Home Brushes Shopping day and first impressions: Chanel Diapason, Mac It’s Physical and La Mer Concealer

Shopping day and first impressions: Chanel Diapason, Mac It’s Physical and La Mer Concealer

by Sonia G.

Shopping in Geneva is not something I do often, beauty related items here are so much more expensive than in the UK or the USA. Unless it’s something I want *now* or that has a price more or less equivalent, I won’t even consider it.

Yesterday was a beautiful day, sunny and warm considering we are in January, it’s probably the first time I can remember that the winter is so merciful with us, Feb is still to come though…
I decided it was a day for a walk along the lake during my lunch break (“lake” is the code name for “boutiques” by the way). Iris (Rouge Deluxe) told me the spring collections arrived in Geneva and I also needed some new tops to wear, couldn’t wait any longer!ย Went to Geneva and got this:

La Mer Radiant Concealer in Medium
Chanel Illusion d’Ombre in Diapason
Mac Fluidline in It’s Physical


I also recently bought the Baume de La Mer Lip Balm that I am using daily at the moment ย -twice a day actually. I prefer it over many others balms I tried and it did improve the state of my lips but my first impressions are that my lips (or pout) have slightly changed … shape ? Not sure, but something is changing… I don’t know if it’s because the tingling unconsciously makes me *pout* more or if the moisture and comfort cause a visible plumping effect but something IS definitely going on ๐Ÿ˜€

I don’t really enjoy beauty shopping in Geneva for 2 reasons:

  1. if I go to the drugstores, drugstore items here are 3x the current USA price which makes the value for money not that interesting anymore
  2. when I visit the ย high end beauty counters, they often give me the snooty attitude. I am talking about Serge Lutens, Tom Ford or similar others, if I am wearing jeans and a t-shirt I am pretty sure that will happen. I don’t experience this hostile behaviour towards jeans in other countries and I feel welcome whether I am wearing a Burberry trench or a t-shirt.

There are exceptions and my worst experience abroad was in London, at both Serge Lutens and Tom Ford counters in the same shopping center. At that Serge Lutens counter I bought the eyeshadow palette and the Sales Assistant was looking at me probably thinking that I would back up when she would tell me the price… She made me feel uncomfortable not because I was spending a fortune on one palette but because of her arrogant behaviour. ย Then at the TF counter, I was getting ready to shop hard and had my hands full of items, unfortunately a business man in a very expensive suit arrived and they left me hanging to take care of him instead.

The supervisor (or the accountable-brand-responsible-whatever) was watching from afar and saw what happened, he also noticed that after a while I got tired of waiting so I put everything back and left the counter. One hour later, I was at another shopping center nearby proceeding with my planned TF purchases, the same supervisor of the brand arrived -maybe he was taking care of both counters? ย Didn’t really get who he was exactly- he recognized me, came to apologize for the attitude at the other counter… What can I say ? Customers should all be treated with the same respect and clearly I wasn’t. Wayne also experienced a similar situation but it’s funny when you thinkย the loss for them knowing how much Wayne or I tend to spend on a trip ๐Ÿ˜€ I talked about those issues with Wayne and he actually mentions itย hereย ๐Ÿ™‚

For those of you planning to shop in Geneva there aren’t many “interesting” high end counters, we have By Terry and a few Mac but for Mac the prices are so much higher. That said, when I saw this fluidline “It’s physical” I fell in love. Who can resist that name? and that color? ย I can’t. It reminded me of the Three pencil 07, very complex shade, I don’t usually buy Mac locally but that fluidline had to come with me.

Then at the Chanel counter I got Diapason (FINALLY!!! I was expecting this one for a while!).

Five minutes later I decided to buy the La Mer Radiant Concealer in Medium. I bought this concealer because I know what’s coming: many many hours of work due to interesting yet very demanding projects and I even think I should invoice it to my boss… -just kidding boss. Third purchase done, all in the same shop and in under 10 minutes. I also approached the Serge Lutens counter but the person there had no clue about the products and I had precise questions so there was no point insisting, you can’t even play with the products anyway, they are under heavy crystal protectors and you have to ask them to hand them to you (like jewellery)… I prefer to be respectfully left alone and get their assistance when I need assistance. Maybe I am too rude myself ? On the other hand I never had this issue in Japan, the sale assistants understood and they came when they knew I wanted help, we may not speak the same language but there was respect and assistance.

So, I will swatch some products because you may be interested in seeing the difference between the similar Chanel shades.


