Monday, March 31, 2014

Guerlain Rouge G de Guerlain - New and Exceptional

Guerlain has introduced new Rouge G de Guerlain shades: five permanent colors and two limited-edition collector shades that look pretty snazzy in the vibrant lacquered cases shown above. The limited-edition shades are $54. In my photo above, the fire engine red Rose Grenat (#864) is shown at left, and the delicate Rose Glacé (#866) is shown at right. Guerlain sent them to me as gifts.

Lipstick entered a new era with Guerlain's Rouge G de Guerlain. A stunning combination of technology and precious ingredients, Rouge G is the creation of Lorenz Bäumer, the audacious jewelry designer of the Place Vendôme.

For the luxurious Rouge G, Bäumer drew inspiration from the most precious element in jewelry: a bar of gold. Reversing this shape, he placed the lipstick horizontally and made it feminine with curves. He created a clever magnetic mechanism to reveal with one click a hidden mirror from within the case. An exceptional, fabulously chic accessory, Rouge G surpasses mere beauty. It is also indulgent of an exceptional formula. What makes it special?
  • Ruby powders create glow and radiance on the lips.
  • Intensely concentrated color pigments and liquid mother of pearl form an opaque film that perfectly reflects light on the surface of the lips for an immediately smoothing effect.
  • Hyaluronic acid microspheres fill with water on contact with your lips to swell their initial volume by six times, smoothing the appearance of your lips in the process.
  • Gugul resin used in Ayurvedic medicine acts like a natural wrinkle filler in the lines of the lips.
  • Tiger grass and vitamin A palmitate combine to help plump lips by boosting the synthesis of collagen fibers.
  • Wild mango butter enriches the formula to maintain optimal hydration levels.
Here are swatch photos of the new limited-edition shades that I took in the late afternoon. Rose Grenat is shown at the top of my arm, with Rose Glacé below. They are polar opposites. Rose Grenat is a velvety red. Rose Glacé is a barely there pink. They could not be more different.

Rose Grenat is extremely vibrant - maybe too vibrant for my pale face and shyness when it comes to red lipstick. It offers amazing wear. I'll have to try it the next time I go out at night.

The ultra-sheer Rose Glacé leaves a layer of shine that lasts. The shine is tinted pink, which you can see the best in the first of my swatch photos above. It is the kind of shade I'll wear to keep my lips moist and looking their best. I'm sure I will layer it over other colors.

I have a few of the five permanent shades on their way from the Guerlain Boutique. I'll wait until I can get their photos to introduce them. The new Rouge Gs have arrived at the Guerlain Boutiques and will arrive at select locations of Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Bloomingdale's, Dillards, Sepora, and at Bergdorf Goodman in April. That's only a day away.

Photos by Best Things in Beauty

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Sunday This and That

Earlier today, I wrote that it was raining. That's what the local forecasters predicted. Imagine my surprise, then, when it started sleeting in the early afternoon. The sleet quickly turned to snow - great big snowflakes. Now the snow is mixing back with rain. I have a light covering of snow on my walk and grass. I must remember to watch for black ice in the morning when I go outside to feed the birds and squirrels. As I listen to the evening news, the weather forecasters are eating crow.

Speaking of squirrels (not crows), I have one little dimwit who chewed through metal and wood to ruin my squirrel feeder a few weeks ago. I bought a new one last week. I just went out and found the dimwit had almost finished Act II, ruining a $30 feeder. I hope he learns how to lift the door with his head soon. I can't afford to buy a new one every week. I may have to get my handyman to screw through the metal edges to squirrel-proof the squirrel feeder.

Have you noticed that Estée Lauder has been almost moribund? No new collections have been introduced for months. The latest is a collection of Pure Color Envy Sculpting Lipsticks. I played with them at the store, but they bored me. See the look above. I was hoping for a new Illuminating Powder Gelée for spring. I asked my favorite Estée Lauder representative when I might see one - or anything of interest from Estée Lauder. What she told me was stunning. The company promoting Aerin Lauder's somewhat ho-hum line at the expense of the mother ship. If you want to see new palettes, you're going to have to pay more attention to Aerin's meager offerings. The rep said we "might" see an Estée Lauder collection for summer. I am amazed.

I would love to think that what she told me is not true, but the evidence is at the counter. Am I the only one who thinks the Lauder conglomerate has made a seriously bad decision? Estée Lauder has died and come back before. It wasn't too many years ago when Tom Pecheux resurrected the matronly brand and made it hot again. Where is he? Now I read about Pecheux's connection with M·A·C (January and February) and his work as a runway makeup artist.

While Estée Lauder snoozes, Dior is Dior Addict empire with the new Dior Addict Fluid Stick. "Billed as a cross between a gloss and a lipstick, Fluid Stick’s formula combines wax-free pigments with water and glycerol for a true, intense, long-lasting color," Senior Vice President, Lisa Hawkins told WWD. “Traditionally, lip glosses are made of color pigments mixed with oil. Our formula mixes the pigments with water and other ingredients.” She continued, “This formula delivers the color payoff and lasting power of a lipstick, but with the shine and weightless sensation of a gloss. Lips are continuously moisturized with a blend of water and glycerol."

That sounds exciting. I am a huge Dior Addict fan and have been for years. What horrified me about the announcement was that statement that the Dior Addict" franchise" attracts a customer between 18 and 30 - the sweet spot. Given the Best Things in Beauty readership, which ranges from 18 to 70, I think Dior is selling its "franchise" short.

