Saturday, December 31, 2011
Packaged within the legendary rosette of the Météorites Perles, there's a stunning pink flower. Named after one of the exclusive fragrances from the House of Guerlain, Météorites Cruel Gardenia Illuminating Iridescent Powder ($67) will light up our skin with a subtly iridescent veil. Guerlain suggests we create a radiant complexion by applying Cruel Gardenia all over the face or in a specific area, such as the cheekbones, to add structure and definition to the face.
I struggled to get photos of Cruel Gardenia for you. By the time I got home from the mall, the clouds had overtaken the sun. These are not the best photos I'll ever take, but they will have to do. The beautiful floral design above looks a bit lifeless. Trust me, it's not! I took the pictures of the product in its container, with its twist-off top, with an overcast sky.
The packaging is deeper than the normal compact for a blush, highlighter, or eye shadow palette, and I'm hoping it's filled with this gorgeous highlighting cream-powder. I love it!
I think I caught the last rays of the sun today for my swatch photos. I applied Cruel Gardenia with a sponge-tipped applicator.
The color is entirely different from Laura Mercier's Face Illuminator. Given the similarity of the floral designs of the two, there was a lot of speculation about the colors. This one is pink - pure, silvery pink. I could not be more excited about the color and the texture. Cruel Gardenia appears to be a cream-powder hybrid. It applies like a cream, but appears to be a powder. The magic of makeup!
What do you think? I think Météorites Cruel Gardenia is a must-have for Spring 2012. That means it's going to sell out quickly, so don't waste any time before you visit it at your local Guerlain counter. I bought mine at Neiman Marcus Tysons Galleria.
Photo at top courtesy of Guerlain; other photos by Best Things in Beauty
It's hard for me to believe that it was one year ago this week that I had my knee replaced. My new left knee is rock solid and strong. I wish I had done it a year earlier. As I recovered from the rehabilitation, though, my back and hip started nagging me, and I now know through "lovely" MRI and x-ray photos that it needs some attention too. I'm trying physical therapy first, unless they give up on me. Last week, I feared they might after I confessed my television capers (see last week's Friday Forum). This week, my therapeutic massage therapist had the same reaction. "You did what?" Anyhow, I launched into this paragraph thinking about all of you and how kind you were to stick with me, sending so many encouraging messages as I recovered from surgery. Thank you.
This has been a fun blogging year. I've had so many opportunities to meet new people, try new products, and even slow down a bit. I never make New Year's resolutions. I'd rather go with the flow, hope things go well, and pick up some new bad habits (if you could call my re-energized love of fragrance a bad habit). I have plenty of blogging and Facebook friends to thank for the scent scene.
I am thoroughly enjoying your favorite product lists on the Friday Forum, so please keep 'em coming! Let's use this feature to chat about 2011 and 2012. I'm thinking big thoughts for some of you (you know who you are), hoping for miraculous cures for rare, "incurable" diseases; perfect jobs for all who want to work; and health and happiness.
In no particular order of importance, I'm also hoping to:
- win the lottery (hey, dreams don't have to be realistic!),
- stumble upon a cure for my bad back (pun intended),
- see my Mom and Charlie and Savannah thrive,
- welcome all of our military men and women return home from war-torn lands, and
- hear about your good fortunes in 2012!
What about you? Care to join me in musing on 2011 and 2012?
Friday, December 30, 2011
We've been very lucky this year. Erin has traveled east from her usual Southern California hang-outs to help us celebrate special occasions. Just in the last few months, she was here for Nordstrom's Trend Show at Montgomery Mall (and the launch of Come One, Come All); she helped Michael Reinhardt introduce his beautiful new Capitol Kaleidoscope at Neiman Marcus Mazza Gallerie; and most recently, she was making women gorgeous, using Jan's Jewel, of course, at Neiman Marcus Tysons Galleria (I left as she was working with Deborah Ourisman, a delightful gal). I have followed Erin around, like a groupie follows a rock star. At Mazza, Erin spent about an hour working meticulously on my makeup, and I loved the results. She's a perfectionist.
Erin is an artist. She knew it at age three. One day, her parents wouldn't let her watch Cinderella, so she got even. She took her crayons and drew a mural on her parents' bedroom wall! She studied art (trading her crayons for pastels) in school and painted before she became a makeup artist. She has always loved paining animals and eyes - even before she raised a makeup brush. If you watch Erin do someone's makeup, you'll see that she spends more time on the eyes (the windows to the soul) than any other part of the face.
She has promised to send me a photo of one of her animal pictures. She's a strong proponent for animal rights (e.g., whales and tigers), so Erin and I have something dear in common - besides a love for Le Métier de Beauté. We both wish we had been in those small boats challenging whalers.
Erin worked for other lines before she joined Le Métier de Beauté (thanks to Mikey's keen judge of talent). She was the manager for Giorgio Armani Beauty at South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, California, and she was a manager for an agency for makeup artists. Over a couple of years, she also worked for several Estée Lauder companies and Fresh. Like other extremely successful makeup artists, Erin did makeup for weddings and magazines. She also went to nursing school, but her makeup artistry pulled her away. Will she go back some day? Maybe. She loves to help people, so she's be a perfect nurse.
