Showing posts with label Beauty. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Beauty. Show all posts

Monday, February 25, 2013

Who Was Wearing Armani Beauty at the Oscars?

The gal with the golden voice, and now an Oscar Winner for the Best Original Song (a first for a James Bond theme), Adele was wearing Armani Beauty last night to enhance her pretty face.

For Adele's Academy Award visage, makeup artist Michael Ashton created a modern take on a classic look, focusing on her flawless complexion and high-volume [enhanced] lashes.

She was wearing the extraordinary Giorgio Armani Maestro Fusion Makeup in #4. Ashton also used Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Powder in #4 on her.

Ashton createe a luminous complexion by massaging Giorgio Armani Maestro Fusion Makeup into Adele's skin. Then he added a sheer veil of Lancôme Teint Miracle Instant Retouch Pen near the inner tear ducts of the eye and high planes of the face. He used a large, soft powder brush to dust her T-zone with Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Powder and used Smashbox Contour Powder to accent her cheekbones.

He also mixed it up on her eyes, using Giorgio Armani Brow Defining Pencil in #3 and Giorgio Armani's Eyes to Kill Quad in #6. He used Maybelline's Studio Gel Eye Liner in Black and Lancôme Hypnôse Mascara.

According to Michael, beautiful brows can make any eye. Brush them into place using clear brow gel and then, using feather strokes, fill and define with Giorgio Armani Brow Defining Pencil. Create a sultry eye by highlighting and contouring the socket with Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Quad #6. Then extend the eye line with Maybelline Gel Liner and pump up the lashes with Lancôme Hypnôse Mascara. Your eyes will be the focus of your face, just as Adele's were.

For decorated but understated lips, he filled Adele's lips with Giorgio Armani Lip Liner #12. Then he finger-pressed Giorgio Armani Lip Maestro #500 onto her lips and finished by adding a touch of Sisley's White Diamond Gloss. She was a picture of radiance!

Other beauties wearing Armani makeup were Kerry Washington, who wore Lip Maestro; Jennifer Hudson, who was wearing Eyes to Kill Intense #25 and Rouge d'Armani in #202; and Sally Fields, who was also wearing Rouge d'Armani in #101.

You know when there's a red carpet, you'll always find Giorgio Armani's gowns and his makeup.

Photo courtesy of Giorgio Armani Beauty

Monday, February 11, 2013

Beauty Looks at the Grammy Awards - The Good and the Not So Good

In features spotlighting the ladies at the Grammy Awards, the professional critics verified my impressions of their hair and makeup. There was no doubt that the winners were stunning - and the bad stunned for all the wrong reasons.

Earlier today, I selected Rihanna as one of the best dressed of the evening. Everything about her look was perfect. Her highlighted long hair with loose waves was a perfect complement to the formality of her red gown, and her red lipstick matched her gown perfectly. Her eye makeup enhanced her pretty eyes. I have never seen her look better.

I have to mention, though, that I was morally aghast at her behavior. What was she thinking, cuddling with Chris Brown, exactly four years after he beat her so badly she was hospitalized? Not only did she canoodle with him at the show, she was by his side at the after-parties. Rihanna needs to face the fact that she is a role model for young girls and that she sent the wrong message last night - one that could be deadly. Pretty, but not real smart?

Apparently, everyone loved JLo's look. I didn't. Forget the gown and that leg for a moment (by the way, I did see a photo with the ripples of cellulite while she was seated). Her face was stunningly beautiful. With strong eyes, her nude lips were perfect. I just didn't like the severe top knot. It looked like a silly ornament atop her head.  She has looked a lot better - often.

I thought the severity of Beyoncé's hair style was a perfect complement to her color-block, black and white jumpsuit/pants suit. Her eyebrows focused attention, without a lot of color, on her eyes. Her red lips popped. The total look was sheer genius, demonstrating why she is called a queen.

Carrie Underwood channeled old Hollywood. Her dress fit her to a T. Her hair was casual and pretty with such a formal dress and all those diamonds. She rocked the smoky eye and nude lip. She looked so pretty that it's going to sound really picky when I say the only thing I didn't love was the deep part of her hair style and the hair tucked behind her ear. Take your finger, hold it to your monitor, and tell me she wouldn't have looked better with a slight alteration of that side.

It's hard for me to understand why some criticized Taylor Swift's hair style. The braid, the bangs, the casual whisps of loose hair all struck me as gorgeous. I loved her glossy peach lips too. Did you notice that during the show she let her hair down, danced at her seat, and thoroughly enjoyed herself? It was charming.

Esperanza Spalding was praised by the Huffington Post for her natural tresses that "formed the perfect halo around her golden makeup look." From the moment I saw her on the red carpet, I thought she looked like a hot mess. The tie-dyed look of her gown and the big hair reminded me of another era - one that we don't need to revisit.

Bonnie McKee's hair looked like a joke. It's too bad. She's an attractive woman. Why did she go to that much trouble to look absurd?

Florence Welsh wore an incredible dark green Givenchy haute couture gown that deeply divided the style critics. I thought it would have been very pretty without the pointed embellishments that gave it a fierce look. Her fiery red hair in a casual up-do was offset by deep wine lips. Elle says this will be the lip color of the summer - with red lips going deep. Her look worked for me. Everything about it made her eyes pop.

Earlier today, I mentioned Adele, who looked gorgeous from the neck up. She and Florence showed off their peaches and cream Brit complexions - they could not have looked prettier.

What did you think? Any favorites?

