Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Pedigreed Selections from M∙A∙C's Fabulous Felines

How could a cat lover not be tempted by M∙A∙C's new Fabulous Felines Collection? Burmese Beauty, Leopard Luxe, Palace Pedigreed (named after the Russian Blue) - the only thing missing, according to Charlie, is a blue-eyed Bengal!

We had a little chat as I studied the M∙A∙C Web site. It went something like this...

Me: Charlie, although we don't jump for every fleeting M∙A∙C collection that pussyfoots in, I think I may have to order a few pieces from Fabulous Felines.
Charlie: Did they name any of them after me and my relatives?
Me: Well, no, but they are pedigreed cats, like you, darling.
Charlie: Well then, I'm going to have a cap nap on my pillow next to your computer while you flirt with other cats. You won't find one as beautiful as I am!

I studied the three colorful feline "families."

Burmese Beauty: A rich teak-olive colour collection for lips, cheeks, and eyes that celebrates the well-cared-for and exalts in her high-borne right to be spoiled.

Leopard Luxe: Looks for lips, cheeks, and eyes in a tawny, exotic creme-golden colour palette that b
etrays both sensual vulnerability and spectacular power.

Palace Pedigreed: A collection of regal blues, plush greys, and polished silver for lips, cheeks, and eyes as haughty as its finely-favoured feline inspiration - the emerald-eyed, sable-riche Russian Blue.

I was drawn to the shades in Leopard Luxe, although I did have to have Pet Me Mineralized Blush from Palace Pedigreed. This afternoon, I'll show you swatches of a few of my new cat treats, and I'll follow up tomorrow with the rest. Charlie was right; they aren't as purr-fect as he is, but they are pretty nice!

The M∙A∙C photo above is the Leopard Luxe Eye Shadow X4 ($36) quad. With limited-edition shades of camel, brown, "black," and gold (clockwise in palette), the palette purrs and roars, according to M∙A∙C. I swatched the shadows in full sun. Shown top to bottom on my arm are Wild by Nature (Matte), Notoriety (Velvet), Furiously Fabulous (Veluxe Pearl), and Style Predator (Veluxe Pearl). I'm not sold on the matte Wild by Nature at top. Camel is a hard shade for me, but I'll play with it (like catnip?), blend it, and see if I can make it purr. The other three shades are gorgeous, particularly Style Predator, making the palette a good buy.

The photo at left shows the pretty, warm pink Pet Me Mineralize Blush ($21). I love the sheerness, texture, and buildability of Mineralize Blush, and I know I'll be giving Pet Me a workout. It's applied in the center of the photo, just swirled on with a brush enough to make it show in a photo.

I purchased Pigments (two of them!) for the first time - ever. As a rule, I don't like loose shadows - too messy. Stay tuned to find out whether they captured me. I'll show you swatches tomorrow. I also bought a gorgeous Superslick Liquid Eye Liner in Marked for Glamour.

Am I pleased with my pedigreed purchases? Very! Have to attend to cat food now, though. Savannah just walked into the room to tell me she feels neglected. Demando-cat!

Photo at top courtesy of M∙A∙C

Chantecaille Brilliant Gloss Plus Pétales Perfume Preview

Chantecaille's Brilliant Gloss ($28) lives up to its name. The look and feel are brilliant. Combine lip gloss with a romantic fragrance, and you could be ready to leave home to dazzle your world!

Brilliant Gloss is made from a hydrating and enriching formula that imparts long-lasting color and brilliant shine. An exclusive "jellified" system creates long-lasting wear; it almost has the look of jelly, with its sheer, colorful movement. Microspheres of organic wheat protein-linked sugars create soft, supple, and plumped lips (without any tingling feeling) for a perfect pout. Among the ingredients, Brilliant Gloss lists green tea extract and vegetal-linked polysaccharides to protect the delicate skin on our lips. Like other Chantecaille makeup, it's fabulous.

Brilliant Gloss is available in 15 shades. In a recent order from Chantecaille's Web site, I ordered three new-to-me shades (I wanted that tiger!). They are listed here in the order shown on my arm, top to bottom (photo taken in light shade).
  • Classic, new for everyone - a warm and brown-leaning rose
  • Glaze, drop-dead, absolutely stunning on the lips watermelon
  • Sweet, a light, sheer pink
All three of my new shades are divine. They are beautifully glossy, with a mirror-like shine, on my lips - the plumping shine I love. For some reason I can't explain, Glaze is extremely long-lasting. Since all of the shades last for hours, I assume it's the darker pigment. Whatever causes the wonderful wear, I'm impressed.

I can feel Chantecaille Brilliant Gloss on my lips. It's not heavy or annoying, just substantive. I know when it's time to refresh because I can feel the need for renewed moisture. Like the rest of my face, my lips absorb whatever I apply. It's nice to know that Chantecaille cares about the ingredients they put on my skin. I think Love and/or Elation are next on my list. They look so pretty!

Switching subjects, Chantecaille has a new fragrance arriving in stores soon. The testers arrived at Neiman Marcus at Mazza Gallerie about 10 days ago, and Pétales Perfume is expected to arrive this week. I have reserved it. It's a must-have for white flower lovers!

Deliciously fresh, pretty, classic, and romantic, Pétales is a party at the botanical gardens on a warm summer's evening. It's an all-night dance on a yacht off the Riviera. Its essence is the white-floral elegance of a thousand gardenias.

The story behind Pétales can be told by mentioning Sylvie Chantecaille's deep love of gardenias (and my mother's - I mentioned last week that Mom's wedding bouquet was made with gardenias). A central ingredient in this complex white flower fragrance, the tropical, classic gardenia has been a favorite of Sylvie's since she was a little girl.

"Gardenias' unmistakable perfume always reminds me of growing up in France and long, relaxed summer evenings," Chantecaille says. In order to create a truly unique and modern interpretation of this timeless scent, Chantecaille blended gardenia with a fragrant bouquet of other signature white flowers, including jasmine and tuberose, yielding a beautifully fresh and wearable scent that evokes pure glamour. The spirit of Pétales calls to mind warm and breezy summer parties, enchanted gardens, and the pleasures of couture dressing. "It's both completely heady and yet deliciously fresh," Chantecaille says.

The top note is all gardenia. Balsam, jasmine, and tuberose form the heart and character of Pétales. Beautifully warm, soft, and sensual cedar, sandalwood, and the whisper of musk deepen this velvety soft, fresh fragrance, giving it a refined essence that is ultimately classic and unforgettable. I can't forget it! Every time I walk into Neiman Marcus, I spray it on myself, and my fabulous friend Rachel gives me a progress report on its arrival - before I can ask. I expect to be wearing Pétales later this week.

Even the bottle is gorgeous. I can't wait. Pétales will be available exclusively at Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus, Harrods, Holt Renfrew, Seibu, and Lane Crawford.

For a few days, Chantecaille fans, content yourselves with a lip gloss! Is there a shade in your future?

Head over to Chantecaille's Web site or Neiman Marcus to find a shade that catches your fancy. Both companies have specials. You could spend $225 at Chantecaille and earn that gorgeous white tiger compact, or you could receive a trio of complimentary deluxe samples of Pétales, Kalimantan, and Vetyver fragrances with any Chantecaille purchase at the Neiman Marcus Web site. Beauty Week is coming up at Neiman Marcus.

Update early morning 9/1: The tiger special offer has been replaced at Chantecaille with a deluxe sample of Retinol Intense with a $200 purchase.

Photos courtesy of Chantecaille

My Picks: The Best and Worst Looks at the Emmy Awards

There I was, watching the red carpet on TVGuide.com, wondering how so many women had selected relatively hideous gowns. I hadn't seen "seriously hideous" until I saw Rita Wilson's get-up.