You might not know that, more than anything else, Erin loves to brighten our days. She's a terrific people person, and she knows that when someone sits in her chair, she has an opportunity to make that woman's day special. That's the part of her work she loves the most - making us feel good about ourselves. No matter where you find Erin, you'll find big smiles.
Here's Erin above with Carol Schutte, a Best Things in Beauty reader. By the time I started taking photos of Erin and all of her new friends, it was dark outside, so I had to use my flash for these photos. Below, you'll see the finished look Erin perfected on Violet Lucas. Check out the eyes! Although I have smiling photos of Violet too, I wanted to show you her eyes - pretty before, but stunning after Erin's work.
Naturally, Erin and I chatted about Le Métier de Beauté color! Erin wants an eye shadow named for her. That sounds like a reasonable request, right? I asked her what the color would be like. She described a gold tone, somewhere in between Nutmeg and Sugar. I'll buy that. She also wants the company to bring back Bella Bronze, one of her favorite shades. See? Even company reps have wish lists!
If you get the opportunity to make an appointment with Erin Lockard, do it! I'm reminded of a local menswear advertisement on our local TV channel. "You'll love the way you look." More than that, you'll have a wonderful time.
Photos by Best Things in Beauty
This was actually a banner year for makeup, skin care, fragrances, tools, hair care, and everything beautiful. Never mind that it was also a banner year for weather events we'd all like to forget. We focused on what's beautiful in our worlds. I had fun. I hope you did.
So, today, we'll use the Friday Forum for you to name the Best Things in Beauty for 2011. What were your favorites? Which products or colors knocked your socks off? What new products or brands became your stand-by's, the ones you reach for almost every day? If you had to limit your selections to no more than 10, what would they be? I think we'll have fun learning from one another. Just leave your faves in a comment.
Naturally, we can also start our usual weekend conversation. Do you have a question others might be able to answer? Want to talk about skin care? What's new in your life? Just use the comments. Don't be shy. Just make sure to ask any question you might have over the weekend. By early the next week, most (not all) readers have moved on.
Don't forget to enter this week's giveaway contest! Benefit's POWda WOWza portable box offers two cheek colors and a bronzer to make you gorgeous on the go. Just leave a comment at this link to enter.
If you don't come back before the weekend ends, Happy New Year!
Thursday, December 29, 2011
Everything begins with a seed. It's a fact that a single seed contains all the nutrients that enable life. When you look inside a seed, it's packed with elements that provide incredible skin health benefits. Our proprietary formulas are developed to deliver the most comprehensive benefits, while delivering an indulgent sensory experience. It's all inside these tiny seeds – the essence and power to create a healthy life.
What are these seeds? Grape seeds, sunflower seeds, jojoba seeds, pomegranate seeds, apricot seeds, apple seeds, strawberry seeds, açaì seeds, passion flower seeds, rice bran seeds - a who's who antioxidants and essential fatty acids. Used in (seed) products, they absorb quickly, but moisturize all day; offer completely non-greasy skin care; and even provide a short burst of natural oil aromatherapy.
The Body Cream is thick and rich, yet not heavy. That's why I described it as almost whipped. It will revive your dry body skin (think scaly legs) and keep it feeling soft and nourished day after day. Shea butter is an extraordinary moisturizer and skin conditioner, but alone it can be seem oily. The proprietary (seed) blend of rich shea with grape seed oil allows the shea to penetrate your skin without being greasy or oily. It's perfect for elbows, knees, or wherever you need extra moisturizing under clothing you don't want to leave a stain.
This huge jar of Body Cream is available in two fragrances: citrus and lavender, both favorites of mine. (seed) sent me a sample of the lavender, and I love it. Just take a look at the ingredient list. You'll want to try it too. All good stuff!
Water (Aqua), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Emulsifying Wax NF, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride (Coconut Oil), Stearic Acid, Camellia Sinensis Leaf (Green Tea) Extract, Glycerin, Gluconolactone (and) Sodium Benzoate, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Cetyl Alcohol, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Tapioca Starch, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract
The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics issued a new report, Market Shift: The story of the Compact for Safe Cosmetics and the growth in demand for safe cosmetics, in November, describing a seven-year project, during which the nonprofit organizations that make up the Campaign worked with companies in a unique partnership to raise the bar for safer personal care products. The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics recognized leaders among the 1,500 companies that had signed the Compact for Safe Cosmetics, and (seed) Brand Body Care is one of 321 listed “CHAMPION” companies, the highest designation.
The report describes how these CHAMPIONS are setting a new standard for personal care products, demonstrating best practices by:
- Making effective products without using ingredients prohibited for use in cosmetics in other countries;
- Disclosing all their ingredients, including those that make up “fragrance,” showing that it’s not necessary to hide these ingredients from the public;
- Working together with nonprofit health groups to increase market demand for safe, sustainable products and practices.
Photo courtesy of (seed) Body Care
The 108-year-old glass maker shut down its factory in Corning, New York, and its flagship store on Madison Avenue in Manhattan - a place I visited on each shopping trip in New York. Apparently, the company’s demise was a waning appetite for stunning crystal, exacerbated by the weak economy. Just as people have turned away from sterling silver, once the gift of kings, they turned away from glass artwork as well. Perhaps collectors, like me, stopped collecting. Somehow, the shuttering of Steuben rings like a death knell for good taste.
