Monday, January 31, 2011

Stila All Over Shimmer Powder in Kitten for Spring 2011

Next up in my Stila Spring 2011 hit parade is All Over Shimmer Powder in Kitten ($22). This duo highlighter includes Stila's iconic Kitten shade and a pink gold that glows. The name "Kitten" is misleading because you get not only Kitten with the compact, but also a gorgeous, unnamed pink gold. This is a duo that commands attention.

Intended to be an all-over shimmer powder, the multipurpose powder, inspired by light, instantly adds a fresh radiance wherever you apply it. The micro-fine pearls in the formula adhere to the skin nicely, leaving behind a creamy glow. Packaged in a convenient compact with a mirror, the duo can be used as an eye shadow, face and décolleté highlighter, and cheek color - anywhere you choose to apply it.

To show you how pretty both shades are, I quickly swatched and photographed them this weekend - on a day when we had exactly five minutes of morning sun. I applied both with a sponge-tipped applicator, and now I wish I had prepared a wider swatch of each for you. I used a sponge-tipped applicator designed for eye shadows, and I took my photo indoors.

I hope you can see that Kitten is gold, with a hint of bronze. It's a perfect shade for every skin type. Many of you know that; you made Kitten a best-seller! The golden pink below it on my arm is light and gorgeous. It reminds me of many of my favorite rose gold shades. I'll definitely be wearing both of these as highlighters and eye shadows. They are gorgeous. Having them both in one palette is a treat!

You can purchase Stila All Over Shimmer Powder in Kitten at Stila's Web site and Sephora, which doesn't give it "full name." Perhaps calling it simply a shimmer duo is more accurate. Check it out. Like Stila's other Spring 2011 introductions, it's a beauty.

Photo at top courtesy of Stila

Stila Coconut Crush Lip & Cheek Stain

Stila's newest crush, Coconut Crush Lip & Cheek Stain ($24), creates a beautiful bronze/rose gold shade for your lips and cheeks! This is a Lip & Cheek Stain I can love. The last Lip & Cheek Stain I tried, Açaí Crush Lip & Cheek Stain, lived up to its title: it stained. It was too dark and bright for my skin, and I couldn't get it off, no matter what I did. Coconut Crush is perfect. I love everything about it.

Lip & Cheek Stain creates a personalized blush and pout with one click of the pen, which sends a drop of product into the brush for application. The nourishing formula contains potent antioxidants; vitamins A, C, and E to moisturize; and coconut extract, which is known to slow the degeneration of collagen (supporting the skin's natural structure and slowing premature aging). Also, coconut is celebrated for its high levels of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. How about that? Pretty color that's good for you!

Coconut Crush creates a naturally beautiful, rosy-bronze glow. It warms the skin with its beautiful, subtle color. I swatched it without blending, which is why you see a little uneven color in my photo at right. I took the photo indoors during the five minutes of sun we saw on one recent day. Isn't this a gorgeous shade? It's a blend of colors. I hope you can see the rose in it. The rose differentiates it from many of the bronze shades available to warm our skin. I adore this Lip & Cheek Stain. (Note to self: Give the Açaí Crush to a friend who will appreciate it. Now that I have Coconut Crush, I won't ever reach for it.)

Do I need a second? I think so - I'll order one on my next Stila order. I bought my Coconut Crush Lip & Cheek Stain from Stila online. You can also find Stila at Sephora, SkinStore, and

Photo at top courtesy of Stila

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Stila Make Me Blush Set from Sephora Giveaway Contest

Congratulations to long-time reader and subscriber, Anna! She won.

I love Stila's Make Me Blush Palette so much, I decided to give one away. This week's giveaway contest is for Sephora's Make Me Blush trio, which includes the Make Me Blush Palette, inspired by Valentine's Day conversation hearts, plus two juicy Lip Glazes, one in Hugs (creamy rose) and one in Kisses (sparkling, sheer red). Both Lip Glazes coordinate beautifully with the blush. You will be pretty in pink if you win!

I think this is an awesome set. Make sure to look at my swatches of the blush here.

How can you enter to win? Just leave a comment here once. After you comment, feel free to send me an e-mail at and identify your comment. You can never be too careful about sharing your e-mail address on a blog, so feel free to follow this step (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 later today, and you can simply retweet it to earn that second entry. You can earn a third entry by following the blog - either here or on Twitter (any entrant who is already a follower will automatically earn the follower point). I can't track followers through a third-party service, so you need to be on Google's list for me to verify the entry.

The deadline for entries will be Saturday, February 5, 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. Make sure to check your e-mail - and look in your spam folder - when the contest ends.

This contest is open to U. S. and Canadian residents only. I still can't go to the Post Office, but I can do Click-n-Ship!

Good luck!

Photo courtesy of Sephora

Tarte LipSurgence Natural Lip Luster Lip Tint

Tarte has introduced its glossy and glamorous LipSurgence Natural Lip Luster Lip Tints ($24). One of three first-class beauty companies to launch shiny lip pencils this month, Tarte has scored a home run. I bought four!

Tarte says these LipSurgence Lip Lusters are clinically proven to increase lip moisture content by 6,000% in 28 days! That's fabulous, but I don't care if's true. I love the look, feel, and colors. Maybe if you wear them every day for 28 days, you could weigh in on that miracle. I'm unlikely to do that, with all the pretty new lip colors I have to wear! I'll be wearing these a lot, though. They are so easy - and so flattering.

The LipSurgence Lip Luster pencils are a follow-up to Tarte's best-selling LipSurgence Natural Lip Tints and Natural Matte Lip Tints. These are the best to date - in my opinion. I love the sheer, glossy color.

I purchased Adored (light pink), Glisten (peach), Frisky (Bright Pink), and Pouty (berry). The additional shades are Fever (red) and Buff (nude). I love them all, but I think my personal favorites are the darkest of my four, Frisky and Pouty.

The LipSurgence Lip Lusters were formulated with Tarte's fabulous skinvigorating ingredients, including jojoba seed oil, peppermint oil, vitamin C, and Vitamin E. They have no synthetic fragrance, no parabens, no phthalates, no sodium laurel sulfate, and they are cruelty-free. I love Tarte's approach to cosmetics! The descriptions of these say they have a natural peppermint flavor. If they do, I can't taste it. They are as close to flavorless as it gets, which is fine by me.

Here is a swatch photo of my four shades. I applied them right from the stick - they are supposed to be fast and easy to apply. I was able to take my photo outside in the sun (yea! I hobbled out with my cane). From top to bottom, the shades on my arm are Adored, Glisten, Pouty, and Frisky. Aren't they pretty? They shine; they have rich, sheer color; and they awaken my face. There's a hoarding order in my future.

I purchased mine from QVC, where they have three duo specials for $29.50. I think I'll order the one set I didn't order originally to complete my set of colors. You can also get them from Tarte and Sephora. No excuses! They are widely available; you need to check them out.

