Friday, June 29, 2012

Chanel Joues Contraste Powder Blush in Brume d'Or from the Bombay Express de Chanel Collection for Summer 2012

Bombay Express de Chanel is a lavish, limited-edition makeup collection that was inspired by an opulent vision of India. Each year, the Chanel Métiers d’Art fashion show celebrates the exceptional talent of the Métiers Houses, pairing their expertise with a select destination. This year, Bombay Express de Chanel showcases a specific vision of India - the lavish, luxurious one. The Creative Director of Chanel Makeup, Peter Philips, has intensified the shades of iconic Indian makeup to give it a character that will appeal to many.

Brume d'Or Joues Contraste Powder Blush ($43) is a sunny earth tone that will flatter  your cheeks with a warm glow. I ordered my Bombay Express pieces from, and I relied on Chanel's photo above to select the shade. It's actually a different color - much more brown and less rose, and much darker than I expected.

It's a nice brown shade - one that I can wear as a bronzer on my very fair skin - or a neutral blush. For my swatch photos, I applied it very heavily with a sponge-tipped applicator at the top of my arm, and I used a dense blush brush for the larger swatch below. I took my photos in full, morning sun.

I can see some rose in the shade, but not much. Brume d'Or will be most loved, I think, by gals with warm-toned skin. It has a slight shimmer. I haven't used it enough to know if that shimmer is an overspray.

When I apply it, I have to ease up on the brush and apply it extremely lightly. It does warm up my complexion, a goal of many makeup artists. Is it the best Chanel blush for me - or even one of the best? No, but I'm glad to have it, even if it's only for its retrospective value (the makeup museum is getting full!).

I know you will look at these photos and think it's orange (brown + red). It's not orange when applied properly, but it's definitely a warm brown. Chanel suggests you wear it with Rouge Coco Shine, no doubt to leave the emphasis on the face, not the lips. I do love seeing it with my new Shade #73, Chic.

Today, you can order it from the Chanel Web site. At one point, the Chanel Boutiques told me they expected it, but no one has called me. They are usually pretty good about that, so I'm not sure what's up with the boutiques.

I purchased Routes des Indes de Chanel Illuminating Powder and will show you the shimmering gold later today. It's pricey, but gorgeous. Chanel devotees will want it.

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

The Friday Forum - June 29

It's daylily season - a colorful time of year. This year in my area, the daylilies need a drink to do their best. Make sure to water your garden, particularly if the ground is cracking open, the way it is here. It's predicted to be 100 degrees here today, remarkably hot for June.

This was a sad week with Nora Ephon's death. An incredibly talented writer, Ephron made us laugh, even about aging. Most of us didn't know she had lymphoma. When she died at age 71, it was a shock. Another great woman has passed before her time. I'll be left wondering how she would have followed I Feel Bad About My Neck.

Another thing that disappointed me was Ann Curry's departure from the Today Show. The way the producers handled it was a debacle, letting her cast in the wind for over a week while they publicly floated the idea of replacing her as Matt Lauer's co-anchor. I love Ann Curry and admire her for her professionalism, bravery, empathy, wit, and humor. They say she wasn't bubbly enough for the average American. That's a sad statement in itself. Must we be giddy girls to be liked? They say she had no "chemistry" with Matt. I doubt I'd have much either. He has become increasingly unlikable - a diva - in recent years. The producers apparently believed that Ann's lack of chemistry was the reason for the show's decline in ratings. Hello, NBC? Look within! The fluff factor on the Today Show has increased exponentially, with the first 20 minutes somewhat devoted to news and the rest of the show to entertainment (broadly defined). Could viewers actually want a real news show in the morning? What do you think?

On to beauty. This is a challenging time of year for hair styles. Either we lose any style we worked hard to achieve or our hair turns to frizz as soon as we step out the door into the humid air. The perfect solution might be different, depending on hair type. I want a styling product that is humidity-proof. I don't want my hair to feel like gunk to achieve a flawless look. Others want a frizz-free solution. If you can recommend a product, or set of products, please let us know in the comments. Make sure to describe your hair type. I have one product here that I keep forgetting to try. I'm excited about it too. Sebastian has a new lightweight styling spray. Must unearth it this weekend.

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? Please share! Just use the comments. Don't be shy. Just make sure to ask any question you might have over the weekend. By early the next week, most (not all) readers will have moved on.

Remember my perfume problem from last week? FedEx picked up the box to return it to the Giorgio Armani boutique at South Coast Plaza last Friday. I still don't have my replacement - the bottle I ordered. I'll be calling California early this afternoon.

