Friday, September 30, 2011

Guerlain Parure de Nuit Pressed Powder & Blush for Holiday 2011

Parure de Nuit Pressed Powder & Blush ($76) from Guerlain's Belle de Nuit Collection for the holidays is more than a mere powder compact; it is a lightly, violet scented skin enhancer that is a perfect partner for night birds. As light as a feather on the skin, the pale pink, white, deep pink, and blue green colors are topped with an iridescent and translucent sheen forming a universal harmony that gives the face an instant glow. Its black lacquer case conceals an extremely soft goat hair brush.

Use it to even out and illuminate the complexion all over the face. To highlight and sculpt the face, sweep over the three feathers diagonally and apply the powder to the cheekbones for a sophisticated blush effect.

I ordered this beautiful compact from AHAlife during the preview of the collection. I understand that the items in the collection arrived at Neiman Marcus yesterday, so it's trickling into the stores. It's a gorgeous compact - the kind you hate to use because it's so pretty.

Use I did, as I tested it on my face and took swatch photos. I wanted you to see three views: 1) the light shade only, 2) the shade of the blush you can create if you run a small brush diagonally across the feathers, and 3) the blended shade.

On my arm at right and at left below, you can see all three views. At the top near my wrist, the light (background) shade was applied with a sponge-tipped applicator. The diagonal peacock feather pink was applied with another sponge-tipped applicator below. The blended shade at the bottom was applied with a dense blush brush. In all three views, I applied the powder heavily. The photos were taken in full sun.

The easiest way to use the palette on the face or cheeks will be to blend the shades. While it's not impossible, applying only the lightest or darkest shades takes a bit of brush skill (and the right brush). The lightest background shade is a pink-tinted ivory (or white). The "feather" shade is a gorgeous pink. It's as pretty as it looks in the compact. The blended shade is a sparkling warm pink that you should be able to see pretty well in my swatch photos.

If you are game for the work of selecting the lighter and darker shades, the photo below right below should give you a good idea of the gorgeous shades that will result. I'd love to have a blusher exactly the color of the "feather" shade. It's extremely flattering.

The powder is fragranced. It has a typical Guerlain violet fragrance. I noticed that the scent sticks around for a little longer than I prefer, but it's not distracting.

The luxury compact comes with a velveteen pouch. The lower level houses a wide, useful goat hair brush with blue-green bristles, extending the peacock feather theme nicely. Unless you turn the brush on its side, using it to select individual shades will be difficult. It's a great brush for applying the blended shades.

I think this Parure de Nuit Pressed Powder & Blush is a definite win for Guerlain - one of those must-buy items for makeup lovers. Anyone who likes a pretty, sparking pink to perk up her looks or a pink-toned highlighting powder will be extremely pleased with this treasure.

Keep your eyes peeled for this one at your favorite Guerlain counter. I purchased mine from

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

The Friday Forum - September 30

What a strange week! My last week in September flew by, punctuated by two MRIs. Later today, I find out why I have what appears to be a pinched nerve in my neck. I decided last night that I've been trying to do way too much and need to slow down a little. Now that Charlie is healing, we have only one more vet visit on the calendar. I can check those trips off the to-do list, which will delight Bengal Boy. I hope I don't have to substitute my own set of doctor visits.

This week, I couldn't figure out why comments on the blog features had dropped off so radically. It turns out they hadn't. You've been here to comment...I haven't! Normally, Blogger sends me an e-mail each time someone comments. That's how I know to respond. This week, even though I had done nothing to change my settings, I stopped receiving those e-mails. After a little investigation, I figured it out. Google Gmail was flagging its own Google Blogger e-mails as spam! Isn't that priceless? Now, I've got to figure out how to fix that problem. I started by adding Google as a contact. I wanted you to know that I haven't been ignoring your comments. I tried to catch up early this morning, and I'll figure out how to instruct Google that Google is safe later today - if my first step doesn't work.

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 this week? Are you using a fabulous product and want to sing its praises? Did you find a beauty product disappointing? Do you have a question others might be able to answer? Want to talk about skin care? What's new in your life? Just use the comments. Don't be shy. Just make sure to ask any question you might have over the weekend. By early the next week, most (not all) readers have moved on.

Last night, I went to a media event at Saks Fifth Avenue in Chevy Chase. We got a sneak peek at Beauty Week, which starts today. There are plenty of gifts with purchase, and the free tote with samples is darling. Green, purple, and silver, who could choose? I brought home green. Today and tomorrow, Saks is having a gift card event. Depending on how much you spend, you can get a gift card for use later. It's like free money!

As always, I enjoyed talking to my buddy Loyd Cassler, now at Chanel, and Christina, the Guerlain specialist, who introduced me to some fragrances that are only sold in the DC area at her counter. I'm glad I went, and I'll have more information about events - there and at Neiman Marcus - for you DC-area gals this weekend.

There are a couple of noteworthy Friends & Family events underway (20% discounts). Today is the last day for New London Pharmacy's event, so make sure to check it out. The code is on the home page. Also, Beautyhabit is celebrating F&F. The code is FF11. Their discount event ends Sunday night. Beauty lovers can get some great deals. I'm sure I've missed events or specials this week - given my schedule - so please share in the comments. We all love a good discount.

Don't forget the fantabulous Giorgio Armani Beauty giveaway contest that ends tomorrow night, October 1. When I published it, I typed Saturday, October 2. I should have typed October 1, so please enter soon if you want a chance to win a wonderful Eyes to Kill Mascara in Brown.

Photo by Best Things in Beauty; it's a Chinese herb that volunteered in my garden

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Jouer Crème Eyeshadow - Cashmere for Taupe Lovers

I ordered one of Jouer's Crème Eyeshadows ($20) recently. Every time I see a cream shadow I haven't tried, I order at least one. I love cream eye shadows; I like their look, feel, application, and wear.

I saw that Jouer offered four shades: Chiffon, Feather, Cashmere, and Organza. I nearly ordered Chiffon. Then I decided it was too predictable (for me), and I needed to branch out of my comfort zone. I ordered Cashmere, which wasn't a huge leap since it's described as a shimmering taupe. Taupe and I go together like best buddies. You can probably imagine my delight when it arrived, particularly if you've used Jouer Cosmetics.