Photo at top courtesy of Tarte

Apothica $50 Gift Card Giveaway Contest Winner

Wow, was this a popular giveaway contest! And the winner is...

Nightowl! She has been notified by e-mail. Nightowl will be receiving a $50 gift card from Apothica. Lucky lady!

Nightowl had her eye on DuWop Lip Venom - Pink Shimmer and the Too Faced Smoky Eye Kit. I found it interesting that almost everyone who entered selected something unique. With the variety of products offered at Apothica, that's easy to do. They have something for everyone! I plan to continue to shop there - hope you do too. It's a cool site. Remember, there's always a link on my sidebar. Apothica is a blog sponsor.

I know the Apothica team appreciated all the love on their Facebook wall. I enjoyed reading your comments - there and here. I sure appreciated your help with tallying the votes! You let me know about your entries, and that was a huge help. With follower entries to identify, it took me some time this morning. Once I had a spreadsheet with all the entries, I assigned numbers and used to select our winner.

Thanks for reading Best Things in Beauty! We'll start another giveaway contest this afternoon, so come on back. I enjoy giving away beauty products!

Logo courtesy of Apothica

Giorgio Armani Beauty Platinum Palette Giveaway Contest Winner

Congratulations to Anne-Marie T! She won the Giorgio Armani Beauty Platinum Palette, and she was just notified by e-mail.

The soft, universal golden beige, sheer, shimmering powder lights up the face and décolleté with an irresistible gold-cut glow. The sleek, pale gold and black lacquered signature compact adds a sparkling note to this elegant palette. I think she's going to love it!

My thanks to everyone who entered - for your kind comments, for reading Best Things in Beauty, and for our shared passion for beauty. You're the best! I must also thank my friend and Giorgio Armani Beauty sales associate for donating this beautiful prize.

It is going to take me some time to tally up the entries for the Apothica gift card giveaway that also ended last night. Stay tuned for that announcement. I'll start another giveaway later today, so please come back!

Photo courtesy of Giorgio Armani Beauty

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Stila Make Me Blush Palette

Stila's new Make Me Blush Palette ($14) is a steal! The multicolored blush, inspired by Valentine's Day conversation hearts (like little candies), has a top layer that was sprayed with gold shine for a pretty visual effect in the palette.

The gold is stunning on the cheeks when mixed with the pink and coral tints in the palette. It's ashamed that the gold is superficial and disappears with a few brush strokes because it adds a complexity to the colors that's amazing. Note to self: Remember to use a gold highlighter over the blush or mixed on my blush brush.

Once the gold is gone, you'll be left with a pressed powder blush that will add warmth; sheer, soft color; allover radiance; and luminosity to your face. It's a beautiful color - love it - but I was so taken with the gold mixed in. I hope Stila can find a way to package that gold for the future.

Make Me Blush is great for all skin tones. The creamy, micro-fine formula is beautifully blendable. It instantly enhances my complexion with its pinky peach color. I couldn't resist showing you two swatches: one with the gold mixed in and one without. My photo at right was taken indoors during a brief snatch of sunshine I was able to grab. At the top, you see a swatch, applied with a sponge-tipped applicator, across all of the shades in the palette, including the gold. Isn't it pretty? Below is a swatch of the blended pink and coral shades. They are luscious. I blended them equally, but I could have worked to get more pink or more peach, had I desired a certain effect.

The Make Me Blush Palette is obviously very popular. At the moment, it's sold out at Stila's Web site, where I purchased mine. However, Sephora has a deal. You can get a Make Me Blush Set for $20. The palette at Sephora doesn't appear to have the little conversations in the gold hearts, but they are just icing on the cake. With the set, you get two Stila Lip Glazes to go with the palette.

Photo at top courtesy of Stila

Weekend Roundup - January 29

I am so "over" snow, unlike the "snow fairy" here. As most of us continue to slosh and slide through winter (apparently except for our wonderful readers in Florida and California), let's escape! Please join us for our weekly tour of noteworthy beauty and fashion features.

Sabrina has published the definitive comparison of Giorgio Armani Beauty's Eyes to Kill Mascaras: Regular vs Excess. Ever wonder about the difference? Wonder no more. Read her review at The Beauty Look Book.

Kari at Fab over Forty has re-discovered French skin care by Orlane. Years ago, I was a true believer. I may have to re-discover it now that I've read Kari's review. It's expensive, but it works. Those French secrets are worth investigating.

Gaia hooked us with her feature about Sisley's Phyto Lip Shine. Read The Non-Blonde to see why she considers it true luxury. I love this sheer formula from Sisley.

Three Custom Color's Sweetest Thing Palette is the talk of Twitter. Carla at Product Girl will tell you why.

Kelly showed us Benefit's Bella Bomba Blush. Does the ultimate "peach blush lover" (Kelly) like this pink blush? You can find out at Gouldylox Reviews.

Is your budget suffering? No prob - you can still buy new beauty products! Amy has eye shadow recommendations from Wet 'n Wild for you at Café Makeup. I like Wet 'n Wild. You?

Debbi wants to make sure you get the most for your drugstore dollars. Find out why you should sign up for the CVS ExtraCare Beauty Club at DivaDebbi. I keep forgetting to do that, so thanks for the reminder, Debbi!

While you are at the drugstore, check out Olay's skin care. If you haven't tried it yet, Jane has some tips for you at Daly Beauty. I want to try Olay's new "Clarisonic knock-off."

I love cream blush. YSL's popular Créme de Blush shades, some of which were re-launched for Spring 2011, earned my praise this week. See my shade selection here at Best Things in Beauty.

On the fashion front, last week we told you about Part 1 of Jennifer's facts about tights and pantyhose. You need to check in at BeautyXposé to read Part 2.

We hope you have a wonderful weekend. Stay cozy!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Dior 5 Couleurs Palette Fards à Paupières

Sometimes, I save the best for last. I feel like I've been holding out on you by not showing you Dior's 5 Couleurs Palette Fards à Paupières in #034 Gris-Gris ($58) before today. It was introduced with the Dior's Spring Look.

This eye palette is, in my humble opinion, drop-dead gorgeous. The greys and shimmering white are accented with a sheer, shimmering, wearable light blue. This is a blue I can appreciate. I think I've told you about my relationship with blue eye shadow. My skin is extremely light. I look like a throwback to the '60s if I wear some of the new blue shades (such as YSL's new Topaz Blue, which I think is hideous on me).

Dior's shimmering blue is almost white on my skin. It makes my eyes pop, and it has the visual effect of erasing any red on my eyelids. Magnificent!

My swatch photo was taken indoors in direct light, and I applied the shadows with a sponge-tipped applicator (about four swipes of each). I swatched starting in the upper left-hand corner of the palette, moving clockwise, and ending with the charcoal in the center of the palette. I'm smitten with every shade in the palette.