I have a great summer giveaway contest for two newly introduced MAKE UP FOR EVER Aqua Shadows, so make sure to enter. The deadline is tomorrow, June 30, at midnight. If you win, you could have shimmering neutral eyes in July and August.

Photo courtesy of

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Le Métier de Beauté's Beauty Vault for Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

A kind reader sent me this photo today. It pictures Le Métier de Beauté's "Beauty Vault" ($49) for the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. If they don't sell out during pre-sale to card members, maybe everyone will be able to purchase one.

The Anniversary Sale set includes a purse-sized Peau Vierge Tinted Luminizer in #2 and Anamorphic Lash Mascara in black. The Noir Precision Liquid Liner is full-sized, normally a $42.00 item. "The perfect product ensemble to complete your flawless, long-wearing look." This is a special chance to try these products if you haven't used them before.

If you want this set and are a Nordstrom credit card customer, you will be able to purchase the set during pre-sale. If you aren't, you will have to take your chances - or find a friend willing to user his or her card to purchase it. I don't plan to carry a Nordstrom credit card - or any store card - ever.  As some of you know, that makes me a second-class citizen to Nordstrom, despite the fact that I spend a bundle there.

Photo courtesy of Nordstrom and a sweet reader

Le Métier de Beauté Wild Ginger Nail Lacquer from the Indian Summer Collection by Ken Downing for Summer 2012

Le Métier de Beauté's Wild Ginger Nail Lacquer, designed by Neiman Marcus' Ken Downing for the Indian Summer Collection is a splashy orange that's perfect for summer!  It's the darker shade at left above. I had a chance to try it out, courtesy of Le Métier de Beauté. Even though I'm not "an orange person," I have to say, it's gorgeous! It will liven up your July and August.

Brighter than bright, Wild Ginger is gorgeous on the hands - and feet. I took a few color wheel swatch photos and wanted to show it to you while it's still available in the stores. My photos were taken in full sun. I'll apologize for the little hair attached to one of the nails in my photos. I didn't see it, but now it looks like I painted a piece of cat fur into one of the nails. You know how it goes; blame the cat.

Would you look at this shade? It's fire-engine orange. I know, fire engines are typically red, but imagine what one would look like if it were orange. This is it! Eye-catching and brilliant, Wild Ginger is a can't miss shade. Imagine your hands, with Wild Ginger nails, wrapped around a glass of Champagne in a dimly lighted restaurant. Enticing?

I profiled its sister shade, Penny Lane at this link.  I've inserted a photo of Penny Lane directly below so you can see the difference in the orange hues.

Do you need both of these colors? Probably not. I see Penny Lane as a little tamer. Wild Ginger is for your racy side.

Ken Downing for Le Métier de Beauté "capsule collections," including Indian Summer, are available at exclusively at Neiman Marcus,, Bergdorf Goodman, and If you haven't seen these late-summer shades, make sure to check them before they're sold out.

Photo at top courtesy of Le Métier de Beauté; other photos by Best Things in Beauty

Laura Mercier Pink Tourmaline Shimmer Block

Pink Tourmaline is Laura Mercier's new Shimmer Block ($38). It's a limited edition (according to Sephora, where it's claimed to be exclusive). However, it's available at Laura Mercier's Web site. I wanted to show it to you today because Laura Mercier is having a Friends & Family Sale. If you spend $100 or more, you will receive a 20% discount, samples, and free shipping - through June 30.

Shimmer Block is a bronzing or luminizing palette, depending on the shade, composed with a unique, baked formula that contains light-reflecting properties. The four unique shades of Pink Tourmaline impart an icy pink highlighting effect when blended together, giving the skin a healthy, youthful, allover glow.

You can use the Shimmer Blocks to brighten your eyes, cheeks, and body with a hint of natural color and light. Available in shades of peach, pink, and bronze, there's one - at least one - for every complexion.

For my swatch photos, taken in full sun, I applied Pink Tourmaline heavily with a sponge-tipped applicator at the top of my arm, and I used a dense blush brush to apply it heavily below. When applied properly, the pink lights up my face. I'm not sure how it would look on anyone with a medium or dark skin tone or yellow/olive undertones. There may be a better shade for others. For me? It's gorgeous!

The photo directly above provides the best replication of how it looks on the face, even though the top photo is more dramatic in color.

It's a great time to place your Laura Mercier order. That item you've been coveting? Order it and a few others during Friends & Family, and you'll basically get one free. I'm shopping now.

