Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Clinique Pink with a Purpose for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation

You can show your support for breast cancer research with an exclusive shade of Clinique's Almost Lipstick in Pink Ribbon Honey ($15). The lipstick comes with a limited-edition pink-ribbon makeup bag. Three dollars from every purchase will be donated to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

I try to be supportive of philanthropy when combined with beauty products, so I ordered this product (from Sephora, I think), based on the photo above that shows the swatch of the Pink Ribbon Honey Lipstick as being a bright, relatively pigmented, lip color. It's not. Despite the fact that I love Almost Lipstick, I was disappointed to discover that this lip color is extremely light and a transparent pink.  While perfect for a teenager, it's not my ideal for a lipstick. Most of you know I love sheer lipsticks, but I do prefer a little pigmentation.

The little makeup bag is cute, but I didn't need another makeup bag. The Almost Lipstick held promise when I unwrapped it. The color in the tube is delicious. It's just a little too light to delight me.

I took swatch photos in full sun. I tried to apply the color heavily to make it appear to be colorful. The photos that follow are the best I could do.

It's pretty, but it has no pizazz. If I had a teenaged daughter, I would give it to her in a heartbeat. It is a sweet color.

I will wear Pink Ribbon Honey. I may keep it in my desk drawer at work when I need a quick moisture fix. However, had I seen it before I purchased it, I might have skipped it. I do feel good that $3 of my purchase went to breast cancer research, and the product was extremely inexpensive.

You can find the limited-edition Pink with a Purpose Almost Lipstick kit at Clinique retailers everywhere.

Photo at top courtesy of Lord & Taylor; other photos by Best Things in Beauty

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Bobbi Brown Nude Glow Shimmer Brick for Holiday 2013

I am a Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick addict. There isn't one I haven't loved, and I've purchased every one of them - ever. I have a little museum of Shimmer Bricks at my home.

As you might imagine, I was thrilled when I saw the advance publicity for Bobbi Brown's limited-edition Nude Glow Shimmer Brick ($45) for Holiday 2013. It offers four distinct colors and the lure of a mixture of all four shades. While it doesn't offer the traditional stripes, it does offer great choices for individual colors - unlike the Party Shimmer Brick for 2011. It was nice, but can't hold a candle to this beauty. I purchased mine at Neiman Marcus.

Give the gift of "glow" with this limited-edition Shimmer Brick - sure to make faces light up instantly. A shimmering quartet of pearlescent colors highlight the skin for lit-from-within luminescence (think of it as candlelight in a compact). Each shade also doubles up as an eye shadow.

I have to tell you upfront that this new Shimmer Brick is even more luscious than it looks in photos. I am smitten and fighting the urge to buy another, maybe two more. I want to break my "no back-up rule" so badly.

I took swatch photos of each shade, starting with the gold at the top left and moving clockwise. I swatched the individual shades with a sponge-tipped applicator. Then, using what was left of my arm below the elbow, I applied a large swatch of all four shades blended with a very dense blush brush. My photos were taken in very full sunlight.

I think every shade in Nude Glow is a shimmering treasure.  The burnished gold at the top of my arm is a perfect gold for the holiday season - or anytime you want to look like a golden goddess. What most surprised me was that the shade next to it in the top row, which appeared pink, is really rose gold. Holy moly, I hit the jackpot. I wasn't expecting rose gold, one of my very favorite shades, and I got it.

The next shade down on my arm is champagne in color. Perhaps a very light rose champagne. I mixed it with the rose gold shade and the result was magnificent. The hybrid brown-rose shade at the bottom of my arm is just as pretty as the other three. As I write, I'm "this close" to ordering my second Nude Glow. I'm on a slippery slope.

The photo above shows all four shades blended evenly together and applied heavily. The result is hard to describe. Is it a brown-toned rose gold? How would you describe it? Whatever words you use, it's really pretty.

Here are Bobbi Brown's tips for application...
Sweep the Face Blender Brush through all four shades of Shimmer Brick Compact and dust lightly on cheekbones after blush. Focus on applying shimmer on the top of cheekbones - where light naturally hits the face - for the most flattering look. To add a highlight to your eyes, use your fingertips to apply the lightest shade in the compact just under the brow bone.

