Monday, September 30, 2013

Giorgio Armani Beauty Maestro Fusion Makeup Compact with Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 29

If you loved Maestro when it launched - or have grown to worship it - you'll also love the new Maestro Fusion Makeup Compact Compact ($64). Maestro Fusion Makeup Compact offers the same rare finesse that has made Maestro an international success by combining comfort, radiance, and impeccable coverage. The new cream compact comes in eight shades designed to universally match all skin tones and suit all skin types.

This multipurpose product conceals like a foundation, offers precise touch-ups, and camouflages blemishes. It's the perfect harmony between the lightness of a fluid and the comfort of a compact.
Sophisticated and practical, it provides a new made-to-measure application step dedicated to achieving a pure, luminous finish with an unequalled second-skin sensation.

Whether for makeup or fashion, Giorgio Armani places fluidity at the heart of his creations. He dresses the complexion in light, just like his clothes drape the body in rare, ethereal fabrics. The rich yet ultra-fine texture of this new foundation can be compared to fine and diaphanous organza. Organza gracefully highlights the figure, while Maestro leaves a delicate, luminous veil on the face - soft to the touch for an effect that is imperceptible to the naked eye.

With the Maestro Fusion Makeup Compact, the master of elegance, Mr. Armani, has transcended the boundaries of excellence - again. The result is a fine and delicate texture with the technical expertise of a rich and comfortable formula. “Intelligent Melting Complex” technology, a blend of oils and waxes that become one with the skin, is the secret behind Maestro. The Armani team meticulously selected oils and waxes for the cosmetic and sensory properties of each.

The waxes are able to adapt to different temperatures. This "Intelligent Melting Complex" creates a unique composition that blends seamlessly with the skin, regardless of the application method. The oils were carefully selected for their "skin fusion alchemy and comfort." Five non-greasy dry oils that evaporate at different rates were custom-selected to deliver comfort, protection, and softness. There is a new addition to the blend: argan oil, known for its nourishing and antioxidant properties. The argan oil, along with vitamin E and SPF 29 protection are at the heart of the Maestro Fusion Compact's formula to ensure hydration and continuous skin care.

With 30% fewer powders than a conventional compact, Maestro Fusion Makeup Compact concentrates on the essentials: light-reflecting powders. Free from all superfluous ingredients, the cream compact avoids feeling greasy or creating a mask-like finish.

As soon as the product comes into contact with the skin, thanks to the Intelligent Melting Complex’s transformation properties, Maestro Compact instantly changes into a light cream texture, giving precise and comfortable application. You can apply this cream foundation with your fingertips (I'm not big on that idea).

If you apply it with brush, a fine and comfortable film is left on the skin to immediately correct your complexion, creating a flawless finish. The formula instantly becomes one with the skin. After using it, I found my complexion even, pure, shine-free, and radiant. For really precise, simple, and buildable application, the Giorgio Armani laboratories created an exclusive brush (half synthetic and half natural bristles) that is housed in the compact. Its shape, composition, and travel-friendly size all combine to offer an easy, delicate application. I actually like the brush - rare for me to like brushes provided in compacts.

My favorite applicator is a sponge. I have been applying it with its own brush, but then blending it to perfection with a sponge.

Normally, I am a #2 in Armani foundations. This summer, I found #2 in the original Maestro just a little too light because I unwittingly got a little sun on my face - not much, but enough to notice that #2 made me look pale. So, to have flexibility, I selected #4 in the Maestro Fusion Makeup Compact. I purchased mine at Saks Fifth Avenue in Chevy Chase.

The #4 is absolutely perfect for me now. I have used it for my first foundation application in the morning (with gorgeous results), and I have taken it with me for a mid-day touch-up. One thing I love about it is that it blends right into my skin when applied over the morning foundation - no matter what foundation I applied earlier (Armani of otherwise). The lightest application provides a look of mid-day perfection to my skin. I'm loving that!