Lightweight in texture with a velvety finish, Jouer's Crème Eyeshadows offer a subtle shimmer. They can be worn alone as a shadow, layered to illuminate the eye, or smudged along the lash line to create natural definition. The soft, exquisitely blendable formula ensures easy fingertip application if you wish, but I use a cream shadow brush to apply my new treasure.

The Cashmere shade is fascinating. It's definitely taupe, with a gleaming, subtle shimmer, but it's almost two shades in one, depending on whether I apply it lightly or heavily. I took two photos of the compact, one in indirect light and one with the pan held toward the elusive sun. The sun has only made rare appearances here this week, and I scramble for photos when it shines.

I painted on Cashmere with a cream shadow brush for the swatch photo above, which was taken in bright light, but not 100% full sun. I got a nice color rendition, but realized I needed a swatch photo of the "light version." So I quickly wiped off the heavy swatch and dashed outside for a photo of a light application. With a light touch, Cashmere is like an antique gold with a touch of taupe. As you build the coverage, it becomes more and more taupe. This feature delights me! The light application is shown at right.

Here's one more photo of the heavy application at left. Basically, I feel like I got two gorgeous cream shadows for $20, the price of one. Now I'm annoyed with myself for not purchasing all four shades when the discount event was underway. I want the other three.

I know that some women have a difficult relationship with cream eye shadows. They may not be the best option for those with oily skin and especially oily eyelids. For me, with my dry skin, they are a fabulous option. They add a gleam that my eyelids don't have naturally. I think they draw attention to my eyes, which are my best feature. So far, I've experienced great wear with Jouer Crème Eyeshadow. It stays where I put it and doesn't fade or migrate into the crease. I do wear a primer.

You can purchase Jouer's lovely cream shadows and all of their products at the company's Web site and Henri Bendel (also Skin 6|2 in Las Vegas). Jouer's Luminizing Moisture Tint, which some of you recommended last week, recently won an Allure Best of Beauty 2011 Award. Maybe I'll break down and order that and more eye shadow. I'm weak when it comes to lust-worthy makeup.

Photos by Best Things in Beauty

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Giorgio Armani Beauty Eyes to Kill Mascara Giveaway Contest - Limited-Edition Brown

Since its introduction, Giorgio Armani Beauty's Eyes to Kill Mascara has taken the world by storm. A limited-edition Brown shade (#2) was introduced this year. It was so popular, it sold out. You are unlikely to find any remaining at Armani Cosmetics counters. Luckily, I have one Brown shade to give away (Black is shown in the photo here)!

Dress the eye with powerful, plush, voluminous lashes. Fine, fluid Microfil technology creates intensely captivating lash texture. Micro-waxes combined with a “fineness agent” allow for smooth and easy application, revealing weightless volume.

If you don't know about Eyes to Kill, you should. It applies easily, carrying the color all the way to the tips to lengthen in one fell swoop, adds a realistic "body" to the lashes, separates the lashes, never flakes off or smudges, leaves no clumps behind, and lasts all day. For many women, it has become a must-have-at-all-times mascara. This limited-edition brown shade is so cool, I'd like to have it.

How can you enter to win? All you really have to do is leave a comment on this feature. After you comment here, feel free to send me an e-mail at and identify your comment. You can never be too careful about sharing an e-mail address you care about on a blog, so feel free to follow this step (an alternative is to code your e-mail, e.g., myname at gmail dot com, in your comment).

You can earn extra entries. Follow this blog (through an e-mail subscription or though one of the many Google readers - see sidebar at right) to earn a second entry. 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. One easy way is to follow by e-mail subscription or to ensure that Best Things in Beauty is on your blog list if you have a Google account.

You can earn a third entry by tweeting this contest. Just make sure to include "@BTiBeauty" (without the quotes) and the contest title in your tweet. I will tweet the contest soon, and you can simply retweet it to earn that second entry. Only one tweet will be counted as an entry. I appreciate multiple tweets, but it's not necessary.

The deadline for entries will be Saturday, October 1, at midnight. The next day, I will use a random number generator ( to select the winner. I will e-mail the winner on Sunday. 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 won't be able to replace it with another. I'll do my best on this end; let's see if your mail service does right by you on the other end if we have an overseas winner. Lately, my shipping luck has improved significantly.

Good luck!

P.S. This is not the waterproof Eyes to Kill Mascara. It is a new, unused, full-sized tester and will be sent to the winner without a mascara box.

Photo courtesy of Giorgio Armani Beauty

Guerlain Météorites Perles de Nuit for Holiday 2011

The Météorites Perles de Nuit ($56), shown above, could not be more evocative of the theme for the Belle de Nuit Collection for the holidays. The cult favorite powder is back, reinvented for the holiday season. Although the formula remains untouched, Météorites Perles de Nuit leaves the face glowing and radiant with a new harmony of five perfectly smooth pearls to correct, illuminate, and even the skin. It is composed of pink pearls to capture light, white to illuminate the complexion, gold to reflect light, pastel orange to boost radiance, and silver to add shimmer without whitening the skin. Guerlain has made the newest Météorites a must-have in its stunning dark blue case.

I received the first few items I ordered from the collection (, and I want to start showing them to you. I started with the most difficult one to show you - difficult because the Météorites Perles de Nuit powder is a face powder, not a blush. It's intended to give your face a pearly glow - not a shimmering night look or a blush of color for your cheeks.

My photo of the little powder pearls is shown above right. The color - to my eye - is accurately represented in my photo. Guerlain's photo at the top makes the pearls look more golden than they appear "in real life."

Gettting a swatch photo was nearly impossible, but I tried. I can see the swatch on my skin - roughly within the red rectangle drawn to delineate it in the photo - but I'm not at all sure you will be able to see it. The overall color is a golden peachy-pink, glowing, with only a few sparkles. The effect is not shimmery. I love the way it catches the light without being ostentatious.

The powder is flattering on my face. I will use it to set my makeup and to add a glow to my look - day or night. I'm thrilled to have the latest Guerlain's Météorites illuminating powder.

Guerlain's Holiday Color Collection will be available in October at Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman, Nordstrom, Bloomingdale's, and Sephora. The collection is already available at

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

The Lipstick Queen Jean Queen

Finally, there's a Lipstick Queen counter in the "backwaters" of the Washington, DC area! The newly expanded and magnificent beauty department at Bloomingdale's Tysons Corner Center has a Space NK counter, which includes Lipstick Queen by Poppy King, By Terry, and some other great brands. I dropped by last weekend and spent some quality time browsing. I came home with Lipstick Queen By Poppy lip colors, including the Jean Queen Lipstick ($18) and Lip Gloss ($18).

