Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year!

I hope 2015 brings all of you a year of beauty, happiness, peace, and love! I have no resolutions, but I still want to win that lottery.

Photo courtesy of

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas! I hope Santa was good to you, tucking some beauty-full goodies into your stocking. You did hang it by the chimney with care, right?

Last night, I gave Charlie and Savvy extra food. That seems to be their favorite treat. Charlie also got his first pill for hyperthyroidism. It will be temporary until I can get it nuked, the state-of-the-art treatment. I will be leaving the morning meal for the foxes and raccoons, birds and squirrels - early enough for all of them to enjoy it.

On Christmas Eve, I ran my butt all over the place. 1) Pick up Charlie's pills at the vet. 2) Pick up the prime rib roast at the Organic Butcher in McLean. 3) Drive to DC to Wagshal's to get the sides. 4) Go back to McLean to Balducci's for potato latkes and au gratin potatoes. Also got brie and crackers. Then went to the wild bird store for cracked corn for Mom's deer family. Delivered a few gifts. I am exhausted.

I was supposed to be off my feet today, but what are you going to do? I got a shot of cortisone in my right knee (and right shoulder). I was supposed to take it easy. Sure!

I'll be headed to Mom's to make Christmas dinner. She "ordered" standing rib roast. That's easy to cook. We're also having macaroni and cheese and cheesy corn grits (by popular request - no Southerners here!), two kinds of potatoes (at my instigation), French green bean casserole (yes the one with the crispy French's onions - we love it), and an Italian rum cake I purchased at the bakery. Also, plenty of wine, beer, and French soft cheese. It's going to be a delicious day.

I hope you have a wonderful Christmas! Please stop by later to let us know how you celebrated. I still have to write up my beauty events from last weekend. I'll try to get that done this weekend after all the festivities.

If you'd like to go off to YouTube to hear one of my all time favorite Christmas carols sung by Barbara Padilla, check out this link. Incredibly hard to sing - hard to believe I used to be able sing it. I'll never forget that this song brought tears to my father's eyes - that and Ave Maria. Remembering that brings tears to mine.

It will be a happy day!

iStock photo

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Special Event Saturday at Le Métier de Beauté, Mazza Gallerie with Hylton Lea, Global Director of Skincare

This Saturday, December 20, Hylton Lea, one of my very favorite skin care gurus, will be available to consult with you at Neiman Marcus at Mazza Gallerie. A beauty and skin-care industry veteran and authority, Hylton Lea, now Le Métier de Beauté's Global Director of Skincare, will bring his dynamic personality, enthusiasm for the brand, and unique ability to connect with individuals, to this special event with our friends at Le Métier de Beauté - just for Saturday.

Hylton has a deep understanding of the advanced science behind the Le Métier de Beauté skin care. As the Global Director of Skincare, he serves as the brand’s Skincare Ambassador and Spokesperson. Constantly in the field, he has the unique opportunity to educate and interact with Le Métier de Beauté's customers. Combining his experience with the unmatched technological capabilities of Le Métier de Beauté, a perfect match has been achieved. Le Métier de Beauté will be delivering new, never-before-seen products that will help all of us achieve real results, and Hylton will show us how.

Hylton's boundless energy and intense passion for the brand and skin care is infectious. From assisting in the development of ground-breaking, highly scientific formulations, to the execution of strategic client and brand initiatives, his unending enthusiasm and positive, upbeat client interactions are becoming integral components of the Le Métier de Beauté brand experience. Hylton was a brilliant "hire." I'm thrilled that he has joined the Le Métier de Beauté team.

Prior to joining Le Métier de Beauté, Hylton was the Senior Vice President Communications and Business Development at RéVive (where I met him) and led sales development initiatives for luxury brands, including Erno Laszlo, Bliss, and Boucheron. Additionally, he served as Cosmetics Manager at the Neiman Marcus in Beverly Hills, California.

You can just drop in, but I'd suggest you make an appointment to see Hylton. I did. Call Michael Reinhardt at (202) 966-9700, extension 2258. That way, you will enjoy Hylton's undivided attention. I'm excited!

Photo courtesy of Le Métier de Beauté

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Lost Poodle in Lafayette - Reward

I don't usually post lost dogs, cats, and birds, but a good friend in Lafayette, Louisiana has lost his dear dog (dog slipped out the gate), and he is frantic. Buster is a black poodle, 15 years old, and nearly blind and deaf. He got out last night.

If you live near there, can you help in the search? Or send this notice to friends who might be nearby? Drew can be reached at the number above, (504) 388-3834.

Buster is wearing a black collar with red rhinestones. He was last seen by a neighbor on Clark Court. He lives on Florida Court.

I can't help search, but I can put out a broadcast to thousands of people. Thanks! We animal lovers stick together.

