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):
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.]