Tuesday, December 6, 2016

December 7: Dr. Tina West Open House Sponsored by Michael Reinhardt

Fall colors are so pretty. I took this picture of a maple at Mom's, but it was a grey day, so it's dark. My apologies. I also apologize for missing the last few Friday Forums. I've had more medical appointments than anyone my age should rightly have.

Between my continuing health issues and computer problems, I was unable to publish this feature today before my e-mail went out. I hope you see it before tomorrow evening's open house at Dr. Tina West's office. That is Wednesday, December 7. She will welcome all visitors, and she and her staff will be on hand to answer questions about dermatology and cosmetic surgery. If you are in the DC area and want to know how you might solve your skin problems, go talk to an expert!

Dr. West's office is at 5530 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 925, Chevy Chase, Maryland, right across the street from Saks. The open house will be from 5:00 to 8:00 pm. Everyone is welcome! I hope to see you there.

P.S. I messed up the date. Sorry! The open house is December 7.

Photo by Best Things in Beauty

Friday, November 11, 2016

The Friday Forum - November 11

Veterans Day - our opportunity to honor the men and women who have served in the armed forces. It's a very special day for many families and can be (should be) a day of recollection for all of us.

Americans originally celebrated Veterans Day as Armistice Day on November 11, 1919. President Woodrow Wilson called for a moment of silence exactly one year after Germany signed the World War I Armistice document, at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. The President used these words. "To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations…" In the aftermath of World War II and the Korean War, Armistice Day became Veterans Day, a holiday dedicated to American veterans of all wars.

Today we associate Veterans Day not only with peace, but with war. We celebrate with flags, memorials, parades, and acts of kindness for members of the military. We have a collective hug to let them know that we owe them our way of life. Whatever time of year, it makes me teary-eyed to hear someone walk up to a uniformed member of the armed forces and thank him/her for service.

Today, veterans will be remembered in ways large and small. Full-page patriotic messages from military contractors will run in our newspapers. Restaurants will serve veterans for free, and retailers will offer discounts.  Whatever you choose to do, please do something. Donate to a charity for veterans. There should be no veterans sleeping in tents this winter because they are homeless. We need to end that national disgrace. Support companies hiring veterans. How disappointing it must be to come home from war to an economy with no job for you! Attend a local ceremony. We have many in our area. I plan to go to the one in Falls Church, simply to show the veterans who attend that we care.

We owe our veterans so much. There are 22 million living American veterans and young men and women serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. I don't think we can ever fully repay them for their bravery, patriotism, and suffering. There are men and women lying in military hospitals around the country, their bodies and lives shattered. I'm not sure how we can do enough to help them, but I am sure that we all need to try.

The poppies referenced in In Flanders Fields grew in profusion in Flanders, France in the disturbed earth of the battlefields and cemeteries where war casualties were buried - and thus became a symbol of Remembrance Day. The poem is often part of Remembrance Day solemnities in Allied countries that contributed troops to World War I, particularly in countries of the British Empire that participated.

The poem In Flanders Fields was written after Canadian physician Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae witnessed the death, and presided over the funeral, of a young friend, Lt. Alexis Helmer. By most accounts it was written in his notebook the day after the funeral. Because of this poem, poppies have become a symbol of the Armistice.

My mother has a photo of the President of the United States holding her as she gave him a poppy on Veterans Day. As I was growing up, I never fully appreciated the significance of that photo. I do now.

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky

The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Thank you to all the members of the military - past and present - and your families for your sacrifices. We love you.

Yes, it's time for the Friday Forum! The Friday Forum has always been an opportunity to share information. Are you using a fabulous product and want to sing its praises? Tell us about it! Did you find a beauty product disappointing? Tell us why! Do you have questions others might be able to answer? We can help! Want to talk about skin care? I'm game. Just use the comments. We have busy weekends and slow ones on the forum. I hope to see you in the

Photos courtesy of hitchinpeople.co.uk and members.virtualtourist.com

Friday, November 4, 2016

The Friday Forum - November 4

Yesterday, I attended a makeup extravaganza featuring Tim Quinn from Giorgio Armani Beauty at Saks Fifth Avenue in Chevy Chase. It was crazy busy, but a blast. They were featuring Armani's new palette Eye and Face Palette Limited Edition Holiday 2016 ($140), which I purchased (naturally), Ecstasy Lacquer Limited Edition Holiday 2016 ($38) for the lips (ditto on the purchase), and Tim, the star of the show.

I asked Tim to select a Fluid Sheer for me when he "did my makeup," and he chose the light pink #7. Perfect choice! I might have loved any color he chose since I was drinking mimosas for lunch as I had my makeup perfected. I had a blast!

I haven't had time to take photos of anything I've purchased in the last week. I have had another week of doctor's appointments. I'll summarize with 1) a trip to the Emergency Room ending in a diagnosis of a bruised chest wall, 2) "closure" of my sinus infection with a clean CT scan, 3) an annual wellness exam, and 4) a trip to the outpatient lab for blood work today. I am looking forward to the end of all these doctor's visits.

I really intended to write this week, but between appointments and clouds, I had no time to take photos or write. I've felt like a a gerbil running on a wheel.

The latest Tom Ford Collection has arrived at Neiman Marcus. I just saw it and found it drool-worthy. You might want to check it out. The palette above is Soleil Eye and Cheek Palette ($155) in warm, my choice.

I'm sure I don't have to tell you that Sephora's 20% off sale for VIB Rouge members started today. I did a quick scan last night and found very little that enticed me. I have to go look more closely soon before the most desirable pieces start to sell out. I'd love to know what you are eying so that I can see what I've missed.