My first reaction was, "Whose mother wore a shower curtain?" Then I noticed Tom Hanks and thought it was sweet that he brought his mother, however weird her taste. Suddenly, I realized the woman next to Tom Hanks was Rita Wilson, his elegant wife - the woman who has always made looking elegant look easy.

Never in a million years did I expect Rita Wilson to earn the Fashion Victim Award, wearing Miuccia Prada (a designer known to test boundaries). This dress, the plastic shoes - the most hideous of the night. At least her hair and makeup looked good - if you could get past the shower curtain. Another women worth of a "worst" mention was January Jones. Madonna wore out the pionted boobie look. January's blue ones were distracting.

My selection for the best? Claire Danes looked like a golden goddess, wearing an elegant gown by Giorgio Armani Privé. Some have remarked that she was too gold. This blond thinks her entire look was magnificent. Did you know that she wore a red-toned eye shadow? It worked!

Another mention should go to the darling Sofia Vergara for her fabulous hair, styled by Suave Beauty's Jenny Cho. She wore my selection on Suave Beauty's Facebook page, cascading waves of long, shiny, and lush hair. Despite those clunky earrings, she was radiant.

That's it from me. There were many other women whose looks were dynamite. Fortunately, there were none who looked as bad as Rita Wilson.

Photos courtesy of dailymail.co.uk and wwd.com/eyescoop

Monday, August 30, 2010

Le Métier de Beauté Crème Fresh Tint in Poppy

The Non-Blonde did it! I was blissfully living without a single Le Métier de Beauté item in my makeup wardrobe. She wrote about the line so many times, with such glowing praise, that I finally sought it out at the only department store in our DC area that carries a large selection of Le Métier de Beauté, Neiman Marcus at Mazza Gallerie.

On one of my drive-by shopping trips at lunch, I bought a few pieces. Now, I fear I'm hooked. I'll remember the temptress, Gaia!

One of the lovely pieces I bought was Crème Fresh Tint ($28) in Poppy. This multipurpose creme tint for lips and cheeks comes in two shades: Poppy and Tenne. I'm glad I waited to see the shades in person, rather than buying from little Web swatches. Poppy, described as a cool coral on the Neiman Marcus Web site (those descriptions usually come from the maker) is anything but. It's a pink-rose, gorgeous in the pot, gorgeous on my cheeks, but a too pastel on my lips. If I were to leave the house with Poppy on my lips, I would look like a pale-lipped throwback to the 60's. Tenne, described by Neiman Marcus as a warm rosy pink, is rose in the pot, but brown-toned on the skin. You can see it on Gaia at The Non-Blonde. The shade worked for her; it's not the best one for me.

You can see Poppy on my arm at right. The photo was taken in full sun. Note the extra shine from the sun. You can see my arm shining above the swatch.

Isn't it a pretty color? I didn't blend it out. Trust me, it's gorgeous on my cheeks when blended, and it blends with ease over my foundation. I am very happy with my purchase, and I like the price - very reasonable for luxury market makeup.

I did feel like a nitwit as I tried to flip up the top of the black pot. Turns out it screws off. While it didn't take me long to get to the color, I'm used to flip-up compacts. I even tried to swivel it before I discovered the keys to the kingdom.

Where can you purchase Le Métier de Beauté? As far as I know, only at Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman in the United States. Make sure to check out a beauty blog before you purchase Le Métier de Beauté online. You will want to buy shades you've seen in "real swatches."

Photo at top courtesy of Neiman Marcus

New Cheek and Lip Shades from Edward Bess

There's a refined, Southern aesthetic in Edward Bess's makeup. He was born in Charleston, South Carolina - a magical place - that has served as inspiration for artists for centuries. The artifacts of Charleston's past survive in its landscape, furniture, silver, art, homes, churches, cuisine, baskets, gardens tucked behind historic homes South of Broad, society, and superstitions.

Every day, Charleston comes to mind in my home, where I can enjoy and preserve a table from the Ravenal estate and a punch ladle that was made in New York for a Charleston couple's wedding in the 18th century, mementos that carry their history into my home. I associate Edward Bess's cosmetics with Charleston. I treat the makeup with the same reverence reserved for my antique treasures. Each piece evokes memories that have become part of my own history. Those touched by Charleston may leave, but Charleston never leaves them.

I purchased my first Edward Bess makeup in April (see my initial impressions) of this year. Imagine my delight, passion really, when the wonderful Edward Bess representatives at Bergdorf Goodman let me know - in the most stylish way - that new Edward Bess shades were available. They sent me a card with all the product names and shades swatched. The minute I received their elegant card, in early evening as the day faded, memories flooded my brain as I studied the shades. There was no question that I would be wearing them. Even tempted with a September special offer, I had to have them - try them, wear them - immediately.

What new shades tempted me?
  • Blush Imperiale in Moroccan Rose
  • Compact Rouge in Love Affair
  • Deep Shine Lip Gloss in Endless Love
  • A new powder-finish foundation, available in five shades
I called Jennifer Schwartz the next morning as soon as the store opened. I bought the new blush, compact rouge, and lip gloss - oh and a few other things, she says with a big Cheshire Cat smile. My new treasures rolled in last week. There was no question that I would adore them.

Blush Imperiale ($48) is a light, ultra-fine powder blush, extremely soft to the touch, which gives cheeks a natural glow. As with other Edward Bess makeup, it applies and blends smoothly. The radiant finish stays color-true all day. A useful brush is provided with the compact.

Compact Rouge ($38) is an incredibly smooth cream formula that provides a sheer tint to lips and cheeks for extremely natural color. It instantly brightens with a stained finish and flatters with its pretty shades.

Both Blush Imperiale and Compact Rouge are housed in a sleek black compact - spare, elegant, and practical. It feels like a shell, polished from years of waves and sand, sleek with history to conjure.

There had to be a colorful flower in the background of my Edward Bess swatches. From the gardens tucked away from the street behind Charleston homes to Rainbow Row, with its pastel town homes, color is part of Charleston's milieu. On my arm at left is Compact Rouge in Love Affair at top and Blush Imperiale in Moroccan Rose below. Both are pink, but Moroccan Rose is warm, while Love Affair is cool. Did the artist intend to portray a real love affair as cool, perhaps one with smoldering embers that could ignite, but would likely extinguish? I'd love to ask Edward, but I won't. Some things aren't meant to be shared beyond a hint.

I'll save the Deep Shine Lip Gloss for later this week. Do you space out your treats? I do; I know when I need to have a special moment. What better way to experience one than to apply something new from Edward Bess?

Until this week, Edward Bess cosmetics were only available from Edward Bess or Bergdorf Goodman. Wednesday, September 1, Edward is launching his line at Neiman Marcus Beverly Hills, where he will greet customers for 10 days. California, I'm envious! Until Edward decides to come to Virginia, I'll be shopping with Jennifer Schwartz and Susan Babakhanova at Bergdorf Goodman. You can too. Just give them a call at (212) 872-8826.

You can see the line at Edward Bess online and visit with Edward Bess at Facebook. See if the magic lures you.

Photos courtesy of Edward Bess

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Clinique Vitamin C Lip Smoothie - New Shades

Clinique's Vitamin C Lip Smoothie Antioxidant Lip Color ($17.50) is available in five new shades! So far, I've only been able to buy two. The third shade I want has been sold out at my favorite department stores. I'm about to pull another online shopping spree at Clinique! Right now, Clinique is offering a free treat with any Lip Smoothie purchase. You can make your lips even happier with a free deluxe sample of High Impact Lip Colour SPF 15 in Rosette. I love freebies!