What did I do today? I went to my dermatologist to have cortisone shot into an inflammatory cyst - a blemish - that has been forming for days. That's what the celebrities do to show off their perfect complexions on the red carpet. My question is why. I haven't had a problem for 6-7 years - not a single hormone-fueled blemish. I am baffled. Something caused it; I wonder what. It will be gone by tomorrow. I'll be ready for my red carpet. 

Photos courtesy of the Huffington Post, Allure, and

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Inauguration Fashion and Beauty

Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden looked gorgeous yesterday. So did everyone else in the two families. I was avidly watching the fashion choices, particularly proud of the First Lady's impeccable taste.

Except for one thing. What did you think of the belt? It was a J. Crew sash that Michelle Obama had converted to a belt. It added a decorative touch to the navy-silk, checkered-patterned coat and dress by Thom Browne that were inspired by a menswear necktie. The simplicity of the A-line coat and coordinating dress were perfect for her statuesque figure. The belt cut her in half. I'm on the fence about the belt because it occasionally disrupted the perfect line of her coat, but I think everything else she wore looked perfect.

She wore J. Crew shoes to the church service, but changed into boots for the ceremony and procession. During lunch at the Capitol, she added a cardigan by Reed Krakoff over her dress.

The President looked very conservative, with his blue tie, white shirt, dark suit, and overcoat. Isn't it funny? No one told us who designed his clothing. He coordinated nicely with Michelle in blue. The kids were adorable. Malia Obama had on a plum-colored J. Crew coat with the hemline of an electric-blue dress peeking out and a burgundy-colored scarf, Sasha had on a Kate Spade coat and dress in a similar purple shade. They clashed a bit, but who cares? They were adorable. Malia is growing up to be a stunner.

Jill Biden looked absolutely stunning in a blue-gray coat and dress by American designer Lela Rose.  Rose said that since the focus would be on the coat, she wanted to give it a flourish. Hence the large bow. Not clearly visible underneath her coat was a white embroidered, flower appliqué sheath, also by Lela Rose. Here it is below, shown on a model. I should note that I loved her hair style.

Jason Wu should be a very happy man today. At 30 years old, he has the accomplishment of dressing the First Lady for two inaugural balls, and the gowns will go to a museum. Michelle Obama looked as perfect as it gets in the flowing red gown.

I loved the way she changed her hair style from straight and sleek to a flippy style for the ball. Her choices were spot-on.

Jill Biden looked radiant in her Vera Wang gown. A blonde can't go wrong with blue. She wore black peep-toe shoes to go with the black sash on the gown. As with Mrs. Obama, I'm not sure the sash added anything to the look.

Wasn't Joe Biden the life of the party - all day? He is such a lovable guy. As I watched him during the toasts and later during the procession, I wanted to hug him.

Both Michelle Obama and Jill Biden had extraordinary hair styles - full of volume, they moved with the breeze, but never looked like they needed a refresh. I'd love to know who styled their hair and what products were used. Michelle Obama's enhanced eyelashes were also noteworthy.

That's my adoring wrap-up. I can find little (perhaps nothing) to criticize. It was a beauty-full day.

Photos courtesy of the New York Times, the Washington Post, and other media

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Sunday This and That

On Sunday mornings, random visions of features I'd like to write fly though my brain, usually while I'm relaxing and trying to tune out my to-do list. I seldom write up those ideas. Today, I'm going to collect my random thoughts into one feature. I'll bounce around, exactly as my free-associating brain does.

This is not about politics. Please do not respond with a political comment. This is about fashion and presence. After the convention in Charlotte, I had to decide (yes, I forced myself) whose dress I preferred. Michelle Obama's or Ann Romney's? Given my innate ability to select the most expensive option available, even when I'm not presented with prices, you would think I would have chosen the Oscar de la Renta. I overlook the fact that Romney's dress was priced at roughly $2,000 and Obama's dress, designed by Tracy Reese, will likely cost less than $500.

I'll take the stunner Michelle Obama wore any day. There's nothing wrong with a classic shirtwaist, and the red was picture perfect for a "red-themed convention," even if it was a little boring. The moment I saw Obama's ornamental pink and blue-grey dress, though, I gasped. I'd make room for it in my closet any day. That dress was gorgeous. I'll bet it sells out before it hits the stores - and it will hit the stores. That's my kind of party dress!

There was a little speculation (among insiders) that Michelle Obama was wearing a Le Métier de Beauté nail lacquer. It was reported, however, that it was Vogue by Artistic Nail Design. It matched the blue-grey of the hem of her dress beautifully. Her lipstick was also a perfect choice. Wonder what it was.

Bergdorf Goodman is celebrating its 111th anniversary. Their Fall Book, 111 Years of Extraordinary, is a fashion page-turner. Now, you can turn the pages online. Check it out.

Among the special items created for Bergdorf's special year is Francis Kurkdjian's new eau de parfum, "754" ($300), named after the store's address. I received mine this week, and it's glorious. Created exclusively for Bergdorf Goodman by Maison Francis Kurkdjian. "754" custom fragrance, was created to capture the allure and vitality of New York City. Masterfully blended with notes of citrus, florals, and musk, this sensual and fresh unisex eau de parfum is an olfactory evocation of a bright blue Manhattan morning. I'm looking forward to wearing it to work this week.