I can't explain the historical significance of the company to American glass artistry better than the New York Times, so I'll quote from their short retrospective, published in September.
An engraved fruit bowl or animal figurine handmade by Steuben was considered a can’t-miss present, a sentiment burnished by the choices of American presidents from Harry S. Truman to Ronald Reagan.
President Dwight D. Eisenhower was one of Steuben’s biggest fans. He gave custom-made glassware as gifts to heads of state and also collected some himself. In 1954, on the first anniversary of Eisenhower’s inauguration, members of his cabinet surprised him with a foot-tall pedestaled cup whose engravings depicted his life story.
When Prince Charles married Lady Diana in 1981, the Reagans gave them an engraved Steuben bowl as a wedding gift. In a less official role this summer, two hosts of the Today show, Matt Lauer and Al Roker, presented a Steuben crystal cat to Pope Benedict XVI in Rome. Steuben glass has served as a gift for all purposes for as long as some wealthy New Yorkers can remember.
I collected Steuben animal figurines for years. Now, my collection will be even more cherished. I wish I had been able to collect them all (I'd love to have owned the frog above, but he was out of reach, price-wise). While the company still has an online presence, and I could buy that frog at a close-out price, the timing isn't good for me. If it's good for you, check out this link and shop one last time.
Years ago, Steuben sent me catalogs, which are now well-worn wish lists. Even if I couldn't buy everything they sold, I could dream...I could appreciate the workmanship that went into the pieces, from figurines to bowls, vases, and more. Today, I reminded Charlie that he ran over and broke a Steuben candlestick when he was a kitten. He seemed "unpurrturbed." At least I still have one of the two.
Here’s to our memories that make us who we are. Here’s to growing up, growing up with you…
Photo courtesy of Steuben Glass
I haven't had a bar of soap at any sink in my house for over 10 years. I prefer scented liquid hand soap, and because I'm such a frequent hand washer, I consider it a luxury to use only the best. I was joyful when I learned that Laura Slakin had added Liquid Hand Soaps ($22) to the NEST Fragrance Collection. I love NEST, so it made sense that I would love the new hand soaps - and I do!
"This is a very important new product launch for NEST Fragrances; our Liquid Hand Soap launch is the first of many more to come," said Slatkin, founder and CEO of NEST Fragrances. "Plans are underway to transform NEST Fragrances into a luxury lifestyle brand. Over the coming year, we will be expanding our repertoire to include a wider range of fragranced products. Our customers have expressed a deep interest in having us translate these fragrances into personal care and other beauty products."
Containing natural plant extracts that clean and nourish the skin, while leaving behind a light, luscious fragrance, the new Liquid Hand Soaps are housed in custom-made, sleek, and modern plastic bottles that feature NEST's iconic branding. They are available in 10-ounce bottles in the following scents.
- Bamboo - flowering bamboo, white florals, sparking citrus, and fresh green accords (who doesn't love the Bamboo candles?)
- Grapefruit - pink pomelo grapefruit, watery green nuances, lily of the valley, and coriander blossom
- Moroccan Amber - Moroccan amber, sweet patchouli, helioptrope, bergamot, and eucalyptus
- Moss & Mint - garden mint, apple blossom, muguet, oakmoss, and vetiver
- Orange Blossom - orange blossom, orchid, tiare flower, freesia, tangerine, lemon, and musk
- Wasabi Pear - Anjou pear with fresh, ozonic watery notes and wasabi
The bottles are beautifully designed. I care that my hand soaps don't take up too much room on the counter. The NEST bottles are sleek without being top-heavy. They dispense the right amount of liquid soap with one pump. Fortunately, they are plastic. I have a tendency to knock things over, and if I don't, Charlie will. There will be no soap all over the tile floors in my bathrooms.
If you want to join me in NEST nirvana - and you should - you can find the new Liquid Hand Soaps at Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman, along with specialty stores nationwide. Even if you don't want one for yourself, they make amazing house gifts. Take NEST's new Liquid Hand Soap to your next host or hostess, and you will be the most popular guest at the party.
Photo by NEST Fragrances
Wednesday, December 28, 2011
I love the idea of Dual Kaleidoscopes, containing one lip color and three eye shadows. Add mascara, and there's no other color many gals need for beauty on the go (you can use the lip color as a cream blush). Sterling Beauty strikes me as perfect for platinum and grey lovers and gals with cool-toned skin. See what you think when you take a look at the swatch photos below.
My photos were taken in full sun, and I applied each shade with a sponge tipped applicator. I swatched from the top to bottom in the Kaleidoscope, with the lip color at the top of my arm.
The rosy-pink lip color is very gloss-like. It's sheer and shiny. I have to use the "gorgeous" word. Pink lovers will rejoice! The color packs enough punch to hold its own with a dramatic eye, but it doesn't shout. I just popped up the mirror in the Kaleidoscope, applied it again, and had one of those "Ahhh" reactions.