Clinique makes great lip products. Lip Smoothies, introduced about a year ago, are really nice. A Lip Smoothie is both lipstick and lip gloss in one. Clinique has combined a great brush-on, glossy lip color with conditioning and protective ingredients, like vitamin C and antioxidants. Lip Smoothies will make your lips feel good and protect them from free radical damage.

The five new shades are Guava Good, Pear-fection (really light), Blackberry Nirvana, Strawberry Bliss, and Pom-a-greatness. You can see Clinique's swatches at this link.

Lip Smoothies feel very creamy, and the colors are saturated (compared to a regular lip gloss) and simply pretty. They also have some staying power, but doesn't feel at all clingy. Lip Smoothies comes in a tube with a brush at the end. You prime the brush with product by turning the base, allowing you to withdraw only what you need.

I bought Blackberry Nirvana and Strawberry Bliss, shown on my arm at right with goldenrod (just starting to bloom here) in the background. Blackberry Nirvana is very brown, and I like that - just don't be misled by the name. Strawberry Bliss is a pretty rose. I would like to try Pom-a-greatness too.

As a side note, goldenrod will take over your garden, but it adds color at a time of year when color is much appreciated. If you have the time to tame it, keeping it within its boundaries, you will love it.

You can purchase Vitamin C Lip Smoothies at department stores everywhere and at Clinique's Web site. I'd go for an online purchase (unless your store has a gift with purchase). I like the freebies.

Photo at top courtesy of Clinique

Sephora's Bare Escentuals Buxom Stay-There Eye Shadow Giveaway Contest

Buxom Stay-There Eye Shadow ($17) is a whole new breed of vibrant, lively eye color that will leave you begging for more. The term "breed" is particularly cute since each shade is named after a pup. In honor of our furry friends, Bare Escentuals is making a charitable contribution to Canine Companions for Independence - a non-profit organization that enhances the lives of people with disabilities by providing highly trained assistance dogs. How could I not purchase a few for prizes?

This bounc-i-licious new eye color offers the ultimate experience with an unexpectedly plush, lightweight texture and vivid color. It leaps and bounds beyond what you've come to expect from eye color and, better yet, it's even waterproof. Named after our loyal four-legged friends, these stay-put shades will be your faithful new beauty companions as they comfort and care for your eyelids. The mineral-infused, paraben-free formula pampers delicate skin with soothing aloe extract, and vitamin E - all with a non-greasy, long-wearing finish. Touch it. Pet it. Love it, but only at Sephora.

I have two shades to give away: Mutt and Chihuahua. You can see their little swatches here. We will have two lucky winners!

How can you win a Stay-There? Just leave a comment here once and tell me your first choice of color. I can't guarantee you will receive your first choice, but let's hope!

After you comment, feel free to e-mail bestthingsinbeautycontests@gmail.com and identify your comment. You can never be too careful about sharing your e-mail address on a blog, so I would follow this second step if I were you (an alternative is to code your e-mail, e.g., myname at gmail dot com, in your comment).

You can "earn" a second entry by tweeting this contest. Just make sure to include "@BTiBeauty" (without the quotes) in your tweet. I will tweet the contest today, and you can simply retweet it to earn that second entry.

The deadline for entries will be Saturday, September 4, at midnight. The next morning, I will use a random number generator (random.org) to select the winners. I will e-mail the winners at that time. The winners will have 48 hours to reply to my message and provide a shipping address. After 48 hours, the prize will be forfeited, and another winner will be selected.

This contest is open to anyone anywhere. Here are the terms for overseas winners (outside the U.S. and Canada). I will carefully pack and ship the prize (as I always do). I cannot insure it - it's amazingly expensive to do so. If it leaves the U.S. and it's lost or stolen, I won't be able to replace it. We'll try this and see how it works. I'll do my best on this end; let's see if your mail services do right by you on the other end if we have an overseas winner.

Good Luck!

Photos courtesy of Sephora

Leslie Tyler Cosmetics Liplicious Gloss

There's something appealing about row after row of lip gloss - an endless supply of a beauty product we all love - and wear. Just yesterday, I was at Neiman Marcus watching a lovely young gal get her makeup done. Her lips were so beautiful! When I asked, I was told that she was wearing only gloss. The miracles of lip gloss!

Leslie Tyler has introduced Liplicious Gloss. You may not have heard about it yet, but you will, starting here.

Leslie Tyler is well-known in Houston. If you live in the Houston area, you'll find Leslie behind the desk at Leslie Tyler Style LLC by day, out on the town at night, and spending every free moment with her family. Leslie is regularly featured on television and at personal appearances where she shares her tips, advice, secrets, and life experiences. Leslie is also a contributing writer to and editor of several publications. As the founder of the recently launched Leslie Tyler Cosmetics, she is able to express her self-proclaimed “girly-girl” side. She is proud to claim many A-List celebrities as fans of her cosmetic products. These days, you'll find Leslie traveling the world, attending Fashion Week and beauty shows, hosting charity events, and meeting with leading fashion designers.

Soon, you’ll be able to watch Leslie as the star of her own show Leslie & The Journey to True Love, as well as an upcoming reality show that will be hitting TV channels everywhere. Something tells me it won't hit my dysfunctional converter box - yes, I live in the dark ages, but who has time for television on most days? And I haven't been in Houston for a zillion years - ever since I was a NASA consultant.

What I do know about Houston is that it's a fashion mecca in the south, where fabulous stores, spas, restaurants (the best shrimp I ever ate was in the boonies of Alvin, Texas, near Houston), and parties combine to give the city a more cosmopolitan feel than one might expect. Just check out RSVPSocial (yes, Leslie finds time to contribute) if you want to get a flavor for the sophisticated Houston.

Admit it, makeup addicts. Wouldn't it be fun to start your own cosmetics line? Can you imagine having more fun, designing some of the very things that make women feel special and look good? What's stopping us? Oh, nothing except money, the wherewithal to get going. You can hire experts to do almost everything these days, but you do need some kind of talent! So, what makes "socialite" Leslie a beauty talent? Among other things, Leslie worked training Chanel makeup artists, is a fashion and beauty editor, and spends a great amount of time following (and now participating in) the beauty industry.

Liplicious Gloss is Leslie's entrance into the cosmetics world, but she didn't scrimp on her collection. You can find Liplicious Gloss in 42 shades! You and I might not have known about the gloss, but Taylor Swift, Jennifer Love-Hewitt, LeeAnn Rhymes, Kris Jenner, and Julianna Hough do!

The 42 shades are all high-shine beauties, offering finishes from "just plain glossy" to sparkling and dazzling. There are so many choices, it's hard to select just one, especially with their reasonable price of $12.

I experimented inside and outside to find the best light to show you four of Leslie's glosses. My selection was an outdoor photo, taken in early morning with a cleome in the background. Cleomes remind me of lip gloss, with their shades of white, pink and lavender. On my arm, you can see, top to bottom, Pouty Pink, Mint Baby Doll (with a hint of mint for you flavor lovers), Pink Seashell, and Spellbound. All four of the shades Leslie sent are gorgeous. My favorites are the two darkest ones because I can have lip color without wearing a lipstick underneath them. Now I want more, and I know where to find them: Leslie's Web site! I consider Liplicious Gloss a find.

Liplicious Gloss is a conditioning gloss that feels great on the lips. There is no tackiness, and the gloss wears a very reasonable amount of time. I would guess Leslie knows that there's nothing more annoying than arriving at a party with beautifully glossy lips, only to take your first sip from a glass and lose your gloss.

