Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Bobbi Brown Sheer Lip Color: Hot Raspberry and Cherry Pink

I don't usually have much luck with Bobbi Brown cosmetics, as most colors across the line are too muted or warm, but I was immediately attracted to the new Sheer Lip Color ($25,0.13 oz./3.8g). I chose Cherry Pink, described as a plum rose, and Hot Raspberry, a blue pink.

I like the new packaging style. The round, black metal casing reminds me of Chantecaille and Edward Bess lipstick tubes.

I have read reviews that these lipsticks are not actually sheer. I agree and disagree. Cherry Pink is  quite sheer and layerable, but Hot Raspberry put down more pigment in a single swipe—perhaps because it is higher in chroma. It's quite bright. And pretty!

In texture, the formula feels like a cross between Chanel Rouge Coco Shine and Chantecaille Lip Chic, though that somewhat-heavy petroleum-feeling base present in Lip Chic is absent from Bobbi Brown Sheer Lip Color. One application lasted a couple hours, typical of the other two brands, but the Bobbi Brown formula leaves behind a bit of a stain, which I appreciate. The finish is shiny without shimmer. I like it very much.

Cherry Pink is a muted plum rose, not especially pink, though perhaps if I really built it up on my lips I would see things differently. It looks much darker in the tube. Hot Raspberry is less blue than expected; I detect a hint of yellow that swings it into cool-neutral territory.

Indirect sunlight

Natural, indoor light

I prefer to avoid skin swatches, but I wanted to show that this lipstick is, indeed, on the sheer side, especially compared to other Bobbi Brown lip products.  In the photo below, I swiped the color twice each side.

Double swipe to show chroma: Hot Raspberry, Cherry Pink

Compared to 12 Tone Cool Summer fan

As illustrated below, both lipsticks—though kissing the True Summer palette—seem more harmonious with True Winter; however, because you can wear these lipstick sheer, either by using a single swipe or by dabbing the chiseled end onto your lips, both Light and True Summers might enjoy these colors, especially Hot Raspberry for the Lights. I also wonder if Soft Summers would like the more muted Cherry Pink, which is similar in tone and chroma to NARS Damage.

Lipsticks compared to Light Summer, Cool Summer, and True Winter fans

I am working on a big post for my bright lipsticks, so I couldn't readily put my hands on comparison lipsticks for Hot Raspberry.  Because I'd already done my Plums comparison, it was easy to pull out the lipsticks I thought were most similar to Cherry Pink. (I will also update that post to include Bobbi Brown Cherry Pink.)

In the plum comparison swatches below, if you have Dior Addict Lipstick in Fashion Week, you probably don't also need Cherry Pink, unless you are interested in the packaging and lightweight feel. Both Chanel Bonheur and MAC Plumful seemed less bright compared to Cherry Pink.

Cherry Pink compared to Chanel Bonheur, Dior Fashion Week, and MAC Plumful

Bottom line: A worthy addition to the Bobbi Brown lipstick limeup.

All photos taken by me

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Lipstick Comparisons: Reds

Introduced in the "Lipstick Swatchfest" teaser, I had showed my small collection of  plum-based lipsticks. Now it's time for the reds.

The following photo captures the swatches, from deep blue reds, to brown-based reds, to sheer pink reds. There's a red for everyone (really!), but not all these reds are great on me—despite my wishing it were so.

DISCLAIMER: This has to be said. Although my photography skills have improved over the last couple years, the weather has been exceptionally grey lately, making photos a challenge and turning some of the colors more saturated than they appear to the naked eye, no matter how I tried to fiddle with the settings. I know how important it is to capture makeup and clothing colors a their most true; however, if the lipstick swatch appears more saturated than the norm, the palette colors went along for the ride, so you should still be able to see if there is a match or tonal blend.

Below are the above-swatched reds compared, in various photos, to one or more of the 12 Tone (Sci\Art) fans. If you haven't already, you might want to have a look at Summer Seasons (Sci\Art) Defined.

In the first photo below, you'll notice that the first lipstick lineup does not completely harmonize with Light Summer (LSu), but the colors complement the the True/Cool Summer fan sleeve overall. On paper, and on my lips, Laura Mercier Sweet Cherry (reviewed here) is trying to tip into the LSu camp, as it contains the tiniest drop of yellow. Clinique's Fresh Watermelon is a hint muted, which may or may not be what some of you are looking for.