The three silver/grey shadows go together like "love and marriage" (yes, that song is running through my mind, and love and marriage seemed more appropriate than horse and carriage). The close-to-matte white is a perfect base for the shimmering silver. Like the shimmering gold in the Golden Beauty Kaleidoscope, the silver in Sterling Beauty is pigmented. It was easy to get a good swatch - on my arm and on my eyelid when I wore it the first time (imagine jumping for joy). Plus, there is no fallout - worth mega-points with a shimmering silver.
The grey is a great medium-toned shade. It's not so dark that it will be relegated to use as an eyeliner only. I swatched it heavily. When applied with a light hand, it's a fabulous crease or accent shade. Some dark grey eye shadows are too dark for my coloring, so they go unused. This shade will be used.
I envision many options for layering the shades in Sterling Beauty, beyond the confines of the Kaleidoscope kit siblings. I need some extra time to play. I will pull out the Crushed Ice True Color Eye Shadow I just bought as I work to achieve the perfect icy gaze.
Sterling Beauty was a purchase to remember! You can buy one too by calling Heather at the Le Métier de Beauté counter at the John Barrett Salon at (212) 872-2700, extension 2714. There are other "older" Kaleidoscopes available there, along with many gorgeous nail lacquers. Those who wanted a Kaleidoscope for the holidays can find one they may not have at the John Barrett Salon. The "beauties" seemed like buried treasure to me.
Photo at top courtesy of Neiman Marcus; other photos by Best Things in Beauty
Buxom Big & Healthy Lip Tarnish takes color to a new level. It tints exactly like a stain, shines like a gloss, moisturizes like a balm, and plumps like nobody's business. Your full color and shine isn't going anywhere. Lips remain soft and supple thanks to an infusion of emollients and vitamin E for lasting moisture. The cooling and tingling sensation reminds you that your pout looks plumped to mega-proportions. A built-in sharpener keeps your creamy pencil perfectly prepped for whatever shenanigans arise.
How has it fared with me? I really like it, but not for all the reasons promoted in the marketing blurb on Sephora (above). It does behave like a stain, making the color extremely long-lasting - and oh, what a gorgeous color Blackmail is! The grape-toned shade is like my lip color, but significantly darker, making my lips look naturally pretty and more prominent than they are without help. Blackmail reminds me, just a little, of my beloved Black Honey, although it's darker than Black Honey.
I see little to no shine from Blackmail indoors, although it does shine when light is directed at my face. That's why you can see shine in my full-sun swatch photos. Trust me, there's very little shine on my lips, just a slight gleam. I normally wear lip gloss over it (either clear or the shade of my choice). However, its finish is perfect for gals who like a matte look or want to balance a shimmering eye.
It is slightly hydrating, but I wouldn't call it creamy. It's like a comfortable stain - not drying, but not notably moisturizing either. I can wear it without feeling dry, so that's a plus. There is a slight cooling sensation when I apply it and, fortunately, no tingling sensation that plumps my lips with pain. I dislike tinglers, so I'm happy with that minimal effect. Although the ingredients list fragrance, I do not detect an overt smell or taste.
I really like using my Lip Tarnish as a lip pencil. Because of its generous, chubby size, it makes quick work of lining my lips with color. Then I fill in with two more strokes of Blackmail before applying lipstick or lip gloss (or both).
While this may read like a "mixed review," I'm actually quite pleased with Big & Healthy Lip Tarnish. I will definitely purchase another one: Scandal (mauve), for sure. What's with these names? Mug Shot (nude pink) looks pretty too. All of them remind me of LiLo's run-ins with the law.
Buxom's Big & Healthy Lip Tarnish is sold exclusively at Sephora. I'll be tacking Scandal onto my next order. I need one of these for my handbag, and Blackmail has earned a place in my bathroom.
Photo at top courtesy of Sephora; other photos by Best Things in Beauty
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Since so many of the abstract expressionists who "live" on my walls have died, I feel a special sadness - the passing of an era, not "simply" a major contributor to that era, but a woman among men. Her work was beautiful. I've wanted to own an Essence Mulberry woodcut by Frankenthaler (or perhaps Mountains and the Sea, which is in a museum). They have always been out of reach (for me). Now, I'm sure they will remain so.
She was a great artist. May she rest in peace, dancing in heaven with the other abstract expressionists - exuberantly painting heaven's glory with eyes that interpret colors as no one else can.
For an obituary, see the New York Times.
Photo courtesy of Zane Bennett Contemporary Art
Dry Shampoo can put the volume back into your hair style by giving the roots a lift - literally. Suave's new Keratin Infusion Dry Shampoo, formulated with KERALOCK technology (Keratin is a natural protein found in healthy hair), absorbs oils to help clean your hair so it's refreshed, smooth, manageable, and bouncy between regular washes.
I know it's bad for my dry hair to wash it every day, but unless I do, I'm faced with frumpy, straight hair with no volume. It's not a pretty sight. Straight was OK in the 60's when long, straight, blonde hair was "in," but today, at bob length, it looks dreadful. Trust me.