Fingertips? Limited to the brow bone? How boring! Each of these shades looks fabulous on my lids below the crease.

I love the look of Bobbi Brown's compacts when this logo is used. It looks classy to me.

You can find the Bobbi Brown Nude Glow Shimmer Brick for Holiday 2013 on Bobbi's Web site and at all Bobbi Brown counters. I'm sure it's available online at all corresponding online retailers, such as Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus.

Photo at top courtesy of Bobbi Brown; other photos by Best Things in Beauty

Monday, October 28, 2013

Guerlain Crazy 68 Terracotta Healthy Glow Powder from the Holiday 2013 Crazy Paris Collection

I wasn't going to purchase Guerlain's Crazy 68 Terracotta Healthy Glow Powder ($69) from the holiday collection. I was going to be frugal, given that I have so many Guerlain bronzers. Frugal flew away with the wind when I was offered a 20% discount at Sephora. Now that I have this beautiful pressed powder compact, I think "frugal" could have led to a terrible mistake.

This matte bronzer is designed to revive dull winter skin. That's why it's special. It doesn't make me look brown; it makes me look healthy - as the name suggests.

Healthy Glow Powder warms the skin with a matte finish and creates a subtle, natural-looking glow complemented by winter light. The first-ever Holiday Terracotta, this powder features a delicate peach hue infused with invigorating bursts of pink. Apply it, and you'll experience a subtle, natural-looking glow that uplifts your lackluster or wan winter complexion.

I took swatch photos outdoors in full, mid-day sunshine. I applied a heavy swatch at the top of my arm with a sponge-tipped applicator, making sure that all colors in the compact were equally represented in my swatch. Then I used a kabuki brush to pick up all colors and apply a larger swatch below. When I applied the powder to my face, I swooned. It's one of the prettiest "bronzers" for my fair complexion I've ever used.

Look at the peach-toned beige shade! It's so natural when applied normally, it makes me look like me, but healthier. I could have made a huge mistake by not purchasing this powder. I'll wear it in every season - not just winter. If you have fair skin like I do, you'll find it a year-round blessing.

If your skin is darker than mine, perhaps you'll limit the use of Crazy 68 Terracotta Healthy Glow Powder to winter and switch to a browner powder bronzer when the cruise season starts - or later. Unless your complexion is very dark, I think you will find a lot to appreciate from Guerlain's holiday masterpiece.

Guerlain Crazy 68 Terracotta Healthy Glow Powder from the Holiday 2013 Crazy Paris Collection is available at all Guerlain counters and online at Sephora and other sites. If you had planned to skip it, I'd recommend you rethink that.

Photo at top courtesy of Sephora; other photos by Best Things in Beauty

Edward's Best Rouges à Lèvres Classique

Edward's Best, a blockbuster lip palette, features eight lip colors in Edward's signature creamy formula, including six of his classics plus two limited-edition shades. The master of lip color has unveiled his bestselling lipsticks in a palette that pays homage to his famed Ultra Slick Lipstick. "Kiss and tell the difference with this super-creamy, hydrating formula that drenches your lips in a satin veil of rich, vibrant color. Achieve precise application every time with a full-size lip brush and a huge mirror (signed by Edward) for touch-ups on the go."

This set contains eight gorgeous lip colors.
  • Nude Lotus
  • Pure Impulse
  • Rose Demure
  • Tender Love
  • Candid Affair (limited edition)
  • Jasmine Blossom (limited edition)
  • Deep Lust
  • Midnight Bloom
It's worth every penny of the $75 I paid for it at Sephora. I love this palette. It's such a 180 from his Baby Pink Lip Palette, which was a bright, pastel pink teen queen in my opinion.

Edward's Best is much prettier than it looks at Sephora's Web site (shown at the top of this feature). My photo directly above shows the brilliant variety of vivid colors in the palette - from nude to red.