I feel like I've found a gold mine. I have missed a discontinued Bobbi Brown cream foundation compact I used to use. Now, I'll miss it no longer. Armani has won my heart with this one.

You can find this new beauty at Armani's Web site. It should be at all Armani counters in October. If you need help, call the Armani Beauty Team at Saks at (240) 497-5206.

Photos at top courtesy of Giorgio Armani Beauty; other photo by Best Things in Beauty

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Chanel Rouge Allure Luminous Intense Lip Color

Finally, I got my hands on testers for Chanel's beautiful new Rouge Allure Luminous Intense Lip Colors ($34) and purchase three at Saks Fifth Avenue. They were having a well-attended three-day "Nuit Byzantine" event, and I felt lucky to be able to stop by on Saturday.

After greeting my Chanel friends, I went straight to work with the testers. Knowing the darker shades would not be "me," I started with the lighter ones, hoping that they would be as perfect as they are. I selected Gracile (#89), Ambiguë (#124), and Étonnante (#131) - excellent choices, in my humble opinion, for my coloring and tastes.

The next generation of Rouge Allure dresses the lips with unmistakable attitude. A new formula with concentrated, ultra-thin pigments offers radically intense color with full coverage and a satin finish. Leaves lips supple and protected with lasting comfort.

I was struggling with clouds when I snapped photos of the three shades. Finally, I got a break in the clouds and was able to snap this photo, showing, from left to right, Gracile (#89), Ambiguë (#124), and Étonnante (#131). The sun gave me more time to get swatch photos, shown on my arm in the same order, but from top to bottom.

You can see that the three shades offer luster without shine. The finish is satin, as advertised. Any shine you see in my photos, such as the shine on Gracile at the top of my arm, came courtesy of the direct sun. I am thrilled to have a full color range with these three shades: pink, plum, and peach. I think all three shades are gorgeous.

Ambiguë doesn't look very dark on my arm, but combined with my own lip pigment, it's about as dark a shade as I like. Its plum coloring is absolutely perfect for fall. Want more color? There are 15 limited-edition shades for you that range from nude to dramatic red.

These new lipsticks are available at Chanel's Web site and Chanel counters everywhere. I hope your own counter has the testers by now. The new Rouge Allure Luminous Intense Lip Colors are spot on for the upcoming season.

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

Friday, September 27, 2013

The Friday Forum - September 27

This budding fashionista (perfectly put together) sat next to me this week at a fashion show at CUSP within Neiman Marcus, Mazza Gallerie. The seven-year-old has a bunny who accompanies her everywhere. During the show, she practiced her photography skills. Someday, I'll bet she will be in New York for Fashion Week. She was absolutely adorable.

The theme at the show as Rocker Chic - Ken Downing's description of the trend for fashion this season. I don't think of "rocker" and "chic" as being compatible. Fortunately, the clothing modeled was more like Soft Rocker Chic. The outfits were feminine and covet-worthy. Unfortunately, I would never be able to wear most of them to work. Work attire with skinny leather trousers that end way above the ankles is just not appropriate in conservative DC. I'd love to go out for dinner, though, in the some of the clothing modeled.

I loved the emphasis on purple for fall (note the purple handbag), skinny trousers in leather, and soft, embellished sweatshirt fabrics. What are the big colors for fall? Purple, red, black (always), and brown. Animal prints are big too.

Leather and lace? Hardly rocker chic, but definitely chic. I enjoyed the show because there were outfits that drew oohs and aahs. I'm a tough sell on new fashion, but I saw several things I would like to purchase.

Remember that I recently mentioned scratch and sniff computer displays, wishing I could invent one? I guess there's never an original idea. Right after my feature published, I received WWD's latest Beauty Inc. and was astounded to read about a new technologies being developed. Recently, Givaudan's marketing director spoke of an app that would allow users to send an olfactory message from their smartphones. The recipient would be able to smell an olfactive representation of an image. Perhaps your birthday cake, he said.