In my next post on Leslie, I'll share with you some of her own beauty tips. For now, head over to Leslie Tyler Style to see if there's a Liplicious shade in your future. Or check out her Facebook page if you want to follow her activities. She's one busy beauty.

Photo at top and photo of Leslie courtesy of Leslie Tyler

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Melissa Flagg Hazel's Eau de Parfum

There must be a fragrance analogy for "love at first sight." With Melissa Flagg's Hazel's Eau de Parfum ($32), it was love at first whiff.

Inspired by the beautiful aroma of gardenia nanu leis from the Islands of Hawaii, Hazel's perfume romantically captures the scent of blooming Hawaiian gardenias. There is a Hawaiian saying, "A gardenia lei is my love...to which I go with throbbing heart." My heart throbbed the first time I got a whiff of Hazel's.

I have worn Melissa Flagg's Clementine Perfume Oil for years. Each time I wear that fragrance, with notes of flowering orange blossom, honeysuckle, and night-blooming jasmine, I get compliments. I have no doubt that the same will happen when I wear Hazel's Eau de Parfum.

This gardenia fragrance is heavy, but light, and soft, but strong. I know that makes no sense, but if you have ever worn a gardenia lei, you will understand the appeal of the romantic fragrance. It's intoxicating.

Hazel's is available in the eau de parfum shown here, in a rollerball, and as a solid! Take your pick. If you like gardenias, you will love it. I know what I'll be giving my mother for Christmas. Her wedding bouquet was made with gardenias, her favorite flowers. She is going to flip for Hazel's Eau de Parfum - just like I did.

Check out Melissa Flagg's fragrances at Beautyhabit. Now I need to get my hands on Mily, the only Melissa Flagg fragrance at Beautyhabit I don't have.

Photo courtesy of Beautyhabit

Weekend Roundup - August 28

The blockbuster September fashion magazines have arrived, so I've been busy reading. The mags seem to have returned to their pre-recession size: huge. Since I enjoy the ads as much as the editorial content, I've been having a blast making my way through them, one by one. That doesn't mean I neglected blog reading! As usual, there were great features on my favorite beauty blogs. Here's your weekend reading assignment.

Tragedy struck the fashion world this spring with the news of Alexander McQueen's death. Butter London payed homage to him with the new must-have nail polish shade All Hail McQueen in today's hot color: beige. Gaia shared her thoughts on this honorary shade at The Non-Blonde. Like me, Gaia was smitten with Giorgio Armani's new Eyes to Kill Mascara in Blue Grey Night. Check out that feature too.

What are some of the hot color trends this fall? Purple is one of them, and Kari from Fab over Forty showed us some of her favorite purple beauty products. Could there be a new purple treasure in your future? While you are there, Kari has a new giveaway contest you must enter. Cold Plasma Eye is ensconced at the top of my must-have product list. You could win one at Fab over Forty!

Are you ready for the Emmy Awards this weekend? Anne at BeautyXposé gave us easy-to-use tips for getting a gorgeous white smile (in the convenience of your home), just like the ones we'll see on the red carpet.

Do you want to make your pores and fine lines disappear? We all want a flawless face before applying makeup. Drop by Gouldylox Reviews to find a Jouer product that gives Kelly her flawless look.

Speaking of flawless faces, we need to learn how to use skin and makeup products to get the look we crave. Makeup artist Victoria Stiles will be presenting a "Flawless Faces Web Series." Head over to Makeup Artist Backstage to learn about the series.

The economy may be putting us in a grey mood, but Sabrina from The Beauty Look Book showed us all things beautiful in grey. From nail polish to handbags and everything in between, there's a grey that will capture you!

Sadly, there have been times when we've all overdone it in the sun - however unintentionally. Product Girl Carla tested a Caudalie product for her sunburn. Did she get the relief she needed?

Hard to believe, but Lisa found a thigh reducer! If you go to Beauty Info Zone Blog, you'll find out how Nude Skincare's Smoothing Body Refiner took an inch off Lisa's thighs in two months. Amazing! I wonder if it would work on my waist.

You know I've had a run on "all things Bobbi Brown" here at Best Things in Beauty. Last weekend, I attended a Bobbi Brown Master Class, led by the incomparable Tia Hebron. Hopefully, you read Tia's beauty tips - and saw the latest Bobbi products too! Just scroll down if you didn't.

This week's giveaway contest for a Giorgio Armani Beauty Crema Nera OMC3 Obsidian Mineral Restoring Cream, a $185 product, ends tonight at midnight. Did you enter? I'm really surprised that there aren't more entries for this amazing anti-aging moisturizer. Is it an "August thing"? If you want a chance to win, just go to this link to comment.

Take a little time out from those mega-magazines and join us this weekend. Have a good one!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Bobbi Brown Eye Couture Palette Eye Shadows

Just look at this logo on the Bobbi Brown Eye Couture Eye Shadow Palette! I think the gold on black is elegant. What's inside is even more exciting. Like jewel tones? Like Bobbi Brown makeup brushes? Bobbi Brown's Eye Couture Palette ($220), a Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman exclusive, arrived at the Neiman Marcus at Mazza Gallerie yesterday. They received six and are hoping for more. Lovely Rachel set mine aside for me and called me right away.

The eye shadows are stunning. When I got home yesterday with the palette, I was so excited. I wanted to share swatches with you immediately. I had a problem, though, as you read: no phone, no computer line. After hours of so-called diagnosis and negotiation of a repair date with Verizon, I was no closer to sharing my photos. This morning, I invoked the ultimate complaint mechanism, and within hours, I had my services back. A pro named Mark fixed my line in a heartbeat. It turns out that the outdoor jack in the junction box had corroded. Mark, I love you! You restored my faith in my old client.

Back to Bobbi and these groundbreaking eye shadows. All photos were taken in full sun, which is the reason you'll see clouds reflected in the logo if you look hard. Let's see if I can find enough superlatives to use as I describe the shadows.

I will start with the top row. My first photo shows the "bookends," the black (Onyx Sparkle Eye Shadow) and white (Star Sparkle Eye Shadow) shades at top left and top right in the palette. When I describe position, I am referencing my photo of the open palette above.

Between these shades are Diamond Shimmer Wash Eye Shadow and Peacock Metallic Eye Shadow. These are shown on my arm at left. The Diamond shade has more white pigment than Star, as you can see in my photos. Star is almost clear on my skin, with a lot of sparkle. Peacock is a very colorful turquoise green. What you see in the palette photo is what you get on the skin.

The middle row has four gorgeous shades. Starting at the top of my photo at right are Amethyst Metallic Eye Shadow, Emerald Sparkle Eye Shadow, Bonfire Metallic Eye Shadow, and Topaz Metallic Eye Shadow. Emerald may be a bit misnamed, given the pastel nature of the shade, but it's beautiful, so that's a nit. Bonfire and Topaz made my heart flutter. I love nude and gold shadows, and these two are stunning.

With the exception of the Onyx (black shade), the bottom row of the compact holds the most intense shades. As you can see on my photo at left, the shades are bold and saturated. This isn't due to variability of application. I used sponge-tip applicators to apply all of the shades, and swiped twice with most of them. I'll explain the exception below.

Above left, top to bottom, are Bash Metallic Eye Shadow, Volcano Sparkle Eye Shadow, Lapis Sparkle Eye Shadow, and Garnet Shimmer Wash Eye Shadow. Again, stunning! It took only one quick swipe to apply Garnet with the intensity you see here. It's a bold shade. Bask is the one I would have named Emerald - if I wanted to make a comparison to the gem. I will probably wear Volcano down to the bottom of the pan. The greige shade is superb.

