Friday, July 29, 2016

The Friday Forum - July 29

I finally have a computer. I had to purchase a new one because my old desktop did not have enough memory to run Windows 10, an operating system that Microsoft installed overnight without my permission. Beware of them. They cost me about $1000.

My computer doctor was supposed to copy all of my prior e-mail files onto this new computer. He missed quite a few, so now I must spend time on the phone with them doing a file by file comparison. I sent them the old hard drive back yesterday. I can only summarize this debacle as a royal pain and time-consuming.

Today is my first day as a free woman. My consulting job ended, so I'm going to run over in a few minutes to a Chanel event at Neiman Marcus. I have lots of new things to show you. I'll try to start tomorrow.

In the meantime, 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.

Photo courtesy of waacademy

Friday, July 22, 2016

The Friday Forum - July 22

Here I am, another day without a home computer (that's not me above). The computer doctor ordered a new desktop for me because mine is at least five years old. He feels that it didn't have enough memory or other new features to run Windows 10. I am frustrated because I have to keep asking for information. Did you order it? Has it arrived? If so, have you started to move my files to it?

Regardless, it's very clear to me that I will not see it this week. I had so many cool things to show you this week, I'm disappointed I must wait. At least we can have a 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.

Photo courtesy of

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Pause in Publishing

My computer, with my photos, has gone to the computer doctor. I begged them to take no longer than two days to cure it. I hope I won't be away for long.

Update 7/20: My computer is five to six years old. It has been recommended that I buy a newer one and the computer doctor transfer all my files to the new one. When he told me that would take a week, I had a mini-hissy fit. Now he has promised to see how quickly he can get a replacement and let me know this afternoon.

Photo courtesy of

Monday, July 18, 2016

NUXE Paris Anti-Aging Eye & Lip Contour Nuxuriance Ultra

In my goodie box from NUXE Paris, I found an eye cream, one of my favorite products. Called Anti-Aging Eye & Lip Contour Nuxuriance Ultra, it's on sale right now for $34.30. It's a nice time to try it!

Designed for all skin types, this anti-aging eye and lip cream with saffron and bougainvillea bi-floral cells acts on wrinkles, slackening of the skin, dark (sun) spots, puffiness, and dark circles. With continuous use, the skin around the eyes and lips is smoothed and softened, and wrinkles are reduced.

The product is so good, Real Simple magazine made it a Road Test Winner for 2016. One reason, I'm sure, had to do with its easy to use pump dispenser. It allows you to draw out just the right amount of product per use, with no waste. Another reason? It works!

I've used it for over a month, and I love it. For a change, I have followed the company's directions for use, except that I'm using it on my eyes, but not my lips.

Apply Nuxuriance Ultra Global Anti-Aging Eye and Lip Cream in the morning and/or evening to the skin around your eyes and lips.
  1. Dispense one pump of product and distribute it between the middle fingers of each hand.
  2. Use your middle finger to smooth your lower and upper eyelids, working towards the outside and maintaining an upward pressure for three seconds on the temples. Repeat three times.
  3. Pinch both eyebrows simultaneously. Repeat the process, working towards the outer side of the eye. Repeat three times.
  4. Use your middle finger to smooth your top and bottom lips, first in one direction and then the other. Then pull the corners of your lips upwards and maintain the pressure for three seconds. Repeat three times.
It sounds complicated, but once you get the hang of it, it will seem like second nature. I think you will love this eye cream, which you can find at the NUXE Paris Web site.

Photo courtesy of NUXE Paris

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Marc Jacobs Beauty Air Blush Soft Glow Duo

Marc Jacobs Beauty introduced Air Blush Soft Glow Duo ($42) just a few weeks ago. I immediately ordered two from Sephora - with some difficulty in selecting shades from those little rectangular color "swatches." I rolled the dice and choose Flesh & Fantasy (#506, described as ivory simmer/goddess bronze) and Kink & Kisses (#504, pale petal/peachy rose). I really wanted to order Lines & Last Night too, but I forced myself to start with two - only two.

Here are my two, with Flesh & Fantasy on the left and Kink & Kisses on the right. I think I chose well.

Air Blush was inspired by the man called the first celebrity makeup artist, Way Bandy, a friend of Marc Jacobs. Bandy rose to fame during the era of Studio 54, and he embraced the concept of "color glow" as a way of bringing out the natural "drape" of the face. The sleek, palm-sized compact is modeled after a vintage cigarette case.