The Olfactive Project, created by an international team, aims to explore the concept of virtual coffee. Their experiment includes sending an electronic coffee odor around the world using the oPhone. The prototype device will allow oPhone owners to send olfactory messages to oPhone users. As of May, only 10 such phones existed, but it's clearly the wave of the future for fragrance lovers. As I read that, I slipped into "wowsers" mode.

I've now tallied the damage from Neiman Marcus' Beauty Event, and I approach the Saks event with trepidation. I know I'll find things I want. I'm just hoping that I can control the I-wants. I must save for the Guerlain Holiday Collection, set to hit the counters mid-October.

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 great weekend!

Photos by Best Things in Beauty

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

NEST Fragrances PASSION Scented Candle, Supporting the Breast Cancer Research Foundation

I'm not sure what initially attracted my attention: the exquisite color of the candle or a scented candle in the NEST display that I didn't recognize. I gave the "tester" a sniff, then I swooned.

After doing a little research, I learned that Laura Slatkin, Founder and CEO of NEST Fragrances, created the PASSION Scented Candle ($28) to honor the memory and the extraordinary achievements of Evelyn H. Lauder, Founder of The Breast Cancer Research Foundation. As October, breast cancer awareness month approaches, the timing of PASSION's release was perfect.

Evelyn Lauder's passion and dedication to finding a cure for and preventing breast cancer by establishing The Breast Cancer Research Foundationare are legendary. Not only did she raise awareness of breast cancer globally, she also inspired leading scientists to study the disease by funding groundbreaking research at renowned medical centers worldwide. "I was inspired to create PASSION after hearing Evelyn’s husband Leonard lovingly announce his commitment to continuing her critically important work [after her death]. They were in this fight together, and NEST Fragrances is pleased to join them in their efforts by supporting The Breast Cancer Research Foundation with PASSION," said Laura Slatkin. NEST Fragrances is donating 10 percent of the retail price of each PASSION Candle purchased to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

PASSION combines the essences of blooming peony and dewy garden roses with warm sandalwood and a hint of flowering pittosporum, Evenlyn Lauder's beloved fragrance note. This peony is the real thing - so different from the many fragrances that claim to feature peony That's why I swooned with my first whiff. I was transported to a mid-May garden, with pink and white peonies scenting the air around them. I was so impressed, I walked around Neiman Marcus making all my friends experience PASSION. To a one, they all agreed it was divine.

I haven't purchased mine yet. I am waiting to see if the lunatics in Congress shut down the government. As soon as I know the coast is clear, I will be at Neiman Marcus or NEST's Web site with credit card in hand. It's so good, I may be "forced" to buy two - perhaps three since 10% will be donated to charity.

Photo courtesy of NEST Fragrances

SEPHORA+PANTONE UNIVERSE Ombre Dual Lipstick Fire and Earth

Sephora's SEPHORA+PANTONE UNIVERSE Ombre Dual Lipstick Fire and Earth ($22) grabbed my attention when I was browsing Sephora recently. They are said to have been inspired by natural elements.

This deluxe, double-ended lipstick features a coordinated duo of glossy and shimmery formulas. Each color, texture, and finish is inspired by one of the four elements to create a harmonious lip look. The matte-shimmery shade (how can you have matte-shimmery, Sephora?) allows for a layer of velvety color with a sparkly finish while the glossy shade adds brilliant shine to highlight thge lips. The creamy, velvety texture glides easily onto lips so you can blend or layer shades for a multidimensional look.

Because I've been impressed with the "Pantone Universe" collection from the get-go, I decided to order one. Both looked nice, so I flipped a coin.

Here is what came: two not-full-sized lipsticks in a kludgy container that I had to figure out. Basically, you have to push on the opposite color you want (as indicated on the bottom) to push out the color you do want. It's a bit counterintuitive.