I was delighted when Suave sent me a can of Keratin Infusion Dry Shampoo to try. Those of you who have been with Best in Beauty since the get-go may remember the disastrous day in 2009 when a stylist saved me with a can of dry shampoo. I had used a "shine" product that left me a grease slick, and I had no time to fix it. If you didn't read that post, you can find it at this link. That was the day I learned that dry shampoos could be your friend. They have come a long way from their powdery predecessors.
Not too long ago, Brandon Martinez showed me how he uses dry shampoo as a styling aid - even on clean hair. I marveled at the volume it adds, better than any other product I have tried. Since I've been a Suave groopie for quite awhile, I jumped at the chance to try the company's new Keratin Infusion Dry Shampoo, which held the promise of the best of dry shampoos with the extra-added benefit of Keratin to keep my hair from frizzing on a rainy day like today.
There sat the can in my bedroom, waiting for the perfect test. Today, it got it. I didn't know I would need to wash my hair this morning, assuming this would be a house cleaning day, and I'd be inside getting even shabbier than usual. Unfortunately, this morning a piece of bonding broke off one of my chewing teeth, leaving a very sharp edge, where my tongue parked in a masochistic desire to hurt itself.
I wanted to visit a dentist - today! My regular dentist is off all week, and her office is closed, so I used a trusted "best dentists" list, found one nearby who had an open appointment (perhaps a cancellation?) this morning, and off I went to tidy up my appearance and get dressed. I don't know how you might have felt, but I couldn't leave the house looking as bad as I did.
I reached for my can of Suave Professionals Keratin Infusion Dry Shampoo, which I had had at the ready for such an event (the ultimate test). I held up my hair sections to expose the roots, and I sprayed about six short times, ensuring adequate coverage on the top, sides, and back. Then I went to work with my hot-air styling brush, putting the bob back into my bob. In less than five minutes, I had volume and waves - all where they were supposed to be! Even though I had not sprayed the ends, they behaved. It was amazing! I gave my restyled hair a short burst with my Suave hair spray, and off I went, feeling confident because my hair looked good. Incidentally, he was a very gentle, careful, and nice dentist, and I'd go back in a heartbeat.
You can use Keratin Infusion Dry Shampoo instead of shampooing and restyling, or you can use it as a styling product to add volume. Not only does it absorb oil when you use it, it will continue to absorb oil throughout the day, letting you exit the day with the volume you had achieved in the morning. As I write, many hours after I applied it, my hair still has mega-volume, and I've been running around in the rain. That's a miracle. Seriously, for $4.50, you can have a secret styling weapon too. I have fine, naturally straight, blonde hair, which has no natural volume - none. A product that can do what this one did is heaven-sent.
Suave's new dry shampoo has a light scent that's actually nice. It disappeared entirely after about 30 minutes. Normally, I prefer my hair products to be unscented, but this one had such a pretty, clean, fresh scent, I could have lived with it all day, given the fabulous effects it provided. I can't put my finger on the notes, but I'd say it's citrus fresh.
I buy my favorite Suave Professionals hair spray online in bulk (I think it has been replaced with a new one), so I'll be adding this new dry shampoo to my order list in the future. I've found another keeper! You can purchase Suave Professionals Keratin Infusion products at drugstores, mass market retailers, Amazon, and drugstore.com - actually many sources, making Suave Professionals hair products easy to find and a great value. Suave has a Facebook page you should check out to learn more.
Update 12/30: This wonderful dry shampoo is not yet available at all retailers, but should be in the January-February time frame.
Photo by Suave Professionals
Golden Beauty was carefully selected to bring together warm, saturated colors to create a chic and timeless holiday look. I received it at a perfect time of year. It's not the only Kaleidoscope I purchased when I called. As soon as our sunshine returns, I'll get photos of the other.
I knew the moment I swiveled out the pans that I was going to love Golden Beauty, and I do. The top pan features a rosy red lip color - one that offers sheer, shiny color that looks great on me. The three coordinating eye shades are beautiful, whether layered or worn alone. How could I have missed Golden Beauty when it was first introduced?
My swatch photos were taken in full sun. I applied each shade, even the lip color, with a sponge-tipped applicator.
The lip color at the top is drop-dead gorgeous. If you are like me and like a rose lip that isn't quite red-red, this is your color. The first eye color - and second shade down in the Kaleidoscope and on my arm - is shimmering gold. It is nicely pigmented, so I see gold when I apply it - not simply sparkles, which has been a complaint of mine with other brands and other palettes.
The third shade is what I call antique gold. Others might call it camel. It's a great shade for me when mixed with the other eye colors in the kit. The bottom shade is a taupe brown that couldn't be prettier - or a better complement to the golds. The antique gold and taupe brown offer a lively, gleaming finish (not satin and definitely not matte, but somewhere in between shimmering and satin). I drew in my breath when I first saw the brown. It's as perfect as it gets for us fair-skinned gals.
Golden Beauty was a "find"! You can find one too by calling Heather at the Le Métier de Beauté counter at (212) 872-2700, extension 2714. There are other "older" Kaleidoscopes available, along with many gorgeous nail lacquers. Those who wanted a Kaleidoscope for the holidays can find one they may not have at the John Barrett Salon. Happy days!