I took swatch photos in full sunshine, starting on the top row of the palette, moving from left to right as I swathed down my arm. Then I swatched the second (bottom) row in the same way. I used a sponge-tipped applicator to apply the colors. I didn't want to get the pretty lip brush that comes with the palette all goey.

The photo directly above shows the following shades, starting at the top and moving down: Nude Lotus, Pure Impulse, Rose Demure, and Tender Love. I wouldn't kick any of these shades off my vanity.

The photo directly above shows the bottom row of the palette: Candid Affair at the top, Jasmine Blossom, Deep Lust, and Midnight Bloom. Midnight Bloom is a stunningly wearable red. Like the top row, the bottom row is a super-hit.

Lip colors in palettes are not my favorite; I prefer lipsticks. However, I will be making an exception for Edward's Best. It spans a rainbow of lip colors - all of which I love. What a superb palette! I don't think I need to describe these shades. Their colors are evident in my photos.

You can find it at Sephora, Bergdorf Goodman, and select Neiman Marcus stores. Eight Edward Bess Ultra  Slick Lip Colors for $75 is a steal.

Photo at top courtesy of Sephora; other photos by Best Things in Beauty

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Chanel Ombres Matelassées Eyeshadow Palette in Charming from the Nuit Infini Collection for Holiday 2013

Chanel's Ombres Matelassées Eyeshadow Palette in Charming ($80) from the Nuit Infini Collection for Holiday 2013 finally made it to Chanel counters. My anticipation has been building for months. I was especially eager to see it since other pieces of the holiday collection had already arrived - weeks ago. I purchased Charming at Neiman Marcus.

This palette will delight neutral eye shadow lovers like me. Once I tested it, it was very clear to me that slightly smoky eyes, but not over-the-top smoky, would complement the holiday look of red lips and nails perfectly.

This limited-edition eyeshadow palette unveils a seductive shade spectrum for the season's most striking eye looks. From soft beige to rich, smoky purple, matte and pearlized shadows create glamorous effects and offer endless opportunities for custom blending. The emblematic quilted motif of CHANEL embosses the silky shadows for an added touch of elegance.

Let's go straight to the swatches, taken in full, mid-day sun. I applied the shadows from left to right in the compact, from top to bottom on my arm, using a sponge-tipped applicator.

The light beige at the top is a perfect base shade. It's fairly matte in finish. The shine you see on my arm is from the sun. The darker beige below it is also matte. These shades used together would create a beautiful, subtle daytime look.

We start to gain some pizazz with the shimmering medium brown in the center. This is a gorgeous shade that's guaranteed to compliment your eye color.  The deep brown is a cool-toned brown. It appears to my eyes to have a touch of grey in it.

The smoky eggplant shade offers the only "color" in the palette, so it will complement the other shades nicely - no matter which of them you wear. It's a beautiful shade, very blue-grey for a lavender so it will not make our eyes look red.

I suspect some will be disappointed in Charming because it's not flashy. Many women pull out all the stops during the holidays, aiming for wintertime glamour. I find Charming a beautiful respite from the palettes that offer a bit more color than I'm comfortable wearing. I'll be interested in your reactions.

It is available at Neiman Marcus, so I suspect the other stores have it too. I know Nordstrom has it because I found it available online.

Photo of the look courtesy of Nordstrom; other photos by Best Things in Beauty

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Edward Bess Total Correction Under Eye Perfection

I was thrilled when I saw that Edward Bess had introduced an under-eye correction product. I adore my Edward Bess Illuminating Eyeshadow Base. It is the best eye shadow base I have ever used. Period. So, I was extremely eager to try the base for my under-eye area.

I had a difficult time choosing a color. The color representations on Sephora looked strange. I had to call Edward Bess. I talked to Lauren, who explained to me that Light is meant for people who have red-blue undertones, and Golden is meant for those with yellow undertones.  With that information to reassure me, I ordered Light from Sephora (I had a coupon; otherwise I would have ordered from Lauren). It also comes in a dark shade called Buff.

Billed as a brightening under-eye corrector specially designed to erase dark circles in an instant, Total Correction Under Eye Perfection ($38) is very nice. Here is the marketing blurb.