Chantecaille Lip Chic, Rose Délice is a gorgeous blue red, but the chroma leans medium-high, and the Super Lip Sheer formula, in the color Maia, is perfect. It's really not much more saturated than a tinted lip balm.

Maia is slightly more blue than the Cool Summer 7.3 fan chip shown below, but not by much. I think it harmonizes more beautifully with 2.6/2.7/2.8 above

NARS Flamenco, a semi-sheer candy-apple red shown below (reviewed here), is close in tone to the 7.4 chip. Light Summers who don't mind a bit of pigment might also enjoy this color. As always, lipstick might start with the skin tone, but the result depends highly on existing lip pigment, which is why not all True Summers across the board can all wear the same lipstick color; we have darker and lighter skins and darker and lighter lips.

Chanel Rouge Coco Shine, Antigone (reviewed here), is a soft, berry red that looks like a dead ringer for 7.3, no? But be forewarned: the ever-present gold microshimmers warms this color up, so it might be more flattering on Light Summers. I would recommend, at least in this case, that you try before you buy. The Rouge Coco Shine formula is my favorite.

Chanel Rouge Coco in Rivoli is close in tone to 7.5, but I find it a touch too brown on my lips. Soft Summers might prefer this one. (I could have sworn I had photographed Rivoli next to the SSu fan. I'll have to add it later.)

Chanel Rouge Coco Shine, Monte-Carlo (reviewed here), is a neutral strawberry red that leans warm, thanks to the yellow undertones. After comparing the swatch to the three Summer fans, I thought Monte-Carlo looked closest to the Light Summer 6.1 chip. This lipstick has gold and pink microshimmers.

As I was swatching and photographing lipstick for future articles, I noticed I had put Laura Mercier Sheer Lip Colour, Healthy Lips, in the wrong category.  On paper, it looks red, slightly warmer than the ever-so-slightly-neutral-leaning Sweet Cherry.

Both Mercier reds compared to the 12 Tone Cool Summer fan.

Healthy Lips appears to find harmony with 7.4 below. On some us, however, the very subtle brown undertones might pull orange. The color is unobjectionable on me, but I require a bit more than that from my lipsticks.

And just because everyone seems to love MAC Russian Red, which might be their biggest-selling lipstick next to the Viva Glam line, give it up Summers. I don't know where this lipstick fits in, but it isn't our palette.

No match in the 12 Tone Cool Summer red strips

Russian Red does not seem quite right against this Soft Summer sleeve, eiterh, but I am wondering about Dark Winters

Apologies for the out-of-control over-saturated photo below (the sun had made a rare and inopportune appearance), but both the fan and lipstick swatch took the same chroma ride. For a supposed blue red, Russian Red does NOT look good with the True Winter fan.

That's all I have for reds, but there will be more color categories coming soon.

See also: Lipstick Comparisons: Plums

For a more detailed description of hue, value, and chroma, see: I Got Draped (Seasonal Color System).

All photos taken by me.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Summer Seasons (Sci\Art) Defined

I thought I would jump straight into a talk about the upcoming summer season ... except it will likely be a different path from what you might expect.


As some of you know, I generally purchase makeup and/or post comparison swatches using cosmetics that harmonize with my coloring. However, since my coloring (my "season") is in a small minority, I might branch out a bit to (hopefully) attract others, like me, who find it challenging to find good colors in a cosmetics industry that favors warm and golden-skinned, medium-toned beauties. It certainly caters very little to we pale pink porcelain people.

Color Me Beautiful was the first book I'd ever heard of that discussed a person's color palette in terms of seasons, but it had limitations. Like in nature, there were only four seasons, but the CMB system did not account for people who were not "true" seasons, those of you who bordered a neighboring season and needed much more flexibility with your palette.

Regular readers of this blog might remember that I had a personal color analysis (PCA) 18 months ago, with a result of True (Cool) Summer, but I didn't talk about my color palette much beyond that article. In my recent activity on this blog, however, I've been expanding what I show in swatches, comparing my product colors to seasonal palettes, while tossing around terms like "True Summer" and "Light Summer" and "Soft Summer."

What do these terms mean to you, especially those of you who prefer cool/cool-neutral (muted) makeup that isn't too bright or saturated?

