Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! I wish all of you the best a new year can bring.

Can you imagine a year without war? A year in which the poor and unemployed get jobs and prosper? A year in which no animals are harmed, mistreated, or abandoned by evil people? A year without crime and cruelty? A year when we stop harming the environment driven by greed? One in which people are happy? Diseases are cured? How about a year when partisan politicians put aside their petty differences and work for the common good?

Utopia? Probably, but we won't know until we do everything we can, as individuals and collectively, to make it happen. Let's try to make a difference.

I sincerely wish you and your loved ones a 2014 of utopia, including health and happiness. You have no idea how much you mean to me.

I leave you with one of my all-time favorite, happy videos. Want to see the longer documentary?

Photo source lost

Guerlain Gloss d'Enfer in Star Dust from the Guerlain Météorites Blossom Collection for Spring 2014

Guerlain has introduced "matching" limited-edition Gloss d’Enfer ($30.00) and Le Vernis ($25.00) shades with the Météorites Blossom Collection for Spring 2014. I decided to give the Star Dust Gloss d'Enfer Maxi Shine (#900) a try, ordering it sight-unseen from the Guerlain Boutique.

Like the reinvented Météorites, the limited-edition spring lip gloss and nail lacquer shade captures the brilliance of star dust. Like a magically iridescent ray of pure starlight, the season’s new nail enamel and gloss shine with a surreal glow. As top coats, they work to enhance color, adding a perfect diamond shine.

In the press photos, the gloss looks blue in the tube. To my eye, it appears to be sparkling white. You will see in the swatch photos below that it's a clear topcoat that sparkles like the stars scattered in a clear night sky.

My photos were taken in full, late-morning sun. You can see that Star Dust offers no color, just magnificent shine. It feels as glorious on my lips as the other Guerlain Gloss d'Enfers do - weightless, extremely hydrating, and comfortable. If you want to glow this season, you'll need a classy shine gloss. Will this be your pick?

I haven't seen the collection in my local stores. When I do, I'll try to get swatch photos of the Star Dust Le Vernis.

Guerlain’s Météorites Blossom Collection will be available beginning January 2014 at select locations of Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, Neiman Marcus, Sephora, and Bergdorf Goodman. The Guerlain Boutiques and some department stores are already showing it.

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

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Guerlain Rouge Automatique from the Guerlain Météorites Blossom Collection for Spring 2014

Guerlain’s Rouge Automatique provides hydration and long-lasting color with one simple movement - a push of the lever. Luminous color with a second-skin texture is revealed from within a chic Art Deco cylinder. There are two new, limited-edition shades for Spring 2014: #171, Attrape Coeur, a spicy and cheerful pink; and #144, Insolence, a vibrant fuchsia.

While these lipsticks are not the stars of the collection, they offer two new brights to awaken our senses and pull forward the tropical colors of the cruise collections that will make their way to stores in a few days.

I purchased both, sight unseen, from the Guerlain Boutique in Las Vegas. Insolence, called a vibrant fuchsia by Guerlain, is shown in my photo above on the left. Attrape Coeur, described as a spicy and cheerful pink, is shown at right. I feared that Insolence would be too dark for me, but I can wear it at night. I used to shop with Ronda (before she moved to Armani), and my current adviser, Jonathan, is really a fragrance guy. I'm still "training" him to know what will work perfectly for me. He really tries, which I appreciate enormously since he has never seen me.

My photos were all taken in full, mid-afternoon sun. It was a glorious day to take photos of pretty lipsticks. My swatch photos show the full sun blazing on the colors.

Insolence is shown at the top of my arm. I would not call it fuchsia. It is much more attractive and wearable than fuchsia, which can be harsh and too blue on many women. Insolence is a cherry-rose red, a red for women who aren't comfortable in red.

Attrape Coeur is a warm pink - perfect for the season that will greet us when the last winter greys have gone south. It's my favorite of the two colors, one I may carry along with me. Does its name sound familiar? That's because Guerlain has used the name "Attrape Coeur" for fragrance and eye shadow. The name means heart catcher. I think the pink above could capture my heart.

Guerlain’s Météorites Blossom Collection will be available beginning January 2014 at select locations of Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, Neiman Marcus, Sephora, and Bergdorf Goodman. The Guerlain Boutiques and some department stores are already showing it.

