A Wednesday ramble: Tom Pecheux at Estée Lauder, Molton Brown Aroma Rocks, and the elusive Erika F

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Have I told you about my enormous crush on Tom Pecheux? Or, more specifically, on his talent? (Hint: the answer is yes; I talk about my unhealthy Pecheux-fixation on a fairly frequent basis.)

Pecheux, who had initially intended to be a pastry chef (seriously!) started out doing fashion shows, then moved onto celebrity/celeb editorial makeup, and finally ended up working for L’Oreal, Shiseido (did you know that he devised the Shiseido The Makeup line?) and–currently–is at the forefront of the Estée Lauder makeup line.

“I want young girls to be able to say, ‘My mother loves it, my grandmother loves it, and I love Estée Lauder, too,'”

– Tom Pecheux (as quoted in)

I’m crazy about a lot of things, from cartoon whales to neuroanatomy, but rebranding is close to the top of the list. Since they signed Pecheux in 2009 as their new Creative Makeup Director, the brand has had such a drastic revival. And, while I still (!) haven’t gotten around to really giving their new products a spin, I’m thoroughly enjoying watching the rebranding in real time.

(And herein lies the origins of this ramble: have you seen this fall’s Violet Underground palette? Gah.)

Other things that have been knocking around in my brain this past week: things in unexpected formats. I briefly mentioned Donna Karan’s Cashmere Mist ‘Pearl Essence’ Bath Beads earlier this week, and Tatcha’s Rice Enzyme Powder the week before that, but I’ve been keeping an eye out for innovative formulas ever since.

I did find some interesting textures, but in the last place I’d have expected: Molton Brown, a brand that focuses mainly on home and personal fragrance. How cool are these Cedrus Room Aroma Rocks? Made of acacia tree sap, Moroccan cedrus tree oil, and Bulgarian lavender oil, they’re one of the last things I’d have expected to run into at the start of the week.

(And as a sleep aid; how cool is that!)

Finally, we have Lancome Erika F, because things are best done in threes, and I’ve really only gone over two topics so far this morning. I need your opinions, my dear readers: is it a must-have? Because I’m not one for cult products most of the time, but everyone seems to be crazy about it, and… the recurring frenzy kind of makes me want to search it out.

I don’t even like silvery-greens most of the time, you guys. Make it stop! 

(Image via the gorgeous Xiao, at Messy Wands — read her ode to Erika F here.)


Note: This post contains a few sponsored links, but the content — you should know by now; that nonsensical ramble’s all mine! 

ALL EYES ON | North American BB creams

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

For those of you that can’t wait until the 16th (online exclusively at shop.marcelle.com) for the new Marcelle BB Cream ($22.50 CAD, in stores Feb 6th), here are a few others…

What makes up a BB cream?

The blemish balms that have been sweeping through Asia over the past few years are finally making waves in North American brands, too. These all-in-one bases are lightly tinted to even out the skin, creating a smooth, even base under foundation (or, depending on the brand and shade, replace foundation altogether.)

I’ve also seen “BB” cited as “beauty base,” “beauty balm,” and “blemish base,” but they’ve always been blemish balms in my head. You may recognize them from brands like Skin Food, Dr. Jart, Etude House, Missha, and The Face Shop – and those are just the big ones. BB creams are, more or less, the tinted moisturizers of the other side of the world; sheer foundation with an extra marketing punch. (And, hopefully, an extra-punchy formula, too.)

There are a number of multinationals that do Asia-exclusive BB creams, so perhaps they’ll show up here sometime, too. I know Maybelline, L’Oreal, and Garnier do them, as well as department/boutique brands like La Roche Posay, Dior, Estee Lauder, and Bobbi Brown, so perhaps it’s not too much to hope for! (Note, the Estee one sold here is different from the one sold in Asia; theirs launched earlier and is part of the Cyber White line, not the DayWear range.)

The "R" in Christmas is for "red lipstick". Duh!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Estee Lauder Futurist Lip Treatment in 10 Forward Fig.
Here’s a messy swatch on unlined lips: (hey, when you’re doing five different lipsticks at once, you really stop caring if you’re inside the lines. Just be glad it’s within an inch of my lip line!)