Pic without flash


I hope you can see in the picture that the 3 Chanel Illusion d’Ombre are very different, there is no way I would give the Diapason a pass.. this Illusion d’Ombre texture is finally very interesting, less sparkly, more buildable and with a base color that actually lasts an acceptable time. I am wearing it today, I applied it with the Hakuhodo J125R, I wasn’t expecting to get as much coverage so I had to sheer it out. I was considering applying it with the new Rae Morris cream brush but the surface of this brush is a bit too large for precise application placed only along the mobile eyelid. Once applied, then I just added a more matte shade in the crease and a black in the outer V. At lunch time it was still there, no creasing and although it faded, it faded in an acceptable way. We all have our level of what we call “acceptable fading ratio”, for me it works like that : if it starts to crease or look uneven by lunch time, it’s unacceptable. If it creases just very slightly and fades evenly without making a mess by 6pm it’s acceptable. If it doesn’t crease and lasts until 11pm, for me it’s a hit.

The Chanel Illusoire is terrible in terms of lasting power and color building, it’s pretty much invisible after one rub. The color is beautiful but too frosty, way too sparkly. Diapason is not the same texture, feels smoother and that one has the formula they should now stick to imho, more appropriate for elegant yet complex looks that last more than the 2 hours fashion runway.

The Chanel Fatal is beautiful, has a plummy burgundy brown undertone on my skin but I wish it had less frost and more color.



Pic with flash

The Diapason is the one to go for in terms of texture and finish, I didn’t feel like it was over the top or office inappropriate but again, the coverage may influence that. ย I tested the application with several brushes and the best for me are either weasel brushes or the Hakuhodo J125R. The Rae Morris cream brush is very good when you want a subtle all over application, it tones down the frost and duochrome effect and makes it more office wearable, it’s just too big for a precise application, other than that it has the right firmness and density for sheer to medium applications. For a light wash of colour like with the Shiseido creams it will probably be perfect, I am testing that and will inform you in my Rae Morris upcoming review!


Diapason-dirty brushes

These are heavy swatches made with the corresponding brushes above :


As you can imagine, the Three pencil is absolutely stunning, lasts forever or until you take it off but it has more of a green base with gold and pink sparkles where the fluidline looks more like a brown purple with pink sparkles. Loving the color! Looking forward to the weekend to wear it and if I am fearless, maybe tomorrow ๐Ÿ˜‰

The burgundy shade in Star Guitar is brown purple without apparent sparkles. The duochrome blue effect of the Chanel doesn’t have a shocking load of sparkles so both these shades are the best choices if you don’t like frosty or sparkly finishes.




Another pic with the two Suqqu darkest shades from two LE palettes on the left, if you own these palettes you may be thinking of them when looking at Diapason but they aren’t that similar:




I was wearing the La Mer concealer today, wasn’t that blown away by the “natural effect” I was expecting, but, that is also due to my foundation, I finished the Ellis Faas (again!) and I try to use up the others… finishing up products is not always a good thing… can make you hate other products and hide their potential! The concealer is very brightening and tomorrow I will wear “less of it”, see if that improves the appearance. No creasing though, no setting into the lines. I used a Suqqu finishing powder on top but will keep you posted on this concealer, I believe it deserves a proper review specially because of its price : 88 CHF (approx 80 usd). The little white pouch is simply adorable!

That’s it for my shopping, well, I also bought 3 tops, took me 15mn to select them and pay for them, was back to work before they noticed I had even left ๐Ÿ˜‰


A walk along the Lake – pic taken with my phone

Since you may be wondering, I have some of the Rae Morris Magnetic brushes already, more are to arrive next week I believe, I am using them on a daily basis in order to review them asap, trying to do separate reviews but still need some time to test them, so far so good!

I also have received the Chikuhodo Kiwami that I am using daily, I just have one face so it takes a few days to get an opinion on it ๐Ÿ™‚ so far I don’t regret having splurged although I am not that in love for now, I am but I need some time to have a final opinion. Sometimes love does not happen at first sight, the Chikuhodo Z-9 at the beginning was not a must-have for me, today the Z-9 has become my cyber weapon ๐Ÿ™‚


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212kiki 29 January, 2014 - 10:22 pm

I totally know what you mean with the arrogant counter girls !

The TF girl in berlin was gladly very nice and later we talked a bit and when my friend from berlin tested one of my brushes (i brought for her to test) with the TF narcissist the TF girl wanted to touch it too and asked what is that ๐Ÿ˜€
The SL counter in berlin should be the same weird “table” with the plates on top but with no counter girl so i moved the plates away to test yeah :))))))

I don’t shop in stores that often because i buy tons of stuff also because its often a brand i can’t get here….