Photos at top courtesy of Guerlain; other photos by Best Things in Beauty

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Guerlain Météorites Pearls from the Guerlain Météorites Blossom Collection for Spring 2014

Last year, a Guerlain PR representative told me that the Météorites were being reformulated. The new Météorites were planned to be an improvement over those that have been created before. At the time, I thought, "How does one improve something that's perfect?" It will be up to us - Guerlain's customers - to determine whether the new Météorites Pearls ($60) are an improvement over those we already know and love. They have been added to the permanent color line.

According to Sephora, the new formula supposedly has "enhanced softness that makes it easier to pick up the powder with a brush...and also incorporates "stardust technology" to give the skin a subtle brightening glow." There are three new shades, Clair (#2), Medium (#3), and Doré (#4). They are shown below with Clair at the left, Medium in the middle, and Doré on the right.

I purchased all three from the Guerlain Boutique in Las Vegas - sight unseen. My love for the Météorites Pearls is unbounded, so I had to have all of them. What surprised me was that there is only a subtle difference in the shades on my skin - despite the huge difference in the colors in each pot.

Here is what Guerlain has to say about the new Météorites (more or less, with my comments added). Each shade of Météorites Pearls begins with the same legendary combination of three colors that adapt to every skin tone and work harmoniously to beautify the skin. Mauve catches the light, pink refreshes, and yellow counters dullness and corrects redness. These delicate round pearls continue to be shaped by hand, with craftsmanship mastered by only four people in the world [imagine that!]. Softer than ever, the new pearls allow for an easier application [how could application be easier, when it was already a piece of cake?] and a more visible effect with every brushstroke [I think I need to differ there]. These precious pearls are contained in a metal tin, now marked with a new emblem of a reinterpreted rosette that was created with a light gradation of pinks.
  • Clair offers a harmony of green pearls for extra redness correction, white pearls to reflect the light, and champagne pearls to adapt to the skin and gently illuminate it.
  • Medium offers a nude harmony containing beige and champagne pearls to naturally reflect light and even the complexion, along with peach pearls to add a unique glow to the skin.
  • Doré offers the most smoldering harmony. This shade incorporates chocolate pearls with satin shimmers and vivid fuchsia pearls that revive radiance. Unifying beige pearls were added for deliciously beautiful skin.
I love Guerlain's Météorites - always have. I can't count the variations I own. They are all little treasures. I think the Météorites Pearls are among the best finishing powders in the world - definitely in the top three. However, I'm not convinced (yet) that this new formulation is so unique, so divergent from the original, that it merits any term like "revolutionary." How could they offer "a more visible effect with every brushstroke" when they are barely distinguishable on my skin? Take a look at the swatch photos below, remembering that only a wackadoodle blogger would try to make them show up on fair skin in full sun.

I applied them heavily with a kabuki-like brush, with #1 at the top of my arm, followed on the way down by #2 and #3. What do you see? I see a glow from the micro-sparkles and barely perceptible differences in color. Clair glows at the top of my arm because that's where the sun is usually the brightest. I can barely see Medium. Doré provides a bit of warmth to my skin and is great for contouring.

Like Guerlain's previous Météorites Pearls, they are beautiful when used over the face, with or without foundation. For anyone who cares, the packaging is similar to the old, with the sponge atop the pearls, holding them in place and offering something you could use as an applicator in a pinch by blotting the powder into the skin.

I will be very curious to know what you think. It's always fun to purchase new Guerlain colors, and I'm happy to have these three new treasures. Am I becoming blind to subtleties?

For now, look for the arrival of Guerlain's Météorites Blossom Collection for Spring 2014 at your favorite counter. The collection has not arrived yet at my Neiman Marcus stores in the DC area. If you would like to order from the Guerlain Boutique, give Jonathan a call at (702) 732-7008.

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

Friday, December 27, 2013

Guerlain Météorites Blush from the Guerlain Météorites Blossom Collection for Spring 2014

Guerlain’s Spring 2014 Météorites Blossom Collection has begun to arrive in stores. I purchased my pieces from the Guerlain Boutique in Las Vegas. They should have arrived Tuesday, but thanks to UPS, my parcel didn't arrive until yesterday.