Did I mention the brushes? Not an afterthought, these brushes were selected to make it easy to use the palette, and they certainly contribute to the price. They will be with me for many years, though, so I'm a happy customer.
  • Eye Sweep Brush
  • Angle Eye Shadow Brush
  • Eye Contour Brush
  • Eye Liner Brush
If you have a Neiman Marcus or Bergdorf Goodman near you - and you want this set - I'd suggest you call to see if it has arrived and/or get on the waiting list. If you don't have a store nearby, but would like to order the Eye Couture Collection, you can give Rachel Lagman, Bobbi Brown Product Specialist, at Neiman Marcus a call at (202) 966-9700, ext 2265. She will take good care of you. I'm sure she will locate one for you if the six she received have been sold.

Sometimes, Bobbi Brown collections that are exclusive to department stores eventually land on Bobbi's own Web site. I don't know what will happen with this one. I just know it's going to sell out in the stores. Instinct!

Update: I forgot to tell you that these shadows will be long-lasting. They don't wipe off easily with a tissue.

Photos by BTiB

yNs Radiance Revisted Two Years Later

yNs Radiance ($65) from yNs Medspa Cosmeceuticals has become a staple in my skin-care regimen. I wrote about it when my blog was new, so many of you don't know how much I love this anti-aging product.

I discovered yNs Radiance with a little digging. I had tried Dermapril-SP, but I didn't like that company's marketing practices. So I Googled the ingredients and found yNs Radiance. Since I started using Radiance, the company has added even more fabulous ingredients than they originally had in the "potion."

I hope yNs Medspa Cosmeceuticals will forgive me for stealing shamelessly from their Web site as I describe their clinical tests. The ingredients in Radiance are proven, and the product works.
  • 10% Matrixyl 3000
  • 10% SYN-COLL
  • 15% Leuphasyl
  • 15% Argireline
I want you to know why these ingredients work. The Radiance formula has high concentrations of proven ingredients. Matrixyl 3000 (Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-3 and Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7) works with SYN-COLL (Palmitoyl Tripeptide-5) to boost collagen. In a clinical study, two panels of 23 volunteers aged 39-74 applied a cream containing 3% Matrixyl 3000 to one half of their face against a placebo on other half, twice a day for 56 days. The results in improvement for Matrixyl 3000 deep wrinkles were 45%, wrinkle density 37%, average wrinkle depth 15%, average wrinkle volume 19%, lifting effect 17%, and improvement in skin elasticity and tone 19.5%. If 3% did that, 10% has to be even better!

To prove the anti-wrinkle effects of SYN-COLL, a study with 60 volunteers was performed for 84 days with a 2.5% formulation of SYN-COLL applied twice daily. SYN-COLL showed a visible improvement of 36% in anti-wrinkling.

Argireline (Acetyl-Hexapeptide-3) and Leuphasyl reduce the depth of fine lines and wrinkles. In clinical testing, 14 volunteers ages 39-64 applied an emulsion containing 10% twice daily. Subjects observed that the severity of wrinkles around their eyes decreased up to 17% after 15 days, and up to 32% after 28 days.

For Leuphasyl (Pentapeptide-18), three tests were performed with 5% Leuphasyl and 5% Argireline, with participants applying the cream twice daily for 28 days. After 28 days, the combination of Leuphasyl and Argireline was shown to a reduce the depth of wrinkles of 25%, with maximum values of 47%.

Radiance includes all these ingredients and more! Added to the blend is hyaluronic acid, virtually unmatched in hydrating the skin because of its ability to retain water more effectively than any other natural substance. Supplementation with hyaluronic acid provides increased smoothness, softening, elasticity, and decreased facial wrinkles.

Is that it? Nope! Shea butter, aloe barbadensis, panthenol, jojoba oil emollient, hydrolyzed milk and yeast proteins, calendula oil...the list is long...add to the ingredients that can help your skin look smooth, relaxed, and wrinkle-free (well, at least with markedly diminished wrinkling).

I use yNs Radiance as a serum under my moisturizer (I'm a double-duty moisturizing customer!). It has a fabulous feel on the skin, and it absorbs rapidly, making it ideal for use under makeup.

Check out yNs Radiance at their Web site. yNs Medspa Cosmeceuticals offers a 60-day money-back guarantee. A company has to be pretty sure of its product to do that. I know why they are!

Photo courtesy of yNs Medspa Cosmeceuticals

The Friday Forum - August 27

Friday morning, and I am still desperate for a phone and Internet service at home! My Friday will be spent asking - pleading really - for someone to figure out why I don't have a dial tone. I lost it yesterday when I got home from work after a few days of service interruptions that Verizon representatives (reading from a script) claimed were due to a problem within my house. Now that we've ruled that out, I expect service - today!

Anyhow, I do have a wonderful computer at work, and I'll work longer hours this weekend for the privilege of using it to keep in touch. I have so much to tell you! Yesterday, I picked up my Bobbi Brown Eye Couture Palette at Neiman Marcus. It is more beautiful than I could have imagined! The case for the eye shadow palette has a new Bobbi Brown logo on it - so elegant. It's simply smashing! The eye shadows and brushes are must-haves. I had wanted to put up swatch photos last night to share the palette with you, but that was not meant to be. I may zoom over to Neiman Marcus this afternoon, swatch from there, then come back to my office to post your preview.

Let's turn to beauty! From the Japanese Anemone at the top (always cheerful in August) to beauty products, we use The Friday Forum to share information. 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? Just use the comments. Don't be shy.

We have busy weekends and slow ones on the forum. I'm happy if even one reader stops by. This weekend, depending on Verizon, I might be a little slow to respond to comments. I do have my iPad. Right now, I'm thinking it was the smartest purchase I've made in years! Little did I know how much I'd need it.

Thanks for reading Best Things in Beauty! Got anything you want to talk about?

Update: Yea! Phone line is all fixed. It's amazing what the right appeal will do.

Photo courtesy of the New York Botanical Garden

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Technical Difficulties

Tonight, I am unable to post because I have lost my Verizon dial tone and, therefore, my DSL service. I will post from work tomorrow.

As you might imagine, I am upset with Verizon and had to escalate my concerns after they claimed that the earliest they could get to me to figure out what's wrong is Monday! What ever happened to Ma Bell? The days of customer service seem to be long gone.

Anyhow, having been a consultant to Verizon for years, I know how to push a few buttons in the morning to get better service. :) It is sad that you have to be or have been an "insider" to know how to work the system.

Cheers! I hope you have a better evening than I am having.
Photo courtesy of zazzle.com

Clé de Peau Intensive Brightening Mask

Last night, I was in the mood for a mask. I had been given a sample of Clé de Peau's Intensive Brightening Mask ($120 for six applications), and it was time to try it!

I had no idea how much the mask sample was worth when my Clé de Peau representative gave it to me. Turns out those two packets had a combined price of $20! When I learned that, I was expecting a miracle mask.

Intensive Brightening Mask is a weekly high-performance treatment mask designed to help diminish the appearance of sun and age spots. Like most brightening products, it's designed to even your skin tone by effectively delivering powerful brightening ingredients, along with moisture, to the entire face.

The mask has different ingredients in its two pieces (one for the upper half of the face, one for the lower). Both pieces have these two ingredients.
  • Tranexamic acid, which is said to inhibit overactive melanin activity, which causes tanning and the formation of dark spots (not sure about these effects on the skin; it does have proven value in the field of surgery for reducing pre- and postoperative blood loss)
  • Vitamin C deoxidizes visible spots and prevents melanin precursors from activating
The upper mask contains what's called an illuminating vital complex, formulated to improve the appearance of dark circles, fine lines, and dullness around the eyes.