It's time for the Friday Forum (and my lunch!). The Friday Forum has always been an opportunity to share information. Are you using a fabulous product and want to sing its praises? Tell us about it! Did you find a beauty product disappointing? Tell us why! Do you have questions others might be able to answer? We can help! Want to talk about skin care? I'm game. Just use the comments. We have busy weekends and slow ones on the forum. I hope to see you in the comments.

Photo by Best Things in Beauty

Friday, October 28, 2016

The Friday Forum - October 28

The earliest trees are starting to change into their fall wardrobes here. There is a lone maple near my house that's glorious. I wish I could have stopped my car to get a photo, but I was afraid some looney tune would hit me. So, let's settle for this beauty.

I am afraid I'm getting this feature published too late for my Friday feed. I spent the entire day running errands, including providing all the required information to be bid on a job by some old Fannie Mae colleagues. It's not a great job, but it could be an entry point to a new company. Besides that, I'm not working now, so some dollars are better than no dollars.

I have so much to tell you, and no time. I purchased one online exclusives from Chanel, and they are very nice! I promise to try to catch up over the next week. Every day in the last two weeks has been a medical challenge. I had my epidural yesterday, my visit with the ENT Tuesday (my CT was clear - hard to believe because my face hurts every day), and next week I have an annual physical on Monday and a trip to the neurologist Tuesday to find out why my daily migraines are back. I feel like a hypochondriac.

I wanted to keep my promise to continue the Friday Forum, so here it is. I hope you have more time to write than I do. The Friday Forum has always been an opportunity to share information. Are you using a fabulous product and want to sing its praises? Tell us about it! Did you find a beauty product disappointing? Tell us why! Do you have questions others might be able to answer? We can help! Want to talk about skin care? I'm game. Just use the comments. We have busy weekends and slow ones on the forum. I hope to see you in the comments.

Photo courtesy of Flickr (photographer not identified)

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Victor dE Souza Believe In dE Impossible - Spring/Summer 2017 Beauty

The Show
For Spring/Summer 2017 "Believe In dE Impossible Collection," Victor dE Souza ups the ante by merging traditional couture techniques with themes popular with the millennial generation. Gender and identity are deconstructed and fluid, as the Victor dE Souza client celebrates uniqueness and individuality. This collection focuses on how the "new" generation will modify classic couture, embracing folklore and floral themes in a sequin-covered Renaissance.

Since the label's launch in 2009, Victor has been championed by Vogue Italia, Patty Wilson, Patricia Field, Michelle Harper, and Numéro Magazine for his couturier's approach to luxurious materials and timely silhouettes. Notable moments for the designer included Katy Perry appearing in her very own fragrance campaign, Lupita Nyong’o on the cover of Elle, Rihanna in Voque Italia, and Lady Gaga and Cyndi Lauper for Mac Viva Glam Campaign, as well as the appearance of Amanda Lepore and Iris Chan (Japanese Pop Star) and Hunter Taylor (Nikki Taylor's Son) in this year's runway event. To expand upon his success, Victor recently announced a menswear and full beauty collection, which can be found online and at Osswald NYC, House of Larue NY, Provincetown, and now the Surrey Hotel.

The Makeup
As you know, Dustin Lujan creates the makeup and looks for Victor dE Souza Beauty. For this season's show there were seven different looks for women and two looks for men, rather than one uniform look for each. Each lip color was paired with a unique color selection for the eye. The skin was a true finish skin with powder strategically placed just on the nose and creases of the skin. The look was created to add modern/editorial details to classic makeup details.

Descriptions of the Women Shown Below
Look 1: Brown Liner, brown/gold Shadow, Liquid Sky Lip
Look 2: Black Eye Liner, Pewter Shadow, Mysterious skin Lip
Look 3: Purple Liner, Pastel Pink Shadow, Raspberry Reich Lip
Look 4: Navy Liner, Aqua Shadow, Stage Freight Lip
Look 5: Aqua Liner, Taupe Shadow, Female Trouble Lip
Look 6: Grey Liner, Fuchsia Shadow, The Hunger Lip
Look 7: Clay Liner, Lime Shadow, Doom Generation Lip
Look 1: Black Liner, Liquid Sky Lip
Look 2: Aqua Liner, Liquid Sky Lip

These photos are "teasers" Dustin sent me. In the near future, when Dustin and Victor are ready to launch Spring/Summer eye shadows and other products (in addition to his already available, superb lipsticks), I will show you finished photos of each look. Dustin has promised a promo code for Best Things in Beauty readers too! It is NYFW.

Victor dE Souza, "I am exploring the future of fashion through the eyes of the millennials, in their strength to overcome the impossible and in having the courage to stand for what they believe in."

Photos courtesy of Victor dE Souza

Friday, October 21, 2016

The Friday Forum - October 21

As I write, a cold front is moving in. It will take away our glorious Indian Summer and bring cold, wind, and - from my perspective - the misery of late autumn. Within minutes, our day has gone from sunny and warm to a foreboding darkness. Plus, it's now raining - pouring actually - and the wind is wicked.

I had planned to write about Dustin Lujan today, but my day has not gone as planned (a reflection of my week). I promise I'll write about Dustin over the weekend. Please check back in Sunday. I want to do him justice, and at this point in the day, I won't have that luxury.

If last week was the "week from hell," this week was certainly the week from purgatory. It started Monday morning with the Verizon FiOS installer who actually showed up when he was supposed to arrive. He spent over five hours here, but did little to meet my expectations. I have to warn anyone being forced to convert from copper phone lines to FiOS. Verizon's sales people will tell you anything on the phone, anything they think you want to hear, but what they tell you seldom matches reality. If I describe all the details, I'll bore you to tears. Let's just say, it was installed Monday, re-installed (fixed) Tuesday, and I had to get my computer onto the network because they did NOTHING to help. That involves a Best Buy story that left me in something approaching a rage. It's all sorted out now, but at the cost of about five hours of my time with the computer and a total of 10 hours on the phone with Verizon. I am glad I sold my stock last year. Surely a little competition will bring them down.

