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