Update: Buster was picked up a nice lady, who saw him running on Johnston St. She kept him for the night and had to go to work, so she put him in a friend's yard in the Saint Streets while she was waiting for Animal Control to open so she could call him with his tag number. (And yes, I know how utterly stupid we were not to have a tag on him with our name and number or to have him chipped.). He escaped from the yard an hour after she put him in it. So, please share and communicate with your friends in the Saints Street area.

Update November 7: I am despondent to tell you that Buster is still missing. No known sightings since the first. Not looking good.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

A Short Report from Gimp Land

My surgery on October 6 went well, and I was out of the hospital by the next day at lunchtime. I had to pass the physical therapy tests to get out, and I was determined to excel. I started physical therapy the next day.

My recovery went well for two weeks. Then, unfortunately, I fell. I was being careful, but my desk chair, which swivels, did not support me. I really hurt my knee, and I sprained my back. I saw the PA the next day because my surgeon was out of town. She took x-rays and found nothing wrong with me. My physical therapist thinks I just sprained an already aggravated knee.

I live at home in bed with my PolarCare machine, which pumps ice up the tube you can see above and into the flat pieces that strap around my knee with Velcro. My sweet friend has kept me in ice, so I am not swollen (much).

Had I not fallen, I think I'd be well on my way to full mobility. I want to kick myself, but it would hurt.

I haven't been terribly active with the world of beauty, although I have purchased a few holiday pieces from Chantecaille and Chanel. I purchased a new Le Métier de Beauté Kaleidoscope designed by Michael Reinhardt. I also ordered that one-day-only lipstick from Giorgio Armani Beauty yesterday. I don't know when I will be able to start taking pictures again. That requires sitting on the ground in my driveway, and if I get down, I'm not sure how I'll get back up.

I wanted you to know that I'm alive, if not kicking. I appreciate the notes some of you have sent me. Thank you. I probably won't be able to respond to comments, but please know I appreciate your well wishes.

The good news? Charlie doesn't leave my side. I think he knows I'm not "well." I'm enjoying his company.

Miss you all!

Photo courtesy of

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

We Have Rouge Bunny Rouge and TATCHA Giveaway Contest Winners!

The winner of the Rouge Bunny Rouge exquisite new Raw Garden Eye Shadow Palette in Chronos is Andrea! She has been notified. I have sent her address to Rouge Bunny Rouge. I can only imagine her joy when she opens that box and sees the beautiful palette in person.

As of yesterday evening, 364 people had entered the TATCHA draw for 100 deluxe samples of Ageless Enriching Renewal Cream. That means about 27% of those who entered will be receiving a package from TATCHA. You are lucky readers!

I want to send mega-thanks to TATCHA and Rouge Bunny Rouge for selecting Best Things in Beauty for their contests. I appreciated the opportunity very much - two superb companies. Thanks for entering and congratulations to the winners!

Photo courtesy of

Monday, August 25, 2014

Tom Ford Beauty Nude Dip Eye Color Quad for Fall 2014

I took a time out, and the very next day I'm back with The Tom Ford Nude Dip (#03) Eye Color Quad ($79) for Fall 2014. There is a story that accompanies this, but I'll show you the quad before I tell you the story. It's gorgeous, don't you think?

The colors jumped right off the display. It is - in my opinion - the best piece in Ford's Fall collection. The lip colors are dark and opaque (not me), and the duo blush/contour palettes did not impress me.

I got home from Neiman Marcus, palette in hand, less than 30 minutes ago. I rushed outside, took photos in full, 4:00 pm sun, and here we are. Swatches! I used a sponge-tipped applicator to apply all shades fairly heavily, starting at top left and moving clockwise around the palette as I worked my way down my arm.

I love every shimmering shade in the quad. Perhaps I should call them gleaming because that's the effect they leave on the eyelids. The champagne ivory at the top of my arm is a perfect base or highlighter shade. The rose gold? What can I say? I love rose gold, and it's stunning. One of the best I've seen.

The brown is the perfect shade of brown for my fair skin - not too light, not too dark. The rosy taupe at the bottom? Sheer perfection. The shadows seem to apply well and stay put. In the short time I had to play with it, I had no dust flying.

It's clear why everyone has been drooling over this palette since the first photos hit the Internet. It is exquisite. If you have not secured your own, it is selling out at stores where they haven't put it out. That's the story below.

I called Neiman Marcus Tysons Galleria this afternoon and asked if the for-sale product has arrived at the store. I was told that it would not be released until Beauty Week, per the department manager's orders. That's September 11, isn't it? I threw a hissy fit. I explained that I am a blogger, don't give a rat's patoot about Beauty Week and the GWP, and I needed mine now (I had pre-ordered), and if they wouldn't sell it to me, I would call a California store for it. She finally told me I could come get it.

When I arrived at the store, I explained my prior conversation with the woman who was then at the counter. She was reluctant to help me. I was insistent. A customer eyed the display and asked about the palette. She was told the fall items wouldn't arrive until Beauty Week. Then the manager happened by where I was sitting, motioned at the display, and said, "Sold Out." I explained that I was on the pre-sale list, and I had come to purchase mine today. She and a sales associate went to the back room with the stock and got it out. I left with it.

