Filed In: Comparisons

Lancome Rose Ballerine Highlighter Blush (LE), French Ballerine Spring 2014 Collection

Lancome Rose Ballerine opener


The French Ballerine Spring 2014 launch by Lancôme is feminine and pretty to the core, with the centerpiece of this collection undoubtedly the Rose Ballerine Highlighter Blush … from the detailed rose on the palette’s surface, to the hot pink bow on the compact’s cover, this is a product that will have you wanting to whip it out in public, if only to see the covetous looks it garners.

Before I get to the review, you should take note that this is a limited edition item. Fair warning …


The Pink Dancers, Before the Ballet – Edgar Degas, 1884 (source)

Lancome Rose Ballerine compact

Lancôme – Rose Ballerine Highlighter Blush

Lancome Rose Ballerine bow

Lancôme – Rose Ballerine Highlighter Blush, bow detail

Lancome Rose Ballerine label

Lancôme – Rose Ballerine Highlighter Blush

Lancome Rose Ballerine

Rose Ballerine Highlighter Blush, limited edition (CAN $52.00) – This is a finely milled and cool leaning ‘ballet slipper’ pink hue, with an ultra fine silvery shimmer. While the consistency is on the sheer side, it can be built up slightly to show more colour – fairer skin types will absolutely love the rosy glow of this blush, although I suspect it will come off as more on the highlighter side for darker skin tones. Lasting power was quite decent as well, going easily to the 9-hour mark, although the colour faded before the sheen did.

Pink blushes can be quite difficult for me to pull off, as they often clash with the yellow undertones in my skin, but there seems to be enough warmth in this shade that actually works on me – in that glowy-flushed-skin kind of way. That being said, it is quite sheer and required several passes with my brush to show up, but I don’t mind the extra effort, as this shade is not only very complimentary, but blends so seamlessly and easily along the skin. The shimmer is visible when light catches it, with the ultra-fine texture helping it to meld with the skin and not stand out. I actually prefer using Rose Ballerine more as a luminous booster over a more matte blush, as it serves to add depth and bring light to the skin, which makes this a very versatile product indeed. With the beautifully crafted rose on this palette’s surface, I found the bow on the exterior to be almost superfluous, but then again – I’m not all that fond of bows to begin with. But it is cute, I’ll give it that.

Lancome Rose Ballerine shadow

Lancôme – Rose Ballerine Highlighter Blush … and a bonus rose shadow on the palette!

Lancome Rose Ballerine side

Lancôme – Rose Ballerine Highlighter Blush, raised detail

Lancome Rose Ballerine flash

Lancôme – Rose Ballerine Highlighter Blush (with flash)

Lancome Rose Ballerine swatch

Lancôme – Rose Ballerine Highlighter Blush (swatched heavily on the left, blended out at right)

Lancome Rose Ballerine vs NARS Gaiety

I could have sworn that Rose Ballerine would be quite close to NARS’ Gaiety, but the swatches show how different they are, with Gaiety being more matte and pulling lavender (and bluer based) against my skin.

Lancome Rose Ballerine vs NARS Gaiety swatches

NARS Gaiety blush (left), Lancôme Rose Ballerine Highlighter Blush (middle & right)


This is definitely the year of pinks and nudes and all that is vibrantly pretty – and it seems that every single brand is on the same page with their collections; the French Ballerine Spring 2014 Collection from Lancôme oozes prettiness, but in a totally wearable (read: modern) way, as this gorgeous Rose Ballerine Highlighter Blush proves, and let’s face it; there’s something about the ballet (pointe shoes, tutus, pulled-back ballerina hair, and always, the effortless elegance) that is almost … magical.

Available as of February wherever Lancôme products are sold, this is a limited edition item – and sure to sell out FAST.

Find more information via:

Lancome Rose Ballerine closer

*Disclosure: Product sample provided by the company/PR for my unbiased consideration

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NARS New Attitude Blush (LE), Final Cut Collection

NARS New Attitude opener


Everything is most definitely coming up roses for Spring, if this capsule collection from NARS is anything to go by. Not to be confused with their Spring 2014 Collection, the 9 (and limited edition) pieces of the Final Cut Collection consists of 4 blushes, 4 Satin Lip Pencils (my post on ‘Torres del Paine‘ will be on the blog soon), and 1 Illuminator – all on a variation of this pink theme, with blush shades that can be effortlessly coordinated with the lip pencils, or mixed & matched at will. When I learned that this collection was exclusive to Holt Renfrew here in Canada (Nordstrom in the US), I raced over to check them out; after a few quick counter swatches, I simply could not resist this vibrant pink blush.

Yes, I have officially gone over to the pink side and there will be several posts coming up on the blog, that can more than confirm this. But I digress …

NARS New Attitude closed

NARS – New Attitude

NARS New Attitude label

NARS – New Attitude

NARS New Attitude blush

NARS New Attitude blush (CAN $33.00) – A peony pink hue that is warmed up by the reddish undertones in its base. This blush is very finely milled with no noticeable powdery residue, and while not intensely pigmented, neither does it fall on the subtle side. Easily blended along the skin for a fresh flush of colour, New Attitude can also be built up slightly for more depth. Staying power was quite good, lasting easily over 9 hours over foundation, less so on bare skin.

