EL new releases though, they are getting more and more (my) attention. I especially like the nail polishes. Great swatches, as always, Kate. Thank you so much for this post <3

    1. they're gorgeous arent they, I'll definitely be adding them to my (ever-expanding) birthday wish list

    2. oh claire, which YSL did you get?! I've been resisting so far, mostly because I can't make my mind up....

    3. they are really nice and feel like velvet on your lips! I got 201 and 203, I think you should try them out and see if you like them. they are not that drying like chanel RAV.

  2. I haven't managed to figure out if all the shades of YSL matte are being released here yet, but I'm hoping so, because I NEED Prune virgin and Grenat Satisfaction. And Rose Crazy, but that one I'm sure we're getting.

    1. These staggered releases do look increasingly out of step with the international bloggy beauty world; I wonder why companies still do this?

  3. GORGEOUS! You kill me with all of the amazing colors! :*

  4. I think I still want Apparition :( and ALL TEH NAILPOLISHES!

  5. I want the YSL lippies, they are so my colours and I'm drooling over Ultramarine and Cyber Lilac. I can't wait for YSL to come back to Singapore.

    1. :O I can't believe YSL left! Asians LOVE YSL! (sorry, but true :D)

  6. I'm getting dizzy just looking at the YSL's, want them all so bad. Rouge Scandal will be mine for sure!

  7. Many, many thanks for your tireless swatching and thoughtful comparisons! I've picked up several of the EL Cyber *gag* Eyes e/s, and I've been pleasantly surprised. I did find Arctic Sky to be more nuanced and opaque with finger app, with a pretty pink shift. I do agree with you on the scent of the lip products- dry heaving is right. Sadly, I had to return a couple of the new squeezy tube (!) l/g b/c of that damn scent. Too bad.

    1. LOL! Why does 'Cyber' make you gag?
      Arctic Sky would be one of the ones I'd pick up for sure :) It's another 'lost' Aurora Reflection-ish shade.

  8. woah, I love the blue colours a lot. Glad to see some blues returned!

    Yeh, I finally got the Addiction Rose Bar. I don't think the texture is dryer but after testing I find the colour to be quite muted compared to revenge. It might have to do with the fact that (duh) it's a muted colour but somehow it dissapears a bit faster IMO

    1. thanks love! I have heard this kind of thing from a few people now... I think we're not meant to be.