I don't think customers should be jerked around for the sake of meeting Beauty Week sales goals. That's not a customer-friendly policy. If you are on the pre-sale list at Tysons, and you don't care about points, GWPs, and the like, go over there and demand your makeup - as long as you purchased on pre-sale.

God only knows where you can purchase this palette today. Be persistent. Now, I'm going back to my time out.

Photos by Best Things in Beauty

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Time Off

I've decided to need to take some time off from Best Things in Beauty. The next month or so is going to be really busy as I get ready for knee surgery. I hope to have the surgery in late September or early October.

I have a choice: left knee or right knee. The left knee may go first. My long-time readers will remember that I had it replaced in December 2010. Not too long ago, it started hurting. I have two diagnoses (hard to believe because they are so different), but no matter what, they have to cut into my knee and figure out what's wrong. Is it my prosthetic, or have the ligaments stretched? If the ligaments have stretched, it's a simple matter of putting a taller plastic spacer between the two metal piece parts. I hope it turns out to be that easy. If I go with the right knee, it will be a total knee replacement. I have needed to do it for years.

I have to clear away all the beauty products - and every other indulgence - that will be in the way of a walker. It's a mess here right now. I will have to bank blood, I'm sure. I've got to go to doctor's appointments and physical therapy to get ready. There is just too much to do - and too little time in which to do it.

I will write a little during my time off. I can't go cold turkey. When I get my hands on that Tom Ford palette, for example, I will post swatch photos. Anything fantabulous will bring me right back. I just need time to get myself prepared without stressing over it - and I've been stressing during the last few weeks. How can I get everything done? I think I'm making myself feel sick.

I hope you will come back when I do.  Until then, I recommend you read The Beauty Look Book, The Non-Blonde, and any of the wonderful blogs on my blog list on the right-hand sidebar.

See you before long!

Photo courtesy of

Two Fabulous Giveaway Contests End Tomorrow: TATCHA and Rouge Bunny Rouge

For all of you who may have been on vacation when I posed these amazing giveaway contests, I'm posting this reminder to enter. Both end tomorrow. All prizes are being donated by their generous companies.

TATCHA is generously offering 100 Best Things in Beauty readers a deluxe sample of Ageless Enriching Renewal Cream. In order to enter, you must have a United States delivery address. Just go to this link and fill out the entry form before August 25. That's tomorrow at midnight.

Be one of the first beauty lovers to own this brand new, exquisite Rouge Bunny Rouge Raw Garden Eye Shadow Palette in Chronos, worth an estimated $73. Rouge Bunny Rouge has generously donated the palette for one winner at Best Things in Beauty.

How can you enter to win this giveaway contest (technically a sweepstakes)? You will find all the entry rules at this link. The deadline is August 25 at midnight. That's tomorrow. Make sure to enter now - before you forget.

Good luck to everyone!

Photos courtesy of TATCHA and Rouge Bunny Rouge

Friday, August 22, 2014

The Friday Forum - August 22

Catawba is one of my favorite crepe myrtles. Mine is huge now. It's an upright, small tree that has grown to a mature height of 15 feet tall and wide; it has deep purple blooms and orange-red fall foliage. I love my tree.

Today is the Friday Forum, but I don't have time to give you much of an introduction. I didn't want to skip it, though, because it's your opportunity to share!

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

Don't forget to enter one or both of the two giveaway contests here: TATCHA and Rouge Bunny Rouge.  Just scroll down to find them.

Happy weekend!

Photo courtesy of Southern Living

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Preliminary Photos of Tom Ford Beauty Testers for Fall 2014

I was lucky to receive photos of Tom Ford testers from Adila, my lovely Tom Ford representative at Neiman Marcus, Tysons Galleria. They are a little dark - probably taken by a cell phone. Nevertheless, knowing your interest in Tom Ford, I thought I'd better share them.

The top photo shows the new Contouring Cheek Color Duos ($77) in Softcore and Stroked, along with the eye palette we all want: Nude Dip ($79).

Her swatch photo of Nude Dip is shown directly above.

Two new Private Blend Lip Colors ($50) in Negligee and Twist of Fate are easy to identify. Adila put them in front of their boxes. She sent a great swatch photo of the shades.

If it's sunny, I'll be going over to see the testers in person either tomorrow or Saturday. Until then, I hope you enjoy these photos.

Photos courtesy of Adila at Tom Ford. You can reach her at 703-761-1600. Ask for Tom Ford Cosmetics.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Join Me in Paradise (Eau de Parfum) Courtesy of NEST Fragrances

The moment NEST Fragrances' Paradise Eau de Parfum ($65) was launched, I purchased a bottle. Then, NEST sent me a rollerball ($25). I was already in Paradise from this divine fragrance, but having a convenient way to take it along with me made me a very happy - and fabulously scented - gal. You wouldn't believe the compliments.