I had a CT examination of my sinuses this morning. My follow-up exam with the ENT is Tuesday next week, so I'll find out then what I already know. I'm still not well. Sinus infections can leave you wiped out, and the fatigue that came with this one has been exhausting.

Mom's service was short and lovely, and the reception after was a nice opportunity to catch up with some of my relatives. I'm glad it was months after she passed. It made it easier for me to talk about her and listen to the stories others told. My friend Bara hosted it, and her beautiful home was the perfect setting to celebrate Mom's life. I'm very grateful to her for making my own preparations easier.

Tomorrow, Saks Fifth Avenue in Chevy Chase is having a by-invitation beauty event at 8:30 am! It's a good thing they have promised mimosas because something is going to have to give me a jolt to pay attention. I'll let you know what I learn. There are industry representatives coming to tell us about the latest trends.

I wasn't able to write this week; there were just too many things on my plate. I do hope to get back into the swing of things next week.  In the meantime, it's time for the Friday Forum. The Friday Forum has always been an opportunity to share information. Are you using a fabulous product and want to sing its praises? Tell us about it! Did you find a beauty product disappointing? Tell us why! Do you have questions others might be able to answer? We can help! Want to talk about skin care? I'm game. Just use the comments. We have busy weekends and slow ones on the forum. I hope to see you in the comments.

Photo courtesy of koko-stock

Friday, October 14, 2016

The Day Before

I had intended to write today, but I spent the entire day running last-minute errands before tomorrow's ceremony at Arlington Cemetery, where Mom's ashes will be united with my father's for eternity.

We are hosting a reception afterwards for friends and family, and although I have a caterer bringing the food, I had so many add-ons to pick up.

I have lots to tell you and show you, but I'm sure you understand that all of it will have to wait.

I have made the decision that I will continue the Friday Forum for the indefinite future. Today, I had planned to show you Dustin Lujan's artistry and give you a peek at his next makeup introductions. I'll do it next week.

Thanks for understanding.

Photo by Best Things in Beauty

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Tom Ford Shimmer Shot in Spin Spin Sugar

Tom Ford's anticipated Shimmer Shot ($45) launched last week. Available in two shades, Spin Spin Sugar and Lust for Life, it's a gorgeous liquid illuminator. Ordinarily, I would have purchased both shades, but in my new frugalality, I bought only Spin Spin Sugar.

From Tom Ford, slightly edited...
Polished radiance is essential to the Tom Ford face. The lightweight, liquid texture can be used on any skin tone to create ultimate luminosity. Pearlescent glow highlights and defines bone structure, creating perfectly balanced symmetry. Blends flawlessly onto the skin for instant glow. Blends perfectly into your foundation for a contoured look. Light is softened and diffused for a smooth finish. Packaged in an easy-to-use piston pump [which I like]. Apply on the bridge of the nose, highpoints of cheeks, on the chin, and under the eyebrow arch - really anywhere you want to draw light.

The other shade, Lust for Life, looked very tan, and I would need to see it before purchasing. It is expected to arrive at Neiman Marcus in days. I ordered from the Tom Ford Web site.

I took a few swatch photos in full, late-afternoon sunshine, selecting the best. I tried to apply a dot at the top of my arm, with a slightly blended swatch below, but it ran before I could get outside. So my swatch was finger blended, but heavier at the top than below.

The color of Spin Spin Sugar is going to be slightly different on different skin tones. On me, it's a pearly ivory with an ever-so-slight touch of pink. Is it revolutionary? No, but it sure is nice. It applies easily and dries quickly.

I'd be glad to answer any questions. There's not much more I can tell you. I would purchase it again. I'm already fond of it, especially its pearly glow. If you'd like to order from Neiman Marcus, give Debbie O'Malley a call at The Tom Ford counter at (202) 966-9700. She's a great helper.

Photo at top courtesy of Tom Ford; swatch photo by Best Things in Beauty

Monday, October 10, 2016

Rouge Bunny Rouge Raw Garden Eye Shadow Palette in Caliche

Last month, I was able to give you a preview of Rouge Bunny Rouge's magnificent Autumn Beauty Look, Rose Garden Melody. Now, after days of rain, wind, and generally miserable weather, I have photos of Caliche (#092, 49 euros) that I am happy to share with you.

Caliche is a nuanced harmony of muted silky purples (rosy ecru, dusky and earthy aubergine, rosewood, and mauve). This fall, you can step up your eye shadow game with this new Eye Shadow color quartet. With encapsulated hyaluronic acid and argan oil added to the formula, the texture is even more silky and luxurious, while deeply hydrating to the skin. Argan oil nourishes and regenerates, too.

The signature multi-dimensional quality of Rouge Bunny Rouge Eye Shadows is at its best here, with a 3D color effect, an extraordinary satin-matte finish, and the richest pigmentation with stunning color pay-off.

The Raw Garden high-tech formula delivers a sense of transparency despite the intense pigmentation and the pleasant silky, melting sensation during the effortless application. Having read that the Caliche combines wearable, muted shades of purple, I was a little afraid it might be too "red" for my eyes. Not!

The cream with slight pink undertones is a great base or highlighting color. Moving clockwise, the medium cool, dusky aubergine actually works on me, when blended over the cream. I love the soft rosewood laced with greige (so trendy!), and the soft, grey will work with any color scheme. The formula is free from parabens, D5, mineral oil, and nano-particles. You can always expect purity from Rouge Bunny Rouge.