The Palace released an adorable family photo showing Prince George, the eight-month-old son of Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge, making his love for Lupo perfectly clear. I think it could not be more adorable. What do you want to bet the shot came naturally? There is no way to make a kid and a dog pose like that. What a family treasure!

As I close Sunday This and That, I want to remember the people in the community of Oso, Washington. The mudslide that buried so many came too fast for them to seek shelter. Now, as I watch the community - professionals and volunteers - dig to find every last person (and pet and family heirloom) lost in the tragedy, I weep for them and the survivors, many of whom feel guilty that they survived and their loved ones didn't. It has been a sad reminder to hug your loved ones.

Update: It is so embarrassing to spell "Sunday" incorrectly! Why didn't one of you tell the typo queen?

Photos courtesy of Estée Lauder, Dior, and the British monarchy/NPR, and the Huffington Post

Guerlain Muguet 2014

Today, it is dark, cold, windy, and raining. What is keeping up my spirits? The knowledge that the 2014 Guerlain Muguet ($550) will be arriving at my doorstep in April. I have a hobby - perhaps a habit - of buying each year's Muguet release around this time of year. I'm on the waiting list at the Las Vegas Guerlain Boutique to be one of the first to receive the 2014 edition. I can't describe how excited I am. Would it be hyperbole to say it makes working worthwhile?

Each year since 1998 (with a few lapses), Guerlain has introduced a collectable edition of Muguet on the first of May. May Day’s tradition dates back to May 1, 1561 when King Charles IX of France received a lily of the valley as a lucky charm. He decided to offer the flower to the ladies of his court each year. It is now customary to give a lily of the valley on May 1. In truth, Muguet arrives at the Guerlain Boutiques in early April - and it may be sold out by the first of May because the release is limited to 1,872 numbered, 125 ml bottles.

The fragrance is not the same as Jacques Guerlain's original 1908 creation (oh, how I would love to smell that!), but the new Muguet is popular because the lily of the valley fragrance is divine and the bottle changes from year to year, making it collectable. For the first time this year, Guerlain has used its famous bee bottle for Muguet, perhaps as a follow-up to the recent bee bottle anniversary.

The presentation for 2014 includes a handmade white porcelain holder decorated with lily of the valley motifs. It was conceived by Parisian ceramic artist Brigitte de Bazelaire, who is associated with Porcelaines de la Fabrique - the company that has manufactured Limoges china since 1825. With the porcelain container serving as a superior holder for the bee bottle, it's the most exquisite presentation I've seen - and most of them have been first class.

Adorned with a white bow, the white porcelain container requires a double baking at more than 1,000 degrees Centigrade. Nestled inside the idyllic creation, the bee bottle is filled with a pale green precious liquid. After the bottle is empty, the porcelain can be repurposed and serve as a reminder to get on the waiting list for the next year's release. I plan to use mine to hold flowers. It looks much like a small Wedgwood container I have. When not in use, it will go in a display cabinet with antique silver. I think it will look at home there.

Even though the Muguet fragrance smells like an effervescent lily of the valley soliflore, it is a blend. The fragrance opens with a top note of bergamot. The middle notes are lily of the valley, jasmine, rose, and "green notes." The base note is a pure and lighthearted musk - one I can barely smell. I've read it contains a touch of lilac, but have no way to verify that.

This floral masterpiece is the most accomplished lily of the valley blend I have ever worn, and I wear it a lot. Need a pick me up on a day like this? Turn to Muguet. Need to dream of spring when the ground is covered by a foot of snow? Wear Muguet. Greet spring with class? Reach for Muguet. I get compliments every time I wear it.

I call the boutique every few days to see if Muguet has arrived. Jonathan knows I'm a fanatic, so he humors me. Actually, I think he's as excited about its arrival as I am. If you would like to reserve a bottle, give him a call at (702) 732-7008. He will take great care of you. Make sure to ask for Jonathan. He usually works late, so I often call around 7:30 pm ET (remember, there is a time difference). The 2014 Muguet will be available at the Guerlain Boutiques and, I'm told, a limited selection of Guerlain retailers.

Photos courtesy of Guerlain and and a nod of thanks to

Friday, March 28, 2014

The Friday Forum - March 28

It is dark, dreary, and raining. I suppose I should be glad it's raining, not snowing, but I'm having trouble believing the weather forecasters who are proclaiming the grand, late entrance of spring. At least I don't have to shovel rain. The bad news is that I have new Guerlain Rouge Gs, and I won't be able to get a photo of them today.

I found the gorgeous photo above at a site called It's so much nicer than the scene outside my house. Plus, the color reminds me of makeup. What else?

Rouge Bunny Rouge has introduced Diaphanous Impalpable Finishing Powder ($46.24), a completely transparent powder with a silky feel. This completely transparent powder allows you to finish your makeup routine or to underline your natural beauty without makeup.

With the incredibly smooth feeling of vaporous silk, a fine dusting of this invisible loose powder softens unwanted flaws and rewards the complexion with an even skin tone and velvety matte finish.
Evermat reduces the production of oily sebum to keep shine in check, with the aid of silica’s absorbing action. Tetrapeptide Matrixyl 3000 adds an anti-aging and smoothing effect, while Actiwhite works to lighten and brighten. Due to its super-transparency and ability to mattify the skin without drying, all skin tones can benefit from this single, universal shade that can be used to set makeup or be worn alone to brilliant effect.