Air Blush Soft Glow Duo features two shades that merge together so you can customize your color for a sexy, natural-looking glow. Achieve a dance-floor flush with this blush that’s infused with Japanese air powder for the ultimate cheek look (I have no idea what Japanese air powder is). This ultra-lightweight, radiant powder is nearly undetectable to the touch and gives your skin a radiant finish. Air Blush is created using a process called soufflage (French for "air-whipped") for a silky-soft, cream-like texture that blends effortlessly with the skin.

The unique striped pattern on this powder blush is inspired by a Marc Jacobs dress. An innovative process allows every shade band to extend beyond the surface, for even color with every brushstroke. Two glowing shades complement each other: the lighter shade highlights and the deeper shade contours. Marc Jacobs says you can customize your color by layering and blending as much as you desire to tailor your look for the occasion or the season. I have to disagree with that. The stripes are too narrow to use individually. Just consider them a pretty pattern in a single-colored blush.

My photos were taken in full, mid-day sunshine. I swatched using a sponge-tipped applicator, running it across all the stripes/shades. The colors are beautiful, and they are exactly as described. When I saw Flesh & Fantasy described a shimmering, it didn't hit me that it would be a bit sparkly. It is, but not so sparkly that I cannot wear it during the day. Kink & Kisses is a gorgeous warm pink.

These are very nice blushes - definitely worth the price. They stay put all day, which I can't say for some of my other favorite shades. If you would like to try one, you can find them at Sephora and add to your VIB point total.

I am having major computer problems. I'll publish this feature now and come back to add links when I can figure out whether the cause is Windows 10 or Firefox. My computer may need to go to its doctor. Unfortunately, the expert I have used for over 10 years has moved 40 minutes away.

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

Friday, July 15, 2016

The Friday Forum - July 15 Plus Chanel for Fall 2016

Before I "talk" about Chanel, I want to express my tearful horror at what one man did in Nice last night. On an occasion when the French were celebrating a national holiday, he purposely killed 84 people (I'm sure that number will rise, given the number of critically injured in hospitals). Will the police find some screed - some written explanation for his actions, or will ISIS claim responsibility? I have watched television since I arose at 5:30, and I've cried for every man, woman, and child killed or injured by an evil person. How can the civilized world stop such violence?

Chanel, one of our very favorite beauty companies, French to the core, introduced its Le Rouge Collection N°1 for Fall 2016 yesterday only on its Web site. It was an early surprise. I wasn't expecting it until the end of July. Last weekend, I had taken photos of some of the items in the Neiman Marcus Café. If you click on the photo above, you may be able to read them. They are from left to right: Rouge Audace Rouge Allure Velvet deep chocolate burgundy; Rouge Ingénue Rouge Allure dusty beige; Rouge Vie Rouge Allure Velvet deep rosebud; Rouge Tentation Rouge Allure intense red; Rouge Charnel Rouge Allure Velvet fire red; the unknown lab sample I will have to identify through the account executive who has been wearing it; and Rouge Feu Rouge Allure Velvet lumimous orange.

I know you can enlarge and read the Illusion d'Ombre Velvet in Rouge Contraste (called Rouge Diable on my product sheet). It's a very deep, dark, red-tinged chocolate brown.

The top eye pencils shown below are Eros and Agapé. I probably have the blush photo at home (I am at work now), and I will add it to this forum later today. I swatched Eros; it's really red. I had hoped it would be copper.

The collection is not for everyone. There are a few pieces I'd love to have, but it's a bit edgy for me. "Reinterpreted by Lucia Pica, red upsets the codes. Through the depth of a nail polish, the frankness of a lipstick, and the intensity of an eye shadow, makeup gives women a new power." I've seen upcoming collections, and I'll be saving my money for them.

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.

A note to e-mail subscribers - If you do not wish to receive a daily e-mail from the blog, you can switch to weekly. Every so often, someone unsubscribes saying they receive too many e-mails from Best Things in Beauty. At the bottom of each e-mail, there is a link to change your preferences.

Photos by Best Things in Beauty

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Happy Bastille Day!

Happy Bastille Day!