Here is Guerlain's description of the Météorites Blossom Collection, slightly edited. "The collection celebrates the reinvention of the legendary Météorites Pearls, whose light-diffusing properties minimize flaws and add brightness to the skin. More than 25 years after its invention, Météorites Pearls has emerged with a new constellations of colors to revive light and boost radiance. For the first time ever, Météorites Pearls incorporates Guerlain’s new, revolutionary "Stardust Technology," a spherical pigment contained within each pearl. This formulation diffracts light upon contact to offer the ultimate in luminous skin. Météorites Blossom celebrates this revolutionary technology, as well as the romantic colors of the new constellations, through images of light and infinite radiance."

Because I needed time to test out the new Météorites - those precious pearls of powder - I decided to show you the new, limited-edition Météorites Blush ($42) today. These two cream blushes melt into the skin instantly, leaving a satin finish with Guerlain's signature delicate violet scent. Pink (#01) is a delicate, baby pink shade. It is shown at left in my photos. Cherry (#02), shown at right in the photos, provides more oomph in color with a cheerful fuchsia. The cute little round blushes are encapsulated in a white and silver case, which pays homage to the Météorites bubbles.

When I first heard the description of Cherry, I feared that it might be too dark for me. I took a chance, and I'm glad I did. It blends out beautifully.

My swatch photos were taken in full mid-day sun. I used my fingers to apply the color. Pink is shown at the top of my arm, with Cherry below. I made no attempt to blend the shades.

I like the way these shades apply with just about any tool. I have tried a cream blush/foundation brush, fingertips, and a sponge. All worked well. Pink is probably the best color for fair skin - if you can only buy only one. It offers a bit of warmth. Cherry will take care of our friends with darker skin tones. Naturally, you can mix the shades if you want a color in between.

The Météorites Blushes adhere to my skin all day, with no fading. They have a nice creamy texture that is forgiving and facilitates easy application. Guerlain should make them permanent.

For now, look for the arrival of Guerlain's Météorites Blossom Collection for Spring 2014 at your favorite counter. The collection has not arrived yet at my Neiman Marcus haunts in the DC area. If you would like to order from the Guerlain Boutique, give Jonathan a call at (702) 732-7008.

Photos by Best Things in Beauty

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Le Métier de Beauté The Countess Kaleidoscope Eye Kit - Exclusive to Neiman Marcus Mazza Gallerie

I hit the Christmas jackpot with Le Métier de Beauté's limited-edition The Countess Kaleidoscope Eye Kit ($95). Naturally, it doesn't look very much like the press photo. It is way more beautiful. See the "real" Countess directly below.

She was photographed in very full, noontime sun, which may have washed her out a tiny bit, but this photo and the one below are true.

The Countess was created by Michael Reinhardt, an artist who knows what women want to wear - how they want to look. He had a party in mind when he created The Countess, although I find the top two shades perfectly wearable during the day, and I love the rose gold Vita so much, I will wear it whenever I feel like it.

The Countess is exclusive to Neiman Marcus Mazza Gallerie, but now that Neiman Marcus shipping is free, you can purchase it easily with a phone call (see below). If you are intrigued, I wouldn't delay. A very limited quantity was produced.

The shades and textures are also limited editions. The powders were formulated by a new-to-Le Métier de Beauté supplier, and the shades are all new. Naming them from top to bottom, they are Caprice, a burnished sand; Amacord, a patinated bronze; Eclipse, a gilded sapphire that I would call periwinkle; and Vita, a rose "highlighter" that looks like molten rose gold to me. They are swatched in that order, with Caprice at the top of my arm. I used a sponge-tipped applicator to apply all shades fairly heavily and took these photos in full sun.

Caprice, the color of champagne, is light and relatively sheer (compared to the pigmentation of Amacord and the other shades below it). It's a lovely color for use as a base or highlighter. Amacord is a luxurious bronze - an antique gleams with a gentle polish.

Eclipse is one of the most flattering blues I've every seen. I seldom wear blue eye shadows. This one will be irresistible. I can't wait to ask Michael to apply it so that I can see how he will use it on me. I tried it as an accent color, and it was smashing.

The rose gold Vita looks liquid on the skin. It is absolutely divine to my eyes - unlike any other rose gold I own. I was surprised - and delighted - by the texture. Le Métier de Beauté should consider making Vita into a single after The Countess sells out - and it will.

If you'd like to purchase The Countess, give Michael Reinhardt or Chae Edwards a call at (202) 966-9700, extension 2258 or 2236. Here it is, Boxing Day, and I'm still hyperventilating over this Kaleidoscope. I got it Christmas Eve.

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

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Every Christmas, I used to set up the nativity scene, arranging the characters perfectly. The wise men were arriving on their camels. The people and animals - along with the baby Jesus - were placed just so. As soon as I turned my back, a cat joined the scene. The figures were knocked over and spread from here to there, just so our little darling could be part of the action. It didn't matter which cat over the years; they all did it. This silly photo reminds me of those days, but this cat was much tidier. It looks like the scene was staged around him.

Christmas Eve, a day of anticipation, last-minute preparations, or both. It's almost as magical as Christmas Day! When I was growing up, we trimmed our Christmas tree on Christmas Eve. My father would wire the tree to hooks on the baseboard so that it wouldn't tip over (say, if a cat decided to climb it), and we would drag out the ornaments - antique and new - to turn it from a beautiful tree into a splendid one. With the Nativity scene, cat, and all the packages under the tree, it was the focus of our living room until New Year's Day. Today, I will hang my wreath on the door in memory of our family tradition.

I know I said Friday I would write over the holidays. I haven't kept that promise well. Despite ordering online and having phone orders delivered by Santa's elves, I found I had many more things I had to purchase in stores: food gifts, wrapping bags, ribbon, cards, and more. I had to pick up The Countess Kaleidoscope Eye Kit, which has arrived. I also had to fit in a few unplanned doctor's visits. I had to work through yesterday. Now it's Christmas Eve, and I am just beginning to wrap and deliver presents. I have already taken Mom out to lunch. I am still waiting for one box that was promised to arrive by today. At this point, I'm fearful that it won't. UPS has already been there twice today.


I spent part of my morning donating to some favorite charities, such as the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust and the Old Friends Senior Dog Sanctuary. I had already sent gifts to Recycled Doggies. Those gifts give me so much satisfaction. I hope you will remember the animals when you make your end-of-year donations.

Thank you for reading Best Things in Beauty. You have been my joy this year! I hope your Christmas brings you love, comfort, and joy.  Even if you don't celebrate Christmas as a religious holiday, it's a festive time of year - a national holiday, a day of dinners with family and friends, a day of reflection and memories. Merry Christmas!

Photos courtesy of bibliobloglibrary.com and Jardins D'écrivains

Sunday, December 22, 2013

NEST Fragrances Birchwood Pine 3-Wick Candle

As a rule, I dislike Christmas candles. I know I shouldn't generalize, but the smells of bayberry, synthetic evergreens, cinnamon, and other scents that "someone" associated with the holidays, gag me. Not so with NEST's beautiful Birchwood Pine. NEST sent me a Birchwood Pine 3-Wick Candle ($42) as a gift, and I plan to start burning it on Christmas Day. It's the closest thing to a real pine without the tree I've ever smelled.

Imagine the aroma of a majestic winter forest. NEST created it by blending white pine, fir balsam, and birchwood over a base of rich musk and amber. It is divine - and the packaging is elegant.

NEST's candles are made with a proprietary, highly refined cosmetic-grade wax that incorporates the same grade of waxes used in pharmaceutical and cosmetic products. The wax is made of a blend of paraffin, soy, and natural oils creating a base that is super-clean burning and optimized for superior fragrance throw. The company's candles are all first class.

This year, I'll have a Christmas tree without the tree. My new candle will suffice. I'm thrilled!

You can purchase Birchwood Pine from NEST, at Neiman Marcus, and other luxury stores, such as Candles Off Main. If you order from NEST today, they will get one to you by Christmas Eve.

Photo courtesy of NEST Fragrances

Friday, December 20, 2013

The Friday Forum - December 20

I finally started my Christmas shopping - this week. Somehow, Christmas snuck up on me this year. I ordered things from Land's End, Sephora, and NEST Fragrances and hope they arrive by next Tuesday. I'm planning a trip to the outlets in Leesburg sometime this weekend, and I must do a Neiman Marcus run. At that point, I should be finished.

I used to love Christmas shopping, but now, with my aches and pains, it's not as much fun. The Internet has been my saviour.

I have been waiting patiently, as has Michael Reinhardt, for his The Countess Kaleidoscope Eye Kit to arrive at Neiman Marcus Mazza Gallerie. I hope it shows up today. It would be worth a trip to Chevy Chase during rush hour to see it in person.