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

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Edward Bess Ultra Slick Lipstick: New Shades

Edward Bess Ultra Slick Lipstick ($32) is described as seductive, a way to accent the curves of your lips with irresistible, radiant color. The creamy, long-wearing formula delivers superior hydration (really, it's not "just a claim"). Ultra Slick smoothes and shapes the lips with an exclusive treatment for a sensual pout. I like the way it feels on my lips, and it's as long-lasting as any "long-lasting" lipsticks I like (meaning they feel good).

Imagine my excitement when I saw on Facebook that there were new shades available! I ordered at Sephora right away, but still didn't get one of the new shades I wanted, Lotus Bloom. It sold out that quickly (perhaps it hasn't arrived yet since it is listed as out of stock). I was able to get Night Jasmine (#21) and Naked Truth ($23). You can see Edward's swatches at Facebook. Those swatches helped me decide.

In my photo above, Night Jasmine is shown at left, with Naked Truth at right. Night Jasmine immediately summons the scents of Charleston, South Carolina, Edward's birthplace and one of my favorite cities in the world. I swatched them in that order, with Night Jasmine at the top of my arm, and Naked Truth below. My photos were taken in full late-afternoon sun.

The two shades could not be more different. Night Jasmine is a rich, mauve-red shade that sits right on the border of my darkness comfort zone. It's a beautiful color for fall or winter evenings. If you love rich, pigmented lip colors, this one will thrill you.

Naked Truth is a nude-beige shade that's perfect for the here and now. I like the slight peachy pink hue that takes it from boring beige to a beautiful lip color. Interestingly (to me), Naked Truth also sits right on the border of my lip color preferences - this one on the light end. Any lighter, and it would be too light for my lips and favorite looks.

I've been wearing these two shades together, using a two-step process. I apply Night Jasmine and then blot most of it off, leaving a mauve stain. Then I apply Naked Truth. The result is stunning.

All of the Ultra Slick Lipsticks offer rich pigmentation and a satin finish. They aren't flat matte, but they aren't particularly shiny either. Most of the shine you see in my photos is from direct sunlight.

You too can become an Edward Bess groupie - even if you don't have a local source. Edward Bess makeup and skin care is available at Sephora. If you want help from Edward Bess representatives, just give Susan or Jennifer a call at (212) 872-8826 at Bergdorf Goodman. They provide professional and friendly assistance.

There are also new lip gloss shades. I purchased a couple and will show you them when I can get photos.

Photos by Best Things in Beauty

New Bobbi Brown Lip Glosses in the Desert Twilight Collection for Fall 2012

New Bobbi Brown Lip Glosses - in three formulas - were launched with the Desert Twilight Collection. That's good news for anyone who has a favorite Bobbi Brown lip gloss formula.

A couple of weeks ago, when the collection arrived at Bloomingdale's, I purchased two after a quick scan of the Desert Twilight display: Bronzed Heather High Shimmer Lip Gloss (#19, $23) and Evening Rose Lip Gloss (#51, also $23). I decided to select one with shimmer and shine, which I love, and one that is more lipstick-like in coverage.

Bronzed Heather, my favorite of the two, is described as a pink nude with gold flecks. I'm not convinced that description does it justice. Evening Rose is described as heather brown. Ditto on the description. See what you think in my swatch photos.

My photos were taken in full sun. Bronzed Heather High Shimmer Lip Gloss is shown at the top of my arm. Does "nude" it get much prettier? Bobbi's newest lip gloss formula combines gorgeous, light-catching shimmer with lasting, non-sticky shine. Made with fine pearls and clear pigments, High Shimmer Lip Gloss stays color-true and gives lips beautiful, brilliant dimension. Plus they are enriched with emollients so your lips will feel as good as they look. Whether you wear it on its own or on top of your favorite Lip Color, the new tapered applicator lets you apply it easily. This is my favorite of Bobbi Brown's lip gloss formulas. There are two new shades in High Shine,  this one and Firefly, a pretty gold ivory with opal flecks. Firefly has much less color.

Evening Rose Lip Gloss is shown at the bottom in my photos. It's also one of two new shades (the other is Honeysuckle, a nude pink). I love the mauve-rose shade of Evening Rose. If it offered more shimmer, I'd be delirious. That's just a personal "thing." I do love the color. It's one of those "my lips but better" shades.

There are also three new shades in Shimmer Lip Gloss, Pink Sunset, Twilight, and Black Pearl, the last re-introduced by popular demand. These are all pretty. I'm not sure where I'd start if I had to select only one. I do plan to go back - and I do plan to select only one more. If I search my Bobbi Brown boxes, I'll bet I find Black Pearl, so that will narrow the decision-making process.