Discover the secret to completely erasing dark under-eye circles once and for all. With just a swipe of this super-powerful corrector, darkness disappears instantly to reveal an lighter, brighter, well-rested appearance. This magic wand takes on even the darkest under-eye dilemmas with its specially designed color-corrective pigments that optically lighten dark shadows. The innovative formula glides on creamy and then sets quickly for all-day coverage. Targeted for the delicate under-eye area, it is infused with aloe vera to help soothe and calm puffy skin.

I've been wearing it all week, and I like it. It's not love, though. "Light" is kind of dark on me - even though it blends out to match my skin when I'm wearing Armani #4 Compact Maestro. When I revert back to #2 for the winter, I'm afraid my under-eye area will be darker than the rest of my face, meaning I won't be able to use it. If anyone from Edward Bess is reading this, please, oh please, make a fair shade of this!

Here are the two tubes. My Illuminating Eyeshadow Base in Cashmere is shown on the left (messy because I use it every day), and my new Total Correction Under Eye Perfection in Light is shown on the right. You can see that the new product is significantly darker. I took swatch photos to show you. I think one is enough. I just slapped on both products without any blending. Cashmere is at the top of my arm, with Light below.

There is a huge difference! Cashmere blends into my eyelid perfectly. I use it from the lash line up to my brow, and I love it. It matches me; it corrects the redness I have just over the crease; and it holds my eye shadow perfectly all day.

Under Eye Perfection also works perfectly, but the color is too dark for me. I want a product (concealer or corrector) to add brightness under my eyes. Light is too dark to do that. It blends into my skin to "disappear," but it does not add any brightness.

What do I mean when I say it works perfectly? It evens out the skin tone, it's easy to apply (super easy compared to my regular concealer), and it stays put all day without any creasing in fine lines. A thin and perfect application becomes one with my skin. It's everything I would want from an under-eye concealer or corrector - except the right color. If your skin is darker than mine, you are going to fall in love with this product.

I need to mention application. Although both products come with a brush, do not attempt to apply either product using its own brush. I apply one drop to my palm, then I use Bobbi Brown's Touch-up Brush to pick the product up from my palm and apply to my skin. If you try to apply either product and blend with its own brush, you will end up with too much product on your skin. It takes very little product to work perfectly.

In conclusion, I love everything about Total Correction Under Eye Perfection except the color. If you are not as fair as I am, give it a try. It's a winner. If you are as fair as I am, join me in begging Edward Bess for a lighter shade.

Photo at top courtesy of Sephora; other photos by Best Things in Beauty

Friday, October 25, 2013

The Friday Forum - October 25

Now it's autumn. We are having our first cold morning, with temperatures hovering near 40 degrees. Now I can start wearing my fall clothes.

Last night, Manhattan was all about Giorgio Armani, who staged his latest "One Night Only" events  to entertain 700 friends, family, loyal Armani clients, editors, and some high-wattage celebrities. I looked at the photos in WWD, and no one appeared to be wearing his new Lip Maestros from the Eccentrico Collection. They had more sense. The evening was pure Armani, with elegance and grace.

The parade of designers launching their own cosmetics collections continues. In January, Estée Lauder will launch a limited-edition Derek Lam collection, a makeup lineup that permits the designer to stick his toe into the color cosmetics pool (per WWD). Lam cooked up the collection with Tom Pecheux, creative makeup director of Estée Lauder and Lam’s longtime friend. The two have collaborated on runway looks since Lam’s first show, and Pecheux used this new collection backstage at the designer’s spring runway show. The collection will be available at Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman, and in North America and Harrods, Galeries Lafayette, and El Corte Inglés in Europe.

I don't have any exciting plans for the weekend, although I do plan to visit a few of my favorite stores. I'm actually looking forward to a little break in makeup introductions so that I can focus on skin care and the fragrances I've been wanting to feature. I plan to rest this afternoon after a treatment for my back. Then I will start on the skin care feature I've promised, telling you about my favorite products - the ones I use daily or weekly.