I was preparing my next post in the Lipstick Series this morning (which includes colors that are definitely not good on me), when it occurred to me that I should first define what I mean when I say Light Summer, True Summer, and Soft Summer. I realize the vast majority of this blog's readers have not been through an in-person color analysis, but by providing context to the Summer seasons, I hope to help anyone who is trying to self-identify with one of the tonal seasons I discuss. So see if any of the following resonates with you. Given time and resources, I might later address seasons outside my seasonal palette.
NOTE: The following descriptions are my understanding of the three Summer seasons, as defined by Sci\ART founder, Kathryn Kalisz. Any mistakes are solely mine. If you see something wrong, please let me know, so I do not mislead anyone. If you want more information about hue, value, and chroma, you can start with the post describing my PCA experience, which was read/approved by the woman who analyzed me and who trains other SciART analysts in the SciART system. I do not (yet) know enough about the Autumn, Winter, and Spring seasons to write about them, but I hope to learn.

Light Summer 

The Light Summer (LSu) season rests between Spring’s clarity, which is warmed by milky, yellow sunshine,  and the purely-cool, softly-greyed hues of the True Summer palette. Because Light Summer borders Spring, LSu is the brightest of the three Summers. It's more vibrant cousin would be Bright Winter.

Light Summer's lightness and sunny clarity
(sources here, here, here, here, and here)

The predominant color dimension (the "most important thing") of a Light Summer tone is that of value—its lightness. Please don't think only in terms of baby pink pastels. Instead, think of glorious cool-neutral, sun-bleached, sun-kissed lightness that still manages to be higher in chroma (more saturated) than the other Summers. If you fall into the LSu season, you are very fortunate! Your characteristics let you create a wide array of cool and warm combinations. And you can be a Light Summer woman or man of color. My Viking husband is a LSu.

Some of Light Summer's colors include coral pink, soft teal, lilac, wisteria, light fuchsia, lavender, periwinkle, rose, pewter, taupe, clear salmon, daffodil, blue greens (such as aqua and emerald turquoise), sky blue, light grey, light navy, marshmallow white, medium and slate blues, sand, stone, pebble, spruce green, warm pastel pink, and light lemon yellow. You will look fantastic in most shades of grey. What won't flatter you are dark, somber colors, which will be oppressive and dull against your complexion. Similarly, you'll disappear under bold, dramatic prints and sharp contrasts.

A Light Summer's overall value is light, hue is cool-neutral, and chroma is medium (but higher than the other Summers).  If Light Summer were a plant, it might be an apple blossom glistening in the morning dew.


True Summer

The tone of a true True Summer (Tsu) is purely cool, in that it handles warmth around the face in most unflattering ways. That is, if you can wear warm makeup, you either do so knowing it is a dramatic look for you, or you are one of the bordering Summer Seasons (Light or Soft). True Summer gets the bulk of the baby <insert color name> pastels, but against True Summer skin, there is nothing infantile about those colors. Instead, the overall impression is of cool serenity.

True Summer's cool, muted hues
(sources here, here, here, here, here, and here)

The predominant color dimension (the "most important thing") of a True Summer tone is that of hue—its temperature. The coolness should be obvious, and no cool can ever be too cool. If a color seems too cold on you, the issue is probably something else, such as the value (too light or dark) or the chroma (too muted or saturated). The most common TSu mistake is trying to wear Winter colors.

A True Summer's palette is softened by the blue-pink-grey of early twilight. Flattering colors include Wedgwood, greyed navy, and Chinese blue, along with muted shades of lavender, mauve, orchid, lilac, periwinkle, wisteria, grape, plum, cool strawberry and watermelon, briar rose, rugosa, soft fuchsia, clear blue-red, pale banana yellow, mushroom beige, dove grey, pearl white, white sand, cool sage, soft blue teal, turquoise, jade, charcoal, clover and mint green. There is nothing bronzed, golden, dark or bold within the True Summer tone. Both pure white and black can create contrasts that are too sharp for all but the highest-contrasting Summers.

A True Summer's hue is cool, value is medium, and chroma is medium.  If True Summer were a plant, it might be Campanula, nodding in the balmy afternoon shadows of a blue spruce tree.


