Thursday, September 30, 2010

Giorgio Armani Beauty Acqua di Gioia and Tim Quinn's Coming to Town!

I went to Saks Fifth Avenue in Chevy Chase, Maryland, after work to visit with Loyd Cassler and see what's new. I did not intend to purchase Acqua di Gioia Eau de Tiolette (three sizes from $39.50 to $80), despite how much Loyd loves it. I'm weak, though. One spray, and I was hooked.

Acqua di Gioia is light, a breath of fresh air. Inspired by Armani's summer holidays spent on the islands of Pantelleria and Antigua, Acqua di Gioia is a "hymn to nature in all its forms." It is a clean, incredibly fresh, aquatic scent that is ultra-approachable, yet memorable. It's a nice daytime scent - one that will leave you in good graces with your coworkers.

The top notes begin with a mojito-inspired sensual blend of crushed mint leaves, warmed by brown sugar and mixed with the zest of Italian limone. At its heart, feminine floral notes emerge with acquatic jasmine, peony dew, and subtle traces of pink pepper. The base notes leave a signature Mediterranean trail, rooted by hearts of cedar wood and labdanum.

The brown sugar gives it sweetness, but it's not cloying. There's no "bakery" connection. There is a synthetic water note (Acqua di Gioia translates as "water of joy") that simulates water that's been elevated to the height of clouds or beyond - fresh and free of the earth-bound pollutants that scent our air and water. I have no idea how they created that, but it sounds good! Even the bottle evokes water, transparency, and the fluidity of nature. It's gorgeous. Mr. Armani's creations have a visual elegance that's distinctive and undeniable.

As much as I adore Giorgio Armani Beauty makeup and skin care (I count myself among the line's most ardent fans), I have never liked the fragrances. The exception is Rose Alexandrie, which I like very much (it's the only Armani fragrance I owned before today), but to my nose, the rest of them stink. Most are filled with patchouli, a note that turns me off quicker than sewer gas. Maybe they are sophisticated to some; to me, they're dreck. Yes, I realize that's a pretty strong statement, but that's how I feel about the majority of the Armani fragrances. Finally, there's a heavily promoted Armani fragrance I love! What's interesting is that my opinion is the polar opposite of what some fragrance experts think. They have written that Acqua di Gioia is common and commercial. They can have the patchouli-laden fragrances; I'll take this one!

Acqua di Gioia reminds me of Hermes Un Jardin sur le Nil. If you like that, you will also like Acqua di Gioia. Take a look at your local Armani counter, order online, or try to nab a sample. Skip down to find out how you can get a sample and free shipping if you act quickly.

DC-area gals will be blessed next week with a three-day Tim Quinn appearance at Saks in Chevy Chase! These events are always hopping, and Saks is taking appointments now. If you've met Tim, Giorgio Armani Beauty's Celebrity Face Designer, you know that he's talented and charming (dashing and darling too, with a wicked sense of humor). If you haven't met Tim, it's about time! Tim's appearance coincides with Beauty Week at Saks (which started today and ends October 9), and there's a fabulous python print tote with samples inside that can be yours with any $100 purchase. The Armani counter has a great gift with purchase too.

Tim will be available by appointment during the following hours.
  • Thursday, October 7, from 11:00 to 6:30
  • Friday, October 8, from 3:00 to 6:30
  • Saturday, October 9, from 10:00 to 6:00
We aren't often lucky enough to snag Tim for three days, so you have lots of opportunities to go meet an extraordinary artist - the man who prepares celebrities for the red carpet. What a privilege it is to have his advice on your own look! He might tend to your whole face, or he might consult with one of the other artists to select colors for you. That will depend on how busy it is when you go. I recommend Thursday during the day - as early as possible. Don't wait until the last moment on Saturday. Just go if you can. I guarantee you will love him! You'll love the Saks team too. Make sure to give Loyd a hug. He's been so good to Best Things in Beauty readers.

To make an appointment, call the Armani counter in Chevy Chase, Maryland at (240) 497-5206. Or you can ring through the switchboard by calling (301) 657-9000 and ask for Armani Cosmetics. Tell my friends at Armani Best Things in Beauty sent you.

Want to purchase Acqua di Gioia? Or any Giorgio Armani Beauty items online? Ending tonight, with any $50 purchase and the code 09FSHIPPING, you will receive a sample of Acqua di Gioia and free shipping. Otherwise, I hope you'll sample it at your favorite Armani counter - or wait to sample at Saks during Tim's visit if you live near DC. Let me know what you think!

Photos courtesy of Giorgio Armani Beauty

Beecology Buzz Balm - A Nature Lover's Delight

Recently, I received a nice sample package from Beecology, a company that strives to make their products as natural, renewable, and functional as they can without sacrificing quality. Although they try to make all of their products 100% natural, not all of the products have achieved that level - yet. However, all are derived from at least 95% renewable and naturally-derived ingredients like corn, soy, and coconut. As more and more organic ingredients become available in the personal care market, Beecology will be able to realize their goal of 100% organic, natural, and renewable products. How refreshingly straightforward!

Amy and David Rzepka, founders of Beecology, allowed a friend to place a bee hive on their property, ended up as beekeepers, and the rest is history. Now, with millions of bees sharing their property, they are using the abundance of honey and beeswax from the hives to produce their handmade Beecology products. Use them and you'll feel the love!

The very first product they made for sale was Buzz Balm Super Sting Peppermint Lip Balm ($2.99), and they sent me one. I hope no one's offended by this analogy, but that was like sending heroin to an addict! I am a lip balm junkie. Had you been here when I opened the box and started sniffing and trying, you would have heard me squeal.

Buzz Balm has all-natural ingredients to make dry, chapped lips soft and healthy. Açaí oil, a powerful antioxidant, gives it its healing properties. The balm helps dry winters go by more quickly, and summer's moisture last longer. Here are the ingredients: coconut oil, beeswax, shea butter, aloe butter, cupuaçu butter, olive oil, peppermint oil, açaí butter, eucalyptus oil, clove oil, and tea tree oil. Fortunately, I don't perceive the clove oil, an ingredient to which I've become sensitized over the years. I can taste the peppermint oil, but it doesn't overwhelm the balm. The name "Super Sting" references the bees, not what the balm does to the lips!

My first impression when I applied the balm was, "Wow, how nice and soothing!" My lasting impression is that this balm is a keeper. It makes my lips soft; they don't thirst for another "drink of balm" minutes after application. If you are a lip balm addict, you will understand that. I have lip balms placed strategically throughout the spaces I inhabit (there's one at bedside, one at the entrance to my bedroom, another in the bathroom, one at my computer, one in the kitchen, one at my desk at work, one in my purse, one in the car, and so on. As you might imagine, I go through a lot of lip balm! That's why Beecology's Five-Pack Tin ($13.99) will be my best buy.

I have so much more to tell you about that box! Stay tuned. I plan to give Amy and David a call to get more information to share with you. I've used the fabulous shampoo and conditioner they sent me, and the body wash is next. I'm under Beecology's spell. Intrigued? Buzz over to Beecology's Web site to explore (sorry - a little corny - I couldn't resist). You'll like what you see.

Photo courtesy of Beecology

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Le Métier de Beauté La Belle Sheer Brilliance Lip Gloss for Fall 2010

The newest Le Métier de Beauté Sheer Brilliance Lip Gloss ($32) to hit the counters is called La Belle. "Beautiful" in French is a beautiful lip gloss in any language.

I would describe this luscious shade as sparkling grape with a hint of red. Others might call it plum or more simply red-purple. Although it might look brown in the tube, it's not. That's the magic of Le Métier de Beauté's lip glosses. You have to try them or see swatches to select the shades. Looking at the tube could lead you to dismiss a shade you might love!