It's time for the Friday Forum. I love this part of our week. What new products did you discover this week? Did you find any deals you couldn't resist? Are you using a fabulous product and want to sing its praises? Did you find a beauty product disappointing? Do you have a question others might be able to answer? Want to talk about skin care? What's new in your life? Just use the comments. Don't be shy. Just make sure to ask any question you might have over the weekend. By early the next week, most (not all) readers will have moved on.

I hope you have a happy weekend!

Photo courtesy of Veranda

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Giorgio Armani Beauty Lip Maestro from the Eccentrico Collection for Holiday 2013

There are three new Lip Maestro ($32) shades that were introduced with the Eccentrico Collection for Holiday 2013.
  • #302, Clash
  • #303, Dazzling
  • #502, Eccentrico
Even though it was apparent they were very bright, I selected two, purchasing them without trying them, because I was in a super-hurry and I was unable to swatch them because the testers had not arrived. My new Lip Maestros are shown directly above. Dazzling is on the left, and Eccenterico is on the right.

I assumed that these colors would not be as bright on my lips as they are in the tubes. That was a really bad assumption! These colors are the brightest lip colors I have ever tried - and among the ugliest.

These Lip Maestros have already gone into my all-time big mistake bin. We all make mistakes, right? These two shades are beyond atrocious on me - so bad I wouldn't even give them to my friends.

Here's the evidence. My swatch photos were taken in full sun. The shades look very bright on my arm. That's because they are. The color is extremely saturated and very flashy. Unfortunately, they make me look like a clown. I can't find the words to tell you how bad they look on me. The only way I can wear them is as stains: apply, then wipe off as much color as I can.  The remaining color isn't half-bad if I apply gloss over it. That's not the way to enjoy your makeup.

I am conservative. I'll admit that. If you aren't, and you are used to wearing very bright colors on your lips, you may like these new shades. I don't. I don't plan to leave my house looking like a piñata.

I'm so surprised at my beloved Armani Beauty. In my humble opinion, these new holiday colors are a total miss. You can find them at the Giorgio Armani Beauty Web site and Armani counters if you are braver woman than I am.

Now I have to go off and figure out why Blogger is putting color on my arms (dark spots) that isn't there. I am not as mottled as my photos make it appear. The originals don't look this way. A new mystery I didn't need - to go with lip colors I didn't need.

Update: Many thanks to Appu! I turned off Google+ photo "enhancement," which I never set, and my photos look right now. The photo directly above is the same as one that looks mottled above. Rather than switch them both out, I wanted to show you how different they look. This was supposed to be helpful, Google?

Photo at top courtesy of Giorgio Armani Beauty

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Giorgio Armani Beauty Eccentrico Palette from the Eccentrico Collection for Holiday 2013

The Eccentrico limited-edition collection was inspired by the Giorgio Armani Eccentrico touring exhibition: Milan 2012, Hong Kong 2013, and Rome June 2013. Mr. Armani showcased some of his most memorable and lavish couture designs throughout his career – a fusion of art, fashion, and design, unrestrained by a bizarre play of colors and wild fantasy. The Giorgio Armani woman is multifaceted and has an eccentric side that she wants to express. He gave her full rein.

Eccentricity was never so chic – Linda Cantello, International Makeup Artist for Giorgio Armani Beauty

The Eccentrico Palette ($88), shown above, is a 4-in-1 multi-illuminator with lavender, peach, white, and pink colors for a healthy, radiant complexion. This all-over highlighter makes a statement to light up the holidays with surrealism and festive colors.  The unexpected play of oranges, pinks, and iridescent white is a display of wild fantasy. A light dusting of silver pearls on top (overspray) of the compacted blush powder creates the ultimate glow.

I was able to purchase my palette at Neiman Marcus. It has also arrived at Saks Fifth Avenue - about a week earlier than I anticipated. I was thrilled. Here is how it looks with the overspray. Having seen the tester in the store, with no overspray, I knew to take a sponge-tipped applicator and "dig" to get down to the true look on 2/3 of the palette. You can see what I did below. The difference in color intensity is significant. It's like a different compact. By the way, there is a brush in the lower level.

