Saturday, May 31, 2014

M·A·C Extra Dimension Blush in Seduced at Sea from the Alluring Aquatic Collection

You know I'm not a M·A·C groupie - and you know why. I did get extra-aggressive, though, in my attempts to acquire pieces from the limited-edition Alluring Aquatic Collection. The one pictured above is Extra Dimension Blush in Seduced at Sea ($27.50). I'm glad I ordered it as an add-on when I purchased the eye shadows.

This blush is a liquid-powder blush with prismatic reflections in two shimmering shades: Seduced at Sea and See Me, Hear Me. The impact ranges from a sheer crystallized light to a highly polished metallic effect.

M·A·C says it lasts six hours, although I experienced eight hours of wear. The pretty, limited-edition compact, with the aqua water droplets, gives it a special look.

Seduced at Sea is described as a mid-tone neutral plum. Well, maybe. Instead, I see an interesting hybrid peach rose shade - hard to describe, but lovely on the cheeks.

I swatched it heavily with a sponge-tipped applicator at the top of my arm, then I used a kabuki brush and applied it fairly heavily in the large swatch. I took my photos in full sun.

The finish gleams. It shows a tiny amount of shimmer in my photos, but I really don't see that on my cheeks. I fear I had some leftover shimmer on my arm from the makeup I swatched immediately prior to swatching this blush. Sometimes, those micro-shimmer particles hold on, no matter how vigorously you scrub them off.

I'm glad I purchased Seduced at Sea. The unusual color has seduced me, so I'll be wearing it this summer to warm my complexion and add a bit of color to my pale face.

The Alluring Aquatic Collection sold out immediately at the M·A·C Web site. Your best bet for finding it will be to call your local M·A·C counters (or boutiques if you have one nearby). I know there are still some "out there" somewhere.

Photos by Best Things in Beauty

Friday, May 30, 2014

You Can Now Subscribe to Best Things in Beauty using FeedBlitz

I selected "FeedBlitz" to manage my subscription and other feeds. I decided it was the most reliable option available to us. I have implemented the subscription e-mail feed. You may have received an e-mail this evening giving you the opportunity to continue to subscribe to Best Things in Beauty e-mails or opt out.

I am getting a few opt-out notices, and I'll miss you. Some of those opting out have been subscribers for many months - even years. That's OK. There are other ways to read. I have already gained one new subscriber. Bless your heart, I love you!

I was only able to recover subscriptions that were in place at the end of 2013. If you subscribed in 2014, you will need to resubscribe, using the option in the upper right corner of my sidebar. I'm sorry to those who recently unsubscribed then resubscribed to try to make Feedburner work. You will have to do it one more time. I had no idea that the e-mails were not going out because Feedburner had lost all my subscribers, even myself - just poof and they were gone. I hope you will re-subscribe. I seem to have lost hundreds of subscribers in one feel swoop. I'm sure some of them were 2014 subscribers, but I have no idea where the others went. Feedburner may have been losing them incrementally over time.

Please also note that if you subscribed in 2013, but did not verify your subscription with Google, it was included in the 2013 file. I had no way to sort them out.

The industry has known that Feedburner was on its last legs. Although a Google product, there is "no one home" anymore. I'm disappointed in Google for not announcing it was killing what was left of its service. Many bloggers depended on it. I will have to figure out how to cut all ties to Feedburner over the weekend.

In the meantime, subscribers can expect to receive your e-mails between 4:00 and 7:00 pm Eastern Time every day. Thank you for your loyalty.

Photo courtesy of FeedBlitz

The Friday Forum - May 30

As the roses opened, I dreaded a windblown, crashing rain storm. What did we get? You guessed it.  Not one storm, but two. My poor roses look bedraggled today.

The Google program I used since the blog's inception has gone kaput - with no notice. Overnight, Feedburner stopped sending out e-mails, which I noted earlier in the week, but it also lost my entire subscriber list. Fortunately, I had backed it up at the end of 2013. I am in the process of setting up a new e-mail feed using a program called Mail Chimp. Last night, I imported over 1800 subscriptions to Mail Chimp, but I still can't figure out how to tell it when to send out messages and which messages to select. I should have it all configured by the end of the weekend.