It's hard to show in a photo taken on a cloudy day how exuberant the color is. It's rich without being opaque and sparkling without being glittery. It's darker than one of my favorite Dior glosses #877, Lurex Plum (now discontinued), but very much in the same color family.

La Belle is darker than Uma Paro, another recent Sheer Brilliance favorite of mine, and it has more red in it than Uma Paro. If you click on the Uma Paro link here, you will also see Monaco, a shade that is actually brown. There's no comparison. I am mentioning this because I had read several "sneak peek" descriptions that called La Belle brown. It's not.

This gloss is gorgeous without any lipstick underneath, and it has a wonderful quality: the color lasts a long time. When I first swatched it on my arm, I noticed that it didn't wipe off. In the store, we used makeup remover to tidy my arm. At home, where I put even more on my arm, I couldn't remove it completely with soap and water. It took long-wear makeup remover to take off every last trace. It has the same wonderful quality on the lips.

I was recently introduced to Sheer Brilliance and quickly became a convert. Every word Le Métier de Beauté says about Sheer Brilliance's features is true.
  • Elegant, semi-translucent, glossy color
  • Universal shades
  • Vitamin E and lanolin for soft supple lips
  • Silky texture and easy-glide formula
  • Never heavy or sticky
On the lips? Scrumptious! This gloss has no flavor or fragrance, which puts it in my "most-loved" category. Others have described a barely there scent. I don't detect it in the tubes I purchased, and there is no fragrance listed in the ingredients. I think it's perfect.

You can purchase La Belle Sheer Brilliance Lip Gloss at Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman. Nordstrom is now offering Le Métier de Beauté from its online site only. None of the sites have La Belle available online as I write this, but it should be available online soon. You can always call Lisa Lingis at Neiman Marcus Mazza Gallerie to order at (202) 966-9700, extension 2240, or visit your favorite Neiman Marcus.

P.S. Sooner or later, I'm going to get all the accent marks straight!

Photos by BTiB

Maison Francis Kurkdjian Aqua Universalis

Neiman Marcus at Mazza Gallerie recently gave me a large sample of Maison Francis Kurkdjian Aqua Universalis ($145-195). It's divine.

According to his biography, Francis Kurkdjian was not born in Grasse as many French perfumers were, nor did he come from a long family heritage of French perfumers. As a child, he studied piano and dance. A lovely piano melody plays as you peruse his Web site. It's so calming, you should visit when you want to relax!

At age 15 (when most of use haven't determined our future course), he decided he would become a perfumer, and in 1995, when he was 25, he created his first perfume, La Male, for Jean Paul Gaultier. Since then, he has created dozens of fragrances, and you know their names, even if you don't know his. Aqua di Parma Iris Nobile, Dior Cologne Blanche and Eau Noire, F by Ferragamo, and Emmanuel Ungaro are just a few. His work as a perfumer reached a milestone in 2009 (some sources say 2008) when he opened Maison Francis Kurkdjian in Paris.

Aqua Universalis Eau de Parfum is a fragrance for "everything, everyone, and all days." The name is Latin for "Universal Water," and the scent does what it says on the bottle. Francis Kurkdjian calls it the missing link between skin, clothes, bed linens, and the air, and he’s spot on. This light, sparkling eau de toilette could be spritzed by anyone, anywhere, anytime – but you’ll probably want to save it for your skin, since you can scent your house with the Aqua Universalis candle or incense paper and launder your clothes with the matching detergent.

The notes begin with a strong unisex fragrance of bergamot and lemon from Sicily. When you first apply the fragrance, it's almost masculine - certainly unisex. It starts to dry down quickly, though, and as it does, the lily of the valley and sweet mock orange white flower bouquet take over. From that point forward, it's soft and feminine. The fragrance culminates in sheer perfection with light and musky woods. It's not terribly long-lasting (a shame), but if you like it, reapply!

I never knew Francis Kurkdjian existed. Now that I've found him, I want to know more about his fragrances! I may have to order some samples from LuckyScent.

You can find Aqua Universalis at Neiman Marcus and LuckyScent. I found an interesting New York Times feature from 2008 that introduced him to the U.S. market.

Photo courtesy of Neiman Marcus

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Le Métier de Beauté Les Artistes Kaleidoscope Lip Kit for Fall 2010

Le Métier de Beauté Les Artistes Kaleidoscope Lip Kit ($95) arrived at Neiman Marcus a few days ago. I was on the waiting list for it and claimed it quickly. I couldn't wait to see more new fall makeup from Le Métier de Beauté!

The unique Lip Kaleidoscope has a clever internal stacking system exclusive to Le Métier de Beauté. The rounded pans swivel out from its secretly hinged back. The long-lasting, moisture-rich formula is enriched with vitamins A, C, and E.

The Kaleidoscope Lip Kit's multidimensional layers can be mixed and matched to create your own look. Lisa Lingis at Neiman Marcus Mazza Gallerie has shown me how Le Métier de Beauté encourages you to layer the colors, yielding endless possibilities by combining the shades to suit your mood or create your "look of the day." When I purchased my first Lip Kit, Enchantment, I thought each of the shades was stunning alone, but was mesmerized as Lisa started to demonstrate on my arm the layering that morphed the look with each new layer. She actually showed me the end result of layering all four colors, and I was sold! I couldn't purchase Enchantment fast enough.

Naturally, when Lisa told me a new Kaleidoscope Lip Kit would be arriving soon, I put my name on the waiting list. Now that I have it in my hands, I am thrilled! The shades are lovely, sheer - and even better, all of them work for me. These are year-round shades.

My swatches at shown at right. My photo was taken in full sun. I applied the lip colors with my fingers. They are shown from the top pull-out to bottom.
  • Illusionists (nude)
  • Acrobats (gold)
  • Magicians (rose)
  • Danseurs (red with golden flecks in the pan, but lighter and very sheer on skin - see bottom pull-out pan above)
With the exception of Danseurs, the shades on the lips (and skin) are exactly how they look in the pan. They offer a subtle shimmer with a nice light texture and feel. They will be particularly handy when worn with a more dramatic fall/winter eye look (for those who "do drama"). Magnifique!

I can't say enough nice things about Les Artistes. I believe Le Métier de Beauté has another hit on its hands.

You can purchase Les Artistes Kaleidoscope Lip Kit at Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman. Nordstrom is now offering Le Métier de Beauté from its online site only. None of the sites have Les Artistes available online as I post this, but the kit should be available online soon. You can always call Lisa to order at (202) 966-9700, extension 2240, or visit your favorite Neiman Marcus.

I hope to show you La Belle Sheer Brilliance Lip Gloss (the newest shade) tomorrow.

Photos by BTiB

Bobbi Brown Pink Ribbon Shimmer Brick for Breast Cancer Awareness Month

In support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Bobbi created a beautiful limited-edition Pink Shimmer Brick Compact ($38). This shimmering, brush-on powder creates a soft, light pink glow. Since I'm a Shimmer Brick addict, I'll be ordering. Will you?

Your purchase of Pink Ribbon will contribute to Bobbi Brown's donation of $35,000 to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation. On top of that, you will get a pink ribbon made from recycled material with every order!

Bobbi is offering free standard shipping as a thank you for your purchase of this item from now through the month of October. No code is required.

Photo courtesy of Bobbi Brown

Le Métier de Beauté Lip Glosses - Lighter Shades Swatched

Yesterday, at Marcia's request, I got swatches of some of the lighter shades of Le Métier de Beauté's lip glosses. I had written about the Sheer Brilliance Lip Glosses I own last week. Marcia asked for swatches of some of the lighter shades. Here they are - not all of the lighter shades, but some that Lisa Lingis at Neiman Marcus Mazza Gallerie said are very popular.