Bastille Day is the French National Day, which is celebrated on July 14 of each year. In France, it is formally called La Fête Nationale (The National Celebration) and commonly le quatorze juillet (the fourteenth of July). It commemorates the 1790 Fête de la Fédération, held on the first anniversary of the storming of the Bastille on July 14, 1789. The anniversary of the storming of the Bastille fortress-prison was seen as a symbol of the uprising of the modern nation - and of the reconciliation of all the French inside the constitutional monarchy that preceded the First Republic during the French Revolution.

I hope my readers and friends from France have a wonderful day! We'll be celebrating your Independence Day with you.

Photo courtesy of

Chanel Le Rouge Collection N°1 for Fall 2016

I had planned to show you the photos I took of Chanel's Le Rouge Collection N°1 for Fall 2016. I will add them to The Friday Forum. However, the collection just went up online today at Chanel's Web site, so hop over there to see all of the red and coordinating items in Chanel Global Creative Makeup and Color Designer Lucia Pica's new collection.

Photo courtesy of Chanel

Chanel N°5 L'Eau Eau de Toilette Spray

Not more than a week ago, I received an e-mail from telling me that the new N°5 L'Eau Spray ($132) was available early to its special customers. I ordered it immediately. I had sprayed some of my account executive's lab sample on my wrist last weekend, and I swooned.

It will be available to all (in limited quantities) on Chanel's Web site on July 15. Once those limited quantities are sold, customers who want to purchase it will have to wait for its September launch (in the U.S.).

Here is what Chanel has to say about this new fragrance...
Timeless and audacious, instant and infinite. A modern, fresh and vibrant embodiment of the now and forever scent, N°5 L’Eau is the N°5 of today. [I've read that it was developed for today's young women who want lighter scents than the original N°5.]

Composed by Chanel perfumer Olivier Polge, crisp, dynamic top notes of lemon, mandarin, and orange reveal lightheartedness and transparency. The heart of the bouquet unfolds with may rose, oxygenated jasmine, and a new fraction of ylang ylang, more modern than ever. Behind this floral whirlwind lies an unprecedented sense of liveliness: the echo of vetiver and cedar, accompanied by soft and cottony musk notes. The Eau de Toilette allows for more generous use, with easy application on skin or clothing.

The classic bottle features a new continuous misting spray, while the beveled glass appears crystal clear like pure water - an expression of simplicity and elegance.

How can I improve upon this description? It describes almost perfectly the essence of L'Eau - except for one thing. The aura of N°5 remains. To my nose, it's the base of this beautiful fragrance, a reminder why N°5 is a classic and has been enormously popular since its introduction the 1920's. L'Eau isn't characterized by aldehydes, which young people call powdery and attribute to their mother's perfume. It is light, fresh, and lively, a "flanker" designed to appeal to the modern woman. I love it. It's a perfect fragrance for summer.

You can order it at Chanel's Web site now or wait until September when it launches officially.

Photo courtesy of Chanel

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Christian Louboutin Loubilaque Lip Lacquer

Yes, I ordered one. Christian Louboutin's Loubilaque Lip Lacquer costs $85. That's a lot of money to pay for a liquid lip color, particularly sight unseen. I agonized over my choice of one color from a selection of eight. I realized I had one chance to get it right. I wasn't going to spend $85 if my choice wasn't right for me.

I'm glad I selected Bikini. Shown above in the Sephora photo and below in my photos, Bikini is a beautiful shade for me. Because it is opaque, I would not have been comfortable in a shade much darker.

Christian Louboutin’s latest beauty creation draws inspiration from his longstanding love affair with lacquer. Not only did red nail lacquer inspire the red sole of his iconic shoes, but he has long admired the mirror-like surface of Chinese and Japanese lacquers. For his designs, he has often turned to patent, the most brilliant of leathers, to create iconic accessories with the shiniest of finishes. Now, for the first time, this inspiration enters the world of lip color with Loubilaque. With high coverage, high shine, and high drama, it bottles the spirit of lacquer. There is a shade to flatter all skin tones, moods, and styles.

This bold lip color with a high-shine finish  is Christian Louboutin's most dramatic lip formula to date. The brilliant and intense, glassy shine of Loubilaque appears to magnify the color on the lips. Bold and arresting, the eight shades, ranging from nude to bright hues, include the brand’s iconic Rouge Louboutin shade.

Specially formulated to reflect light, this lip color takes on brilliant dimension. In keeping with Christian Louboutin’s vision of beauty as "objet d’art," the bottle is designed with thick clear walls, and is carved with an intricate mermaid tail pattern to encapsulate the opulent color like an elixir. Encased in a jewelry-like box with a hand-stitched silk carrying pouch and a silk ribbon. The presentation is over the top.