I am so glad I backed up my subscription list. The unfortunate part of this story (besides Feedburner's total meltdown) is that I have no subscription updates (adds, deletes) from 2014. So when I get Mail Chimp working for Best Things in Beauty, you may need to resubscribe if you wish. I'll let you know when Mail Chimp goes live for me so that you can determine whether you are getting the e-mails (in which case you will have to do nothing) or not (you will have to resubscribe).

My frustration level is beyond high. I was so angry, I tried to call Google late yesterday! If Google had provided warning, as it did when it announced its intention to discontinue Feedburner support of APIs, I could have planned an orderly transition. I'm sorry for the inconvenience we have all suffered.

As a result of the time I have spent troubleshooting and setting up a new program, I am backed up on features I want to write! I have photos for the new M·A·C blush and bronzer, a whole new color line, and Pixie darlings I want to show you. I will have to get busy and try to find time to write extra features this weekend.

It's time for the Friday Forum. 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.

Happy weekend!

Update: I did not use Mail Chimp. I decided to use a paid service called FeedBlitz. I know they are reliable, and I have a notion that a paid service will be accountable for my feeds. So far, their customer service in helping me set up my feed has been superlative. Stay tuned. You will receive a notice and have the opportunity to stay on my list or opt out if you wish.

I hope you will receive your first e-mail soon. I will be providing instructions later for those who subscribed in 2014. My back-up did not include you. I hope you will resubscribe using my new FeedBlitz option at the top right of the page.

Photo by Best Things in Beauty

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Coming Soon: Le Métier de Beauté Dark Orchid Kaleidoscope - Gift with Purchase at Neiman Marcus Camp Gorgeous

The Neiman Marcus Camp Gorgeous Event is coming soon: June 4-15. Le Métier de Beauté has an amazing gift with purchase in store for you. The Dark Orchid Kaleidoscope, a $95 value, will be yours with your Le Métier de Beauté purchase of $250 or more. Time to stock up on skin care?

The unique beauty of this collection is in the new eye shadow formula Le Métier de Beauté's chemist just completed. The new texture is more buttery and rich than anything the company has offered before. What can you anticipate?
  • Tier 1:  Split-Pan Cake Liner. Black and Plum-Orchid 
  • Tier 2:  Rich Orchid. (similar to Alexandrite/Fig, but more magenta, and brighter) 
  • Tier 3:  Mocha Sheen (similar to Corinthian, but more vivid and brighter) 
  • Tier 4:  A new moisture-resistant Eye-Base Primer. When applied to the eyelid, the look is like a sheer, pearlized nylon stocking.
Michael Reinhardt at Neiman Marcus Mazza Gallerie is taking pre-orders for those who want to make sure they "earn" this free, exclusive Kaleidoscope before they "sell out," so to speak. Give Michael or Chae Edwards a call at (202) 966-9700, extension 2258.

Ask Michael about the all-new single eye shadows coming, as well as the new neck cream, destined to reverse one of our most troublesome signs of aging.

Photo courtesy of Le Métier de Beauté

Even I'm Not Getting My Subscription E-Mails

Time to make a change. I have used Google's Feedburner to support subscriptions to my blog since I started blogging, almost five years ago. I have not received my subscription e-mails since last Friday. That probably means you haven't either. Feedburner is clearly broken.

You would think it would be an embarrassment to Google. Instead, they do not seem to care. I must change to another service for my subscribers, and I will do so just as soon as I can select one and figure out how to move my subscription list to the new service.

In the meantime, please remember to check in each day. There will probably be no reminders until I can make the switch.

Photo courtesy of

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

M·A·C Alluring Aquatic Extra Dimension Eye Shadow (Mini) - Lorelei, Sea Worship, and Silver Sun

Did I go to a lot of trouble to get these new M·A·C Alluring Aquatic Extra Dimension Eye Shadows ($19.50 each)! As I recounted in a Friday Forum, I saw some pretty new eye shadows on the M·A·C Web site. All were sold out - the usual for M·A·C. I called the M·A·C Boutique and was told the collection would arrive on May 22 and to call when they opened that day. I did and was able to order the items that interested me. I gave them my charge card and asked if I could pick them up after work. The answer was no! They would have to send them to me for a shipping charge of $7. I have never - ever - heard of something so bizarre. Why is it that M·A·C seems to exist in another world?
Sirens of the deep inspire an aquascape of shades, as waves of tarnished olive, seafoam, and darkened plum surrender to water’s enticing spirit. Sultry eyes take on a subtle radiance, while luminous Extra Dimension Blush washes over cheeks, creating a goddess glow. Under the sea, nails glisten in aquatic chrome and metallic Nail Lacquer, as Lipstick, Lipglass, and Lip Pencil dive deep into color. Limited-edition teal packaging, dramatically accented with sheer water droplets - which looks really cool - distinguishes this collection.