Repeating myself, Le Métier de Beauté promises that Sheer Brilliance Lip Gloss will drench your lips in total luxury, with sumptuous, punchy color that saturates the lips in a unique, ultra-lightweight formula that's enriched with emollients and antioxidants.

If you need to be convinced that any lip gloss introduced by Le Métier de Beauté has all the right features, here's their list. Every word is true.
  • Elegant, semi-translucent, glossy color
  • Universal shades
  • Vitamin E and lanolin for soft supple lips
  • Silky texture and easy-glide formula
  • Never heavy or sticky
Shown at left is a photo taken yesterday afternoon at Neiman Marcus inside the store. It was raining and gloomy outside, but I'm not complaining. We need the rain! Don't ask me how that dark one made it onto my arm. I liked it! It was all I could do to leave any of them behind. I was already purchasing the newest gloss and a brand new Lip Kaleidoscope (I'll show you this week), and I thought my credit card needed a rest.

Top to bottom, taken under a little spotlight at the Le Métier de Beauté counter, are Cafe Creme, Vanilla Rose (barely visible but one of Lisa's favorites), Captiva, Cap D'Antibes, Cannes, and Ibiza. Vanilla Rose didn't do much for me, although Lisa said it's very popular. It leaves a light, shimmering glaze on top of lipstick or bare lips.

I could have purchased almost every one I swatched today! They were all gorgeous. I can see why the Ibiza shade at bottom is adored. It's so pretty in person! I fell totally in love with Cannes. I know I'll be back as soon as my credit card "turns over" - either when the billing cycle ends or when it turns over in its grave.

Cafe Creme is a Lip Creme Lip Gloss ($36), a hybrid of gloss and lipstick that combines color, intense emollients, and antioxidants to soothe and nourish the lips while providing an intense color pay-off with shine and gloss. It has a lacquer sheen finish. It slipped into my swatches yesterday because I saw it and wanted to try it.

Last week, I wrote about Sheer Brilliance Lip Gloss ($32), with its sumptuous, punchy color that saturates the lips in a unique, ultra-lightweight formula - also enriched with emollients and antioxidants. I had purchased some of the more pigmented shades of Sheer Brilliance to give my face some color. You wanted to see the lighter shades. Here are some nice ones to consider!

You can find Le Métier de Beauté Lip Gloss at Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman, and online at Nordstrom. If you don't have a counter near you, give one a call. You can call Lisa Lingis at (202) 966-9700, extension 2240. If you can describe a shade you would like to try, or want help deciding within a color family, Lisa, or any Le Métier de Beauté representative, can help you make your selection.

Photo at top courtesy of Neiman Marcus

Monday, September 27, 2010

Edward Bess Sheer Satin Cream Compact Foundation

As an Edward Bess devotee, I had to try the new Sheer Satin Cream Compact Foundation ($60) - even though I'm not usually tempted by "powder-finish" foundations. Susan and Jennifer at Bergdorf Goodman let me know it was coming, and the first time I listened, I thought I heard "powder foundation." The second time we talked (and I probed a little), I heard "cream that dries to a matte, powder-like finish." Perfect description! I shouldn't have let the word "powder" throw me off the first time.

Sheer Satin Cream Compact Foundation, designed for all skin types, has a lightweight texture and weightless feel. It provides a natural finish and blends flawlessly with bare skin. As Susan pointed out, it's perfect for all women, but those who want to wear foundation only in the center of their faces will love the way it blends. The foundation is oil-free, and even better, it's fragrance-free!

The foundation is silicone-based, so it has nice "slip" and won't settle into your expression lines or pores. Whether you apply it with the sponge that's provided in the compact, a foundation brush, or your fingers (horrors!), it will give you a nice, sheer airbrushed look.

It's available in five shades: Light, Bare, Nude, Beige, and Natural. I bought Light. Natural is the darkest shade and would be appropriate for olive, Mediterranean/Spanish skin. There are no shades for my chocolate-skinned friends.

I bought Light. I felt like an overachiever, outside trying to get a swatch photo for you. I took nine pictures. How is anyone going to get a swatch photo of a foundation that "melts" right into the skin? That matches perfectly? That looks like a second skin? My best shot is at right, and you can barely see the unblended color I applied heavily by patting it on with the sponge. I got just the right angle so that I can see it, but I'm not sure you can.

The shiny, black compact is a perfect size for throwing in your handbag for touch-ups. I plan to take mine to work for mid-day touch-ups to my nose and chin - the two areas that lose my foundation first (I always have a tissue in my pocket for my allergies). I love the creamy feel of the foundation and how easily it blends.

You can purchase Edward Bess cosmetics at Bergdorf Goodman. If you don't live in or near New York, give Susan and Jennifer a call at (212) 872-8826. If you can describe your skin color - or name another foundation in the store that you are wearing - they can help you select a shade. If you are lucky and live in Los Angeles or Houston (as of tomorrow at the Houston Galleria), you can visit an Edward Bess counter at Neiman Marcus. Edward himself will be at the Neiman Marcus at Houston Galleria from September 28 to October 1 to open his newest counter.

Photos by BTiB

Le Métier de Beauté MARCHESA My Palette by Keren Craig - Swatched

Joanna Austin, president of Le Métier de Beauté, said that working with world-famous MARCHESA designers Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig was a collaboration that would, hopefully, lead to a long-lasting creative partnership. Wanting to be at the doorway to that glamorous world, I pre-ordered items from the collection from Bergdorf Goodman. Then I waited for gift card week!

After consultation with my friends in New York, I ordered the eponymous Keren Craig palette, shown at left. Georgina Chapman's shades didn't appear to suit me.

MARCHESA My Palette by Keren Craig ($65) arrived last Friday. This collection of warm hues was designed to create a beautiful bronzed look not to be ignored - one with everything you need to make a sun-kissed look your own.

What's in the palette?
  • Bronzer
  • Concealer
  • Lip Gloss in Le Caramel
  • Creme Blush in La Rougeur
  • Eye Shadow in Le Fauve
I swatched the shades for you. At right, top to bottom, are the eye shadow, concealer, creme blush, and lip gloss. The concealer is definitely a yellow tone - the one that looks scary on my arm. It works on my face better than I expected when I first saw it. The rest of the shades are very pretty.

I applied the bronzer at left twice with a dense brush. At top is a light application; there's a darker one below. Applied with a fluffy brush for a less concentrated application, the bronzer is a nice shade for me. It has no trace of orange.

Le Métier de Beauté calls this a "petite palette." It certainly is. It's wafer-thin and about 3 1/4 inches wide. Like the Double Entendre Lip Gloss from the MARCHESA Collection, it's tiny - too tiny. I'm not sure why the MARCHESA items are all so small. I assume they were intended to be slipped into an evening bag, consistent with MARCHESA's eveningwear. The price is dear, given their size.

If you want to own one of the the latest darlings of the beauty world, you can purchase the MARCHESA Collection now at Bergdorf Goodman and very soon at Neiman Marcus. I'd recommend that you take a look at the seasonal Le Métier de Beauté makeup and find similar shades that suit you. You will get much more makeup for your money.

Update 9/27, late afternoon: I should have mentioned that the palette isn't slimmer than the regular Le Métier de Beauté palettes at the Neiman Marcus counter. In that sense, the palette is a "better buy" than Double Entendre - in my opinion.

Photo at top courtesy of Neiman Marcus

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Kat Von D Painted Love Lipstick Set Giveaway Contest

Congratulations to Diane (Dlori)! She won this nice set from Sephora.