The ribbon, which is easily detachable, is, I assume, for those who wish to wear their lip color as a necklace. I can't imagine. The gold pouch is more traditional, much like velvet pouches are with other brands.

All of that is tucked into a black presentation box with Christian Louboutin printed on the front. You could never accuse Christian Louboutin of skimping on packaging.

Bikini is a wonderful pink shade with a satin finish. It is creamy on the lips, and it is long lasting. I took all of my photos in full, mid-day sunshine. You will see in my swatch photo below how saturated its color is.

Although the ingredients list fragrance, this lip color does not have an obvious fragrance or taste. I suspect the fragrance was added to mask another ingredient with a fragrance that isn't pleasant. ("Reviewers" on Sephora disagree and have complained about the fragrance.)

The formula includes several good-for-our-lips ingredients.
  • Oligopeptides: Help stimulate collagen production
  • Shea Butter: Moisturizes and helps keep lips feeling soft
  • Tocopheryl Acetate: Provides antioxidant properties
  • Ethylhexyl Palmitate: Acts as lubricant on lips surface and gives them a soft and smooth appearance
I'm happy that I purchased one - from Sephora - but one is enough. I can't afford a wardrobe of $85 lip colors, no matter how pretty the packaging is.

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

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Bobbi Brown Highlighting Powders from the Sunset Pink Collection for Summer 2016

Bobbi Brown's Sunset Pink Highlighting Powders ($46) are gorgeous. They are available in three shades. Inspired by the golden pink hues of a Telluride sunset, this light-reflective powder delivers high-impact, buildable radiance. Each comes in a limited-edition mirrored compact.

I purchased them online the moment I saw them. My only quandary was whether to order two or all three. I exercised some restraint and ordered Afternoon Glow and Sunset Glow. I decided Telluride was too similar to other light golds I already own.

The photo directly above shows Afternoon Glow on the left and Sunset Glow on the right. My photos were taken in full, mid-day sun. The grungy look on Afternoon Glow's compact is actually the sun's reflection. I can't figure out why Bobbi Brown's photo at the top of this feature shows the compacts as having a gold border around the powder. Mine are black.

I applied both Highlighting Powders heavily with a sponge-tipped applicator. Had I swatched with a powder brush, the impact of the shades would be much more subtle. Formulated with highly reflective pearl pigments, these Highlighting Powders create a luminous, natural-looking glow. They gleam; they do not sparkle.

Bobbi Brown suggests you use a Sheer Powder Brush (sold separately) to dust Highlighting Powder high on the cheeks, over blush. Finish with a touch on the center of the face - the forehead, bridge of the nose, and cupid’s bow.

Afternoon Glow is shown at the top of my arm, with Sunset Glow below. I think both of these shades are heavenly. I have used them as highlighters, on my eyes, and in the case of Sunset Glow as a blush. They are definitely multipurpose makeup.

You can purchase these highlighters at Bobbi Brown's Web site and all Bobbi Brown counters. I purchased mine from Bobbi Brown online.

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

Monday, July 11, 2016

Hourglass Femme Nude Lip Stylo

I was perusing Sephora one night and came across Hourglass's Femme Nude Lip Stylo ($28) lip pencils. They looked interesting, and I love Hourglass. So, I ordered two. I selected Nude N°4, described as pink-beige nude with a hint of deep rose and a satin finish, and Nude N°5, golden peach nude with a shimmering finish.

The photo directly above shows them in full sun at my house. Nude
N°4 is on the left, and Nude N°5 is on the right.

I swatched them in the same order, with N°4 at the top of my arm and N°5 below. My photos were taken in full, mid-day sunshine, and I applied the lip pencils directly to my arm. Although they look similar in the swatches, the peach in N°4 should be obvious, and the rose in N°5 does shine.

These nude lip crayons deliver a creamy, full-coverage formula, all but one with a satin finish. With six shades from which to choose, there’s a nude for every preference. The wardrobe of shades allows you to customize many looks if you want to layer them. I can't imagine why.

The formula contains no parabens, sulfates, or phthalates - all good. They contain vitamin E, which is great for our lips. Femme Nude Lip Stylo comes in a sleek, custom-designed, metal case that feels substantial to the touch and looks good when you pull it out for a quick touch-up.