Jean Queen is a special pink lip color that offsets the blue in denim and lights up your whole face at the same time. "One stroke and you and your jeans go from drab to fab!" With a super-silky feel on the lips and just the right amount of shine to contrast with denim, these pinks suit all skin tones. Besides that, the packaging is extra-cute. It will attract your attention on the display.

The lipstick is super-sheer. I totally loved it when I tried it on my arm in the store, and I love it on my lips. The color reminds me of my new-ish Tongue Tickles Succulence of Dew from Rouge Bunny Rouge. The lip gloss is actually more pigmented than the lipstick and provides a lovely shine. The two lip colors can be worn together or alone, the perfect companion to your blue jeans (or anything else). Even the packaging has a denim theme. I think it's clever; it preceded a recent French luxury collection with a similar theme.

Despite the fact that our area has turned into Seattle - or maybe a rain forest - I was able to get a few swatch photos to show you. My photos were taken with clouds, but it was during a bright stretch. The lipstick is shown at the top of my arm, and the lip gloss is below.

The pink is a warm rose pink to my eye. It's absolutely gorgeous on the lips. Not only is the color a perfect complement to denim, it makes my eyes look really blue. There's something about this rose-pink shade that enlivens my face. I look alive and cheerful when I wear this color - even if my back hurts. The formulas are nicely hydrating.

Poppy says this color "offsets" jeans perfectly for day or evening. I agree, but I wouldn't limit the use of these scrumptious colors to jeans days! The lipstick and lip gloss shades are similar, but not exact duplicates. That's why I needed both - as you will.

I am thrilled to have a Lipstick Queen counter in our area. If you live nearby, you should go see the new beauty department at Bloomingdale's. Even if you don't live near DC, you too can wear Poppy King's legendary lip colors. Just click on this link to find a retail outlet near you.

Even though I'm a new Lipstick Queen wearer, I'll bet some of you aren't. Are you a fan?

Top photo courtesy of the Lipstick Queen; other photos by Best Things in Beauty

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Bobbi Brown 20th Anniversary Lip Palette

In 1991, discouraged by the lack of flattering lip colors that were available, Bobbi Brown decided to make her own palette. She created 10 lipstick shades that had a brown base, which, in her opinion, was the most natural complement to a woman's skin tone. After a small editorial mention in a magazine, Bobbi found herself taking phone orders from her home. It wasn't long before she caught the attention of Bergdorf Goodman, which ultimately launched her eponymous collection. Bobbi hoped that she would sell 100 lipsticks in her first month at the store and ended up meeting that goal in just one day.

Created in celebration of Bobbi Brown Cosmetics' 20th anniversary, the limited-edition 20th Anniversary Lip Palette ($60) features the original 10 lipsticks and 10 additional new, bright, modern, and wearable colors that showcase how the brand has evolved in the last 20 years. All the shades can be worn alone or mixed together to create your own unique looks - particularly with the shades that may not be your best. Don't care for Burnt Red? Mix it with Pink Martini, and you'll have a third shade. Beige is a flattering neutral shade by itself, but it can be mixed with a brighter color, like Watermelon, to create a more muted in-between shade.
"Lipstick is one of the simplest makeup steps and a great way to instantly change your look," Bobbi Brown remarked. What a great way to celebrate 20 Pretty Powerful years! What will Bobbi be doing 20 years from now? She hopes to be doing exactly what she's doing now. Helping women is her passion.

I ordered the palette online a few days ago from Bobbi's Web site. I can't wait for it to arrive. I know that Neiman Marcus received the anniversary palette, and all Bobbi Brown counters will have it for sale in October.

Photos courtesy of Bobbi Brown

Van Cleef & Arpels Féerie Rose des Neiges Eau de Toilette

The limited-edition Féerie Rose des Neiges Eau de Toilette by Van Cleef & Arpels ($90) retains all the luxury and elegance of the original Féerie, with a fairy that weaves a connection between Haute Joaillerie and Haute Parfumerie. This time a winter rose with a magical name conveys the mysterious brilliance of the house's precious gems. Féerie Rose des Neiges (Winter Rose) was launched this fall, just in time for winter, and I fell in love with it at first whiff.

The facets of the bottle endlessly reflect the soft light of the winter sun - at once pure, vivid, and mysterious. As sparkling as ever, Rose des Neiges is dressed in pearly white in tribute to the pretty white rose that bears its name.

The figural bottle reminds me of my figural sterling silver - prized antiques that can't be replicated today with the kind of precision that was possible with handmade silver in the 19th century.

Féerie Rose des Neiges is a clean, pure, and delicate fruity-floral fragrance. At first whiff, it smells like a luscious blend of roses and blackberries. The top notes are bailes rose, magnolia, airelles (huckleberry, I think), pear, litchi, pink peppercorns, and cranberries. The fruits shine. The heart notes include rose, magnolia, peony, and blackberry - floral, but with a distinct fruity reminder. The soft base notes are cedarwood, tonka bean, sandalwood, and musks.

The top notes offer a fruity freshness, while the clear heart of rose and magnolia provides a dominant floral, yielding a balance that's lovely. The final trail, consisting primarily of cedarwood and tonka bean, brings a soft earthy, and pleasant dry-down. This is one of those fragrances that instantly attracts, but also holds the nose through its progressions. Kathy Shoreman recommended it to me, and she was spot-on. It's gorgeous! The fragrance is divine, and the unique bottle is a little work of art.

The bottle retains the same shape as the previous editions, this time in pearly white color that symbolizes white roses and winter sun. Van Cleef & Arpels Féerie Rose des Neiges is available in a 30 and 50 ml Eau de Toilette. It's currently a Neiman Marcus exclusive. Definitely check it out if you are headed that way.

Photo courtesy of Van Cleef & Arpels

You Must Experience a Kate Somerville DermalQuench Oxygen Treatment

Last week, I had an appointment to have my second-ever complimentary Kate Somerville DermalQuench Oxygen Treatment at Neiman Marcus Tysons Galleria. I had booked the last appointment of the day for a DermalQuench. What a way to end the day! I wish I had had somewhere to go.

Two of Kate's lovely team members, Nina Montelibano and Aleen Vartkessian, had come to the DC area for a couple of days, and we lucked out with a full day of treatments for those who knew the magic of DermalQuench and had booked an appointment.