There is a PDF brochure at this link if you'd like to take a look. It's on the European site. The U.S. site will follow shortly this month.

Rouge Bunny Rouge sent me the Autumn Collection over a week ago. I tried to take photos on a "mostly sunny" day, but I was unhappy with them. Finally, I have snapped photos that I believe accurately portray this beautiful palette. My photos were taken in full, early afternoon sun. I swatched with a sponge-tipped applicator. The sun added a bit of extra sheen to the shades.

The cream or ivory at the top of my arm is a radiant shade perfect for use with its sister shades or any other palette you have. The aubergine below it could be too red for some, but if you cleverly blend it with the other shades in the palette, it will give you the perfect fall look.

The taupe, which Rouge Bunny Rouge describes a a rosewood laced with greige, is absolutely gorgeous on the eyelids. I like to wear it alone, just swept over my lid below the crease. The grey is perfect for any look. You may want to try blending it in the outer corners with the taupe.

As always, the palette is presented in a black presentation box, safely nestled into a plastic insert. Although it takes up space, it's too elegant to discard.

Rouge Bunny Rouge has generously offered readers of Best Things in Beauty a discount code: RBR-BESTTHINGSINBEAUTY20. I believe you can use it on either their European or U.S. site. I haven't tried it, but if you have any trouble with it, please let me know.

As soon as I can, I will show you the other two beauties they sent me gratis: one of which is the new Skin Perfector. I think you're going to love it. For now, I must run off. I read The Girl on the Train all afternoon yesterday and finished it this morning. I'm a little behind on life management.

You can purchase Caliche right now at Rouge Bunny Rouge - or wait for the U.S. Web site to publish it. Either way, I think you'll be delighted with this unique palette.

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

Friday, October 7, 2016

The Friday Forum - October 7

This has been the week from hell. I shouldn't complain. The folks in Florida are endangered, and the only big problems I have are a sinus infection, Verizon, and getting my 2015 income tax numbers to my accountant, an annual issue for me because my monthly recordkeeping is useless.

Last week, I went to an ENT specialist, who did a sinus culture. Then Monday morning, I awakened to a jaw that would not close on the left side. Very painful! By Tuesday, it was not better, so I called my oral surgeon, and God bless that man, he got me in that afternoon and did a 180 X-ray. That picture showed nothing terribly abnormal with my jaw, but very "fuzzy" sinuses. It was worse on the right side, which may explain why I've been having right-sided headaches, which I attributed to migraines.

Yesterday, the ENT's nurse called me to tell me my sinuses were "just fine." I told her about the X-ray and asked that they consult with my oral surgeon. Obviously, he set them straight because the next thing I knew I was on an antiobiotic and a steroid, with instructions to go get a CT scan in 10 days. So much for "fine." Thank God my oral surgeon, one of the best, sweetest docs I have ever had, took care of me.

You probably know that sinus infections can make you very fatigued. I've been having trouble accomplishing everything I had to do this week to plan for Mom's "burial" and the following luncheon reception on the 15th. Plus I tried to look for a new job in the few moments I had left. Unfortunately, I, the procrastinator, had to get all my tax numbers to the accountant for 2015, due in a week. THAT was an ordeal.I am almost finished, but because I had refinanced that year, I had to go through some extra effort to get my home mortgage interest paid amounts. Because I had refinanced, those companies had not sent me year-end statements. I "think" I have almost everything I need for my accountant (who gets frustrated with me every year for my procrastination).

Wednesday, when Verizon was supposed to appear between 8:00 am and noon to install FIOS, they were a no-show. Long story short, I am rescheduled for October 17, but I have spent almost eight hours on the phone with their representatives while they tried to get their act together. What fun! I had to go to Best Buy to purchase a wireless "bungle" so that Verizon would not have to string coax cable two floors up to my computer. I got it yesterday, and while I was over at Tysons Corner, I stopped in quickly to Neiman Marcus. I got a picture with my phone of the new Clé de Peau Autumn/Winter Collection. It's shown at the top of this feature. Two palettes are for the lips, and one is for eyes. Pretty! Too bad I can't buy it. Those beautiful cases cost extra, so the total cost of the collection far exceeds my current "budget." Actually, as you know, my makeup budget has been cut to the bone until I can find a new consulting job. Even then, I have decided to cut back. I did allow myself to purchase the new Tom Ford Shimmer Shot, which literally just arrived. I'll play with it later.

I want to tell you how appreciative I was of all of your kind comments on the Chanel feature. You are a wonderful group of women, and I'm not going to let a few snarks (or even unintentional snarky comments) ruin my memories of our seven years together. It is disheartening to me to give up this blog before year-end, but I realize I have to do it.

You wouldn't believe an "other" message (from people who aren't friends) I received on Facebook from a certifiable sociopath. I read parts of it before I deleted it. I was astounded that anyone would send such an ugly message. I guess she's an ugly woman, but my Ph.D. in psychology told me to ignore her. You can't let sociopaths upset your life. Actually, one part of it was a laugh. She accused me of writing this blog to get attention because I'm old and ugly. Had that been the case, I would have stopped seven years ago [smile].

So, that's the quick synopsis of my week. I had gorgeous new Rouge Bunny Rouge makeup to show you, but I couldn't ever get enough sunshine for photos that satisfied me. There's always next week. By then, the taxes will be under control.

I could ramble on, but I won't. It's time for the Friday Forum. The Friday Forum has always been an opportunity to share information. Are you using a fabulous product and want to sing its praises? Tell us about it! Did you find a beauty product disappointing? Tell us why! Do you have questions others might be able to answer? We can help! Want to talk about skin care? I'm game. Just use the comments. We have busy weekends and slow ones on the forum. I hope to see you in the comments.