Is it any less exciting once you remove the overspray? I don't think so. I love this beautifully designed compact with multicolored highlighters. Can you use one color at a time, as Armani suggests? Absolutely? Was I that patient? No - never. I love to mix colors to see the overall effect, so that's how I created my swatches for photos.

I took my photos in almost full sunshine. For the swatch directly below, I swatched very heavily at the top of my arm with a sponge-tipped applicator, making sure I got adequate, true color (not overspray).

The overall effect is a pastel pink - almost icy, but that peach in the mix adds a little warmth. Applied "normally," the powder provides a beautiful light pink glow to my face. I was smitten the moment I applied it.

Here is a lighter swatch. Could I jump up and down, please, and scream from the rooftops, "Armani's done it again?" Without being committed, that is - or falling off the roof. This powder has so many dimensions that are luxurious. The color is only part of the story. The luminous glow it leaves on the skin, the finish, the classy red compact - everything about it will light up my holiday season.

Apparently, the Eccentrico Palette was produced in very limited quantities. Neiman Marcus Tysons has only five left, and they just got it. I'd hurry to order if I were you. It's available at the Giorgio Armani Beauty Web site. I'd buy it from Armani. Today, the company published a 15% discount with the purchase of $75 or more. Use the code ARMANI13.

Photo at top courtesy of Giorgio Armani Beauty; other photos by Best Things in Beauty

Catherine Deneuve at 70: Still Gorgeous

Catherine Deneuve turns 70 today, and she is still as gorgeous as she was in her youth. It's worth noting that she never sacrificed her principles for society's conventions. Was it her independence that kept her young? Good genes? She smokes cigarettes, so it wasn't necessarily her lifestyle.

At this moment in my life, 70 doesn't seem old - despite the fact that society had deemed it old. There are very recent photos showing she's earned a few wrinkles and gained a few pounds, but she still turns heads. She's an accomplished, award-winning actress; a mother; and an independent woman. Happy birthday, Catherine Deneuve!

Photo courtesy of the Huffington Post

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Le Métier de Beauté Gravité Kaleidoscope Eye Kit - Gift with Purchase

Free?  Seriously? A free Kaleidoscope with three beautiful shades? (Sorry, I think that purple is hideous - I saw a swatch on Facebook). That's the deal. This week, with any Beauty Vault purchase of $200 or more, Le Métier de Beauté will send you this Kaleidoscope.

This "celestial collection" Gravité features four sultry, feminine shades inspired by the mystery and stark color contrasts of deep space. From shimmering gold and bronze to deep green and rich plum, these four shades can be mixed and layered to heavenly radiance.

Le Métier de Beauté fans should be headed straight for the Beauty Vault. You can "shop the Vault" at this link. It really is a good deal - even if you don't like purple.

Photo courtesy of Le Métier de Beauté

Monday, October 21, 2013

Le Métier de Beauté New Hydra-Crème Lipstick

Le Métier de Beauté's new Hydra-Crème Lipstick ($25) has arrived at counters. A fabulously long-wearing, ultra-moisturizing, and completely new formulation, the new "CC" lipstick is available in many colors in a new Le Métier de Beauté chrome package.

I had given Michael Reinhardt at Neiman Marcus Mazza Gallerie free rein to select a few colors for me, which he did with his usual perfection. I went into the store last weekend and selected a few more. I ended up purchasing five shades. I sat with another of Michael's customers (and a Best Things in Beauty reader!) as we played with colors. They range from nude to classic, fire-engine red, with every shade between. Want bright orange? There's one for you.

Here are my five beauties - all predictably "me shades." From left to right, they are Botticelli Angel, Butterfield 8, One & Only, Rose Garnet, and Tea Rose. Aren't they pretty?

I'm not pleased with my swatch photos. Yesterday, I had perfect swatching weather - and totally forgot to take photos. My day got away from me. I took my swatch photos today when I got home from work - in other words, very late in the afternoon. The sun "shine" was direct and very bright. I tried to turn slightly away from a direct hit, which is why my arm looks almost deformed. Oh well, the things we do for photos.