Photo at top courtesy of Neiman Marcus; other photos by Best Things in Beauty
Monday, December 26, 2011
- Jungle Fudge
- Fleur Parfait
- Frappe Forever
- Sweet Souffle
- Trifle Rich
- Crisp Sorbet
If you've been reading my odyssey through the entire Rouge Bunny Rouge line, you'll know there's a unique story to go with each item. With Sweet Excesses Glassy Gloss, there are fewer butterflies and bunnies. The Enchanted Garden has a dessert bar - perfect for the holidays.
This line of glosses is an exceptionally tempting interpretation of the ambrosial table of sweets in the Enchanted Garden. Naughty, but oh-so-nice!
Think of lusciously ripe fruit dipped in the shiniest of honeys. Your lips will be optically plumped to a mouth-watering fullness and a lavish dream-star shine. Irresistible. Like a scrumptious dessert that cheers you to the bones just by inhaling it, these glassy glosses radiate spicy sweetness and utter intoxicating decadence.
All of these candy drops of color are heaped with exotic ingredients, and some abound with minute pearlized particles to sparkle your lips with glittering bejeweled effects. People will gaze at you with shiny-eyed infatuation, longing that you will possibly get ... a ... little ... bit ... closer.
Ultra-glossy finish with a soothing and protective blend of paper birch extract and woodland figwort speaks of the wild freshness, naturally. Antioxidant and anti-aging, our formula also contains cotton tree fruit extract to hydrate and revitalize.
What unusual ingredients! The boxes, as all Rouge Bunny Rouge boxes, are delightful. I hate to recycle them! So far, I've kept each, but know that at some point they will have to go. The glosses? Here was my first view of Trifle Rich taken through a camera's lens. The description at Zuneta calls Trifle Rich cushiony-soft, semi-sheer, iridescent rosewood, with the finest pink and silver reflections.
The color was hard for me to photograph in the tube. I think the oval shape of the tube presented a smaller surface to the sun than a round or squared tube might have, yielding only the central part of the tube to show the color in my picture. You'll have to take my word for my delight when I pulled Trifle Rich out of its box.
I took swatch photos over multiple days, hoping I could capture enough light during a mostly cloudy week to show you how pretty it is. Nothing I could do would perfectly depict the magic of Trifle Rich.
The color is a complex golden rose to my eye, with a gleam that enlivens my lips with saturated gloss. I can see the silver reflections on my lips, but the overall effect can't be reduced to simplistic descriptors. Trifle Rich has a lot going on!
Even in my own photos, you may see two different overall effects - the one at the top more golden, and the one at left showing its silver glimmer. In photos I took today (not shown), the color showed me yet another hue. I've decided it adjusts to my mood and clothing - or maybe the dessert enjoyed last night in the Enchanted Garden. The shade is scrumptious.
You can purchase Rouge Bunny Rouge at Zuneta - Eden for for beauty addicts. Trifle Rich is something like a genie in a bottle.
Photo at top courtesy of Zuneta; other photos by Best Things in Beauty
I have one POWda WOWza to give away. How can you enter this contest (technically a sweepstakes)? Just leave a comment on this feature (not in another BTiB post). After you comment here, feel free to send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and identify your comment. You can never be too careful about sharing an e-mail address you care about 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 extra entries. Follow this blog (through an e-mail subscription, GFC, or though one of the many Google readers - see sidebar at right) to earn a second entry. If you are a follower, it would help me tally entries if you tell me in your comment how you follow. You don't have to follow to enter. I want everyone to have a chance, but I also want to reward my followers. I must be able to track this entry.
You can earn a third entry by tweeting this contest. You must include "@BTiBeauty" (without the quotes) and the contest title in your tweet. Remember, tweet the contest title - if you don't, that entry won't count. I will tweet the contest in just a few minutes, and you can simply retweet it to earn that second entry - if that's easier.
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 prize for overseas shipment - it's amazingly expensive to do so because of the way I have to send insured mail. If it's lost or stolen in transit, I may not be able to replace it with another prize just like it. I'll do my best on this end; let's see if your mail service does right by you on the other end if we have an overseas winner. Lately, my shipping luck has improved significantly.
For all the legalese related to this contest, please see the Contests/Sweepstakes page at the top of the blog. Good luck!
Photo courtesy of Benefit
Sunday, December 25, 2011
Last night, I gave Charlie and Savvy their catnip "cigars." I'm not sure what Savvy did with hers. She may have taken it under the guest room bed for private enjoyment. Charlie got cat-drunk with me. He played for a long time, licking it, attacking it, throwing it into the air and leaping with joy. I have a small puncture wound to prove his enthusiasm. Good kitty!
I've left the morning meal for the foxes and raccoons, and I'll be headed out soon with food for the birds and squirrels. Charlie and Savannah have eaten. I'm looking forward to a mimosa and ham and eggs for breakfast. Yesterday in the late afternoon, I ventured out to the Honey Baked Ham store, where they had hired off-duty police officers to keep order in the store. Can you believe it? Apparently, people behave badly everywhere at Christmas, whether it's buying sneakers or ham. At least all is well at my house.