Photo by Best Things in Beauty

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Chanel Collection Libre Synthetic de Chanel for Holiday 2016

Chanel's Collection Libre is an unexpected holiday collection that celebrates the modern yet sophisticated elements of beauty. Chanel Global Creative Makeup and Colour Designer Lucia Pica experiments with striking contrasts - a clash of colors, textures, intensities, and light - to capture a contemporary edge and thrilling moment in time.

Here are the product highlights.

Les 5 Ombres Eyeshadow Palette ($80), a limited-edition palette called Architectonic inspired by urban architecture, a modern palette that gives structure to the eyes with mirror-like silver, concrete grey, and gunmetal blue eye shadows in matte to shimmery textures.

Joues Contraste Powder Blush ($45) is the staple blush in a bright pink shade called Hyperfresh that can be used lightly for a soft accent of color or built up to make a statement.

Calligraphie de Chanel Waterproof Intense Cream Eyeliner in Hyperblack ($35) is a modern way to line the eyes. This long-lasting gel liner creates a super-black, vinyl finish for a striking look. It has a a specially developed brush for precise application.

Rouge Allure Luminous Intense Lip Colour ($37) will impart fresh, bright shades of burgundy pink and strawberry red to the lips for the season. The shades are called Ultraberry and Ultrarose.

Rouge Allure Gloss Colour and Shine Lipgloss in One Click ($34) offers softer Super Nude and Super Coral tones to create the look of polished brilliance.

Rouge Double Intensité Ultra Wear Lip Colour ($37) is the best-loved, long-wearing lip color in a shocking Curious Orange that pops on the lips.

There are four featured nail shades: Les Vernis is Liquid Mirror (silver) and Hyperrose Glass (transparant pink), and Pink Rubber (a powdery pink). All are $28.00.

I took other photos of the holiday shades in the Neiman Marcus Café, but I cannot find them right now. If I can dig them up, I'll add them to this feature. I know there has been much conversation about this holiday collection, so I wanted to show you what I had as soon as possible.

The collection will be available in department stores, specialty stores, and at Chanel's Web site (now) in November 2016.

Photos by Best Things in Beauty (lip photos are from lab samples)

Friday, September 30, 2016

The Friday Forum - September 30

What a week we have had! It has rained every day, and I think our total rainfall is somewhere around 4-5 inches. I'm not complaining. We needed the rain, even though it kept me from taking much-needed photographs.

Yesterday, I sat down at my computer and saw that I had no network connection. I knew I had lost it the day before, but I thought that might have been a weather-related problem. It was pouring outside. When I saw that I still had no connection the next day, I called Verizon. There is no way I can coherently describe the three hours I spent on the phone to get my DSL service restored, but I'll summarize the debacle that prevented me from writing a blog feature.
  1. Verizon announced by letter that it was discontinuing its copper service, and anyone without FIOS would lose phone and Internet service. Naturally, I made an appointment for October 3 to have FIOS installed.
  2. Some lame brain at Verizon discontinued my DSL service, but not my phone, five days in advance of October 3. Why? No one could explain. They kept denying it.
  3. I called Verizon technical support. During the three-hour ordeal, they cut me off at least five times, and I had to call back and start over each time. One of their nitwit techs cancelled my pending FIOS order without asking me because he said he couldn't get my DSL back any other way.
  4. They kept trying to transfer me to customer service, but each time, they cut me off. By the time I got to the fifth customer service representative, I introduced myself and told him I was livid.
  5. He (Charles) stuck with me until my DSL was restored by tech support, and he set up a new FIOS appointment for October 5, the first available slot, even though my October 3 appointment had been cancelled without my permission no more than an hour before.
  6. By the time I had Internet service restored, it was about 5:30 pm, and I was tired and frustrated. I gave up on the day. It's hard for me to believe that Verizon and its people can be so incompetent. I worked for that company once years ago as a consultant, and I did not find them to be half-wits. Something has changed. I talked to about eight people yesterday, and Charles was the only one whose service was acceptable.
So, my apologies for my featureless Thursday. Wednesday, I managed to write, even though most of my afternoon was stolen by a flat tire (replaced for free because I had purchased a tire and wheel warranty when I leased my car). I hope the week ends on a better note.

I zoomed over to Neiman Marcus a few days ago and picked up the new Guerlain Holiday Collection. I can't wait for sunshine so that I can show you photos. It's very nice.

I'm now short on time for today. I am going to a pizza party tonight for my high school class 50th reunion. I've got to run some errands, including feeding the wildlife at my mother's house, and then wash my hair and start working on looking presentable for the party. I fear I won't recognize anyone. I sure hope they have name tags.

It's time for the Friday Forum. The Friday Forum has always been an opportunity to share information. Are you using a fabulous product and want to sing its praises? Tell us about it! Did you find a beauty product disappointing? Tell us why! Do you have questions others might be able to answer? We can help! Want to talk about skin care? I'm game. Just use the comments. We have busy weekends and slow ones on the forum. I hope to see you in the comments.

Photo source lost

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Victoria Beckham Collection for Estée Lauder - Eye Foil

Yesterday was quite a day. Mid-afternoon, I went over to my mother's house to feed the birds, squirrels, chipmunks, foxes, and any other animals who might like what I served. As I went to get back into my car, I saw that my rear right tire was flat! I had driven over to her house with a flat tire. I decided to go to the nearest gas station with free air and pump air into my tire. Once I had finished that, I called the Audi dealer and asked if they could take a look at my tire. They said to bring it right away. So, off I went.

