Estée Lauder's Topaz Chameleon Pure Color Illuminating Powder Gelée ($40) is, without a doubt in my mind, the centerpiece of the new Pure Color Spring 2012 Collection. Before you read further, consider calling your Estée Lauder counter to reserve yours. I am dead-sure this limited-edition beauty is going to sell out, just as its predecessor from the Modern Mercury Collection sold out.
My inspiration behind the collection was vacationing in Arizona, enjoying warm sun, the amazing desert colors, and the shadows that play on the sand and rocks. I was thinking of a gorgeously healthy-looking woman who had an element of fantasy in her personality. I wanted to convey that with a palette of strong, yet soft colors. - Tom Pecheux, Creative Makeup Director, Estée Lauder
I introduced you to the Pure Color Illuminating Powder Gelée in Topaz Chameleon this morning. It provides the dash of sun-kissed warmth to newly awakened spring skin. Featuring a fitting snakeskin pattern, this prism shine powder gelée can be used to bronze, blush, or softly contour cheeks. A “tribrid” system of liquid, powder, and gel, this first-of-a-kind, “multi-powder” formula creates a theatrical blur of shimmer on the skin when applied dry and a fierce flush of color when applied wet. The unique suspension of golden pigments and pearls float on top of the skin, resulting in a truly unique sensory experience. The modern powder is flexible and uses a luminosity-boosting complex that makes the complexion appear perfectly smooth, seductive, and warm.
In describing it, Pecheux said, "The focus will be on the upper cheekbones to get that warm glow that you get when you have been outside. Apply first to the cheekbones and then dust the leftover over the rest of the face, neck, shoulder, décolletage, wherever. I love this product because it is very versatile, it lives many lives. You can also wear it as an eye shadow, wet or dry."
Like Punxsutawney Phil, if I can see my shadow, I can take decent swatch photos. While we weren't graced with Arizona's sun today, we did have a few moments when the sun broke through the high overcast and gave me some photo opportunities. I swatched Topaz Chameleon very heavily with a sponge-tipped applicator at the top of my arm and less heavily with its little brush below.
The golden bronze shade of Topaz Chameleon is a perfect way to contour your cheekbones. That's how it was used at Derek Lam's Spring 2012 Show. Pecheux explained the look...
Derek’s collection was inspired by the clean minimalism and open desert landscape of the Kaufmann house by Richard Neutra in Palm Springs. I wanted the makeup to compliment the fashion with a very dreamy, warm look of fresh skin, shimmering eyes with muted yellow shadow highlighted by copper, lightly bronzed contoured cheeks, and a sheer golden lip.
Pure Color Illuminating Powder Gelée has the most amazing texture. It's hard for me to describe it perfectly. Consider it one of the creamiest powders you'll ever use. I adore the texture and its flexibility for application. I can apply a light, subtle wash, the way Pecheux described, or use it for more oomph on my eyes or cheekbones. It has the perfect mix of pigment and pearls for a "multi-reflective finish." It can be used for an allover soft sheen or layered for luminous pearly highlighting.
The only thing I don't understand is the little brush that comes with it. The Modern Mercury Illuminating Powder Gelée came with a nifty large sponge applicator that I preferred for a traveling applicator. With Modern Mercury, I found that I could apply it by buffing or blending it with a Kabuki brush. I'm sure that's the case with Topaz Chameleon. There are many ways to achieve the effect you like. Unfortunately, the little brush that comes in the compact gave me an uneven application. That didn't stop me from buying two of them!
The Pure Color Topaz Spring 2012 Collection will be available for a limited time at select Estée Lauder counters nationwide and at Estée Lauder's Web site. It's available now. If you want it, don't delay.
Photo at top courtesy of Estée Lauder; other photos by Best Things in Beauty