Kat V D's limited-edition, Sephora-exclusive Painted Love Lipstick Set ($28) contains six miniature lipsticks in a baroque box, a perfect accessory for a color collection that exemplifies old-Hollywood glamour with a rock 'n roll vibe. These rich, long-lasting miniature lipsticks include two new colors to form a wide range of shades - from the perfect bold red to a stunning understated neutral pink.

"This is dedicated to those who are self-created, self-reliant, self made, and independent," according to Kat Von D. The shades are Rosary, Underage Red, Cathedral, Hellbent, Lolita, and Celebutard - a shade for everyone and every purpose. It's a fun set. I like the colors!

I have one to give away. To enter to win this week's giveaway contest, just leave a comment here once. After you comment, feel free to e-mail 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 soon, and you can simply retweet it to earn that second entry.

The deadline for entries will be Saturday, October 2, at midnight. The next morning, I will use a random number generator ( to select the winner. I will e-mail the winner at that time. The winner 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. I will carefully pack and ship the prize (as I always do). I cannot insure the set for overseas shipment - it's amazingly expensive to do so. If it's lost or stolen in transit, I won't be able to replace it with another palette for an overseas winner. We'll see how this works. My shipping issues have occurred when I've shipped overseas - the packages to the U.S. and Canada always arrive without incident. 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!

Photo courtesy of Sephora

Trilogy Certified Organic Rosehip Oil

Recently, Beautorium sent me a sample of Trilogy Certified Organic Rosehip Oil ($20 or $40, depending on size). It came with a note saying they were sending samples of their top-selling product to thank their customers. They also sent a nice discount code, which I plan to use before the month ends.

I have used Trilogy's Certified Organic Rosehip Oil over my Sisley anti-aging serum at night for the last two weeks. The sample looked small, but a little of the oil goes a long way (2-3 drops per application). I love it. I love everything about it! I haven't used it long enough to verify the clinical results, but they are believable. This oil reminds me of argan oil, and I already know how miraculous argan oil is.

Could rosehip oil be nature's answer for perfect skin? Triology thinks so, and Beautorium's respected and selective choice of brands gives it a double stamp of approval. Endorsed by dermatologists and therapists, rosehip oil is ideal for normal, dry, mature, sun-damaged, scarred, and sensitive skin. It is said to smooth fine lines and restore the skin’s moisture balance. I can testify to the latter already. It leaves my skin moist and dewy.

Trilogy Certified Organic Rosehip Oil improves the skin's barrier function by delivering skin-compatible lipids that are undetectable on the surface of the skin, but provide daily protection from dehydrating environmental conditions (such as the autumn change in the weather that has started with cool nights). Rosehip oil contains nutrients and essential fatty acids that are vital for perfect skin health and a glowing complexion. Trilogy's rosehip oil contains several of these fatty acids, the most abundant of which are alpha linolenic acid (Omega 3), gamma linolenic acid (Omega 6), and linoleic acid (Omega 6). In smaller quantities are palmitic, oleic, and stearic acids. Trilogy's rosehip oil contains at least 80% essential fatty acids. That's a pure product!

This super-fine oil absorbs instantly, allowing the skin to breathe while it prevents or reduces the signs of premature aging and assists skin growth and repair. Fifty percent of the 20 women who were evaluated in Trilogy's clinical tests self-reported sensitive skin, and 50% had dry skin. The results speak for themselves.
  • Moisture was improved by up to 44%, and roughness and dryness were reduced for 74% of participants
  • Appearance of wrinkles was reduced by 23%
  • Smoothness was improved by 21%, with 89% of testers seeing significant improvement
  • Overall appearance was improved for 79%
  • Radiance, tone, and clarity were improved for 74%
  • Firmness, tightness, and elasticity were improved for 74%
Certified Organic Rosehip Oil is the key ingredient in most Trilogy skin and hair products. Trilogy was so impressed by its performance that the company created an entire product line around it in 2001. You can learn more about Trilogy at their Web site.

Trilogy products contain 100% natural active ingredients. The rosehip oil is certified organic by Bio-Gro of New Zealand; many other organic ingredients are certified by Eco-cert. Trilogy products contain no parabens, petrochemicals, PEGs, pesticides, synthetic colors or fragrances, GMOs, or harsh surfactants. They are 100% vegetarian and never tested on animals. Trilogy uses innovative fiber recycled from sugar cane waste for all of its sales materials, and all products and packaging are biodegradable. These Earth-friendly features make you feel good about using Trilogy products.

If you need any more enticement to give Certified Organic Rosehip Oil a try, Beautorium just sent out a store-wide free-shipping offer. This week, use code SHIP4FREE. You can try this wonderful oil, or any other Beautorium offering, and save money at the same time. Make sure to check out the gifts with purchase that are currently available.

Photo courtesy of Beautorium

Dick Page for Shiseido at New York Fashion Week

Dick Page, Shiseido Artistic Director, showed us the way into spring at New York Fashion Week. As I studied his beautiful looks, created for two shows, I was reminded of the phrase, "Spring forward, fall back." We haven't even turned our clocks back for fall, and I'm writing about spring beauty! Then the old Girl Scout slogan "Be Prepared" came to me, so here we go!

Dick Page created the look at left for the September 11 United Bamboo Collection. Inspired by the collection, he wanted a face that looked natural and real. Dick applied a wash of the new Shiseido Makeup Perfect Refining Foundation (launching February 2011) on freshly moisturized skin to even the skin tone and to cover up redness or blemishes.

Next, he applied a light dusting of Shiseido Makeup Translucent Loose Powder to the forehead, along the nose, and under the eyes.

He wanted to create eyes that were "sharp, but not too dramatic.” Using the small Shiseido Eyeliner Brush, Dick mixed a touch of the Shiseido Benefiance Full Correction Lip Treatment and the darkest shade from the Shiseido Makeup Luminizing Satin Eye Color Trio in Snow Shadow (GY901) - the one I want and still haven't purchased! He applied the color along the upper and lower lash lines and around the inner eye, close to the lash line with no gaps.

Then, Page used a clean fluffier eye shadow brush to blend another touch of the Shiseido Benefiance Full Correction Lip Treatment onto the eyelid to help melt the color on the eyes. He used the fluff brush to blend and diffuse the color.

Page wanted a neutral, glowing lip, so to neutralize the natural lip-tone, he patted the new Shiseido Makeup Shimmering Rouge Lipstick in Alabaster (BE702) (launching February 2011) on the lips with his finger.

The photo and look sheet above show how soft and natural the United Bamboo look was. Just right for most of us!

Page created two different looks for the Band of Outsiders Show on September 11: “Girl, Girl” and “Boy, Girl.” The looks were inspired by the unique variety of scenery at the presentation as well as the distinctly different groups of fashion featured in the presentation.

For the Boy, Girl face at left, he wanted to start with clean, glowing skin, so he left the skin clean and applied just a touch of Shiseido Makeup Natural Finish Cream Concealer to cover up any model redness or blemishes.

On the eyes, he aimed for “scrubby and imperfect.” Page applied Shiseido Makeup Automatic Fine Eyeliner in Black (BK901) all around the eye and focused on lining right into the upper and lower lash lines and into the eye socket. Then, he sketched a scrubby line of Shiseido Makeup Smoothing Eyeliner Pencil in Black (BK901) into the outer corner of the lower lashes. Then, like a great artist unconstrained by the intended use of a product, he applied a touch of the Shiseido Benefiance Full Correction Lip Treatment on top of the liner; this allowed the color to melt. He finished the eyes by applying a coat of Shiseido Makeup Perfect Mascara Defining Volume in Black (BK901) on the lashes.

The more dramatic eyes called for simple, moist lips. To give the lips a light sheen, Page applied Shiseido Benefiance Full Correction Lip Treatment with his finger.