Paradise perfectly captures a luscious burst of fresh, Mediterranean blood orange. The vibrant character of the fragrance is balanced with watery nuances, a hint of white ginger, and a lingering base of cedarwood. Inspired by the works of Eighteenth Century British artist Mrs. Mary Delany, Laura Slatkin collaborated with master perfumers to translate these works of art into luxurious fragrances that capture the essence of each of the botanicals that adorn the products' striking packaging.

Spray on Paradise, and you will think you were peeling a juicy orange. I'm a huge fan of seriously juicy citrus fragrances (think Orange Sanguine, although Paradise is much more sophisticated and nuanced). It is so satisfying. If you concentrate - hard to do when you are reveling in citrus - you will detect the other notes, particularly at dry-down, when the aquatic notes come into their own.

NEST calls Paradise vibrant, sparkling, and luminous. Check. I'd add addictive. How can you keep your nose away when you apply some to your arm? I can't.

I've written several times this summer about fragrances that transport me. I'll bet some of you have noticed my infatuation. Perhaps I need to be transported to the tropics. For now, NEST Paradise is a perfect substitute for the travel.

Did I tell you the bottle is beautiful? You can find it at NEST and Sephora.

Photos courtesy of NEST Fragrances and

Monday, August 18, 2014

Rouge Bunny Rouge Raw Garden Eye Shadow Palette in Chronos Giveaway Contest

Here we go, the stupendous giveaway contest of this year! You can enter to win the brand new, exquisite Rouge Bunny Rouge Raw Garden Eye Shadow Palette in Chronos, worth an estimated $73. Rouge Bunny Rouge has generously donated the palette for one winner at Best Things in Beauty. There are other contests running; one is at The Non-Blonde.

If you didn't see my feature on this beautiful new palette, just scroll down. I have swatch photos I've been sitting on for months. I'm so pleased to be part of this unveiling.

How can you enter to win this giveaway contest (technically a sweepstakes)? Just leave a comment on this feature (not in another BTiB post). After you comment here, feel free to send me an e-mail at (the contest address, not my "personal" e-mail) and identify your comment. You can never be too careful about sharing an e-mail address you care about on a blog, so feel free to follow this step (an alternative is to code your e-mail, e.g., myname at gmail dot com, in your comment). Please make sure I have your e-mail. If I can't notify you, you can't win - even if your number is drawn. I can't believe the number of winners I haven't been able to find in the past.

You can earn extra entries. Follow this blog (through an e-mail subscription, GFC, or though one of the many readers - see sidebar at right) to earn a second entry. If you are a follower, it would help me tally entries if you tell me in your comment how you follow. You don't have to follow to enter. I want everyone to have a chance, but I also want to reward my followers. I must be able to track this entry.

You can earn a third entry by tweeting this contest. You must include "@BTiBeauty" (without the quotes) and the contest title in your tweet. Remember, tweet the contest title - if you don't, that entry won't count. I will tweet the contest early this evening, and you can simply retweet it to earn that second entry - if that's easier.

You will automatically earn a fourth entry if you have commented here during the last two weeks. I will know if you have.

The deadline for entries will be Monday, August 25, at midnight. I will use a random number generator ( to select the winner. I will e-mail the winner the next day. 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. The winner must be able to provide me with a "mailable address," meaning the U.S. Post Office recognizes it or its street, province, and other "elements" the way the winner provides them. I've had some trouble with both U.S. and international addresses.

For all the legalese related to this contest, please see the Contests/Sweepstakes page at the top of the blog. Good luck! One lucky entrant will receive the palette of the year directly from the generous people at Rouge Bunny Rouge.

Photo courtesy of Rouge Bunny Rouge

Rouge Bunny Rouge Raw Garden Eye Shadow Palette in Chronos

The excitement at the Rouge Bunny Rouge Headquarters is now public. I can finally give you a look at a special, limited-edition product that the team and a few beauty insiders, myself included, have kept a treasured secret for months. Finally, on the eve of its introduction, I am able to announce Rouge Bunny Rouge's Raw Garden Eye Shadow Palette in Chronos (55 euros). It will be available next week.

I received this stunning palette many months ago. Sitting on it - well, not literally - has been extremely hard. You will see it was winter when I took my photos. It's really hard to keep my mouth shut for months on end, but that's what I did.

Chronos is an extravagance that is fun, time-saving, with a brand new texture, and limited. It offers a brand new metallic texture for your makeup pleasure - and a brand new, luxurious palette design with a large mirror and magnetic holders to carry your favorite refills.

Chronos has been designed to become your perfect partner in crime - in particular, for a magnetic smokey eye. Do you know what the most common smokey eye pet peeves are? Rouge Bunny Rouge shared its experience with us.

First, it’s choosing black or grey as your only color. There’s the risk of ending up with a grungy, bland-looking patch of darkness around your eyes that's not really attractive. However, if you choose a colored eye shadow - green, violet, or blue - you need smoky colors to tone it down, and you need time to practice. Another problem is that it can get a little messy and quite time consuming if your product creases or is difficult to blend.