Beauty Week at Neiman Marcus has left me a little crazed - and broke. I had a blast seeing friends, like Erin Lockard, who left Neiman Marcus yesterday on a train bound for Fashion Week in New York. Here's Erin, looking gorgeous as always, pictured with Chanel's beautiful Lizette Settepani. It took me two days to get this photo. I started (or attempted to) at Neiman Marcus Mazza Gallerie on Friday when my camera reminded me the battery had no juice left. I was lucky. They were both at Tysons Galleria on Saturday, and we were able to grab a moment for a re-do. Lizette was able to find me a Long Wear Luminious Eye Shadow in Apparition. I'll show it to you later today.

Look at this beautiful photo I received from Essie showing the Essie Look at the Helmut Lang Spring/Summer 2013 fashion show. Click to enlarge it and enjoy!

That's it for This and That for now. Hope you enjoyed a few of my random thoughts for the week.

Photos courtesy of,,, and the last by Best Things in Beauty

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Introducing Aerin Effortless Beauty by Aerin Lauder

I know Aerin Lauder's new line for Estee Lauder was coming, and today the announcement landed in my mailbox. Aerin Lauder has created a collection of easy, everyday beauty products - from color to rose-scented cream to treat your hands.

All of Aerin's products look wearable - grounded - to make women look and feel pretty. Her goal is minimum effort, maximum impact. What you'll find when you explore the inaugural collection are essentials and a fall collection filled with easy-to-wear colors.

Check out her new products at this link. It's a peek inside her beauty bag.

Update: To learn more about Aerin Lauder's new collection, check out The Book for fall from Neiman Marcus. 

Photos courtesy of Aerin Beauty

Thursday, December 15, 2011

WWD 2011 Beauty Inc Awards

On December 8, the 10th annual WWD Beauty Inc Awards breakfast was held. The emotional moment was hit early in the program when William Lauder, executive chairman of the Estée Lauder Cos., Inc., accepted the first Corporate Social Responsibility Award on behalf of his recently deceased mother, Evelyn Lauder. After he spoke, the crowd stood to acknowledge her contributions to the industry and the breast cancer awareness campaign she held dear. Evelyn Lauder was awarded the Corporate Social Responsibility Award posthumously.

Here's a partial list of the award winners, starting with the Product of the Year Awards.

Mass Color Cosmetics: Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure
Prestige Color Cosmetics: Dior Addict Lipstick
Mass Skin Care: Physicians Formula Skin Care
Prestige Skin Care: Lancôme Visionnaire Advanced Skin Corrector
Mass Hair Care: Clairol Nice 'n Easy Color Blend Foam
Prestige Hair Care: Bumble and Bumble The Straight Line
Mass Fragrance: Avon (for Outspoken Intense by Fergie)
Prestige Fragrance: Justin Bieber Someday

The Prestige Brand of the Year was awarded to Estée Lauder, while Maybelline took home honors for the Mass Brand of the Year. Newcomer of the Year awards went to Julia Goldin, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of Revlon, in the mass category and Alexander Bolen, CEO of Oscar de la Renta, in the prestige category.

The Eco Awareness Award went to Pantene for the Natural Fusion line. P&G has had a corporate-wide effort in sustainability, which it launched in its beauty business.

Tom Ford Beauty won the Prestige Launch of the Year Award - no wonder! Surprisingly (to me), the mass Launch of the Year Award went to Selma Hayek for Nuance.

Retailer of the Year awards went to Duane Reed (mass), Macy's (prestige), and Sephora (specialty). Birchbox won the Prestige Digital Innovator Award, while Neutrogena won in the mass category.

Fittingly, Peter Philips, Global Creative Director for Makeup of Chanel, won the Creative Influencer of the Year Award. WWD noted that many credit him with single-handedly bringing lipstick back with the launch of Rouge Coco. That launch was rivaled only by the launch of Rouge Coco Shine - also his.

Finally, Sir Lindsay Owen-Jones, the honorary chairman of L'Oreal, received the Visionary Award, which recognized his leadership in building L'Oreal into a global powerhouse during his 18-year run as CEO. Ever humble, he said term "visionary" made him uncomfortable. He prefers to be remembered as a "brave soldier."

What do you think? Were these awards spot-on? I'll confess that one of them left me baffled. Can you guess?

Illustration courtesy of WWD

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Neiman Marcus Fall 2011 Beauty and Fashion Trends

As I mentioned over the weekend, I attended a presentation of the fall fashion, beauty, and home trends for fall. We were shown a fabulous short tape, narrated by Ken Downing, on what's hot for fall - hot on the runway, hot in the stores, and hot on you! You can see a shorter version at this link. Then we were shown the latest examples to arrive in-store. All but one of the trends attracted my eye.
  • Bordeaux - the shade of wine and roses (look for handbags and footwear in shades of cabernet and merlot)
  • Lady Chic - ensemble dressing (look for matching dresses and jackets), dresses with fluidity, beautiful blouses, both cigarette and wide trousers
  • Colorblocking - layering, contrasting colors, even multi-toned shoes
  • Leather - everywhere
  • Subtle Shimmer
  • Ken Downing's own Bordeaux Collection for Le Métier de Beauté
  • Pumps (in all heel heights)
  • Hand-held Handbags - elegance, polish, and polite spirit
  • Bold Gold - the perfect decoration for saturated color - Downing says, "More is more and less is a bore."
It's going to be a glamorous, elegant, ladylike season. The bag pictured at the top of this feature captures two or more trends with its gorgeous color and hand-held polish. The Bordeaux Collection developed by Ken Downing for Le Métier de Beauté pairs a lipstick with nail lacquer, taking the essence of the fall runways and distilling it with elegant, coordinated duos to transform you into Lady Chic.