For the Girl, Girl look at right, Paige also wanted clean, glowing skin. Looks to me like clean and glowing will be a spring trend! Page again left the skin clean and applied just a touch of Shiseido Makeup Natural Finish Cream Concealer to cover up redness or blemishes. Next, using a damp base sponge, he applied Shiseido Makeup Shimmering Rouge Lipstick in Golden Dragon (RD601) (launching February 2011) on the apples of the cheeks, under the eye area, along the temples and bridge of the nose. Again unconstrained by convention, he used a lip product as a blusher.

He achieved the dewy and natural eyes by applying Shiseido Benefiance Full Correction Lip Treatment on the eyelids. That was it!

He finished the fresh and simple look by giving the model's lips a subtle trace of color, applying Shiseido Shimmering Rouge Lipstick in Lounge (RD709) (launching February 2011) with his finger.

By using some existing products, along with new ones, Page created three pretty looks, and all will be easy for us to replicate. I have photos of some of the new makeup products, and I will show them to you this week. Shiseido has introduced one hit collection after another under Dick Page's artistic direction. I think you will like what you see!

Photos courtesy of Shiseido

Tarte Crown Jewels Contest Winners Announced just drew two lucky winners of Tarte's Crown Jewels Lip Glosses. Congratulations to Rachel, who will receive the Glittering Green Goddesses set of Tarte lip glosses, and to Huguette, who will receive the Twinkling Trendsetters! Both winners have been notified by e-mail. I'm not sure where Rachel lives. I know from her e-mail address that Huguette is a "neighbor to the north" in Canada.

Rachel and Huguette will good to their lips, wearing glosses with Tarte's legendary skinvigorating ingredients. Jojoba seed oil and mineral pigments will leave their lips soft, supple, and smooth, while looking good! They will also be treated to Tarte's t5 super fruit complex, a proprietary blend of the most active super-fruits, loaded with antioxidant-rich nutrients and vitamins that are known to deliver refining, anti-aging, and skin-restorative benefits with each application. I'm a big Tarte fan, and I know they will love their prizes!

Thank you all for entering and for your kind comments and notes! I have fun reading your contest e-mails. I appreciate each and every one of you and want to thank you - again - for reading Best Things in Beauty!

We will start another contest later today. Come on back!

Photo courtesy of Tarte

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Weekend Roundup - September 25

September is brimming with beauty! From fall flowers to fashion, it's an exciting time of year. We've been focused this week on the season's latest makeup, nail colors, and hair care, among a few other obsessions. Take our beauty tour to see our latest loves.

Sabrina demonstrated why the perfectly named Stellar Pink in Rouge Volupté Perle has become an overnight sensation. Visit The Beauty Look Book to find out why you need the star of YSL's show.

Gaia discovered the wonders of Laura Mercier's fab Eye Liner in Black Ebony and provided some great application assistance at The Non-Blonde. Yesterday, Gaia posted her take on my current faves from Armani, the Uptown Mauve Collection. You can see her swatches (and a cute kitty nose) at this link.

Anne is an admitted nail polish "fiend." She told us why Dazzle Dry is the Energizer Bunny of nail polishes at BeautyXposé.

Kelly modeled the Fall/Winter Collection of the Fusion of Color Natural Collection at Gouldylox Reviews. She showed us how to look like ourselves, only better.

Kari always has a Pantene product in her shower. She recently tried Professional Level Damage Repair Ampoule Treatment for Medium Thick Hair, and even though her hair isn't particularly thick, she liked it! Find out why at Fab over Forty.

Ever wonder how those airbrush foundation products really work? Self-proclaimed klutz Lisa told us how she fell in love with the Luminess Air Brush Pro System at The Beauty Info Zone Blog. We'll be watching to see how long it takes her to repossess it from Marcia.

Did you watch Episode 1 of Flawless Faces for All Races last week? Vicki posted Episode 2 this week at Makeup Artist Backstage. All of us can learn tips and techniques by watching pro artist Vicki make women gorgeous!

Burberry Beauty's Rosewood Eyeshadow has become a blogger darling. Find out why from Elvira at Pink Sith. It looks great on her!

Product Girl Carla celebrated her five-year blogging anniversary this week. Congratulations, Carla! Ever wondered what a beauty addict's home looks like? Head over to see her true confessions.

This week, I got my hands on four of the new Uptown Mauve Rouge d'Armani lipsticks from Giorgio Armani Beauty. Scroll down or go to this link at Best Things in Beauty to see why there should be a creamy, long-lasting lovely in your makeup bag.

Don't forget to enter this week's giveaway contest for a darling Tarte lip gloss set. The deadline is midnight tonight!

We hope you have a great weekend. Do something nice for yourself!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Le Métier de Beauté Double Entendre Lip Gloss from the MARCHESA Collection

Double Entendre Lip Gloss ($38) is part of the debut MARCHESA for Le Métier de Beauté Collection. Whether it's a must-have shoe, the perfect bag, or a signature scarf, accessories can take fashion from uninspired to completely customized. I think of makeup as the perfect accessory!

Today, I came home from work to find the Bergdorf Goodman box I'd anticipated - filled with goodies from Le Métier de Beauté and Edward Bess. I can't wait to show you all the treasures, but this dual-ended lip gloss was easy for me to swatch and show.

The new collection offers four dual-ended lip glosses, with a total of eight shades, to create an infinite array of colors. Pairing the signature creamy coverage of Le Métier de Beauté's Lip Creme Lip Gloss with the incomparable, silky slip of their Sheer Brilliance Lip Gloss, Double Entendre Lip Gloss is the "dynamic duo." Enriched with emollients and antioxidants for beautiful, supple lips, you can wear either shade alone or custom-blend it with lipstick or other gloss shades to create a favorite, new look.

During my chat with my New York friends, I had to get help selecting one of the four duos. They all sounded gorgeous, but I wanted to try one before plunging in to buy others.
The Web site swatches are shown above. Would you have known which one to try? With lots of assistance, I selected L'Embrasse/Le Pass.

Is it pretty! Check out my arm photo (taken in full sun) at right to see how the two shades really look. Would you have guessed from shopping online?

A couple of things you should know...
  • There's a nice doe-foot applicator.
  • The Sheer Brilliance shade is sheer and gorgeous, as I have come to expect. I had a hard time getting an even application on my arm, but when I applied it on my lips, it was perfect!
  • Both glosses feel great - not heavy, sticky, or tacky.
  • The duo is tiny - very tiny. I was surprised at how small it is, particularly given the price tag. At three inches long, it's perfect for slipping into your pocket, but it's not a great value. Depending on the lip gloss you choose (Sheer Brilliance or Lip Creme), you can purchase a full-size Le Métier de Beauté gloss for $32 or $36.
Will I purchase another Double Entendre Lip Gloss from the MARCHESA Collection? As pretty as it is, I think not. My dollars will stretch further with the regular glosses from Le Métier de Beauté. I'm amazed as I type this because these glosses are drop-dead gorgeous. How could anyone be critical of a gorgeous gloss duo? I just can't get past the tiny size-to-price ratio.

What do you think? Have you seen or tried Double Entendre yet?

Photos courtesy of Neiman Marcus

The Friday Forum - September 24

The farmers' markets are teeming with sunflowers! Why not pick up a bunch this weekend to brighten your home?

What a busy week it's been! I haven't had nearly enough time to check out the beauty departments. I did get to spend some time last night over dinner with my friend, Rene Marshall, Perricone MD's Mid-Atlantic Account Executive. She told me all about the new Super line from Perricone, and I'll be sharing the scoop with you in a few days. Did you notice that Super is available online now at Sephora? With lower price points than the Perricone skin care I use, and targeted to women (and men) in their 20s, 30s, and 40s, Super is poised to be a big hit.