The only drawback to these lovely lip pencils is that they carry a taste. It's not obnoxious, but it's obvious, and I can taste it for a significant amount of time. For that reason alone, I'm glad I didn't purchase more of them. I read the ingredients and did not see fragrance, so the taste must be coming from one of the ingredients, unmasked.

You can purchase these at Sephora. I find them handy to keep in my purse because the top of the case is well designed and stays on to prevent accidents.

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

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Test Drive of Chanel Les 4 Ombres Multi-Effect Quadra Eyeshadow in Candeur et Expérience for Fall 2016

I didn't have the best lighting for makeup photos in the Neiman Marcus Café, but I wasn't going to let that stop me from getting photos of the Le Rouge Collection N°1. The eye shadow quad shown directly above is the one that has drawn all the buzz. The entire collection is eliciting attention because of its emphasis on red.

Chanel's new Global Creative Makeup and Colour Designer, Lucia Pica, calls it more than a color, it's a statement of life. Red inspired her passionate debut with Chanel. "I am obsessed by the color red," she said. "For me, there is strength and emotion, warmth and disruption in the color red." There is an idea of the symbolism of red and a red undertone that runs through the entire fall collection.

Chanel Les 4 Ombres Multi-Effect Quadra Eyeshadow in Candeur et Expérience ($61) scared me at first glance. I was immediately smitten by the three neutral brown shades, light brown, deep brown, and warm brown. However, because my eye allergies have been patch tested, and I'm allergic to red dye, and I don't know which one, red scares me.

Freba Slimanzada, Chanel's makeup artist at Neiman Marcus Tysons Galleria, immediately suggested we use it as a blush. I jumped onboard. I thought that was a superb idea.

The lighting in the store is abysmal for close-up photos. Just as well. I had just washed my hair, and when I stepped out of the house to go over to Neiman Marcus in 95 degree heat with humidity to match, my hair decided to frizz. Nevertheless, I wanted a photo to show you how her creativity in using the quad looked. I guess I could have smiled, but I was concentrating on looking down so you could see the eye shadows.

Freba used the light brown all over the lid. Then she applied deep brown in a "V" shape in the outer corners of my lids, bringing the V up toward my eyebrows much higher and darker than I usually do (made for a better photo). She used the warm brown, the darkest brown, as an eyeliner on my upper and lower lash lines. Then she used the deep brick red shade as a blush. It looked like a perfect fall shade. We didn't fool with mascara or other makeup. We just focused on my eye shadow and blush, using this new quad. My friend and Chanel account executive brought the quad over especially for this test drive, so it was our centerpiece for the day.

I thought the "finished product" looked really good - edgier than I usually wear, but it certainly put a focus on my eyes. I hope you can see that at least one of those browns has a slight red tinge in it. At first, I thought I was imagining it, but after studying it in different lighting scenarios yesterday afternoon, I was sure. I think you can see it in the photo above.

Over the next week, I'll be showing you other photos of the Fall 2016 Collection, which will be available by August. I know you have been waiting to see the first Chanel collection by Lucia Pica. Her coming out party is drawing compliments from all over the globe.

Photos by Best Things in Beauty

Friday, July 8, 2016

The Friday Forum - July 8

Although it was difficult to get the makeup looks after Chanel's fashion show in Cuba (I got them, but was told I couldn't share them), AOL came through and showed us the looks from the Fall/Winter 2016 Couture Runway. Make sure to pop over to the link above to see all the details.

For future introductions - for those who want to keep their eyes open for upcoming introductions, for the lips, pick up some ROUGE ALLURE lip color in Rouge Ingénue (launching in July 2016) and ROUGE ALLURE INK Matte liquid lip color in Amoureux (out in October 2016).

This has been our first hot week of the summer. With temperatures in the mid-90's, it finally feels like a DC summer. I've been dressing down, even at work. For some reason, my jungle cat loves this weather. He has his favorite chair on the screened porch, and he sits there every afternoon and evening until I force him to come inside. I've been trying to go to sleep early on weeknights. Unfortunately, someone always calls around 8:45 or 9:00. Once Charlie and I jump to the sound of the phone ringing, it's hard to get back to sleep. For some reason, late-evening calls scare him. He's usually half-way to the hallway before he realizes it was just the phone.