Suave Professionals has introduced Moroccan Infusion Body Care, products that are infused with authentic argan oil from Morocco, a lightweight miracle oil known to be rich in nutrients and antioxidants. The new products are available in a Body Lotion, a daily moisturizer that absorbs quickly for up to 24 hours of non-greasy hydration, and a Dry Body Oil Spray, a non-greasy formula that absorbs instantly locking in long-lasting moisture. Did someone say dry oil? I'm so there! I must find some immediately. I must go looking for these. You know I'm a Suave girl.

That reminds me. Last weekend, with just about every part of my body hurting, I stopped into a Hair Cuttery and asked for a shampoo and blow dry. I had done that once before this winter when I wanted to be treated. The service was $18+tip, which I thought was very reasonable. This time, I "got" a different stylist, and she was selling from the moment she started washing my hair. She wanted to know what products I use on my hair, and I explained that as a blogger, I continuously test products - from Suave to Rahua. She then proceeded to slam Suave for ingredients that are NOT in Suave products, then she mentioned Wella as being "OK." I imagine the luxurious Rahua is not in her realm of knowledge or experience, since she confused it with Wella. I started to get angry as she implied that the "state" of my hair was due to the products I use. I don't suffer fools gladly, and she started out on a bad foot.

Then she moved on to remarking about the lovely curl in my hair. Are we kidding? My hair, with the exception of one wave in the front, is stick straight. I found out when I got my bill what that was all about. As she prepared my hair for blow-drying, she put four different products in my hair, including a volumizer, which didn't work at all. (I had asked for volume on top). My hair was plastered to my head when I left. I'm not sure what happened to the turned-under ends I had requested. All the while as she blew dry my hair, she sung the praises of the products she used.

At checkout, she said my bill was $26 and suggested I purchase one of the products. I questioned the $26, saying the last time I had paid $18. She said the extra charge was to straighten my hair - a service I did not request. I wasn't sure whether to roar with laughter or be nice and explain that I was expecting an $18 bill because that is what I had paid the month before. I chose the latter. She knocked off the extra third without an argument; I paid; and I left that Hair Cuttery for the last time. What a set-up! Where do they find these people? I thought they had to have a beautician's license to work in hair salons. Have you ever had a similar experience?

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.

Update 3/29: Guerlain's 2014 Muguet, in an exquisite bottle, will arrive at the Guerlain Boutique any day. It will sell out. If you are interested, pre-order from Jonathan at (702) 732-7008. When you call him, ask about the long list of Guerlain fragrances that are being discontinued.

Photos courtesy of, Rouge Bunny Rouge, and Suave Professionals

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Guerlain Terracotta After Sun Cream

Guerlain's Terracotta After Sun Cream ($53) was calling me when I read the press release. Odd, since I don't "do sun." However, I talked to my friends at the Guerlain Boutique in Las Vegas, and they described the scent using terms like divine and intoxicating. I had to do a brain shift and realize it's a body moisturizer. It doesn't matter whether I prefer to tan or stay pale. I could enjoy this cream.

I ordered two tubes - the last two they had - and received them early today. They are relatively large (5.1 fluid ounces), and they impart a fragrance to my skin that is long-lasting and drool-worthy. Because Terracotta After Sun Cream is a limited edition, if you have any interest in this gorgeously scented body moisturizer, order it now. Wait a week or two, and it could be gone - for good.

Because tanned skin is even more beautiful when it is intensely hydrated, Guerlain is offering its first exclusive Terracotta after-sun care, boasting the Tan Booster Complex to enhance and intensify bronzed skin. Formulated with precious ingredients of natural origin and infused with the scent of tiare, Terracotta After Sun completely hydrates, softens, and soothes the skin from the effects of the sun - or anything else that dehydrates your skin. I don't tan, but I love moisture in any form - and I totally adore the tropical scent of tiare, a type of gardenia that grows on Tahiti, the largest Island of French Polynesia in the southern Pacific Ocean.

The key ingredients of Terracotta After Sun Cream...
  • An exclusive complex extracted from the carob, a thousand-year-old tree that grows in the Mediterranean region, is said to prolong your tan. Used before, during, and after tanning, it ought to help you hang on to your golden color.
  • Cupuacu butter - this Amazonian treasure belongs to the same family as cocoa and is renowned for its exceptional ability to retain water in the skin.
  • Camellia oil and jojoba seed oil - this cocktail of oils with antioxidant properties works in perfect synergy to hydrate and protect the skin, while helping it to rebuild its hydrolipid film (the skin's natural protective barrier). 
Even without a day in the sun, I feel luxurious. It was sunny today. It was also cold and windy, and the black ice that greeted us this morning was dangerous. Yesterday's snow still hangs on the plants, making it look pretty outdoors, but treacherous. I am beyond frustrated and fatigued by our extended winter. Imagine my delight, then, when UPS showed up with the most heavenly tropical body cream I've smelled in some time. It gave me a respite from the endless winter we have suffered.

What happens every year with Guerlain's limited-edition Terracotta introductions? They sell out quickly. I have found myself kicking myself in the butt for waiting too long. Indecision has been my ruin. If you have any interest in this gorgeously fragranced cream, do what I did. Stop lingering and order it.

Photo courtesy of Neiman Marcus

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Marc Jacobs Beauty Remedy Concealer Pen

I've been dipping my toes into Marc Jacobs Beauty, choosing wisely, I think, and so far I've been very happy with my selections. I really didn't want to get "hooked on" another makeup brand. I already have too many on my must-buy list.

I was intrigued by Remedy Concealer Pen ($39). soI purchased one sight unseen in the lightest shade, 00 Stand Corrected. I am extremely happy with it.