The DermalQuench Oxygen Treatment produces instant, unbelievable results. Neiman Marcus and other Kate Somerville counters occasionally offer the treatments for free - treatments that cost hundreds of dollars elsewhere. When Nina finished my hour-long treatment, I looked as if I had stepped out of a time capsule into a face that I had about five years ago. It was amazing. My face had a glow, and it had "lost" all the fine lines. Even my nasolabial folds (smile lines around the mouth) weren't as deep. My skin was plumped, youthful, and pretty.

Kate Somerville's DermalQuench Oxygen Treatment is delivered through a pen-like wand (connected to the oxygen machine) that pumps booster serum and oxygen into the skin in short alternating bursts. It's so hydrating and plumping it literally takes off years. This treatment is well-known among celebrities who suffer from jet lag or have to walk the red carpet looking fabulous. It's starting to be well-known among my set (ordinary women), unwilling to look "older," but not willing to endure expensive, painful, and bruising injections. I hear many women have asked where they can buy the DermalQuench machine, and I know why. The treatment could be addictive. I'd like to have one before I leave the house for important events!

By delivering oxygen, vitamins, and hyaluronic acid serum under hyperbaric pressure, DermalQuench produces age-defying results. The treatment feels like a high-powered airbrushing. It's cool, gentle, and relaxing - hard to explain - and there's absolutely no discomfort. After a treatment, the skin is hydrated, plumped, soothed, softened, toned, and firmed. The treatment can be used anywhere on your face. Concerned about your undereye area? No problem - the treatment can be applied there. Concerned about your whole face? No problem! The treatment can cover your entire face; it will just take a little longer. Nina did most of my face. She worked around my eyes as we chatted about everything. Once Aleen had finished up with her customer, she joined our chat. I felt like I'd spent an hour with my girlfriends. It was over before I knew it. I had fun while Nina made me look good!

The results are said to last two to three days, long enough to look younger (and great) for a big event. I've experienced two days of bliss (not three) on the two occasions I've been treated to a DermalQuench treatment.

If you live in the DC area, call Margarita Vega at (703) 761-1600, extension 3304, to find out the next date for treatments and book an appointment. While you're at a Kate Somerville counter anywhere, you should take the opportunity learn about Kate Somerville's fabulous skin-care products that will make you glow. You'll want to prolong the effects of your treatment after you have one. I love Kate's skin care and have slowing been adding more and more of her products to my rotation.

If you don't live in the DC area, you have options. Most Kate Somerville counters offer DermalQuench Oxygen Treatments now and then, so ask. Kate's own clinic in Los Angeles provides all Kate Somerville services.

You need to do this! I have never experienced a treatment that took off years in just a few minutes - until I had a DermalQuench. Want to see a cool video? Check out this one from just one clinic that uses this fabulous Kate Somerville technology. Or Google DermalQuench to see what the commotion's all about.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Bobbi Brown Party Eye Palette - Warm and Cool

Bobbi Brown scores again! The new Bobbi Brown Warm Party Eye Palette ($45) is available in warm and cool shades. I jumped for the warm one. It was a tough decision; they are both gorgeous.

Pop the bubbly! Champagne, gold, and copper shades accentuate and complement any attire for the holidays. This six-shade palette, which includes a Mini Dual Ended Eye
Shadow/Eyeliner Brush, has the following shades that are perfect for a neutral shadow lover. These neutrals have some pizazz, making them perfect for day or evening.
  • Bone Shimmer Wash Eye Shadow
  • Champagne Quartz Metallic Eye Shadow
  • Pebble Metallic Eye Shadow
  • Pink Blaze Sparkle Eye Shadow
  • Copper Sand Shimmer Wash Eye Shadow
  • Black Chocolate Eye Shadow
I swatched the palette left to right, starting at the top of my arm with the Bone Shimmer Wash Eye Shadow at the top left in the palette, then swatching the lower row. I applied each shade heavily with a sponge-tipped applicator - except Black Chocolate, which needed no help for a photo.

I'll be wearing every shade in this palette. The shimmering and metallic shades have plenty of pigment and apply beautifully. While Black Chocolate is too dark for me to use as a shadow, unless I apply it extremely lightly (which I can do), it's a perfect liner that coordinates well with all the other shades in the palette.

Although I like all the shades, I'm particularly fond of Champagne Quartz, a golden peach that's a perfect eye opener and Copper Sand, a shade I've grown to love since reader Eileen pointed out how good it can look on blue and green eyes. It's a shade I had avoided in "the olden days." Even the pink-toned Pink Blaze looks good, and I have difficulties with pink shades on my eyelids.

It's nice that the dual-ended brush comes in the compact. It's handy in case you decide to carry it along for a touch-up when you are going out to an evening event after work. At home, I'd use one of my regular brushes.

The two new Party Eye Palettes have arrived at some Bobbi Brown counters. Look for them at Neiman Marcus (where I purchased mine) and Bluemercury. I shopped yesterday and didn't see the palettes yet at Nordstrom or Bloomingdale's, but they should arrive soon.

The photo below is the Party Eye Palette in Cool. I knew you'd want to see it.
Photos courtesy of Bobbi Brown

In Depth: Le Métier de Beauté Revive Eye Concentrate

I promised an in-depth look at Le Métier de Beauté's fabulous new skin care after I had a month to try some of the products. Today, I'll report on the Revive Eye Concentrate ($175), the first product I purchased.

Why was it first? I love eye area treatments. I see signs of aging around my eyes. I have those pesky expression lines that prove I smile too much and have not been injected with Botox. I have a little crepiness over the crease - normal at my age, but annoying nonetheless. Additionally, my dry skin is particularly dry around my eyes. My eye area is the first to show dehydration. So, I started with Revive Eye Concentrate. Even though I wanted all the products, I couldn't afford to buy them all at once.