With Rouge Bunny Rouge's brand new, limited-edition Eye Shadow Palette Raw Garden, you get a palette of muted metallics that are ideal to create a perfect, enticing, and quick smoky eye in the formula of your favorite eight-hour wear, flavonoid-enriched Rouge Bunny Rouge Long-Lasting Eye Shadow.

When Chronos arrived at my house, I nearly hyperventilated with happiness. I couldn't believe that the company was sharing its treasure with me. Month after month, I've wondered when I'd be able to show it to you. Finally! This palette is divine, and the colors will take you into fall and winter with glee.

I took my photos in full sun, and I used a sponge-tipped applicator to apply the shades, starting on the left at the top of my arm and moving toward the right down my arm. There is a dual-ended sponge-tipped applicator in the palette, but I used my own.

Look at these shades! I love every one of them. I would call them shimmering, not metallic, but that's a minor detail. The taupe at the top of my arm is drool-worthy. Every taupe lover will rejoice. The next shade is a taupe-plum hybrid that's heavy on the taupe so it's eminently wearable. The brown-olive shade is simply perfect. What more can I say?

The grey is just this side of charcoal. It's a very flattering shade to use with all of the other shades in the palette. Use it as a liner or an accent color, it's much prettier than your "average charcoal." In certain light, I see some blue in it. I'm sure the last shade, a teal from heaven, was inspired by the plumage of the Enchanted Garden's birds.

All of the shades are very nicely pigmented, with no fallout, and a texture that's almost creamy. Although I applied them to show you their intensity, the brush you use for application and your own hand can guide the look you wish to achieve, from a soft wash of color to a full-on, intense eye. This palette is the ultimate smoky eye treasure.

Rouge Bunny Rouge has a draw at its own site. Four bloggers have also been offered a giveaway, and, my lucky readers, BTiB is one of them. I will start our giveaway contest tonight. Come on back to enter. Make sure to enter all of the contests to increase your chances of winning one of the prettiest palettes I've ever seen. All I could think was Yabba Dabba Doo when I opened Chronos. You will too.

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

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask in Champagne

I blame the darling Sabrina at The Beauty Look Book. I had absolutely no intention of purchasing Bite Beauty's Agave Lip Mask in Champagne ($26). Unfortunately, her feature intrigued me, leaving me no option but to order it. Her pictures were fabulous, as always, and it looked like something I would appreciate. I love masks of all types, but there are few good ones for the lips.

The color is not as exciting on me as it is on Sabrina. Once I apply it to my lips, I'm left with a clear champagne gloss that loses the peachy oomph that you can see in the unblended shade. I took my photos in full, lunchtime sun as I waited not-so-patiently for the sun and clouds to do their daily dance.

The photo directly above shows the Champagne color as it "dots" out of the tube, with the blended shade above. As you can see, that lovely color disappears into an almost-clear champagne shade when blended - or when you smack your lips. I wouldn't purchase this product for the color unless you are short on champagne glosses.

I did a finger swatch because your finger pads are closer to the pigment of your lips than your inner arm. This is how the Lip Mask looks on my lips. It does have a very sheer peachy hue if you look hard.

How does it feel on the lips? Thick, very thick. Is it protecting them? Said to instantly soothe and soften the lips, this "delicious" leave-on lip mask contains a bio-active blend of healing antioxidants, including organic agave nectar, jojoba, and 15 mg of the antioxidant resveratrol (good stuff). Used over time, I expect it would have a therapeutic effect on the lips. I won't be using it long enough to find out.

The problem I have with it is that I would never use it during the night - the time when I'm most amenable to wearing masks. It is so thick and goopy it would come off of my lips and leave sticky lip prints all over my silk pillowcase - way too messy for my tastes. I sleep on my side. If I were a back sleeper, I wouldn't have that problem.

Because it's thick, it clings to the lips during the day, offering a nearly sheer shine. I look better with a little color. Had it had some lasting color, I might be more impressed - and more likely to use it.

It has a disagreeable taste that dissipates pretty quickly, so it's basically a sheer, thick, lip gloss (packed with ingredients that are good for your lips). That's not enough to entice me.

Sabrina was thoroughly honest in her review. I chose to focus on the attractive features as I rushed off to order this product. Had I read more carefully, I would have passed. Given the price, I've lost only a great lunch.

There you have it. We offer two opinions with many similarities on the same product. Mine is more critical. I'll keep Bite Beauty's Agave Lip Mask in "storage," though. I might be more impressed in the winter when my lips feel chapped all the time.

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

Coming Soon: Le Métier de Beauté After Dark Total Look Kaleidoscope

Scheduled to arrive at Neiman Marcus about the first of September, the After Dark Total Look Kaleidoscope ($95) is being called the "everything evening Kaleidoscope." Given the description below, I suspect the press photo above is inaccurate colorwise.