This an all-in-one eraser, brightener, and corrector works as advertised: it remedies the signs of aging, dehydration, and fatigue, while brightening the skin around the eyes. One of Marc’s favorite products, they say, Remedy Concealer Pen is the perfect fix for the sins of a carefree youth (guilty) or just the aftermath of last night (not guilty). Formulated with advanced pigments, powerful antioxidants, and Remedy Complex, a unique blend of hydrating and anti-aging ingredients, this next-generation concealer brightens, hydrates, and soothes the skin while providing the coverage you need for a fresh, bright-eyed finish. The patented palladium applicator cools on contact to reduce puffiness, and one click is all it takes for the perfect amount of product.

Remedy is available in nine shades - from the lightest that I purchased, 00 to the darkest, 7. I guessed and guessed well. The one thing I really like about the applicator is not the metal applicator, but the window that shows me the color and how much product I have left. I really like those user-friendly touches.

I took swatch photos in full sun. I applied Stand Corrected without blending it. That photo is shown directly above. As you can see on my arm, Stand Corrected leans yellow.

After I took unblended swatch photos, I blended the swatch with my finger and took more photos. The blended photo above shows that Stand Corrected almost blends into my skin perfectly. The yellow tone takes any redness away from around my eyes. It's a very nice shade for me.

I use Remedy under my eyes. I'm still enamored with the Edward Bess Illuminating Eyeshadow Base over my eyes. Remedy is easy to apply, covers nicely, and lasts all day. I have found a new favorite.

Have you tried Marc Jacobs Beauty Remedy Concealer Pen? Do you like it as much as I do? You can purchase it at Sephora or select Marc Jacobs boutiques.

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

Monday, March 24, 2014

A New Kate for Bobbi Brown: Kate Upton

The beautiful Kate Upton is the newest face of Bobbi Brown. She is a stunner - a lovely choice, I think - not to speak of sexy too.

Everything starts with confidence: it's the secret that makes a woman most beautiful. That's why we chose Kate Upton - the epitome of stunning confidence and beauty - to be the face of Bobbi Brown this season.

You can find Kate's complete look at this link. I love her natural look, from hair to makeup. She looks like the girl next door, only better.

Read the latest from Bobbi. "OK, you probably feel like you already know Kate. After taking the fashion world by storm in 2011 and gracing the covers of Vogue, GQ, and Sports Illustrated - to name just a few - Kate’s joined the ranks of iconic American beauties and become a household name.

I knew Kate’s public face, too, but when I met her in person, it was quickly clear that Kate is really something special. She exudes confidence, warmth, and authenticity - her skin glows, and you can immediately tell that she’s the sort of person who really loves her life. She’s also a maverick who has carved her own path to success. I was an instant fan.

In a recent Vogue profile, a friend said of Kate, “Two things are extremely attractive: health is beauty, and confidence is beauty.” I couldn’t agree more. I’ve always believed that everything starts with confidence - it’s the quality most central to a woman’s beauty. Kate radiates positive energy and is healthy and comfortable in her own skin. That’s pretty powerful.

I couldn’t be happier to announce our partnership with Kate Upton as the newest face of Bobbi Brown Cosmetics. I think you’ll agree that Kate has a gorgeous face for makeup. Take a peek at how we put her look together and stay tuned for much more."


Watch here. Then go get your glow on too.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Shiseido Lacquer Gloss

Shiseido's new Lacquer Gloss was inspired by traditional Japanese transparent lacquer. This unique formula has a three-layer structure that refines lip texture, adheres to the lips with vivid color, and coats the lips with all-day moisture. This gloss also features an applicator that fits the lips perfectly, allowing you to draw an even lip line with no streaks.

Available in eight shades, Lacquer Gloss ($25) was in short supply at Sephora when I went to purchase it a few weeks ago. I ended up ordering two from Shiseido's Web site. Advertised as rich, with a deep sheen and vivid clear color reminiscent of the beloved Japanese art form, it called to me. I purchased OR303 (In the Flesh, shown at right below) and PK 304 (Baby Doll, shown at left).

I took my swatch photos in full sun, showing In the Flesh at the top of my arm, with Baby Doll below. The lip lacquers were much more transparent than I had expected - and that delighted me. I had expected more opaque color. I would not describe the color of these two shades as vivid.

As I took photos, In the Flesh started to move toward the equator - a common problem when photographing glosses. My top swatch in the photo below is uneven, but still portrays the color accurately.

As I looked at these two shades when I swatched them (blind purchase), I realized they were extremely similar. Both are warm pinks, with In the Flesh having slightly more coral in its color. It won't be a hard choice to keep one in my bathroom and throw one in my handbag. They are almost interchangeable.

On the lips, the glosses are sheer and shiny. The have a medium "feel," meaning I can feel them on my lips, but I wouldn't call them heavy. They have a very subtle taste/smell that dissipates almost instantly, making it barely worth mentioning. They offer slightly better than average wear time.

As usual, Shiseido has launched a color product worth a look-see. The price is right. I'm going to look at RS 306 Plum Wine in person. It may be my next purchase.

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

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Le Métier de Beauté Peau Vierge Anti-Aging Pressed Powder

Le Métier de Beauté's new, breakthrough Peau Vierge Anti-Aging Pressed Powder ($75) has finally arrived at Neiman Marcus counters. I went over to Mazza Gallerie today to pick up mine, Shade 1 shown above. Shade 2 leans yellow and can be worn, I think, by anyone with fair to medium skin. The third shade, 3, is markedly darker in the compact, but so transparent that even Michael (who has light skin) can wear it to add a little subtle color. A Peau Vierge fan might want all three shades for different looks. The compacts are generous in size, with a net weight of 0.40 ounces.