I have plenty of photos still to show you from my marathon photo session last Saturday. I plan to do another session this weekend. I have to find the time to write the features that go with them while the products are still "fresh." Wednesday, I received the new Marc Jacobs blushes, and I really want to try them. It's my rule that I have to get "virgin" photos first. Yesterday, I received a box of Clinique items that are very nice. Clinique has really upped their game lately.

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.

Photo courtesy of AOL

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Guerlain Terracotta Terra Magnifica Bronzing Powder Contrast Highlighter Face and Décolleté for Summer 2016

Guerlain's Terracotta powder is available at Neiman Marcus in a “Contrast and Highlighter” limited edition ($78) called Terracotta Terra Magnifica Bronzing Powder Contrast Highlighter Face and Décolleté. Irresistible, in an ultra-large size for a face and décolleté use, it will last forever. It was introduced June 15. I mentioned it in my summer preview.

With a new packaging design, the Terracotta bronzing powder duo is the most desirable summer collector's piece: the combination of the best-selling Terracotta shade #03, which naturally warms all complexions, and a sand shade with a slight gold shimmer. The colors can either be blended together to warm the complexion and enhance the natural radiance of a tan or applied separately to sculpt and highlight the face. On the skin the result is impeccable and remains so all day long.

The metal collector's case, with a screw-on top, is reusable after the powder is finished. While the powder is consistent with prior year's products, the case is totally different. For example, there's one in my bathroom that has a magnetic top.

I took all of my photos at my house after I purchased this beauty at Neiman Marcus. I had full sun, but it was late afternoon.

The surface of this bronzer is gorgeous. I love the design with the sun's rays. I swatched across all shades, including the golden highlights, with a sponge-tipped applicator. I applied the swatch at the top of my arm relatively heavily, and I used the same applicator to apply a much less intensive swatch below.

As you can see, this bronzer is golden. It should work for most skin tones, and I'll bet it's gorgeous on tanned skin. You can probably also see in my photo that it's sparkly. The sparkles are evident in direct light. The powder is described as follows.
  • A unique combination of pigments to banish dullness and set the complexion glowing.
  • A formula that does not dry out the skin and offers long-lasting comfort.
  • Powder microlayers form an ultra-fine film that follows the facial contours perfectly, preserving the skin's natural finish. Can be applied without the risk of marking clothing.
I'm pleased to have this beautiful "statement piece." If Neiman Marcus is to be believed, it is exclusive to them and their sister company Bergdorf Goodman. (I have found such claims to be misleading in the past when stores get a product in advance of others, so it's only exclusive for a month or so).

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

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

BOY CHANEL Les Exclusifs de Chanel Eau de Parfum

This may sound corny, but my first thought when I sprayed BOY CHANEL ($325 for 6.8 oz) was "Boy, oh boy, this is fabulous!" Boy is the newest of Chanel's Les Exclusifs. It arrived at counters in early June. I had gone to Saks in Chevy Chase in May, specifically to try and buy, but it had not arrived at that point. So I waited. I finally ordered it blind, something I hadn't planned to do, but I needed a lift.

About a week ago, I ordered it from Chanel online. I wasn't up for a car ride to Chevy Chase in weekend traffic, and I love the way Chanel's online site sends my purchases (beautifully packaged in a heavy reusable Chanel box, with samples - always sent overnight).

Gabrielle Chanel considered Arthur "Boy" Capel as more than her soul mate; he was her double and her alter ego. Inspired by their love, BOY CHANEL is a vibrant, perfectly balanced scent that challenges tradition and definitely transcends gender. Boy was developed by house perfumer Olivier Polge, who, interestingly, called it masculine, but said he wanted to show how it could be worn by a woman.

Chanel describes Boy as an exceptional fresh aromatic fragrance infused with the timeless elegance of lavender and Grasse rose geranium, lemon, grapefruit, rose, orange blossom, and a warm, woody base of sandalwood mingled with notes of heliotrope, vanilla, and musk. I think it's more than the sum of its notes.

I find it to be unisex - definitely neither totally masculine nor feminine - and very green and fresh. My nose doesn't pick out the lavender, which I love, and it doesn't smell any of the other notes as standing out above the others. The blend is unique and gorgeous. The notes mingle, yielding a fragrance unlike any I own - and I'm something of a fragrance hoarder. I can often classify my favorites as floral or by note. Not this one! It is as elegant and distinctive as Gabrielle Chanel herself.