Soft Summer

The Soft Summer (SSu) tone borders Autumn, which means the SSu palette is informed by the rich, velvety, earthy tones from its neighbor's warmth. From everything I have read and heard, most people do not want to be Soft Summer, probably because adjectives like "mousy" and "dishwater" have traditionally been used to describe this tone. Nothing could be further from the truth. When you think of the Soft Summer palette, imagine a fantasy landscape where misty tints of dawn embroider deeper, muted shades of post-twilight dusk. If you see a mouse in that vision, it's probably just nestling down for the night beneath the soothing, grey-green foliage of a hosta.

Soft Summer's hazy colors
(sources: here, here, here, here, here, and here)

The predominant color dimension (the "most important thing") of a Soft Summer tone is chroma—the saturation. Exceptionally low (muted), its tone is velvety, soft, and richly elegant. The SSu wears a palette that is sultrier, darker, and more subdued than its cooler neighbor, True Summer. In fact, a Soft Summer has pick of the line with Bobbi Brown eyeshadow products, colors that are predominantly too muted and warm for True Summers, and your celebrity icon is the gorgeous Katie Holmes. Lucky you! The SSu also comes closest to wearing Winter's black successfully, and her skin glows in charcoal grey and deep rosy brown.

A Soft Summer's colors are cool, yet neutral enough to accept radiating golden warmth of Autumn. Flattering colors include ivory, stone, wheat, oatmeal, soft taupe, seashell pink, dove grey, pewter, grey-greens, cocoa (the Summer that wears brown the best), rose beige, burgundy, deep wine, antique turquoise, powder and dusky pinks and blues, pale yellow, heather mist, sea green, charcoal, dusty spruce, forest and pine green, deep periwinkle blue, raisin, aubergine, mauve, amethyst, rose violet, sage, willow, warm pink, dusty and deep rose, watermelon, raspberry, true red, and wine. Soft Summer looks sublime in the pinks/roses and has far more rosy colors in her palette, compared to TSu and LSu.

A Soft Summer's chroma is low, hue is cool-neutral, and value is medium. If Soft Summer were a plant it might be Artemisia (Dusty Miller).


And that sums up my understanding of the different Summer seasons.

Here are some other blogs that discuss color theory and seasonal color. If you know of others, please let me know.

  • To read one of the original SciART trainer's blogs (and the woman responsible for calibrating the color fans), see Amelia's True Color International blog
  • If you are a Winter type, make sure you follow the explorations of London Makeup Girl, recently analyzed a Sci\ART Bright Winter. (Retired blog)
  • If you know or think you are a Light Summer, subscribe to Three Drops of Sunshine.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Lipstick Series UPDATE

lipstick swatchapalooza

As invariably happens, when you're a self-admitted lipstick addict, you almost immediately discover a half dozen lipsticks tucked away you'd forgotten about. I wanted to include them, so I updated the Coming Soon post with lipstick and 12 Tone fan pr0n.

More importantly, I updated the Lipstick Comparisons: Plums post with 5 additional colors and more 12 Tone Summer fan comparisons.

More to come.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Lipstick Comparisons: Plums

As mentioned in yesterday's teaser, here's Part 1 of the (mostly) cool-toned lipstick series. Today's spotlight is on the purples, plums, violets, and grapes.

NOTE: This topic has been updated since its original publication on 4/13 with five additional colors.

First a paper swatch of the above lineup:

  • Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain, Crush. This color seems black cherry, though something kept me from including it in the red group. It applies sheer from a retractable pencil (like Clinique Chubby Sticks), and Revlon wasn't kidding when they called these stains; color lasts ALL day, even through food and drink. Therefore, I apply once per day. If I reapply, the color builds up to a neon intensity. After the shine wears off (about an hour), I top the stain with a sheer lipstick/gloss hybrid in the same color family, like Chantecaille Super Sheer Lipstick, which will appear in a future lipstick series. When I want my lip color to last all day or evening, I select a color from Revlon's Balm Stain.
  • NARS Sheer Lipstick, Damage (reviewed here) is a muted grape. It's a hint too muted for me, as my lip pigment makes the color disappear. If your lip pigment is light or you coloring is very soft, check this one out.
  • Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in Bonheur (reviewed here). A weightless, long-time favorite. If I weren't a self-admitted lipstick addict (too fickle to stick to one brand the way my mother did), I could die with this lipstick in my hands. The one thing I don't love about this lip formula is that it contains shimmer. The shimmer is subtle, but I don't love it. Overall, Chanel is not an ideal line for truly cool Summer skins.
  • Dior Addict 881 Fashion Week. A juicy, sheer, cool-toned, rosy violet with blue-red shimmer. I love the way these lipsticks feel. They have a tiny bit more traction than the oilier Chanel Rouge Coco Shine formula. Dior Addict also has many more color options for cool-toned people (everyone, really). The packaging is pretty,  too, even if you can't stand the lipsticks up on its bottom.
  • MAC Lustre, Plumful. Though I've been shopping MAC products since 1993, I missed this gem until a couple months ago. Plummier and more rosy than Damage, Bonheur, and Fashion Week, Plumful has a smooth, silky formula and a slightly multidimensional finish that ends in a subtle frost (it's a lustre, after all) and settles down into a cream. Shine and color are not long lasting, but if your favorite lipstick formula is more like balm than a matte, and you enjoy the ritual of applying lipstick a few times a day, cool-toned people should not miss this one. I passed on the Limited Edition "Year of the Snake" version because: 1) Eeeuw; and 2) once the embossing wore down with lipstick use, it was just another black MAC lipstick tube.
  • Revlon Lip Butter, Raspberry Pie (originally reviewed here). This is a gorgeous red-raspberry color and quite opaque. The color is too saturated for my pale coloring, at least straight from the tube. To temper the intensity, I blot to a stain or apply with a lip brush. These methods also ameliorate the shine, which I don't mind. Raspberry Pie seems ideally suited for Winter skin tones or for the higher contrasting Summers who have deep lip pigment and dark brows. I love it anyway. It's also an outstanding value, considering you can pick one up for $5.50 or less if on BOGO. These lipsticks have been compared to Chanel Rouge Coco Shine, but I don't agree. Chanel has a far silkier formula and sheer finish, while these lip butters have an almost petroleum feel on the lips, and many are extremely pigmented, even staining. I think the packaging is adorable.
  • Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain, Darling. Though this color does not have a direct match on any Summer fan, I like this mauvish lilac, and it is the only one of the Kissable Balm Stains that I can reapply without augmenting the voltage. 
  • Clinique Different Lipstick, Raspberry Glace. This one is an odd duck. It looks like a plum-red berry on paper, but my lips turn it to sludge. (I included comparisons below with the fans--you don't need to see my mud lips.) This color is usually recommended for True Summers, but unless your lip pigment is light and not very rosy, I'd guess that Raspberry Glace would find a happier home among Soft Summers. I also don't love the formula/finish. It feels a gritty and applies drier than other colors in this same formula, which is overall, pretty good.
  • Chantecaille Super Sheer Lipstick, Maia. I have nothing bad to say about this lipstick, other than the ridiculous price. Maia is an extremely sheer, very cool, purple rose berry. I'd call it a tinted lip balm, not a lipstick, and its too-quick-to-fade-for-$33 is probably why it hasn't sold well and has disappeared from Nordstrom's site. It is still available at Note: there used to be many more colors available, so I assume that when this sells out, that will be the end.
  • Chanel Rouge Coco Shine Unique (not reviewed but swatched more extensively here). It looks plummy on paper, doesn't it? Not on my lips. Chanel's ubiquitous gold microshimmer warms up an otherwise cool berry, making Unique ideal for cool-neutral/neutral-cool skin tones.
  • Maybelline Color Sensational Lipcolor Party Pink. This is an outstanding color, and if anyone knows of a department store brand of the exact same hue, value, and chroma, I would love to know about it, just so I can compare the two. You may wonder how a lipstick with Pink in its name ended up in the "Plums" article? Does it look pink to you? Not to me ... maybe if I squint, I see a deep cool rose.
By request, I will compare lipstick swatches to the 12 Tone Summer palettes. I own all three, so whether you are True/Cool, Light, or Soft Summer (or you don't know and you're curious about how these colors stack up against one another), read on.

**Note to those who care: The 12 Tone Corporate fans for True and Light Summer are on the way, palettes that include more reds. I also ordered the True Winter fan so I could see what a more saturated version of my own coloring looks like. Soon the swatching possibilities will be legion!