This collection was designed as an evening glamour makeover for eyes cheeks, and face. It's perfect for the woman on the go. This portable collection is said to contain two eye shadows, a shimmering patina, and a burnished sapphire. A universal evening blush in shimmering mauve, and a face-sculpting contour powder. Flattering and elegant, it's bound to be popular.

Since I don't see sapphire - granted sapphires are available in blue, pink, white, and other shades - I'm assuming the Kaleidoscope will be much prettier than the advance photo. As a rule, the term sapphire is used in the beauty industry to refer to blue.

I won't ask you what you think until we get a good photo. Until then, I'm excited that the pipeline is starting to fill again. If you want to pre-order or reserve one, give  Michael Reinhardt at call at (202) 966-9700, extension 2258.

Photo courtesy of Le Métier de Beauté

Friday, August 15, 2014

The Friday Forum - August 15 - Le Métier de Beauté Kaleidoscope Lip Kits

It's hard to believe it's already mid-August, until you remember that the days are growing shorter and the mornings cooler. Today, it's beautiful outside - a morning perfect for hanging out on the screened porch.

I am bracing myself for the inevitable I-wants that will come as the new fall and winter beauty collections hit the counters en masse. Fall turns into an expensive season. Like the rest of you, I am on the prowl for that Tom Ford eye palette, new Chanel, and more to come from Le Métier de Beauté.

During the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, I purchased a hand cream I'm loving: Antica Farmacista's Bergamot & Ocean Aria ($18). It was one of those little extras I often throw into my shopping cart, not a planned purchase. I love it! Built on the allure of the ocean, ozonic saltwater notes blend with jasmine and lavender, while crisp bergamot adds sparkle. Warm notes of oakmoss captivate the lush scent. This beauty needs to be better known, so give it a whiff next time you are at Nordstrom.

Antica's hand creams include luxurious botanicals to nourish and moisturize. Shea butter and vitamin E produce a silky formulation that is restorative and beautifully fragranced. I'm using it so quickly that I'm going to have to purchase another - or maybe one Bergamot & Ocean and another in a different scent. I know I love Ala Moana.

Do you spend much time on Facebook? There is a growing and disgusting trend there - one that Facebook seems disinclined to stop. Haters - aka trolls - are attacking all of the animal rescue and related sites trying to raise money, most often for vet bills and all of the expenses of caring for abused and abandoned animals. They are also going after people down on their luck who are using sites like GoFundMe to try to get help from readers who donate voluntarily. I guess the haters don't believe in charity.

Each week, I am reading anguished posts by good people - no, great people - who are sacrificing their lives to save animals, but are being attacked as frauds by the haters. It must be some kind of game for bullies. Facebook has an anti-bullying policy, but they will do nothing about the trolls. I have reported them. Hundreds of people have reported them, with no results. No wonder there are predictions that Facebook is old school and will be replaced by an as-yet-known competitor. I hope it will be a company with a conscience - one that will realize that words are being used as weapons.

Trolls exist everywhere. That's why most beauty bloggers moderate comments. You would not believe the comments that come in to BTiB for moderation. My friend Gaia gets them too. It's hard to believe that there are so many women who love makeup, a community I would hope, who think nothing of attacking me or my readers. I had to add a notice to the comments page stating that I will not publish comments attacking my readers. It's no surprise that these comments are always anonymous.

I did not write an obituary for Lauren Bacall. I wanted to, but her death came too close on the gut-wrenching news of Robin Williams' suicide. Instead, to remember her, take a close look at this photo and her makeup. What an extraordinary photo of an extraordinary woman! I would love to know what lip color she was wearing. The lipstick, the blush, the eye shadow - everything was perfect. Her makeup enhanced her features. It's a good lesson to remember. That should be why we wear makeup.

It's time for our weekend sharing, the Friday Forum. I love this part of our week. What new products did you discover this week? We have all seen the upcoming Tom Ford collection, so I think we can skip that this week. Did you find any deals you couldn't resist? Are you using a fabulous product and want to sing its praises? Did you find a beauty product disappointing? Do you have a question others might be able to answer? Want to talk about skin care? What's new in your life? Just use the comments. Don't be shy. Just make sure to ask any question you might have over the weekend. By early the next week, most (not all) readers will have moved on.

Update: I wanted to show you a photo of Le Métier de Beauté's new Gemini Kiss Kaleidoscope Lip Kit ($125). It is exclusive to Neiman Marcus stores. It is much like the V.I.B. program Gemini Rising Kaleidoscope, with the dual pans, one including a reformulated Hydra-Crème Lipstick, and the other side with a Lip Crème Lip Gloss. The colors are intended to be layered.

I was not going to show you Gemini Rising because you couldn't buy it. I did take photos and swatch it this morning. I want to warn you not to leave this Kaleidoscope in your purse in a hot car. I had it outside for photos this morning, and the Lip Crème Lip Glosses turned to mush. This is definitely a keep-indoors product.