With my skin tone (light/medium with yellowish undertones), finding a pink shade that simulates that “I just took a brisk walk” look on my cheeks can be a challenge at best, but there’s enough warmth in New Attitude to work with me – powerfully feminine but still modern.

NARS New Attitude blush 2

NARS – New Attitude

NARS New Attitude blush macro

NARS – New Attitude, detail

NARS New Attitude blush 3

NARS – New Attitude

NARS New Attitude blush ingredients

NARS – New Attitude, ingredients list

NARS New Attitude blush swatch

NARS – New Attitude (swatched heavily on the left, blended out at right – direct sunlight)

NARS New Attitude blush swatch 2

NARS – New Attitude (swatched heavily on the left, blended out at right – in natural light)

NARS New Attitude & Gaiety blushes

While I initially believed New Attitude to be similar to Gaiety, you can clearly see that they’re different branches of the pink family, with Gaiety sporting a much cooler tone due to its lavender undertones.

NARS New Attitude & Gaiety swatches

NARS – Gaiety (left), New Attitude (middle & right)

NARS New attitude blush & comparisons

NARS – New Attitude (shown beside a few other contenders for comparison purposes – not swatched)


Maybe it’s because this has been such a dreary and miserably cold Winter, but I’m finding myself drawn more and more to anything pink – it somehow seems symbolic of Spring and the coming warmth to me. The NARS Final Cut Collection beautifully fills this craving with a small but perfectly curated selection of blushes, with enough variation in colour to suit most skin tones across the board. As these pieces are all limited edition, you might want to act fast. And think about backups, while you’re at it.

I purchased this product from Holt Renfrew, Montréal

NARS New Attitude closer

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CHANEL Joues Contraste #84 Accent (LE) – Holiday 2013 & comparisons

CHANEL Accent opener


For Holiday 2013, the House of CHANEL has released a small-scale collection, filled with products that are exquisitely made and in completely wearable hues. While several items caught my eye, the Joues Contraste Powder Blush in #84 Accent seemed to stand out; there’s just something about it … something special, but in a completely understated way.

CHANEL Accent label

CHANEL – Joues Contraste #84 Accent

CHANEl Accent blush

CHANEL – Joues Contraste #84 Accent

CHANEl Accent blush 2

Joues Contraste #84 Accent Powder Blush (CAN $48.00) – A tawny/taupe hue with the barest hints of mauve and peach in the base to warm it up, and bearing an incredibly fine shimmer throughout. Surprisingly pigmented for a light shade, there was hardly any powdery kickback when I swirled my brush in the pan. Application couldn’t be easier as well, as this shade blends beautifully and seamlessly into the skin, while the shimmer serves to add a gorgeous yet soft, luminous glow. Lasting power was quite good – going easily 9 hours before any significant fading.

Don’t let the tan colour in the pan fool you; this is a universally flattering shade that will suit a broad range of skin tones, except for perhaps the darkest – where it probably won’t really show up at all.

CHANEL Accent blush side

CHANEL – Joues Contraste #84 Accent

CHANEl Accent blush detail

CHANEL – Joues Contraste #84 Accent

CHANEL Accent blush flash

CHANEL – Joues Contraste #84 Accent (with flash)

CHANEL Accent blush swatch 2

CHANEL – Joues Contraste #84 Accent (blended out on the right)

CHANEl Accent vs Notorious

CHANEL – Notorious (left) & Joues Contraste #84 Accent 

When the first promotional images began circulating, I assumed that #84 Accent was very similar to Notorious (previously reviewed here), but as can be clearly seen in the photos, they are nothing alike.

CHANEL Accent vs Notorious swatch

CHANEL – Joues Contraste #84 Accent & Notorious swatches

CHANEl Accent blush with comparisons

I then pulled out all similarly coloured blushes in my collection to compare to #84 Accent and while a couple looked like contenders, I was happy to note that none had the same tone or finish.

  • MAC Harmony – close in base tone, but without any shimmer
  • NARS Douceur – significantly lighter and less pigmented, similar base hue
  • MAC Garb – peachier and lighter hued
  • MAC Get-Away Bronze – the darkest, more orange toned and with an obvious golden shimmer

CHANEL Accent and comps swatches

CHANEL – Joues Contraste #84 Accent & comparisons


This is a blush that I find myself turning to almost on a daily basis. Perfect for when you want a light and natural looking flush along the skin, it also lends itself well to be used as a contour, then adding a pop of brighter colour on the apples of the cheeks. Note that this is a limited edition item (big mistake, CHANEL – you need to make this permanent) and still available at counters – but not for long, as the Spring 2014 Collection has already started making its appearance.

CHANEL Accent closer

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Essie Fall 2013 – Comparisons

Essie Fall 2013 comparisons opener


I’m not surprised that Essie’s Fall 2013 Collection has sparked quite a bit of interest amongst enthusiasts of the brand, and since many of you have wondered how close several of the new shades are to past hues, here’s a breakdown on a nail wheel for comparison. The swatches shown are all done with 2 coats of lacquer each (no base or top coats), but bear in mind that natural nails may alter the colour to a certain degree. I’ve left out ‘For The Twill Of It’ as well as ‘Cashmere Bathrobe’ from this post, as I don’t have anything like either shade in my personal collection of Essie polishes.