Later, I'll be headed to Mom's to make Christmas dinner. She "ordered" standing rib roast. That's easy to cook. We're also having macaroni and cheese (apparently by popular request - no Southerners here!), baked potatoes (and sweet potatoes) at my instigation, French green bean casserole (yes the one with the crispy French's onions - we love it), the yummy jellied salad that Mom still makes, and the strawberry mousse cake I purchased at the bakery Friday. Also, plenty of wine and French soft cheese. It's going to be a delicious day.
After all that activity (cooking and eating), I doubt I'll be back to write today. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas! Please stop by later to let us know how you celebrated.
If you'd like to go off to YouTube to hear one of my all time favorite Christmas carols sung by Barbara Padilla, check out this link. Incredibly hard to sing - hard to believe I used to be able sing it. I'll never forget that this song brought tears to my father's eyes. Remembering that brings tears to mine.
It will be a happy day!
Saturday, December 24, 2011
I took my photo above in full and bright sunlight, and the sun washed out the color in the bottles a bit. Nevertheless, the swatch photos below show Gilded Lily (dark green), Femme Fatale (gleaming gold), and La Belle (red-toned brown) accurately, I think. One is "front-lit," and the other is "back-lit."
Aren't they pretty? I need some help deciding which one I'll wear tomorrow for Christmas. Want to vote? Just leave me a comment and tell me which one you'd wear.
If you want to purchase any of the exclusive shades, call Heather at (212) 872-2700, extension 2714.
Photos by Best Things in Beauty
We had one cat, George, who liked to sleep in the manger. I always arranged the nativity scene below the tree "just so." It lasted a few hours - maybe - until George arrived to place his little head in the barn, figurines scattered everywhere. "Take that wise men and camels! Cats have first dibs!"
Do animals play a part in your Christmas traditions and memories?
I will be "back" later today, after I deliver Christmas presents to my friends.
Friday, December 23, 2011
I hopped right outside to get a photo of it and take a couple of swatch photos. I was rushed, as the sun started to disappear behind the clouds, so I'll try to get better photos on another day. For now, my verdict is, "Call Troy!" This Kaleidoscope is much more versatile and much less orange than it appeared to all of us in the advance photo.
Only one shade, the one at the top, is extremely warm in tone. I swatched quickly and very heavily with a sponge-tipped applicator, and my swatch photos were snapped in full sun.
The shade at the top that looks peach in the pan is a warm peach. No one will apply it as a blush as heavily as I did for my swatch photos. I promise I'll get some "normal application" photos later. After I wiped most of the horizontal swatch off my arm, I found the shade flattering - even for my cool-toned skin. It will coordinate beautifully with the new Orange Juiced Sheer Brilliance Lip Gloss from the Jet Set Collection for resort.
The second shade down is a peach-pink hybrid (or blend), and I think it's extremely wearable by all because it's neutral in tone. Both shades at the top appear to be matte to my eye - which makes them believable blushes. The third shade is an exquisite gold, perfect for highlighting or blending. It has a subtle shimmer, as does the pink in the bottom swing-out pan. The pink shade is stunning.
I can't wait to find time to play with the shades, applying them normally, blending them, and layering them. Mikey Castillo "did good." I'll be back on another day with more photos. For now, remember that the Blush Kaleidoscope is a limited edition. If you want one, call the counter at (248) 643-3300. That will be faster this time of year than trying to order one through your local Neiman Marcus counter.
Photos by Best Things in Beauty
Call me a dinosaur, but I've been using a Sony analog television for a very long time. There was nothing wrong with it, and it received over-the-air channels perfectly (I don't subscribe to cable). So, when the government came along and mandated the obsolescence of my television, I bought a converter box. After digital-only TV came along, I could no longer receive my local channels as well as I did before the cut-over. Thank you, Feds. Please don't blow up my light bulbs too.
This week, my converter box refused to turn on, no matter how many times I tried. I figured it died right after the Glee Christmas rerun. Perhaps it was a sign? I acknowledged that it was time to join a new age and buy a digital television. How, however, would I get the old Sony out of the second floor of my house? It weighed at least 50 pounds. The answer was with back sprains, blood, and bruises. That television is now out at "the curb" (no curb, but you get my drift), and if there's a Santa, the county trash guys will bend the rules and lift it into their compressing truck and take it to the landfill. I know the correct thing to do would have been to take it to a recycling center, but how?
That was Task 1. Task 2 was buying and setting up another television, and while that was time-consuming, it didn't kill my body. It was simply insult after injury. Televisions are significantly lighter than they used to be. While I was setting up the new one, though, a lens fell out of the glasses I wear when I'm not wearing my contacts. Can you imagine? Find a clear lens when you're surrounded by magazines and makeup. That took a few hours (during which I hit my forehead on the bureau, which left me with a hefty bruise). My search was interrupted by physical therapy for my back. You can only imagine my poor therapist's reaction when I told him about my television capers. I'm sure I've now been categorized as a hopeless cause. Isn't there a saint for that? I called on St. Anthony to help me find the lens, and he responded. I think there's a saint for everything.