Bold Gold? Fashion jewelry is back in style. Could it be that the price of gold has finally made what we used to call costume jewelry the "it" accessory? I'm a "gold snob," but I'd wear this gold-plated Golden Petal Necklace by Milly in a heartbeat! Priced at $220, it's accessible.

Cuffs continue to be very popular, and I'm coveting the gold ones. Neiman Marcus will have a gorgeous gift with purchase at the Trend Event from August 18 to 21. You'll receive the Neiman Marcus-exclusive Roxanne Assoulin for Lee Angel cuff, shown at left, when you spend $350 or more on regular-priced women's apparel, accessories, shoes, handbags, or jewelry. It's the perfect time to update your wardrobe.

You can shimmer with makeup or add an accessory - even though some of the subtly shimmering dresses for the season are extraordinary. I was drawn to this metallic Roberto Cavalli silk Leopard-Print Stole ($355), which brings on-trend sheen - and the collection's signature leopard print - to your look, ideal for topping casual T-shirts, your little black dress, and cocktail dresses alike. It's a wardrobe changer.

I've always been a shoe lover, and some of the latest shoes and boots we saw were stunning. Unfortunately, I can't walk in spike heels anymore (not that I ever wore the tallest of the tall). They even have trendy shoes for me!

I'll be scouting the trends starting Thursday at Neiman Marcus. I'll be taking a close look at stylist, editor, and supernova Rachel Zoe's collection. A fellow Virgo, she has designed a fabulous, glamorous collection of contemporary apparel, shoes, and bags, launching at Neiman Marcus.

Many thanks to our friends at Neiman Marcus Tysons Galleria for their gracious hospitality on Saturday. I left ready for fall and all of the latest fashions, with such an elegant return to the Lady Chic look I love.

The fall events at every Neiman Marcus store will showcase the latest looks. Check with your favorite store for a list of events, and don't forget Fashion Night Out and Beauty Week. All the stores will be hopping on September 8.

Photos courtesy of Neiman Marcus, Neiman Marcus Blog, and Le Métier de Beauté

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Cosmetics Executive Women Names Best Beauty Products of 2011

Yesterday, the beauty industry celebrated its finest, as Cosmetic Executive Women (CEW) recognized the most innovative beauty products of the year at the 17th Annual CEW Beauty Awards. The winning products spanned 26 categories, including cosmetics, hair care, skin care, sun care, and more. I showed you the finalists not too long ago. Today, I can tell you about the winners, the 2011 Beauty Oscars.

The CEW Beauty Awards is the only awards program where the winners are determined exclusively by more than 4,000 beauty insiders and professionals working in the beauty industry. The CEW Beauty Awards signify the industry’s highest recognition for manufacturers and brands, as well as a trusted guide to the most innovative new products for consumers.

Without further ado, the 2011 winners!
  • Bath and Body Mass: Olay Total Effects 7-in-1 Advanced Anti-Aging Body Wash Deep Penetrating Moisture
  • Bath and Body Prestige: Fresh Brown Sugar Hand Cream (a Fresh product won this category last year)
  • Eco Beauty Award: Yves Rocher Culture Bio
  • Acne Treatment: Zeno Corporation Heat Treat Blemish Prevention Treatment
  • Anti-Aging Mass: AVEENO Ageless Vitality Elasticity Recharging System–Day SPF 30
  • Anti-Aging Prestige and Prestige Product: Clinique Even Better Clinical Dark Spot Corrector
  • Cleanser & Scrub: Shiseido White Lucent Brightening Cleansing Foam (Shiseido won in the cleanser category last year)
  • Eye Treatment Mass: RoC Brilliance Eye Beautifier
  • Eye Treatment Prestige: Shiseido Future Solution LX Eye and Lip Contour Regenerating Cream
  • Moisturizer Mass: Olay Regenerist Night Resurfacing Elixir
  • Moisturizer Prestige: Lancôme Génifique Repair Youth Activating Night Cream
  • Hair Care Product: Bumble and bumble Mending Masque
  • Hair Coloring Product: Samy Fat Foam Hair Color
  • Hair Styling Product: Ojon Volumizing Brush-On Mousse
  • Indie Beauty Award: blow, the new york blow dry bar, Blow, The New York Blow Dry Bar
  • Makeup Eye Product Mass: COVERGIRL Liquilineblast Eye Liner (COVERGIRL won in this category last year)
  • Makeup Eye Product Prestige: Dior Beauty Diorshow Maximizer
  • Makeup Face Product Mass: mark. Touch & Glow Shimmer Cream Cubes All Over Face Palette
  • Makeup Face Product Prestige: Clinique Redness Solutions Makeup SPF 15 with Probiotic Technology (Clinique won in this category last year)
  • Makeup Lip Product Mass: L'Oréal Paris Infallible Le Rouge
  • Makeup Lip Product Prestige: Fresh Sugar Plum Tinted Lip Treatment SPF 15
  • Men's Grooming: Gillette Fusion ProSeries Thermal Scrub
  • Men's Scent: Chanel Bleu de Chanel
  • Women's Scent Mass: Coty Beauty Beyoncé Heat
  • Women's Scent Prestige: Gucci Fragrances Guilty
  • Sun Product: Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protection Lotion SPF 60
  • First Annual Best Seller Award: Maybelline Falsies Volum’Express
To see information about each award-winning product, go to this CEW link and click the hyperlink for each product that interests you.

Photo courtesy of CEW

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy Saint Patrick's Day! Let's Go Green!