Some of the greys from Dior's Spring Look have a touch of brown/taupe in them. The second shade from the top (in my photo) is like that. Look how wearable that shade is! It coordinates with every other shade in the palette, giving you the opportunity to play to the taupe, or stick with a pure grey look. The liner has a hint of brown in it too, even though it appears in the palette to be a pure charcoal. This adds complexity to the shade.

The model for Dior's Spring Look was wearing Gris-Gris in Dior's photo at left. Click on the photo to enlarge it. I think the shadows bring out the blue in her eyes; the pink lipstick helps too. It's a lovely look for spring - wearable - even without the model's "enhanced" eyelashes.

Now that you've seen all of the Dior eye palettes I purchased for spring, do you have a favorite? I bought mine at Neiman Marcus. I know Nordstrom has this palette available on its Web site, so I assume it's available in-store too. Saks should also have it.

Dior photos courtesy of Nordstrom

The Friday Forum - January 28

It's snowing again - right now - real snow, not just the flurries that were in our forecast. I think Tian Tian may have been the only one who thought this week's snow storm was a blast.

Our 6-10" snowfall paralyzed the area. A confluence of factors - everyone trying to get out of DC at the same time just as the snow started to come down at two inches an hour, no traffic control, trees falling everywhere, no plows, and abandoned vehicles as the night wore on - left people stranded in their cars, hundreds all night long. One of my friends was in her car for 12 hours trying to get home. My mother lost her power for a day and a half. I had to get someone to shovel me out of my house so I could go to my physical therapy session yesterday. While its size was dwarfed by last year's storms, this snow storm did a lot of damage - and continues to cause many problems. Now it's snowing again. Snow, go away!

Physical therapy is going well. Each week, with help from my therapist (the only guy I know who gets paid to torture people), I was able to bend my knee to 108 degrees. Progress! Next week, I'm going to try to work from home a few hours a day. I am starting to get bored - a true sign of recovery. How do I ward off the boredom? I shop by phone and online. That's not good for my bank account, but it's so much fun. I find myself trolling my favorite Web sites every day. I look forward to the arrival of my USP guy. I'll have things to show you for a few weeks.

It's time for The Friday Forum. We use the forum to share information and chat. Did you find any deals you couldn't resist this week? 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. Just make sure to ask any question you might have over the weekend. By Monday, most readers have moved on.

We have busy weekends and slow ones on the forum. I'm always happy if even one reader stops by. Leave a comment, and say hello - even if you don't want to comment on beauty products. If I am notified of any great beauty offers (great, not just good) over the weekend, I will leave word in the comments of this post.

Don't forget that there are two Best Things in Beauty giveaway contests underway, and both end at midnight Saturday: a Giorgio Armani Beauty Palette and a $50 Apothica gift card. Have you entered?

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

Photo courtesy of, taken by Mehgan Murphy/Smithsonian National Zoological Park

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Chanel Rouge Double Intensité for Spring 2011

Chanel says its Rouge Double Intensité provides glorious, long-lasting color paired with a high-shine gloss that lasts all day. The glossy top coat imparts brilliant shine and superb hydration, while the innovative fluid texture of the base color coat applies smoothly, comfortably, with perfect adherence to lips - and no transferring or feathering. What I can't figure out is the "color" part of the description! The new, limited-edition Rouge Double Intensité for Spring 2011 ($34) in Cristal Rose left me wondering, "Where's the color?"

Perhaps I got carried away. I was so smitten with the Nakkar Lèvres Scintillantes Glossimer for spring, I selected Cristal Rose to accompany my new Chanel goodies. I should have passed on this one. It has no color - beyond a supremely pale peach tint. Seriously pale! Now I'm wondering if someone had thrown another Rouge Double Intensité tester on the display. I would not have purchased a colorless lip color.

It's mine, so I decided to show it to you. My swatch photo (very true to the shade) was taken indoors in sunlight. I applied the peach base coat first and topped it with the clear gloss. As you can see, there's only a hint of color, but there's plenty of shine. For me, this isn't the full package. I want more than shiny lips; I want some color for my pale face.

If you want the cachet of Chanel, but don't like wearing lip color, this may be the lip duo for you. Otherwise, I would recommend you skip this one and select one of the previously introduced shades of Rouge Double Intensité - one with some color.

What do you think? Is this worth $34?

Chanel's Spring 2011 collection is available at Chanel's Web site and department store counters. I purchased mine at Saks.

Photo at top courtesy of Chanel

Clinique Chubby Stick Moisturizing Lip Colour Balm

Clinique's new Chubby Sticks are fabulous! A friend who knows me really well gave me one for Christmas. I love it! Now I want more Chubby Stick Moisturizing Lip Colour Balms ($15)! The price is right too - I can have more without overbuying guilt.

These super-nourishing balm sticks are loaded with mango and shea butters. Just what my dry, delicate lips need to feel comfortably soft and smooth. There are eight natural-looking lip colors, each with a subtle sheen. I've checked out the colors I don't have on the Clinique Web site, and I think I need several more. I'm also hoping Clinique adds to the line with more colors as the popularity of the Chubby Sticks grows.

The color my friend gave me is #06 Woppin' Watermelon. While it looks dark in the swatch on the Web site, it's a pretty light pink on my lips. You can see in my swatch photo at right how sheer the color is. My photo was taken indoors in direct light.

The application is quick and easy. The creamy, thick pencil glides across my lips with no drag, leaving color and moisture behind. There is no taste, and there is no discernible fragrance - just a pretty, natural tint that's flattering - and looks like my own.

I want to see Graped Up and Super Strawberry next. There's no question I will get more Chubby Sticks!

You can find Clinique's Chubby Sticks at Clinique counters everywhere and at Clinique's Web site.

Photo at top courtesy of Clinique

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Can Your Hair Stay Cleaner Longer? Yes with abhaircare!

What a clever name for a shampoo. Does Cleaner Longer ($22) from abhaircare live up to its name? Yes, an emphatic, resounding, enthusiastic, yes! I am so thrilled with Adam Broderick's hair care products, I want to tell everyone - try them! Buy them!

Are you wondering, "Who is Adam Broderick?" He's one of the industry’s most respected figures - recognized as a salon and spa innovator, a formidable leader, and a visionary. His early success as a colorist in Manhattan eventually resulted in the creation of his own salon in Connecticut. Two decades later, that salon and spa is an established business, known for consistent growth, pace-setting style, and multiple locations. Adam is also a motivational speaker and consultant. He's always looking for ways to help salons prosper, with critical new thinking to fuel growth. His clients include the powerhouse Proctor and Gamble, as well as international brands, such as Clairol and Wella, and beauty retail giant Ulta. What I can tell you is that the man knows hair - mine and yours. His products are phenomenal!