The top notes are masculine. Not knock-me-out masculine, but definitely not feminine. The middle notes yield a fragrance that either a man or woman would be equally delighted wearing. The base notes do lean masculine, but not to an overwhelming extent. Boy is a chameleon, changing its presentation over its life on the skin like chameleons change their skin coloration. Nicely, also, it has great longevity, sticking with me all day at work.

I know that many of you have expressed a desire to try BOY CHANEL before you buy. If you like unisex fragrances that are so distinctive (and fresh) they are hard to characterize, you will be delighted if you blind-buy. I am. If you don't want to make the leap to $325, there is a 2.5 ounce size for $185.

Photo courtesy of Chanel

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Guerlain KissKiss Shaping Cream Lip Color for Summer 2016

I was desperate for these limited-edition Guerlain KissKiss lipsticks ($37) for Summer 2016. I had featured them in April, but when the summer collections arrived at department stores, no one had them both! I looked everywhere and then turned to Guerlain. The company generously sent them both to me. I do not know whether the stores sold out and had to re-order, or what happened. I know that they are currently available at Nordstrom, where there is a GWP.

These two new, easy-to-wear limited-edition shades give me a stunning summer look! Kiss Blossom (#367) is a tender, romantic pink shade, shown at left above, and Fancy Kiss (#342), shown at right, is a luminous orange shade that is warm and wearable by all - even me.

Here they are at my house, with Fancy Kiss on the left and Kiss Blossom on the right. My photos were taken in full, mid-day sunshine. I swatched them in the same order, with Fancy Kiss at the top of my arm.

Both of these shades are gorgeous on my lips, when lend their pink pigmentation to the sheer, shiny KissKiss colors.

KissKiss surprises us once again by slipping into a precious and graceful little black dress. Its understated case shows off infinitely elegant curves. A tube transformed into a work of art, a sculptural jewel developed like three sleek cubes. Simply chic!

In perfect harmony with feminine curves, the lips immediately regain their fullness and softness thanks to a formula enriched with plumping hyaluronic acid spheres. In parallel, commiphora oil helps smooth the lip surface. Magnifique! These are among my favorite lipsticks.

The entire Guerlain Summer 1016 Collection is exquisite. I have one more piece to show you - one that wasn't introduced until June. I'm already anxious to get my hands on Fall!

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

Monday, July 4, 2016

Lancôme Glow Subtil Silky Creme Highlighter

I saw Lancôme's Glow Subtil Silky Creme Highlighter ($30) at Sephora online and knew I had to try it. This photo of Glowing Lights, described as Gold Mine, did it. There are five shades, so I sprang for two. Glowing Lights was the only one that had a mix of shades, which looked intriguing.

This buildable cream highlighter with light diffusing particles is said to deliver a natural-looking, soft-focused glow. Glow Subtil's silky cream highlighter gives a delicate, refined glow to the skin that highlights and illuminates your natural skin tone.

The highlighter allows for a vibrant, luminous color that adds a touch of radiance or can be layered for an intense glow so you can create a custom, soft-focused glow without a chalky or glitter-packed finish. It gleams. Enriched with a unique blend of skin-conditioning agents and light-diffusing particles, this easy-to-apply cream formula melts into your skin while remaining non-greasy and non-tacky.

Lancôme says this highlighter is infused with film formers and light diffusing ingredients that allow for superior color adherence and a flawless, soft focus finish. A special blend of dispersed elastomer and pigments work together to give the formula its bouncy spring. Indeed it has a bouncy spring in the pot.

Unfortunately, either Sephora sent me a flawed Gold Mine or UPS beat the heck out of it on the way to my house. That's Glowing Lights on the left and Rosegold Lights on the right. I thought briefly about exchanging Glowing Lights for an undamaged one, but then it hit me. With the product broken up, I could show you how very thin the actual product is in the deep pot. Look carefully,  and you will see the bottom of the pan a tiny fraction of an inch under the biggest break. You sure don't get much for your $30. I don't have a ruler handy, but I'd guess the pot stands an inch tall.

Here is a close-up in case you can't see just how shallow the product is. I think that's pretty chintzy. I didn't notice that the weight is 0.14 of an ounce. Regardless, it's a beautiful highlighter, so I kept it. I found I could mend the breaks partially with a sponge-tipped applicator by putting pressure on the fissures - one of which is as deep as the pitifully thin product.