The High Shimmer glosses are gorgeous and super sparkly, featuring a special mix of pearls in a clear base for the ultimate in shimmer, shine, and color. Moisturizing emollients and vitamins C and E condition lips and offer antioxidant protection. The regular Lip Gloss formula is also hydrating, enhanced with soothing botanicals,

The new Lip Gloss and Shimmer Lip Gloss shades are limited editions. I believe those are Twilight, Evening Rose, Honeysuckle, and Pink Sunset. Bronzed Heather and Firefly High Shine glosses are not limited editions.

When you check out Desert Twilight at your favorite Bobbi Brown counter, make sure to try the glosses. There's something for everyone. You can also buy the new Desert Collection online at Bobbi Brown's Web site.

Photos by Best Things in Beauty

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Chanel Ombre Essentielle Soft Touch Eyeshadows from Les Essentials de Chanel for Fall 2012

There are six shades of Chanel's Ombre Essentielle Soft Touch Eyeshadows ($28.50) featured with Les Essentials de Chanel for Fall 2012. One, Complice, may be a limited edition (reported by other bloggers, although the Chanel literature doesn't identify it as such). I purchased two when I got to the counter. Even though I was disinterested in the Premier Regard quad, the single colors delighted me when I swatch-tested them.

Complice, a shimmering natural soft peach, is shown at left above. Éclairé, gold and gleaming, is shown at right above. The other shades are Furtif, pale grey (gorgeous); Infini, a gorgeous shimmering silver; Indescret, midnight blue; and Noir, matte black. I think I'm going back for Infini. It was so beautiful, but I was trying - once again - to be budget-minded so I came home without it. That silver has been haunting me, though.

A Chanel classic, this ultra-fine powder eyeshadow is luxurious in feel, foolproof in its application (unlike some shimmering shadows), and fabulous in its range of matte, satin, and shimmer finishes. The versatile formula can be applied dry for subtle shading or dampened for more intense color, and the complementary shades can be blended with one another to lighten or deepen tone. I think most of you know how to use eye shadow, but I included this factoid from Chanel.

Naturally, I selected two shimmering shades. My eyes are drawn to shimmer, and I love the look on my face. I think my eyes are my best feature, so I like to draw attention to them.

I took my swatch photos in full sun, which did wash out the colors a tad. I applied each with a sponge-tipped applicator. Complice is shown at the top of my arm, with it's pink-peach shine. Éclairé, the shimmering gold below, is equally pretty. They are basic shades that should be in everyone's eyeshadow collection. I know I probably have other colors that are similar, but I wanted these new ones. They apply like a dream, and I love the fact that I can wear each alone. Swipe and go.

While the Ombre Essentielle Soft Touch Eyeshadows may not be the "flashiest" shades in the Fall 2012 Collection, they are extremely worthy of your attention, especially if you need to fill a gap in your single shadows. I know Chanel fans will love them.

As I keep repeating, Chanel's Fall 2012 Collection is arriving at more and more stores with each passing day. Call your favorite Chanel counter before you go - just to make sure they have the collection. If you need help, I've provided a Neiman Marcus contact in the comments of several of my features on this collection. If you are in or near New York, you can find the collection at  Bergdorf Goodman. I think they received it first.

Photos by Best Things in Beauty

Monday, June 25, 2012

Chanel Rouge Allure Extrait de Gloss in Troublant from Les Essentials de Chanel for Fall 2012

There are two new limited-edition colors of Chanel's Rouge Allure Extrait de Gloss ($32) in Les Essentials de Chanel for Fall 2012: Caprice and Troublant. Troublant, described as a bold violet plum-brown, was my immediate choice. There was nothing wrong with Caprice - it's a beautiful pink. However, Troublant, a mauve shade in the spirit of Rouge Coco in Caractère, called my name! Charlestongirl, don't leave me here. If you do, you'll be sorry. I'm limited.

Are you familiar with Rouge Allure Extrait de Gloss? I'll bet you Chanel fans have at least one in your wardrobe. It's a "next-generation lip gloss, with color so rich and shine so intense, it could only be inspired by the iconic lipstick, Rouge Allure." Bold, pigmented color combines with the smoothest, silkiest gel texture for luxurious wear and a deeply dramatic effect if you apply it boldly. The formula makes the lips feel comfortable - never sticky or tacky - and look luminous and full for hours, depending on your propensity for "eating" your lip color. The double-sided, flocked applicator is beveled to deliver ultra-precise definition on application. I'm not sure I'd call it a lip gloss. I think of it as a liquid-gel lipstick.