For those of you who care deeply about color harmonies, I hope you can see how these colors complement one another. Raspberry Pie, however, is an outlier, as it is brighter than the others. Crush appears equally saturated (it's actually sheer--I guess I glommed it on), but overall I think Crush harmonizes in tone with the group. Crush is also a close match to the 2.10 color chip.

Original photo, without the 5 added lipsticks

Below are all eleven colors with what seems to be the single most complementary sleeve in the True Summer palette.

I wondered it Raspberry Pie might lean toward Light Summer. I placed all three 12 Tone Summer fans next to the swatches. The Light Summer fan, shown below with True Summer, actually looks lonely with no color friends in the lineup, but don't worry, it will get its chance to show off soon.

Original photo, without the 5 added lipsticks

Above shows one sleeve in each of the red/rose/pink options for the two neighboring seasons. The lip colors seem obviously cool-toned in hue, mostly medium in value and medium chroma with Damage having the lowest chroma, though Plumful seems surprisingly restrained on paper. My lip pigment pulls Plumful into the bright berry arena.

Original photo, without the 5 added lipsticks

In the image above, I removed the Light Summer rose sleeve and added Soft Summer (SSu). Though Damage, Bonheur, and Fashion Week seem to harmonize with the SSu 7.1-7.2 color chips, Soft Summers would want to try these colors on first. Damage would probably be a good bet (closer photo later in this post), but the Chanel and Dior lipsticks are bright on me, probably too bright for Soft Summers (and too cool for Light Summers), but YMMV.

NARS Damage harmonizes nicely with Soft Summer 7.2

Below is Raspberry Glace compared to the Soft Summer fan. I think it harmonizes nicely with ss 7.3.

And one of the best color matches of the lot: the surprisingly pretty Maybelline Party Pink.

Below you should be able to see that the purple-based lipsticks do not harmonize seamlessly with the Soft and Light palettes, though Soft Summers might have better luck than Lights. (Soft Summer and Light Summer sleeves shown only.)

Bottom line: It seems to me that most colors in this post would work for a True Summer, probably none for a Light Summer (though Chanel Unique might be worth trying), and very likely NARS Damage and Clinique Raspberry Glace (and maybe MAC Plumful) for Soft Summer.

All photos taken by me

Friday, April 12, 2013

Coming Soon: Lipstick Swatchfest

The lipstick mega swatch!

Why are these lovelies in baggies, you might wonder. For organization purposes only. Rather than write one epic article, I'll be dividing lipsticks (both drugstore and department store brands) into the following tonal groups:

  • Purples, plums, violets, grapes (posted here)
  • Reds (posted here)
  • Bright pinks
  • Light pinks, soft pinks, and pinkish nudes (here)
  • Cool corals (oxymoron alert!) here
  • Roses, including brown-based (tea) roses

With the exception of a new Edward Bess color, nothing is new here. I have little interest in purchasing collections; other bloggers do an outstanding job at tempting you with those beauties. Instead, the goal of this lipstick series is to place similar colors in context, hopefully facilitating your research and helping you make more informed purchases. This series should largely appeal to a minority, diminishing group: those who have pure (blue based) cool undertones.

Outside foundation, lipstick is the most challenging purchase to get right without trying it on first. Surely I am not the only one who's made a department store purchase based on the sales associate's swatch on her skin (or mine), only to get home and wonder why the color didn't work. I bet some of us can also remember occasions when online swatches failed us--not because of the blogger, who performs a time-consuming, highly-useful service when posting comparisons--but because of our interpretation of a color swatched on another person's skin.

It helps if I can identify a color's properties (hue, chroma, value, finish) before I consider applying it to my face, but how do I get this information? I have found that looking at lipstick in the tube is completely unreliable. As for skin swatching, my strawberry-milk skin can immediately warm up what appears to be a cool pink, entirely because my eye did not see the warmth lurking in the pigment, but my skin sure noticed.

To the rescue comes white paper, which shows a lip color at its most true. This is how I swatch now, and I am finding it especially useful to refer back to those paper swatches, something I can't do after more than a few minutes of makeup on my skin (it's not like I can walk around that way all day). I might occasionally include color on the back of my hand or on my lips, but not often, not anymore. I do not want my skin tone adulterating a color's undertones--we all know how that can "turn" a color.

If your coloring is cool to cool-neutral, soft, and light-medium in value, you just might see something here you like over the next week. You Summers who read this blog, I'll be including the Sci\ART-based 12 Tone Summer fans for comparison.