We shared Ava's delight this week as she was named the winner of the $500 shopping spree at Neiman Marcus Mazza Gallerie. Ava, you have to tell us what products you select! I am so grateful for the Mazza store's generosity to Best Things in Beauty readers. They're the best!

It's time for The Friday Forum! 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. Leave a comment, and say hello - even if you don't want to comment on beauty products. As I always do, I'll leave news of some great beauty offers (great, not just good) in the comments of this post. If you want to know where to find nice gifts with purchase, free shipping, and other deals this weekend, make sure to check the comments.

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

Photo courtesy of

Julianna Margulies to be the Face of L'Oreal RevitaLift

WWD reported today that Julianna Margulies has become the newest face of RevitaLift, the $100 million-plus anti-aging brand under L’Oréal Paris. Margulies, 44, said joining a beauty brand, especially one whose tag line she grew up reciting, seemed a natural fit.

I think it's a significant nod from L’Oréal Paris to the growing over-40 demographic and spending power! Margulies joins actress Andie MacDowell, 52, as a face of RevitaLift. Perhaps Margulies can help lift sagging sales for the brand, which WWD reports are down.

Marguilies told WWD, “I remember the first time I heard “Because you’re worth it." I was young, and I said to myself, ‘When I have money, I will buy beautiful products and feel I’m worth it.’”

Margulies, who lives in New York City, is a wife, mom, and working actress. Like many women, she is on the go 13 hours per day and don’t have the time to shop for skin care in department stores. The drug store, she said, plays an important role in meeting her beauty needs “as long as I can get excellent quality and affordable prices.” Her favorite L’Oréal items include Kérastase and EverStrong hair care, Revitalift Complete SPF 30 Day Lotion, and Preference hair color, which she said she has been using since 1996. When she has the time to indulge, Margulies said she treats herself to Tracie Martyn facials (which average $400 each) and massages at Soho Sanctuary. “They are my two biggest indulgences. It’s like putting money back into the product,” she said. I think, given what she has to have earned from ER to The Good Wife, those $400 facials are perfectly affordable!

The RevitaLift print and TV ads in which Margulies is slated to appear next year were shot in New York. They will focus on her skin, which she said hasn’t been cosmetically enhanced or subjected to needles or fillers, such as Botox, which freezes facial muscles, making it difficult to show expression. “I always have considered my skin [my best beauty asset] because I got lucky; I have small pores. I am also very pale, so I have stayed out of the sun most of my life.”

What I find interesting is that either Margulies or WWD felt it necessary to delve into her medical history and make it clear that she has not been "cosmetically enhanced." She's a gorgeous woman, and it shouldn't be anyone's business whether she has or hasn't had a little help.

I don't know whether celebrity faces lift sales or simply attract potential customers. Getting us to the counter is a critical step. What I do know is that I like the trend. Let's see more women over 40 showing that life and appearance can be beautiful!

You can read the full article with a subscription to WWD, a necessity for any fashion and beauty addict.

Photo courtesy of

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Shu Uemura Fall Florescent Collection

Now that Shu Uemura has been pulled from counters in the U.S. and is available only online, there are discount promotions to tempt us. Through September 26, you can receive 20% off the purchase of any product from the company's Fall Florescent Collection (and free shipping on orders over $50). Use the code FLORESCENT at checkout from Shu Uemura.

I'm having trouble visualizing this "blooming" collection for fall. The shades don't strike me as typical fall shades, even though they're very pretty.

Of the two new palettes, the Dreamy Petal Palette ($65), shown at right, could suggest fall chrysanthemums. This limited edition eye and cheek palette contains "floral shades" formulated with 100% natural and mineral pigments. There are four pressed eye shadows, two cream eye shadow/eyeliners, and a cream cheek blush - as well as two applicator brushes.

Shu Uemura promotes the palette with this description.

The fusion of warm tones brings out the gentle affection of flowers and illuminates your eyes with its sunny sparkling metallic gold. Let your imagination bloom with endless feminine look possibilities.

The Graceful Bloom Palette (also $65) at left reminds me of a spring garden, brimming with irises and fresh green stems ready to burst into bloom. This palette also includes four pressed eye shadows, two cream eye shadow/eyeliners, a cream cheek blush, and two applicator brushes. Inspired by the elegance of flowers in full bloom, this palette features a chic floral gradation of lavender shades with an accent of green tints.

Graceful Bloom appears to be the palette featured on the model's eyes in the advertisement above.

What do you think? Do either of these palettes sing fall to you? Should we buy and hold until spring? Do you like what you see?

Photos courtesy of Shu Uemura

Chantecaille Pure Brilliance Trio of Lip Glosses

Chantecaille's Pure Brilliance Trio ($68) is a gloss wardrobe in a pouch! Pure Brilliance Trio brings together three shimmery glosses from the Pure Brilliance Collection in one convenient set.

These glamorous glosses with a brush-on wand possess a uniquely hydrating and enriching formula that imparts rich color and brilliant shine. An innovative, jellified system ensures long-lasting wear, while microspheres of organic wheat protein-linked sugars safely (no stinging) plump the lips for a perfect, more youthful pout. Green tea extract is also included to protect the delicate skin of the lips.

The colors in the set are Crystalline, gorgeous gold; Glaze, described by Chantecaille as a warm red; and Patina, described as a deep burgundy. I'm not sure I would characterize the shades the same way, but regardless of the shade descriptions, they are exquisite.

Here they are on my arm. Top to bottom are Glaze, Crystalline, and Patina. I painted them on fairly heavily. I would describe Glaze as warm, but to me it's not red. It's the perfect watermelon. I can agree with the description of Crystalline; it's gold through and through, gleaming like a just-cleaned ring. This photo doesn't do its rich color and beautiful shine justice. Crystalline adds a pretty glow to the lips - with or without lipstick. Patina is the one I would call red. It's such a transparent red I can wear it. This gloss looks good without lipstick underneath because it brings along its color in a sheer vehicle. It provides bright color, but with a transparent shimmer that makes it wearable for us red phobes.

Of course, you can layer these shades to create your own look, which is why the three markedly different shades give you a complete gloss wardrobe - if you could live with only three lip glosses. From what I hear, "normal people" do!

Check out this Best Things in Beauty link for more Brilliant Gloss swatches. These glosses have a wonderful feel on the lips. Better yet, the Pure Brilliance Trio is a great value. Each Brilliant Gloss, purchased individually, is $28. With the Pure Brilliance Trio, you get three glosses for $68.

You can purchase the Pure Brilliance Trio at Chantecaille's Web site. It's also available at Neiman Marcus. This week's special on the Web is a free Amaretto Lip Gloss SPF 15 with any $200 purchase. You can see it at this link.

I have a few boxes of new Chantecaille cosmetics that have arrived recently. I can't wait to show you everything! I'm doing my best to stimulate the economy for Le Metiér de Beauté, Giorgio Armani Beauty, and Chantecaille - and a few dozen other noteworthy companies.

Top photo courtesy of Chantecaille

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Beautyhabit Introduces McEvoy Ranch 80 Acres

Every now and then, I get an e-mail that makes my heart race. I got one like that this morning from Beautyhabit, announcing skin care from McEvoy Ranch. Just in case you aren't a "foodie," McEvoy Ranch makes some of the best olive oils on earth. They are certified organic - not simply great, but award-winning. I go out of my way to have one of their fabulous olive oils on hand at all times. You should see the huge jug in my kitchen!

Now, Beautyhabit has announced 80 Acres, a small line of skin- and body-care products enriched with McEvoy Ranch estate-produced pure, organic olive oil. 80 Acres takes its name from the plot of land where the ranch first planted Tuscan olive seedlings. The scents of verde and lavender in the products reflect the rolling hills and fragrant gardens on the property.