Thank God I bought the tire and wheel warranty when I leased my car. One hour after I arrived, I left with a new tire, which cost me nothing but the time I lost yesterday. When I got home, I realized I had very little good sunshine left to photograph Victoria Beckham's Eye Foil ($36), so I went straight for a swatch and walked far enough up my little street to "get sunshine." While I didn't get a picture of the product itself, it looks exactly as shown above in  Estée Lauder's photo.

This breakthrough liquid eye shadow delivers a high-shine, vinyl-like finish, even after it’s dried - and it dries quickly. Sparkling pearl pigments offer flecks of gold or charcoal foil for a liquid-metal effect.

This is a pretty flexible product. It can be used alone for a stunning pearl effect. It can be used under one of Beckham's Eye Metal Eyeshadows to add an entirely different dimension to the shadows. Or it can be used in the inner corners of the lids. I like it. It adds some pizazz to my eye shadow collection.

I got a kick out of something I read on the Internet the other day crediting Pat McGrath for her "new technique" of using a white or silver shadow or liner on the inner corner. I was stunned. This technique has been used by makeup artists for more years than I can count. It opens up the eyes, and everyone who knows makeup knows that. The article left me wondering if it was written by an intern.

Anyhow, Eye Foil is available (when it's not sold out) in two shades: Blonde Gold, which I purchased, and a dark shade that is also currently sold out. I can't even find the name right now, but I will later. I just got a call from Neiman Marcus that the Guerlain Holiday Collection arrived, and I have to hurry over there to have first choice of my I-wants.

As I mentioned yesterday, the preview products sold out almost instantly. The collection will be officially launched on October 1. Only one store in my area will have it, Neiman Marcus at Tysons Galleria. If you are interested in pre-ordering from them, give Rahman Malik a call at (703) 861-4673. Naturally, you will also be able to order from  Estée Lauder and Bergdorf Goodman once they restock.

Photo at top courtesy of  Estée Lauder; swatch photo by Best Things in Beauty

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Victoria Beckham Collection for Estée Lauder

Victoria Beckham has unveiled a limited-edition color cosmetics collection with Estée Lauder. I introduced it last month, and then I promptly pre-ordered a few of the 15 pieces from Bergdorf Goodman. I'm glad I did. Most of the pieces are sold out and will remain that way until the more universal launch on October 1.

Today, I'll show you Charred Emerald Eye Metals Eyeshadow ($45) and Modern Mercury Highlighter ($65), Both of these are already sold out at Estée Lauder.

According to WWD, Beckham's aim was also to deliver products people could immediately associate with her, “whether it’s a smoky eye, a nude lip, or dewy skin. So I’ve been very honest, very true to myself. This has been something that I’ve wanted to do for so many years,” she said.

To Estée Lauder, she’s a next-generation Estée: Authentic, an entrepreneur, wife, mother, fashion designer - and she’s a beauty maven. Some people in fashion are into fashion, but not beauty. She’s into the whole picture and has a vision. She knows her style, her point of view, and the way she wants women to look, feel, act, and be comfortable in their skin, while having a great deal of glamour at the same time.

There are 15 units, including a limited-edition, portable mirror that casts a flattering light for makeup application. Prices range from $30 for the designer’s signature nude-matte lip pencil to $45 for an Eye Metals Eyeshadow, $95 for the Morning Aura Illuminating Crème and $1,200 for the Victoria Beckham Collection Daylight Edition, a light box that includes a removable lighted mirror as well as eight products. After reviewing the collection online, I selected a few pieces that I knew I would actually wear. I'm impressed with their quality.

Charred Emerald Eye Metals Eyeshadow attracted me because it's green. I love green on my eyes. I took my photos in full, early afternoon sunshine, and that may have brightened the colors a bit. I think Charred Emerald is darker than my photo directly above shows, but lighter than the Estée Lauder photo appears.

This rich color powder eye shadow delivers a high-shine finish to the eye. It is densely pigmented with color that is strong, sexy, and confident. You can wear it alone all over the lid for a modern smoky eye or layered over Eye Ink for an oil-slick finish. Eye Ink is very cool. I'll try to get photos so that I can show it to you tomorrow.

Modern Mercury is a highlighter borrowed from Estée Lauder's past. My photo is too pink. The Estée Lauder photo above is more accurate. A favorite of Victoria’s, this highlighter can be worn as an accent on the cheekbones and with or without bronzer to create a moist skin look. It's a beauty.

My swatch photos are pretty accurate. Charred Emerald blends black and green for an exquisite smoky green look. While we can't all look like the former Spice Girl, we can imagine this look on ourselves for a night out. To me, it's glamorous.

Modern Mercury is a rose gold on my skin - one of my favorite highlighter shades. The compact is huge, which means it will last a very long time. You can apply it very lightly for a subtle gleam or more intensely for a  high-wattage look.

The packaging of these products is lovely. It's a dark blue, accented with gold, and it's heavy. It looks its price, if you understand what I mean. The accents are gold. I guess the direct sun made them look silver in my photo below.

Beckham said, “I want to make women feel empowered, to feel sexy and confident. This makeup collection does that. I’m a girl’s girl, I love to make women feel like the best version of themselves.” I think she's done a great job on her first foray into makeup.

There were a few pieces available at Bergdorf Goodman the last time I looked, but you've got a better chance of finding the collection on October 1 when it launches "officially." I even got a note from Neiman Marcus Tysons Galleria saying that they will have the collection available there - the only source in my area. If you are interested in pre-ordering from Neiman Marcus, give Rahman Malik a call at (703) 861-4673.

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

Monday, September 26, 2016

YASOU Moisturizing Hand Cream

Days after the Fall Equinox, our weather is finally starting to cool off. Today, it is cloudy and cool at my house. It is predicted to be like this almost all week. We've gone from temperatures in the mid-90's to mid-70's, just like that.