Revive Eye Concentrate with Syntoc Actif + HydrationPlus Complexe (to use its extended name) is an innovative eye treatment featuring a hydrating protein-peptide complex that penetrates the dermis to reduce puffiness and improve lymphatic circulation and elasticity. It's designed to repair and plump the delicate skin around the eyes. Using Le Métier de Beauté's exclusive Syntoc Actif delivery system, which delivers the active ingredients directly to the dermis where they are needed, it offers these key ingredients.
  • Hesperidin methyl chalcone decreases capillary permeability to reduce edema (water retention that causes puffiness and even worse, slackening skin).
  • A state-of-the-art dipeptide improves lymphatic circulation and further reduces edema.
  • Palmitoyl tetrapeptide, a regenerating peptide that has been shown to improve elasticity and strengthen the skin around the eyes. It can slow or inhibit glycation and inflammatory damage too.
In the past year or so, I have found eye creams with peptides to be enormously effective, and I'm a proponent of anti-glycation products. I was eager to get my hands on the Eye Concentrate, and I purchased it the first day in August it was available at Neiman Marcus. I've been using it twice/day since, about a month, except for a two-day test (read below).

The experience of using Revive Eye Concentrate is extremely pleasing. I really like the pump container, although I'll admit I had to learn to use a light hand. The first few times I pumped, I got too much product. I used the excess around my mouth because I didn't want to waste it. I've got the touch perfected now. The only thing I might request to improve the container is the addition of a window. I'd like to know how much I'm using and when I'm approaching the day I need to buy a new one. I imagine one day I'll pump and get a spurt, but it would be nice to know when I must head to the store. I will buy this eye treatment again!

The light pink, creamy serum smells like rose hip oil. It's a very light, pleasant fragrance that I smell on application, but not long after. I use it over and under my eyes. The concentrate absorbs rapidly, leaving the feeling and look of moisture on my skin without any greasiness that can interfere with makeup or trap water overnight. I have found that it's perfect for use on its own; I don't need any additional cream around my eyes.

Even better, it works - really well. Since I started using it, I've noticed two major changes. The crepiness on the inner side of my eyes over the crease has been reduced significantly, making my eyes look younger and better, and the fine lines under my eyes have been blurred. I can crinkle my face (or smile) and force them to reappear, but they have definitely diminished. I've also experienced no puffiness in the morning - even after one nine-hour night sleeping on my side.

I found the effects to be somewhat miraculous, so I decided to go two days in my test period without it. I used a hydrating cream without peptides on one day and nothing on the next, a hide-out weekend day. I certainly noticed a difference. My areas of concern were back. That little test told me two things: 1) I need to use Revive Eye Concentrate every day, twice a day, as directed, and 2) a month's duration may not have produced lasting effects at the cellular level. That stands to reason, given a skin cell's life cycle. I'm just now nearing a turnover, at one month, and I hadn't finished a complete cycle when I ran my two-day test.

The verdict? I would recommend Le Métier de Beauté Revive Eye Concentrate to everyone. I think it will work well for any skin type because of its lightweight texture and rapid absorption. It's one of the best eye treatments I've ever used. Those of us who know Le Métier de Beauté would expect nothing less. Topping it will be tough for the competition.

You can purchase Le Métier de Beauté's Revive Eye Concentrate at Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman. Neiman Marcus has a live chat tomorrow, September 27, with a Le Métier de Beauté expert from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm CT. You can get to the chat from this link if you have any questions you'd like to ask.

Photo courtesy of Neiman Marcus

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Travalo Refillable Perfume Spray

You have a favorite fragrance. You want to take it along with you - perhaps to work, for a long weekend, or on an airplane. You don't want to take the whole bottle. You don't want to pack it in your luggage and hope it doesn't leak at altitude. What do you do?

For years, I looked for reasonably priced, small spray bottles that I could refill. I looked at department stores and discount stores, but I never found one I liked that was "the right price." Then, I started buying bottles in bulk. If you don't want to order hundreds of fragrance spray bottles, Travalo's Refillable Perfume Spray is a tremendous option.

Travalo is a finger-sized perfume atomizer that replaces the need to carry a heavy glass perfume bottle. It makes traveling with your favorite fragrance simple. It's newly available in the United States and Canada, and it’s great for on-the-go gals. Travalo is available in a variety of colors and has the TSA stamp of approval. It’s a travel essential, but also great for purses, gym bags, and the office.

Travalo fills directly from almost any fragrance bottle with a removable spray head. Take your Travalo straight out of the packaging, and it's ready to use immediately. Simply remove the nozzle from your fragrance bottle, pump Travalo up and down on the tube, and you can be ready to go in a few seconds.

I love the way it fills. I don't need a funnel, and there's nothing complicated for me to take apart. I can't tell you how much expensive fragrance I've wasted over the years, spilling it as I tried to fill a little spray bottle. What's even worse are those fragrance bottles with non-removable tops. Don't get me going. Why do manufacturers do that?

Travalo will give you about 50 sprays. It has an integrated fill-level indicator window to show how much fragrance you have left, so you never run out unexpectedly. It's aircraft-approved, 98% recyclable (but why would you discard it?), and has no dangerous glass parts - features to love! Not only that, it comes with a lifetime guarantee.

The company sent me a Travalo Classic, which is available in several colors. It costs $15.99. There is another, newer model, the Travalo Excel, which is a little more expense, but comes with a case. I think the Travalo is a great buy. I wish it had been available when I was looking for a travel spray container.

You can find it online at this Travalo link. There is also a store locator at the site. This is a "gizmo" fragrance fans should have. InStyle and Oprah have discovered it. You can too. I think I'm going to order a few for holiday gifts.

Photo courtesy of Travalo

Smashbox Beauty in Bloom Eye Palette Giveaway Contest

Smashbox's Beauty in Bloom is an eye wardrobe in one palette. Each of the three trios in the palette gives you a complete look or you can mix and match with your choice of three base shades, three lid shades, and three contour, liner, or crease shades. Your eyes can be golden one day and plum the next - all with one palette. I like options, and this nine-shade palette provides plenty of options.

The palette was available at Nordstrom in a Glambox kit. I found myself with an extra one, so one lucky Best Things in Beauty reader can win it. There are a few simple steps to enter this contest. Please note: this is a three-day contest, unlike the weekly Best Things in Beauty giveaway contests. I'll be starting another fabulous giveaway mid-week.

All you really have to do is leave a comment on this feature. After you comment here, feel free to send me an e-mail at and identify your comment. You can never be too careful about sharing an e-mail address you care about on a blog, so feel free to follow this step (an alternative is to code your e-mail, e.g., myname at gmail dot com, in your comment).

You can earn extra entries. Follow this blog (through an e-mail subscription or though one of the many Google readers - see sidebar at right) to earn a second entry. 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. One easy way is to follow by e-mail subscription or to ensure that Best Things in Beauty is on your blog list if you have a Google account.