You don't have to be Irish to celebrate St. Patrick's Day; everyone can be Irish today. Just because! Do you want to wear green or go green? St. Patrick's Day may be a good day for a green choice. Here are some ideas for you if you choose to go green - all featured here in the last year. These are organic and natural beauty products that have earned their place in my life.

John Masters, Rahua Beauty, and WEN hair care products are natural choices to make your hair shine. You can find them at Beautorium, New London Pharmacy, and Chaz Dean, respectively - and at other sites.

Try MELVITA skin care. Founded in Ardèche, France by beekeeper and biologist Bernard Chevilliat in 1983, Melvita (meaning "honey and life" in Latin) has always been a passionate advocate for the complete organic lifestyle. Check out the many MELVITA options at

Those beekeepers are onto something. Beecology has a beautiful line of skin-care and hair-care products.

Looking for fragrance? How about Kō Denmark Organic Jasmine + Neroli Roll-On Perfume for pure jasmine and neroli oils combined to create a heavenly fragrance. Or Ambre Blends, unique essential oils with an amber base for a sultry sophistication?

Holly Green at Norabloom offers a wonderful botanical Rose Bud Creme Cleanser. It contains an impressive list of good-for-your-skin ingredients, and as you might imagine, the natural fragrance is heavenly.

Kiehl's Organic Açaí Skin Care Collection The four-product line is everything you would expect from Kiehl's and more. Introduced last year, it's Ecocert and Cradle-to-Cradle certified.

My favorite U.S.-made olive oil is made by McEvoy Ranch. Just in case you aren't a "foodie," McEvoy Ranch makes some of the best olive oils on earth. They are certified organic - not simply great, but award-winning. Beautyhabit offers 80 Acres, a small line of skin- and body-care products enriched with McEvoy Ranch estate-produced pure, organic olive oil.

You won't find yourself sacrificing elegance for purity when you use these products. They are luxury defined. Want to add your own favorites in the comments?

I think going as green as possible is more important than wearing green one day out of the year. Nevertheless, I'll be wearing green today. I have a smattering of Irish blood in me!

P.S. If you click on the links here, you can learn more about the products and where to find them.

Photo courtesy of

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Celebrities Sell Beauty Products

In our celebrity-obsessed culture, celebrities sell beauty products - really well. Gone are the days (at least for now) when supermodels "owned" advertising for beauty products. Now celebrities do.

During Oscar week, beauty companies shower celebrities with free products and services. The very people who have the money to buy everything they want don't have to do anything except show up. Companies rent suites to attract celebrities with free stuff; the swag is amazing. "One brand name dropped at just the right time, even by a minor celebrity, can echo for months, translating into lucrative exposure for any beauty brand canny enough to be stationed within a mile of" the Academy Awards.1 While the Oscar arena is "choked" with beauty brands, some stand out.

The exposure pays. According to an issue of WWD's Beauty Biz, published five years ago, Revlon estimated that a small investment paid off in over $2 million in publicity. As a result, many celebrities are on the payroll of beauty and fashion companies, giving those companies year-round associations with beautiful woman. COVERGIRL has Taylor Swift, Lancôme has Julia Roberts (who has been airbrushed to feature-less "perfection"), Gucci has Jennifer Lopez and her children...the list is endless.

There is an enormous amount of attention, including from beauty bloggers (myself included), paid to what celebrity wore what makeup to the Academy Awards ceremony. Beauty companies send their top makeup artists to Los Angeles to cater to and prepare the nominees and presenters. I love looking at the fashion, but I've always got an eye on the makeup too.

At the Golden Globes, without even seeking the attention, Chantecaille became the lip gloss of choice when Angelina Jolie was seen touching up her lips on camera. What gloss was she wearing? Brilliant Gloss in Love. Angelina is also said to wear Charm, but it was Love she pulled out of her evening bag. The next day, Love sold out everywhere. You couldn't get your hands on Love anywhere. Chantecaille ran out, Neiman Marcus ran out - every source ran out. The run on Love was amazing, showing the power of Angelina Jolie to sell makeup - without really trying. I suspect, from what I've read about Jolie, that she finds Chantecaille's philanthropy as magnificent as I do. Even Brad Pitt uses Chantecaille products. Fact or fiction - I don't know the man - he's supposed to favor Future Skin foundation.

I didn't cover the news of Angelina's lip gloss selection right after the awards. There's the obvious question. "Do women really think a lip gloss will make them more like the ravishing celebrity?" However, I read it in the press with the rest of you (so disappointed that I didn't receive the press release - sob) that it was Love she was wearing.

Now, so that you can keep your eyes peeled for the next great, impossible-to-get product, I'm giving you the heads-up to watch tonight's ceremony. Then go online and order - quickly - if you want a tiny part of that celebrity experience! For those who were willing to wait, Chantecaille's Web site and Chantecaille counters have restocked Love. You can buy Angelina's lip gloss now. In DC, go see Alicia Cortes at Neiman Marcus Tysons.

So that you can see Angelina's fave lip glosses, I swatched them for you. My photo was taken outdoors during a momentary appearance by the sun. Love, shown at the top of my arm, is light pink. Charm, shown below, is nude. In my humble opinion, neither matches the shade squares shown online, which is why I'm showing them to you now.

Chantecaille's Brilliant Gloss ($28) is one of my favorites, and that has nothing to do with Angelina Jolie and the recent exposure. Brilliant Gloss feels good on the lips, looks good, and lasts a reasonable amount of time for a lip gloss. Just like Angelina, you'll need to re-apply it when you've been eating, drinking, or out on the town for the night. I know of no lip gloss that's truly long-wearing, and the thought of one actually scares me. Would it cling to your lips with magnetic attraction, picking up cat or dog fur? Or stray bits of grit on a windy day? [Shudder]

Now that's you've read to the end of this rambling feature, what do you think? Will you be swayed by what the stars wear tonight?