As the weather changes, we all need to take a look at our body products and replace the moisture we lose to cool, dry air. I've started with YASOU Hand Cream ($25), which was sent to me for review. I have been using the Hand Cream for a month, and I'm impressed. Because I was originally unfamiliar with the company, I'll assume you may be too and give you a short summary YASOU.

“YASOU” (pronounced ya-su) natural skin care gets its name from a common Greek greeting meaning “to your health.” YASOU’s mission is to embrace the beauty traditions, natural ingredients, and rich culture of Greece with American technology, bringing you this luxurious natural skin-care line that makes you look and feel good.

YASOU skin care is inspired from the heart, heritage, and passion of creator Theodora Ntovas. Theodora grew up in Chicago and often traveled and lived in Greece as a child, where she spent time visiting her family and soaking up the rich Greek culture and local traditions. As an adult, Theodora felt a calling to return to the Greek village that she remembered so fondly from her childhood. That particular trip soon became a soul-searching and enlightening experience for her and changed the way she looked at the world and specifically beauty products.

While shopping a local farmer’s market, Theodora discovered the purist, most unique, organic skin-care products and was intrigued by the beautiful women who swore by them. These glorious products were made from olive oil, natural essential oils extracted from local flowers, and indigenous plants, plus organic beeswax.

Using what she learned from that small farmers market in Archia Feneos in the Peloponnese region near Corinth, Theodora educated herself in cosmetic chemistry, aromatherapy, and natural skin care solutions. Her research led her to partner with chemist/formulator Nestor Tomasi. Inspired by Greek beauty philosophy, together they developed the unique Calityl-O Complex, that became the foundation of a truly luxurious natural skin-care line. And so, YASOU was born.

This exclusive and completely natural, luxurious skin care nourishes the skin and is formulated with the highest quality natural and organic ingredients sourced from the best growers, producers, and suppliers in the United States. YASOU consists of face cream, a cellular firming and rejuvenating day cream that compliments YASOU’s anti-aging night cream with hyadisine, and the ultra hydrating body cream with essential oils and vitamin E. The ultra hydrating body cream is designed to nourish skin, help calm and relax your mind, and even help you fall asleep (I could use that). It is ideal for those special and precious “me time” moments when you want to pamper and reward your body, like having a spa experience, but at home.

YASOU Hand Cream is a vegan product made in the USA. Beautiful hands conceal our age and  sensitize our touch. We need to treat our hands with tender loving care, particularly as the weather changes and dries our skin. YASOU Vegan Hand Cream is formulated to moisturize, protect, repair, and soothe your hands. It is a natural hand cream that contains moisturizing certified organic extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, bacteria fighters, and soothing botanicals. The company's signature Calityl-O Complex nourishes all skin types. Packaged in a recyclable tube, YASOU Hand Cream protects the environment as well as your hands. In addition to its natural, certified organic, and vegan ingredients, it is gluten-free and Leaping Bunny certified. It does contain retinol, but so far I have had no adverse reactions to it.

You can use YASOU Hand Cream as many times per day as you feel you need, but the company recommends that you use it in the morning and before bed. I've been using it at bedtime because I wash my hands so frequently during the day. Charlie is not fond of scented products, but fortunately he has not objected to the natural ingredients that make the scent of YASOU Hand Cream unique. To me, it's an herbal scent.

I have copied from YASOU the long list of ingredients so that you can see how much thought the company put into the moisturizing formula. 
  • Certified Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Jojoba Oil soothes and moisturizes. Olive oil’s antioxidants form a protective barrier, trapping moisture on your skin. Jojoba oil’s vitamins, mineral, and fatty acids promote elasticity and radiance.
  • Shea Butter is vitamin-rich and one of the best anti-aging moisturizers.
  • Glycerin is a good re-hydrant that helps moisturize the skin without
    making it oily. It attracts moisture and holds it within the skin making skin more supple.
  • Coconut Oil is a powerful moisturizer that helps restore dry or flaking skin. It helps to strengthen skin tissue more deeply and eliminates dead skin cells while absorbing quickly into your skin. Containing vitamin E, coconut oil helps delay wrinkles and can soothe skin conditions such as eczema, sunburn, and psoriasis.
  • Certified Organic Aloe Vera moisturizes and hydrates the skin.
  • Evening Primrose essential oil can help with age-related structural and functional changes in skin tissues such as redness, firmness, roughness, and fatigue resistance. It is also effective in relieving many symptoms of eczema.
  • Lemon Extract exfoliates, brightens, and diminishes acne for smoother skin. It naturally bleaches the skin and quickens the rate in which dark spots, scars, sunspots, acne scars, and age spots fade.
  • Grape Seed Extract boosts collagen development in your body. Collagen helps your skin stay firm, supple, and moisturized. It aids in the renewal of skin cells. Grape Seed Extract contains compounds called procyanidins, which bond with collagen, resulting in healthier and more elastic skin.
  • Tocopherol also known as vitamin E, is an antioxidant that protects and repairs your skin. It promotes cell regeneration, creating an anti-aging effect to make your skin look and feel younger.
  • Vitamin A/Retinyl Palmitate has great anti-aging, superb antioxidants, and moisturizing capabilities. It accelerates cell renewal and stimulates the fibroblast and collagen in the skin, thereby reducing wrinkles and fine lines. It helps promote softer, smoother skin.
  • Mastic essential oil contains antioxidants along with antibacterial and antifungal properties. It possesses therapeutic benefits for the skin due to its soothing, softening, and healing properties. Mastic oil is used in many personal hygiene products for its antiseptic assets.
  • YASOU Calityl-O Complex - The Unbeatable Combination of Nature and Science: Calityl-O is rich in important antioxidants which our skin craves. YASOU's Calityl-O Complex helps form a protective, nourishing barrier that keeps environmental damage and toxins out, while infusing and keeping the moisture of skin in, creating a perfect balance.
Natural body care starts with using the best natural and organic ingredients. YASOU Skin Care products contain no parabens, synthetic colors, or artificial fragrances. How good does it get?