I wanted Lorelei, Sea Worship, and Silver Sun, shown from left to right directly above. I am very pleased that I purchased all three, even though I set out to purchase Silver Sun only.

I'm sure M·A·C "addicts" have already seen them on blogs or in person. I am writing for people like me - those who don't haunt every M·A·C collection, but who will go to some trouble to acquire a piece that looks pretty. Silver Sun was that piece for me.

I swatched all three colors with a sponge-tipped applicator and took my photos in full sun. Lorelei is shown at the top of my arm, with Sea Worship in the middle, and the gorgeous green Silver Sun at the bottom.

Lorelei, described as golden beige, is a pretty peach. Sea Worship, called a tarnished olive, is indeed a tarnished olive - or maybe an antique gold. Silver Sun is a silvery, subdued green, absolutely stunning to my eye.

All three colors offer a gleaming, subtle shimmer. They are flattering on the eyelids and last a full day (remember, I use primer). I am thrilled that I purchase them - or that I was "allowed to purchase them." This M·A·C chase is downright annoying. Do they realize how much more money they could make if they loosened the strings a bit?

These colors are sold out at the M·A·C Web site. Your best best to find them will be at a M·A·C Boutique, like I did, or a M·A·C counter, such as the one at Nordstrom.  Good luck! They are worth the hunt.

Photos by Best Things in Beauty

Monday, May 26, 2014

Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Multi-Colour Broad Spectrum SPF 15 Sunscreen in N° 01

Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bundchen is the face of Chanel for the Spring-Summer 2014 launch of Les Beiges Healthy Glow to hit the counters. The Les Beiges line includes Chanel's limited-edition Healthy Glow Multi-Colour Broad Spectrum SPF 15 Sunscreen ($65) and the All-in-One Healthy Glow Fluid. With their sunscreen, both are perfect for summertime.

I was lured to the Chanel counter by the new display. I immediately saw Les Beiges Healthy Glow Multi-Colour Broad Spectrum SPF 15 in N° 01, with its three pretty stripes. I knew the moment I saw it that N° 01 was the shade for me. If you would like to see N° 02, head over to The Beauty Look Book.

Chanel's photo of N° 01 is shown directly above. It is not that colorful. The lightweight, multi-stripe powder can offer a palette of effortless effects - depending on your skin tone. The powder can act as a highlighter, sculpting powder, bronzer, and blush - all with a sheer, natural finish and broad-spectrum sun protection.

A hybrid powder (depending on your skin tone and the shade selected), Les Beiges were inspired by Gabrielle Chanel’s passion for freedom - a new makeup approach for “simple, intuitive, and natural beauty.” Les Beiges represent a new, versatile concept for Chanel. We saw our first collection last year, and the latest has finally made it to the shores of the United States.

The ingredients include a purifying protective cream containing white roses and a cotton composite plant cell extract that protects the skin from environmental pollution while soothing and calming the skin. Shea butter offers softness, while the UVA and UVB factors help prevent fine lines and sun spots. The powders are very lightly scented with Chanel's iconic gardenia.

I seem to have purchased more than my share of face powders lately - especially the ones that are nearly impossible to swatch and photograph. This powder adds a pretty glow - or translucent sheen - to my face, something last year's powders did not do. I wasn't overwhelmed with my first purchase last year. With the new N° 01, I see the glow. Given its perfect match to my skin tone, the shade also provides totally transparent, light coverage along with its SPF 15. The active ingredients are octinoxate and titanium dioxide. I love it as a finishing powder.

These swatch photos may be the most difficult photos I've ever taken. I did everything I could to make N° 01 show up on my skin. It is such a perfect match that all you can see in my photos is a glow from the microfine powder. When you examine the powder, you will see that it has barely detectible micro-shimmer in it.

