From the category archives:

2007 Holiday

(continued from Part 1 and Part 2)

My Holiday 2007 Top Ten List concludes today!

3. Lavshuca

I realized a while ago that Lavshuca achieved grand slam for me in 2007, as I purchased items from all the four seasonal collections this year. Its affordability means I am able to pick up great items from each season without spending too much money.

The Lavshuca Christmas makeup palette is a sweet finish of the year. It is a cute little palette with three eyeshadows, a lip color, and a lip gloss. It is also the first eye/lip palette since Lavshuca’s launch in spring 2006.

(image from www.kanebo-cosmetics.jp/lavshuca/)

See my other Lavshuca items throughout 2007:

Spring-
Eye Color Select in PK-1 & BU-1 (my favorite Lavshuca items for 2007)
Jewelry Lip in PK-1 & RS-1
Gloss Stick in PK-3

Summer

-
Cheek Color in PK-1

Fall

-
Eye Color Select in PU-2
Color Conc Rouge in PK-1

2.

Paul & Joe

(image from www.paul-joe-beaute.com)

Paul & Joe is another brand that is always visually very pleasing. Last year, Paul & Joe’s holiday collection reached number 3 with an absolutely stunning hummingbird-themed lineup. This year’s collection is weaker for me, but, among an overall weaker collection of holiday products across brands this year, it grabbed the runner-up spot.

The Lip Gloss N in 001 Black-Tie is perhaps my favorite holiday item for 2007, with an mouth-watering berry-red shade plus beautiful multi-color shimmer.

1.

Dior

(image from www.dior.com)


Overall, Dior’s holiday collection has won it for me. First of all, the limited-edition item, DiorLight Jewelled Makeup Necklace, is another very pretty piece of collectible makeup item created by Dior. Secondly, I love the fact that Dior usually comes up with a full collection of makeup items for the holiday season.

Readers in the US might not feel that Dior’s holiday lineup this year is a full-on collection, and I think it is because only half of the collection is available in the US.

For holiday 2007, Dior has come up with two makeup looks, each featuring a set of Jewelled Makeup Necklace, 5-color eyeshadow palette, Rouge Dior Crème de Gloss, Rouge Dior lipstick, and nail color. One is a beige-brown look (with the #360 Amber Treasure eyeshadow palette) and one is a pink-plum look (with the #340 Secret Charm palette). I might be wrong, but I think only the beige-brown look is available in the US, while both looks are sold in Asia and Europe. (I am aware that only the beige Jewelled Makeup Necklace is available in the US.)

Below, you can see that the Dior Japan site has two sets of everything (apart from Style Liner and DiorShow Powder in Dreamlight), whereas the Dior US site only has the beige-brown look.

(image from Dior Japan)

(image from Dior US)

I had a chance to test out shades from both looks last week. Both are very good, but, as usual, I am partial to the pink/purple/plum hues.

With a relatively complete collection featuring various items and different color tones and fronted by an adorable limited-edition item, Dior, for me, has the best holiday collection of 2007!

Related Posts:

Dior Pretty Charms
(holiday 2006 limited-edition item)

Loving Japanese Brands: Lavshuca

(the latest addition to my favorite Japanese brands)

Loving Japanese brands: Paul & Joe
(my personal take on Paul & Joe)

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My Holiday 2007 Top 10 List continues from Part 1!

6. Magie Deco

(image from www.cosmedecorte.com/magiedeco/)

Kose’s Magie Deco was launched in Japan in fall this year, and this is its debut holiday collection. I like the fact that the packaging is a variation of the usual Magie Deco look. It is different but instantly recognizable. I also like the rich red color scheme.

The two items are sold as a set, and both of them look so glamorous and beautiful, with an appropriate festive vibe.

If you like the look of this collection, you may want to check out Magie Deco’s spring 2008 collection.

5. MAC

(image from www.iswii.net)

MAC’s holiday 2007 collections (including Royal Assets, Antiquitease, and others) are some of my favorite MAC collections for 2007. The packaging looks good, and there are a very wide selection of items.

But when I saw the items in person for the first time, I was slightly underwhelmed by the details of the packaging. I think they looked just a little bit rough around the edges and they could have been slightly more refined.

Nonetheless, these collections present a pleasant departure from MAC’s usual dark and minimal look and I am sure many MAC fans have been enjoying collecting some of the goodies.

4. Ayura

(image from www.ayura.co.jp/jp/)


I haven’t really talked about this adorable holiday set from my personal favorite brand, which I am doing in this post.

Ayura’s holiday sets usually include best-selling items in limited-edition travel sizes as well as some one-off creations. The set for holiday 2007 includes:

-Spirit of Ayura Aroma Bath Powder (X2, limited edition)
-Spirit of Ayura Aroma Treatment Oil (for hair and body, limited edition)
-Spirit of Ayura Aroma Body Powder (limited edition)
-Spirit of Ayura Aroma Hands (30g, limited-edition size)
-Shiny Face (face highlighter, limited-edition, choice of blue and pink)
-Nail Color (choice of 23 shades, including limited-edition pink and violet shades)
-Cosmetics Box

Spirit of Ayura is Ayura’s one and only fragrance, and, apart from the hand cream, the three Spirit of Ayura items in the set are one-off creations based on this wonderful scent.

I really love the look of this collection (and I like the combination of all the fresh colors), not to mention that Spirit of Ayura is one of my favorite fragrances, But I already have quite a few somewhat similar limited-edition items based on this fragrance and this is the only reason why I didn’t consider getting this set.

The final part of my Holiday 2007 Top Ten List will be coming soon!

Related Posts:

Loving Japanese Brands: Ayura
(my all-time favorite brand)

MAC A-Mei Color Collection
(another exciting collection from MAC)

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We have already seen many spring 2008 makeup collections, and I am sure some favorites have emerged on your list. But let’s look back, just in time in the midst of the holiday season, at my own top 10 holiday 2007 collections.

10. Lunasol

(image from www.kanebo-cosmetics.jp/lunasol)


2007 is a great year for Lunasol, which brought out fantastic collections for spring and fall. Lunasol’s Christmas 2007 coffret presents the usual dose of neutral and wearable colors as seen in Lunasol’s previous holiday sets. Some might say they are unimaginative, but this doesn’t stop Lunasol fans from collecting this sophisticated coffret for lips, eyes, and face.

9. Guerlain

(Forever Gold)

(image from www.guerlain.co.jp)


Guerlain’s holiday 2007 collection did not get my full attention until I tested Forever Gold (pictured above) and a couple of other items. Forever Gold delivers a sheer and fine mist of very sparkling shimmer. The finish is quite even, and the sparkles are very glamorous without being over the top. A star item for this holiday season indeed. (You can read more about my thoughts of Forever Gold here.)

8. YSL

(image from www.yslbeautyus.com)

I mentioned in my initial review of the YSL holiday 2007 collection that I preferred the usual gold packaging. But, compared with many other holiday collections, this is still a strong one. The collection is well-themed with memorable designs. The heart-shaped necklace is very pretty even though I don’t think this is the best makeup necklace for this season.

This is the first time in five years that YSL’s holiday collection didn’t make the top five on my holiday top 10 list, as the overall collection didn’t impress me as much as the previous ones did. (Read about YSL’s Gold Celebration Palette from the 2006 holiday collection if you are interested.)

7. Jill Stuart

(image from www.jillstuart-beauty.com)

Jill Stuart’s holiday 2007 set is instantly appealing, with the kind of feminine and princessy packaging that Jill Stuart is famous for. Like Lunasol’s holiday 2007 coffret, the set features universally flattering shades.

According to this blog post, all the slots were full within an hour after one department store started to take pre-orders for this set, while the set was completely sold out in another department store within two hours after the set was officially launched. I am not really surprised. Since the Jill Stuart beauty line was launched in Japan in 2005, the holiday sets in 2005 and 2006 have been extremely popular. (This post also features a swatch video, in which you can actually see how the eyeshadow shades shimmer!)

(Continue to read Part 2 and Part 3!)

Related Posts:

Loving Japanese Brands: Jill Stuart
(featuring my Jill Stuart Christmas 2005 set)

Loving Japanese Brands: Lunasol
(one of my three favorite Japanese brands for the moment)

Keep It Gold: YSL
(my personal take on the glamorous YSL)

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(Prescriptives Colorscope Refillable Palette
for Eyes and Cheeks in Cool)
(image from www.prescriptives.com)


Prescriptives has come up with two wearable and good-value makeup palettes for holiday 2007. The palette in Cool I am reviewing here includes six pink and plum-based shades for eyes and two shades for cheeks.

For the eyeshadows, I have categorized them into highlighting, main, and eye-lining shades:

Highlighting -
Chiffon: cream white with pearlescent shimmer, suitable as a base or a highlighter

(Chiffon)


Main (from left to right/ light to dark) -
Shell: pale dusty pink with pearlescent shimmer
Hocus: light taupe with pearlescent shimmer
Aubergine: brownish plum with metallic shimmer

(Shell, Hocus, and Aubergine)


Eye-lining -
Indigo: dark charcoal grey with minimal shimmer
Plum: brownish plum with minimal shimmer

(Indigo and Plum)


(Color-wise, Aubergine is almost as dark as Plum, but it has a lot more shimmer and, for me, it doesn’t bring much depth to my eyes as an eye-lining shade.)

The six shades blend well and can be easily coordinated to create simple and sophisticated daytime looks and intense evening looks.

Cheek Colors:
Petal: a matte warm pink
Highlighter Cool Light: a very pale pink with frosty shimmer

(Petal and Highlighter Cool Light)

Petal is a very wearable blusher shade. Highlighter Cool Light can be worn with Petal to bring a veil of shimmer to the matte finish of Patel. Another great way to wear this cheek highlighter is to layer it right on the center of cheeks to make the cheeks pop and to bring out the dimension of the face.

All the shades are quite well pigmented, with Highlighter Cool Light being sheer and shimmery. (These are all regular shades and not limited-edition ones. The silver stripes on the cheek colors featured in the palette in the top photo are spray-ons.)

The palette comes with a nicely big mirror. The limited-edition double-ended eyeshadow brush features a soft medium brush for eyeshadow application and a slightly slanted flat-tip brush, which is good for blending. You will need another brush to line your eyes with the darker shades.

The sizes of the eyeshadows and blushers are the same as the usual sizes they come in. The palette itself is refillable, so you can also add in your favorite shades to customize your own palette. (The slots for blushers will hold two eyeshadows each.)

The palette also comes in Warm:

(Prescriptives Colorscope Refillable Palatte
for Eyes and Cheeks in Warm)
(image from www.prescriptives.com)


Overall, the palettes offer good ranges of shades and further flexibility of customization. Retailed at 38 pounds in the UK, it is relatively good value considering all the shades are worth around 100 pounds when bought separately. This is also a good starter palette to consider if you are interested in trying wearable shades by Prescriptives.

Related Posts for Holiday 2007:

Lavshuca Christmas 2007 Makeup Palette

(cute and affordable)

DiorLight Jewelled Necklace
(sparkling with Swarovski crystals)

Paul & Joe Lip Gloss N
(perfect berry-red lip gloss)

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(Lavshuca Christmas 2007 Makeup Palette)

I have written about my first impression of this palette when I heard about it and upon receiving it. Now that I have tested the colors, I can share with you more of my thoughts. (But I haven’t tried the lip color yet because I don’t want to mess up the heart shape…)

(No, I still haven’t put them in the case…)

The palette includes three eyeshadows, a lip color, and a lip gloss. The eyeshadow shade I like the best is the shimmery white one on the left. It is fairly well-pigmented with nice multi-color shimmer and it joins my white-eyeshadow lineup as a major member.

The pink in the middle appears to be very pale when it goes on and it doesn’t look very different from the white shade. The only two differences between the two are that the texture of the pink one seems chalkier and that it has less shimmer.

The dark shade at the right is a dark charcoal grey that works well as an eyeliner and for a smoky-eye effect. It has some sparkles but they don’t look obvious when it goes on.

The lip gloss looks very pretty in the container, again with multi-color shimmer. But the shimmer looks much more subtle when applied. I was trying to layer it to see if I could create a glossy finish, but it doesn’t seem possible. The finish is similar to that of a shiny lip balm, as it imparts a very natural sheen, which looks more balmy than watery.

As I mentioned before, holiday palettes (especially those from Japanese brands) are mostly about packaging and wearability. In terms of these two, this palette has done well. (Plus it is relatively affordable.) I am sure there are people who think the shades are not very interesting. But, for me, I will always consider picking up nice wearable shades which are beautifully packaged. Overall this is a nice little gem to have.

Related Posts:

Chanel Contraste Lumière Palette
(great palette for eyes and lips)

Loving Japanese Brands: Lavshuca
(my personal take on the successful Kanebo line)

Lavshuca Cheek Color
(Need a blusher to go with the palette?)

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(Paul & Joe Lip Gloss N in 001 Black-Tie,
part of Paul & Joe’s Christmas 2007 collection)

We all know that makeup items very often look disappointingly less impressive than how they appear on glossy fashion magazines. But this lip gloss is one of those welcome surprises.

Paul & Joe Lip Gloss N in 001 Black-Tie is part of the limited-edition Holiday 2007 Collection, titled Invitation.

(Paul & Joe Holiday 2007 collection: Invitation)
(image from www.paul-joe-beaute.com/en/index.html)

(Paul & Joe Lip Gloss N)
(image from www.paul-joe-beaute.com/en/index.html)

What grabbed my attention (and the reason it looks much better in person) is the multi-color shimmer. It has pink, yellow, green, and lilac shimmer. It also has very little blue-ish shimmer which is in a warm turquoise-y shade.

The shimmery particles look beautiful, but I won’t describe them as very delicate since they are just a little bit larger than those in some of my other glosses. But they are not glittery at all and are very fitful for the holiday season.

Upon seeing the photo on the Paul & Joe website for the first time, I thought the shade might be too dark for my liking and that I would not want to wear it. (I tend to prefer lip glosses that are not too densely pigmented.) But it is actually a very nicely and delicately pigmented shade (not too sheer) with subtle transparency.

The only thing I can imagine that might bother some people is that the texture of the gloss is slightly more liquidy than some of my other glosses. When it is on my lips, occasionally it travels just a little bit. I avoid it simply by not over-layering it too much.

Overall I love this gloss, and it is now among my favorites. I will surely be reviewing some of my other lip gloss favorites later on, so do stay tuned!

Related Posts (for Paul & Joe lovers):

Loving Japanese Brands: Paul & Joe
(my personal take on Paul & Joe)

Paul & Joe Holiday 2006 Collection

(with stunning hummingbird prints)

Related Posts (for lip gloss lovers):

Sony Curvy Lips Silicone
(million-selling lip gloss…for a reason)

Beautiful Lips…with Blue Lip Glosses?
(See all the great things they can do for you.)

DiorLight Jewelled Makeup Necklace
(sparking inside and out)


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(the group shot)


Apart from Sofina Raycious foundation cases, which I enjoy collecting, I also collect Anna Sui foundation cases from time to time. (Do have a look at my Part One and Part Two of my Sofina Raycious Case Galore if you haven’t.)

My Anna Sui collection is far less extensive than Raycious’. There are many more Anna Sui cases that I don’t have, as I only collect what I really like.

This black one above is my first Anna Sui case, which is among the first Anna Sui case designs. It is the Gothic princess look that Anna Sui does very well.


Then Anna Sui entered what I call the golden age, during which most base makeup products and some color makeup products were packaged in frosty matte golden cases. I do really like the golden look. First of all, finger prints are not easily left on these finishes. Also, the golden cases show off the details of the design much better.

This one above is perhaps my favorite one. Again, love the golden case. Also, I like the butterfly detail.


This one is from the Anna Sui brightening skincare and foundation range, in which most of the items are in white packaging. I like the unique shape of this case in particular.

Last fall, Anna Sui re-launched the base makeup range (seen below). We are brought back to the classic black packaging, while the shapes and the details of the cases are slightly modified.

(Anna Sui’s current base makeup range)
(image from www.annasui-cosmetics.com)


By the way, Anna Sui’s Holiday 2007 collection includes a limited-edition hand mirror in the golden shade I love. It looks adorable! (I have to say I prefer this to the usual black one…)

(Anna Sui Hand Mirror G)
(image from www.annasui-cosmetics.com)

More items in gold, please, I’d say…

Updated on March 27, 2008:

See my latest Anna Sui foundation case here.

Related Posts:

Anna Sui Face Color Accent
(a lovely blusher…)

Anna Sui Fall 2007 Collection
(featuring a photo of my Anna Sui stash)

Loving Japanese Brands: Anna Sui
(my personal take on Anna Sui)

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(Lavshuca Holiday 2007 Palette)

I just got my Lavshuca holiday 2007 palette a couple of days ago. The first thing I did was to take some photos so I could show you this cute palette.

I have not actually used it yet. (Unlike the DiorLight necklace that I also just got, I WILL be using this.) I will post a review after I have used the eyeshadows and the lip colors.

I was surprised to find that all the bits were outside the case when I received this. This is Lavshuca’s first eye-and-lip palette so they seem to be having a bit of fun with it. Also, since the case is not transparent, it makes sense to present everything like this so the customers in the drugstores can instantly see all the colors and the front of the case. Overall I like the whole presentation.

The case is made of cardboard but it is relatively sturdy.

(the case and the colors presented separately)

(Complete the puzzle!)


Obviously all the bits go into the case. But, I think perhaps some people will be quite happy just to leave them where they are so everything can be displayed as it is in the cute box. Umm…it is not a bad idea actually……



Related posts:

Straight onto my Shopping List: Lavshuca Holiday 2007 Palette
(my first impression of the palettes along with the new lip glosses)

Chanel Contraste Lumière Palette
(another great eye-and-lip palette)

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(Dior DiorLight Jewelled Makeup Necklace for the Lips)

Priced at 54 pounds in the UK (about 112 USD), it is not cheap. But since I had enough Boots advantage points and I really liked the look of this necklace, I decided to use my points on this after it was launched in Boots on November 6th. (It was launched in some department stores earlier.) So I didn’t spend any money on this.

(I will write another post later on to explain to my readers outside the UK how the popular and uniquely generous Boots Advantage Point system works.)

Here, Dior’s seasonal limited-edition items are usually priced at 35 pounds (about 73 USD). I suppose this one is pricier because of the Swarovski crystals used on the pendant (not on the “Dior” logo though).

The gloss comes in two choices, pink and beige. (Only the beige is available in the US.) I picked the prettier pink one.

(the “default” pink)


As I mentioned in my initial report on the various Christmas 2007 collections, this pendant is larger than what I expected. The total length of the necklace is about 82 cm. It comes with a black draw-string pouch for storage and protection.

The lip gloss is what I call a “default” pink, a universally wearable pink with some shimmer that should suit most people.

Having said that, I will probably not use it, as it joins my permanent Dior collection…

Related posts:

Dior Pretty Charm
(Dior Holiday 2006 item)

Diorissime Palette
(Dior Fall 2007 item…this one I am happily using……)


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(Romantic Illuminate:
Magie Deco Holiday 2007 Collection)
(image from www.cosmedecorte.com/magiedeco/)

Kosé’s top-end line, Cosme Decorte, released a new makeup line in August called Magie Deco. Price-wise, it is cheaper than Cosme Decorte’s existing makeup collections but it is still a high-end line.

Naturally, these are Magie Deco’s first limited-edition seasonal items, and they are certainly keen to make an impression.

The two items, Shadow Brilliance and Face Powder, are sold as a set. As with many other holiday items for Japanese brands, they feature wearable and shimmery shades, great for the party season. (I think the Face Powder will be a straightforward sheer face powder with some shimmer.)

I really like the prints on one of the eyeshadows and on the gold lid of the Face Powder case. Feminine, flowy, and glamorous.

Magie Deco’s sophisticated brand image has been grabbing more and more of my attention. This is certainly a line I will pay attention to in the coming seasons and it will be very interesting to see how it develops.

Related posts:

Magie Deco Loose Powder
(one of the shortlisted items on my loose powder list)

Holiday 2007 Collection Galore
(photos and more photos…)

Holiday 2007 Collection: First Thoughts
(after I saw some of the items in the shops)

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