Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Chanel Les 4 Ombres Multi-Effect Quadra Eyeshadow in Poésie

Did I save the best for last? The one limited-edition eye shadow quad from Chanel's new collection of Les 4 Ombres Multi-Effect Quadra Eyeshadows is Poésie (#234, $61).  I had seen many photos of it online - all deceptive in some way it turns out. I purchased it sight unseen, and when I finally got my eyes on the real thing, I almost drooled.

I know many of you have already purchased Poésie and sung its praised - for very good reason. It's a stunner.

The color in the lower right that I had assumed from press photos and other bloggers was a shade of burgundy? It's not. Yippee!

I took photos in very late-afternoon sunshine. I swatched from upper left in the quad, moving clockwise and ending on my arm with the pink at lower left. I used a sponge-tipped applicator and swatched relatively heavily.

Just look at these unbelievably gorgeous shades! The bronze at the top of my arm has a touch of rose in it, making it "rose bronze," one of my recent favorites. The flesh toned shade is a perfect base or even highlighter. It won't set the world on fire, but it coordinates perfectly with the other shades.

What color is the darkest shade? I think it's a hybrid representing shimmering brown and rose. I do not see burgundy, eggplant, or any of the other shades that have been used to describe it. It is totally gorgeous on my skin and does not make me look tired, as so many red shades do.

The shimming pink may not be unique, but it complements the rest of the shades so well, I'm in love with it too. How nice does it get?

In case you didn't see this note from a Chanel friend, the applicators that come in the quad are velour. They give a completely different look than a sponge applicator or a brush. If you do use a brush, try Chanel's #14. The quads are not frosted, but have a luminous sheen which will soften aging and camouflage lines and wrinkles on the lids. Good news for everyone over 50!

The new Chanel quads are widely available, but Poésie was distributed in very limited numbers. Call before you zoom over to your favorite Chanel counter.

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

Bobbi Brown Bronze Brightening Blush and Pink Brightening Blush from the Surf & Sand Collecton for Summer 2014

Among Bobbi Brown's beautiful Surf & Sand Collection, you'll find stripes, which Bobbi perfected years ago with her Shimmer Bricks. Since then, she has experimented with stripes of different widths. Her wildest strips were probably the gold and silver ones in her holiday Party Palette from a few years back. The stripes in her new limited-edition Bronze Brightening Blush ($45) and limited-edition Pink Brightening Blush ($45) are tame and extremely flattering on the skin -  they offer a touch of summer color.

Speaking of summer, look at the steam from humidity on the mirror on the Bronze Brightening Blush at left above. Do you think it was hot outside at high noon when I took that picture?

I have very little time to write today, so let's go right to the swathes. I used a sponge-tipped applicator and ran it across all three shades, applying the bronze at the top of my arm and the pink below. Both applications were heavy. Then I took a kabuki brush and applied the blended bronze shade below the stripe swatches. I applied the two stripes heavily.

The bronze is a beautiful, gleaming color, and when applied appropriately. Tthis lightly pearlized blush delivers a soft wash of lit-from-within color. It looks natural. Bobbi recommends that you apply it with her Blush Brush, and I agree. That brush will add color lightly, giving you the opportunity to add more if you wish.

The pink is extremely sheer and light. Also offering pearlized color, it's best on women with fair skin. I don't see it adding much of a glow to those with darker skin. Maybe I'm incorrect, so tell me if I am.

I think these are beautiful compacts - stripes and all - and I am pleased to have them. Right now, Bobbi Brown has an incredible deal on her Web site. Spend $100+ on your order and you will receive a $25 bonus card to spend later. That'a basically a 25% discount. Not bad!

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

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Almost Here: Chantecaille 15th Anniversary Palette


Take a look at Chantecaille's 15th Anniversary Palette! It's due in stores this weekend. I'll take four, please.

More to come on this beauty.

Photo courtesy of Anna Befanis

Monday, July 28, 2014

Bobbi Brown Sheer Lip Color - New Shades for the Season

Bobbi Brown added new shades to her Sheer Lip Colors ($26) for the season. Naturally, I jumped right in when I saw there were new options for me. I selected three new shades: Sunlit Pink (#18), Peach Sorbet (#20), and Pink Taffy (#21).

The sheer lip look of the season is a lightweight formula that delivers an effortless wash of color plus nourishing shine. The best part? Formulated with luxurious shea butter, murumuru butter, and apricot kernel oils, Sheer Lip Color rejuvenates and nourishes the overall condition of the lips instantly and over time. This beautiful lip color glides on smoothly and evenly and yields hours of feather-free wear. Available in a range of creamy and shimmery shades, the the hardest part of using  Sheer Lip Color is having to choose your favorite colors.