1Leslie Gornstein, Beauty Biz, April 14, 2006

Photo at top courtesy of NBC

Sunday, January 30, 2011

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

Friday, December 10, 2010

Winners of WWD's 2010 Beauty Biz Awards

This year's winners of the prestigious WWD Beauty Biz Awards were announced, and, as usual, it's a diverse and thoughtfully selected list of honorees. Here's the list, along with a few random, personal observations. I couldn't resist!

Newcomer of the Year: Michelle Phan (the professional makeup artist, spokesperson for Lancôme, and You Tube video making queen) - there's no question that she has garnered quite an audience, particularly with the young, "artsy" set.

Breakthrough Product of the Year in Prestige
Thierry Mugler Womanity (fragrance)
L’Oréal Professionnel INOA (hair care)
Clinique Repairwear Laser Focus Wrinkle & UV Damage Corrector (skin care) - nice choice!
Chanel Rouge Coco Hydrating Créme Lip Color (makeup) - I like this, but I can't tell you that the full-coverage lipstick is my fave.

Breakthrough Product of the Year in Mass Markets
Johnson and Johnson Bioelectricity Technology (skin care)
Maybelline New York Instant Age Rewind Eraser Treatment Makeup (makeup) - I need to test this one.
Garnier Fructis Style Sleek and Shine Blow Dry Perfector (hair care)

Most Innovative Marketer of the Year in Prestige
Carol’s Daughter for My Life by Mary J. Blige (company)
Pamela Baxter of LVMH Perfumes and Cosmetics (person) - much deserved award!

Most Innovative Marketer of the Year in Mass Markets
P&G Beauty/Her (company)
Claudia Poccia of mark (person)

Most Innovative Ad Campaign in Prestige
Strivectin - isn't the latest crow's feet ad hilarious?

Most Innovative Ad Campaign in Mass Markets
Old Spice

Retailers of the Year
Macy’s (department store) - don't get this one, not to knock Macy's. Maybe the stores in my area aren't cutting edge. We sure don't have "Impulse Beauty."
Target (mass)
Topshop (specialty)

Best Executed Launch Strategy in Prestige

Estée Lauder Blue Dahlia collection (makeup) - the launch was brilliant!
Kiehl’s Cross-Terrain collection (skin)
Bumble and bumble partnership with Sephora (hair)
Coty Prestige for Bang by Marc Jacobs (fragrance)

Best Executed Launch Strategy in Mass Markets
Revlon (makeup)
L’Oréal Paris Go 360° Clean (skin)
Pantene (hair)
Jordin Sparks Because of You by Apra (fragrance)

What do you think? Did you rave about any of these products or campaigns this year?

List and photo courtesy of WWD - you really need a subscription

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Weekend Roundup - March 14, 2010

Kari at Fabulous Over Forty and I have been chatting about sharing a weekend roundup. She reached out to some other bloggers who were interested in participating. We aren't quite "there yet" with the official version or a set group (we need a name - got an idea?). We will share this one today anyhow. Some of you have told us you missed the old HLMN roundups. We are going to do something about that!

This was a busy week in beauty blogging land. There were some great posts - required reading for beauty lovers!

Kari has us coveting the Anastasia Mini Wax Kit! Who wouldn't want a wax that works? Check out her post at Fabulous Over Forty. You can buy it for only $12 at Ulta - or less. Did you get your Ulta coupon with the sale catalog in the mail?

Kelly at Gouldylox has the latest, greatest Perricone MD giveaway contest! She has an Advanced Face Firming Activator to give away - good stuff for your skin. You need to enter by March 20, so get over there and do it now!

Gaia reviewed the Edward Bess All Over Seduction Cream Highlighter in Sunlight at The Non-Blonde. Gaia, you are costing us money, honey! While you are at The Non-Blonde, you can find out what's happening with some of our favorite brands.

Amber is currently loving Vapour Organic Beauty. Go to Beauty Junkies Unite to find out how you can get your glow back with 100% natural and chemical free products that have a minimum of 70% certified organic ingredients.

We have to give a shout out to new beauty bloggers (this is hard work!). The darlin' Kristen, a girl obsessed with everything beauty (and an Armani veteran), is writing Belle La La. She reviewed Bath & Body Works Summer Vanilla this week. She chose Lemon Vanilla. Which one grabs you? Make sure to read about Aunt Liz at Belle La La!

Are you a MAC addict? Lianne at The Makeup Girl has the scoop on the new Too Fabulous Collection. It looks "too pretty"!

KarlaSugar posts fabulous swatches on The Next Best Thing to Going Shopping Yourself. Want to see Dior's Extas Pinks and Mystic Smokys, eye shadows for spring? Head over for some armchair shopping!

Do you nails need help? Did winter leave them brittle and breaking? Annieytown has the cure at Blogdorf Goodman with Dior's Creme Abricot. "Sitting down with the Creme Abricot, the orangewood stick, and a cup of hot Earl Grey tea, and just taking a bit of time to take care of myself" - sounds pretty good!

Jennifer at Beauty in Real Life keeps us grounded! She let us know how to get our hands on the latest, greatest CoverGirl mascara, LashBlast Fusion. The availability is limited right now, so hurry!