While the color of Troublant isn't apparent in my photo of the wand and tube above, it should be in my swatch photos below. The color is a stunning mauve. It offers color payoff, shine, and a beautifully hydrating feel. Like Caractère, it's a "me color."

I'm not sure lip color gets any prettier. Troublant is sheer enough that I can wear it now and right into fall without skipping a beat.

Please try to ignore the little boo-boo on my arm. I'm sure the bruise resulted from a run-in with something, but for the life of me, I can't remember what. I've started trying to protect my swatch arm like a hand model protects her hands. Crazy, huh?

Anyhow, Troublant is a must-have shade. It's one of the stars of Les Essentials de Chanel. Make sure to look for it when your Chanel counter receives the Fall 2012 Collection - if you haven't already seen it.

Photos by Best Things in Beauty

Chanel Rouge Coco in Caractère from Les Essentials de Chanel for Fall 2012

Rouge Coco ($39) is Chanel's signature lipstick, a modern interpretation of classic crème lip color that pays homage to the rich life and legacy of Coco Chanel. The lightweight lip color glides on for easy application and features Chanel's "Hydratendre" complex to help soften, soothe, and condition the lips, even boosting their ability to hold in moisture, for a plumper, smoother, and healthier-looking appearance.

The range of wearable shades with full-coverage finishes, from matte to pearl to soft shimmer, has a new sister, Caractère. I had no plans to purchase it. I like my lipsticks with a little more sheerness, but when I saw the brown-hued plum, or mauve, shade, I had to have it. Caractère (#45) is a "me color."

I took many swatch photos - all in direct sun, but some with a more pronounced angle to the sun. Those show the beautiful shine that direct light evokes. Other photos, such as the one above, display the shade's rich gleam.

I think of Caractère as a year-round color, but others may see it as perfect for fall, when we start to add richness to our looks to greet crisp days and cooling nights. As much as I love it, I'm going to put this shade away until September so that I'll have the perfect color to take me into autumn.

Chanel's Fall 2012 Collection is arriving at more and more stores with each passing day. Call your favorite Chanel counter before you go - just to make sure they have the collection. If you need help, I've provided a Neiman Marcus contact in the comments. If you are in or near New York, you can find the collection at  Bergdorf Goodman. I think they received it first.

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

Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in Chic and Parfait from Les Essentials de Chanel for Fall 2012

Chanel is featuring two beautiful Rouge Coco Shines ($32.50) with its Les Essentials de Chanel Collection for Fall 2012. I had to have them both. Chic (#73, shown at left) and Parfait (#74, shown at right) are both gorgeous.

Rouge Coco Shine Hydrating Sheer Lipshine provides lasting, moisturizing color in a water-light texture. The formula glides on for easy application, and a unique "Hydratendre" complex hydrates and softens lips, giving them a healthier and fuller appearance. These relatively new lipsticks are available in a complete range of shades, from delicate beiges to dazzling berries, with a hint of shimmer to enhance their glossy finish. The shimmer is wonderful; I wish it lasted longer on my lips, but I'll take what I can get. The color itself is long-lasting.

Both of fall's Rouge Coco Shine shades are very sheer, which suits me nicely. The Rouge Coco and Rouge Allure Extrait de Gloss shades in the collection are pigmented, so I can wear them if I want more color.

Peter Philips featured natural lip colors with the crazy bejeweled eyebrows on the models who walked the runway for Chanel's Fall 2012 RTW Collection. If you want to see the zany eyebrows, check out Allure's video here. Only a man would think of gluing sequins and jewels to women's eyebrows. Fortunately, the rest of their look was easy and natural.

My swatch photos were taken in full sun. Chic is shown at the top of my arm, with Parfait below.  Chic appears to be a light-to-medium brown in the tube, and it applies as a sheer nude (beige golden sheen with a gold shimmer) on my lips. It's so amazingly pretty I am going to order another - maybe two more. I must have one to carry in my handbag. It's a go-with-everything shade. Those with dark lip tones may feel it's too colorless - better to pick another shade in that case.

Parfait is just as pretty. It's a pink-lover's pink, tender, not too cool, not too warm (pink with shimmer galore). It's a peachy-pink in the tube, so it may look different on different lip tones. On my lips? Magnifique! I'm almost certain to purchase another Parfait too. These lip colors are absolutely perfect for now, and they will carry me into fall when I want a strong eye (sans jeweled eyebrows, though).