Sweet make up temptations 2 February, 2014 - 12:14 am

It’s sad to say that we can have better service on online customer services stores than in counters ๐Ÿ™‚
at the SL the plates were impossible to move away, they have to take a sucking tool (yeah…) to lift them ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€

Bea 29 January, 2014 - 11:21 pm

The colours are nice but plum is a really iffy colour on me. Makes me look bruised lol. Green on the other hand complements my skin tone well.

Adele 30 January, 2014 - 12:22 am

If the MAC fluidline is similar to the THREE pencil, I MUST have it. Thank you for the recommendation!

Monica 30 January, 2014 - 2:00 am

Hi, I’m a big fan of you blog, It’s fantastic. I’m also so excited for you review about the famous kiwami set.

Meredith 30 January, 2014 - 2:56 am

You are a terrible influence, you naughty woman! You always find the best stuff! I’m so jealous that you live in Switzerland, how magnificent. I wish I could live there.

Jillian 30 January, 2014 - 3:42 am

I’m so glad you were able to give a quick rundown on the La Mer concealer & lip balm. I’ve been eyeing both but it looks like I might be better sticking with what I already have. I can’t wait to check my local counter for “It’s Physical”– so pretty!

Sweet make up temptations 2 February, 2014 - 12:16 am

Still loving the lip balm… the concealer not yet loving it but I carry on trying ๐Ÿ™‚
The fluidline is beautiful, it’s a bit tricky to wear for mature eyelids but I could pull it off, not for the office though ๐Ÿ™‚ I think I will only wear that on weekends but it’s lovely and unique!

Bonnie 2 February, 2014 - 10:58 am

I picked up a Sonia Rykiel lip treatment in Japan when my lips looked and felt like the Pacific rim, the ladies at the counters were horrified too!! The Chicca lipsticks just enhanced every.single crevice and crevasse!!! Now that I’m back in lovely Australian summer my lips aren’t that bad but I am looking forward to see how it fairs later!

Sweet make up temptations 4 February, 2014 - 6:15 pm

they did ?? ouch!!
oooh summer… *dreaming*

Jillian 5 February, 2014 - 9:18 am

Right now I’m working my way through the By Terry Baume de Rose (good, but not HG) and the Hourglass Lip Treatment Oil (which I thought was going to be The One until this winter).

Sweet make up temptations 5 February, 2014 - 11:08 pm

Good to know, so far, La Mer is doing good and repairing my lips…

Bonnie 5 February, 2014 - 12:48 pm

I had a sample of the By Terry, but it didn’t do anything more for me than Philosophy or Nuxe… which were at a way lower price point :S the Hourglass has been enticing… but I’m guessing, not great??

Jillian 6 February, 2014 - 9:15 am

Bonnie, I loved the Hourglass until the last month or two… but my lips are a lot dryer during the winter and I purchased it last summer. It tastes terrible if you happen to get any on your tongue too, lol. How did you like the Sonia Rykiel?

Sweet make up temptations 8 February, 2014 - 1:21 pm

I have the Hourglass pencil-lipstick and smells horrible ๐Ÿ™

Bonnie 6 February, 2014 - 2:33 pm

I haven’t used it since Japan because my lips are a lot better now that I’m back in summery weather. Still dry, but not dessicated…

I really liked it at the time when I was using it, I had it layer under a Sonia Rykiel matte lipstick, turned it glossy, but man, my lips felt nourished!! And they stayed like that for a long time too. I’ll have to try it again when it’s winter, but I’m rather enjoying the summer heat and the beach atm ๐Ÿ˜› But if you can get it, I think it might a good choice but I’d have to test it for longer to really give you an opinion. Other than that, I remember liking the YSL lip treatment when the MA used it under a rouge volupte for me.

Buggsiebee 30 January, 2014 - 9:01 am

The La Mer Concealer was a TOTAL fail on my almost 50 yr old skin. It cracked like dry mud under my eyes.
Gave it away fast to help someone else not waste their money on it.

Sweet make up temptations 2 February, 2014 - 12:17 am

I see what you mean…
I am still trying to make it work, so far, still not impressed but I haven’t yet explored all possibilities ๐Ÿ™‚

Bonnie 31 January, 2014 - 10:54 am

That lip balm sounds enticing!! I had the most ridiculously chapped lips while I was in Japan, there was literally just a dry, chapped rim for my lips argh!