This Peau Vierge powder employs same proprietary delivery technology used in Le Métier de Beauté's skin care and the wonder-product many of you love, Peau Vierge. It's all about delivering the active ingredients in a way that produces a visible anti-aging effect while beautifying your skin. The patented delivery system allows this silky pressed powder - a color product - to also serve as a hydrating, anti-inflammatory, anti-aging treatment.

Enhanced with vitamins and antioxidants to promote long-term healthy and youthful skin, this subtly tinted powder provides the perfect smudge-resistant finish. Blended with unique micronized anti-aging ingredients to avoid clogging pores and protect the skin from environmental stressors, Peau Vierge Pressed Powder is lightweight, applies to the skin seamlessly, and creates an evenly toned, shine-free appearance without altering the natural color of your skin - all the while nourishing and promoting a a healthy and clear complexion. How exactly? Here are the major ingredients.
  • TPM has a powerful anti-inflammatory effect on the skin. It reduces redness, irritation, puffiness/swelling on contact. 
  • Sodium hyaluronate, the salt of hyaluronic acid - nature's sponge - allows the powder to feel smooth and hydrating (not dusty or dry). Because hyaluronic acid can hold more a thousand times its weight, it will fill the space between the fibers that connect collagen and elastin, reducing dehydration and filling the look of wrinkling.
  • Vital ET is a fast-acting bio-functional form of Vitamin E that is used in the treatment of scar tissue, sun damage, and rosacea. Delivering powerful anti-oxidants to skin, Vital E is very effective in preventing surface dryness, sunburn, and skin-irritation.
  • Nylon-12, a synthetic alternative to clay, is the secret to invisible makeup. It is a sterile and hypo-allergenic agent that allows powder coverage to expand and contract with our facial movements so that it will not reveal itself in lines or pores. This bit of magic creates the illusion of naturally flawless skin. It is designed to provide a time-release effect for the other key ingredients by absorbing them first and releasing them slowly on the skin over time.
Michael Reinhardt applied the new powder to my skin today. I purposely arrived in the store without any makeup on. He prepped my face with Le Métier de Beauté's Peau Vierge Anti-Aging Complexe Tinted Treatment after applying moisturizer. Then he applied the new powder in Shade 1. I asked him to apply it on only one side of my face so that I could see exactly what effects it had. He used a kabuki brush to apply it and buff it into my skin. Immediately after application, I saw that my skin tone was more even, the natural redness in my skin had been tamped down, and my complexion was matte. Interestingly, after 10 minutes on my face, the matte finish had morphed into a more natural look: not shiny, but not matte either. Beautifully natural.

My skin felt hydrated, and it looked good - as if I had on no makeup. I liked what I saw. Then Michael applied the powder on the other side of my face using a sponge. The lower level of the compact holds a large round sponge. A hint? Amazingly, if you press the powder into your skin using a sponge, the effect will delight you. It's surprisingly effective at evening the skin's tone and removing redness without depositing too much powder. We are not accustomed to applying finishing powder with a sponge, but we proved today that the sponge is included with the powder for a good reason.

Was Peau Vierge Anti-Aging Pressed Powder worth the wait? Yes, definitely. I think I'm going to have to purchase another compact because I'll need one in my bathroom makeup "inventory" and another for my desk at work.

You can find Peau Vierge Anti-Aging Pressed Powder at Neiman Marcus. If you don't have a Neiman Marcus and need help, call Michael Reinhardt or Chae Edwards at (202) 966-9700, extension 2258. They will be happy to help you select a shade.

The photo above shows all three. Shade 1 is shown at lower left; shade 2 is at lower right; shade 3 is at the top.

Photoss by Best Things in Beauty and a friend

Friday, March 21, 2014

The Friday Forum - March 21

In Keira Knightley's third campaign for the Chanel perfume Coco Mademoiselle, she stars in a provocative short film as the character of Coco Mademoiselle, featuring the mystery and adventure of previous ads. There is a link to the fascinating advertisement at the Huffington Post. I watched it this morning and found it to be much more interesting than Coco Mademoiselle (the fragrance). Even though I love Chanel's fragrances, Coco Mademoiselle, created by Jaques Polge, reeks of patchouli. It's too bad that Polge threw in the patch because the perfume would have been a beautiful modern floral without it.

I got an exciting call from Barneys this week. Eve Lom had created a Radiance Perfection Complexion collection that promises to infuse our primer, foundations, powders, and even a bronzer with the award-winning Eve Lom skin care. There is a launch party (sob, I just can't go) this month, and then I will be able to buy some of the products to try them. Test samples are on the way. In fact, I am hoping they will arrive today. I checked out the European Web site and prepared my wish list immediately. I must have Radiance Lift Foundation, and I want to try Golden Radiance Bronzing Powder. I won't have to wait long. The party is this month.

Esxence, an international meeting of fragrance gurus, has started. Held in Italy, people in the industry converge from all over the world. Niche perfumers set up booths - welcoming spaces - where attendees can smell their fragrances and talk, the talk being more fun than the whiffs. Learning about fragrance lines and how individual fragrances were inspired and created is the best part of the conference. There is a formal program too - and you can watch it, as well as interviews with perfumers! The program is live streaming now and will continue throughout the conference. Just go to this link and watch. I've got it running now. Even if you don't have the enthusiasm and passion for perfume that some of us have, you have an opportunity to learn a lot. Maybe you'll become a more informed fragrance fan. If you do watch, let us know what you think, please.