The photo directly above is Gemini Rising. It was hard to get all of the colors in my photo without taking the Kaleidoscope apart, and I wasn't up for it. A swatch photo is below, starting at the top level, applied as directed, with the matte shade applied first, topped by the gloss. My photos were taken in full, mid-day sun.

It looks like my Gemini Rising has more pink in it, and that Gemini Kiss has more coral and nude. You never know, though. Press photos can we way off. I'll report back after I see Gemini Kiss in person. If you would like to order one, give Michael Reinhardt at call at (202) 966-9700, extension 2258.

Update #2: You have to read this

Happy weekend!

Photos by Best Things in Beauty and courtesy of NBC

Thursday, August 14, 2014

YSL VOLUPTÉ SHEER CANDY Glossy Balm Crystal Color - New Shades

I was thrilled when I saw at Sephora that YSL had introduced new shades of my favorite glossy tinted lip balm, YSL VOLUPTÉ SHEER CANDY Glossy Balm Crystal Color ($34). I ordered three instantly: Belle Cannelle (#14), Rose Candy (#15), and Fraise Ganache (#17). I don't know why I didn't order the fourth, Cherise Desir (#16). It must have been a moment of temporary insanity. I'll go back for it later today.

This balm dresses your lips in a sheer veil of brilliant color boosted with vitamin- and antioxidant-rich fruit extracts. Its ultralight, sensual texture leaves my lips feeling soft and hydrated, although not for up to eight hours, as YSL claims. It is ideal for year-round use, and I use my Sheer Candys in any season. I think I have all - if not close to all - shades. Look at how many I purchased the moment they were introduced in 2011.

Here are my three new shades, shown in numeric order from left to right. I was able to get some photographs during a 15-minute, late-afternoon break in an all-day conference call I struggled to hear via phone. It was actually nice to dash outside for a few minutes on a lovely day.

I swatched these shades in the same order, starting with Belle Canelle at the top of my arm, moving down with Rose Candy, and ending at the bottom with Fraise Ganache. I had to swatch quickly, and it was fairly late in the afternoon, so these aren't the best photos I could have taken.However, given the sheerness of the Sheer Candy Glossy Balms, it's possible more time wouldn't have allowed for better photos.

I love these hybrid lipsticks! They are sheer, but colorful enough to add a polished gleam to my lips. The Sheer Candy's do have a fruity taste. The mango fragrance doesn't bother me at all. However, if you don't like any fragrance on your lips, try before you buy.

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

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Musc Monoï Eau de Toilette by PARFUMS DE NICOLAÏ

Patricia de Nicolaï, who is celebrating the 25th anniversary of her company this year, has introduced a new fragrance, Musc Monoï Eau de Toilette ($50 or $120). It has been available since June. I was happy to receive a sample - the Nicolaï line is one of my favorites - and I promptly fell in love with it. The sweet people at Nicolaï sent a 30 ml bottle to my mother to celebrate her birthday!

In order to celebrate the oncoming summer, Patricia de Nicolaï is launching Musc Monoï, her new Eau de Toilette, which invites you to holidays. "For many years I have been in love with the famous Ambre Solaire oil," explains Patricia. She said she had always wanted to create a fragrance using this wonderful smell, a reminder of sunny beaches. She continued, "A fragrance with a powerful sensuality that smells on your skin like a hot summer day was my main obsession!"

For Musc Monoï, the amber note of ambre solaire has been softened for a more modern musk facet. Combined with the benzyl salicylate molecule associated with the ylang flower, Musc Monoï is strengthened by jasmine, magnolia, and neroli. The fresh and heavy marine scent of the calone, the sensuality of the coconut, and the velvety trail of sandalwood blend for a perfect, captivating fragrance.

Nicolaï herself was the nose behind this marvel. The top notes are neroli, lemon, and petitgrain. The  middle notes are ylang-ylang, jasmine, coconut, calone, and magnolia, The base notes are ylang ylang, sandalwood, and musk.

I hate to make comparisons between fragrances, but despite the fact that it has a completely different character from Guerlain's Teracotta Le Parfum Eau de Toilette, it reminds me of it. It's a summer fragrance that summons the beach. It could be a winter fragrance that satisfies your longing for a summer day. Musc Monoï adds a hint of the sea to the beckoning summer scents of warm skin, suntan oil, and umbrella drinks. It definitely takes you to the sea, preferably a tropical island, but it also leaves a sensual note to the skin - not animalic, but warm and comfortable.

Musc Monoï is available on the PARFUMS DE NICOLAÏ Web site, LuckyScent, Beautyhabit, and Twisted Lily. Try it and see if you aren't transported to the tropics.

Photo courtesy of PARFUMS DE NICOLAÏ

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Rest in Peace, Robin Williams

Is there anyone among us who didn't love Robin Williams? Who wasn't rocked by the news of his death? The news was devastating, not only that he had died, but the way he died.

I can't bring myself to write a blog post today. I'm sad for his wife, children, and Pug Lenny (or Leonard). I'm sad for all of us because I know there were many years of entertainment left in him. At 63, he wasn't supposed to leave us. There was a beautiful tribute to him this morning on The Today Show. I cried through it.