Overall, I think this is a pretty warm, brownish-red. It’s not too va-va-vroom and not too drying (though it isn’t exactly moisturising.) It’s also fairly opaque and decently creamy; my only complaint is that the wear on this isn’t fantastic. If you’re going to be speed-eating tarts or knocking back eggnogg shots, stay away from this lippie!
Great if: you’re bold enough to wear red out of the house, but you don’t want to feel like you’re under a magnifying glass. It’s very Estee — classy and stunning, but not begging for attention.

Going swing dancin’

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Estee Lauder Rosa Rosa All-Day Lipstick. Love it as a lip colour if it’s layered, but I tend to wear it a cheek colour. Gorgeous brown-red, but I wish it was cooler.

Somehow, the warmth and the finish make me think of a time-period red… not Mad Men-esque, but almost, the kind of red that our grandmothers would have worn when they were our age, going out dancing with the crackling of the record and the “clunk” of a solid heel.
Edit: whoops, sorry ladies! This is actually the Futurist Full Treatment lipstick in Forward Fig. Which brings to question… where the heck are my Rosa Rosa swatches, and why can’t I find them?

The battle of the HG powders

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The contenders enter the ring and circle around each other. Silica takes a shot at Lucidity. He misses! Lucidity lunges at Silica Powder’s trousers and grabs ahold. The ref bloooows the whistle –

Man, I need to get more sleep. My powders are attacking each other in a strange personified state in my head!

Well, here’s how it went down… (if you’d like to skip to the bottom, I understand and promise not to hate you. The conclusion and “verdict” is down there!)


I apply a thick streak of blush to the back of my hand, making sure it’s even throughout. I section it into three parts with my black eyeliner.

I put silica powder over the first section of blush, Estee Lauder Lucidity (in Medium, which is too dark for my skin but sheers out and is alright) on the middle and leave the last one empty. I label them.

I realize that “s” for silica, “e” for Estee, and “x” for nothing will not work when I look at my hand for the second time and see it reads “sex”. Way to FAIL, Rae.

The silica has left a whitish cast on my skin, and is more obvious in the lines where there is no blush. The Lucidity has toned down the blush much more, but is invisible in the lines on the back of my hand. It is glittering rather violently, though.

I wash some grapes, and pat dry the back of my hand. What is this maddness?! The glitter is gone?! I rush into the sunlight to find that, no, it’s still there – but now that part of my hand looks like it’s glowing from within. The gaudy glitter is gone, and natural, wearable shimmer has been left behind!
I go back for a second round of grapes. Man, Everyday Mineral’s Sunday Brunch looks ugly on my hand (so orange!) but it sure does hold up well. There’s a tiny bit of fading on the bare section, but the two with powder on top look the same as they did while I was eating my first bowl of grapes.

I examine the Estee Lauder. It’s way more expensive, at about $30 (for much less product), but it gives a gorgeous glow that silica doesn’t, and is available in-store. On the flip side, though, it ‘tones down’ the blush a bit. Buuut then it has to go and apply more smoothly and be less obvious on bare skin. And feel velvety soft. Darn, now the decisions getting harder!

I examine the silica. The biggest problem is that it raises a number of health concerns, plus it’s more visible on bare skin. But it leaves a very smooth finish, and absorbs oil, the latter of which Lucidity doesn’t. It’s cheaper, but not sold in stores unless you’re buying MUFE HD, which is on-par with Lucidity in terms of price.

The bare part is starting to fade away – I’d say only half the pigment is left. Which is prety awesome, seeing as I washed myself a thrid bowl of grapes, ate a cookie, and did a crapload of homework. I may have to try wearing this blush, even though I don’t think the colour will suit me at all!

No change from a half hour ago. I’m thinking about scrubbing my hand with soap to see if anything will happen.
I spilt some browns sugar sauce (used on our kabochi squash – mmm!) on my hands and had to wash thoroughly. I think the Lucidity is actually doing a better job…

Got bored, gave up. In the end, the swatchs under both powders held up about the same, and the un-powdered swatch wore to about half of its original intensity.


The result? Well, these two loose powders work equally as well.