Here are a few news nuggets from WWD.
  • Beauty vloggers are running rings around the brands in drawing eyeballs from people interested in beauty. You Tube is where the action is. Of You Tube's 14.9 billion beauty-related video views, just 3% come from companies, while 97% of views come from independent content creators - or vloggers. Basically, entrance to the vlogger stable is easy. As a Sephora executive said, all you need is a camera and your bedroom. Naturally, the popularity of vloggers depends on their personality and suitability to "the camera." Some successful vloggers have turned their hobby into a business. Think Michelle Phan. I do see major attention shifting from blogs to vlogs.
  • Givenchy is launching a L’Atelier collection of seven women’s fragrances. Look for the fragrances to arrive in the United States at Saks Fifth Avenue in April. I read the notes, and I'm sure I'll want to try one or two.
  • L'Wren Scott's tragic suicide has left the world wondering why she took her life. As you know, she was gorgeous and successful, with a personality her friends called irrepressible and ebullient. She was Mick Jagger's longtime companion and lover. She seemed to have the world at her fingertips. We have learned that she was in debt, but honestly, $5M is not a lot of debt for a business. Some close friends said she struggled with depression, and others noted that she had become unusually uncommunicative in recent months. Still, no one could put the entire picture of her demons together in a way that added up to suicide. She struggled internally, never seeking help, and her final act saddened everyone, leaving the eternal question "why?" I wish we - society - had a better way of preventing suicide. You wonder how a woman who had everything decided to take her own life - without seeking help. Yes, she is at peace, but at what cost to those she left behind? Her death left me very, very sad.
Just as the white stuff from our St. Patrick's Day snowfall is melting, we are learning that it will snow again next Tuesday. My body cannot take another shoveling session. Both knees - even my bionic knee - are screaming angry. My shoulder is shot. I may try to ignore this one and simply drive over the "few inches" expected to "grace" my driveway and flagstone walk. I've had it. It's almost April! Summer makeup collections are about to arrive, including Guerlain's. My mind has moved on, but Mother Nature won't let me forget that she's angry.

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.

Update: Yes! The new Le Métier de Beauté Peau Vierge powder has arrived at Neiman Marcus. I got the call today. I'm going to see Michael Reinhardt tomorrow. You can reach him at (202) 966-9700, extension 2258, if you need help.

Photos courtesy of the Huffington Post and Eve Lom

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Guerlain Terracotta Summer 2014 Collection

I showed you Joli Teinte Beautifying Foundation from Guerlain's Summer 2014 Terracotta Collection. There is more, though, and you must go shopping prepared!

Included in the collection are a Terracotta Brush, Terracotta Sunless, and a limited-edition Terracotta After Sun Cream. Let's start with the Terracotta Brush ($42), which you can see on my photo of the display. It's at bottom left.

This brush is the perfect ally for creating a smooth, perfectly tanned complexion. Its ultra-soft natural bristles are red, like those used by Guerlain make-up artists, and evoke the warmth of a sunset. The convenient and elegant travel size slips into any handbag for touch-ups during the day, carefully protected in its bronze velvet pouch with a magnetic closure.

Terracotta Sunless ($53) is a 2-in-1 self-tanning gel that delivers a veil of moisture and sun-kissed color to the entire body. Incredibly simple to apply, it melts into the skin. Within one hour, the skin is perfectly bronzed and stays that way for up to four days. This intensely nourishing formula contains a subtle blend of self-tanning DHA and 100% natural organic argan oil rich in polyphenols and moisturizing fatty acids. Terracotta Sunless creates the look of a beautiful, even tan with the feel of smooth, satiny skin.

The limited-edition Terracotta After Sun Cream ($53) is calling me. Because tanned skin is even more beautiful when it is intensely hydrated, Guerlain is offering its first exclusive Terracotta after-sun care, boasting the Tan Booster Complex to enhance and intensify bronzed skin. Formulated with precious ingredients of natural origin and infused with the scent of the tiare flower, Terracotta After Sun completely hydrates, softens, and soothes skin from the effects of the sun. I don't tan, but I love moisture in any form. I totally adore the tropical scent of tiare. I think I will be calling my favorite Guerlain Boutique tonight. It's limited; I've decided I need it.

The key ingredients...
  • Cupuacu butter - this Amazonian treasure belongs to the same family as cocoa and is renowned for its exceptional ability to retain water in the skin.
  • Camellia oil and jojoba seed oil - this cocktail of oils with antioxidant properties works in perfect synergy to hydrate and protect the skin, while helping it to rebuild its hydrolipid film (the skin's natural protective barrier).
Sounds exceptionally nice, doesn't it?  The full Terracotta Collection is available at select locations of Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, Neiman Marcus, Sephora. and Bergdorf Goodman. Will you be shopping?

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

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Greg Lauren Eau de Parfum, a Barneys New York Exclusive

How did I find Greg Lauren Eau de Parfum ($195)? I was looking for another Barneys exclusive, which I bought. I was lured to Greg Lauren by its description. It certainly wasn't the bottle.

Greg Lauren is a completely unique fragrance designed and handcrafted by Greg Lauren himself in collaboration with master perfumer Ralf Schwieger. The combination of tonka beans, vanilla, and marine notes delivers irresistible sensual facets - a very special fragrance both artistic and elegant.