I just don't know what to say. The news is reporting that he had been suffering from depression. Apparently, men with depression are more likely than women with the condition to commit suicide. If you know someone who needs help, please do what you can to have them call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

One more thing...please remember every day to keep your loved ones close to you. We all acknowledge the need, but don't always practice it. Robin Williams reminded us of many things, including Carpe Diem! It's terribly sad that he reminded us that you never know what will happen on any given day.

Sometimes when we grieve, it helps to talk. Feel free to share your thoughts here.

Photo credit lost

Monday, August 11, 2014

TATCHA Ageless Enriching Renewal Cream Giveaway Contest - 100 Prizes!

TATCHA is generously offering 100 Best Things in Beauty readers a deluxe sample of Ageless Enriching Renewal Cream. In order to enter, you must have a United States delivery address. Just go to this link and fill out the entry form before August 25.

If more than 100 people sign up, then TATCHA will randomly draw 100 to receive the samples, and everyone who signs up will receive an exclusive promotional offer in their e-mail inbox. TATCHA will handle mailing the samples directly to the select winners.

Ageless Enriching Renewal Cream ($135) is an intensive cream with serious anti-aging properties. Even the name delighted me when it was delivered to my house last year. "Ageless" and "enriching" are words that convey to me a cream that I need. I don't want to appear to be aging, and I know my skin needs help to stay supple.

The skin is beautified by increased nourishment and purification, resulting in a reduction of age spots, renewed appearance, and radiant glow. The effective formula harnesses proven ingredients that work in harmony to promote microcirculation, preventing and reversing the signs of premature aging.

Microcirculation helps to carry vital nutrients and oxygen to the skin cells, replenishing and nourishing the skin, while also carrying away waste from the cells. The result is a radiant and healthy glow and a guard against signs of premature aging, including loss of elasticity, age spots, and dryness.

Some of the active botanical ingredients of Ageless Enriching Renewal Cream are peony (Paoneia Albiflora Root Extract), sanshishi (Gardenia Jasminoides Fruit Extract),  and yomogi (Artemisia Princeps Leaf Extract). How could these wonderful plants not help my skin? I'm also very impressed by what's not in this cream: mineral oil, synthetic colors, synthetic fragrances, sulfate detergents, parabens, PEGs, PPGs, urea, DEA, TEA, or phthalates. Halleluha!

The giveaway will continue until 100 readers have entered, so enter now before you forget this amazing offer. Again, the link is here. Many thanks to TATCHA for remembering Best Things in Beauty readers!

Photo courtesy of TATCHA

Sunday, August 10, 2014

The New Guerlain KissKiss Lipstick Collection - Live and In Person - Part 2

These three Guerlain KissKiss Lipsticks ($37) are a change of pace from the roses and pinks I featured yesterday. Aren't they pretty?

On the left, Golden Girl (#300) is a member of the Beiges family. The center Peach Fizz (#341) belongs to the Oranges family. The rightmost shade, Fall in Rose, is in the Pinks family, but it's very warm and crosses a line between pink and peach.

I told you all about these newly formulated lipsticks yesterday. If for some reason you missed that feature, click here and get all the information. I don't see a reason to repeat it. However, I did omit fragrance, which drew a reader question. I don't detect any fragrance when wearing these, but if I smell the tube directly, I can smell a very subtle fragrance. I think these lipsticks will please lipstick fragrance phobes like me.

Kissing will be getting a lot of attention from Guerlain this fall. A new addition to the Elixirs Charnels line will be called French Kiss. It will be launched in October.

My photos were taken in full sun. It took me awhile to get them because the late morning was mostly cloudy. However, there was enough blue sky and sun that I could stand outside and wait. Do I love doing that? Nope! It's one of the least fun things about being a blogger.

I swatched in numeric order, starting at the top of my arm with the nude Golden Girl, moving on to Peach Fizz, and ending with Fall in Rose. My eyes see these shades complementing one another. Too bad I can't wear them all at once.

I think Peach Fizz is stunning. I think Guerlain does too because it was one of the shades that merited its own special photo in the press release. So did Golden Girl. Golden Girl is a nude that is extremely attractive when combined with the pigment of my lips. That gleam makes it an extraordinary everyday shade.

Fall in Rose is just plain pretty. Like your pinks warm? Fall in Rose is for you.

Over the last five years, during which I have written Best Things in Beauty, I have become more and more enamored with Guerlain. The company's creative team is definitely "doing it right."

If you want to order now, call Johnathan at Las Vegas at (702) 732-7008. Keep in mind that Las Vegas doesn't have to charge you tax! That adds up for me because I buy so much Guerlain. The KissKiss Collection will be available starting this month at Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman, and the Guerlain boutiques; and starting September at select locations of Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdale's, Dillards, Sephora, and Nordstrom.

Photos courtesy of Guerlain or by Best Things in Beauty