Adam says that home hair care often leaves hair over-conditioned, limp, and lifeless. He believes we ought to have simple, effective products that leave our hair bigger, better, smoother, and sleeker. He also thinks we should need fewer products to produce long-lasting style. His motto, more good hair days with fewer products, had me absolutely giddy. I use some of the best (and most expensive) hair care products available. When I heard about abhaircare, I immediately wanted to try Adam's products. His salon graciously sent me three to try.
  • Cleaner Longer - your go-to for clean hair that stays cleaner longer without harsh detergents. For fine to normal hair.
  • Hydrating Rinse - tame your hair with hydrating rinse for a moisture boost that will not over-condition your hair.
  • Deeper - penetrates and infuses hair with moisture, repairing and restoring natural sheen and elasticity to dry or damaged hair.
I love all three of them! Now, I have new products to put in my regular hair care regimen, and I'm thinking about dropping one more expensive brand from my favorites list.

My hair is very fine, and it has no volume. I have to wash and style it every day I want to look decent (which normally means every day). I know that dries out my hair, but I have no choice. So, I use hydrating shampoos and conditioners. On the second day, any curl I put into my bob through styling is long gone, and I'm facing flat, limp, boring hair. Cleaner Longer gave me clean hair without stripping it of its moisture - something I noticed right away while shampooing - and on the second day, I still have a hair style and volume. It's amazing! No other shampoo has done that for me without stripping all the moisture out of my hair.

I've used both conditioning products, Hydrating Rinse ($23) and Deeper ($28), after shampooing with Cleaner Longer. Both detangle my hair nicely and leave it soft and smooth, without weighing it down (which is easy to do with fine hair). I think I'll use Deeper more often this winter and Hydrating Rinse more often in the summer.

Now I want to try Bigger Better, a volumizing hybrid, and Hairspray (medium hold and humidity resistance). The three products I've used are so incredible, I'm sure I'll love the others. ab haircare products contain no petroleum, parabens, mineral oil, or phthalates. They do contain an abundance of vitamins and botanical. I'm having good hair days! My hair is cleaner longer (she says, gushing, with a very satisfied smile).

Adam's products are available at the ab beauty boutique or by phone at (800) 438-3834. You'll be happy when you try them.

Photos courtesy of abhaircare

YSL Golden Gloss for Spring 2011

Worth its weight in gold, YSL's Golden Gloss ($30) dresses lips in a sophisticated, high-shine shimmer that’s glamorous. Sparkling 24-carat gold flecks (0.2%) create a mirror-like effect for guaranteed shine, while a complex of nourishing oils protects and hydrates for the ultimate comfy lips. I have been a Golden Gloss gal since these fabulous glosses were first introduced, buying as many shades as I can wear every season.

This spring, YSL is featuring four shades with its Spring Look for 2011: #40 Golden Impertinence, #41 Golden Isolence, #42 Golden Obsession, #43 Golden Irreverence. I purchased #40 and #43 to start, and I plan to purchase #42. I love the way these glosses look and feel.

Golden Impertinence is a pure pink, and it coordinates beautifully with the Powdery Rose Créme de Blush I purchased. Golden Isolence is fuschia in the tube, but a bright blue pink on the lips. Few of the Golden Glosses look the same on the lips as they look in the tube - you have to try them. Golden Obsession was not available when the Spring Look appeared on YSL's site, and it wasn't available at Neiman Marcus at that time either. It appears to be a gorgeous pink. I think I need it! Golden Irreverence is peach. You can't rely on those little circles on the Web. The shade appears to have more pink in it online. It's a pure peach - and very pretty.

My swatch photo was taken indoors in bright light. I applied the glosses with their built-in applicator brushes (I prefer doe-foot applicators, but some brushes work well, YSL's among them). You can see #40 Golden Impertinence at the top of my arm, and #43 Golden Irreverence is below it. Both glosses have enough pigment that I feel I can wear them without lipstick underneath if I choose. I might have a hard time selecting a favorite. Good thing I don't have to choose! These two have taken their place among dozens of other Golden Gloss colors I own, all of which I love.

Whether you prefer the pink shades that are so pretty for spring, or you've jumped on the peach bandwagon for the coming season, YSL's got you covered. These are lovely glosses. They have a slight mango scent that doesn't bother me, even though I'm not a fan of fragranced lip products. I think you'll like them too.

You can find the YSL Spring Collection at the YSL Beauté Web site and in department stores now.

Photo at top courtesy of YSL Beauté

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

YSL Créme de Blush for Spring 2011

YSL is featuring its popular Créme de Blush ($38) for Spring 2011. There are five shades available, spanning the range from light peach to bright fuschia.

The unique cream-to-powder blush offers a luminous, radiant, and healthy look, particularly to those of use who have dry skin. The remarkably soft formula feels silky upon application, ensuring a seamless result with very little blending required. Because the non-waxy texture will not break through makeup, it is an excellent touch-up tool for use throughout the day. I love cream blushers, so I was predisposed to love this one - and I do!

YSL suggests applying it with your fingertips, gently patting on the apples of the cheeks and blending up and outward toward the hairline. That's how I apply it. It's so easy.

Here are the shades being featured.
From left to right, they are Velvety Peach, Powdery Rose, Silky Praline, Fuschia Temptation, and Rouge Passion.

Créme de Blush was introduced in fall of 2009. At that time, there were three shades available: Velvety Peach, Powdery Rose, and Silky Praline. All three have been re-released with the Spring Look, and two new shades have joined the lineup, both darker and brighter.

For some reason, I had passed on Créme de Blush in 2009, and it became impossible to find. The YSL counters slowly but surely sold out of all of the shades. So I was happy to see it returned to the YSL line-up. I purchased Powdery Rose online. It appeared to be the best shade for me. I'm very pleased with it. Here is a photo, at right, of the Powdery Rose container. It's propped up on a YSL makeup bag. It looks very bright, but on the skin, it's perfect - a pretty, natural, pure pink.

My swatch photo at left shows the shade applied to my arm. I applied it with my finger and took the photo indoors in sunlight. It doesn't take much product to achieve a nice, defining blush, so go easy at first. You can always add more, but subtracting, particularly if you've applied foundation, is impossible.

I love this color, and now I'm wondering if I would also like Velvety Peach. I don't remember checking that shade out in its prior incarnation, so I will see if I like it when I can get out of the house. I'm looking forward to going somewhere other than physical therapy!

Photos at top courtesy of YSL Beauté

Laura Mercier Silk Road Collection for Spring 2011

Laura Mercier's Silk Road Collection for Spring 2011 was inspired by the precious jewels and raw silks that once traveled the Silk Road, an extensive interconnected network of trade routes across the Asian continent, connecting East, South, and Western Asia with the Mediterranean world, as well as North and Northeast Africa and Europe. The Silk Road got its name from the lucrative Chinese silk trade that began during the Han Dynasty.

The collection features rich, shimmering shades of violet, neutrals, and golds for eyes and roses for lips and cheeks. I think it's a very pretty collection.