You can earn a third entry by tweeting this contest. Just make sure to include "@BTiBeauty" (without the quotes) and the contest title in your tweet. I will tweet the contest this evening, and you can simply retweet it to earn that second entry. Only one tweet will be counted as an entry. I appreciate multiple tweets, but it's not necessary.

The deadline for entries will be Wednesday, September 28, at midnight. The next day, I will use a random number generator ( to select the winner. I will e-mail the winner on Sunday. 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 won't be able to replace it with another. I'll do my best on this end; let's see if your mail service does right by you on the other end if we have an overseas winner. Lately, my shipping luck has improved significantly.

Update: I left in the contest text some words about choosing a shade. Silly me! All shades come in one palette. Sorry for confusing everyone!

Good luck!

Murad Complete Reform with Glyco Firming Complex

The highly rated Murad Complete Reform with Glyco Firming Complex ($67) is an anti-aging serum that will reverse the visible signs of aging to reveal young, fresh skin. A patented, multi-benefit treatment transforms the skin, increasing firmness by 61% after just one application. It also improves skin texture to reveal softer, smoother skin.

Glyco Firming Complex restores tone while helping to protect elastin to preserve a youthful resilience to the skin on the face and neck. The wonder-ingredient, glycolic acid, exfoliates dry, dead cells for smoother, softer, healthier-looking skin. Beta-carotene, a carotenoid and retinol precursor, reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles without irritation. The serum also contains retinyl palmitate. In short, it's packed with anti-aging ingredients.

Murad generously sent me this wonderful serum, but I asked my friend Berry to test it because it has retinyl palmitate in it (many of you know I have a difficult relationship with retinol). She's a bit younger than me, but shares the same concerns: aging skin and fine lines. She's also concerned about firmness, so I thought she might enjoy testing Complete Reform. I was right! Here's what Berry had to say after six weeks of use.

I love this serum. It makes my skin feel firm, strong, and protected. I think it also reduced the redness in my face.

The pale gold serum is light and easily absorbed, but leaves a moist feel without the shiny look I get from some moisturizers. It does not conflict with other products, moisturizers, or makeup; there's no product build-up that makes foundation roll off my face. [ed: That delighted me since many products with exfoliators among their ingredients do make the layers above "ball up."]

On application, it has a clean, light scent that disappears as the serum absorbs. So, it's a nice treat for a few minutes. A little dab goes a long way, making the cost a good value. Not only that, the plastic pump bottle is easy to use and carry along when we take off for a weekend.

I see Berry pretty often. I saw her at breakfast recently, and her skin has never looked better. She responds well to retinyl palmitate, and now we know she also responds well to glycolic acid. There's no reason for Berry to worry about adding years.

Murad makes highly acclaimed and effective skin care. Dr. Murad holds many patents, has written best-selling books on skin care, and has unlocked the cellular water principle. A board-certified dermatologist, pharmacist, and Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine (Dermatology) at UCLA, Dr. Murad is widely acknowledged as one of the world's foremost authorities on skin health. A true visionary, Dr. Murad has changed the fields of skin care and dermatology. His pioneering efforts include creation of the first line of doctor branded skin care, the development of the first aesthetic AHA formulations, the first medical spa and the first Inclusive Health Center. He continues to create cutting-edge formulations for topical skin care, including countless discoveries that have translated ethnobotanical resources into important advances in health and wellness.

If you would like to try any of the Murad products, the company is having a Friends & Family event now. Use the code SAVE20 at, and you will reduce your cost and get free shipping. Can't beat that! Remember, if your skin doesn't look good, your makeup won't either.

Photo courtesy of Murad

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Edward Bess Quad Royale Poudre Éclat Quatre Couleurs in Summer in Capri (with Swatches)

Everyone wanted to see the new Edward Bess Quad Royale Poudre Éclat Quatre Couleurs in Summer in Capri ($45) swatched - myself included. First, I wanted to get photos of the compact unused, which I was able to do with some effort today. When the weather forecasters say it's going to be mostly cloudy, they mean there will be very little sun. Today, they were correct. Fortunately "very little sun" did equate to a ray of sunshine now and then, and I was able to get half-decent photos.

I love this Quad Royale palette. The pastel shades are light, subtle, and perfect for me. They may suit those with darker skin as well, but the effect will be different. I want to gush, but I'm holding off until the end of this feature.

The powder is extremely creamy. The effect on the skin is sophisticated and flattering. I swatched the individual shades with a sponge-tipped applicator and was struck immediately by the creamy consistency. I blended all four shades together with a dense blush brush and applied a circular swatch lightly, just a tiny bit darker than I'd apply the powder to my face. My photos were taken as I danced through my garden during short bursts of sunshine.

Let's start with the subtle blended shade shown above. I hope you can see in that photo and the other below that the fours shades blended, as they are intended to be used, provide a glowing, beige-pink color to the skin. Remember that you can click on the photos to enlarge them. I took photos with different floral backgrounds so that you could see the color with pink vs yellow flowers in the background. I hoped that would help emphasize the warm pink shade of the powder.

I did swatch all four shades individually. I swatched in a clockwise order, starting at the top left of the compact. That shade, at the top of my arm, is a pink-peach hybrid - more peach than pink. The pink Japanese anemones in the background may help illustrate that.

The two nudes are perfect shades. One is darker than the other. Both blend beautifully with the other shades. I love the cool tones (there's absolutely no mud or camel in them). Between the two nude shades, there's a very light warm pink. It's hard to see in my photos because it blends very nicely with my skin tone.

Since the shades are light, I doubt I'd get better photos than those I was able to snag today. The colors shown here are true. They are definitely light - perfect for my fair skin. I suspect that as your skin tone darkens from mine, the powder will provide less color and more glow. While the shades don't shimmer, they do leave an elegant, flattering glow on my skin.

I definitely plan to try the individual shades as eye shadows. I see nothing in the ingredients other than a red dye that might irritate the eyelids. Since it's not the red dye that has historically been an issue for women (this one's CI 15850 if you care), it should be fine.

I tried to avoid gushing, but can't stop myself. I love everything Edward Bess does, and I love my new palette. I can't wait to see the other color families he plans to introduce in future Quad Royales. I'm sure I'll need all of them! For now, Summer in Capri is the closest I'll get to the Italian destination. The shades evoke a sunset that highlights the pastel shades of the beautiful seaside architecture. With my new palette, I don't need plane fare.