I'm expecting the fall colors to go up on any moment. Today, doesn't have the fall collection online, but many Chanel counters have received it. Among them are Bergdorf Goodman and certain Neiman Marcus stores. If you need a name and phone contact, I provided it to readers in the comments associated with the Rose Initiale Joues Contraste Powder Blush feature below (just scroll down).

Photos by Best Things in Beauty

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Chanel Lumiere D'Artifices Beiges Illuminating Powder with Shimmer from Les Essentials de Chanel for Fall 2012

Here's the Chanel piece from Les Essentials de Chanel for Fall 2012 you've been anticipating. Lumiere D'Artifices Beiges Illuminating Powder with Shimmer (Poudre Illuminatrice Iridescente in French) ($75). I'll tell you right up front that I love it!

Lumiere D'Artifices Beiges is unlike many of Chanel's golden highlighters, which can be a little too shimmery or a little too sheer, making them hard to apply evenly. This one hit the spot. Yes, there's a shimmer overspray that gives it pizazz in the case, but you'll run right through that quickly. Then, you'll have a beautiful gleaming powder that adds a gorgeous golden glow to your face, eyes, or wherever you choose to use it for a little extra attention.

The sequin pattern is elegant, stamped into the top layer of the striped palette - so very Chanel. Do you remember the Lumiere D'Artifices Eyeshadow from Chanel (circa 2007), inspired by the countless dresses that adorn the shimmering sequins done by Chanel's master embroiderers? The sequins are back - but this time in this gorgeous illuminator.

For Fall 2012 Chanel, Karl Lagerfeld sent glitter-studded, sparkle-emblazoned, and mineral-inspired fashions down a crystal-adorned runway. The makeup collection isn't quite as bold. This sequin-imprinted palette may be the flashiest piece in Les Essentials de Chanel. Even the name of the collection has the reassuring connotation of makeup essentials.

Even though the stripes in the palette are light beige and a darker beige with a rosy hue, the overall effect is golden beige, with a wearable suggestion of peach or brown, depending on the lighting.

I snapped many swatch photos and will show you three here. I applied Lumiere D'Artifices Beiges very heavily with a sponge-tipped applicator at the top of my arm, then I applied a larger swatch below with a dense blush brush (unevenly, it appears). For both swatches, I ran the applicator across the striped shades. I took my photos in full sun.

I hope you can see that this powder is not extra-glittery, as some recent Chanel highlighting powders have been. It leaves a shimmering, gleaming finish on my skin, and when applied lightly, makes me glow. It's near perfect to my eyes.

I like the golden tone. It has a touch of peachy-brown in it, making the shade appropriate for the darker shades of autumn, but that same tone will work beautifully now for suntanned beauties sporting their summer tans (hopefully created with self-tanning products, not the sun's rays). The palette comes with the usual velveteen pouch and a brush in its own pouch.

This one's a keeper. It won't sink to the bottom of the highlighter pile here. I'll be wearing it. Next up in my features? Lip colors! There are some fabulous shades in multiple formulas. I also purchased two of the new Soft Touch single eye shadows, and I love them! I may have skipped the quad, but I found plenty to love in this collection.

Today, doesn't appear to have the collection available online, but many Chanel counters have received it. Among them are Bergdorf Goodman (hopefully you won't get the dimwit who helped me - ask for Ivan if he's there) and certain Neiman Marcus stores. If you need a name and phone, I provided it to readers in the comments associated with the Rose Initiale Joues Contraste Powder Blush feature below (scroll down).

Photos by Best Things in Beauty

MAKE UP FOR EVER Aqua Shadow Giveaway Contest

I liked MAKE UP FOR EVER's new Aqua Shadow ($20 each) so much, I decided to do a giveaway contest.  The winner will receive both of the shades I purchased for myself, 20E and 28E.

Aqua Shadow is a pencil eye shadow that is smudge-proof, long-lasting (they will stand up to the heat of summer), and easy to apply. I love pencils that work well, so I was intrigued. I think the 12 shades in both matte and pearl finishes offer something for everyone.

Aqua Shadow’s intensely pigmented, waterproof formula provides immediate, rich color that will not smudge, crease, or fade. Created with silica powder, its ultra creamy texture glides effortlessly on the eyelid and blends easily for an even result. Incredibly simple to use, Aqua Shadow quickly creates a multitude of dynamic and colorful looks.