So, how was your week? It's time for The Friday Forum, our open chat. What new products did you discover this week? Did you find any deals you couldn't resist? Are you using a fabulous product and want to sing its praises? Did you find a beauty product disappointing? Do you have a question others might be able to answer? Want to talk about skin care? What's new in your life? Just use the comments. Don't be shy. Just make sure to ask any question you might have over the weekend. By early the next week, most (not all) readers have moved on.
Only one subject is off-limits. An anonymous reader has been leaving comments on all my posts about a certain brand asking me questions I can't answer. Are there any dupes in this palette? I don't know. I don't even have it. Why didn't "they" introduce a holiday eye palette? Friends, I am not the brand. If I were, I could have paid someone to haul that television out of my house. Think my holiday patience has run out? I hope I know something about beauty products, but I can't know everything! Besides that, I need to sit on my heating pad.
Once again this week, we have two giveaway contests running. Make sure to enter before you get too busy celebrating. To enter to win the beautiful Ultraflesh multipurpose Shinebox Highlight and Shimmer Collection, click here. To enter to win the NARS Sea of Love set, click here. I got into the Christmas spirit this week, despite the pain.
If you don't come back before the weekend ends, I hope you have a wonderful holiday! Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, Happy St. Stephen's Day, Happy Bank Holiday, Happy Boxing Day, and Happy Weekend! Cheers!
Photo courtesy of zeospot.com
Thursday, December 22, 2011
The three resort nail lacquers ($18 each, packaged in the larger .40 fluid ounce size) offer saturated cream-finish colors (no glitter here) that will transport you to festive lands.
- ShocKEN Pink - hot, hot fuschia pink
- Yield to Yellow - primary mellow yellow
- Not So Safe Orange - saturated, goes-with-anything bright orange
Le Métier de Beauté specifically formulates its nail lacquers to be 3-Free, without formaldehyde, toluene, or dibutyl phthalate. They are Proposition 65-compliant. Be safe while you party. Fortified with strenghening proteins and hydrators, the nail lacquers are well-pigmented for rich, glossy color that is long-wearing and chip-resistant. These nail lacquers apply like dream (even for klutzes like me).
Your nails will coordinate perfectly with your lips when you pair Le Métier de Beauté's resort's Nail Lacquers with Sheer Brilliance Lip Glosses. Wear like colors or mix it up, you'll be ready for Carnival in Brazil or Mardi Gras in Mexico. I think Not So Safe Orange would be smashing with this party dress from Lela Rose.
Le Métier de Beauté's Jet Set Collection will be available in January (early January, I'm told) at Neiman Marcus in stores and online and Bergdorf Goodman in stores and online. The shades make me daydream of festivals! My beautiful at-home "trip" was a gift from Le Métier de Beauté.
Lela Rose photo courtesy of Bergdorf Goodman; other photos by Best Things in Beauty
Le Métier de Beauté's first Resort Collection, Jet Set, curated by Neiman Marcus' Ken Downing, gives us beautiful lips and nails to accompany our journey - whether it's a real trip or an imaginary voyage to warmer climes. Think Barbados or Key West. This collection of bright, eye-catching shades of nail lacquers and lip glosses will give you the perfect lift leading into spring. It will make you feel wild and wonderful, just like this Dolce & Gabbana floral sheath for resort. The look is casual and cheerful.
"For this collection, I plugged into the florescent color and bold brights trend that defines the season," said Downing. I created it for you, the girl on the go; it's perfect for wherever the season takes you!"
The collection, which arrived here as a gift on a gloomy day, is indeed a mood enhancer. I'll show you the three nail lacquers later today - or as soon as I can get some good photos.
For now, let's look at the two Sheer Brilliance Lip Glosses ($32). The sun made a very brief appearance this morning, and I hopped right outside to get a few photos. The shades deliver luscious "gossamer color." Downing described them: "A bright, color-infused lip gloss glazes the lips with sheer color intensity."
HibisKiss is the perfect fuchsia balanced with true red. I held my arm in front of my wreath with its bright red bow to show you that HibisKiss is definitely fuchsia rose (not red to my eye) - and bright. It's an amazingly flattering shade, and I think it's going to work nicely for all skin shades.
Orange Juiced is a just-picked orange with a golden undertone and amazing sparkle. While it's extremely sheer, it delivers a punch to the lips with Pantone's tangerine color of the spring season. Just look at the radiance in the swatch on my arm! Add that to your own lip tone, and you'll be popping color. Even though I'm not "an orange person," Orange Juiced is amazingly pretty on my lips. Like HibisKiss, I think everyone's going to love the shade.
The glosses are ultra-lightweight and enriched with emollients and antioxidants, including vitamin E and lanolin. Sheer Brilliance Lip Glosses drench the lips in sumptuous, punchy, transparent, and glossy color. The unique silky texture and easy-glide formula is never heavy, sticky, or tacky. I live in Le Métier de Beauté Sheer Brilliance Lip Glosses.
Here's one more photo, illuminated by today's snatch of sunshine, to leave you with the I-wants. Le Métier de Beauté's Jet Set Collection will be available in January (early January, I'm told) at Neiman Marcus in stores and online and Bergdorf Goodman in stores and online. Will you be shopping before "spring break"?
Photos at top courtesy of Le Métier de Beauté, Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman; other photos by Best Things in Beauty