I purchased my Quad Royale from Bergdorf Goodman. You can call Susan or Jennifer at the Edward Bess counter there at (212) 872-8826. There's a beauty gift card event through tomorrow, so now's the perfect time to order this, Edward's new Black Sea Deep Hydration Cream, or anything you'd like from Edward Bess or another counter. For the spend/reward levels, check this link. I'm not sure whether the Neiman Marcus Edward Bess counters have received Summer in Capri yet. You could ask your favorite sales associate to check.

Photos by Best Things in Beauty; Capri photo courtesy of

Saturday Stroll around the Internet

One of the most interesting things I saw on the Internet this morning was a Huffington Post piece on a L'Oreal ad. The question is, "Was L'Oreal up to its usual photo "enhancement" when it prepared this ad featuring the lovely Freida Pinto? They've already airbrushed Julia Roberts' beautiful nose to a blur. Now they may have lightened Pinto's skin. What do you think? You can vote at the Huffington Post or leave a comment here - or both. Was it simply the result of studio lighting? Take a look at her photo below and decide.

In blog land, there were many noteworthy features this week. Here are a few that captured my attention.

Fab over Forty introduced Chanel's newest foundation, Perfection Lumière.
The Non-Blonde told us about her visit to IUNX Perfumes in Paris. Want to truly understand exclusive?
I want my hair to look like Daly Beauty's, so I guess I'll be ordering hair products from Canada.
Product Girl made me want the Bamboo Diffuser from NEST Fragrances.
We don't have a Burberry counter in the DC area, so I'm always glad to see eye shadow shade swatched. This week, I saw three at The Beauty Look Book.
I had a an opportunity to order the NARS silvers for Fashion's Night Out, but passed. I was glad to see them at Café Makeup.
Like your fragrances dark, spicy, and sensual? You should check out Olfactoria's Travels.
Nail polishes come in every shade of nude and brown you can imagine. See two new ones from Dior at Fruity Lashes and Beauty Black Book.

Have fun out there!

Photos courtesy of the Huffington Post, L'Oreal, and Getty

Friday, September 23, 2011

Quick Peek: Edward Bess Quad Royale Poudre Éclat Quatre Couleurs - Summer in Capri

It arrived today, sent by the Edward Bess team at Bergdorf Goodman. Quad Royale Poudre Éclat Quatre Couleurs in Summer in Capri ($45), a new face wardrobe, can be blended and applied all over the face for luminous color. It can also be used as a blush, contouring shade, or highlighter.

Summer in Capri (#03) is the first of several shade variations to be introduced. More will follow as our seasons change. I was thrilled when I unwrapped it. I will follow up with swatch photos as soon as the elusive sun shines again.

I wanted you to see this gorgeous compact. If you would like one, call Susan or Jennifer at the Edward Bess counter at Bergdorf Goodman at (212) 872-8826.

Photo by Best Things in Beauty

The Friday Forum - September 23

Poor Charlie had a horrible week. While he was recovering from bacterial gastroenteritis, he got a "secondary" infection that turned into a much bigger problem than the first. I don't want to give you all the gory details, so let's just say that his rear end is raw, draining, and painful.

During the week at one point, he had to wear one of those hard cones on his head to keep him from licking the wound so much. Cat tongues are like sandpaper, and he didn't know he was making it worse. He was just trying to clean himself up. The whole 24-hour cone experience was horrendous. For the first two hours, he did everything he knew to get out of it, including backing up and walking in circles (which was kind of funny, if any humor can be found in the week). Then he turned into sad sack Charlie. It was so pitiful that I took it off when we went to sleep, knowing I could sleep lightly and awaken if he started to lick. After four hours of sleep, he left the bed. I followed him into the guest bathroom (his bathroom), where he got in the tub with a towel I had thrown there for him. I thought he planned to sleep, but I put the cone back on since I couldn't see him. He really had escape in mind. He did it very quietly. I never heard a sound, but 30 minutes later when I went to check on him, he was licking, and the cone was sitting next to him. Back on it went! I forced him to spend the rest of the night with me, as I lay awake until about 6:00. You night owls may have seen me on Twitter. I still haven't recovered from that sleepless night.

His cone stayed on until we went back to his vet that day, where the wound was treated and his glands were flushed and cleaned. He came home with a cone dispensation - "unless he licked too much." He got another check-up the next day. He's taking antibiotics, and he seems to be feeling a little better. He's still trying to lick too much. Every time I move his head away from his rear, he complains. Bengals are talker cats, and he is not shy about expressing his opinions.

I have been a wreck, worrying about my best friend. He does seem to be improving (with antibiotics), even though the wound still looks awful. We have another doctor's appointment for him on Monday. Did you know that medical care for our furry kids is more expensive than our own?

In the midst of all this, I've been out trying to save animals and plants from a developer's bulldozers. Last weekend, we spent the better part of two days on the site, trekking through the woods, and tomorrow a team goes back to try again. We found a lot of plants, which were dug up and moved to a nature preserve. Our reptile rescue specialists found two toads and one frog - no turtles - and they were moved nearby into our conservation easement. I hope they will be safe. I exacerbated an existing spinal problem, working my way through thick understory growth and jumping over fallen trees, and I'm a mess. I'll join the urban foresters on the site today to survey trees, but I doubt I'll be able to join the rescue teams this weekend. There have been many wonderful volunteers who have been generous with their time. I'm always humbled by the number of caring people who are willing to help animals and rare plants at risk - at a moment's notice. We share a passion.

It's time for The Friday Forum, our open chat. I need a diversion too! What new products did you discover this week? Did you find any deals you couldn't resist this week? Are you using a fabulous product and want to sing its praises? Did you find a beauty product disappointing? Do you have a question others might be able to answer? Want to talk about skin care? What's new in your life? Just use the comments. Don't be shy. Just make sure to ask any question you might have over the weekend. By early the next week, most (not all) readers have moved on.

Yesterday I received two of the three Missoni for Target items I had ordered. I tried on the olive green sweater, and it looked nice. I had worried about the size, and I was pleased that the small works as long as I don't wear a layer under it. I fear the dress may be too form-fitting. I'll try it today. I heard on the news last night that Target shoppers are furious, not only about the initial situation, which we discussed last week, but also Target's failure to deliver on time. I suspect we haven't heard the end of the debacle. Some customers are vowing to boycott Target - forever. I think that's a bit extreme. After all, Target has great prices on Pounce treats!