My photos show the shades in the same order, starting with Botticelli Angel at the top of my arm and ended at the bottom with Tea Rose. Please try to ignore all the sunshine. These lipsticks do offer shine, but it's not over the top. Michael calls them a hybrid between lipstick and lip gloss, meaning you don't need to top them with gloss. I agree with that. They have enough shine unless you're looking for high, reflective shine.

Botticelli Angel is peach in color. Butterfield 8 is a warm pink. One & Only is a gorgeous mauve (my kind of lipstick). There is a second shot of these three shades immediately below.

Rose Garnet and Tea Rose are a bit darker on my lips than my "first three." For comparison, I showed One & Only at the top of my arm in the photo below. Rose Garnet is in the middle, and Tea Rose is at the bottom of the swatches.

Put these three together, and you've got my dream trio. I love the rosy shades. They perk up my face, which I think has been looking a bit wan during the last few days. It's time for a mask.

Here's a close-up of the two rose shades. They were taken pretty close to my elbow, and I was twisting my arm, which is why my skin is lined. I can flatten it out, but that was not to be the case as I struggled to get clear photos. I realize that Rose Garnet and Tea Rose don't look all that different in this photo, but they are different. Perhaps I didn't need both, but I wanted both.

The new Hydra-Crème lipsticks offer a semi-sheer finish with great coverage. I'd call it "in between" sheer and opaque. They stay on my lips a very reasonable amount of time - maybe three to four hours (most typically three so far), which is good for me. The luster goes before the color does, which is typical. The "feel" is fabulous. They feel creamy and hydrating on my lips.

I think these new lipsticks are going to be a big hit for Le Métier de Beauté. They were made in Italy (good), and they are substantial in the hand. I can't think of anything to say that's even slightly negative. I love my new treasures, and I'm glad they have joined the permanent line.

They should have arrived at all Le Métier de Beauté counters. If they aren't at your favorite counter, they will be soon. Will you be checking them out? If you want help, call Michael Reinhardt at (202) 966-9700, extension 2258 or 2236. Now that shipping is free, why not?

Photo at top courtesy of Le Métier de Beauté; other photos by Best Things in Beauty

Sunday, October 20, 2013

October is National Eczema Awareness Month - Think AVEENO

Not saved for Breast Cancer Awareness only, October is National Eczema Awareness Month too. According to Dr. Kenneth Beer, a board-certified dermatologist and dermapathologist, a voluntary Assistant Professor at the University of Miami, and a consulting associate in the Department of Medicine at Duke University, eczema is an immune reaction that targets the skin. This chronic skin disorder is produced by inflammation that causes the skin to become itchy, red, and dry - even cracked and leathery. Eczema can be triggered by stress, heat, and sweat; sudden changes in temperature; extreme cold/dry climates; heredity; a nd airborne/food allergens or irritants. Atopic dermatitis is the most common type of eczema, and the two terms are often used interchangeably. Left untreated, eczema can have an enormously negative impact on overall health, well-being, quality of life, and restful sleep.

I had eczema at one point in my life, and I hated it. According to the National Eczema Association, eczema is very common and affects more than 32 million people. As a result, most dermatologists see eczema patients frequently. Mine did.

Treating eczema for babies, children, and adults requires a combination of preventive and therapeutic efforts. Dr. Beer recommends hydrating cleansers and barrier creams with soothing ingredients, like colloidal oatmeal (found in AVEENO Eczema Therapy and AVEENO Baby Eczema Therapy products). He says to use them daily to maintain the integrity of the skin's barrier. Look for products with ceramides - essential lipids found naturally within the skin - that play a key role in enhancing and restoring the skin’s protective function.

When I had eczema, I tried all kinds of remedies - prescription and non-prescription - and those that worked the best included AVEENO products. That's why I'm proud to be an AVEENO Ambassador. AVEENO, a pioneer in the study of natural ingredients, has harnessed the naturally soothing power of the Active Naturals Colloidal Oatmeal to develop the AVEENO Eczema Therapy Collection. This eczema-soothing collection uses the best ingredients in nature to care for your eczema and help break the cycle of irritated skin.