What can we buy? I want everything!
  • Verde Hand & Body Lotion ($25)
  • Verde Hand & Body Wash ($20)
  • Verde Bath Salts ($24)
  • Verde Olive Oil Body Balm ($22)
  • Verde Olive Oil Soap ($9)
  • Olive Oil Lip Balm ($9)
  • Lavender Hand & Body Lotion ($25)
  • Lavender Hand & Body Wash ($20)
  • Lavender Bath Salts ($24)
  • Lavender Olive Oil Body Balm ($22)
  • Lavender Olive Oil Soap ($9)
Just "listen to" this description of the Verde Olive Oil Body Balm!

Created by McEvoy's gardeners for moisturizing and protecting skin from the elements, this estate-produced body balm is handcrafted with 97% organic ingredients. This sensuous blend of olive and jojoba oils, beeswax, and vitamin E is rich in natural antioxidants and is easily absorbed into the skin to deeply nourish and protect. Handcrafted from the purest botanical ingredients.

That makes me want it now! Of course, I need lavender too! I think I will order the Lavender Olive Oil Hand & Body Lotion - to start.

80 Acres Hand & Body Lotion is rich in antioxidants and deeply hydrating. Scented with the essential oils of lavender, ylang ylang, lemon, and lime, it evokes the colorful hillsides in full bloom.

I haven't been on McEvoy's Web site for a long time because I had found a local source for their olive oils. Today, I saw that they sell these skin-care products too. So, you can order at the McEvoy Web site and pick up some olive oil at the same time, or place an order with Beautyhabit. Beautyhabit has a special offer. With your purchase of $40 or more of 80 Acres products, you will receive a full-sized Olive Oil Lip Balm. Use code 80ACRES until October 4.

Simply writing this feature has made me hungry for a baguette with McEvoy olive oil. You know what I'll be doing tonight after I place my order!

Photos courtesy of Beautyhabit

Le Métier de Beauté Sheer Brillance Lip Glosses

It's no secret that I am having a Le Métier de Beauté love fest! During the Neiman Marcus Beauty Event, I purchased four Sheer Brilliance Lip Glosses ($32). I started with Summerland, which I bought from Lisa at Tysons and was so taken by the color, texture, and wear, that I purchased three more shades from Lisa at Mazza Gallerie. We have two Neiman Marcus stores in the DC area, and both Le Métier de Beauté representatives are named Lisa!

Le Métier de Beauté promises that Sheer Brilliance Lip Gloss will drench your lips in total luxury, with sumptuous, punchy color that saturates the lips in a unique, ultra-lightweight formula that's enriched with emollients and antioxidants.

If you need to be convinced that any product introduced by Le Métier de Beauté has all the right features, here's their list. Every word is true.
  • Elegant, semi-translucent, glossy color
  • Universal shades
  • Vitamin E and lanolin for soft supple lips
  • Silky texture and easy-glide formula
  • Never heavy or sticky
I carefully selected my four shades, looking for glosses that I thought would look good on me and possibly represent a shade - or a nuance of a shade - that would be unique in my gloss collection. After Sabrina wrote about Summerland on The Beauty Look Book, I knew I had to try it. So Summerland because my first choice. Then, once I had worn it and knew I loved the way it looked and felt, I decided to try a few more. I wanted a range of shades, and Lisa Lingis showed me some popular ones. I also shied away from the lightest shades, even though they are stunners. I wanted glosses that could hold their own without lipstick underneath.

What I learned as I tested was that you cannot rely on the Sheer Brilliance shade's appearance in the tube. You have to swatch! The last shade I selected, Uma Paro, looked a little "pushy" in the tube - almost psychedelic. On the skin, it's a gorgeous grape. You can't rely on those little square color representations on Web sites either. These glosses have to be seen on the skin.

Here are my four selections in the photo, taken in full sun, at right. Listed top to bottom, they span the color families available.
  • Monaco, a pretty brown with a pink cast
  • Summerland, ripe peach with just a hint of pink
  • Fraise Crème, rose pink
  • Uma Paro, grape and gorgeous
On the lips? Scrumptious! The shades gleam, and they last. They have no flavor or fragrance, which makes them doubly delightful. Others have described a barely there scent. I don't detect it in the tubes I purchased, and there is no fragrance listed in the ingredients.

Here's another photo (at left) taken in slightly different outdoor light. Hopefully, you can see the glimmering character of the shades. There's depth to the colors - a feature they share with Lip Shimmers from Giorgio Armani Beauty. I'll be purchasing more of these! I didn't count them, but there must have been about 20 shades at Neiman Marcus. I have no idea why the Web sites of the stores show fewer shades available.

You can find Le Métier de Beauté Sheer Brilliance Lip Gloss at Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman, and online at Nordstrom. If you don't have a counter near you, give one a call. You can call Lisa Lingis at (202) 966-9700, extension 2240. If you can describe a shade you would like to try, or want help deciding within a color family, Lisa, or any Le Métier de Beauté representative, can help you make your selection.

Photo at top courtesy of Neiman Marcus

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Live and Online September 22: Avon's Gobal Stylist Advisor Tippi Shorter!

Don't you love live chats with beauty superstars? Tomorrow, September 22, you are invited to take part in an exclusive live chat with Avon's Global Stylist Advisor, Tippi Shorter. From noon to 1:00 EST, Tippi will share her insider access to the hairstyles from the Cynthia Steffe fashion show and Avon's revolutionary new treatment product, Advance Techniques Frizz Control Lotus Shield. She will give you her take on upcoming trends and field your hair-care questions.

Since her introduction to the hair styling industry, Tippi's styles have topped the shoulders of many beauty icons, including actresses, musicians, and supermodels - today's celebrities. Her beauty transformations have also graced the covers and editorial pages of many trendsetting magazines.

These live chats are fun! Don’t miss this opportunity to chat with a celebrity-favorite hairstylist. Got questions? Ask Tippi!

Visit Avon's event page on Facebook and RSVP! You can submit your questions now. Chat live with Tippi tomorrow, Wednesday, September 22! Here's the livestream link.

Photo of Tippi courtesy of Avon

Chantecaille Pétales Perfume

Did I tell you how much I love Chantecaille's Pétales Perfume? If you missed my first mention, when only the testers were available, here's some information to tempt you white flower fragrance lovers. I picked up my bottle when it arrived at Neiman Marcus Mazza Gallerie, where I had been on the waiting list.

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 in one way by mentioning Sylvie Chantecaille's deep love of 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 said. 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 a whisper of musk deepen this velvety soft, fresh fragrance, giving it a refined essence that is ultimately classic and unforgettable. Pétales reminds me a bit of perfumes that were popular in my first decades of life - and first memories of fragrance. It's bold - not a shrinking violet, like some of its floral sisters.

On first spray, it's all flowers - exotic white flowers that command my attention. As it dries down, the flowers give way to a depth that's soft and pleasant. Think about a sun-filled tropical garden on the edge of a rain forest. As you walk through the garden, you become intoxicated with its rich scents. As you enter the forest, you can still detect those beautiful flowers, perhaps carried int he breeze or a lingering memory, but the woods start to beckon. Then, as you walk deeper into the forest, the experience changes to one of soft woods, tempered only by the greenery that can survive in deep shade - a world apart from the lush sunny garden that is now a pleasant memory as the fragrance dries down. To me, Pétales is a romantic story, an image, and a dream.

Even the bottle is gorgeous - so typically Chantecaille! It's a fragrance you will want to show off on your vanity. Also new from Chantecaille are Frangipane, Kalimantan, and Vetyver, some of which are re-introductions, but all in the same gorgeous bottle.