The silica is great because of its gorgeous texture, cheap price, and oil-absorbing qualities. It’s not-so-great because it’s only available online, doesn’t come pressed or tinted, and there are a number of health concerns.

The Estee Lauder powder is great because it’s readily available, comes in many shades, comes pressed and loose, gives a gorgeous glow, and there are no health concerns. It’s not-so-great because it’s more expensive, doesn’t absorb oil as well, and has a bit of a “makeup”-y smell to it.

The descision is yours!

The nicest GWP palette you’ve ever seen:

Saturday, February 7, 2009

The first thing that caught my eye about this palette was the case. Sleek, luxe, and containing eight different Estee Lauder Pure Color shadows, what could go wrong? So I sent CC for it…

… only to find out that it was GWP, despite what the swapper told me multiple times. I was disappointed, especially as I can’t afford to reverse swaps ($10 shipping? No thanks!) However, it is quite large for a GWP, and she was unaware that it was – she got it from someone else only to find that it didn’t work for her, and the original owner told her it was a palette and charged her like it was.

(I paid her $20, but it wasn’t only for this – there were a number of items as well. It was definitely worth it, even though this wasn’t full-size!) Reminder: you can get these shades in singles, too! Even if you’re not going to hunt down this palette, I ‘m fairly certain they’re all part of the regular line.

Here’s the second thing that pulled me in: these gorgeous earthy shades.

(I hate it when you have to match up the colours by the back label. Those annoy the hell outta me, so I did it for you.)

The shades in this palette are very hit-or-miss. Most of them look terrible on me, because they’re too warm, but I’ll give you a breakdown of each.

Copper Penny: a warm shade that’s a true copper, with quite a bit of red. Decent pigmentation, shimmery. Not for me, but it’s quite pretty! B+
Cinnamon: a gorgeous shade that doesn’t make me think of cinnamon at all! It’s more like a dark gold with a hint of taupe. Very shimmery, almost to the point of being frosty. Again, not for me, it’s quite pigmented for such a frosty colour and packs a gorgeous punch. A-

Camouflage: a matte green, with crazy pigmentation. Soft. Like. Butter. It really is “camouflage green”, in that it’s quite yellow/olive-y. If you’re into greens, definitely check this out! This is as dark as a liner, with no base, mixing medium, or even water. Can be a bit crumbly in the pan, so pat to pick up colour, don’t swipe. A
Ivory Box: the only shade I actually use on a regular basis! Though very sheer, it’s light and frosty and looks great on my inner corners to “light up” my face. It’s a not-quite-white, without horrid, harsh yellow tones. Would also make a great hilight. Other (cheaper!) shadows can do this just as well, though, so: B+
Taupe: ew, ew, ew! This is the worst shade in the palette. Muddy, matte, and not creamy like the others, this doesn’t live up to its name. TAUPE?! More like “what you look like when you’ve thrown up seventeen times and died twice”. Pretty in the pan, but NOT when swatched or used. F-!!!
Tea Biscuit: this is a great inner-corner colour for medium skintones! Whites like Ivory Box look great on me, but look unnatural on my sister. I love using this one on her. She said that it wakes up her face even more than concealer! Very sheer, soft, and shimmery, but not crumbly. B
Mocha Cup: definitely the prettiest in the pan! However, the pigmentation could use some help. Shimmery and a bit frosty, this might be nice to have for a dark-taupe-lover, but not a must-buy. Does look great in the middle of the lid to add dimension, though! A-/B+
Vanilla: I never use this murky yellow shade. It settles into lines and isn’t very pigmented, with only a tiny touch of shimmer. This doesn’t show up on me at all on its own. The second-worst shade in the pan, losing only to Taupe, which was gross beyond words. D-

I bought nifty little swatch squares – they’re like temporary tatoos that you fill in with colour! (no shadow base, but thoroughly patted on)
Just kidding. I just wanted to make it clear where each shade started and ended. (Love the boxes? Hate ’em? Let me know in the comments!)

(all colours in the same order as in the photo of the palette)

Conclusion? Go check out Camoflague, Mocha Cup, and maybe Cinnamon and Ivory Box.

Run far, far away from Taupe and Vanilla.

I said RUN!

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