The Eye & Cheek Palette ($48) shown above has four eye colors and two cheek colors in perfect spring shades. The two cheek colors are gorgeous: Palace Pink - soft pink with shimmering gold pearl; and Persian Rose - pink coral with gold hidden pearl. The eye shades are Regal Violet - bold, sparkling violet; Golden Sands - soft pink peach with sparkling gold pearl; Rare Taupe - soft grey taupe with satin finish; and Lavender Silk - pale, blue violet with matte finish. So far, I have been able to resist this palette, only because I probably won't reach for two of the four eye colors, Regal Violet and Lavender Silk. It's hard, though, because I love four of the six shades, particularly the cheek colors.

The look photo above shows two Stickglosses ($20), Purple Haze and Pink Jewel. Once I saw a swatch of Purple Haze, I had to have it! Reader Soni is responsible for my purchase of a previously introduced Stickgloss in Peony. She gave me the I-wants in a comment last week. Stickglosses care for your lips while delivering colour in a sheer and sophisticated finish. I swatched my two new ones to show you.

My photo was taken indoors in bright light. You can see that Purple Haze at the top is a gorgeous blue pink - it's not purple at all. Maybe that's where the "haze" part of the name originated? Peony is rose, but it also has a touch of brown or mauve in it. It's a complex color - hard to describe. Regardless of any descriptors one might put on these two Stickglosses, I love them! I may have to buy a few more - soon - including the new Pink Jewel. These lip colors feel great on my lips - they are extremely hydrating - and they give my lips such a pretty shine, I don't need to top them with gloss. There is a slight, sweet flavor/fragrance on application, but fortunately it disappears quickly.

If you are taken with metallic gold eyeliner, there is a new one in the collection. Gold Thread ($26) will make your evening look sparkle. It's the "un-Laura," so I'm wondering how it found its way into her collection. Three Lip Plumpers round out the look. The Lip Plumpers ($30) are Ruby Glaze, Golden Glaze, and Rosy Glaze. You can see the shades in the photo above.

This collection is worth a look next time you're in a department store. We'll see if I can keep my willpower alive and continue to pass on the palette. I'm weakening.

Photo at top courtesy of Laura Mercier

Monday, January 24, 2011

Chantecaille Biodynamic Lifting Neck Cream

Chantecaille's latest skin-care wonder, Biodynamic Lifting Neck Cream ($165), was launched just in the nick of time for me. For the first time in my life, I had started to notice little wrinkles in my neck, and I didn't like them!

When Alex Chantecaille was at Neiman Marcus at Tysons Galleria in early December, she told me about the neck cream, and it sounded intriguing. Now that I've used it for a few weeks, I can assure you that it's beyond intriguing. It's a must-have for anyone concerned about the fragile skin on her (or his) neck.

This product is a unique combination of six patented ingredients specially developed to target the neck and décolleté. Here's how it works.

It Lifts
The firming tripeptides help fight skin sagging by stimulating hyaluronic acid production. This needle-free version of hyaluronic acid acts as a filler, binding up to 1000 times its weight in water and creates a padding in the skin. The protein in tripeptides helps keep collagen smooth and organized (older collagen is twisted and broken). Tests show a 66% increase in smoothness in collagen fibers. A calcium booster reduces the appearance of crepiness in mature skin. When woman (average 60 years old) applied the cream twice a day for 60 days, they saw a 67% improvement.

It Slims
Glaucine is an extract found in yellow poppies, and it slims the neck and defines the jaw line. Glaucine converts adipose (fat) cells into elastic-like fibers. Eighty-eight percent of panelists saw a reduction in the volume of their double chins.

It Repairs and Protects
Plant stem cells can immediately bind to human stem cells. Pure and potent, directly active, stem cells offer the exact properties of the plant in higher concentration. Raspberry stem cells repair and increase the antioxidant function of human DNA. Raspberries are loaded with the powerful anti-inflammatory agent resveratrol. Raspberry stem cells extend cell longevity by repairing DNA and preventing internal and external oxidation. The result is healthy skin function and both wrinkle repair and prevention. In addition, the Biodynamic Lifting Neck Cream is also rich in moisturizing and brightening botanicals.

The cream contains extracts from Marsh Samphire, which grows in coastal marshlands. This plant has adapted the ability to store and transport water to protect itself from dehydration in the high salt content of its environment. Aquaporins are stimulated and, like a sprinkler system, move moisture from the dermis to the epidermis, allowing for better surface hydration, helping the skin maintain a high and constant moisture level.

Liposomes of magnolia bark suspended in tocopherol and grape seed extract are antioxidants that inhibit inflammation and photo-aging. They reduce redness and inflammation. Additionally, many people have a yellow darkness to their neck. An extract from the watercress plant and vitamin B3 inhibit the production of melanin by 55%, making the skin look lighter, brighter and more even toned.

I've never neglected my neck. I used the same serum and moisturizer on my neck that I used on my face - whichever ones I was using. I felt a specific neck cream was unnecessary. This new cream is so nice, I'll be treating my neck to its own special product going forward.

Biodynamic Lifting Neck Cream has a fabulous, light botanical scent. I love the texture. It's heavy without feeling heavy, and a little goes a long way. My jar will last me a long time. It absorbs rapidly and hydrates my neck immediately. I've considered using it as a face cream, but I think Chantecaille has a face cream with similar ingredients in store for us. I'll save this precious cream for my neck. Since I started using it, my fine lines have been minimized, and my neck looks hydrated (and younger). I am sold!

There are some relatively complicated instructions for using it at Chantecaille's Web site. I will admit, I haven't followed them. I massage it in lightly, using upward strokes, and I'm done. I wonder if I'm missing something.

You can find Chantecaille's new Biodynamic Lifting Neck Cream at the Chantecaille Web site or wherever there's a Chantecaille counter. I purchased mine at Neiman Marcus.

Photo courtesy of Chantecaille

Meet Our Beauty Blogger Roundup Team - Kelly

Every week, I post a Weekend Roundup with exciting features written by our beauty blogging friends. We thought it would be a great idea if you got to know each of us a little better to find out what drives the beauty passion we share. This week, we meet Kelly from Gouldylox Reviews. Kelly is a fellow animal lover, almost a neighbor (she lives in Baltimore), and has great swatch photos. Just last week, I found swatches of a Tarte product that had interested me; I wish I had seen Kelly's review before I placed my order with QVC! I would have purchased it.

Here's Kelly in her own words.

When did you start blogging and why?
I started blogging in 2009 as a way to share my favorite things with my friends. I was always being asked to go to cosmetic counters and stores like Sephora with my friends, so I thought it would be fun to start writing about makeup, hair, and skin care.

Every blog seems to have a special voice - what's the message on your blog?
I love to write about color, but I also love to research ingredients to find out what works and what doesn't. Instead of sounding like a professor, I try to relate to other beauty lovers like their friend. I assume they understand my quirks and goofiness and don't hold it against me. Every now and then my sarcasm, silliness, or oddball comments anger some people. If you're one of them, I'm sorry. My blog probably isn't for you.