The lower mask has Clé de Peau's restorative smoothing complex, said to normalize cell turnover and enhance natural exfoliation, which should minimize the appearance of pores.

To use the mask, position the lower mask piece around your mouth and align both ends in front of the ears. Press lightly to fit the mask over the contours of the face. Position the upper mask piece around the eyes and forehead. Smooth gently to fit mask over the contours of the face. Leave the mask on for only 10 minutes, then remove it and gently massage the remaining essence into your skin. Follow with moisturizer.

For "unprecedented brilliance," Clé de Peau advises its clients to use Anti-Age Spot Serum with the Intensive Brightening Mask as a brightening ritual. In a combined Anti-Age Spot Serum and Intensive Brightening Mask usage test, after four weeks:
  • 92% felt the combined usage provided natural radiance, luminosity, and clarity to skin;
  • 84% felt their skin texture appeared polished, firm, and lustrous;
  • 82% felt the combined usage effectively reduces spots and dullness.
The Intensive Brightening Mask is less expensive than my La Mer The Hydrating Facial, another saturated fabric mask that I love, and the experience of using it was just as pleasant. I had a few restful, cooling minutes. I used the excess product within the envelopes to apply some to my neck, so I was ready for $20 results.

Did I get $20 results? I don't think so. This morning, I saw no dramatic difference in my skin - actually no difference at all. I know it's unreasonable to expect to see significant brightening after one 10-minute treatment. The question is: Would I spend $120 in order to experience six treatments to see if weekly use for six weeks will give me supremely even skin tone. My answer is no because I don't have dramatically uneven skin. Anyone plagued by uneven skin tone and many sun spots might feel differently.

I suspect Clé de Peau's Intensive Brightening Mask is targeted toward the Asian market, where brightening skin products are all the rage. In the U.S., there are less expensive options to which I would turn if brightening were one of my major skin-care concerns, and I would find a daily use product.

If you want to try the mask, have a look at Nordstrom or select Saks and Neiman Marcus stores. Ask the Clé de Peau representative for a consultation and find out if the $120 might benefit you.

Photo courtesy of Clé de Peau

Jessica Szohr's Mark Look at the Piranha 3D Premiere

Normally, I don't write about mark, but I buy mark makeup now and then, and I'm impressed with the price to quality ratio of this incredibly affordable makeup line. I know you gals love an occasional "affordable beauty" feature, so here's one that interested me.

Recently, mark's Celebrity Makeup Artist Mai Quynh shared her expert tips for creating Gossip Girl's Jessica Szohr's gorgeous makeup look for the premiere of Piranha 3D. Since I'm not a big movie theater fan, I missed the news of Jessica's red carpet look. Luckily, a PR friend shared it with me so that I could share it with you.

The film was a remake of the 1978 comedy-horror Piranha. In the film, Jessica played Kelly Driscoll, a hot young townie caught up in the excitement of coeds who have descended upon the area for spring break. From what I understand, the movie is an R-rated blood-n-babes extravaganza - probably not my kind of film. Makeup, however, is right up my alley!

Here is the skinny from Mai Quynh herself on how she created Jessica's sulty look. She used a lot of products, but you could use a few of the mark products to fill in what you already have and be ready for the red carpet yourself! As for the sexy, strapless red dress? You're own your own.

“For Jessica’s face, I started by applying mark Calm & Composed Super-Soothing Moisturizer to create a nice canvas. Next, I applied mark Face Xpert Flawless Touch Makeup in Golden with the mark Foundation Brush to even out her skin tone. Then, I used the mark Concealer Brush to dab on mark Good Riddance Hook Up Concealer in Medium/Deep around her nose and under her eyes and blended into the rest of her skin to create a smooth finish. Next, I set her foundation with mark Powder Buff Natural Skin Foundation in Golden using the mark Powder Brush. After the powder set, I dusted on mark Bronze Pro Bronzing Powder in Bronze Pro using the mark Angled Contour Face Brush to create a healthy glow. I finished her face by lightly brushing mark Good Glowing Mosaic Blush Custom Color Palette in Hush Baby onto the apples of her cheeks.” There's something to be said for those cheekbones! The right makeup application can give all of us cheekbones to die for.

“For her eyes, I used the mark Flat Eyeliner Brush to apply mark Keep It Going Longwear Eyeliner & Shadow in Surreal (bronze color) along her upper and lower lash line, blending upwards onto her lid. I then used the mark All Over Eye Shadow Brush to dust mark I-Mark Custom Pick Eye Shadow in Plum Velvet to her eyelid, from the lash line to her crease to really make her eyes pop. To finish, I carefully rimmed her eyes twice with mark No Place to Run Eyeliner in Jet Set followed by two coats of mark Lash Splash Hook Up Waterproof Mascara in Black.”

“For her lips, I used mark Lipclick Full Color Lipstick in Bare Hug. This nude shade is universally flattering and really looks great on all skin tones.”

As I'm sure you know, mark is a trendy line developed by Avon for younger women (well, younger than me). We know Avon rivals some of the best brands in the business, and mark is Avon's "little sister." The "age thing" doesn't matter to me. If I like a color, I'll buy it. That's why you can find mark in my "makeup pileup."

You can find mark at this link online. There is a representative locator at this link.

Photo courtesy of mark

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Chantecaille Protected Paradise for Eyes

As promised when I featured Protected Paradise for Face, today I'll share swatches of Chantecaille's gorgeous Protected Paradise Eyes ($90).

The Protected Paradise compacts for face and eyes contain brilliantly colored illuminating and softly shimmering powders in an intricately embossed design depicting the diverse beauty of an underwater marine ecosystem. Created with Chantecaille’s exclusive patented mold technology that embeds color all the way through the product, the compacts feature artfully rendered ocean life in sophisticated seasonal palettes.

The Protected Paradise Eyes compact design includes the following marine life.
  • Two fish that represent a host of over-fished and endangered species (including clownfish, orange roughy, sea bass, Nassau grouper, and humphead wrasse)
  • A school of smaller forage fish, an essential component of the underwater food chain that supports bigger fish, now threatened because of their use in aquaculture
  • A sea horse, net-harvested in mass quantities for decorative use in aquariums and for gourmet and medicinal purposes (and I don't approve of net harvesting - it's greedy and traps too many fish - or catching sea horses destined to die for decoration)
  • Coral, a vital and seriously endangered organism
  • A graceful expanse of sea grass, a crucial source of shelter and nutrition for fish that is being destroyed by trawling.
The big fish is a lovely rose gold that is ideal as a highlighter and blendsbeautifully with the green-grey base. The rose gold fish is shown at the top of my photo. Actually, I love wearing the rose gold alone on my lower lids. The smaller fish is a bright aqua that can be used to line the eyes or add a pop of color with gorgeous results. It's shown in the middle of my photo to the right. The base color (shown at the bottom) is a perfectly wearable medium grey with a sheer overlay of "marine green." In all of the shades, micronized pigments and a high concentration of real pearl impart pure color with a superb, wearable shimmer.

The galvanized nickel compact comes with two brushes (liner and basic) in the bottom level for clean and precise application. These brushes are actually usable - I used them to apply the shades to my arm for this photo.

Five percent of the proceeds from sales of Protected Paradise for face and eyes is being donated to the Pew Fellowship in Marine Conservation that funds vital research on fish sustainability and marine preserves. Is there a better time than the aftermath of the Gulf oil spill to support this cause? Protecting every creature in the seas is critical to the balance of nature.

As I said when I featured Protected Paradise for Face, buy Chantecaille color and you'll feel good about spending money on makeup. How many makeup products are gorgeous in the pan and flattering on the face - so flattering that you stare in the mirror thinking, "Wow"? How many companies donate a portion of your purchase to a worthy cause - or make philanthropy part of their corporate identity?