DivaDebbi trolls the beauty aisles at CVS (like the rest of us!), and she found a great lip liner! Now we'll need to try Q135/Plum Lasting Lip Pencil from CoverGirl's Queen Collection, named after Queen Latifah.

Felicia at This That Beauty is also going to cost us some money! L’Occitane has unveiled a brand spanking new makeup collection that draws its inspiration from the peony - the beautiful, fragrant, voluptuous peony. New makeup from L'Occitane - that's news!

Here at Best Things in Beauty, I reviewed Rouge Coco, Chanel's blockbuster new lipstick introduction. There has to be a shade with your name on it! The choices are gorgeous. A new contest started here yesterday, courtesy of Snubbr. Make sure to enter!

We hope you will enjoy these posts from beautyland. Have a great weekend! Did you spring forward?

Photo courtesy of BBC

Friday, February 12, 2010

Beauty Brands and Customer Loyalty

A PR guru sent me some information I found interesting. Hope you will too!

Brand Keys is a marketing research company that provides its customers with information about customer loyalty; what their customers will be thinking about and buying 18-24 months down the road; and what needs to be fixed, if anything, when customer loyalty starts to slip.

The company recently released its 2010 Customer Loyalty Engagement Index, the result of research that examines customers' relationships with 518 brands in 71 categories, including beauty.

For all 38 brands in the beauty categories tracked in the Brand Keys Index, attributes (factors) related to brand and the degree to which brands affect customer decision making, category-expectations, and "engagement" (loyalty) have increased significantly. "Our 2009 findings predicted that value, not price, was the watchword in consumer behavior. And you can't have the value conversation without the brand conversation, as true brands provide meaningful differentiation in a world overrun by commodities," noted Robert Passikoff, Brand Keys founder and president. He added, "With increased standardization and decreased product differentiation, a real brand can serve up the value consumers expect."

So what did they find in beauty land? These are the brands, among those studied, that received the highest loyalty and "engagement" assessments for 2010.

Luxury Cosmetics
  1. Estee Lauder
  2. Clinique
  3. Chanel
  4. Lancome
  5. Shisedo
Mass Merchandiser Cosmetics
  1. Mary Kay
  2. Maybelline
  3. L'Oreal
  4. CoverGirl
  5. Revlon
  6. Max Factor
  7. Neutrogena
  8. Avon
  9. Almay
  10. Sephora
  11. Rimmel
  12. Coty
Luxury Moisturizing Skin Care
  1. Clinique
  2. Estee Lauder
  3. Elizabeth Arden
  4. Lancome
  5. Shiseido
  6. Chanel
  7. Clarins
Mass Merchandiser Moisturizing Skin Care
  1. Mary Kay
  2. L'Oreal
  3. Aveeno
  4. Eucerin
  5. Neutrogena
  6. Vaseline
  7. Garnier
  8. Oil of Olay
  9. Nivea
  10. Ponds
Hair Color
  1. Clairol
  2. L'Oreal
  3. Garnier
  4. Revlon
For the Brand Keys 2010 survey, 33,500 consumers, 18 to 65 years of age, drawn from the nine U.S. Census regions, self-selected the categories in which they are consumers and the brands for which they are customers. They were interviewed by phone, face to face (to account for today's 20% of the population who are cell phone-only consumers) and online. If you are interested in the other categories ranked, such as department stores, just visit this link.

So, what do you think? Do these findings represent your preferences? Are you loyal to brands? I sure am! One example: I'll take one of Armani everything, please!

Logos courtesy of the companies listed

Monday, February 1, 2010

FDA Warns Dermatologists

Today's New York Times featured an article by Natasha Singer titled "F.D.A. Aims at Doctors' Drug Pitches." All credit for reporting belongs to Ms. Singer and the New York Times. The article was so interesting to me, I want to encourage you to read it on the New York Times Web site. For those who don't have time, here's a recap.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has regulations that prohibit clinical trial investigators from promoting drugs before they receive FDA approval. These regulations are intended to protect the public from unscrupulous investigators who "push" products that may not be deemed safe and/or effective once study results are examined by the FDA. So far, so good.

Now the FDA has turned its attention to the "rarified world" of fashion magazines and beauty editors, including Allure, and dermatologists who specialize in beauty, cosmedicine, injectables, and cosmetic surgery. The government agency recently warned Dr. Leslie Baumann (shown here - she looks great, huh?) that her comments to the media in 2007 regarding Dysport (an injectable anti-wrinkle drug that has not been approved) violated their regulations. Cited in the New York Times article were Dr. Baumann (frequently quoted in Allure) and Dr. Fredric Brandt, both considered "celebrity dermatologists."

The article left me wondering, "What's the difference between providing information and promoting an investigational drug?" Where do doctors draw the line between the public's insatiable appetite for news about beauty advances and promotion of unapproved drugs? I'll bet there are a lot of dermatologists trying to figure out what they can and cannot say - and to whom!

What do you think? Do you feel a need to be protected from advance information?

Photo and news courtesy of the New York Times

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Darphin Free Shipping Love Note

Now that's an offer! Darphin announced free shipping - any order of any size, all year, no code required! "Because we love you."

This was too good to "hide" in The Friday Forum comments. Head over to Darphin to shop. You can treat yourself and thank a beauty company for offering something we all love.

Photo courtesy of Darphin

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Beauty 360 - Now Online

CVS Pharmacy recently introduced e-commerce capabilities for Beauty 360, its prestige beauty retail store, making the Beauty 360 shopping experience accessible online for customers nationwide. Beauty 360 retail locations, which launched in November 2008, are adjacent to select CVS locations and provide convenient access to a wide and varied assortment of prestige cosmetic, skin care, hair care, fragrance, and grooming brands. Go next door for your Maybelline and Eucerin; pop into Beauty 360 for your Phillip B!