Here are the two shades in Carnelian/Deep Claret. They are meant to be used alone or blended. Naturally, I took swatch photos in full sun (late day in this case), swatching Carnelian at the top of my arm, Deep Claret below, and then the two shades mixed at the bottom.

It is terribly unlikely that I will wear Carnelian alone. Stranger things have happened, so time will tell.

Deep Claret is a pretty rose. The two shades combined provide the nicest option in my opinion. The lipsticks have a nice formula, feeling creamy and with normal wear time. They are formulated without parabens, sulfates, or phthalates.

All in all? I'm not displeased, but I wouldn't rave about them. The Fire and Earth lipsticks are limited editions and available only at Sephora.

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

Monday, September 23, 2013

Le Métier de Beauté Saks Fifth Avenue Fall 2013 Dominique Kaleidoscope Eye Kit - Plus More News

The Dominique Kaleidoscope Eye Kit ($95) is exclusive to Saks Fifth Avenue. It is in the company's Look For Fall Fantasy September Beauty catalog, which arrived last week.

I know that there have been comments here about ordering this from Neiman Marcus. I don't know how. It's a Saks exclusive.

I don't have a press description of the shades yet, but they appear to be a pretty peach, lavender, sparkling/snazzy pink, and periwinkle. I'm very curious about it. I wish there were a Saks in the DC area where I could go see it.

There's more in store from Le Métier de Beauté. This week (probably Wednesday or Thursday), the company is launching two-ounce Peau Vierge tubes in shades #2 and #3.  Customers requested an easier-to-carry tube that they could throw into their bags, so Le Métier de Beauté came up with a two-ounce tube for convenience.  It will hit all Le Métier de Beauté counters this week.  It's the same great product, but now available in a larger size and different packaging for $175.00 (one ounce is still $125.00). Pretty cool, huh?

Photos courtesy of Le Métier de Beauté

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Le Métier de Beauté Neiman Marcus Fall 2013 Kaleidoscope Eye Kit: Carnaby Street - Swatched

I'm so excited that I now have my hands on Le Métier de Beauté's Carnaby Street ($95). As usual, the real thing is much prettier than the press photo above lets on.

Le Métier de Beauté Neiman Marcus' exclusive Carnaby Street Kaleidoscope Eye Kit for Fall 2013 was inspired by swinging London and the famed Soho shopping district that was the center of the mod and hippie movements of the 1960's. Le Métier de Beauté says this pretty collection of eye colors "screams of fashion-forward sophistication." I say it screams wearable, everyday beauty.

Cameo at the top is a shimmering peachy pink. Anorak is a warm, glinting taupe. They had me with these top two shades. Then they moved on with pizazz.

Jackie is a sophisticated matte mauve. I will never wear it alone (unlayered) - it's not suited to my eyes with their tendency to redness. It does layer well with the other shades, though. Last weekend, Christopher applied Carnaby Street on me at Mazza Gallerie (the tester had arrived), and Jackie looked really pretty when blended with the shades above it.

Dandy, at the bottom, is a stunning blue (strangely called midnight navy, but it's not that dark). It's a pure, medium-toned blue that makes a pretty, contrasting eyeliner for me. Those who love smoky blues will find it a gorgeous color that gives life to the eyes.

I took my swatch photos in full, mid-day sunshine. I applied all four shades moderately heavily with a sponge-tipped applicator. You will see that I had a little friend keeping an eye on me from the porch - grooming himself when I shot the photo directly below.

Given my tastes, the top two shades are worth the price of admission. The peachy pink is the perfect color to ensure that your eyes won't look red. The gleaming taupe is, well, perfect.

I took one swatch photo that wasn't in strong, direct sunlight because I felt the sun was washing out the shades. Here is a shot in front of the chrysanthemum my friend left for me. It is in full bloom at my front door.