To swatch, I took a sponge-tipped applicator and swatched heavily in a row at the top of my arm. Then I used a kabuki brush to blend all three colors and add a larger swatch below. My photos were taken in full, afternoon sun. If you look extremely carefully, you can see that the powder "lights up" my skin in the sunlight. The shade I selected adds little color - just a slight warmth.

I can select the peachy stripe across the bottom of the compact and achieve a light peach glow that's kind of pretty. Blended, the shades melt into my skin as if they belong there. For me, there is no reason to select individual shades when applying the powder.

The compact comes with a brush inside. It will do in a pinch, but I wouldn't recommend you use it for any serious sculpting.

The new Les Beiges Collection is available at, Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdale's, and other Chanel counters. I purchased mine at Neiman Marcus.

Photo at top and one compact photo courtesy of Chanel; other photos by Best Things in Beauty

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Happy Memorial Day!

These photo say it all. Memorial Day is a U.S. national holiday when we remember those who gave their lives for our freedom. If you have lost a loved one, please know that millions are pausing today to reflect on your sacrifices. We care. Thank you for giving up the most precious thing you could give - your children, fathers and mothers, grandparents, brothers and sisters, cousins, and friends. I hope you can let the American people embrace you today in a gigantic collective hug of love and appreciation.

While today isn't really about the living, it's a great opportunity to thank veterans and the men and women who are currently serving in our Armed Forces. At any time, those at war could join the fallen at our national memorials at Arlington Cemetery and across the country. Today, some who were injured while serving are healing at hospitals around the world. Their stories - grit, determination, and bravery - are inspirational. Others who have returned from war aren't receiving the care (or the jobs) we owe them. That saddens me, especially when they are put on endless waiting lists for care.

There was a beautiful, moving tribute, originally published in the Washington Post, A Song of Gratitude at Arlington National Cemetery, by Page Johnson of McLean, Virginia. I recommend that you read it at this link.

Here's a short excerpt.

So on this day of memories, I come to tell them thank you. I come to tell them I honor their service and the heritage they have given me. Most of all, I come to tell them that they are neither alone nor forgotten. I will be here for them, in spirit and in deed, and for their fellow soldiers trying to make a safer world so the children of every mother and father can sleep securely at night.

This photo is another that left me in tears.  This Memorial Day weekend, please pause to honor and remember the U.S. military dogs, who have been selflessly serving since World War II. In this photo, Staff Sgt. Thomas Sager carries the body of Dinomt (pronounced "dynomite"), a 90-pound German shepherd killed by an IED while on patrol in Kandahar. "He somehow took most of the blast, saving my life," his handler, Petty Officer 2nd Class Leroy Williams, said in an article a couple of months after Dinomt died. "I am eternally grateful. … There has not been a night go by yet that I don't miss him and even cry for him."

So many images - so many stories - define Memorial Day. "Thank you" doesn't seem adequate. While there will be pageantry, picnics, parades, concerts, and fireworks today, many of us will be thinking tearfully about the heroes who gave their lives so that we could live in peace.

Photos courtesy of unknown,, National Geographic, and the Washington Post

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Bobbi Brown Raw Sugar Shimmer Brick Eye Palette from the Raw Sugar Collection

Bobbi Brown's limited-edition Raw Sugar Shimmer Brick Eye Palette ($48.50) offers 10 shimmering shades for the eyes in beachy bronzes and warm sugar tones - Bobbi's go-to hues when the weather heats up. From her Raw Sugar Collection, this limited-edition palette leaves the eyelids with a soft wash of pearlescent color.

I always purchase these little "shimmer bricks" for eyes. I think they are a great deal, and when I saw this one, loaded with rose gold and neutral shades, I flipped.

Inspired by Bobbi's love of the toasted-brown, shimmering shades of raw sugar, this palette captures the look of sandy shores and beach bronze beauty.

I took swatch photos in full sun. As you can see from the mirror on the palette, there were clouds in the sky, but I had enough breaks to get decent swatch photos.

I did not have time to swatch every shade, so I swatched three shades or combinations - all with a sponge-tipped applicator - and then I ran an applicator across all of the shades to see how they look blended. I started at the top of my arm with the second shade from the left; then I swatched the "lightest shades' in the middle, mixing two; then I swatched the brown shades at the far right in the palette, mixing the last two. Finally, I ran the applicator left to right over the whole palette. The combination of all shades left the beautiful bronze color at the bottom of my arm.