Other YASOU products that might interest you include Cellular Day, Cell Renewal Night Cream, and Hydrating Body Cream - just in case the line intrigues you, but you've got a great stock of hand cream.

You can purchase the Hand Cream at YASOU's Web site, where you can also learn about the company's other products. There is a wonderful, educational section about ingredients used in YASOU products, a video, and a blog with a new feature about recognizing product ingredients. I like the Web site because it's educational and so transparent about the company and its excellent formulas. There is a store locator, but distributors are currently limited; it's easiest to buy it online.

Photos courtesy of YASOU    

Friday, September 23, 2016

The Friday Forum - September 23

Today, I spent the better part of my morning with Sarah Lavache, one of Bobbi Brown's best Makeup Artists, at an event at Nordstrom Pentagon City organized by Diron Carr, Bobbi Brown's manager there. Sarah spent about an hour working on my face, and I was enormously pleased with the results.

She used the Party to Go Lips & Eyes Kit ($42), a palette that I might not have selected before Sarah applied it to my eyes. After I saw the results, I came home with it! Unfortunately, even though Diron recorded all of the colors Sarah used on me, I accidentally left it behind. I'll have to call in a bit and ask him to save it for me.

If you ever get a chance to jump into Sarah's chair, do it! You will love the results. I was very happy with her handiwork on my eyes today.

I was invited to attend Victor dE Souza's fashion show during the just-concluded New York Fashion Week. I wasn't able to go because the show was in the evening, and there wasn't any way I could get a train back to DC on the same day.

Dustin Lujan, Victor's partner, kindly sent me a video so that I could see the show I missed. Just click on this link to see the show highlights. Besides the fashion - and the fabulous animals that adorned many of the pieces - Dustin's makeup was the star of the show for me. I have been talking to Dustin about the next pieces he will introduce now that his lipstick collection is established. The models were wearing the mascara and eye shadows that will be introduced next. I strained to look as closely as possible to try to discern the eye shadow shades. It was difficult see them in the video, but I know that with Dustin's master touch, they will be beautiful.

Please watch the video to experience the fashion show from the comfort of your home of office. Victor is on the cusp of worldwide fame. You'll be able to say, "I knew him when."

The Saks Fifth Avenue Beauty event started yesterday, and the tote GWP is really nice. I spent more than I should have, but the bonus was that gorgeous tote. Although the Neiman Marcus beauty event has officially ended, Michael Reinhardt is extending it at Mazza Gallerie for Le Métier de Beauté through Sunday. So if you missed it by accident, give Michael or Andy a call at that counter at (202) 966-9700.

I've been sorting beauty products for features here on the blog, and I must have about 50 pounds of gorgeous products to show you. Next week, I've got to get busy taking photos, and I may have to try to write more than one feature per day. Several generous companies have sent me their new collections, and I want you to see them as soon as possible.

It's time for the Friday Forum. The Friday Forum has always been an opportunity to share information. Are you using a fabulous product and want to sing its praises? Tell us about it! Did you find a beauty product disappointing? Tell us why! Do you have questions others might be able to answer? We can help! Want to talk about skin care? I'm game. Just use the comments. We have busy weekends and slow ones on the forum. I hope to see you in the comments.

Photos by Best Things in Beauty

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Edward Bess Threads of Silk Multi-Use Powder

Perhaps you missed it too. Edward Bess's Threads of Silk Multi-Use Powder ($45) was introduced when my mother was very ill. I was not on top of my game this spring. Fortunately, Edward Bess introduces makeup with staying power. If it's great, he doesn't leave it online for a month and then yank it, like some beauty companies do to give the illusion of exclusivity.

This skin-perfecting marvel is available in two shades, Bellissima (shown above) and Ciao (shown immediately below). I purchased Bellissima. It is a finely milled complexion enhancer, blush, or highlighter - however you want to use it - with silk fibers to infuse the skin with a luster, leaving it radiant and glowing.

Exquisitely crafted in the northern region of Italy, this satiny-smooth powder is as soft and luxurious as silk, one of the finest fabrics we wear. Woven with actual silk fibers, this multitasking powder adds warmth and dimension to the face and eyes, allowing our features to exhibit a new vitality.

Optical light reflectors mimicking those found in silk threads deflect light to blur imperfections and bestow a silk-like luster on the skin.

I took my photos of Bellissima in full, early afternoon sunshine. I ran a sponge-tipped applicator across all of the patchwork shades, yielding a surprising golden, bronze sheen. Would you have anticipated that after looking at the pink, ivory, and taupe shades in the compact?

I think the blended shade is gorgeous, and I'm so happy I purchased it. Now, despite the fact that it's not brand new (only a few months old), I want Ciao! I'll bet the blended shade is nowhere near as peachy as what I expect from its photo. I saw swatch photos at The Beauty Look Book, but Sabrina's skin tone is so different from mine, I was startled by the difference in our swatches. She takes great photos.

You can wear these powders if you choose as eye shadows, either by blending the colors and applying them as a wash over the entire lid, or by individually selecting shades with a small brush and applying them individually.

I remember that you told me a few months ago that you wanted to see makeup that wasn't brand new as long as it is available. The good news is that you can find Edward's beautiful Threads of Silk Multi-Use Powders at the Edward Bess Web site, Bergdorf Goodman, and a few Neiman Marcus Stores. I have about 50 pounds of makeup I haven't featured yet, so I wanted to show you this beauty before I move on to holiday collections.

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