Artistic? The fragrance is, but the bottle is hobo chic at best. I was surprised when it arrived. The slightly peeling label is topped with masking tape - seriously, masking tape, with Greg Lauren written with what I assume was a permanent marker. I looked at it with wonder after I unpacked it. "Barneys exclusive" didn't resemble the handcrafted, distressed bottle I saw.

The notes in the fragrance description appealed to me, though, and that is how I came to blind-buy Greg Lauren. The first time I sprayed it on my skin, I was hooked.

Greg Lauren is an American actor and painter who happens to be gorgeous. He looks much better than the bottle above. Check him out on Wikipedia. Yes, he's related to Ralph Lauren: a nephew.

I am impressed with his bloodlines, but I'm in love with his fragrance. Ralf Schwieger is a renowned perfumer, so Lauren selected his namesake's creator well. The fragrance is a vanilla-centric fragrance, but the other notes keep it from the vanilla trap that often claims vanilla fragrances and swallows them up into the vanilla rubric. Bath and Body Works, anyone?

The vanilla opens with the tonka bean making its presence known, like a fine liquor, and it quickly turns soft and - dare I say - feminine. The marine notes, whatever they are, remind me of the sea air, driftwood, seashells, and natural dune grass characteristic of Kiawah Island. The fragrance is salty, without the parching quality that often equates to "salty."

I found this fragrance to be beautifully balanced. It's unique, harmoniously blended, sweet, and salty, but light and fragile. Wear it, and you will be reminded of the sea, but you won't smell like seaweed. Instead, you will smell intriguingly welcoming (that has to be the vanilla) and sensual. Greg Lauren, although marketed as unisex, is, in my opinion, a perfume that will sing to women and the men who love them.

See what you think. It's the perfect time to try Greg Lauren. Barneys is having its Beauty Bag event. Spend $250 on cosmetics and fragrances, and you will receive a bag truly worth the effort. I wish I had waited to order.

Photo courtesy of Barneys New York

Monday, March 17, 2014

Urban Decay New Ultra Nourishing Lipgloss

Yes, it snowed again. Sadly, this snow claimed a victim, the husband of a Facebook friend - someone I like and respect. I have learned that he was shoveling snow, just like the rest of us this morning, when he had a heart attack. It sure was a reminder to me to live every day as if it were your last. You never know.

I realize after that intro, it seems trivial to talk about lip gloss. I had a hard time working up the spirit to write this feature, so I'll dedicate it to Kathleen.

Urban Decay, trading off their Naked franchise, recently introduced a new, permanent lip gloss in nine luxurious shades. A gloss and a rich lip balm in one, this super-nourishing gloss has an addictive, creamy texture and a gorgeous, high-shine finish. Perfect for complementing the always-popular Urban Decay smoky eye, the Naked Ultra Nourishing Lipgloss ($20) feels so luxe that you’ll want to keep applying it all day. The makeup junkies at Urban Decay painstakingly crafted this formula, obsessing over every last detail until it was just right. Laced with ingredients that are good for your skin, the formula includes Hyaluronic Filling Spheres, vitamin E, avocado oil, and shea butter to hydrate and condition lips. Rosehip seed oil provides an extra hit of vitamins, including vitamins A and C.

In a clinical study of 30 participants who used Naked Ultra Nourishing Lipgloss, these results were reported immediately after use.
  • 86% of participants had a significant improvement in the appearance of lines and wrinkles.
  • 76% had a significant improvement in volume and hydration.
  • 86% said their lips felt nourished.
You may ask me, "Why should I care if participants felt that way immediately after application?" The only answer I can give is that you get a nice jolt of moisture when you use Ultra Nourishing Lipgloss.

The bottle features a pretty, highly metalized champagne cap and overshell with a cool “Naked” cutout effect. As pretty as it is, it’s also practical. You can see the shade through the “Naked” cutout and the little window at the bottom (so it’s easy to spot the right shade in your bag). The extra long, flocked paddle applicator also picks up a generous amount of gloss for even color. It has a slightly curved or upward arc to it, which seems to cover the lips in one swoop.

I purchased two shades from Urban Decay: Liar and Naked. Liar is shown in my photo on the left, with Naked on the right. I took photos in full sun. My swatches were taken at the same time. Liar is shown at the top of my arm, and Naked is shown below.

Both are very light. Liar has more color than Naked, which makes sense. Both are sheer and shiny. Liar, described oddly as a mauve pink, is my favorite, mostly because Naked disappears on my lips.

Naked is described as a nude pink with pink pearly. You can see the glistening pearls in my photos. They add a generous sparkle to the otherwise nude color. Now that I have seen these two, I will not fear ordering the darkest shade, Beso, described as a deep mauve-pink. However, I took a look at Temptalia's swatches, and I saw little difference among the new shades on Christine's lips. I'm not sure I need more than two of these lovelies.

Liar and Naked offer average wear. Although they are supposedly scented with a light mint, I can't taste anything. Because of my sinus infection? Who knows? Generally, I dislike mint tastes in my lip products, so whatever exists in this one is very light to evade my attention.

You can find these Ultra Nourishing Lipgloss at Sephora and Urban Decay. Sephora appears to offer one shade you can't order at Urban Decay.

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

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

Happy St. Patrick's Day! May the luck of the Irish be with you today and every day!

You don't have to be Irish to celebrate St. Patrick's Day; everyone can be Irish today. Just because! Do you want to wear green or go green? St. Patrick's Day may be a good day for a green choice.  Today would be a good day to shop for organic and natural beauty products. Let's all be good and do good while enjoying the revelry of St. Patrick's Day.

Speaking of revelry, I love these photos!