As you can see, these shades are perfect shimmers. They provide an "adult shimmer" that gleams, without any glitter. The finish is lovely for summer.

The Raw Sugar Shimmer Brick Eye Palette provides so many options, I can't do the math. I will enjoy using the shades this summer.

I purchased mine sight unseen from the Bobbi Brown Web site. I have seen the full Raw Sugar Collection in the stores too, so you should be able to find the entire collection at your favorite counter.

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

Friday, May 23, 2014

The Friday Forum - May 23 - with Jo Malone Silk Blossom

As we begin the Memorial Day weekend (more on that later), I am admiring the Siberian irises in my garden. They surround my mailbox and provide a fleeting burst of blue color. I adore blue in the garden!

This has been another troublesome week. The guy I rolled into last week had offered me a settlement amount that I decided to accept. I had an attorney call him to ensure a release, and suddenly, after harassing me every four hours for days, he wasn't talking. He said he had hired legal assistance, but refused to provide my attorney with the name and contact information for his attorney. That left me in limbo. I have no idea what's going on - which is anxiety-provoking. Meanwhile, my car is being repaired, and my wonderful neighbor lent me his extra car. I have to look at the good things and let go of what I can't control, right?

I saw some pretty new eye shadows on the M·A·C Web site. They are part of the Alluring Aquatic Collection. All were sold out - the usual for M·A·C. I called the M·A·C Boutique and was told the collection would arrive on May 22 and to call when they opened that day. I did and was able to order the items that interested me. I gave them my charge card and asked if I could pick them up after work. The answer was no! They would have to send them to me for a shipping charge of $7. I have never - ever - heard of something so bizarre. Why is it that M·A·C seems to exist in another world?

Jo Malone has introduced a new limited-edition fragrance, Silk Blossom Cologne ($120), and it is really nice. My curiosity couldn't wait for a trip to a store, so I ordered mine from the Jo Malone Web site, and it arrived right away.The Jo Malone description is in italics below.

Nature’s blooms at their most tempting. The nectarous, pink-fringed pompoms of Silk Blossom. Irresistible to hummingbirds and butterflies. Apricot-fresh with a touch of spice. Airy with clouds of powder-soft heliotrope, nestling on a bed of moss. Fruity and enticing.

Here is what I learned at Fragrantica. Jo Malone created Silk Blossom created in collaboration with Marie Salamagne. Silk Blossom provides an unusual blend of aromas creating harmony of spices, gentle floral shades, fruit zests, and soft moss. The fragrance opens with a tart union of white pepper, bergamot, and sweet apricots, announcing exotic silk blossom in the heart, surrounded with delicate jasmine and rose petals. The floral notes are enhanced by a harmony of warm moss and vanilla-like, soft flavors of heliotrope in the base of the composition, providing a luxurious, pink tone. According to Marie Salamagne, the accent lies with the flower as well as silk wood, providing a special atmosphere to the composition while accentuating it with characteristic elegance.

I'll just add that it's a divine, enticing floral, with no wood note that I can discern. I love it!

It's time for the Friday Forum. 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.

If you are offline for the rest of the weekend, I'll wish you a Happy Memorial Day now. I'll be writing this weekend, so come on back if you can.

Silk Blossom photo courtesy of Jo Malone; iris photo by Best Things in Beauty

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Bobbi Brown Raw Sugar Shimmer Nail Polish from the Raw Sugar Collection

Bobbi Brown has introduced two new, limited-edition shades of Shimmer Nail Polish with her Raw Sugar Collection: Raw Sugar and Golden Beige. I seldom get carried away with new nail polish shades. I can't wear them all! However, the magnetic color of Raw Sugar and its reasonable price ($15) combined to lure me into a purchase.

Dress up nails with long-lasting shimmer (it's Bobbi's favorite way to accessorize hands and toes). Pearlescent color casts nails in the starring role with a range of chic, shimmering shades.

I think this shimmering bronze is gorgeous. I took swatch photos in full, mid-day sun. What I see on my "fake nails" color wheel is a rose bronze. The color attracted me like a moth to light. I love rose gold, now I am looking at rose bronze, and I'm excited. I'd like an eye shadow next, please. Maybe even a bronzer.