I have received in comments a lot of questions about new Chanel colors. I was speed shopping when I saw the new display, so I can't answer specific questions about items I didn't purchase. There are sneak peek photos on other blogs, so if you have a question, definitely go Web surfing.

We are expected to have a beautiful warm surge this weekend. I am so looking forward to temperatures in the "60's approaching 70." This snow/ice "thing" has been frustrating. Now I'm always on the lookout for black ice when I go out in the dark every morning to fill the bird and squirrel feeders.

I asked a friend at a Guerlain Boutique to take a photo of the Guerlain Spring 2014 display with his phone and send it to me. The products haven't arrived, but the display did. That means the collection is not far behind.

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 will be writing next week, but perhaps not every day. Certainly not on Christmas day. I have new goodies from several companies to show you. If you aren't "here" over the holidays, I hope you have a joyful celebration!

Update: NEST Fragrances will get your order to you by Christmas Eve if you order by December 22. No code needed. I'm relieved.

Photos courtesy of mansfieldfeed.com and a friend

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Chanel Lèvres Scintillantes Glossimer in Sonate from the Notes du Printemps Collection for Spring 2014

There were two Lèvres Scintillantes Glossimers ($29.50) on the Notes du Printemps Collection for Spring 2014 display, although I hear there should have been three: Plaisir, Murmure, and Sonate. I chose the one I saw that had the most color: Sonate (#178). It is shown above.

It's a pretty peachy coral shade - in lockstep with Chanel's color of the spring season. I really like it. You know, I'm sure, that Chanel's gorgeous glosses offer shimmer and a high-shine glow with just one stroke. A wide range of shades, from sheer and natural to sparkling and rich, look beautiful on their own or over your favorite lipstick. Equally beautiful, the formula's comfort, deep hydration, and relatively long wear make it a best-seller.

I took swatch photos in full, late-morning sun. Because gravity was making my gloss swatch move southward, you will see some ripples in my photos.

This is a great shade for any time of year, but especially pretty for spring and summer. It has color and shine - what could be better?

I'd like to wax poetic about Sonate, but the hour is growing late (for me). It was an exhausting day at work, and I need to curl up with Charlie. On my next trip to Neiman Marcus, where I purchased Sonate, I need to see the third gloss I didn't see. I might need that too.

If the spring collection has not arrived at your favorite Chanel counter, it will soon. You should check it out. I'll bet you find at least one thing you love.

Photos by Best Things in Beauty

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Chanel Le Blush Crème de Chanel in Intonation and Chamade from the Notes du Printemps Collection for Spring 2014 (Updated)

I decided that since I seemed to be the only person on earth who didn't care for Chanel's first round of cream blushes that I would give them a second chance with the two shades introduced for spring. Intonation is shown above (#69), and Chamade is shown below. They both cost $38, and both are limited editions.

I determined at the counter at Neiman Marcusm where I purchased these, that I could sheer them out, despite their vivid look in the compact. It takes a bit of work, but it's doable.

Chanel provides this short description of Le Blush Crème de Chanel. "This innovative powder-cream formula offers an enticing new way to blush with sheer yet vibrant pigments for instant luminosity. The silky texture offers a long-wear satin finish - soft and comfortable for every skin type - and is simple to apply with fingertips or a brush." Or a sponge, I must add.

Intonation is the peachy coral that follow's Chanel's spring color trend. It is the lighter of the two, and, therefore, my favorite. It's easy to blend out to a shade that someone with fair skin can wear without fear. Chamade is a little more difficult. It's rose, but darker. It demands much more care from me.

I swatched both with a sponge-tipped applicator. Intonation is shown at the top of my arm, with Chamade below. My photos were taken in full, late-morning sunshine. I did not attempt to blend out the shades for these swatch photos.

Despite their similarity in the compact, they are very different shades. I haven't had a lot of time to play with them, but I can tell you to apply them very lightly - you can always build color, but it's hard to take it away. Make sure your cheeks are very well moisturized.

The Notes du Printemps Collection for Spring 2014 has arrived at Chanel counters. These blushes are also available at the Chanel Web site. If you loved the original shades, you will love these. If, like me, you found them too vivid, give Intonation a chance. I think it's a very pretty color. What do you think?

