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! 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 -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 😀
I don’t really enjoy beauty shopping in Geneva for 2 reasons:
- 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
- when I visit the 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. 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? 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 think the loss for them knowing how much Wayne or I tend to spend on a trip 😀 I talked about those issues with Wayne and he actually mentions it here 🙂
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? 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.
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.
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. 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!
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 😉
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 😉
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 🙂 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 🙂