You all know my nail polish application skills are not properly called skills. I did my best - two coats here - but I still didn't get an even application. Blame me, not the product! I have earned the nail polish application klutz title fair and square.

Despite my application failures, this color is, in my humble opinion, extraordinary. It's a limited edition, so don't delay in purchasing it if it grabs you like it has me.

The Raw Sugar Collection is available at Bobbi Brown's Web site, where there is a special gift now (overnight shipping through today along with a travel-sized SPF 50 Protective Face Base with any $50 order with code LONGWKD), or your favorite Bobbi Brown retailer.

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

M·A·C Patentpolish Lip Pencil

Recently, and for the first time in a long time, I purchased a few M·A·C items. I seldom try because the brand's most exciting pieces sell out the day they are introduced. I was surprised to be able to order two new lip pencils. Maybe no one wanted them (big smile).

The color and shine of a gloss, the precision of a lip pencil - now in one color stick. M·A·C Patentpolish Lip Pencil ($20) instantly achieves a luscious shine with a single swipe. Effortless twist-up keeps application clean and simple, with no need to sharpen. Enjoy color in a range of 12 new shades - from bright corals to soft, rosy pinks and natural nudes - that stay bright and true on all skin tones.

I ordered Pleasant (shown at left above) and Spontaneous (shown at right). Both are pretty colors. I love the finish they leave on the lips.

I took my swatch photos in full sun. Pleasant is a bright cherry shade. Spontaneous is a warm mauve-pink. I love these pencils. Pencils seem so easy. The Patentpolish Lip Pencils provide a liquid look - almost like patent leather.

I think the range of colors in this collection provides something for everyone. Check it out. It didn't sell out the day it was released. You may still be able to buy one from M·A·C's Web site, a M·A·C boutique, or a M·A·C counter.

Photos at top and bottom courtesy of M·A·C; other photos by Best Things in Beauty

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Bobbi Brown Tinted Lip Balm from the Raw Sugar Collection

Bobbi Brown introduced four, limited-edition Tinted Lip Balm ($20) shades with the Raw Sugar Collection. She had me at Tinted Lip Balm - my kind of lip color. I blind-ordered from the Bobbi Brown Web site and forced myself to order only two. My selections were Pink Raspberry and Pink Popsicle. I am going to have to cover my eyes when I walk past the Bobbi Brown counter. I'm sure I am going to covet the other two shades, both browns, which I love.

Pink Popsicle is shown at left immediately above, and Pink Raspberry is shown at right. All of my photos were taken in full, mid-day sun.

This favorite lip formula from Bobbi Brown has returned in barely-there balm that offers deep moisturize and sheer color (that lasts longer than many sheers). Any woman who wants soft, smooth lips with a hint of fuss-free color for summer will love these Tinted Lip Balms. I still have my shades from Bobbi's earlier introduction. I think I purchased all of them, which means it would have been hard for this fickle blogger to use them all up before moving on to the next sheer sensation.

The color-true formula packs the perfect blend of emollients to comfort and moisturize the lips, while beeswax and candelilla wax help provide longer wear. Plus, vitamins C and E deliver nourishing antioxidant protection.

Because the Lip Balms have a flat top, my arm applications weren't as "neat" and rectangular as I would like. They apply easily to my lips, followed by a smack, but my bony arms were a different story. Pink Popsicle is shown at the top of my arm. It's described by Bobbi Brown as a sheer pinky-red. I'm not sure I'm buying that description. I'd call it a warm pink. I see no red in it. I think the color is gorgeous, despite its description.

Pink Raspberry, shown below on my arm, is described by Bobbi Brown as a sheer, bright red-pink. I can agree with that. The shade has a lot of red in it, but because it is sheer, it doesn't look red on my lips. It looks like I've kissed a popsicle. Too bad it wasn't named with the word "popsicle" because it reminds of of how kids look after they have eaten a berry delight.

The new Tinted Lip Balms are beautifully hydrating. They look good and feel good. The only thing that might have made them even better would have been a bit of SPF protection.

If you see me in the store with my eyes averted from the Bobbi Brown counter, you will know I'm trying not to "see" the brown shades. Wish me luck!