This Kaleidoscope is exclusive to Neiman Marcus and made it to the Mazza Gallerie store just as the end of Beauty Week neared. Through today, Neiman Marcus Mazza Gallerie has amazing GWPs. If you spend $125 and purchase a Le Métier de Beauté lipstick, you will receive another one for free. If you spend $300 at Le Métier de Beauté, you will receive a full-sized Peau Vierge Dark Spot Corrector, which I have learned is also a pore minimizer and retexturing serum.

To order today call Michael Reinhardt or Chae Edwards at Neiman Marcus Mazza Gallerie. You can reach them at (202) 966-9700, extension 2258 or 2236. They are both working today. You can certainly order later, but Beauty Event will have ended. The Neiman Marcus event totes are cute (spend $125 in beauty), but not must-have's. Still, I will use my brown leopard tote to lug things around.

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

Friday, September 20, 2013

The Friday Forum - September 20

Expect to see more squirrel butts soon. They are now stashing their winter food. Eat one, bury one. That reminds me a bit of my makeup addiction. Buy one, store one - somewhere, fortunately not underground. Although fragrances like to be kept in a cool environment. I wonder if anyone has ever used a bomb shelter for perfume storage.

Carnaby Street finally arrived at Neiman Marcus Mazza Gallerie. It will probably be tomorrow morning before I make it over there to pick mine up. Assuming the sun is shining, I will post swatch photos tomorrow.

Thanks to everyone who left happy birthday wishes. It was Wednesday. I had a wonderful pizza for dinner and bought a Powerball ticket - sure I would win with all that birthday luck. I was very disappointed when I learned someone in South Carolina won the $400 million.

I do have some beauty news to share with you, but I wasn't able to write it up last night. Maybe I'll do an addendum to this forum when I get home after work. Stay tuned.

The blog has been receiving a lot of spam in the last two weeks, and Google is flagging most of it as spam. It's possible I have marked some of your comments as spam. A comment with a link on a post published in 2009 looks like spam to me. I may have deleted one or two legit comments, and if so, I apologize.

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.

Photo courtesy of

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Sisley L'Orchidée Rose Blush Highlighter from the City Muse Collection for Fall 2013

Like a melting pot buzzing with energy and creativity, the city is a bubbling whirlpool of effervescence. From Paris to New York, from London to Milan, the Sisley woman is decidedly urban this autumn. Her world spans major international capital cities, where businesswomen flourish. Pounding the streets of the grand boulevards or flitting between high-society dinner parties, she exudes androgynous elegance with the added twist of ultra-feminine makeup.

Perhaps not my lifestyle, but...
In the fall, our complexions lighten; summer’s sun-kissed looks fade away to leave a transparent, hopefully luminous, and pinkish complexion. This fall, color takes center stage. Sisley's L'Orchidée Rose Blush Highlighter ($108) is the perfect complement to dramatic eyes and intense lips. It will not compete with them. You have seen the minimal cheek color for fall. This one, composed of three shades, which can be blended in infinite variations to illuminate the complexion, is perfect.

L’Orchidée Rose colors and enhances the complexion with an easy-to-apply and endlessly adjustable luminous veil. Its trio of ultra-luminous shades is specially designed to beautify and sculpt the face: three soft, slightly pearly shades that refract the light and offer a gorgeous glow.

L'Orchidée Rose adds a subtle pink sheen that will brighten up your winter complexion like a breath of fresh air for the face - light due to the airy and silky formula with micronized pigments and extracts of hydrating white lily. The color is a beautiful, pure pink - perfect for me.

I took swatch photos this past weekend - after I purchased L'Orchidée Rose. I swatched at the top of my arm with a sponge-tipped applicator and below with a blush brush. I think the color is marvelous. It has life without "in your face" shimmer.

You can see in the photo directly above that the gleaming finish is beautiful and natural. I can use it as a blush; others may find it a perfect highlighter. No matter what your skin tone, you can find a way to beautify your face with this gorgeous color.