As for prices, I feel your pain ๐Ÿ™ I’m the same too…if it isn’t somewhat the same or something I don’t need immediately, I won’t consider buying it!

SJ 31 January, 2014 - 4:49 pm

Hi Sonia – I’m so sorry to hear about the snooty attitude at those counters! I have to say I have never once experienced that in NYC. I shop at the Tom Ford counter at Bergdorf’s and no matter what I am wearing they treat me so warmly. And I do not carry a nice handbag (because I’d rather spend my money on makeup). And at the Serge Lutens counter at Barneys they are always so very happy to see me. And the products are right there on the counter to be played with! (on another subject, I wish they would release more palettets – I LOVE the SL products I own and want more!) Hearing about your experience really makes me angry!

Also – I tried the LaMer concealer and found it extremely drying. It aged me 5 or 10 years. yuck. I hope you fare better.

x’s & o’s – SJ

Mary 1 February, 2014 - 2:34 am

Hi Sonia, what great products. Those shop assistants have issues. They probably feel inferior in front of the customers who come to buy the very expensive beauty products. I’m sure they can’t afford to buy on their low wage.
They are so transparent. She looks down at my high quality boots thinking I can’t see. So I look down at my boots questioningly, then look down at her footwear and then I look her straight in the eye with a slight smirk. She knows what I’m thinking. I know what she’s thinking.
I don’t care what footwear people wear but she obviously does.
I love messing those women around.

Sai 1 February, 2014 - 12:38 pm

Hello Sonia, I am so sorry abt your shopping experience at the Tom Ford counter! Luckily i dont have this experience at Tom ford here in Hong Kong, all of their sales assistance are very nice, helpful and talented!

However for some other brands like Estee Lauder, Lancome…..their SA sucks, they tend to ignore me(i always wear in casual and dont look like one will buy a lot ) and go to serve some other customers from mainland China. I usually just skip these brands and order it from US….they are even more cheaper in US!

Iris 1 February, 2014 - 5:29 pm

Hi Sonia,
I had my eye on Diapason and It’s Physical too but walked away after seeing the price of Illusion D’Ombres at Globus. Hate how marked up the prices are over here, plus the Swiss franc just went up again against the Singapore dollar. I’m also concerned about how well the Illusion D’Ombres last over time as my Epatant has already shrunk from the sides of the pot and it creases on me if I do not use any primer. Think I’m better sticking to Armani Eyes To Kill and L’Oreal Color Infallibles. Still no sign of the By Terry spring collection at Marionnaud in Balexert or Sephora at Val Thoiry. Their new Cellularose Blush Glaces look promising!

The snooty attitude of the SAs at the Tom Ford counter in Selfridges is one reason why I’ve never made a purchase there. Also, I feel that his products are terribly overpriced.

Sweet make up temptations 4 February, 2014 - 6:28 pm

Diapason is the best of the Illusion d’Ombres on me, different texture with better gripping capabilities. It didn’t crease “much”, could barely see creasing but just fading. Globus is so expensive but I think in general it’s cheaper than Manor and Bon Genie!!!
I want to see that Cellularose blush ๐Ÿ™‚ i also need to go to Val Thoiry… need more bells for my kabukis ๐Ÿ™‚
Harrods was the best place in London for TF purchases, I always had extremely nice contact there, year after year.

Christine 3 February, 2014 - 2:32 am

Hello, unfortunately I can relate to the bad salesperson experience-which is a shame given what I spend on skincare and cosmetics. I guess that is one reason I shop so much online. As for LaMer, the lip balm is the best I have found in terms of healing and keeping my lips hydrated. I hate the minty taste and smell. The LaMer concealer is not my favorite, it didn’t set very well. I’m having better luck with my Nars and Ellis Faas.

Sweet make up temptations 4 February, 2014 - 6:13 pm

Hello Christine,
this week I was in the same shop where I hate to purchase but it’s not like I have much choice here, it’s tiny. The sales assistants were dealing with a hellish customer ! the situation was reversed, it was hilarious to watch them ๐Ÿ˜› I think that sometimes they also have very rude customers ๐Ÿ˜€
The taste and smell is ok, reminds me of something but still haven’t figured out what exactly…
the la Mer concealer has to be tried in full daylight and at this moment I leave before it’s daytime, come back at night… ๐Ÿ™
I would like to try the Ellis Faas one day!

michelle 5 February, 2014 - 12:01 pm

I love the La Mer lip balm! It is one of the few that really works and stays on. I love the hand cream as well, AMAZING stuff. I just would rather spend $75.00 on a makeup brush right now to get a decent little collection and then can switch and focus on different brands of makeup.