Photos courtesy of and a modified photo courtesy of icanhas.cheezburger

Guerlain Terracotta Joli Teint Beautifying Foundation SPF20 from the Summer 2014 Collection

In 1984, Guerlain revolutionized the way a beautiful bronzed look was achieved. The endless hours in the sun to attain that perfect glow, while also causing damage to the skin, could be traded in for a healthier, much quicker way to “tan.” Terracotta was born and with it, a natural-looking glow season after season that never betrays your secret. On the strength of 30 years of expertise and innovation, Guerlain is now introducing a new collection of beauty must-haves as part of the Terracotta collection. Step into the secret of a healthy glow with Joli Teint.

Guerlain has started to introduce its Summer 2014 colors, and I lept at the chance to try a few of them, which I featured with an introduction on March 3. I was drawn to Terracotta Joli Teint Beautifying Foundation SPF20 ($53) (it's name on the tube is actually longer) when Jonathan at the Guerlain Las Vegas Boutique told me it had arrived and described it. The snow was still on the ground here, but I needed a mental dose of summertime.

Comparable to sunshine in a tube, this magical, lightweight fluid gives skin an instant touch of summer, leaving behind a perfectly radiant glow. Used on its own or paired with Terracotta Powder for buildable color, there is no easier and healthier way to create the perfect customizable tan for every complexion. Terracotta Joli Teint has a feather-light texture that glides on, leaving an incredibly fine and silky veil over the skin. It contains nourishing natural ingredients that counter the visible effects of fatigue, reviving dull skin for a radiant, even complexion. It is available in five shades: Clair (Light), Natural, Moyen (Medium), Fonce (Dark), and Ebony.

The key ingredients feature pigments coated with a biomimetic filmogenic polymer - these very closely resemble the structure of the proteins in the skin. They work harmoniously with the epidermis; the luxurious texture blends effortlessly blends into the skin for a smooth, natural finish. Chlorella extract, a micro-algae rich in proteins, vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids, activates microcirculation to nourish and tone the skin. Nasturtium extract comes from a flower; it is rich in sucrose and vitamin C and stimulates cell oxidation to boost the complexion’s radiance and vitality.

Taking photos on Clair in early-afternoon sun, wasn't easy. There is no good way to picture a foundation without blending it, and then you shouldn't really see it. I decided to show you a dot of Joli Teint and then blend the dot on my arm to show you how well it blended into my skin.

The beige dot of foundation leans yellow against my skin. Clair, the lightest color, is the only one I could possibly wear. After I got the close-up photo above, I blended Clair with my finger. The results are shown below.

Clair is darker then my light, inner-arm skin tone, but my face has more color, so I can blend the shade into my face for a slightly healthy - dare I say tan - appearance. If I want to add color to my face for summer, this Joli Teint color will be perfect. It adds color in a blendable, believable shade. I can add my Guerlain Terracotta Bronzing Powder on top, and I'll have a perfect look.

I'm pretty happy with the way Joli Teint looks on my skin. It also feels good - nice and hydrating. I will admit to putting it away until the season brightens. Right now, it is extremely cloudy. Later today, it will start to rain, with the rain turning quickly to snow. By tomorrow afternoon, we could have six more inches of snow on the ground. That does nothing for my mood - or my thoughts of summer looks.

If you would like to read a review that gives and excellent description with swatches of all the shades, check out MonsiieurAlex. He wrote a very thorough review, with plenty of pictures of himself modeling the product. Of course, he's in Southern California, where I'll bet it's not "fixin' to snow."

You can purchase the new Joli Teint at Guerlain's Boutique in Las Vegas. Call Jonathan at (702) 732-7008. You can also find it a Guerlain counters at select locations of Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, Neiman Marcus, Sephora, and Bergdorf Goodman.

Photos by Best Things in Beauty

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Chanel Rouge Allure Intense Long-Wear Lip Colour in Fleurie from the Jardin de Camélias Collection

On my second "roll" through Chanel's online-exclusive Jardin de Camélias Collection, I ordered Fleurie (#139), a limited-edition Rouge Allure Intense Long-Wear Lip Colour ($34) that I had resisted on my first spree. I was afraid the color would be too saturated, too intense for my tastes. Was I wrong! I'm glad I took a chance on Fleurie.

It is a beautiful pink, and it had the perfect shine and finish for me to wear when I want to emphasize my lips but not lead with them. Described by Chanel as the next generation of Rouge Allure, Fleurie dresses lips with "unmistakable attitude. A new formula with concentrated, ultra-thin pigments offers radically intense, long-wearing colour with full coverage and a satin finish. Leaves lips supple and protected with lasting comfort." I'm actually wondering if those ultra-thin pigments offer the transparency I see in this full-coverage lipstick.

Take a look at the lipstick. I took this photo in late-day sun.  The color looks a bit flat because of the dwindling light. I did find some good spots for swatch photos. I think they show the color well.

Look at this bright pink! It's cool - but not too cool - on my lips, but might be warmer on women with different coloring. The finish is satin, but it shines in direct light. It has a lot of life.

I'm thrilled with Fleurie. I'll be wearing it this spring, if spring ever comes. The weather forecasters are predicting up to six inches of snow, starting tomorrow and ending Monday. Snow on St. Patrick's Day? Heresy!

As you know by now, the Jardin de Camélias Collection exclusive to Chanel online, and Fleurie is a limited-edition shade. I think it's worth a purchase if you look pretty in pink.

I ordered the rest of the lip glosses from the collection, but I have not been able to get photos yet. Stay tuned.

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