On a happier note, I ordered two of the Guerlain Belle de Nuit Collection pieces yesterday at the curated site They had the privilege of offering the collection before it arrives at the department stores. I selected two pieces (for now): the Météorites Perles de Nuit and the Parure de Nuit Pressed Powder & Blush. I'll wait for the collection to arrive locally before I purchase more. If you haven't seen Belle de Nuit, scroll down for a preview.

I hope you entered this week's giveaway contest, which ends tomorrow, September 24, at midnight. The winner will receive the NARS concealer of her choice.

Photo by Best Things in Beauty

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Illuminum White Gardenia Petals Eau de Parfum

I saw Illuminum White Gardenia Petals Eau de Parfum ($140 or $190) at LuckyScent and was captured by the description. I fell in love with it after its arrival, even though it's not at all what I expected.

As fragrant as a vase of white flowers, quivering in the breeze by an open window, this is a delicate and refined perfume. The top note of lily evokes a tropical seaside location, while the heart notes of white gardenia, muguet, and jasmine bring a trio of white flowers into play. Amber wood underscores this light and capricious bouquet.

With lilies, gardenia, and jasmine in the blend, I anticipated a sweet and possibly heavy white floral. The description did give me a hint that White Gardenia Petals is light, but I didn't pick up on that at the time. I focused on the notes. Additionally, I can't imagine why lilies would evoke a tropical seaside.

At first spray, White Gardenia Petals is fresh, effervescent, and citrusy or green to my nose. As the fragrance dries down, it develops into a refreshing light, soft white flower scent. I read on one site that there is ylang ylang among the notes, and that makes sense to me in its opening. Others detect coconut, but I don't smell that beachy note at all.

During the eight hours it lasts on my skin, there is never an intoxicating live gardenia scent - one that I love. If the scent comes from the petals, they were detached from the flower long before the perfume was made. I have many gardenia-based fragrances, and this one isn't similar to any of them. It does remind me of my beloved Aqua Universalis. I'm not sure why because lily of the valley appears to be the only note in common. Regardless, the fragrance is delightful. Since I ordered it unsniffed, I was thrilled to love it.

White Gardenia Petals lasts eight hours on my skin. It exits with a soft musky refinement that is comfortable. I can detect white flowers through all phases of wear, although no one note takes the lead. I never experience the same intoxicated sensation I have when I stick my nose in a blooming gardenia plant. I've read that others have swooned over the gardenia in White Gardenia Petals, so who knows? I can tell you what I do smell: a light floral that's different from my others. It's elegant and understated.

Illuminum was founded in 2010 by Michael Boadi, a former celebrity and runway hair stylist, who decided to pursue his love of fragrance. The line features minimal, expertly crafted perfumes, each of which is restricted to eight ingredients - whittled down to the bare essentials to conjure a purity faithful to its origins. Constructed using the finest essences and extracts, the fragrances take their inspiration from geography, history, flora, and fauna. The Illuminum regular collection is comprised of four color families: floral, citrus, musk, and oud. Within these families, there are fragrances that are delicate and ethereal and robust and pungent. It make sense to me that I chose delicate and ethereal for my first Illuminum purchase. Now I have to decide what's next. Any recommendations?

It has been reported by numerous media outlets that White Gardenia Petals was the perfume that Kate Middleton wore to her Royal Wedding, and it immediately sold out. Whether she wore it or not (another British line is claiming that distinction), I'm very pleased with White Gardenia Petals.

I bought mine at LuckyScent. You can order a sample for $4 if you aren't as willing to order an untried fragrance as I am.

Photo courtesy of LuckyScent

Rouge Bunny Rouge Succulence of Dew Sheer Lipstick - Murmurings

I can't get enough Rouge Bunny Rouge Succulence of Dew Sheer Lipstick ($32.58). During one of my first online shopping forays at Zuneta, I saw that Rouge Bunny Rouge offered eight lipstick shades in a sheer formula. I love sheer lip colors. I had a dilemma. Buy one or all eight? I decided to buy one, try it out, and then order more.

As you might imagine, I needed more, and I ordered more. I had been intrigued by Murmurings (#007), described as a "wet effect, sheer cool damson - like you have just eaten a bowl of cherries." I really wanted to try it, but the swatches I had seen left me wondering if it might be too dark for me. I shouldn't have worried with such a sheer formula!

Succulence of Dew Sheer Lipstick has all the qualities of my other Rouge Bunny Rouge makeup beauties: whimsical packaging, lust-worthy color, and a story. The first shade I had ordered was Dissolved in Dreams. You can see it at this link. That's where you can also read the enchanting tale about these "soft, diaphanous colors that hover on your lips so finely that they enhance and refine your naturalness into a graceful glamour." Then I ordered Tongue Tickles, which is extremely popular and had been sold out at one point. Now, I'm thrilled with my new Murmurings. It is the perfect shade to take into autumn.

Many of the cherries I eat are dark red. Murmurings is definitely not dark red. I would describe it as rose, but that's probably because I'm a gardener and my analogies are often to flowers.

The shade of Murmurings in my swatch photos shows that it's not dark at all. The natural pigment in my lips makes it appear just a tiny bit darker - and extremely natural. When worn, it's actually my lip color made darker, which couldn't be more perfect for a natural look. This could be my everyday lipstick. It looks great, feels great. What more could one ask?

My photos were taken in sunlight that was obscured by a few high clouds. I wish it had been brighter outside, but I took what I could get. I brightened up the photo at right just a tad (primarily because Blogger has been displaying photos oddly for months). The color shines in sunlight more than it does indoors. I hope you can see that it's a lively rose that has a touch of warmth - not too much - just enough to make it wearable by just about everyone.

I've become quite the Rouge Bunny Rouge groupie, thanks to my friends at Zuneta. Zuneta's customer service, helping me (or you) select colors online is superlative. The shipping from the U.K. is free to international customers who order enough. I haven't had any trouble achieving the free shipping level on multiple occasions. I've also taken advantage of Zuneta's occasional free shipping offers when I didn't need to make a £65 purchase.

You can find the Rouge Bunny Rouge Web site at this link. Head over to Zuneta to browse and order. See if you can resist. I think that's a challenge.

Photos by Best Things in Beauty