You can purchase Chantecaille at the Chantecaille Web site. The special offers at Chantecaille are phenomenal. For a limited time, if you spend $225 at the Web site, you will receive a free White Tiger Poudre Délicate. Check out the link. Trust me; he's gorgeous. I got mine! If you need to see before you buy, you can find Chantecaille at Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman, and select Saks and Nordstrom stores.

Top photo courtesy of Chantecaille

Carillon pour un Ange Eau de Parfum Riche

Carillon pour un Ange Eau de Parfum Rich ($75), a new fragrance available at LuckyScent, caught my eye the moment I saw "lily of the valley." I couldn't resist. My own Carillon pour un Ange (Carillon for an Angel, or Bells for an Angel) arrived last week. I have been wearing it every day. Before I give you my own impressions, let me share the description from its creator, Andy Tauer.

Smelling lily of the valley is always a joy for me. I love the idea that you cannot buy a natural concentrate of lily of the valley, that the flowers resist to any large-scale concentration of their fragrant soul. Perfumers may try to come close to the natural fragrance, but you can never quite get there. Thus, you have to wait through long winter months until you can finally smell their green, silvery, opulent, and elegant exquisite natural perfume. Building a fragrance with lily of the valley singing in spring was a wish since I started making perfumes. Carillon pour un ange is my tribute to this wonderful forest treasure. It is a green choir of flowers. Enjoy!”

With notes of rose, ylang ylang, lilac, lily of the valley, jasmine, leather, ambergris, moss, and woods, Carillon pour un Ange is unlike any other lily of the valley fragrance I own. It is rated on LuckyScent's scale as being a hybrid between feminine and unisex. It's definitely not cloying or sweet. Instead, it strikes me as a modern lily of the valley that expresses its wooded surroundings through its fleeting floral fragrance.

To my nose, the fragrance is a green floral with an edge - the edge being the leather, moss, and wood notes. While they are subtle, they prevent the fragrance from being a clone of other lily of the valley scents. The initial floral burst is followed by a rich, but soft blend that should please lovers of floral and green fragrances, while offering something for others as it dries down.

This is not Diorissimo! It's a more modern and totally unique interpretation of lily of the valley. I like it, even though lily of the valley doesn't dominate. Something about it reminds me of sitting in a leather easy chair, relaxing with a bouquet of flowers, stems, and branches nearby.

Carillon pour un Ange is handmade in Switzerland. The packaging is unique. The box holding the precious cargo is wrapped like a gift in white paper with all the eau de parfum's information. Once the ribbon and wrapping are removed, the plain white box holds the rather small spray bottle (15 ml). I found the presentation rather classy.

You can purchase Carillon pour un Ange at LuckyScent, where you can also purchase a sample for $4 to see what you think of this unique fragrance.

Update: Here are some links to additional sites, provided by BTiB reader Clarisse in France: Tauer Perfumes and a store locator that includes European sources.

Photo courtesy of LuckyScent

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Bobbi Brown Beauty Rules

Beauty rules at Bobbi Brown, with a new limited-edition Beauty Rules Palette ($45) and Beauty Rules ($24.95), Bobbi's sixth book - this one an updated, fresh, energetic beauty bible for young women. When I first saw the new book at Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom, my lovable Bobbi Brown reps said, "Beauty Rules was not written for you. Think teens and twenties."

Emphasizing natural beauty in the book, Bobbi shares the best tips and tools for fresh, healthy skin and beautiful hair, makeup, and nails. Bobbi Brown's goal is to help women - all women - look and feel like themselves, only prettier and more confident. True to this philosophy, Beauty Rules was written to help young women learn the beauty basics, then get creative and experiment with their look,and ultimately find their own style.

The book isn't just about makeup. Beauty Rules covers everything from good eating habits to self-esteem. Bobbi used "real girls," not professional models for the photo shoots, just like she did in her Pretty Powerful campaign. She wanted to teach young women to appreciate their own unique beauty.

Fortunately for us women of a certain age, despite the fact that the Beauty Rules Palette is geared toward teenage beauty, it's perfect for women of all ages! The palette's box is designed like a school notebook, with lines for the owner's name - cute. What's inside the notebook palette are some fabulous everyday colors.

  • Ivory Eye Shadow
  • Lightning Sparkle Eye Shadow
  • Orchid Sparkle Eye Shadow
  • Eclipse Eye Shadow
  • Baby Pink Pot Rouge
  • Homecoming Pink Pot Rouge
  • Air Kiss Lip Gloss
  • Rum Lip Gloss
  • Crystal Gold Glitter Lip Balm
  • Jet Creamy Eye Pencil

  • Most of these shades are new, which meant I had to have the palette!

    Even though it was "fixin' to rain" (I chuckle every time my West Virginia friends use that expression), I was able to get some half-way decent photos of the palette colors on my arm. Naturally, I couldn't photograph the Ivory Eye Shadow. I didn't even try. It's the perfect base shade for your eye look if your skin is fair, and a great highlighting color if your skin is dark. Many of the other shades are sheer and natural. You will barely see some of them on my arm photos.

    In the photo at left, top to bottom, are Lightning Sparkle Eye Shadow, a very sheer and shimmering shadow that's barely visible under my wrist; Orchid Sparkle Eye Shadow, also sheer, but with a little more pigment; Eclipse Eye Shadow for your smoky eye; and Jet Creamy Eye Pencil.

    In the photo at right are the two pot rouge shades for lips and eyes. Both are pink; the only difference is that one is warmer than the other. I will enjoy both.

    The photo below left shows the three lip colors. From top to bottom, Air Kiss Lip Gloss, Rum Lip Gloss, and the sheer Crystal Gold Glitter Lip Balm. Gorgeous!

    This palette is perfect for your daughter, but it will also be perfect for women of any age who want sheer, natural colors with touches of shimmer or pizazz. I think I'm going to enjoy it! All the shades work together, and they can be applied with the fingers (teen beauty is supposed to be simple!).

    Beauty Rules - the book and the palette, is available at Nordstorm, Neiman Marcus, and, I'm sure, all the Bobbi Brown counters. The Bobbi Brown counters are ready to show young women how to use the palette for a look that they will love: gloss, sparkle, and clean colors!

    Book and palette photos courtesy of Nordstrom

    Tarte LipSurgence Natural Matte Lip Stain

    Let's celebrate Tarte with Tarte! The company has reached a milestone: 10 years of beautiful, skin-friendly, earth-friendly, and animal-friendly products filled with Tarte's "skinvigorating" ingredients. Effective, affordable, whimsical - cosmetics with a conscience - those are terms to come to my mind when I think about founder Maureen Kelly and her groundbreaking creations.

    In June, I showed you Tarte's 10-Year Anniversary blockbusters, which were only available at Sephora at the time. I purchased them and hope you did too. TEN Natural Cheek Stain ($30) and the TEN Limited Edition Collector's Palette ($44 and exclusive to Sephora) are must-haves. You can see a swatch of TEN at this BTiB link.

    Today, let's take a look at Tarte's revolutionary new LipSurgence Natural Matte Lip Stain ($24). LipSurgence is the only lip stain that has ever felt creamy after I applied it...hours after I applied it! My lips have to feel moist, or I am an unhappy gal. I have converted countless friends to my lip moisturizing favorites. Dear friends, get ready to try LipSurgence! It has to be the current gold standard for lip stains.