Sweet make up temptations 5 February, 2014 - 11:11 pm

I am loving it too, for now I feel it’s improving my lips!
At least brushes don’t go off so quickly ๐Ÿ™‚ better splurging on them than on tons of makeup… well… don’t go crazy like me ๐Ÿ˜€

Kay 5 February, 2014 - 7:18 pm

Hi Sonia,
I am eyeing Diapson but was wondering if you had a preference for Diapson or the burgundy shade in Star Guitar. The Star Guitar sits nicely on me, no creasing, and not thick so doesn’t make my older eyelids look older.


Sweet make up temptations 5 February, 2014 - 11:14 pm

I prefer the Star Guitar because it’s more wearable, now that my lids are back to normal I should try Diapason again. They were very oily last week and that was not enhancing the whole eyeshadow application, it was giving a glossy kind of look to most of my looks (I was trying eye creams… that’s why). I’ll wear it tomorrow ๐Ÿ™‚
I am relieved that the burgundy shade does not crease and that you love it! yeah!!!

Ylona 10 February, 2014 - 8:09 pm

Hi Sonia,

Have you tried the Koh Gen Do Aqua foundation ? There are some reviews from my favourite beauty blogers about it and it just seems to be one of the best foundation on the market ! I’m so tempted to buy it!
If the answer is yes, with what brushes you like to use it ;)?


Carlyn 11 February, 2014 - 3:30 pm

Hi Ylona, I’m dying to try that foundation, but as I don’t have a counter anywhere close to me, I have no idea what shade to buy. If you know of any site that might help color match me I would appreciate it. I’m NC 37-40 just fyi.

Ylona 12 February, 2014 - 12:42 pm

Hi Carlyn,
I’m in the same situation.
There are no KGD here neither :(.

Maybe you can ask Rae from the http://www.theraeviewer.com
On Temptalia, there are a foundation matrix, you can find foundations by entering you current foundation name and shade. Maybe it can help to find your color.

Carlyn 12 February, 2014 - 3:32 pm

Thanks for the info, Ylona. I’ve tried Temptalia in the past but only on my phone and navigation was difficult. I may try again although I’m not sure the KGD is there. I may post a question to Rae or I may start a topic on the forum, it may be helpful to those of us who want to order a foundation online but who don’t know their shade in that line.

Kay 12 February, 2014 - 10:27 pm

Hello Carlyn and Yiona,

Here is a blogger site called Beauty Professor that I’ve used for swatch photos and descriptions. http://www.beautyprofessor.net/2013/12/koh-gen-do-maifanshi-aqua-foundation.html

I also requested samples from the KohGenDo USA website and they were accommodating. I ended up blending two shades.

Sweet make up temptations 21 February, 2014 - 9:36 pm

thank you Kay!
need to try it…

Jeanette 18 February, 2014 - 12:42 am

On findation.com you can type any foundation brand and shade in and get colur matches in other brands.

Carlyn 20 February, 2014 - 4:10 am

Thanks Kay and Jeanette for the info. I’ll browse those sites and see what I can discover. I had a feeling I would get some help from the lovely ladies here ๐Ÿ™‚

Sweet make up temptations 21 February, 2014 - 9:17 pm

Ylona, I wanted to try it for a long time but did not find this brand in Tokyo so could not yet manage to try ๐Ÿ™
sad face!
I know there are many friends who use it and love it and they will tell you the brush to use! go to the forum, post a question in the makeup brush topic for example, I am sure you will get some help from Koh Gen Do Aqua lovers ๐Ÿ™‚

Carlyn 12 February, 2014 - 11:35 pm

Thanks Kay, I’ve been to her website before, but I don’t trust myself to interpret her swatches and matching to my skin. Great suggestion about asking for samples, I always do that before committing to a foundation but only at the counter, never asked online. I’ll do that, I live in the States. Thanks again.

Karina Fogliani 30 January, 2018 - 2:54 pm

I have Chanel’s Illusoire and the way I use it is with an eyeshadow primer. For me eyeshadow primer is a must anyway because I have oily eyelids. Whether it’s cream or powder eyeshadows, they wouldn’t last past 3 hours and, like you, I need them to last about 10. I have found Illusoire works particularly well in this way, the colour intensifies beautifully.


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