Sisley’s City Muse makeup collection is now arriving at 95 luxury retailers nationwide, including Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bergdorf Goodman, and select locations of Nordstrom and Bloomingdale's. There are other pieces in the collection that I was not able to purchase. You really need to see the whole display. It's gorgeous.

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

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Sisley Phyto-Ombre Glow Metallic Eye Shadow from the City Muse Collection for Fall 2013

Sisley's new, unique Phyto-Ombre Glow ($52) eye shadows (I'll bet they will serve beautifully as highlighters too) caught my eyes the moment I saw them a few weeks ago. Silver Glow, Pearl Glow, Gold Glow, and Amber Glow all went on my to-buy list, and I was able to purchase them Saturday. They had arrived at Neiman Marcus Mazza Gallerie on Friday. The ultra-soft, exceptionally fine illuminating eye shadows are designed to give the benefits of a powder, cream, and molded formula in one instantly blending gel system.

Phyto-Ombre Glow is a next-generation eye shadow that captures and diffuses light in a captivating pearlescent halo. It has a cutting-edge technology, unrivaled formula with a host of benefits.
Extremely light and comfortable to wear, this shadow adheres better to the eyelid and is lighter than your typical powder - and more velvety than a cream. Invisible, and with an incomparable glide-on application, this subtle shadow works into your skin effortlessly with no risk of overdoing it. It layers perfectly.

Mother of pearl is in the formula to catch the light from every angle and deliver breathtaking radiance to the eyes. Breakthrough color control with its talc-free, residue-free formula offers ultra-luminescent and thoroughly pure color with a translucent finish. These shadows can be worked in infinite ways for many looks, from intense metallic to subtle shimmer.

Here is a photo of all my new treasures. From left to right, they are Silver Glow, Pearl Glow, Gold Glow, and Amber Glow. You can see that the surface of each is waved - just a little extra to make them especially beautiful in their compacts.

What can I tell you about their formula? Here us what Sisley says.
  • Talc-free, residue-free formula for ultra-luminescent and thoroughly pure color with a translucent finish 
  • An unprecedented percentage of mother of pearl to catch the light from every angle and deliver radiance to the eyes
  • To be worked in infinite ways, for a versatile make-up result: light and natural through to more intense, more metallic, bold looks
  • Enriched in green tea leaf, white lily petal extracts, and camellia oil, it softens and respects the skin of the eyelids
I took swatch photos in full sun after swatching with a sponge-tipped applicator. I swatched in the same order above, from Silver Glow at the top of my arm to Amber Glow at the bottom.

The colors are all gorgeous to my eyes. How would I ever have selected just one? They adhere to my lid beautifully, and they gleam with a sophisticated brilliance. Do I have a favorite shade? Not really, but I love the way the champagne Pearl Glow looks on me.

Sisley's trainer told me they were best applied with our fingertips. Sisley's Web site recommends use of the sponge-tipped applicator that comes with each compact or fingertips for application. Take your pick.

This is the part where I drool. You really must try these new eye shadows. Finally, you should be able to find them at your favorite Sisley counter. My online search found them available at Nordstrom's Web site.  Need help? Call Vicki Hamilton at (202) 966-9700, extension 2258.

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

Monday, September 16, 2013

New Chantecaille Cheek Crème Shades for "Summer 2013" Have Arrived

I showed you the new Chantecaille Cheek Crèmes ($25) for Summer 2013 in June. They have finally arrived. I purchased both at Neiman Marcus Mazza Gallerie this past weekend.

Two new Cheek Crème shades were to have been introduced in July.  I have no idea what happened to cause the delay. Now that they are here, I can verify that these blushes have a velvety soft cream texture that melts into the skin, transforming into a powder finish for a natural glow-from-within look. They are sold as refills, which is why you see the colors depicted separately from the color-ready compacts above. Playful is a pink with a touch of coral, and Dashing is a burnt rose.

There is no way I could have chosen only one, however, I was unable to purchase a compact - not even one. Chantecaille had not sent enough of them to the store. I'll pick two up eventually.