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

Monday, May 19, 2014

YSL New Souffle Éclat Sheer and Radiant Loose Powder

It's hard for me to get excited about face powder. There are so many good ones, and most serve their purpose to mattify the skin, set makeup, or add a glow. When Pamela Morgan (National Makeup Artist) introduced me to YSL's new Souffle Éclat ($60), she basically admitted the same. Then she told me that she calls Souffle Éclat a miracle blurring powder and loves it.

I was intrigued by the image of blurring. Any powder that could blur the imperfections on my face and leave me looking just a little bit better was magic to my ears - and eyes. Pam proved it to me with an application to my hand.

From the first application, skin’s beauty is highlighted in a luminous veil that ensures a fresh feeling throughout the day. Micro Mother of Pearl particles enhance complexion’s natural radiance, while the airy powder hugs the skin and sets and perfects make-up, delivering a reliably flawless finish. For all skin types, even sensitive and dry skin.

Souffle Éclat is available in four shades. Pam selected Shade 01 for me. It is a light pink to the eye, but applies to my skin as transparent. It's perfect. It's a loose powder, as you can see. Just take off the plastic covering, put on the cap, shake, and a perfect application moves through the tiny openings and is ready to be picked up by your powder brush.

I took swatch photos in full sun. You will think I'm absolutely crazy. Anyone who tries to take a swatch photo of a finishing powder is; but you know me - I'll try anything, even with results that are nearly invisible.

Can you see the powder on my arm? If you can, you have amazing vision. It disappears into my skin because it's a perfect shade for me. Can you see that it blurs my veins at the top of the application? If you can, you have great eyes. The fact is that this powder does have a blurring effect - one that is kind to the skin, like candlelight.

No sparkles, no razzmatazz, just a powder that is lightweight and really has a blurring effect! I was impressed enough to purchase it. That's saying something for a face powder - a product I can often resist. There is enough powder in this jar to last me for life - at least my life.

Shade 01 is only one of four shades. You should check out them all at the YSL counter and select the one that's best for your skin tone. If you don't see the blurring effect, I'll be surprised.

Souffle Éclat is available at YSL counters. I purchased mine at Neiman Marcus. It's also available online. One source is YSL's Web site.

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

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Bobbi Brown Telluride Illuminating Bronzing Powder from the Raw Sugar Collection

Bobbi Brown's Illuminating Bronzing Powders ($38) are the cat's meow. To me, they are a hybrid between blusher and bronzer - the perfect two-for. Bobbi introduced Telluride with the new Raw Sugar Collection, an enticing group of summer colors that tempted me to pull out my credit card online.

I was already a fan of these Illuminating Bronzing Powders. I have Santa Barbara and Tawny Brown, both great colors. I think Maui and Antigua is somewhere here too. Bobbi Brown's soft matte, silky-smooth Bronzing Powder gives skin an instant look of a natural tan, and it's perfect for contouring too. Bobbi suggests using Bronzing Powder year round to get a sun-kissed look. I've always liked Bronzing Powder because there are light shades that are appropriate for my pale skin.

You can see that the photo of Telluride at home is move mauve than the online photo - and that's a good thing from my perspective. I love this color. This ultra-soft and smooth pressed powder is formulated with a unique and innovative blend of sheer powder and micro pearls. The powder glides on evenly and gives the skin a seamless and sheer natural-looking glow. Bobbi recommends applying it with her Bronzer Brush, a good idea, but you can use any blush brush or powder brush.

I was a little disappointed in my swatch photos, which I took in full, lunchtime sunshine. They look lifeless, even though the Telluride color is so natural on my skin. I guess the satin finish, which doesn't sparkle in bright light, makes it look fabulous on the face, but a little dull in swatch photos. I can have a dynamite photo or a dynamite bronzer.

I adore this mauve-brown color. The rose in the shade is perfect for the undertones of my skin. I'm sure it's not the best of the six shades for everyone, but it's darn nice on me. If you have pink undertones, I suspect you will feel the same.

For Bobbi Brown's tutorial on its use, go to this link. It's a simple explanation for using bronzers.

Over the coming week, I'll show you the other pieces I purchased from the Raw Sugar Collection. I think it's one of Bobbi's best in months.

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