Photos by Best Things in Beauty

Monday, December 16, 2013

Le Métier de Beauté The Total Look Kaleidoscope Face Kit for Holiday 2013

As usual, The Total Look Kaleidoscope Face Kit ($95) for Holiday 2013 is much prettier than the press photos depict. I was intrigued when I saw the photo above, but wowed when I saw the real thing. It's a limited edition. I purchased mine at Neiman Marcus the second I could.

Look at the difference! Le Métier de Beauté's photo is dark. Mine was taken in full sun and not modified even a smidge. You can see that the face colors in this palette are totally wearable by all.

Because it's late (for me), let's get straight to the swatches. I went to work today, am sore, and definitely ready for a night's sleep. Besides that, apparently I dropped my keys last night when I came in from Mom's house. It took me two hours this morning to dig through months' worth of junk mail near the door to find them - under everything I had piled up. How did they get there?

I swatched all shades with a sponge-tipped applicator and took my photos in full, late-morning sun. I started at the top with Nico and worked down the Kaleidoscope, ending with Sunkissed at the bottom of my arm.

Nico, a bronze eye shadow, is as gorgeous as it gets. It gleams on my eyelids. Chelsea Girl below is a soft, slightly shimmering pink highlighter that can be used on the eyes. Think Chanel peach for spring. It's gorgeous.

Divina is a light rose blush with a touch of peach. It's an everyone shade, so I think you will love it.  Sunkissed is a gorgeous blonde bronzer. It's the perfect bronzer for fair skins or wintertime. It is ever-so-slightly warming and a great contour shade.

What else can I say? You can see how pretty the shades are, and I know you'll find this a wonderful addition to your Kaleidoscope collection. The Total Look will be available at Le Métier de Beauté counters until it sells out. If you'd like help, give Michael or Chae a call at (202) 966-9700, extension 2258 or 2236.

Still waiting for The Countess to arrive. Big smile! In the meantime, I have new Chanel to scratch my itch for new treasures. There will be more Spring 2014 Chanel to come here tomorrow.

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

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Chanel Lumières Facettes Quadra Eye Shadow in Quadrille from the Notes du Printemps Collection for Spring 2014

I did a really fast counter review of the Spring 2014 Chanel Notes du Printemps Collection (I was tired) and selected four items - to start. Today, I'll show you the Lumières Facettes Quadra Eye Shadow in Quadrille (#537). It went onto my purchase list the moment I saw it. Bless her hear. Nicky must be used to speed shoppers. She (Neiman Marcus Mazza Gallerie) was shoveling my choices out as fast I named them.

Given model Vanessa Axent's look, it's hard to draw a bead on a theme. I have not read any promotional material, but I saw a strong lean toward peach and coral with neutral eyes. I like it.

The Lumières Facettes Quadra Eye Shadow in Quadrille (#537, $59) is a neutral palette with a twist. The peach adds the sweet spring twist. Otherwise, it's a mix of brown, mauve, and ivory. I hesitated when I saw the mauve shade, thinking it would be "too red" for me. I don't care for eye shadows that make me look like an albino bunny, but this one passed the test.

I swatched all four shades with a sponge-tipped applicator and took photos in full, late-morning sun. I started at the top left with the mauve shade at the top of my arm and worked clockwise until I finished with the peach.

The top mauve shade has enough brown in it that it looks good on my eyelids. As you can see on my heavily swatched arm, the ivory shade is extremely sheer and light. It will make a nice base shade or highlighter. The lovely bruise came courtesy of black ice.

The brown is brown. It's a cool brown - nice, but not distinctive. The peach is really pretty - on my arm and on the eyes. Just think - if you don't want to accent your neutral eye with a touch of peach, you can wear it on your cheeks.

I like this quad. I am anxious to hear your reactions. I know some will not find it distinctive, while others will appreciate the unique divergence from a formula.

I purchased mine at Neiman Marcus. I'm sure it will be available at all Chanel counters, as well as online. I do not see it at Chanel's Web site yet.

There are two Chanel Illusion d’Ombré in the collection: Impulsion (way too pink) and Diapason, a violet-plum brown that is too red for me. Both of them are out of my comfort zone, so I purchased neither. There is also a duo on the display: nice, but not heart-revving. This was my only eye purchase. I need to go back and look at the eyeliners.

Photos at top courtesy of Chanel; other photos by Best Things in Beauty

Le Métier de Beauté Cheeky Chic Blush Kaleidoscope Face Kit for Holiday 2013

It looked pretty in the press photo. Le Métier de Beauté's limited-edition Cheeky Chic Blush (Face) Kaleidoscope for Holiday 2013 ($95) is even prettier in person. If the company doesn't make it permanent, it will be missing an opportunity. It's a gorgeous Kaleidoscope.

There are three "cheek colors" and one highlighter in the Kaleidoscope. You can see the shade names in the photo at the top of this feature. Just click on it to enlarge it.

Yesterday, Michael Reinhardt did my makeup. I had gone to the show without blusher (horrors!), and I asked him to give me some color. He did my whole face, and along the way applied Ondine to my cheeks. He had made my eyes pop with a smoky brown look, and the Ondine gave me color, but not so much that I looked "clownish." Of course, Michael would never do that, but it was the perfect accompaniment.

I swatched all the shades heavily, using a sponge-tipped applicator to apply them. I took my photos in full, morning sun. I didn't realize how bruised I've become until I started examining my arm in full sun. I'm fairly blue and yellow in a lot of places. I apologize for my motley arm; it's likely to be this way for another week or two.

All four shades in the palette are subdued. This is the Cheek Kaleidoscope for the season: subtle color to enhance your vibrant eyes and lips. Velvet Underground at the top is a gorgeous matte salmon pink. Dali is a baby pink, also matte. Ondine is a matte beige-nude. If you need a bit of sparkle, blend in Electra, a sheer gold luminizer.

This is a perfect Kaleidoscope for blending. Want a little brown with your pink? Blend Ondine with Dali, and you'll have the perfect shade. Need to sparkle at night? A light dusting with Electra over your blush will take you straight to that party.

Cheeky Chic will be available at Le Métier de Beauté counters until it sells out. I purchased mine at Neiman Marcus. If you'd like help, give Michael or Chae a call at (202) 966-9700, extension 2258 or 2236. If you have fair skin like I do, this is your cheek palette.

I will show you more of my new treasures as this week progresses. I also hope to show you The Countess soon. The Kaleidoscope Eye Kit Michael designed is extraordinary. I skipped La Strada because I'm waiting for The Countess to arrive.

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

Sunday This and That at Neiman Marcus

I had a lovely time at Neiman Marcus Mazza Gallerie yesterday, but last night I learned that I had totally blown the chance of a lifetime. I wanted to kill myself (figuratively speaking). Charlie tried to give me a heart attack too, but more about that later.

Project Beauty was a runway presentation of the latest from many brands available at Neiman Marcus. Kathy Shoreman, shown above, was there to represent RéVive. She gave a lovely, informative, and enthusiastic presentation. I know she will kill me, if I don't do it myself - for publishing this photo. She's beautiful in person. The photo? Not so good, but the best of the three I snapped. Someday, I'll get a better one.

Look there in the audience before the show started! The beauties from Chantecaille. I got them to pose, and with the slight turn toward me, Celeste looked amazingly sexy. Celeste Aman is shown on the left, and Jeannine Barnes on the right, both in black. I love those two.

Mary Lynn, Guerlain's perfect fragrance ambassador, and she seemed to be accompanied by a tall, slender, nice-looking man. I had no idea who he was. Then last night, Jonathan called me from the Guerlain Boutique in Las Vegas. I told him about her energetic appearance, and I asked him who the man might have been. I described him, and Jonathan instantly said, "Marcus Monson." I nearly died. How long have I wanted to meet him after hearing your glowing descriptions of his makeup artistry? No one introduced him, and I'm still not sure it was he. I almost don't want to know because I might descend into despair. I never waded into the Guerlain crowd to check out the doings - mostly because I was in pain. My body was telling me, "Enough." So, Eileen and others, I blew it.

While I was talking to Jonathan, Charlie decided to jump onto my bureau and knock over hundreds of dollars, if not thousands, of bottles of perfume. I had to ask Jonathan to hold on while I scooped up the bottles, hoping Charlie had done no permanent damage. He was in the doghouse after that. If you are in the market for Guerlain fragrance, give Jonathan a call at (702) 732-7008. He will wait while you have a cat emergency. Nice guy.

I did come home from the event with an embarrassment of riches from Chanel and Le Métier de Beauté, and I'll be featuring them all week. It's ironic that one set comes from a Holiday 2013 collection, while the other is Spring 2014.

The event was lots of fun. I hope Mazza decides to do it again.

Photos by Best Things in Beauty