Shade 20E (on left directly above) is described online as a pearly taupe. It is shown at the top of my arm. Shade 28E (at right) is called pearly beige, although I'd call it a golden beige. I took my swatch photos in full, direct sunlight, and they show more much shine than you'll see indoors. These are radiant shades, something I love. They draw attention to the eyes, but do so in an office-appropriate manner. You won't look like a disco ball, I promise - at least in these two shades.

How can you enter to win 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 (the contest address, not my "personal" e-mail) 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). Please make sure I have your e-mail. If I can't notify you, you can't win - even if your number is drawn. I can't believe the number of entrants I haven't been able to find in the past.

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 this evening, and you can simply retweet it to earn that second entry - if that's easier.

The deadline for entries will be Saturday, June 30, at midnight. The next morning, I will use a random number generator ( to select the winner. I will e-mail the winner on Sunday morning. 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 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.

For all the legalese related to this contest, please see the Contests/Sweepstakes page at the top of the blog. Good luck!

Photos by Best Things in Beauty

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Chanel Rose Initiale Joues Contraste Powder Blush from Les Essentials de Chanel Collection for Fall 2012

Chanel's new Fall 2012 makeup collection, Les Essentials de Chanel, has some "lookers" in it. I was captured by several pieces, and I've got all of them to show you - after an order mishap by Bergdorf Goodman that made me very unhappy. I purchased my items from Neiman Marcus - after I should have received them from Bergdorfs, which appears to have received them very early.

Anyhow, now that I'm over that mix-up meltdown, I want to start showing you the pretty colors. Yes, it's autumn in June. It seems early, particularly for a collection that was scheduled to arrive at stores in the United States in August (September internationally).

Chanel Joues Contraste Powder Blush in Rose Initiale (#72, $43) is a gorgeous rose pink shade. Anyone who likes pink-toned blushes is going to love the luscious color. Joues Contraste Powder Blush, aka Joues Contraste Fards à Joues Poudre in French, is, in my opinion, a must-have from Les Essentials.

I used a sponge-tipped applicator to apply the stripe at the top of my arm, and I used a dense blush brush to apply the larger swatch. Both were applied heavily for the photos - more heavily than anyone would "in real life." My photos were taken in full sun.

The photos were taken with different backdrops, making my camera pick up more color in one photo than the other. The true color is somewhere in between, but the lighter photo is more representative of the color on the cheeks. Want more color? Just layer the blush on your cheeks. It's very forgiving.

I purchased a lot, but not the quad. Although I had ordered it sight unseen, when I saw it in person, I skipped it. I'll get more photos tomorrow and start to show you the rest of the collection. I purchased mine at Neiman Marcus. Today, doesn't appear to have the collection available online, but the Bombay Collection is available there.

Photos by Best Things in Beauty

Bobbi Brown Creamy Color for Lips & Cheeks from the Desert Twilight Collection for Fall 2012

The austere black packaging of Bobbi Brown's limited-edition Creamy Color for Lips & Cheeks ($20) doesn't hint at the glorious sheer cream tint inside. It was only on first use, after sampling at Bloomingdale's, that I discovered how much I love it.

This double-duty, easy-to-use use, and comfortable-to-wear formula imparts a pretty, easily blendable flush on the cheeks while imparting a soft shine on the lips. Really, the only thing I can find wrong is that there are only two shades! I'd love to have 10, Bobbi! That plus the fact that it's a limited edition should spur you to buy both shades (like I did).

Pink Truffle and Honeyed Tea are both soft and sheer - one pink and one a believable brown. My swatch photos were taken in full sun. Although I should have applied the shades with a foundation brush, I used a sponge-tipped applicator because that's what I had at hand.

Pink Truffle is a perfect blush. It adds just enough neutral pink color to make me look perky all day. It has extremely nice staying power - much more than a powder blush. On my lips, it adds a soft pink tint that is also long-lasting, but the color doesn't last as long on my lips as it does on my cheeks. I eat and talk too much.

Honeyed Tea adopts a gorgeous shade when mixed with the natural pink in my cheeks. I can use it as a blush or to add dimension to the contours of my face. Either way, it's a beautiful brown. On the lips, I like to use it first, followed by a shimmery gloss in a champagne shade. Stunning!

These creamy, muted colors for lips and cheeks are sheer, making them particularly natural looking. I hope Bobbi Brown keeps them in the line and expands the color offering. Wouldn't you love to see a peach shade too? You can make one by mixing the two colors, but it would be nice to see a pink-peach straight from the little tube.

You can purchase the new Desert Twilight Collection for Fall 2012 at Bobbi Brown's Web site and Bobbi Brown counters everywhere. I have some exceptional lip glosses to show you next.