I always try to approach makeup like someone who is a serious fan, not someone who is all about fashion and the role that makeup plays in that world. I love drugstore finds, as well as higher-end goods. Don't get me wrong, I love to embrace (or mock) trends, but I don't live or die by the latest words of WWD. I'm more of a real woman, who struggles with things like growing my hair, finding a mascara that actually lengthens my lashes, and the perfect peach blush. It's all an adventure I enjoy writing about and sharing.

Have you always been a beauty fanatic or did it come later in life for you? What made it blossom?
I have loved makeup for as long as I can remember. I was even a makeup artist for a short amount of time at a local spa and did some TV and print work. Nothing makes me more giddy than a good "before and after." Makeup can have a powerful effect on your mood and how you see yourself. It's like having the power to be a chameleon. I am inspired by people and things everywhere. It's fun to have an outlet to build on that inspiration.

Tell us a little about yourself.
I am married with five pets. I watch way too much television, and I produce television ads at my day job. I also founded a non-profit called Karma Dogs, where we help rescue dogs become therapy dogs. They help kids do lots of things, like learn to read, work on goals set by a therapist, and teach kids how to take care of a pet. My ultimate goal would be for the kids who participate in our programs to grow up to be good pet owners.

What's your daily beauty routine?
My beauty routine takes too long, but I truly enjoy the "me" time I spend every morning! I start by washing my face and sometimes using my Clarisonic. I then use two eye creams, a serum, moisturizer, and an SPF. I then usually use between 10-25 different makeup products each morning. The whole shebang (not including the hair) takes about 25 minutes. But it's one of the few times I get to spend time focusing on me, so I love it. It's a very Zen time for me, when I'm not rushing around.

If we were to invade your beauty closet what surprises would we find?
I have more makeup than any one person could ever use. I still have the M·A·C brushes that I bought more than 10 years ago, and I use some them every day. I also have a huge collection of faux hair that I used to wear daily. Wigs, falls, ponys, and hair extensions - it's a lot of hair. I also have a mild obsession with peach makeup. I have almost every peach blush and lip gloss known to man. As my blogger pal Anne from BeautyXposé can tell you, I take my peach collection very, very seriously.

How many lipsticks/glosses can be found in your handbag at any given time?
It's embarrassing. I have no fewer than 20 lip products in my purse at any time. Most of them are peach.

What's the best beauty advice you've ever received?
A long time ago, a makeup artist I really respected told me I could wear any color. It makes me bonkers when people tell me they are only a warm or cool tone (or even worse, a season). It's all about how you use a color, and done right, you can wear anything. More importantly, wearing a daily SPF is the one true, proven thing you can do to keep aging at bay. No magical cream can undo all the damage a good sunscreen can prevent. I'll never forget meeting Leslie Blodgett and having her be really surprised at my age. I can't say it often enough or loud enough - wear a sunscreen every day the sun rises!

What is the most surprising thing you've learned since blogging?
When I started blogging, I thought paying more than $40 on a foundation was nuts. My idea of what is expensive and what is reasonably priced has now totally shifted. I am also genuinely surprised each time I get a comment from readers that I am not related to. When I started this, my only readers were my close friends and a cousin. I can't believe so many people take the time to check in with me and see what's new. I am so happy to have made so many new friends through my blog, and I love it when they comment on something I've written.

How often do you actually go to stores or events to research new product or releases?
I probably make a point to go hunting for new goodies specifically three or four times a week. I usually go to Sephora the day (or the day before) the new products hit the shelves each week. I can't go into a department store without checking out what's new in the makeup department. I'm on a first name basis with everyone who sells makeup within a 10 mile radius, which is great, and sometimes a little embarrassing. I have two younger sisters-in-law who are always suggesting and requesting reviews, not to mention all the texts from friends across the country asking me for on the spot advice when they are at the makeup counter. I have to stay on my toes! I'm a little obsessed. But in a good way!

You can learn a lot by reading Kelly's Gouldylox Reviews. Head over now to see what's featured today!

YSL Palette Peach Celebration Face Highlighter - Spring Look 2011

The prettiest piece of YSL's Spring Look for 2011 is the Celebration Palette ($65). This multitasking highlighting palette will give your face, eyes, and neckline a springtime glow with a delicate and shimmering golden peach hue. The ribbon pattern in the palette takes it from "just another highlighter" to desirable.

Its golden square case with graphic Yves Saint Laurent type is bold and modern, and it's housed in a collectors pouch in a matching pattern. I took a photo of the compact, with the pouch, to show you that it's not the traditional YSL look with the logo on the front. Instead Yves Saint Laurent is repeated in block lettering across the top of the compact. I find it busy.

Fortunately, I like what's inside! The ribbon pattern, although simple, adds an elegant touch. You can see in my close-up at left that the ribbons are embossed, so they will stay with you beyond the first use.

It was very hard to get a good photo of the powder on my arm. I am not sure you will be able to see the swatch I applied very heavily with a sponge-tipped applicator. I used an arrow to point to it, but the similarity of the color to my skin tone makes it hard to photograph. That's a good thing, though, for its usefulness. Celebration adds a subtle, pearly gold sheen - not at all too shiny - to my skin. I'll be able to apply this powder liberally (and quickly) without looking like I had an accident with a glitter bomb.

I took my photo at right indoors in full sun. The arrow points to a stripe of gold that has a hint of peach. YSL calls it pink, even though the name on the box is "Palette Peach Celebration." To my eye, there's a peach cast, but the predominant shade is a yellow gold. I think it's very pretty. It coordinates beautifully with the gold Golden Gloss shades featured for spring.

You can find the YSL Spring Collection at the YSL Beauté Web site and in department stores now. I purchased mine at Neiman Marcus. I will be featuring other pieces from the collection in the coming days.

Photo at top courtesy of YSL Beauté

Sunday, January 23, 2011

YSL Spring Look 2011 Rouge Volupté

This spring is the season for pink! Forget what you read about orange. The beauty companies were thinking pink. YSL's Spring Look for 2011 puts pink front and center with four new Rouge Volupté Lipsticks ($34).

Rouge Volupté, an award-winning lipstick, is wrapped in a romantic, elegant gold case that exudes luxury. Each signature shade saturates lips with captivating, intensely pigmented color that imparts a glossy shine. The long-lasting, comforting formula is highlighted with a unique "Color-shine Complex" that leaves lips visibly smoother, plumper, and more radiant. The light, silky texture smoothes on a veil of satiny color that’s altogether alluring. The companion mirror on top of the case ensures easy application any time, and with the SPF 15, you can wear it knowing your lips are protected.