Colloidal Oatmeal effectively relieves the itch associated with minor skin irritations like eczema. The AVEENO Eczema Therapy Collection has been awarded the National Eczema Association Seal of Acceptance for providing gentle, superior ingredients to soothe skin with eczema.

There are two collections, and I have used them both. The AVEENO Eczema Therapy and AVEENO Baby Eczema Therapy Collections are available at and at national food, drug, and mass merchandisers.

AVEENO Eczema Therapy Bath Treatment was my all-time favorite. I still use it, and the eczema is long gone. It's an extremely soothing bath.
  • Formulated with Active Naturals Colloidal Oatmeal, a long recognized ingredient to relieve itching and soothe and moisturize skin
  • Disperses in your bathwater to treat itchy, dry, or irritated skin
  • Unlike some sprays and creams, this soothing treatment also gently cleanses and moisturizes for soft, smooth, and healthy looking skin
  • Steroid-Free, Fragrance-free
  • Dermatologist recommended
AVEENO's Moisturing Cream takes over after you step out of your treatment bath.  With Active Naturals Colloidal Oatmeal, humectants, and ceramide, this fragrance-free moisturizer will keep your skin from itching.

You can also find corresponding products for use on your baby's irritated skin. Check out all of AVEENO's Eczema Therapy products at this link. Then go to your nearest drugstore to get rid of the itch. Remember, eczema is treatable. It won't plague you forever if you take good care of your skin.

Photos courtesy of AVEENO

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Chantecaille Diamonds Eye Shadow Trio from the Holiday 2013 Collection

Today, I napped most of the day. Given the chance, I catch up on my "good sleep" on lazy Saturdays. I took a mid-day nap intermission, though, and visited Neiman Marcus Mazza Gallerie, where Jeannine pulled out her testers of Chantecaille Holiday 2013. You may remember that I had featured my photos of color copies of the collection in September. Today, I got to see the real deal - and drooled. I pre-ordered two of the Diamonds Eye Shadow Trio ($60). What if I were to ever run out? It was worth breaking my "no back-ups rule."

The photo above was taken in the store. It shows a re-promoted compact, the exquisite Diamonds Eye Shadow Trio, the three Lipsticks featured in the collection (Agave [new], Cassia, and Cerise), and a beautiful red Lip Definer. I zeroed right in on those diamonds.

All three shades are exquisite. These shimmering beauties will be adorning my eyelids the second I get my hands on my own palette. I really wanted to swatch them and take photos, despite the fact that there was heavy cloud cover. I did take swatch photos outside Neiman Marcus, but the sun was not cooperating. So, I left the swatches on my arm and headed home. As soon as I got to Geico, one block away, a hazy sun started to pop out for seconds at a time. I swung a fast right, stopped in their massive parking lot, and starting snapping photos. I was going to do whatever it took to get photos.

I swatched with a sponge-tipped applicator, starting with the light shade on the left, and working toward the right as I applied the shadows down my arm. Chantecaille covered each "diamond" shade with a unique twist. Even though these photos aren't perfectly bright, I hope they will give you the idea that the palette is a shimmering treasure.

At the top, you will see the slightly yellow, platinum shade. This yellow diamond will stun you. The taupe diamond is extraordinary. It's one of the prettiest shimmering taupes I've ever seen. The bronze/copper diamond is a perfect shade for everyone - and so trendy.

Because my photos aren't as bright as I'd like, you can't really see the extraordinary life in each shade. They radiate light, and you will too when you wear them.

The unique glistening hybrid formula feels like a silky cream and delivers pure color, which does not flake or stray. It adheres like a cream. Apply it, and it stays where you put it. That's always a pleasure with shimming shadows.

Jeannine Barnes at Neiman Marcus hopes to receive the new colors within the next two weeks. Give her a call at (202) 966-9700, extension 2289, if you would like to pre-order, as I did. The collection will be available on Chantecaille's Web site and at all Chantecaille counters. Are you as excited as I am?

Photos by Best Things in Beauty