I took my photos in full, mid-day sunshine on Saturday and used a sponge-tipped applicator to apply the highlighters relatively heavily. Aren't the colors gorgeous? Glowing Lights is shown at the top of my arm, with Rosegold Lights below. I think both shades are exquisite.

You can apply them lightly for a soft-focus glow or more heavily to taste. I would apply Rosegold heavily and use it as a blush. It's beautiful that way. If you choose to try that, use Gold Mine or any other gold highlighter above your blush at or slightly above the peak of your cheekbones.

There are some swatches shown on both light and dark skins on the Sephora site. They are not accurate. You can see that by comparing my two swatches to theirs. Why do they bother?

Here is my wrap up on Lancôme Glow Subtil Silky Creme Highlighter. It's a lovely highlighter with a reasonable price - until you find out just how little you get for your $30. If you can stand that, I'd recommend you try at least one. What are the chances that Sephora or UPS will break yours too?

I purchased mine at Sephora. I would assume you can also buy it from Lancôme, but I didn't find it online. I will check out the counter next time I pop into Neiman Marcus.

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

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Happy Independence Day!

Happy Independence Day! 

I hope everyone remembers that our Fourth of July holiday isn't just about cookouts, fireworks, friends, and family. We commemorate the adoption of the Declaration of Independence, on July 4, 1776, from the Kingdom of Great Britain - today one of our greatest allies and best world friends.

"If the American Revolution had produced nothing but the Declaration of Independence, it would have been worthwhile." — Samuel Eliot Morison, American historian (1887-1976).

I choose the beautiful photo above (Photoshopped, but so appropriate) because the bald eagle is our national bird, our symbol of freedom.

The United States of America - and the freedom we hold dear - has been threatened by wars and terrorism. Today we celebrate our freedom and recommit to protecting the freedom of others who would live our dream. Think about it. It's a remarkable day.

I hope you have a beautiful day!

Photo courtesy of American Eagle Foundation

Friday, July 1, 2016

The Friday Forum - July 1

It's hard to believe it's July. Just yesterday, I was sure we had days to go before July started. I'm seriously out of synch with the calendar.

Last weekend, when I thought I would get makeup photos, I didn't have a spare second. All day Saturday, after my hair appointment at 8:00 am and a quick trip to Neiman Marcus, I spent the rest of the day getting my kitchen ready to accept a new dishwasher. Saturday morning, cousin Bob and I met early at Mom's house to start the process of moving her new dishwasher into my house. Nothing went according to plan. Nothing.

He had to start by ripping up the kitchen floor at Mom's to get under the dishwasher to shorten the legs. Then he was able to remove it. Minor setback. Kitchen floor ruined, but who's counting?However, when he got to my house, he ran into problems. My dishwasher had been "hard-piped" into the water system with copper pipes. They don't do that anymore. They use flexible hosing for the inbound and outbound water. He had to cut out copper and get fittings onto the remaining copper to connect the new dishwasher. It took hours. He finally finished the whole ordeal 4.5 hours after he started. I was so tired, I feel asleep right after he left. He had planned to take the old dishwasher to the county "dump" for me, but didn't have time. So I have had a dishwasher in my driveway, awaiting a special pick-up by the county. Did I get lucky! My regular trash guys hauled it off this morning. I was stunned. I'm sure they broke the rules, but I will tip them the next time I see them. My house looked like one of those homes where old appliances are thrown out back to rot over time. It would have been a nice picture for the Fourth of July weekend. I was thinking I could stick a flag on it.

Home maintenance can be quite a chore when your house starts to age. In the last month or so, I've had a fan replaced in my heat pump (really not cheap), a plug in the condensation output pipe fixed in my air handler in the basement, screen panels replaced or patched on the porch (I cannot have Charlie continue to bring me little gifts of wrens), and a fuse in the microwave replaced. I am hoping that's my spate of bad house luck for the next few months.

Now I have to get a mover to bring some furniture over from Mom's house so I have somewhere to put her china and crystal. Oh, and there's the grandfather clock - not a cinch to move.

We are supposed to have a sunny Saturday, so I'm counting on taking photos tomorrow. I'm staying home - no side trips to Neiman Marcus. Charlie will be happy. I have so many things to show you, although in a way I'm glad my lack of photos forced me to focus on some fabulous skin care this past week.

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.

I want to tell you again how grateful I am for the many expressions of sympathy I have received. Although some of your e-mails left me in tears, I was grateful to know that you are out there in the blogosphere caring about my loss.

Photo courtesy of