I prefer the newer formula, Rouge Volupté Perle, introduced last fall. There's something about the finish I like on myself. That doesn't mean I don't like Rouge Volupté! I purchased two of the four shades featured for spring. The four shades are #7 Lingerie Pink (very light), #8 Fetish Pink, #19 Frivolous Pink, and #29 Opera Rose. My selections were #19 Frivolous Pink and #29 Opera Rose (see the update below). I shopped (again!) with assistance from my favorite sales associate at Neiman Marcus at Tysons Galleria. She helped me with my choices.

These lipsticks are bright, and the color is saturated. They are much more pigmented than the lipsticks I prefer. However, every time I wear a bright pink lipstick, I get lots of compliments. I think brights "pick up" my pale face, so I plan to try to wear them more often, particularly now, when I look a little weary.

You can see in my swatch photo (taken indoors) that #19 Frivolous Pink at the top is a true baby pink. It definitely belongs in the blue-pink family. #29 Opera Rose is well-named. It's a pure rose pink, and I think it's stunning - the winner of the four, in my opinion. These are bold lipsticks to my eye. They don't whisper "Spring is coming." They shout it from the rooftops!

You can find the YSL Spring Collection at the YSL Beauté Web site and in department stores now. I will be featuring other pieces from the collection in the coming days. I have saved my favorite for tomorrow.

Just an will find a 5 Colour Harmony for Eyes in Indian Pink on the display. It's very pretty. It is a re-release, not new as the YSL Web site claims.

Update 1/23 at 9:00 pm: Looks like these two lipsticks are re-releases too (one of my pet peeves, when cosmetics companies list colors as new when they aren't). See the comments. Opera Rose was launched a year ago, while Frivolous Pink came out in 2009.

Photo at top courtesy of YSL Beauté

Giorgio Armani Beauty Platinum Palette Giveaway Contest

Giorgio Armani Beauty introduced the Platinum Palette ($55) as the centerpiece of the Holiday 2010 Gold Rush Collection. Also called the Gold Rush Palette, it is shown in the photo at left.

The soft, universal golden beige, sheer, shimmering powder lights up the face and décolleté with an irresistible gold-cut glow. The sleek, pale gold and black lacquered signature compact adds a sparkling note to this elegant palette.

The highlighting powder is a subtle, shimmering gold on the face, perfect for any skin tone. Thanks to a generous Armani sales associate, I have one to give away! One lucky reader will be a very happy gal! This is a gorgeous compact. Even though I have my own, my first thought was to hoard it. I won't - I would rather make one of you as happy as I was when I brought mine home.

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 later today, and you can simply retweet it to earn that second entry. You can earn a third entry by following the blog - either here or on Twitter (any entrant who is already a follower will automatically earn the follower point). I can't track followers through a third-party service, so you need to be on Google's list for me to verify the entry.

The deadline for entries will be Saturday, January 29, 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. Make sure to check your e-mail - and look in your spam folder - when the contest ends.

This contest is open to U. S. and Canadian residents only. I still can't go to the Post Office, but I can do Click-n-Ship!

Good luck!

P.S. Don't forget our Apothica $50 gift card giveaway contest is still underway. Make sure to enter that one too! Who doesn't like free money?

Photo courtesy of Giorgio Armani Beauty

Clinique Milly Pink Long Last Glosswear SPF 15

Clinique launched Milly Pink Long Last Glosswear SPF 15 ($14) to accompany the pretty-in-pink and chocolate Milly Pretty in Prints Compact. The shades for eyes, cheeks, and lips coordinate beautifully to take us into spring.

Here's how Clinique describes Long Last Glosswear...
Lip gloss juiced up with eight hours of lasting shine. Spends every minute comforting lips. In glistening shades from sheer to full intensity. Moisture makes each one even more mouthwatering. Protects lips, too. Welcome to Clinique's juice bar.

I don't get eight hours of lasting shine from any lip gloss, and I don't expect to. I must use my lips to much (I sure talk on the phone a lot at work), and then there are eating and napkins, Kleenex, and frequent balm applications. I purchase Clinique's lip glosses, including Long Last Glosswear, for their colors, finish, feel, affordable price, and the absence of fragrance. The price is so right, I never feel constrained to limit the shades I buy - or choose one pretty gloss over another.

Here's a swatch photo of Milly Pink Long Last Glosswear. Even though the gloss looks a bit darker in the tube, it's light petal pink. This is a sweet color, one you can wear alone or over your favorite pink lipstick. I wanted to show you how nicely it coordinates with the Milly palette, so the photo below left shows all of the shades on my arm, with the gloss at the top. All photos were taken indoors in direct sunlight.

I always love the combination of pink and chocolate. The shades flatter each other. The look you can create with these shades will make you long for spring. It's tender and soft. Who doesn't like tender and soft?

You can find the Milly Pretty in Prints Compact at Clinique counters nationwide. I purchased mine at Neiman Marcus. I know Milly is available at Nordstrom too. I'm not sure why I can't find the items online at Clinique.

Photo at top courtesy of Nordstrom

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Giorgio Armani Beauty Spring Collection 2011 Pink Light Powder

To round out my series of features on Giorgio Armani Beauty's stupendous Spring 2011 La Femme Bleue Collection, I present one of the prettiest loose powders I have ever purchased. The Spring Collection 2011 Pink Light Powder ($49) completes the look with a fresh pink glow.

Armani's loose powders are always extremely light and fine. As a rule, I don't use loose powder. I like the glow I have after I apply my foundation, and if I use a powder, it's normally a pressed powder highlighter. I make an exception for Armani's loose powders. They never take away my glow, but instead leave a veil of almost transparent color that polishes my appearance. The look is natural and luminous. This new powder continues the legacy.

I was sure I would not be able to get a swatch photo to show you the gorgeous light pink color. I got one, and I added an arrow pointing to the swatch so that, hopefully, you could differentiate between my arm and the powder. I applied the powder heavily with a sponge-tipped applicator to pick up enough product to make it show up in the photo, which was taken indoors in a bright window.

None of us will apply this pretty powder that heavily, but I'll bet you can imagine the pretty pink wash it will add to your spring look. Combined with the other pink selections from La Femme Bleue, it completes the look.

I was tweeting with Tim Quinn, Giorgio Armani Beauty's Celebrity Makeup Artist, today, and he predicted the Spring Collection 2011 Sheer Blush would sell out. I think Dawn Pink will sell out too, and I wouldn't be surprised if this powder becomes scarce quickly. It's that pretty. Glad I bought two of everything!

You can find La Femme Bleue Armani at the Giorgio Armani Web site, Neiman Marcus, or wherever you normally purchase your Armani Beauty products.

Photo at top courtesy of Giorgio Armani Beauty

Weekend Roundup - January 22

From spring collections and beauty at home to the ultimate in celebrity beauty and fashion, we had the scoop this week. We hope you'll sit back this cold winter weekend and enjoy the roundup with us.

Kari showed us the new Chanel Rouge Coco Shine that has me drooling! You have to see it. I have to have it. Go to Fab over Forty now.