Pétales is available exclusively at Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus, Harrods, Holt Renfrew, Seibu, and Lane Crawford. It does not appear that you can order it at Chantecaille's Web site - yet.

If there's anything you would like to order from Chantecaille, you should visit now. With any $100 purchase, you will receive a full-sized Brilliant Gloss in Charisma.

Photo courtesy of Chantecaille

The Winner of the Neiman Marcus Mazza Gallerie $500 Beauty Shopping Spree

The winner is...Ava S from Alexandria, Virginia! Congratulations, Ava! Your entry was drawn by Neiman Marcus from the "entry bag." Ava is a local Best Things in Beauty reader.

Ava, you will be contacted directly by Neiman Marcus. Be on the lookout for that e-mail or phone call!

Neiman Marcus at Mazza Gallerie generously offered Best Things in Beauty readers the opportunity to shop with them for Beauty Week, receive a cute little bag with goodies in addition to the Beauty Event bag, and be entered in a drawing for a $500 shopping spree in the beauty department! Who could resist that offer?

Some of my local readers and friends from work went (I've already heard they enjoyed themselves), and I know some of you called from out of town. What better motive to treat yourself than a chance to win a beauty shopping spree? I hope you got to know the fabulous beauty department professsionals during your visits. They are real standouts!

I am so grateful to Neiman Marcus at Mazza Gallerie for their generosity (and clever idea)! Thank you to the PR team and the beauty department. You're the best!

Photo by Steven Swain

Giorgio Armani Beauty Uptown Mauve Collection Swatches

The Giorgio Armani Beauty Uptown Mauve Collection Rouge d'Armani swatches for which you have been waiting are here - at least four of them! Constrained only by my bank account, I purchased four of the new shades (so far).

Because all of these are limited-edition shades, I am going to have to hoard them. I will purchase more as soon as they arrive at Saks in Chevy Chase, Maryland. I'm sure Loyd will select the shades he thinks I should have the moment they arrive and call me. He's a love. I already want more of every shade I selected from the Armani Beauty Web site.

Rouge d'Armani hit the beauty world by storm last year. From the classy case, with its magnetic snap, to the gorgeous colors, these are the first long-lasting lipsticks that ever snagged me. The shades stay vivid on me for hours, surviving light snacks and drinking (water, of course). I should have predicted this because the colors didn't wipe off my wrist easily with a tissue when I first tested them last year. It takes a serious makeup remover to get them off, and that's a good thing. Armani promises eight hours of wear. I don't get eight hours, but they last as long as any long-lasting lip color will last on my lips. It's a tall order for a lipstick to survive my napkin obsession at mealtime.

The Rouge d'Armani lipsticks have a very soft and creamy texture. Historically, dry textures kept me from embracing long-wear lipsticks. Most felt like chalk on my balm-addicted lips. These feel great, even without Armani's fabulous Lip Shimmers added as a topcoat.

No swatch photos I take are going to do these shades justice. I adore the new, more sheer Rouge d'Armani that was promised with the Uptown Mauve Collection. It's my kind of lipstick. Here are the shades I purchased, top to bottom, with the photo taken in full sun, making them look shinier than they are.
  • Beige #105
  • Pink #515
  • Pink #516
  • Plum #606
I think every single one of these shades is incredibly gorgeous! What do you think?

You can purchase them now at Giorgio Armani Beauty's Web site and at Armani Beauty counters very soon.

Top photo courtesy of Giorgio Armani Beauty

Monday, September 20, 2010

Xtreme Lashes GlideLiner Long Lasting Eye Pencil

Xtreme Lashes, well known for eyelash extensions, has a dynamite eyeliner! Called GlideLiner ($29), it's an eye pencil that you are going to love if you like a long-wearing liner that's easy to apply, easy to smudge, but stays put once it sets. I mean really put. When I applied it to my arm for the photo below, I couldn't wash it off with soap and water.

I was recently offered (and accepted) the opportunity to test two products from Xtreme Lashes: AMPLIF-eye Lash & Brow Fortifier (which I am using every night before bed) and GlideLiner. I'll report in soon on AMPLIF-eye Lash & Brow Fortifier, after I have used it for a month. Today, I want to tell you all about GlideLiner in its newest shade, Black Pearl.

The concept behind GlideLiner is that everyone loves the look and performance of liquid and gel liners. They give you rich, intense color, and most of them are very long-lasting. Unfortunately, not everyone is born with a steady hand and the eye-hand coordination to apply liquid liner. You failed at tennis? You probably aren't the best candidate for liquid liner. Sometimes gel liners can be just as balky. Women like the ease of pencils! Most of my friends, when polled, said they preferred pencils to other forms of liners.

In 2008, Xtreme Lashes set out to take a pot liner formula and put it into a pencil that can be sharpened (with a unique sharpener too). GlideLiners offer rich color with one stroke (or contiguous dots as I like to nestle the liner into my lash line), and it won't budge after you finish with its application. You know you are supposed to remove liner when you go to sleep, but if you don't (lecture time!), it will still be exactly where you put it the morning after.

The magic is in the soft, gel formula that allows about 20 seconds of working time (to smudge or not to smudge) before the liner sets. You can leave your line defined or smudge it. Just smudge quickly if that's your plan.

GlideLiners received a Cosmetic Innovator of the Year Award from the Independent Cosmetic Manufacturers & Distributors Association in 2008. Since then, it has been a "cult heroine" in beauty land. Now, Xtreme Lashes has introduced their latest innovation to the line, Black Pearl GlideLiner. Inspired by Jo Mousselli, President and Founder of Xtreme Lashes, Black Pearl was developed to be a shade Jo could call her own. Finding black-black eyeliners too harsh, and plums a bit too flamboyant for her taste (check), Jo was seeking a color that would be soft, versatile, and classy - but not boring.

Black Pearl has a soft black base that is imbued with the subtle violet luster of black pearls (hence the name) - and I adore black pearls. Just like its namesake, Black Pearl can go from casual to dressy in the blink of an eye (no pun intended). After only weeks on the market, it became a best seller, and I can see why. The color is delicious.

When I looked at the pencil, before applying it, I saw plum and thought it might be a dicey color for me. You beauty addicts know that plum is one of this fall's tony shades. Depending on the shade, plum can be hard for me to wear. Then I swatched it and continued to wonder if it was too plummy for me. At right is a swatch photo taken in full sun, the light in which the plum cast is most evident.

On my eyelids, Black Pearl is absolutely gorgeous! It looks like a soft black, but it has an indescribable quality that makes it appear soft black - or navy - or plummy black - depending on the lighting. It's absolutely perfect for me. When I wear it to work, I don't feel like my eyes are telegraphing black liner. When applied in a thin line, the liner makes my lashes look full and my eyes very natural. It's love.

GlideLiner is enriched with vitamin E, a really nice feature for a liner. As I read a brochure about Xtreme Lashes' other products, I was impressed with the quality ingredients in the company's products. For example, their Hydrating Under Eye Gel Patches look like something I can't live without. The key ingredients include hyaluronic acid, vitamin E, green tea extract, panax ginseng, aloe extract, and glycerin. What a line-up! The patches have to plump the under-eye skin, banishing those pesky expression lines.

Back to GlideLiner. It's available in other colors. You must try Black Pearl, but you can also order Graphite, Xtreme Black (for you vixens), Golden Olive, Midnight Blue, Plum, and Expresso. I think I will have to order Midnight Blue, and maybe Golden Olive, and then there's Expresso. Check out the Xtreme Lashes Web site and see if you can resist. With free shipping on orders over $75, I'm making a list.

Stay tuned for my review of AMPLIF-eye.

Photo at top courtesy of Xtreme Lashes