Friday, April 29, 2016

The Friday Forum - April 29

It's dogwood time. Given the rain we had today and what's predicted for the next five days, I doubt the flowers will be with us next week. It's a shame; they are so pretty.

The rain presented a problem for our DC eaglets - and all of us eagle watchers. Apparently, when it rains, fish swim deeper in the river. As a result, the parents were not bringing in food yesterday. The kids went about 38 hours without food, and I was dying! Today, all is well. Mom and Dad have made up for yesterday's miserable rain, cold, and starvation. They looked so sad yesterday. I wanted to deliver a bucket of fresh fish to their tree. The photo above shows Mom sheltering their little faces in pouring rain.

It's time for our Friday Forum and weekend conversation. The Friday Forum has always been an opportunity to share information. Are you using a fabulous product and want to sing its praises? Tell us about it! Did you find a beauty product disappointing? Tell us why! Do you have questions others might be able to answer? We can help! Want to talk about skin care? I'm game. Just use the comments. We have busy weekends and slow ones on the forum. I hope you are ready to share. See you in the comments.

I have a question for you. When I back-purchase spring items, do you want to see them? Or is it old news? For example, I back-purchased a few Tom Ford spring things that were still available.

BTW, those unsubscribing because I send an e-mail update every day can change, if they choose, to a weekly digest. Just wanted to let y'all know.

Dogwood photo by Best Things in Beauty; eagle photo copyright American Eagle Foundation

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Tom Ford Moisturecore Lip Color from the Soleil Collection for Summer 2016

I love Tom Ford's Moisturecore Lip Colors ($55). They meet my criteria for hydration and sheer color. I purchased Pipa, shown above, and Scandola in person at Neiman Marcus.

Here is how Tom Ford describes them...
Two innovative formulas in one lip product. In the center, a liquid core infused with passion fruit oil provides luxurious moisture in a pink pop of color throughout every Moisturecore Lip Color shade. A luminous lip color encases the core, infused with an exotic blend of melon fruit extract, murumuru butter, and plant derived esters that conditions lips. Sprinkled with subtle gold pearl to complement bronzed, summer skin. Shades, ranging from sandy nude to rosy mauve, provide a soft veil of lightweight color that lasts for hours.

I agree. These are beauties, and if it weren't for the price, I would have purchased all of them. The color is long-lasting, particularly for a lipstick with shine.

Here is a photo of Pipa, taken from above in full sun, at my house. My swatch photo of pretty Pipa - also taken in full sun - is shown directly below.

Scandola is more brown. It's a lovely color that suits a neutral look perfectly. The tube is shown directly below, followed by my swatch photo of Scandola. Both were taken in full sun.

As you can see, Scandola is more sheer than Pipa. The nude shade, when added to the pink pigmentation of my lips, is very pretty. It looks peachy.

Sabrina at the Beauty Look Book reported these lip colors to feel "dry" on first application.  They aren't on me, and I thought I had driest lips on Earth. Perhaps the fact that I always have some layer of lip balm on my lips gave them an extra moisture boost? Regardless, go check out her feature because she has all of the shades shown.

I'll be living in these two Moisturecore Lip Colors this summer. You can too. You can find them at Tom Ford Beauty online and at retailers that carry Tom Ford, such as Neiman Marcus, Sephora, Nordstrom, and Saks Fifth Avenue. You Tom Ford devotees know where you can find them.

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

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Giorgio Armani Beauty Rouge d'Armani Sheer Lipstick from the Sepia Collection for Spring/Summer 2016

Giorgio Armani Beauty introduced three new Rouge d'Armani Sheer Lipsticks ($37) with the Sepia Sepia Collection for Spring/Summer 2016. Featuring a creamy texture, feather light and translucent, and as hydrating as a lip balm, the new shades are wearable and chic. I have little time to write tonight, so I'm going to give you a quick 411 on these gorgeous lip colors.

A cutting-edge color formulation process was used to create them. The Color Shine Moisture Polymer, a revolutionary component able to retain twice its volume of water, enhances color luminosity while locking in hydration on the lips' surface - said to last for over eight hours. I can't get eight hours out of any lip color. I'm a Kleenex addict, and I drink water repeatedly during the day, leaving lipstick on my cup.

I love sheer lip colors and couldn't resist trying at least two shades of the three in the Sepia Collection. I purchased #203 and #604 - two extremes on the intensity spectrum.

It's always hard to take photographs of these lipsticks. the magnetic tubes want to lock together - and never aligned to show the logos. At least I got the colors right!

Number 203, shown on the left above, is a beige shade that perfectly matches the Sepia Highlighting Palette. Number 604 is a purple-brown "for beautifully outlined lips that won't go unnoticed."

The third shade, which I did not order, is #204, a warm brown. I had to stop somewhere! It looks lovely, and I may cave before the season ends.

The swatch photo above was taken in full, mid-day sun. I applied the shades directly from the tubes. Number 203 is shown at the top. It is a nude-pink on my skin and lips. The shade below, #604, is a gorgeous plum to my eyes.

I am extremely happy with both shades. My lips have enough pigment to give #203 a nice look. It is one of those "my lips but better" shades. There is no mistaking #604 for my own lips. It is a pigmented sheer - thankfully sheer enough that I can wear the pop of vibrant color.

I purchased both from Giorgio Armani Beauty. You can find these beautiful sheer shades at all Armani counters (I hope they have arrived). They are definitely worth a look-see.

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

Monday, April 25, 2016

Estée Lauder Bronze Goddess Gelée Bronzer for Summer 2016

Estée Lauder's Bronze Goddess Collection for 2016 has been released, and, as usual, there are some stellar products in it. It's a nice change from the boring Aerin Lauder color. Get ready, bronzer shoppers; this one's a beauty.

Bronze Goddess limited-edition Gelée Bronzer ($32) is a treasure. The press? "Give yourself a heavenly glow with this super-luxurious liquid bronzer. Formulated with a unique blend of bronzing pigments in a pearlized, reflective base for sheer, natural-looking radiance. Feels weightless and comfortable. Turn up the heat." Amen! This bronzer is glorious.

I took photos in full, mid-day sunshine - hence the reflections. The tube is fairly small (one fluid ounce), but it only takes a small quantity to impart a lovely, sheer bronze shade to your face. My swatch photo was created with a tiny dab of the liquid/gel bronzer. You can layer it for more intensity, but no amount of layering will make it opaque.

From the swatch photo, you can see that the color is sheer and natural. It won't really cover your imperfections; you can see my veins through it (sorry). That's its beauty. It lets your own skin shine through the lovely, natural bronze color. This shade should work for almost everyone. It's not muddy, and it's not pink. I love it!

The formula is oil-free, so it will delight those with oily skin, as well as those, like me, whose skin is dry. It literally floats onto my skin on application - nice and even when applied with fingertips or a synthetic brush. It makes me look naturally alive and sunned. I apply it on the highlights of my face where the sun would hit if I didn't wear sunscreen.

I ordered mine online from Estée Lauder, and I have other new items from the collection to show you. You can find the Bronze Goddess Collection wherever Estée Lauder is sold. I'll warn you, though, that the limited items often sell out quickly. If you want one, buy with haste.

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

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Tom Ford Radiant Moisture Soufflé from the Soleil Collection for Summer 2016

I would have passed by Tom Ford's limited-edition Radiant Moisture Soufflé ($98) had Debbie O'Malley not pointed it out to me. It looked just like any other moisturizer. Debbie put in on her arm, and I had an instant wow reaction.

Here is what Tom Ford has to say about it, slightly edited...
Replenish, hydrate, and illuminate skin with a rich, luxurious, whipped cream that instantly re-energizes the skin's appearance apres-soleil. Featuring Tom Ford's exclusive infusing complex, this rich soufflé formula returns radiance and vitality to fatigued skin. Small golden pearls enhance a natural glow, while the skin feels flooded with moisture. Plump and vibrant with youthful energy. The Tom Ford infusing complex infuses the skin with a potent combination of specially selected nutrients that help skin cells replenish their natural energy. It fundamentally rejuvenates the complexion, so it looks and feels brighter, fresher, and less tired. High-performing antioxidants help protect the skin, creating a vital-looking face. The skin is left looking renewed, resilient, and smoother.

That's not why I purchased it. There are plenty of fabulous, luxurious moisturizers out there. I didn't need another. This one leaves a glow - a real, visible glow on the skin as it moisturizes. Look at the gleam on my arm in the photo below.

The shine makes my face look younger. I know some women work really hard to get rid of shine. I have to add it to revitalize my dry skin. Radiant Moisture Soufflé gleams in direct light, but it also adds a glow in indoor or indirect light. I was quite taken in the store, and now that I've used it, I'm pleased with its moisturizing qualities. It has a nice mix of ingredients - nothing particularly earth-shattering, but good ones.

Bobbi Brown has a product that also leaves a gleam: Bobbi Brown Extra Illuminating Moisture Balm ($65). It's another skin-boosting moisture balm that helps energize tired, dull skin to bring back its natural glow. It's less expensive, so if you'd like to try one of these - and you have dry skin - either should make you happy. They have different textures (Tom Ford's has an edge on lightweight). I like them both.

You can purchase Radiant Moisture Soufflé from the Soleil Collection for Summer 2016 from Neiman Marcus, the Tom Ford Web site, Sephora now (I assume), and other stores that carry Tom Ford Beauty. Debbie said it's a limited edition, so if you want one, buy it before it disappears.

Photo at top courtesy of Tom Ford Beauty; swatch photo by Best Things in Beauty

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Bronzer in Radiant Bronze Light

You might ask me, "Why did you buy the one for medium to dark complexions?" I don't know! I think I made a mistake. I purchased two of the same shade, and I'm pretty sure I meant to buy one of each. It was last year, so who knows?

Anyhow, Hourglass Ambient Lighting Bronzer in Radiant Light ($50) can be made to work for any skin tone. Just use your brush properly because it is very pigmented. I'll have to order the lighter shade, Luminous Bronze Light, for comparison. This purchase had to be the result of one of my sleepy, late-night online trips to Sephora. However, it makes for a nice feature for those with darker complexions than mine.

As usual, my photo directly above shows the true color of the powder bronzer in the compact. It is definitely not as orange as the Sephora and Hourglass photos show. If you look carefully, you can see some micro-sparkle pigment in it, and this shows up on the skin - but only in strong light. Indoors, it offers a beautiful sheen to the skin.

I took swatch photos in full, mid-day sun, and I used my usual sponge-tipped applicator to apply it. The first thing I noticed is that it is extremely pigmented. I played with it indoors with a fluffy powder brush, and it applied with much less pigment to my face. The color works that way, even on my fair skin.

You can see how dark this shade is when applied fairly heavily with a sponge-tipped applicator. It's perfect for medium and dark complexions. Hourglass describes it as "a warm bronze shade fused with Radiant Light, a golden beige powder, to mimic a summer glow. Ideal for medium/deep complexions."

If this color is good for you, I think you will love Radiant Bronze Light. It adheres to the skin nicely, providing long wear with no fallout. It really is radiant. If you are fair and buy it anyhow, just use your expert brush skills and lightly sweep the brush over the powder to pick up a beautiful, warm, natural-looking tan shade.

You can find Hourglass Ambient Bronzer at Sephora and Hourglass Cosmetics online.

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

Friday, April 22, 2016

New: Laura Mercier Face Illuminator Powder in Devotion

New this spring, Laura Mercier's Face Illuminator Powder ($44) caught my eye on Sephora instantly. It comes in four shades, three of which are new, but Devotion called to me. I was not disappointed. This gleaming powder adds an instant touch of radiance. Plus, I read at Allure that she designed the Devotion shade for fair skin tones!

Laura Mercier said, "I developed this product to help women create a radiant look for themselves using a performance makeup artist tool that allows a buildable layer of shine - from subtle illumination to extreme radiance." That's exactly how it works.

This long-wearing, buildable, and versatile highlighting powder can be used anywhere on your face or body. It provides a natural-looking, radiant, allover glow. I'm not sure how the red algae ingredient in it adds to the radiance or texture, but that's certainly a popular ingredient these days.

Laura Mercier Face Illuminator Powder highlights the skin with pure light-reflecting pigments for a color-true, multidimensional, and luminous finish that complements all skin tones. Its non-dusting texture allows for excellent color payoff and applies smoothly and evenly onto the skin without dragging across dry areas. The unique formula brings a stunning gleam to the complexion for an instant glow that is said to last up to eight hours.

I took my compact photo in full sun. As is normally the case, my photo is more true than the online photo. I had a feeling that the pink would be stupendous, and it is. There's nothing wrong with the color shown at the top of this feature, but it's not true.

I applied a swatch with moderate intensity with a sponge-tipped applicator and took my photo immediately below in the same bright sun in which I photographed my Devotion compact. As you can see in the swatch photos, Devotion is fairly sheer, and it gleams - no glitter or sparkle - it adds a sheen to my skin. It's brighter in full sun, but it still gleams in indirect light or indoors.

I took a shade photo to prove it. See the glow below. Same swatch, two vastly different lighting exposures.

I think the shade photo shows how the powder gleams evenly on my fair skin, even without direct light.

I think you will like Devotion if you can wear pale pink. If you can't, there are two other new shades you can consider, both warm gold: Seduction and Addiction.

You can find Laura Mercier's new Face Illuminator shades at Sephora, where I purchased mine, at Laura Mercier's Web site, and at Laura Mercier counters. There is a new shade for everyone.

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

Thursday, April 21, 2016

The Friday Forum - April 22 - Plus Dustin Lujan's New Beauty Line

In the comments of various features, I told you that Dustin Lujan, shown above, everyone's favorite ex-Le Métier de Beauté makeup artist and ambassador, would be back. I knew what he was doing, but I was sworn to secrecy (and I keep confidential information confidential). Now that the world knows - as long as its inhabitants read Facebook or Instagram - I feel comfortable telling you that Dustin has designed his own makeup collection to launch as his partner Victor de Souza's beauty line. The collection is launching with lip colors, and there will be a launch party next week in New York City at Osswald.

If you live in NYC, go - whether you received an invitation to the event or not. The rest of us have to gaze and adore from afar.

Dustin has created a beautiful, full collection of lip colors for Victor (a renowned fashion designer), and he will continue to launch new products as the line grows. I'm thoroughly excited for him! I may be one of his biggest fans, and I consider him a great friend. He knows makeup - so few artists really do. He knows ingredients, he knows how to make products wear well - I don't think there's anything he doesn't know or understand. Plus he has a keen eye for beauty. He was an asset to Le Métier de Beauté, and now to Victor dE Souza Beauty. Their loss, Dustin's and Victor's gain. He has deserved to create his own line for years.

Look at the gorgeous lip color above: Kyla Malbon is wearing Satin Lipstick in Stage Fright. I want that shade! Once I see the full line, I'm sure I'll covet others. Dustin is a master of makeup. It appears that his colors range from everyday go-to shades to artsy, avant garde treasures.

I don't have the pricing yet, but as soon as I have products in hand, I will give you more information. I know you fellow Dustin fans will be excited. You can order by calling Josie at (212) 625-3111. Remember Josie? Joey Glowy Bunny?

I still have Tom Ford and other makeup to show you. I have had a tough week - long hours, ridiculous 15-minute commutes that stretched to 45, after-work errands, and too little time to write. I'll catch up with photos and writing over the weekend. I'm excited about some of the new things that have trickled in, like Estée Lauder's newest Bronze Goddess Collection (finally something exciting from EL!).

Our DC eaglets are growing every day. I hope you are watching on They are so adorable. This week, we had a scare as DC3 tried to expel a pellet (undigestable materials). He ate next to nothing for a day while he hacked like a cat with a hairball. He recovered in a day, but we obsessed observers wanted to give him the Heimlich.

It's time for our Friday Forum and weekend conversation. The Friday Forum has always been an opportunity to share information. Are you using a fabulous product and want to sing its praises? Tell us about it! Did you find a beauty product disappointing? Tell us why! Do you have questions others might be able to answer? We can help! Want to talk about skin care? I'm game. Just use the comments. We have busy weekends and slow ones on the forum. I hope you are ready to share. See you in the comments. I'm breaking my Friday Forum rule and publishing this feature tonight, Thursday. I want you to know the news before I leave at 7:20 am for an 8:00 meeting tomorrow morning.

Photos courtesy of Victor dE Souza Beauty (and my sweet friend Dustin, of course)

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Tom Ford Lip Color Sheer in Sweet Spot for Summer 2016

Tom Ford's Sweet Spot Lip Color Sheer ($52) is a beautiful summer shade. We had a conversation at the counter about the shade(s) the Soleil Collection model was wearing, and we think it was three (editorial license). This may have been the base shade. No guarantees.

Here is what Tom Ford Beauty has to say about Lip Color Sheer...
Harmonizing, sensuous shades of shimmering nudes and hot, vivid colors, the limited-edition Lip Color Sheer Collection delivers an irresistible effect that compliments sun-kissed, summer skin. A decadent mix of vitamins C and E and shea better helps lavish the lips with saturated moisture. The distinct, beveled Lip Color Sheer bullet is packaged in a retro-chic, ivory and gold Tom Ford case.

After testing the shades, I chose Sweet Spot. I got home really late today and have virtually no time to write, so I will make this feature short. My photos were taken in full, mid-day sun. I swatched directly from the tube onto my arm - right in front of that beautiful dogwood. I love this shade!

In the past, I didn't think I could wear a lip shade with this much coral or orange in it, but I can. It looks warm and summery. This one shines, even in indirect light, and it is not thoroughly sheer. It is pigmented for a "sheer" lip shade.

I'll show you the Moisturecore Lip Colors I purchased very soon. THEY are sheer.

Tom Ford Beauty is sold online and at Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Bergdorf Goodman, Blomingdale's, and Sephora. If you need help, I highly recommend Debbie O'Malley. She's a pro. You can reach her at (202) 966-9700, extension 2253.

Top photo courtesy of Tom Ford Beauty; other photos by Best Things in Beauty

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Tom Ford Pink Sand Cream Cheek Color from the Soleil Color Collection for Summer 2016

I wasn't going to purchase Pink Sand Cream Cheek Color ($65) from Tom Ford's Summer 2016 Collection. It looked coral, and I didn't think I needed it. Then I shopped with Debbie O'Malley, and she showed me how it looks on skin. Sold! It's pink, as described in the name, and it's gorgeous. It just shows how deceptive online photos can be. Look at the difference between Tom Ford's photo at the top of this feature and my photo below.

Mine is pink! Pink Sand is a gorgeous shade in the compact and on the skin.

Tom Ford describes it this way...
Instantly brightens face with a healthy glow and natural burst of color. The pearlescent shades give cheeks a gorgeous luster and a radiant finish. Packaged in an ivory and gold Tom Ford Soleil compact.

I took my swatch photos in full, mid-day sun. I swatched the cream with a sponge-tipped applicator to apply it to my arm with medium intensity.

This color makes me deliriously happy. It's pretty; it gleams; and it can be layered to achieve any level of color intensity I want. How much more can a pink lover want? Oh, it stays put too.

If you passed, like I did, based on the online photo, try it in a store - or just order it. I know it's pricey, but the compact is large. It will last you a long time.

If you don't have a Tom Ford advisor you like, give Debbie O'Malley at call at (202) 966-9700, extension 2253. You will love her.

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

Monday, April 18, 2016

Tom Ford Sheer Cheek Duo in Bicoastal from the Soleil Color Collection for Summer 2016

This week, I have many Tom Ford treasures to show you. I know some of you have already purchased and that these features may be old hat to you. I hung back, so I am late to the party. I wanted to see and try the new items with Debbie O'Malley, Tom Ford Product Specialist at Neiman Marcus Mazza Gallerie, before I purchased anything. I finally got that chance. I have many Tom Ford items to show you, plus Laura Mercier and Le Métier de Beauté. I'm not sure how I'm going to fit all that in this week.

I had a choice between this Sheer Cheek Duo Palette in Bicoastal ($78) and the Soleil Contouring Compact; I chose this one. Why? It's a bit different and doesn't necessarily repeat palettes, compacts, or colors I already have.

Tom Ford Beauty describes Bicoastal this way...
Cheeks go both ways with Bocoastal, a pair of petal-perfect pinks that give a light-reflective finish to bronzed summer skin. A soft pink highlighter and a bold rose blush can be applied wet for a soft veil of color or dry for a sweeping pop of vibrancy. Use the shades alone or together [or mixed] for long-lasting color that blends easily. Embossed with the Tom Ford logo.

I haven't tried to apply the shades with a wet brush yet. I find it interesting that they are described as being more sheer that way (a "soft veil of color").

The photo above shows the palette, taken in full, blazing, mid-day sun at my house. You can even see me reflected in the gold compact. I swatched the palette at the same time, using a sponge-tipped applicator to apply them dry and posed in front of a pretty dogwood.

The light pink blush/highlighter is exquisite. I love the gleaming look on my skin. The rose blush, applied heavily on my arm, looks dark, but is very pretty on my fair skin when applied lightly with a fluffy blush or powder brush.

Here's a closer look above. I think both shades are beautiful, and I can't wait to try them with a wet brush, given the Tom Ford description. I may do that tonight.

Tom Ford Beauty is sold online and at Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Bergdorf Goodman, Blomingdale's, and Sephora. If you need help, I highly recommend Debbie O'Malley. She's a pro. You can reach her at (202) 966-9700, extension 2253.

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

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Giorgio Armani Beauty Sepia Highlighting Palette for Spring/Summer 2016

Giorgio Armani Beauty recently introduced Sepia, the new Spring/Summer 2016 collection, inspired by the sepia photographs of the past. Its highlighting and contouring palette, lipstick, and nail polish shades revisit warm, earthy tones said to be suited to all skin types.

The beautiful multi-purpose palette in the collection is called Sepia Highlighting Palette ($88). The Sepia Palette, featuring a "highlighting-contouring powder," envelops the skin in a veil of subtle light and smooths out imperfections, while delivering the signature Armani glow in a texture that is silky smooth, light, and soft. The powder boosts the adherence of the pigments and brightens the complexion with a soft, sepia touch.

Being an Armani devotee, I had to have it. It arrived a few days ago, and I was able to get photographs in full sun. We are having lovely weather.

How does Armani suggest you use it? For a natural look, brush over the palette to blend both shades together. Apply over the face with downward strokes for a natural glow with an allover application. For a more sculpted look, use each shade to contour features. Use the lighter shade on upper cheekbones, brow bone, and along the nose, and the deeper shade along the nose, jawline, and under cheekbones. The latter is almost impossible to do, given the thin stripes of the darker shade. So, I'm using it as a bronzer built for blondes (or those with fair skin), and it's perfect!

I took swatch photos in full afternoon sun. I applied the powder fairly heavily with a sponge-tipped applicator, blending the two shades together. I selected two photos to show you. The first is posed in front of a Japanese maple, which is showing its lovely sepia color before it turns red.

This powder is not sparkly, despite the way the sun shines on my arm. I'd call the finish silky (maybe lustrous), with a very slight sheen. It is a great shade to wear during the day. I like to apply it with a blush or bronzer brush, using the "double-three" method, sweeping it over my temples, across the lower part of my cheekbones, down the hairline, and across the outer third of my jaw line on each side of my face. It looks so natural on me because it is light.

Here is a second photo, a close-up taken in front of a holly tree. My arm isn't as shiny because I held it at a different angle to the sun. This is probably the more true of the two photos of the same swatch.

I am not sure why Giorgio Armani Beauty chose to call this powder a highlighter and refer to it for contouring. I can use it for contouring, but I think it will disappear as a contouring shade on anyone with a medium or dark complexion. Naturally, the shade darkens if you can manage to get more of the sepia shade on your applicator, perhaps by running it down the center of the palette from top to bottom. If you do have a medium or dark complexion and try it, I'd love to know if it looks like a highlighting shade. It might.

I have to qualify my recommendation for the Sepia Palette. It's beautiful, particularly for those with fair skin. If you are darker, I suggest you try before you buy.

Top photos courtesy of Giorgio Armani Beauty; other photos by Best Things in Beauty

Friday, April 15, 2016

The Friday Forum - Plus Guerlain's Maxi Shine Intense Color and Shine Lip Gloss

It's 8:00 pm Thursday night. I had intended to write two features: 1) a story about a gorgeous Guerlain Maxi Shine lip gloss, and 2) The Friday Forum. I have to finish by 9:00 pm because I am totally hooked by The Blacklist, a television drama for people who can think. So, I'm writing now because I have an 8:00 am meeting at work. Yikes, I feel a little overwhelmed!

I think I mentioned that Marcus Monson used this beautiful lip gloss, Guerlain Maxi Shine in #467, Cherry Swing, ($30) on the customer who sat in his chair last weekend after me. It looked gorgeous! I purchased the last one they had in stock at Neiman Marcus Tysons Galleria. I am never without a Guerlain Maxi Shine lip gloss at my side. I have at least two shades in my handbag at all times and more in my bathroom stock and in my special storage box for Guerlain products. I adore them. They look good, feel good, and complement any look. I'm a happy customer when new shades are introduced.

Here is what Guerlain says about Maxi Shine, all true...
Guarantee your lips a shimmering, radiant, and plumping finish. The oil composition creates a moisturizing barrier to ensure an intense softness. Additionally, each shade presents varying degrees of coverage and pigment intensity. The perfect partner for a desirable, appealing smile, Maxi Shine offers tailor-made effects for beautifully enhanced lips.