Here are my three new shades, Sunlit Pink (#18), Peach Sorbet (#20), and Pink Taffy (#21) from left to right. I'm sorry they aren't evenly lined up. They were rolling around on me as I tried to get a photograph of the three little soldiers.

I will skip right to the swatch photos to show you how pretty they are. I swatched in numeric order, starting at the top of my arm with Sunlit Pink (#18). My photos were taken in full, early afternoon sunshine. It was very bright outside.

I absolutely adore Sunlit Pink, despite the fact that I would have called it rose bronze. It's more brown than pink. It's gorgeous on the skin and the lips. The shimmer adds volume to my lips. It has plenty of color while remaining sheer. I'm smitten!

The shade in the middle, Peach Sorbet (#20) is also a little oddly named. I see it as a warm pink. I do see peach tones in it, though. Like Sunlit Pink, it's gorgeous on the skin and the lips. The shimmer adds volume, and it offers plenty of color while remaining sheer.

The lightest shade, Pink Taffy (#21) is very sheer. A baby pink, it's pretty, but not the stunner like the other two.

If you'd like to see my earlier feature on Bobbi's Sheer Lip Colors, click here. You can find these lovely lip colors at Bobbi Brown's Web site and all Bobbi Brown counters.

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

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Chanel Dentelle Précieuse Illuminating Powder

Chanel's Dentelle Précieuse Illuminating Powder ($80) has been exclusive to Nordstrom, a beauty feature of the Anniversary Sale. I was given an extra-special courtesy when I was allowed to purchase it slightly before the end of pre-sale (I do not carry store cards). Then I forgot to take photos. Duh!

This lacy luxury is a very special girl. She comes wrapped in a fold-over pouch with an elastic band to keep her in place. There is a place for her brush in the pouch. Her box is even large, giving her the aura of a collector's piece.

We tried the tester on my skin before I purchased Dentelle Précieuse Illuminating Powder. It looks beautiful on my pale face. I do wonder how it will appear on very dark skins. It might disappear because it is pastel and soft when applied. I think it's magnificent on my skin.

Note the difference in color between my photo, directly above, and the Nordstrom/Chanel photo at the top of this feature. The real color is closer to the Nordstrom/Chanel photo, but lighter. I was not wearing pink, nor were there any pink flowers near me when I snapped my photo in full sun. That pink cast is a mystery.

We'll let the swatch photos prove that. I took them in full, early afternoon sun. I used a sponge-tipped applicator to apply the powder extremely heavily at the top of my arm. Then I used a kabuki brush to show you a moderate swatch below. The nice thing about this powder is that I can achieve any look I want by varying the brush I use. I prefer to use a fluffy cheek brush to apply a sheer veil, which suits my everyday look quite well.

You can see the beautiful, soft gold shade in both swatches. I do not see the pink on my skin. Do you?

I think it's a perfect gold for everyone. It was a nice choice on Nordstrom's part. As you can see, it is sparkly, but not overly so. It's pretty and girly, not garish or glittery. It stays on too. I'd estimate five-hour wear. It does not make it all day when applied lightly.

"But of course," some will say to me. What do you expect when Nordstrom teams up with Chanel?

I'd like to see this highlighter distributed to all the Chanel counters so that everyone can take a look and see whether it will make a nice addition to their makeup wardrobes. I just tried to find it on Nordstrom's Web site and couldn't. I'm wondering if it sold out there. Surely the stores still have it available.

If you would like to see more photos, check out Sara's at Color Me Loud. I found it interesting that she also captured the pink tone in the compact.

I love my new illuminating powder. It stands out among the hundreds I already have. That's an achievement!

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

Friday, July 25, 2014

The Friday Forum - July 25

Here's a big-time sale alert, but it's only good for today. NEST Fragrances is offering 50% off its Beach Collection and a few other wonderful items. The sale will end tonight. You must use this link, and you must enter the promotional code of CHANNEL7. Your shipping should be free. This is an ABC "secret sale," but I have permission to share it with you.

As soon as I got the code last night, I pounced. I love Beach. A fresh, aquatic fragrance, Beach captures the essence of sparkling turquoise water and lush coconut married with juicy melon and a luminous base of lotus flower and sensual woods. It is divine, and, of course, especially this time of year.

I'm enjoying my new Clé de Peau eye shadow quads. It's ironic, though, that today I'm wearing one of last spring's introductions. I used the large portion of a flesh-toned shade to cover my lid under the crease and then blended in the prettiest teal green shade into the outside corner. Since I'm wearing black and white today, my eye shadow jazzed up my look.

I do have some knee news, but it will probably stun you as it did me yesterday, when I went for my second opinion. After four emotional months (plus) of believing that my bionic knee had come loose from the bone (per the doctor's diagnosis), I learned that the prosthetic itself is fine. It is still attached to the bone on both ends. My ligaments around the knee have stretched!  They call it ligamentous laxity. The good news is that they can cut into my knee again (well, relatively good) and replace the plastic "spacer" between the two metal piece parts, which will make my knee equal the ligament length properly, and all should be fine. The recovery is not supposed to be gruesome as it was on the original replacement, so I should be able to follow with a right knee replacement after a relatively short period of time. My right knee has reached the agonizing stage pain-wise, so I am ready.

I was stunned when I got this news from my surgeon's own partner! How could two accomplished physicians - both on the best doctor's list - come to such entirely different conclusions? I asked the politically insensitive question to the second surgeon, "Will you do my surgery?" He said yes - that the first doctor wouldn't be upset. So it looks like I'll be going in for new plastic. I'll wait until summer is over since he said a delay would not harm anything. He actually said the surgery wasn't totally necessary, but I don't want to live with the pain. He recommended I keep going to physical therapy to strengthen my thigh muscles.

It's time for our weekend sharing, the Friday Forum. I love this part of our week. What new products did you discover this week? We have all seen the upcoming Tom Ford collection, so I think we can skip that 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.

Happy weekend!

Photo courtesy of kelticclothing.co.uk

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Fresh Peony Brightening Night Treatment Mask

I was pretty excited when I saw the Fresh was offering a new mask. Called Peony Brightening Night Treatment Mask ($65), it was enticing. I love masks; I love masks that can be left on overnight; and I love Fresh (as a rule). The photo at Sephora showed a pump dispenser, the key to my heart. What could go wrong?

A powerful overnight treatment, says Fresh, Peony Brightening Night Treatment Mask is proven to lighten the appearance of dark spots, correct uneven skin tone, and significantly brighten the complexion. The highly concentrated overnight treatment formula is also proven to replenish and preserve hydration for 24 hours, promote suppleness, and smooth skin texture so you awake to youthful-looking, luminous skin. An exclusive brightening complex derived from peony and licorice root extracts and vitamin C glucoside has been proven to reduce and prevent the appearance of dark spots and even skin tone, while amino acids help to visibly firm and smooth wrinkles. The formula is further enriched with cucumber extract, notable for its hydrating and calming properties.

Sounded great! Of course, Lev Glazman, Fresh Co-founder of Fresh, was quoted extolling the well-known properties of peonies, and some test data was presented - unfortunately without any data on sample size. After an independent consumer testing panel used Peony Brightening Night Treatment Mask:
  • 94% reported a visibly brightened and lightened complexion, improved texture, and skin that was protected, smoothed, and plump;
  • 90% noticed soft and supple skin;
  • 87% felt the product clarified their complexion after one night;
  • 81% said the product restored youthful contours.
I wish. Unfortunately, I found the mask to be somewhat unpleasant on application because of its scent, and I experienced no treatment benefits. I definitely fall into the 13% of testers who found no complexion improvement after one night's use.

The mask is a cream and dispenses easily into my palm using the pump dispenser. So far, so good. As I start to apply it (I've used it twice), I notice a synthetic fragrance with a slight resemblance to Lemon Pledge. I'm sure that's from the Lemon Peel Oil or possibly the Limonene, which is used for its scent in cosmetic products. Unfortunately, it's also used as a cleaning solvent. Fortunately, it's close to last on the ingredient list.

I don't smell peony at all, one of the benefits of the many beauty products that are "based on" the peony's recognized beneficial effects. The peony's root is extracted for the product, not the flower. That's too bad because the scent of the peony flower is divine and might have flipped my impression of the product.

It's moisturizing, no doubt due to the sodium hyaluronate (remember, nature's sponge) in the ingredients. Simply being moisturizing doesn't give it an edge over my other hydrating masks.

I'm blown away by the complimentary "reviews" on Sephora. I cannot imagine how small amounts of licorice and vitamin C could even skin tone overnight. I guess there are women who read the claims and believe them so strongly that they transfer hope into evidence.

In general, I love Fresh products. In my opinion, this one misses the mark. I find the scent mildly unpleasant, and masks are supposed to be pleasant and relaxing. Fortunately, the scent dissipates fairly quickly. The cream absorbs quickly. That's good so that users won't leave grease slick on their silk pillows.

Does it offer any advanced properties to improve skin tone, decrease dark spots, or brighten the complexion. I believe the answer is no. Sorry, but it's not worth the $65 price. Spend your money on one of my favorite masks. I have featured all of them.

Photo at top courtesy of Sephora; peony photo courtesy of commons.wikimedia.org