Also, because my skin is purely cool toned, I might occasionally compare the colors I own to the 12 Tone (Sci\Art) True Winter Fan. I have that fan to put my own palette in context and so I don't step too far over the line into a chroma that's too high for me.

If your skin has warm undertones, then you are very fortunate because the majority of the blogging world and makeup industry's offerings are for you. There are, simply, more of you!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Quotidienne—a more tangible kind of everyday beauty

My friend, veuve, recently opened an online boutique called Quotidienne.

Quotidienne offers unfussy, beautifully made clothing for everyday life. Given this blog's focus on everyday living, I feel like a blessed messenger sharing veuve's vision of everyday beauty with you.

Here's what veuve has to say about Quotidienne:

I’ve been in love with clothes and fashion, in general, since I was a kid growing up outside of Chicago. As an art student, I haunted thrift shops, looking for that perfect hidden treasure to add to my wardrobe. My style bible at the time was Caterine Milinaire’s Cheap Chic, and my favorite chapter emphasized buying great-quality, monochromatic foundation pieces and building your own personal style from there. Living in northern Italy in my late 20s reaffirmed this European way of dressing. What could be easier than having a minimalist closet of great workhorse pieces you love? But finding those workhorse pieces has been a lifelong frustration, and Quotidienne (which means “everyday” in French and is pronounced “ko-ti-dyèn”) is my solution.

An online shop has been something of a dream for several years; I finally reached a “now or never” point and decided to jump. My husband passed away in 2008, just as the global economy was crashing, and then my kids left for college. I’ll be brutally honest here—I couldn’t find a job at my age (56), so I decided to take what resources I had left and create my own.

Quotidienne (like all interesting boutiques should be) is a labor of love, and I’m starting out small, with an intensely edited collection—well-made clothing and accessories with simple cuts, clean lines, and good design—and it all works together. Everything is from independent companies, things you won’t find at the mall or a department store. I’ve scoured the web looking for designers with integrity and a good eye for materials. I offer a lot of size and measurement information on the website, and I’m always happy to answer customer questions.

There are some beautiful things in the shop right now: the Italian linen shell from modaspia is lovely for spring, and will definitely work through Fall under a jacket or cardigan. Although I don’t jump on trends, Avarca sandals are popular this summer— but they happen to be cute, traditionally made, eco-friendly footwear from Spain. The Japanese cotton scarves from Kiriko are made from vintage kimono fabrics—really unusual and beautiful! There’s lots more to see!

I’m really excited about what’s coming for Fall/Winter: the Finnish clothing line Samuji, Le Vestiaire de Clé from France; gorgeous leather bags from Ellen Truijen of the Netherlands, handstitched Japanese Boro (patchwork) scarves from Kiriko, hand-knitted alpaca cowls from British Columbia ... I’m also working on a collaboration with Mariah Rich of Btwn Wind & Water to make a clutch bag for the shop. New arrivals will be posted on the Quotidienne Blog, and you can also sign up for the email Newsletter on the shop’s main page.

My first purchase was a small deerhide pouch, and I am glad I jumped the second I saw it because the color I ordered, a luscious hot pink, appears to have sold out already.


Although I prefer the gorgeous pink against the grey and cream ticking fabric shown on the web site, here are some photos I took the day my package arrived. It was so beautifully wrapped, it felt more like a gift than a purchase.

Below I added the pencil for scale. The pouch is 3x5, perfect for toting makeup or your small iWhatever.

The pouch is unlined but appears to be dyed deep red. The zipper is extremely sturdy and well made, with a hot pink leather pull.

I am certain I have never felt leather as soft as this. Even my deerskin gloves feel more bulky. In fact, this pouch is so soft and buttery, Mr. Petals initially thought it was microfiber.

I immediately filled it with my compact, current lipstick, and debit card, and Smints and slipped it into my everyday tote. I could not be more pleased. I love that I own a unique product, and I look forward to future purchases. 

I hope the fact that this color has sold out means good things and many blessings for veuve. After several years of friendship, I am well familiar with her style aesthetic, and truly appreciate her "everyday" sentiment. I am certain Quotidienne will be a huge success!

Bottom line:

All photos taken by me except for Quotidienne logo and bag on ticking.