    Just like the original and best-selling Tarte natural lip stains, LipSurgence Natural Matte Lip Stain glides on smoothly for a rich matte finish that will stay all day. Each of the matte shades boasts a high pigment concentration, but unlike drying long-wear lipsticks, Tarte's LipSurgence stains are infused with high-performance, natural technology, clinically proven to increase moisture content by an astonishing 6,000% after 28 days of use. Since "matte" is in, this new matte LipSurgence has entered the market at just the right time.

    Earth-engineered from a proprietary blend of plant bionutrients, LipSurgence quickly absorbs into the skin, delivering a surge of moisture. Boosting peptides stimulate the skin’s own regenerative system and assist in the formation of collagen. Tarte's proprietary blend increases the lip's water content for a plumped-up appearance. The result? Naturally full, healthy, creamy lips without any irritation or stinging.

    Although I haven't used LipSurgence for 28 straight days (I switch it up too often), I can tell you that it's the only lip stain that I have ever used that felt creamy on application and stayed creamy - even through meals (how rare is that?). Some lips stains beg for an immediate topcoat of gloss, and a few newer ones even come with a clear gloss to satisfy my craving for gooey lips. Tarte's LipSurgence doesn't need the gloss to feel good. Naturally, you can use one over LipSurgence if you like the shiny look. You can be certain that your LipSurgence will still be there hours after your gloss wears off.

    LipSurgence Natural Matte Lip Stain is available in six shades.
    • Lucky - light pink
    • Hope - warm rose
    • Lively - hot pink
    • Envy - mauve berry
    • Fiery - true red and exclusive to Sephora
    • Exposed - nude
    On my arm photo are right, top to bottom, are Lucky, Envy, and Exposed. All are very pretty, although I think my two favorites are Envy and Exposed - just because my lips need a little color to brighten my pale face. I must try Hope next. Are you interested in wearing the matte fuchsia lip anointed by Allure as a hot trend for fall (page 182, September 2010 issue)? Lively is your shade! All six colors are delectable, so select the one(s) that you think will look best on you.

    The first thing you notice about LipSurgence Natural Matte Lip Stain is the softness of the thick pencil form. I think that's a clue to its properties on the lips. It contains vitamins A and E, which are anti-inflammatory emollients that protect against free radical damage; carnauba wax to ensure a smooth application; coconut extract that has known microbial and moisturizing properties; and peppermint oil to cool and soothe inflamed or irritated skin while freshening breath. Fortunately, the stain doesn't smell or taste like peppermint on my lips. I don't really want my lips to taste like Altoids!

    I'm sure you know that Tarte's wonderful cosmetics are formulated without the following ingredients we are all trying to avoid - and they are cruelty-free.
    • Parabens
    • Sulfates
    • Synthetic Fragrances
    • Synthetic Dyes
    • Petrochemicals
    • Phthalates
    I love that about Tarte! That's why I keep buying. There's little I can resist (seriously, you should see my collection of Cheek Stains, and I need another limited-edition TEN!). Tarte is bookmarked on my computer!

    When you visit the Tarte Web site, you should check out Tarte Tokens, a new loyalty program to reward you for shopping. Not only does Tarte give back to its customers, the company gives back to Mother Earth. With the purchase of every Tarte product that incorporates the t5 super fruit complex, customers help preserve the Amazon Rainforest through forest conservation, improved living conditions, and educational opportunities for communities in Brazil. Tarte's supporting the Sustainable Amazon Partnership (SAP), a public and private collaboration to promote lasting sustainable management of the Brazilian Amazon Rainforest, making contributions to SAP throughout the year. Some may think of beauty as frivolous; I think of it as an investment in our future when I shop with companies dedicated to the environment.

    You can find Tarte's new LipSurgence Natural Matte Lip Stain at Tarte's own Web site (the photos are there, and stock will arrive any day) and Sephora. It has my stamp of approval - check it out. While you're there, make sure to see the original LipSurgence Natural Lip Stains. You'll love them too.

    I'll continue to tell you about Tarte's terrific 10-year anniversary products in the coming days. A little bubbly, please. Let's raise our glasses in a toast to Maureen and the Tarte Team. Here's to the next 10 years!

    Top photo, cruelty-free logo, and stains courtesy of Tarte
    Yes, I know Tarte doesn't capitalize their name (I'm old school)

    Monday, August 23, 2010

    Sofia Vergara's Look for the Emmy Awards

    Haven't you ever wanted to style a celebrity for an awards show? Admit it! We all weigh in during and after the shows, selecting our favorites and tsk-tsking those whose stylists failed them. This year, Suave Professionals is giving all of us an opportunity to style Sofia Vergara's hair - well, select her hair style for the red carpet. What fun!

    Suave Professionals Stylist Jenny Cho created three glamorous hair styles for Sofia Vergara, star of ABC's comedy Modern Family. Sofia is one of the hottest actresses in the country, and a look at her on Suave's Facebook page will show you why. What a beauty!

    I found this fun site while I was looking for my fairy godmother. Remember how much I love the Suave Professionals Weather Protection 365 products that showed up at my doorstep? That search led me to this fun Facebook site.

    Suave has three photos on Sofia's page: Modern Sleek, Glamorous Waves, and Sexy Updo. You can vote for your favorite look. You can also roll your mouse over all three looks and watch videos to find out how Jenny Cho created them. All of Sofia's looks were created using Suave Professionals products.

    Vote for your favorite by clicking on "Like." Then watch the Emmy Awards show on August 29 to see which style made it onto the red carpet. There's something in it for you too! Make sure to enter every day for a chance to win one of 10 celebrity swag bags. Additionally, one lucky winner will be flown to Los Angeles for an awards show and styled by Jenny, with all kinds of goodies worth approximately $4,500 thrown in (transportation, hotel, and more). See this link for the official rules.

    Am I showing you all three looks? Nope! You'll have to go to Facebook to see the third, and I'm not sharing my choice - until after the show (although you could - just use the comments). I did enter the contest. Who wouldn't after trying Suave Professionals hair products?

    Photos courtesy of Suave Professionals

    Chantecaille Bengali Bronzer

    Isn't this gorgeous? Chantecaille's Bengali Bronzer ($85) is the prettiest bronzer I own! Who could resist that face?

    This slightly iridescent/shimmering bronzer brushes on to deliver a beautiful, natural, sun-kissed glow. Packed with specially coated pearls for a flawless, luminous finish, this special-edition bronze compact is etched with an image of the Royal Bengal Tiger. The two-level rose gold compact houses a mirror and natural-bristle brush.

    The shade is absolutely perfect to add a glow to women with light or medium skin. Because my skin is fair, I can't tell you how it will appear on darker skin (might be a highlighter on very dark skin). The shade is very sheer. Here is a photo taken in filtered sun with an arrow pointing toward the heaviest concentration of the bronzer on my arm. You can see bare skin on the section of my arm below the bronzer application.

    Like the new Tiger in the Wild Palette, a portion of the proceeds from sales of Bengali Bronzer benefit TRAFFIC, an international wildlife trade monitoring organization trying to save the last tigers in the wild. Since 1998, the last Year of the Tiger, the population of tigers in the wild has diminished from 5,000 to 3,200. The disappearance of wild tigers has become a crisis. The loss of our top predators is the barometer of an ecosystem in trouble - a worldwide concern, which needs attention and focus.

    If there was ever a time to spend money on makeup, this is it! You could own this gorgeous palette and support one of the world's most urgent efforts to protect wildlife and biodiversity. As if that weren't enough, I'm trying to show you the many fabulous products you can purchase to qualify for a very special current offer at Chantecaille. Right now, if you spend $225 at the Web site, you will receive a free White Tiger Poudre Délicate. Check out the link. I got mine!

    Top photo courtesy of Chantecaille