Currently, Beauty 360 has eight locations around the country and will continue to grow with additional locations opening throughout 2010. With the new e-commerce site, customers nationwide can take advantage of one-stop-shopping for everyday necessities and prescriptions, as well as their favorite prestige beauty products from top beauty brands through a shared shopping basket across both and [This is the model adopted by and]

"CVS Pharmacy has always been a leader in beauty, and launching the Beauty 360 concept was a milestone for us in being able to provide our customers with greater access to the prestige beauty products they love," said Mike Bloom, Senior Vice President of Merchandising and Supply Chain for CVS. "With the introduction of e-commerce for Beauty 360, we are making shopping for these luxury beauty products more convenient for everyone - especially the nearly six million customers who visit each month."

Beauty 360 shoppers will also reap the benefits of the CVS ExtraCare Rewards program, the largest retail loyalty program in the world, which provides 2% money back on all purchases, among other benefits. offers prestige beauty favorites across the skin care, cosmetics, hair care, and men's grooming categories from brands that include Vincent Longo, Philip B, Canyon Ranch, Freeze 24.7, Cargo, Bioelements, Neil George, Jack Black, Anthony Logistics for Men, Laura Geller, Paula Dorf, and BORBA Cosmetics.

To see the brands available at Beauty 360, click on this link. There you go! No CVS in your home state? Now you CVS-deprived friends have options!

Photos courtesy of Beauty 360
Press release courtesy of CVS

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Are You Being Served? New Strategies at Department Stores

Are You Being Served? was a British sitcom broadcast from 1972 to 1985, and it's one of my all-time favorite comedies (a list I could count on one hand). It was set in the men's and women's departments of Grace Brothers, a large, fictional London department store. The show featured humor based on sexual innuendo, misunderstandings, mistaken identities, and slapstick. There was occasional singing and dancing, along with outrageous costumes that the characters wore for store promotions, and gaudy store displays featuring malfunctioning robotic mannequins. The show is still enjoyed for its prolific use of double entendres, and no one was better at them than John Inman.

I laugh out loud at the antics of the lovable main characters.
  • The gay Mr. Humphries (shown above) was played by John Inman, a brilliant English actor, who died in 2007 (that was a sad day for me when I read of his death)
  • Captain Peacock, the floorwalker with unparalleled self-esteem
  • Mrs. Slocombe, the wig-wearing and naughty women's department manager; Mollie Sugden, who played Mrs. Slocombe, died this year
  • Miss Shirley Brahms, a young, attractive working-class cockney-speaking assistant to Mrs. Slocombe
  • Mr. Rumbold, the autocratic, obsequious manager of the floor
  • Mr. Lucas, the young, flirtatious junior salesman
  • Mr. Grace, the very old and feeble store owner who surrounded himself with well-endowed young women (also dead)
PBS runs the show every Saturday night at 7:00 pm in the DC area, and I'm usually watching. In addition to being great comedy, it reminds me of department stores in the glory days. How things have changed!

Today, department stores are struggling to find new models to help them stay alive and possibly grow their market share. Month after month, I read in WWD about the dismal declines in department stores' net income and profits. They have a lot of work to do to adjust to customers' aversion to high prices and poor service. Have you tried to buy something at Macy's in the last few years? Could you find a sales person at any register? Once you did, did you have to wait to buy something you had selected and tried on without assistance? Did you ever try to ask a question? Was it easy to find someone with a brain who could answer? Macy's has, purportedly, added 1,600 sales people in 69 cities across the country to supervise. Great, but those aren't the people who are going to be there to help me on the rare occasion I show up.

This month's WWDBeautyBiz has an interesting article called The Big Bang - department stores fighting back with new strategies to lure and keep customers. Ground zero is the beauty department. There's a reason the beauty department is front and center in department stores. Beauty makes money! Many top retail players are revamping and redesigning their beauty departments and experimenting with new formats, while they retrain their associates to develop relationships with their customers. In October, Bloomingdale's unveiled in New York what WWD called "arguably the most advanced high-tech selling floor in America." Bloomies' CEO knows, though, that high-tech is only half the story. Customer relationships are the other half of the equation.

At Saks, the beauty brands are teaming with the store to remodel their counters as the store invests in training and technology to help put associates in touch with their customers. I can count on great service at Saks in Chevy Chase, Maryland. I work with associates at Neiman Marcus who call or e-mail to alert me to upcoming bargains. I love Jane Makowka and Christopher Coles at Nordstrom, both of whom personify the best in relationship selling. As a side note, customer relationship management isn't a new concept. I led process architecture/improvement work for clients in the 1990s, and it was all about "knowing" your customers and building relationships with them. This was before department stores experienced the Great Recession, a jolt that forced them to join other industry sectors that had long known the value of "customer service."

I'm a loyal customer, and I buy from "my" sales associates over and over again (some, like Brent Holmes who sells shoes at Saks Chevy Chase, for as long as 40 years!). I drag them all over the store with me. If I find someone who cares about me, I care about them. I want them to get the commission on what I buy, not some "clerk" who happened to be near a register when I arrived after selecting my own purchases.

I wish the department stores well. I would hate to see them disappear. I like them. I hope their new strategies work. Their success will be better for all of us!

Meanwhile, I continue to fondly watch and laugh with the award-winning cast of Are You Being Served? They're a hoot!

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia