Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Dior 5 Couleurs Eyeshadow Palette in Skyline for Fall 2016

Peter Philips, once Chanel's makeup guru, is now Dior's makeup maestro (he joined Dior in 2014), orchestrating the company's color cosmetics strategy as Creative and Image Director of Christian Dior Makeup. His collection for Fall 2016 has imagined a beauty look that plays with shadow and light as he celebrates the daring Dior woman driven to experiment; a woman enhanced by the Skyline collection featuring eye shadows, blushes, lipsticks, and brow pencils inspired by the techniques of professional makeup artists. Facial contours are naturally sculpted, eye shadows in autumnal colors bring out the eyes, while lips and nails take on shades of daring that evoke the bold lines of the Eiffel Tower, the timeless icon that inspired Peter Philips to create the Skyline Collection.

I purchased a few pieces from the collection at Neiman Marcus. Today, I'll feature its namesake Skyline 5 Couleurs Eyeshadow Palette ($63).

I had not seen it when I purchased it, but I relied on Debbie O'Malley to assure me that the colors would work for me.

Inspired by the iconic architecture of the Eiffel Tower, Dior revisits its star 5 Couleurs Palette with two limited editions featuring deep, luminous and richly contrasting colors. The other palette is called Capital of Light, and one of the shades is definitely burgundy - not me.

I took my photos in full, early afternoon sunshine. I swatched relatively heavily with a sponge-tipped applicator, starting at the top left and moving around the palette clockwise, ending with the shade in the middle at the bottom of my arm.

The light copper color at the top of my arm is much more attractive than it appears in the compact. The compact photo worried me; I was afraid the color might be muddy. Not so! The beautiful slightly shimmering light beige at the top right of the compact is a wonderful base shade for use with all of these colors. The deep brown is a perfect eyeliner or contour shade for me. I applied it heavily for the photo above, but you can use a much lighter hand and brush to use it as a contour shade.

I've always loved blue with brown, and Peter Philips selected two gorgeous blues to "pair" with the browns in this palette. The icy blue brightens the eyes and erases any redness in the eye area. The grey blue is simply gorgeous. What else can I say?

The formula offers an ultra-pigmented texture without a chalky effect for a smooth, even application. I think I will get a lot of wear from Skyline, starting now.

The Dior Makeup Web site shows both fall palettes as being out of stock, but they are available at Neiman Marcus Mazza Gallerie. Just call Debbie. Stock is limited (as is always the case with Dior for some reason), so if you are interested, call soon. I'm sure the Dior Web site will catch up and stock it before long.

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

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

BECCA x Jaclyn Hill Champagne Collection Shimmering Skin Perfector Slimlight in Champagne Pop

I have to admit that I am not a fan of YouTube videos about beauty or makeup application. I find most of them time-consuming. I can read quickly, but I can't fast forward on videos and "get the message." That's why I had no idea who Jaclyn Hill was when her Collection for BECCA was suddenly "everywhere" on Sephora. I was intrigued, not because of Jaclyn Hill, but rather because the products looked gorgeous. To see the entire collection, hop over to this link.

Apparently, BECCA and Sephora noticed that Ms. Hill is not only popular but also a big fan of BECCA's Shimmering Skin Perfector, and they asked her if she would like to collaborate in creating a highlighter that would work for everyone. The result? Champagne Pop, a universal shade that works with both warm and cool tones.

I purchased several pieces from the collection and still haven't made the time to photograph them and feature them here. However, the newest piece is the Champagne Pop Shimmering Skin Perfector Slimlight ($28), so I decided to start by featuring it. Considered a celebratory extension of the earliest items in the Champagne Collection, it's intended to allow you to sculpt your favorite features with layers of light and color for the perfect, customized glow in a peachy white gold shade.

Shimmering Skin Perfector Slimlight is a targeted wand that’s perfect for precision highlighting to achieve the iconic BECCA glow on the go. The cream formula highlights and brightens specific areas of the face with a subtle luminosity. Use it anywhere you would use a highlighter: at the top of your cheekbones, on the inner corner of your eyelids, down the center line of your nose, in the cupid's bow of your lips - anywhere you want to brighten your face. The wand makes application fast and easy.

It is handy to throw into your makeup bag if you find you need a pick-up mid-day. I use it at home, and its radiance lasts all day.

I took my photos in full, mid-day sun. It was very bright outside, and because the Champagne Pop shade is light, it was hard to get a photo that showed its true color. The picture below was my best.

I remember reading in Allure (I think) about a year ago that highlighters were on their way out. Makeup artists were using moisturizers - under and over makeup - to give the skin a glow. They do that; it's not a new concept. However, highlighters are more popular than ever. I like this one and its sister products. BECCA and Jaclyn Hill clearly hit the spot with their collaboration.

You can purchase it at Sephora.

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

Monday, August 29, 2016

Giorgio Armani Beauty Compact Cream Concealer

I've been wearing Giorgio Armani Beauty's cream foundation ever since it was introduced. Now, it seems to have been discontinued. I guess my consolation was the introduction of a new Compact Cream Concealer ($42). I found it while browsing Sephora and ordered my shade, #2, immediately.

Described as a high-coverage spot concealer, it's perfect for the sun spots I have to cover with something. One is near my left eye, and its appearance really bothers me.

Compact Cream Concealer is an instant corrector that completely hides imperfections, dark spots, and blemishes. Its customized precision applicator is said to offer high coverage and a thin texture for a flawless-looking finish. I'm not a big fan of the applicator. I use my own (Bobbi Brown) touch-up brush.

This concealer is available in six shades, all of which have a matte finish. If you are a fan of Giorgio Armani foundation, you will love this new concealer. It stays on all day, just like the foundation, and it has provides excellent coverage for those sun spots. I hope you don't have them, but most people who came of age when suntans were considered beautiful - and before we all knew the danger of the sun's rays to our skin - has probably already developed the keratoses that resulted from our adoration of the sun.

I'm hooked on Armani's new concealer. I didn't see it on the Armani Beauty Web site, but it's available at Sephora.

Photo courtesy of Sephora

Friday, August 26, 2016

The Friday Forum - August 26 Plus an Exciting Estée Lauder Launch

There's hope for Estée Lauder. Most of you know that after years of profitable, but unexciting existence, Estée Lauder brought in Tom Pecheux, who reinvigorated the brand. Suddenly, Estée Lauder was hot again, and we bloggers had fun with all of the color products he created or inspired. Unfortunately, he left. From that point, the company became what I called the Aerin Lauder Company. Most of the new color introductions were Aerin's, and I found them boring - to the point that I seldom browsed the company's Web site.

More recently, in its efforts to attract Millennials, Estée Lauder made Kendall Jenner its new face (along with blogger Irene Kim) and rebranded many of its new products Estée Edit, which are "curated" by Ms. Jenner and guest bloggers. Intended for rule breakers and risk takers - the way Millennials like to think of themselves - Estée Edit products strike me as modern, but traditional at the same time. In other words, they are a product of marketing. If anything, Kendall Jenner was a turn-off to me.

Little of Estée Lauder's recent marketing has impressed me or enticed me to buy. Then the news broke. Estée Lauder would be partnering with Victoria Beckham to launch a limited-edition color cosmetics line. The collection is set to debut on September 13, with a preview at Beckham's runway show two days before. It will be sold in select retail outlets, including department stores and Victoria Beckham Dover Street, plus the retailer's Web sites. The full collection will be sold at Bergdorf Goodman and, Selfridges, Victoria Beckham’s Dover Street store in London and on and starting September 13. It will launch in the rest of the world from October 1. I can't wait!

In an interview with WWD, Beckham said her aim is to empower women, fill a few market niches, complement her fashion collection, and relay some of the makeup and skin-care wisdom she’s gathered from a life spent on airplanes, red carpets, and in the full glare of paparazzi flashbulbs.

“I was very specific about what I wanted. It was about the must-have items that I felt everybody should have in their makeup bag, things that are really quite difficult to find because I know, I’ve searched,” Beckham told WWD. The aim was also to deliver products people could immediately associate with her, “whether it’s a smoky eye, a nude lip, or dewy skin. So I’ve been very honest, very true to myself. This has been something that I’ve wanted to do for so many years,” she said.

WWD told us there will be 15 units, including a limited-edition, portable mirror that casts a flattering light for makeup application. Prices will  range from $30 for the designer’s signature nude-matte lip pencil to $45 for an Eye Metals Eye Shadow, $95 for the Morning Aura Illuminating Crème and $1,200 for the Victoria Beckham Collection Daylight Edition, a light box that includes a removable lighted mirror as well as eight products.

While the focus will be mostly on lips and eyes, there will also be a bronzer, a highlighter (Beckham convinced Lauder to bring back a version of its limited-edition Modern Mercury highlighter - yea!) and the Morning Aura cream. There is more, but I'll save some surprises for you.

I finally have hope for Estée Lauder again. Victoria Beckham has proven that she has a talented eye, and her experience in the limelight as a celebrity and successful designer should give her the one-the-ground knowledge to develop a cosmetics line that will appeal to everyone, not just Millennials. Are you as excited as I am?

It's time for the Friday Forum. 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 to see you in the comments.

Photos courtesy of Estée Lauder and WWD

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Guerlain 5 Couleurs Eye Palettes for Fall 2016

In early August,I was privileged to show you a coming attraction of Guerlain's Fall 2016 Collection. Today, I am thrilled to show you my first purchases from the collection, two eye shadow palettes. I purchased them at Nordstrom online.

The new eye shadows, Guerlain's 5 Couleurs Eye Palette ($69) offer six new, trend-setting and comprehensive eye palettes that allow us to be as daring as our moods. Each compact contains five perfectly graduated shades to enhance your eyes with just one swipe to create the desired look - from natural to bold. This easy-to-use range of shades contains a base to even and illuminate, two nude tones to subtly enhance, and two smoky sophisticated shades that intensify every look. Applied separately or layered, the shades deliver unfailingly chic results. Each palette comes with a plastic overlay that labels the shadows base, nude, and smoky.

The technology of these palettes offers ultra-fine, light-reflecting pigments for brighter, illuminating color that can create numerous effects. Depending on the shade, the finish may be matte, satin, or metallic with a luminous finish so that eyes appear more lively and vibrant. 

Of the two I purchased, Coque d'Or (#03, $69) is my favorite. With shades ranging from ivory to green (yes, that shade on the far right is green, but you know my camera has a green deficiency), this palette is swoon-worthy.

I took my photos in early afternoon full, very bright sunlight. I swatched each shade with a sponge-tipped applicator, starting at the left in the palette at the top of my arm and moving toward the right as I moved down my arm. Coque d'Or is swatched below.

The base shade is a yellow gold. The next shade is a shimmering gold, followed by a shimmering copper. The two shades paired at the right are a brown-copper hybrid and green.

Every one of these shades looks fabulous on my eyes. My only regret? That Guerlain did not make the last two colors on the right full-sized.

Bois des Indes (#06) is a gorgeous set of neutrals. As you can see in my swatches below, the palette is extremely flexible for everyday use.

The base shade is so light (at the top of my arm), I accidentally cut off the top of my swatch. The next shade down is a warm peachy-pink, also with shimmer. The next shade is a matte mauve. The taupe below is a gorgeous shade. I'll wear it often. The charcoal at the far right is a dark grey-brown when applied dry. I imagine it will provide more oomph when applied with a damp brush.

For a nude look, apply the illuminating base shade #1 to the eyelid (each is numbered on the plastic insert), arch of the eyebrow, and inner corner of the eye. Layer shade #2 over the eyelid. Blend in shade #3 as an accent in the outer corner, one of my favorite techniques.

For a bold look, sweep the illuminating shade #1 over the eyelid, arch of the eyebrow, and inner corner of the eye. Layer shade #4 over the eyelid. Then apply shade #5 at the lash line on the outer corner. Blend as an accent in the same corner to smudge - another of my favorite techniques.

I'm anxious to see the rest of the palettes in person. I'm sure I'll "fall for" at least one more. I suspect it will be Tonka Impérial. I'll wait for the palettes to arrive at a local store.

I know you can order these new Guerlain palettes from Nordstrom. They will be available at Guerlain Boutiques, Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman, Nordstrom, Saks, Bloomingdale's, Dillard's, Sephora, and online.

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

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Tom Ford Lip Contour Duo from the Runway Color Pre-Autumn-Winter 2016 Collection

Tom Ford introduced eight new Lip Contour Duos ($53) in his Pre-Autumn-Winter Runway Color 2016 Collection. I found them intriguing. "Innovation meets lip artistry with a dual lip color and shaping tool" in one wand.

On one end, the slim and sleek pencil features a lip shaper (pencil) to enhance and define the lips. On the other end, a full-coverage slim stick lip color is concealed inside. The packaging is clever.

Use the lighter shade of the lip shaper together with the deeper lip color to add dimension and shape and create an ombre effect to your lips as you please - from a subtle contour to a high-definition contrast, however you like. For those of you who plan to wear red and orange this fall (the trend), there are two perfect duos for you.

I selected three duos for myself: #02, Fling It On, #3 Dream Obscene, and #4, Show It Off. I purchased Fling It On online from the Tom Ford Beauty online site, and when I saw the other two at Neiman Marcus (while playing with Debbie O'Malley, the product specialist), I purchased them too. It was too hard to make up my mind and limit my selections to only two - a goal this season.

I had a hard time placing the round tubes on my blue paper. If you look closely, you'll see my blurred color between the duos. I decided to use it anyhow because I didn't want to ruin another piece of the cover stock. It has been discontinued, and each time I ruin a piece, I get closer to "the end" of my recognizable backgrounds.

Fling It On is shown on the left, with Dream Obscene in the middle and Show It Off on the right above. My photos were taken in full, bright, late-morning sunshine, and I applied each shade to my arm directly from the tubes.

I'm sorry that my swatches weren't perfectly placed. Once I got going, I didn't want to try to straighten the edges of each color because I knew they would blur on my arm. I've considered making stencils, but I never get around to it. #02 is shown at top left, #03 at top right, and #04 below the others.

I like all three duos I purchased, but my favorite is, without question, #04 Show It Off. That mauve/rose shade is one of my all-time favorites. The slim stick has a slight shimmer the other colors don't offer, and it wasn't simply from the sun's reflection. I tested it inside in a dark room to ensure that it shimmers a bit. The shimmer is not as bright as it appears above; there's just enough to brighten and plump my lips. If I had to name the general finish of these duos, I'd call them satin.

Fling It On is the warmest duo I selected. It's perfect for this late-summer season. Dream Obscene is the most blue of the three - but not so blue that I look like an iceberg. One extra-added benefit of these duos is that you don't have to pair them. You can wear the shaper all over the lips and achieve a single color, which means you really get two lip colors for one price.

I have found that these Lip Contour Duos have excellent longevity. They have a very light fragrance, but it's much lighter than the usual Tom Ford Lip Color fragrance. It dissipates almost immediately.

If you'd like some help selecting a duo color, give Debbie O'Malley a call at Neiman Marcus at (202) 966-9700. Ask for her at Tom Ford Cosmetics. Or go to the Tom Ford Web site and check out the duo shades there.

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

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Chantecaille Lip Sticks from the Protect the Lions Collection for Fall 2016

My last purchases from Chantecaille's Protect the Lions Collection for Fall 2016 were two Lip Sticks ($36). Full color release combined with a delightfully creamy texture makes Chantecaille Lip Stick both glamorous and incredibly comfortable. It's infused with natural beeswax, vitamins A and C, and emollient amino acids. The new shades are, left to right above, African Violet, a dramatic berry with subtle, cool undertones; Mirage, the perfect beigy nude; and Sunset, a warm, sophisticated coral. I purchased the latter two. African Violet is too bold for me.

Mirage is shown directly above at left, and Sunset is shown at right. I took my photos in full, noontime sunshine.

I  took several swatch photos, and they all look a bit uneven. You can see the colors on my arm perfectly well, but my drawing skills could have been more perfect. I was hurrying because when I photograph lipsticks in the heat, they start to soften quickly, making it hard  to get even swatches. You may even be able to see where I tried to square off the swatches with my finger, blurring the color a tad.

I think Mirage and Sunset are beautiful shades. They complement the Protect the Lions Eye Palette shadow colors perfectly. Both look great with my coloring, and I'm sure they will be pretty on most skin tones.

Chantecaille's Lip Sticks are available in 17 shades. I decided to take a screen shot of African Violet to show it to you below. On the lips, it's a bright, bold, fuchsia-toned berry that will draw attention to your lips - a great evening shade.

I purchased my Lip Sticks from Neiman Marcus. Jeannine Barnes is the product specialist who helped me. You can reach her at (202) 966-9700. Just ask for Chantecaille. You can also order any pieces from this collection from the Chantecaille Web site.

Photos at top and bottom courtesy of Chantecaille; other photos by Best Things in Beauty

Monday, August 22, 2016

Chantecaille Pride Cheek Shade for Fall 2016

Chantecaille's Pride Cheek Shade ($40) is a silky, smooth powder blush that adds the perfect hint of natural color to your face.  For a limited time, the Pride Cheek Shade will be available in the refillable Pebble Compact. Five percent of the proceeds of its sale will go to Lion Guardians. Pop over to look at their beautiful and inspiring Web site.

Processed with a new technology that produces a light, ultra-fine coated powder, Cheek Shades apply effortlessly and adhere beautifully. Pride is a very soft, demure pink that adds a natural-looking flush of color to all skin tones. Yes, it does have a light overspray. When I swatched, I removed the overspray beforehand.

I took my photos in full, late-morning sunshine. It was very bright outside, so the sun may have "bleached out" the color a bit. I also didn't realize you could see my leg in the mirror! Oops.

I applied the color with a sponge-tipped applicator, heavily in a stripe at the top of my arm and lightly in a circular motion under the stripe. The color intensity you get when using a blush brush will be even lighter.

I think this shade of nude, warm pink is gorgeous. You can layer it if you want more color. The amount I've shown on my arm is perfect for me.

I purchased my Pride Cheek Shade from Chantecaille. It arrived in one day. Pride is also available at Neiman Marcus Mazza Gallerie. Jeannine Barnes is the product specialist there. You can reach her at (202) 966-9700. Just ask for Chantecaille. I have two of the three Lip Sticks from the collection and will be showing them to you very soon.

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

Friday, August 19, 2016

The Friday Forum - August 19 Plus Chantecaille Protect the Lions Eye Palette Live and In Person

Thank God for FedEx! My guy showed up with Chantecaille's Protect the Lions Eye Palette just as I was moving toward my computer to write the Friday Forum.

Look at that beautiful blue sky reflecting in the silver-rimmed case! It puts that exquisite lion in the perfect context of blue sky and Mother Nature.

I featured this palette last week as a coming attraction. Hop over to the link for all the information on Chantecaille's Fall 2016 Collection. At the time I featured it, several of us worried about the description of Amboseli, a glistening shade "inspired by the beautiful, rich burgundy color of the earth in Amboseli National Park." Worry no more! The shade is a gorgeous, rich brown.

I'll name the shades again, starting at top left and moving clockwise. Also, someone asked if there is an overspray on the colors. The answer is yes.
  • Sand, a creamy beige infused with flecks of gold African Topaz;
  • African Topaz, a glistening copper; 
  • Rock: a silky, matte, neutral grey; and
  • Amboseli, a glistening shade inspired by the beautiful, rich burgundy color of the earth in Amboseli National Park (this mesmerizing shade enhances all eye colors). 
I immediately took swatch photos, using a sponge-tipped applicator, starting at the top of my arm with Sand, and moving down until I ended with Amboseli.

As you can see, Amboseli is not burgundy. It's brown - just as I suspected from its appearance in the compact. All four shades coordinate beautifully - even the grey, which doesn't always look like it belongs with brown tones.

I purchased my Protect the Lions Eye Palette from Chantecaille. It arrived in one day. The palette is also available at Neiman Marcus Mazza Gallerie. Jeannine Barnes is the product specialist there. You can reach her at (202) 966-9700. Just ask for Chantecaille. I have most of the rest of the collection and will be showing it to you over the coming days.

Don't forget that five percent of your purchase will go to Lion Guardians. That's important to me.

It's time for the Friday Forum. 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 to see you in the comments.

Photos by Best Things in Beauty

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Estée Lauder Genuine Glow Reviving Oil Lip Tint

Some people, myself included, have dry lips all year round. We are always on the lookout for a hydrating lip product with longevity. I've found a new one in the Genuine Glow Collection! Estée Lauder Genuine Glow Reviving Oil Lip Tint ($20) is so popular, it keeps selling out on Estée Lauder's Web site. I had to wait weeks on "backorder" for mine.

This lovely tint give your lips just-kissed cherry color, along with just-right, oil-rich moisture replenishment. It feels nourishing yet light on the lips.

The cheery shade is a universal sheer shade that glows well with any skin tone. The pen dispenses just the right amount of product too. I love no-waste packaging. Just twist the pen a few times to prime it - until the lip tint comes up, and then apply it directly to your lips.

When this color is added to my own lip color, the result is a saturated, but sheer, cherry red. I'm thrilled with it. I took this photo in full, noon sun, so the color was a bit washed out by all the light.

You can use it alone, as I do, for a unique, glowing, rosy lip or over or under your lip color for a fuller, glossier lip.

You can try to order it at the Estée Lauder's Web site and wait, or you can look for it at one of the many Estée Lauder's counters. It's worth the hunt.

Photo at top courtesy of  Estée Lauder; swatch photo by Best Things in Beauty

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Jo Malone London Basil & Neroli Collection

Jo Malone London has introduced a divine new fragrance: Basil & Neroli (100 ml is $130). The moment I smelled a sample, I asked Sydelle St. Jules to make sure she put aside a bottle of cologne for me the moment it arrived. Basil & Neroli Cologne appeals to both women and men. We were all wearing it at Neiman Marcus last weekend, and we were all continuously sniffing our arms where we had sprayed our samples. It is addictive.

This is the first cologne characterized by basil that has been introduced by Jo Malone since its ever-popular Lime Basil & Mandarin (1999). You might think the new fragrance would be similar, but it's quite different in composition.

The fragrance promises the sophisticated British vibe of London in this modern, youthful, and fun edition. The fresh, playful, and floral unisex composition is created by perfumer Anne Flipo, who described it as "a fresh, sophisticated, sensual floral with green facets—stunning in its simplicity." (Fragrantica) It develops with green top notes of basil, which transform into a fresh floral heart of neroli, with a base of white musk and vetiver for the popular earthy tones.

In addition to two types of basil, including basil grande verte, the top notes include cedar needles, which add a peppery edge, an unexpected twist to the vibrant citrus-like notes. The middle notes include neroli and bitter orange. The hand-picked blossoms of the bitter orange tree, neroli is a green floral note, wonderfully clean and fresh.It infuses the fragrance with the elegant scent of orange flower. The base notes are white musk, mastic (a bushy evergreen Mediterranean tree of the cashew family that yields mastic and has aromatic leaves and fruit, closely related to the pistachio), and vetiver. They give the fragrance a clean, powdery trail of the scent, adding a softness that endures.

Anne Flipo called it, " A fresh, sophisticated, sensual floral with green facets - stunning in its simplicity." It's a perfect description. I adore it, and I'm sure I will be wearing it frequently. Right now, I'm being frugal with my sample.

The collection consists of a 30 and 100 ml bottle of Cologne, a 250 ml Body & Hand Wash, a 175 ml Body Crème, and a 200 gr Home Candle.You can surround yourself in this fabulous new scent.

I suspect Neiman Marcus and the other store counters received it this week. The collection is available now from Jo Malone's Web site. Make sure to sample this beauty!

Photo courtesy of Jo Malone of London

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Tom Ford Velvet Bloom Collection for Fall 2016 - Velvet Orchid Lip Color

The Tom Ford Beauty Fall 2016 colors have started to arrive at Neiman Marcus, and I've already plunged into the lip colors and compact powders. My first selection jumped right out at me. There are two shades in the Velvet Bloom Lip Color Collection, and after a very quick swatch, I knew that #59, Velvet Orchid ($60), was perfect for me. I added it to the day's purchases in a heartbeat. The other shade in the collection, Velvet Bloom, wasn't "me."

Part of a nine-piece, limited-edition collection, that includes fragrances, lipsticks, and blushes, Velvet Orchid is a stunning shade for fall.

I have always worn and loved rosy plum lip colors, and Velvet Orchid, with it pearlescent/satin finish, looks fabulous on my lips. I suspect many of you will draw the same conclusion. It feels lighter than air on my lips and applies evenly for a flattering shade for fall - or now. It makes my eyes pop blue.

I took swatch photos in late-morning, full sunshine - one in front of the green dogwood leaves directly above and one in front of a lavender crepe myrtle. The close-up above shows a shine from the sunlight, and the photo below is probably more true because I backed off the swatch to show the pretty flowers of the crepe myrtle. Both show the pearlescent satin finish that is "Tom Ford flattering."

The case, with its rich blue and gold coloring (jewel-toned blues are one of the "it" colors for fall), is heavy and luxurious. The lipstick is fragranced, but the fragrance dissipates quickly enough to satisfy my dislike of heavily fragranced lipsticks.

I have three of the new lip contour duos to show you this week, along with a powder that will highlight anyone's face with a glow that coordinates with the aura of this small collection, the first for fall that will be followed by other beauties that are likely to fall onto your must-have lists.

I purchased my Velvet Orchid Lip Color at Neiman Marcus. I suspect all of the stores that feature Tom Ford Beauty will have it available soon, if they don't already. I think it's time for Tom Ford fans to make their way to a counter. I have not seen this collection on Tom Ford's Web site yet. I'm sure it will arrive any day. If you'd like to have yours sent from Neiman Marcus, give Debbie O'Malley a call at (202) 966-9700. Ask for her at Tom Ford Cosmetics.

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

Monday, August 15, 2016

Guerlain Face Collection 2016 - Multi-Perfecting Concealer and New Complexion Brush

With just one application of Guerlain's Multi-Perfecting Concealer ($40), achieving silky-smooth coverage is easier than ever and just seconds away. This concealer glides on seamlessly and fuses with the skin, creating incredible coverage that leaves the skin looking fresh, young, and even.

Unique Features
  • An ultra-light texture that allows for buildable coverage
  • Soft-focus powders that blur, smooth, and conceal instantly
  • Linseed extract and decongesting agents minimize the appearance of dark circles and imperfections
  • Calms and hydrates skin for a long-term effect
  • Easy and precise application
Test Results
Guerlain's test subjects observed...
  • 100% consistent and homogeneous application
  • 100% seamless application, no matter what the imperfection
  • 100% instantly luminous results
  • 97% instantly natural result with no mask effect
  • 97% easily adjustable coverage
  • 94% dark circles instantly corrected
 If you can't see the shade range immediately above, just click on the photo to enlarge it.

Guerlain's new, innovative round-tipped Complexion Brush ($52) will make foundation application easier. In one stroke, your foundation will apply quickly and faultlessly, leaving an enviable complexion. The synthetic, soft, gentle bristles hold just the right amount of foundation and intuitively follow the face's curves for a fabulous, even application.

These new products are available (officially August today, although my Neiman Marcus has it already) at Guerlain Boutiques, select Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman, Bloomingdale's, Dillard's, and online.

Photos courtesy of Guerlain

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Guerlain Face Collection 2016 - Lingerie de Peau Foundation

Guerlain made the idea of a naturally flawless-looking skin a reality by introducing Lingerie de Peau, lingerie for the skin that drapes it in comfort and sheer silkiness, while providing unprecedented coverage and a perfect natural finish. Guerlain has introduced Lingerie de Peau Natural Perfection Skin-Fusion Texture Foundation SPF20 ($63) with a newly revamped shade range, plus the Multi-Perfecting Concealer and Foundation Brush. I'll introduce the concealer and foundation brush to you in the next feature, hopefully later today. The following information was taken from the press release (hence the writing style).

Guerlain has taken a new step in reinventing a flawless natural complexion with Lingerie de Peau Foundation in 14 shades, from fair to deep - one for every woman. Invisible to the eye and touch, the sublime formula and sensory texture is the ultimate lingerie for the skin, smoothing and shaping to create a second skin that will leave you looking more beautiful than ever.

Unique Features
  • Innovative cosmetic bio-composite renders an extraordinary second-skin texture with a spectacular natural finish and properties of incredible lightness, extensibility, and hold. 
  • Uniquely comfortable, its formulation is so light it becomes transparent. The complexion is fresh, radiant, and natural.
  • Bio-fusion micro-mesh for a unique affinity with the skin, Guerlain Research relied on in-depth studies of the most advanced materials: bio-composites. These new substances derived from blending synthetic polymers and natural fibers provide an unprecedented combination of smoothing and shaping stretch fibers and natural linen and silk fibers for a complete affinity with the skin.
  • Natural polymers are silk and linen fibers that have an inherent compatibility with the skin because they are composed of a protein that acts in perfect osmosis with the keratin present in the skin. It allows them to adhere naturally to the skin's surface and lend it the softness and radiance of silk and the comfort of linen. 
  • The synthetic fibers are veritable stretch fibers that expand as needed to embrace the contours of the face and ensure lasting coverage. They help to create a flexible weave to support, smooth, and shape the skin.
Here is a shade chart to help existing users find their new shade. Just click on it to enlarge it if it's hard to read. As you can see, the shades are grouped in cool, neutral, and warm families. They are also grouped that way on the store display (shown at the top of this feature).

Lingerie de Peau Foundation is available (officially August 15, although my Neiman Marcus has it already) at Guerlain Boutiques, select Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman, Bloomingdale's, Dillard's, and online.

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

Friday, August 12, 2016

The Friday Forum - August 12

Le Métier de Beauté finally launched its new mascara, Precision Lash Extreme Mascara. I've used it; it's very nice, particularly for those who are rabid about lash separation.The smudge-proof formula is designed for long-lasting, intense wear, all while conditioning your lashes. The anti-clump brush separates and defines lashes to create a full, wide-eyed look. It is available in one shade: Chat Noir (black). Here's the rip. It's $42! There is no way I will pay $42 for a mascara when I can have a perfectly nice one from Chanel of another luxury brand for $32. Actually, some of you know I wear drugstore mascara for about $8, which is economical, since I toss them after about six weeks.

Nevertheless, if you are in the market for the latest and greatest, call Michael Reinhardt at Neiman Marcus at (202) 966-9700, and he can ship one right out to you.

I'm much more interested in the new Hourglass Curator Lash Instrument, designed with the ability to “tight line” (deliver pigment to the very base of the lid) in mind. Because you don’t have bristles, you have a lot of freedom with the wand’s slim stainless steel applicator, which is cut with threads like a rounded screw and designed to catch and coat lashes without the fluffy partition of a traditional brush. The custom-engineered tip also makes for easy cleaning between uses.

Artistry-inspired and engineered with high precision threading and a sleek stainless steel tip, the Curator Lash Instrument is designed to give you a full 360° range to evenly coat each and every lash from base to tip, creating beautifully defined lashes from any angle. This unique bristle and brush-free tool gets to the very base of the lash line, truly transforming your lashes.

The stainless steel tip is double-cut at a 40° angle to deposit the perfect, most uniform amount of product without clumping, completely enveloping each lash from base to tip, giving you the most sophisticated, defined lashes.
  • Expertly engineered to be used from any angle for precision application to even the smallest lashes, while also reaching the very base of the last for a natural tightlining effect. Can even be used vertically to separate lashes and for exact pinpoint application of product.
  • Designed specifically to be used with Curator [mascara and base] formulas and an essential addition to any collection of makeup brushes and tools.
  • Ideal for makeup artists who wish to clean the instrument between each use.
This product is designed only to be used with the Curator Ascent Extended Wear Lash Primer and Curator Realist Defining Mascara Formula. You can find them here.

The wand, which officially hit stores August 5, pairs with a two-step product system—a sheer, lifting, extended wear lash primer and an inky black Defining Mascara Formula—that layers to create the kind of separation that makes your old-school lash comb seem suddenly obsolete. The price? $78! That blows away $42, but there's artistry and innovation I can see with the new Hourglass product. I can't wait to try it. Have you?

It's time for the Friday Forum. 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 to see you in the comments.

Photos courtesy of Le Métier de Beauté and Hourglass

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Coming Soon: Chantecaille Protect the Lions Collection for Fall 2016

Chantecaille's Fall 2016 collection is a love letter to the majestic nature of lions. Watching a lion move through the bush is an electric experience. Their gorgeous coats gleaming in the sun, their easy, languid power. Exuding pride and confidence, these creatures are truly the rulers, responsible for the balance within the animal kingdom.

Chantecaille's recent trip to Africa inspired the season’s palette: the red earth, shimmering sand, and matte, rocky terrain became an elegant suite of rich, earthy hues that enhance the eyes, lips, and cheeks and reflect the natural beauty of the captivating landscape. The color story also synchronizes with the fiercely feminine, understated chic earth tones seen on many Fall 2016 runways.

Each season, Chantecaille's philanthropic relationships broaden our eyes to a changing world, one where humans encroach on the natural habitats of animals. Our impact is felt worldwide, and we find so much inspiration  in the impassioned people who seek to reverse this damage. A true passion for lions led Stephanie Dolrenry and Leela Hazzah to leave their homes in the Midwest and Egypt and settle in Kenya. Both have devoted their careers to lion conservation, and their perseverance with groundbreaking conservation methods in Kenya’s Amboseli National  Park and the foundation of The Lion Guardians are proof of their true love for these animals.

After immersing themselves in the local Maasai culture, where young men are traditionally raised to be lion hunters, Dolreny and Hazzah have redirected the focus of the tribe to understand the nuances of living in harmony with the lions. By teaching the Maasai youth to speak Swahili and English and employing them to use GPS technology to track the local lion population, they have showed the tribes that attuning themselves to the animals and respecting their patterns and habits is the only way to live together with the majestic creatures. What has resulted is a cherished relationship between the Maasai and the lions and an empowered generation of tribes people, who, with the resources of education and technology, have evolved from lion hunters to become lion guardians.

The Protect The Lions Eye Palette ($85) was inspired by the African landscape and their beautiful lions. Eyes are softly sculpted with washes of creamy beiges and velvety grays. Flecks of shimmering copper anchored by majestic burgundies set the eyes aglow. Skin is left luminous with a slight flush of demure pink on the cheeks.

The shades are...
  • Sand, a creamy beige infused with flecks of gold African Topaz;
  • African Topaz, a glistening copper;
  • Amboseli, a glistening shade inspired by the beautiful, rich burgundy color of the earth in Amboseli National Park (this mesmerizing shade enhances all eye colors); and
  • Rock: a silky, matte, neutral grey.
Pride Cheek Shade ($40) is a silky smooth powder formula that adds the perfect hint of natural looking color. Of course, it's embossed with an exquisite lion face.

The shade? What more natural name could it have than Pride? It's a soft, demure pink that adds a natural flush of color to all skin tones.

I should stop here and tell you that five percent of the proceeds of each eye palette and cheek shade sold will be donated to the Lion Guardians to help them continue their work to save the lions, among the most majestic creatures on Earth.

Full color release combined with a delightfully creamy texture makes Chantecaille Lip Stick ($36) both glamorous and incredibly comfortable. It's infused with natural beeswax, vitamins A and C, and emollient amino acids. The new shades are, left to right, Mirage, the perfect beigy nude; African Violet, a dramatic berry with subtle, cool undertones; and Sunset, a warm, sophisticated coral.

The Luster Glide Silk Infused  Eye Liner ($29) is an innovative, long-lasting eye liner that combines the effortless application of a pencil with the dramatic definition of a liquid liner. Falls brings us a new shade: Amethyst, a silky smooth, burgundy infused with light-catching pearl that adds instant drama and definition to the lash line. It coordinates perfectly with the eye palette.

Many of you know that I live in Chantecaille makeup. More often than not, the eye shadow I apply in the morning was made by Chantecaille. Today, I'm wearing the Sharks. The colors work well for me, and they last all day. I'm more than a fan. I'm obsessed with Chantecaille. I can't wait to get my hands on these new colors.

The good news? We don't have to wait long for this gorgeous collection to arrive at counters! It will be available in August 2016 at Barney’s New York, Bergdorf Goodman, Frédéric Fekkai Salons, Neiman Marcus, Space NK, select Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdale's, and Nordstrom locations and

Photos courtesy of Chantecaille