I've received requests for a feature on Twilight Night Shimmer Ink Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner. So far, I haven't purchased it. I may break down, but I'm trying to stay within a budget. Otherwise, I'll be working until I'm 80.  I hope someone else features it soon. You have no idea how much it costs to support BTiB!

Photos by Best Things in Beauty

Friday, June 22, 2012

Coming Attraction: Le Métier de Beauté Pallid Incandescents Kaleidoscope Eye Kit

Here's Dustin Lujan's new Le Métier de Beauté Pallid Incandescents Kaleidoscope Eye Kit ($95), a collection of fun summer hues inspired by the complexity of light! This Kaleidoscope will be exclusive to Bergdorf Goodman, and I predict it will fly out of there.

Noting soft resplendent hues of natural lighting, such as the crepuscular rays of lightning bugs, to something as whimsical as a sunset. Then moving into the night with a vivid electric shock of neon bulbs and glowing street lights. This is truly a look for pastel days and neon nights. Whether you'll be out and about as a gleaming goddess or an ethereal vixen, the hues and tones will be perfect to bring light into your eyes. The pastel hues will intermix and light up the entire face. Set your summer aglow and come into the light with the Pallid Incandescents Kaleidoscope Eye Kit.

Here's how Dustin recommends you wear Pallid Incandescents. This Kaleidoscope can be used with Le Métier de Beauté's classic use of couches de couleur to give a soft lavender hue or used in reverse to achieve a more vidid look. "I really want to encourage color placement with four great shades that can be used together or alone," said Dustin. Use this palette for day with Refresh or Revive Eye Base and Noir Liquid Liner, or vamp it up for night with Noir Dualistic Eye Pencil Base with Aqua or Blue Liquid Liner. For day, use the Face Blush Kaleidoscope with Palm Springs Moisture Stain Lipstick and Creme Caramel Lip Crème. For night, use Fresh Blush and Vamp up the Lip with Uma Paro Moisture Stain Lipstick then top it off with Hibiskiss Sheer Brilliance Lip Gloss. The model below is wearing the night look designed by Dustin.

I'm on the waiting list. Are you? If not, call (212) 872-8612. Pallid Incandescents is expected to arrive the first week in July.

Photos courtesy of Dustin Lujan and  Le Métier de Beauté

The Friday Forum - June 22

Yesterday was hot with a capital "H." As I was driving home from work, my car told me the outside temperature was 107! The official record set yesterday was 100. That wasn't a heat index; it was the actual temperature. When I got home, I found my hydrangeas wilted. They recovered overnight, but I think we need a thundershower to cool things down. My plants will appreciate the drink.

This was a good beauty week. It started last Sunday with a fun makeover at By Terry at SPACE.NK. I have people photos to show you, but I need to get makeup photos. If I can't get them tomorrow, I can on Saturday. I must get photos of the "rest" of the Bobbi Brown Fall 2012 Desert Twilight Collection, new-to-me Rouge Bunny Rouge, and nail lacquers that you'll find gorgeous (as I do). Additionally, my new Chanel makeup should have arrived today, but it didn't. I'm hoping to see it tomorrow.

So, today I rant a little. Last week, I called a Giorgio Armani boutique looking for a new Armani Privé fragrance, Figuier Eden. It sounded so luscious, I wanted it even though I'd never smelled it. I called New York. They didn't know what I was talking about. So then I called the South Coast Plaza store in California. They knew it, had it, and took my order. We discussed its name multiple times.

I specifically asked that they waive signature for delivery, knowing I wouldn't be here when it arrived. They didn't. So when I got the door tag, I had to call FedEx, ask that it be diverted to a local FedEx center, and go pick it up the next day. Still, I was excited - until I took it out of the box. They had sent the wrong fragrance! Good grief. So I called. After saying they would do a will-call, having FedEx pick it up for me while they shipped out the correct fragrance, they called me with the brilliant idea that they could e-mail me a label and I could attach it and then deliver the box to FedEx. Why would I want an extra trip on a 100-degree day? We finally settled on the will-call, the mistake will be picked up today, and maybe I'll get the fragrance I actually ordered next week. Am I alone? Does anyone else experience these kind of frustrations? How often do you receive something totally different from what you ordered? I expect more from Armani.

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? Please share! Just use the comments. Don't be shy. Just make sure to ask any question you might have over the weekend. By early the next week, most (not all) readers will have moved on.

I have a fabulous giveaway contest thing week: NARS Wicked Attraction Set. I hope you'll enter. The deadline is tomorrow, Saturday, June 23, at midnight.

123RF Photo