Gaia from The Non-Blonde has been looking for a new Spring 2011 Collection to her liking. She found one in Shu Uemura's Morphorium Blue Palette. Check out the gorgeous rich tones and see if they end up on your I-want list.

Amy at Café Makeup is very selective about her eye liners - from liquid to pencil to gel. When she found Le Métier de Beauté's Precision Liquid Liner, she found a new favorite.

Kelly received the newest collection from Tarte Cosmetics - Achiote Cheek Stain and Lip Tint Duo, which premiered on QVC Friday. Check out these lovely products at Gouldylox Reviews, where Kelly tested and swatched for us.

Jane featured some fabulous lip conditioners at Daly Beauty. This is winter reading at its best.

Trying to keep your hands and nails neat and polished all year long? Laurie from Product Girl showed us her do-it-yourself, must-have manicure products that keep her hands in tip-top shape.

Awards season never gets old! Debbi, a personal shopper, loves red carpet events. Head over to DivaDebbi to read her review of the hits and misses at the Golden Globes.

Have you ever wondered what someone is carrying in her handbag? It's rather voyeuristic, but so much fun to see! Sabrina from The Beauty Look Book shared with us what's inside her Miu Miu Bow Satchel. It may leave you wanting the bag and its contents.

What is a great fashion trend for winter? Jennifer from BeautyXposé showed us how to incorporate various patterns, colors, and textures of tights to look fashionable this winter.

This was an exciting week for me. I got my hands on Giorgio Armani's Le Femme Bleue Collection for Spring 2011, and I've been been featuring it for the last few days. Scroll down or jump to this link to see swatches of Le Femme Bleue Eye Palette. See if you can resist this collection!

Hope you have a great weekend. Stay warm!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Giorgio Armani Beauty La Femme Bleue Waterproof Eye Pencil

Giorgio Armani Beauty introduced three new La Femme Bleue Waterproof Eye Pencils ($27) for Spring 2010. The pencils are available in black (#1), green (#3 green leaf), and brown (#2), although the Armani Beauty Web site is currently showing only #3 as available.

These soft pencils with a great glide for easy application go beyond long-wearing and waterproof! They are like indelible ink. Once the liner dries, it's going to be where you put it for a long time. The liners are the same formula as a limited-edition pencil that was available only in black - if I recall correctly in late 2009, early 2010. I have that pencil, and it is the most tenacious liner I've ever worn. It's almost impossible for me to remove completely without a few washes and long-wear makeup remover.

Once you apply the liner, it won't smudge or budge throughout the day. The high-tech compact color morphs into a fluid substance upon application, creating an eye pencil that is a cross between a liner and a crayon - and giving it the easy glide.

The three colors coordinate nicely with the new eye palette. Black is black, of course. This one is a subdued black; it's not screaming dark. I swatched the green and brown shades to show you. Sorry about the wavy lines! I promise I'm better at applying eyeliner on my eyes, when I have a lash line to follow. My photo was taken indoors in a sunny window.

The brown is a nice medium to dark chocolate brown. The green is hard to describe. Maybe spruce green? It's not emerald, and it's not dark green. It's got a medium green tone to it, with a hint of olive. It's a great color on the lids!

If you want a pencil eyeliner that is seriously budge-proof, this is your liner. You can find La Femme Bleue Armani at the Giorgio Armani Web site, Neiman Marcus, or wherever you normally purchase your Armani Beauty products.

Photo at top courtesy of Giorgio Armani Beauty

The Friday Forum - January 21

My constant companion, Charlie, spends a lot of time in bed with me as I enjoy my Polar Care machine, which pumps ice water into a knee wrap. Whoever invented the machine should get a prize, awarded by knee surgery patients! While I had to roll my arm around Charlie and hope for the best when I snapped the photo, it's not too awful - just a little dark.

This was a week of progress. I was able to bend my knee to 88 degrees in physical therapy yesterday (not without some agony, but still...). The goal is 90 degrees by next Tuesday, and that goal is in sight. I was pleased. I ran out of one of my loopy pills last night, so I'm trying to see how I do without them. So far, the jury's out on that.

I have been more active around the house, and I am eating more. My appetite is returning, although I am such a picky eater. I want things just so, and I am craving things I can't have. A friend called earlier and said she was going to the mall. She's going to call me when she goes to lunch to give me my options. I look forward to such treats!

It's time for The Friday Forum. We use the forum to share information and chat. Did you find any deals you couldn't resist this week (I did)? 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. Just make sure to ask any question you might have over the weekend. By Monday, most readers have moved on.

We have busy weekends and slow ones on the forum. I'm always happy if even one reader stops by. Leave a comment, and say hello - even if you don't want to comment on beauty products. If I am notified of any great beauty offers (great, not just good) over the weekend, I will leave word in the comments of this post.

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

Giorgio Armani Beauty La Femme Bleue Spring Collection 2011 Face Palette Sheer Blush

Next up in my series featuring Giorgio Armani Beauty's La Femme Bleue Spring Collection 2011 is the Face Palette, Sheer Blush ($49). Inspired by the rich colors of Armani's Touareg Blue Collection for Spring/Summer 2011, La Femme Bleue was used on the runway to complement the gorgeous midnight blue theme of the clothing.

Sheer Blush is one of my favorites among favorites within the Giorgio Armani Beauty line. I have purchased every shade I can possibly wear, including multiples of some, like #10. All of Armani's blushers are fabulous, and the new one lives up to the Sheer Blush reputation for quality.

While Armani's Web site says that this natural blusher adds the perfect amount of shimmer to create a dewy, luminous finish, I would characterize it as matte (pretty, dimensional matte - not flat matte). Once applied, the new Sheer Blush looks as natural as our own cheeks, sweetly flushed by a good joke. The translucent color creates softness by sculpting the face with color that blends effortlessly to give us a glow that radiates - and looks like our own!

I'm surprised they didn't give this new blush a number or name, other than Spring Collection 2011 Face Palette Sheer Blush (on the box). That's the only thing about this blush that's odd. The color is a sweet, but not sugary, sheer pink. I applied it very heavily to my arm so that I could get a swatch photo for you. My photo was taken inside in direct light, but not direct sun. I even used a sponge-tipped applicator, rather than a blush brush, to apply it to my arm so that I could pick up enough product to show you the shade.

As you can see, it's a perfect pink for spring. We could call it pure pink, baby pink, blushing pink, hyacinth pink, cherry blossom pink - I could let my imagination run wild trying to find descriptors for this gorgeous shade. As you would expect from a "complete collection," it looks drop-dead gorgeous with Giorgio Armani's new Dawn Pink Rouge d'Armani. Buy one, you'll "need" the other. You'll see when you get to the counter!

You can find La Femme Bleue Armani at the Giorgio Armani Web site, Neiman Marcus, or wherever you normally purchase your Armani Beauty products. I will be showing you the rest of my purchases from the collection later today. The collection is irresistible!

Photo at top courtesy of Giorgio Armani Beauty