Achieve the look of a natural summer flush with Chantecaille’s luxurious Cheek Crème. The velvety, soft cream blush melts into skin, transforming into a soft powder finish for a natural glow. Designed for easy application, the creamy formula glides on smoothly for gentle, buildable color. The compact’s convenient mirror guarantees effortless on-the-go application.

The antioxidant-rich formula is infused with white lily bulb and peach extracts to shield delicate skin from harmful environmental pollutants. Silicone elastomers in emollient oils deliver a subtle touch of luminousity.

In an effort to be more environmentally responsible, Chantecaille has proudly re-launched all eye and cheek shades for refillable-only packaging, the new mirrored Pebble Compact ($11). Its innovative magnetized strip allows you to remove, recycle, and replace your favorite Chantecaille shades effortlessly. The only problem is that the total price of the color and the compact is now higher. I guess we pay to be environmentally responsible.

When I swatched them in full sun, using a brush for the heavy swatch at the top of my arm and my finger for the "normal" application below, I found the creams to be much softer than I expected. Be warned: they are soft, and a little goes a long way.

Playful is shown directly above and below. The swatch at the top of my arm is really intense because I was surprised by how much product my brush picked up with one swipe. The warm pink color is gorgeous, and as you can see, it looks like a natural blush when applied normally.

Dashing, shown immediately below, is the darker of the two shades and just as gorgeous. If you look at the color in the "plastic" container, you might think it is very dark. As you can see in my photo, it blends out nicely for a "burnt rose" shade that's perfect for fall. I think you're going to love the new additions to the Cheek Crème "family."

These Cheek Crèmes are available at Barneys New York, Bergdorf Goodman, Frédéric Fekkai Salons, Neiman Marcus, Space NK, and select Bloomingdale’s, Nordstrom, and Saks Fifth Avenue locations. They will also be available online at and - too.

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

Thoughts with the Navy Yard

We have heavy hearts in the DC area today. So far, 13 people, just going about their daily work, have been declared dead. I'm not sure whether that includes the gunman who gained entrance to a Navy Yard building and started shooting.

My former business partner has a contract there. Her employees were inside the building where the shootings occurred. Thank God she was outside the gates when it happened. She was on her way inside the building. Her employees? One who used to work for me dove under her desk and was saved. Her nearby colleague is one of the two women in the hospital - expected to be fine. A bullet grazed her skull, but didn't penetrate it. Unfortunately, no one can find or has heard from a third colleague, and he is feared dead. It is known that the guy who sat next to him is dead.

One DC police officer is in surgery now. He has pretty extensive leg wounds. It is not known whether he will walk again.


Update 9/17: The missing colleague? He died. Hug your family, friends, and pets.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Sunday This and That - Featuring Le Métier de Beauté, Chanel, and More

I was so excited that Le Métier de Beauté's Carnaby Street had arrived - until I wasn't. Only the tester arrived at Neiman Marcus, so I couldn't purchase it. I did get a photo of "the real thing." Now, you can see that the colors are gorgeous, and the bottom shade is blue, not teal. I am hoping that the for-sale product arrives this week (a regional rep told me it "probably" would).

I started off Saturday with a nice, intimate blogger event hosted by Kara Manos of Politics of Pretty.  Kara, dressed in a trendy outfit that only the beautiful and young can wear, calls herself obsessed with beauty products. She showed us her favorite new products - all sold at Neiman Marcus, the co-sponsor, of course. Among her favorites? Giorgio Armani's new Rouge Ecstasy, Diorshow mascara, Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Sheer Colour SPF 15, and Guerlain's Météorites. As we watched, we ate finger food and drank mimosas. Nice way to start the day!

After the show, I went downstairs to pick up my Beauty Event purchases, then I got in my car and went to Neiman Marcus Mazza Gallerie - and hung out for three hours! During that time, I got a look at new Chanel Rouge Allure lipsticks. You know how photos of photos taken indoors can be dark and dingy. I figure they are better than nothing.