This Cherry Swing shade is spectacular. I am not sure why I didn't have it already. Check out the swatch photo below. It was taken in mid-day sunshine, applied directly from the tube.

This beautiful rose pink shade makes my lips sparkle - and, of course, look fuller as an extra-added benefit to the fabulous hydrating feel. The sun picked up the sparkle in this shade, which I love.

I can't count the number of compliments I have received when wearing Guerlain Maxi Shine glosses. Coral Wizz (#440) is one of my favorites. It looks more warm pink on me than coral.

Guerlain's lip glosses stand out, and the colors, when combined with my own lip color, enhance my lips - like my own lips, but better. I know that's an over-used phrase, but in this case, it's accurate. I usually wear these glosses without a lipstick underneath. They carry enough pigment that I can do that.

You can purchase Guerlain's Maxi Shine glosses wherever Guerlain makeup is sold. Or if you are an online shopper like me, you can find them at Sephora.

It's time for our Friday Forum and weekend conversation. The Friday Forum has always been an opportunity to share information. Are you using a fabulous product and want to sing its praises? Tell us about it! Did you find a beauty product disappointing? Tell us why! Do you have questions others might be able to answer? We can help! Want to talk about skin care? I'm game. Just use the comments. We have busy weekends and slow ones on the forum. I hope you are ready to share. See you in the comments.

Photos by Best Things in Beauty

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Dior Diorshow Mono Eyeshadow Collection, Summer 2016

I first saw Dior's new Diorshow Mono Eyeshadows ($29.50), part of Dior's Summer 2016 Collection at Chic Profile. Tavia, my online friend, is astounding. She always has advance looks at new collections. Naturally, I was intrigued when I saw the new Mono Eyeshadows, which had just arrived at Neiman Marcus, last Saturday. They are shown on the left side of the display above.

I started playing, swatching them on my arm in the store, and I fell in love with three of them - out of eight. I was in the danger zone, but threw caution to the wind and selected those three right away. Then I may have erred with the fourth, and I'll show you why below. It is a beautiful eye shadow, just not for my coloring in bright light.

I wish I had a press release to tell you Dior's concept for these new eye shadows, but I don't think Dior's PR knows Best Things in Beauty exists. So, I'll tell you what I think. The texture of these powder eye shadows is smooth and creamy. The shadows adhere to my eyelids without any fallout. They stay where I apply them. They gleam, but don't sparkle - a plus to my eyes.

The shades are neutrals for the most part. I thought I was avoiding the shades with red in them, but I failed - mostly because of store lighting. Without further ado, here are my four selections.

Gallery (#530) is shown at top left. Minimalism (#554) is shown at top right. is shown at bottom right. Front Row (#756) is shown at bottom left. Mineral (#573) is shown at bottom right. They are swatched in the same order on my arm. I took the photos in full, mid-day sun. My swatches were applied with a sponge-tipped applicator, but I could have used the double-ended little applicators that come with them nested into a plastic overlay. One end is a sponge-tipped applicator, and the other is a brush.

Gallery, shown at the top of my arm is an exquisite, soft gold. The stone Minimalism is a gorgeous light grey. The next shade, Front Row is a chameleon. In the store, it looked taupe. On my finger as I write, it looks taupe. In full sun, it looks mauve. It's strange because I had doubts about it in the store. I could see the red pigment in the compact, but on my arm and Alex's arm, it looked taupe. I love taupe, so I purchased it. That may have been a mistake. I will need time this weekend to play with it in different lighting scenarios to decide if I will keep it or give it away. The last shade down on my arm is a beautiful copper-gold called Mineral.

Alex helped me (and I'm embarrassed, thinking I might have called her Eva (a long-time Dior rep)) - senile yet? I've known and loved Alex forever. My bad. If you are interested in Dior's new collection, give Alex a call at (703) 761-1600, extension 3304. She will be great describing all the shades and helping you with a purchase.

You can see little square online swatches at Dior's Web site. These eye shadows are extremely nice, and I suspect I'll wear Gallery and Minimalism down to the pan.

Photos by Best Things in Beauty

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Chantecaille Collection for Summer 2016 - Love the Lip Chic and Mermaid Eye Color

I wasn't ready for Chantecaille's Summer 2016 Collection. In the past, Chantecaille has introduced its seasonal colors close to the actual season. I usually anticipate the time frame and ask for the press release. This year, I think my first notice was an e-mail. I made sure to see the new collection on my first trip to Neiman Marcus as soon as I knew that the Summer 2016 Collection was available.