The reds:

  • Limited Addiction – from the Fall 2010 Collection (reviewed here): a couple of degrees deeper in tone, but otherwise exceptionally close colour-wise (crème formula)
  • Twin Sweater Set
  • First Dance – from the Bridal 2011 Collection (reviewed here): several degrees lighter in tone, sheerer formula

Essie Fall 2013 red comparisons

the reds


The Purples:

  • Sure Shot – from the Resort 2012 Collection (reviewed here): more pink based and filled with ultra-fine shimmer (as opposed to glass-flecked)
  • The Lace Is On

Essie Fall 2013 purple comparisons

the purples


The Greens:

  • School Of Hard Rocks – from the Holiday 2011 Collection (reviewed here): similar formula, more teal/blue based
  • Vested Interest

Essie Fall 2013 green comparisons

the greens


The Blues:

  • Midnight Cami: more vivid shade of blue & filled with ultra-fine glass-flecked shimmer
  • After School Boy Blazer
  • No More Film – from the Resort 2012 Collection (reviewed here): similar formula but several degrees lighter, more cobalt/indigo leaning in tone
  • Bobbing For Baubles – from the Holiday 2011 Collection (reviewed here): similar formula, more grey based and a few degrees darker in tone

Essie Fall 2013 blue comparisons

the blues

Last word
: Apart from the red shades, the other hues of this collection all seem to be rather unique – both in tone & texture/application, and hopefully this quick chart can help you narrow your choices down in preparation for this collection’s release this August. No matter which shade(s) you opt for, they’re all fabulous!

More information on Essie can be found via the website, twitter or facebook

Essie Fall 2013 comparisons closer

*Disclosure: Product samples provided by the company/PR for my unbiased consideration

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CHANEL #583 Taboo (Limited Edition) & a comparison

CHANEL Taboo opener


CHANEL, long the master of covetable nail lacquers (amongst other products), has done it again with the release of their limited edition shade, #583 Taboo. Sure to stand tall amongst such cult faves such as Jade, Nouvelle Vague, and Ciel de Nuit, this nocturnal hue is almost hypnotic to look at; what at first appears as a shimmery vampy hue, bears a surprise with each brush stroke and true to CHANEL’s inimitable style, is destined to spawn many look-a-likes. I can guarantee that none will come close, however.



CHANEL #583 Taboo

CHANEL Taboo 2

CHANEL #583 Taboo

CHANEL Taboo 3

CHANEL #583 Taboo

CHANEL Taboo 4

CHANEL #583 Taboo (CAD $27.00) – a complex multi-chrome eggplant/wine base hue filled with ultra fine ribbons of purple and burgundy shimmer throughout and with mega colour shifting properties that throw out purple/indigo flashes, depending on the angle and lighting. The contents at the bottle’s neck appear rather inky in tone, belied by the application, which lays down more dark violet at the first coat. Pigmentation is STELLAR and the flow is simply phenomenal, while the final result is of that lit-from-withing glow which I absolutely adore – very much like a banked fire. Mysterious, sensual, provocative and intriguing — this shade is all that, and more, with the added bonus of absolutely no staining left behind upon removal. Coats applied: 2, plus top coat (although its rich colour saturation can easily make it pass for a 1-coater)


CHANEL Taboo swatch

CHANEL #583 Taboo

CHANEL Taboo swatch 2

CHANEL #583 Taboo

CHANEL Taboo swatch 3

CHANEL #583 Taboo

CHANEL Taboo swatch 4

CHANEL #583 Taboo

CHANEL Taboo swatch 5

CHANEL #583 Taboo


CHANEL #583 Taboo vs OPI German-icure by OPI – when I went looking for a comparison shade, the only one that came to mind was OPI’s German-icure by OPI (reviewed here) from the Germany Collection. A quick note: there have been many discrepancies as to the true name of this OPI shade, but my rep still insists that the one I have is rightly named, and not ‘Every Month is Oktoberfest’ as most people claim. Whatever. How the two compared:

  • index & pinkie fingers – German-icure by OPI: less purple in base colour, burgundy tones more prominent with a finer shimmer throughout
  • middle & ring fingers – #583 Taboo

CHANEL Taboo vs OPI swatch

CHANEL #583 Taboo vs OPI German-icure by OPI

CHANEL Taboo vs OPI swatch 2

CHANEL #583 Taboo vs OPI German-icure by OPI

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Last word: I’ll make this easy: you NEED this shade. Unique and totally captivating, completely unlike anything else CHANEL has ever produced, this is one of those lacquers that will have you long regretting passing it up. The application is flawless and the range of colours found in this one bottle ensures that it will suit basically every skin tone and every season, at that. As stated from the start, it is a limited edition shade – don’t say you weren’t warned. Definitely back-up worthy.

Available now through all CHANEL counters.


CHANEL Taboo closer

*Disclosure: Product samples provided by the company/PR for my unbiased consideration