Chanel's luminous Collection Moiré has been arriving in pieces. Gabrielle Chanel is said to have loved silk moiré fabric for its changing glints in different lighting. This new collection mirrors the fabric's luminous finish. This time, the for-sale Rouge Allure lipsticks had arrived without the testers. The Le Vernis shades in the collection had also arrived, but the Rouge Allure Extrait de Gloss, lip definers, and Aqua Crayons had not. We looked at the for-sale colors but it was hard to judge them since we couldn't test them. My first impression is that the colors are saturated.

I'm more excited about Chanel's Nuit Infini de Chanel Collection for Holiday 2013. I'm sure you have seen photos of it on European blogs. Designed to capture the endless mystery of an exciting night, Ombres Matelassé ($80) will be the star of the show. With beiges and bronze, the shadows should be gorgeous. This palette will be available in October.

At long last, Chantecaille's new Cheek Crèmes have arrived. They are now sold without a compact, the refillable Pebble Compact, so the overall initial price, color insert and compact, has increased. That didn't stop me from buying both shades. I'm not sure where I'll find the compacts, since they already sold out at Neiman Marcus. I really don't want to wait for them to restock, so I will check the company's Web site. I have photos of the new shades and will show you tomorrow.

For those of you who were frustrated by your inability to find Sisley's gorgeous new color collection, it arrived at Neiman Marcus Mazza Gallerie on Friday. I have swatch photos and will show you early this week.

Recommended Sources
Le Métier de Beauté: Michael Reinhardt or Chae Edwards at Neiman Marcus Mazza Gallerie at (202) 966-9700, extension 2258 or 2236.
Chanel: Nicki Hashemi can be reached at the same extensions, (202) 966-9700, extension 2258 or 2236.
Sisley: Vicki Hamilton at (202) 966-9700, extension 2258.
Chantecaille: Jeannine Barnes at (202) 966-9700, extension 2289.

Photos by Best Things in Beauty

Bobbi Brown Smokey Eye Mascara

Bobbi Brown will be introducing a new Smokey Eye Mascara next month (I think). It is available in a super-saturated extreme black shade that comes from richly pigmented, khôl-like kajal - perfect for topping off a smoky eye. I was given a full-sized one at a blogger event at Neiman Marcus Mazza Gallerie, and I've had a few weeks to play with it.

Smokey Eye is a dramatic mascara, one that's a bit too dark for my fair appearance during the day, but perfect for night. Lately, I've switched over to a charcoal, soft black, or brown-black shade for a more flattering, natural look. I know makeup artists will disagree with me, but I feel a little "out there" when I go to work with a vampy eye.

Bobbi Brown says Smokey Eye Mascara allows you to build volume, lash by lash, so lashes look longer, thicker, and more individually defined. You can layer it without the glop factor. The night I learned about it, the Bobbi Brown representative had on five layers! Her lashes looked great.

The cylindrical brush delivers clump-free volume and will reach even the shortest and hardest to reach inner lashes. Right now, I have a few short lashes grouped in the middle of my right eye, and they were covered with one sweep.

Even though my lashes are plentiful and long, the hairs are thin. Voluminizing mascaras often clump - even when advertised to be clump-free. This new mascara performs nicely, without any clumping as long as I comb its wand deeply through the lashes as I apply it.  If I find any of them stuck together when I'm finished, I run a lash comb through them to separate them. That works well. I am wearing Smokey Eye Mascara right now, and my lashes are my face feature of the day.

I think anyone looking for a black-black mascara that will amp up her lashes quickly and easily will want to try Bobbi Brown's new Smokey Eye Mascara. Right now, there is an advance promotion running at Bobbi Brown's Web site. Until the end of September, you will receive a 10-day supply of Smokey Eye Mascara with any order. That's a nice deal.

Photos by Best Things in Beauty