The display, shown above, shows two new shades of Lip Chic, accompanied by one re-promote, totally new Mermaid Eye Colors, and a few re-promoted favorites I already own, like Luster Liquid Lumière. Naturally, I started playing with colors immediately and found a few I couldn't live without.

Let's start with Mermaid Eye Colors ($34). My first reaction was, "Oh no - not more sparkly pot eye shadow colors!" Everyone makes them now, right? It wasn't until I tried them that I realized they are distinguished by their gleam. They do not add a glitter bomb to my eyes. I was smitten and left the counter with three of four shades. So much for my initial reaction!

Mermaid Eye Colors' innovative high shine, crease-proof formula that can be worn wet or dry
 as an eye shadow or eyeliner. The luxurious texture creates a metallic sheen that won’t crease or transfer after application. Creamy and long lasting, the high-pearl formula is infused with a silk tree extract that lends a youthful appearance to the eye area. The bullet points tell Chantecaille's story.
  • Creamy, powdery feel makes it easy to apply with the fingertips or a brush
  • Richly pigmented hues shimmer with a rich metallic sheen
  • Buildable metallics mix beautifully with opaque shadows
  • Exceptional adherence for long-lasting, even coverage
Lagoon, shown at left above, is a stunning dark green shade. Chantecaille calls it teal. Seashell is a soft, glistening gold. Triton is called a warm and moody grey. I'd call it a beautiful stone, the kind of polished stone worth collecting. I did not purchase the fourth: Starfish, which is a beautiful copper. I wanted it, but had to maintain some semblance of frugality - even with one of my favorite brands.

I took swatch photos of my three new eye shadows in full mid-day sunshine. I applied the shades with a sponge-tipped applicator, starting with Lagoon at the top, Seashell in the middle, and finishing with Triton at the bottom. The direct sun makes the shades sparkle, but in person, they gleam with a beautiful sheen.

You know my camera has problems with green shades. The best representation of this gorgeous green in Lagoon is where the sunlight hit my swatch directly. It's gorgeous, but I asked how I would use it. The model in the display is wearing it on her entire lid, but I don't feel comfortable wearing that much color on my eyelids. My favorite Chantecaille representative, Jeannine Barnes, suggested using it close to the lash line, and it looks exquisite there.

Seashell, the soft gold, is a wonderful, all-purpose gold. It is an excellent shade for both warm and cool skin types. Triton. shown at the bottom on my arm, was an immediate choice. It's a wonderful neutral - not too silvery, not mauve, just a pretty color that will flatter anyone's eyes.

The Lip Chic ($36) that spoke to me was Gypsy Rose, a new shade. Lip Chic's lightweight and hydrating formula makes it one of my favorite lipsticks. Gypsy Rose is a charmer. I took a swatch photo in full sun, applying the swatch directly from the tube.

Isn't this a gorgeous pink? It's right in my pink sweet zone, not too blue and not too peachy. I am enormously pleased with it. Chantecaille describes Lip Chic, which I have featured many times, as follows.

This exceptionally comfortable formula is easy to apply and creates an even finish that is shiny, but never sticky. Lip Chic leaves lips appearing fuller and decidedly more youthful in appearance, but never irritated [like plumpers leave your lips feeling]. Lip Chic combines the high shine and plumping effects of a gloss with the rich, even coverage of a lipstick. It applies with an incredibly soft, lightweight texture as it helps to smooth the appearance of lips

I featured Luster Liquid Lumière in 2014. You can read about it here.The Hi-Def Summer Bronzer on the display was an HD Perfecting Powder. Perhaps the bronzer had not arrived. I do not know yet whether it is one of the existing Chantecaille bronzers or a new one.

I think there's something in Chantecaille's Summer Collection for everyone. If you get a chance, stop by a counter and check it out. If you need help, you can call Jeannine at (202) 966-9700. Ask the operator for the Chantecaille counter, then ask for Jeannine. She would love to help you select products and colors that will be "right" for you - and she's good at it. There is an InCircle GWP if you spend $350. Incentive?

Update: I literally just got an e-mail from Chantecaille describing their Summer 2016 bronzers! You can see it here.

Photos by Best Things in Beauty