Friday, September 30, 2016

The Friday Forum - September 30

What a week we have had! It has rained every day, and I think our total rainfall is somewhere around 4-5 inches. I'm not complaining. We needed the rain, even though it kept me from taking much-needed photographs.

Yesterday, I sat down at my computer and saw that I had no network connection. I knew I had lost it the day before, but I thought that might have been a weather-related problem. It was pouring outside. When I saw that I still had no connection the next day, I called Verizon. There is no way I can coherently describe the three hours I spent on the phone to get my DSL service restored, but I'll summarize the debacle that prevented me from writing a blog feature.
  1. Verizon announced by letter that it was discontinuing its copper service, and anyone without FIOS would lose phone and Internet service. Naturally, I made an appointment for October 3 to have FIOS installed.
  2. Some lame brain at Verizon discontinued my DSL service, but not my phone, five days in advance of October 3. Why? No one could explain. They kept denying it.
  3. I called Verizon technical support. During the three-hour ordeal, they cut me off at least five times, and I had to call back and start over each time. One of their nitwit techs cancelled my pending FIOS order without asking me because he said he couldn't get my DSL back any other way.
  4. They kept trying to transfer me to customer service, but each time, they cut me off. By the time I got to the fifth customer service representative, I introduced myself and told him I was livid.
  5. He (Charles) stuck with me until my DSL was restored by tech support, and he set up a new FIOS appointment for October 5, the first available slot, even though my October 3 appointment had been cancelled without my permission no more than an hour before.
  6. By the time I had Internet service restored, it was about 5:30 pm, and I was tired and frustrated. I gave up on the day. It's hard for me to believe that Verizon and its people can be so incompetent. I worked for that company once years ago as a consultant, and I did not find them to be half-wits. Something has changed. I talked to about eight people yesterday, and Charles was the only one whose service was acceptable.
So, my apologies for my featureless Thursday. Wednesday, I managed to write, even though most of my afternoon was stolen by a flat tire (replaced for free because I had purchased a tire and wheel warranty when I leased my car). I hope the week ends on a better note.

I zoomed over to Neiman Marcus a few days ago and picked up the new Guerlain Holiday Collection. I can't wait for sunshine so that I can show you photos. It's very nice.

I'm now short on time for today. I am going to a pizza party tonight for my high school class 50th reunion. I've got to run some errands, including feeding the wildlife at my mother's house, and then wash my hair and start working on looking presentable for the party. I fear I won't recognize anyone. I sure hope they have name tags.

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 source lost

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Victoria Beckham Collection for Estée Lauder - Eye Foil

Yesterday was quite a day. Mid-afternoon, I went over to my mother's house to feed the birds, squirrels, chipmunks, foxes, and any other animals who might like what I served. As I went to get back into my car, I saw that my rear right tire was flat! I had driven over to her house with a flat tire. I decided to go to the nearest gas station with free air and pump air into my tire. Once I had finished that, I called the Audi dealer and asked if they could take a look at my tire. They said to bring it right away. So, off I went.

Thank God I bought the tire and wheel warranty when I leased my car. One hour after I arrived, I left with a new tire, which cost me nothing but the time I lost yesterday. When I got home, I realized I had very little good sunshine left to photograph Victoria Beckham's Eye Foil ($36), so I went straight for a swatch and walked far enough up my little street to "get sunshine." While I didn't get a picture of the product itself, it looks exactly as shown above in  Estée Lauder's photo.

This breakthrough liquid eye shadow delivers a high-shine, vinyl-like finish, even after it’s dried - and it dries quickly. Sparkling pearl pigments offer flecks of gold or charcoal foil for a liquid-metal effect.

This is a pretty flexible product. It can be used alone for a stunning pearl effect. It can be used under one of Beckham's Eye Metal Eyeshadows to add an entirely different dimension to the shadows. Or it can be used in the inner corners of the lids. I like it. It adds some pizazz to my eye shadow collection.

I got a kick out of something I read on the Internet the other day crediting Pat McGrath for her "new technique" of using a white or silver shadow or liner on the inner corner. I was stunned. This technique has been used by makeup artists for more years than I can count. It opens up the eyes, and everyone who knows makeup knows that. The article left me wondering if it was written by an intern.

Anyhow, Eye Foil is available (when it's not sold out) in two shades: Blonde Gold, which I purchased, and a dark shade that is also currently sold out. I can't even find the name right now, but I will later. I just got a call from Neiman Marcus that the Guerlain Holiday Collection arrived, and I have to hurry over there to have first choice of my I-wants.

As I mentioned yesterday, the preview products sold out almost instantly. The collection will be officially launched on October 1. Only one store in my area will have it, Neiman Marcus at Tysons Galleria. If you are interested in pre-ordering from them, give Rahman Malik a call at (703) 861-4673. Naturally, you will also be able to order from  Estée Lauder and Bergdorf Goodman once they restock.

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

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Victoria Beckham Collection for Estée Lauder

Victoria Beckham has unveiled a limited-edition color cosmetics collection with Estée Lauder. I introduced it last month, and then I promptly pre-ordered a few of the 15 pieces from Bergdorf Goodman. I'm glad I did. Most of the pieces are sold out and will remain that way until the more universal launch on October 1.

Today, I'll show you Charred Emerald Eye Metals Eyeshadow ($45) and Modern Mercury Highlighter ($65), Both of these are already sold out at Estée Lauder.

According to WWD, Beckham's 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.

To Estée Lauder, she’s a next-generation Estée: Authentic, an entrepreneur, wife, mother, fashion designer - and she’s a beauty maven. Some people in fashion are into fashion, but not beauty. She’s into the whole picture and has a vision. She knows her style, her point of view, and the way she wants women to look, feel, act, and be comfortable in their skin, while having a great deal of glamour at the same time.

There are 15 units, including a limited-edition, portable mirror that casts a flattering light for makeup application. Prices range from $30 for the designer’s signature nude-matte lip pencil to $45 for an Eye Metals Eyeshadow, $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. After reviewing the collection online, I selected a few pieces that I knew I would actually wear. I'm impressed with their quality.

Charred Emerald Eye Metals Eyeshadow attracted me because it's green. I love green on my eyes. I took my photos in full, early afternoon sunshine, and that may have brightened the colors a bit. I think Charred Emerald is darker than my photo directly above shows, but lighter than the Estée Lauder photo appears.

This rich color powder eye shadow delivers a high-shine finish to the eye. It is densely pigmented with color that is strong, sexy, and confident. You can wear it alone all over the lid for a modern smoky eye or layered over Eye Ink for an oil-slick finish. Eye Ink is very cool. I'll try to get photos so that I can show it to you tomorrow.

Modern Mercury is a highlighter borrowed from Estée Lauder's past. My photo is too pink. The Estée Lauder photo above is more accurate. A favorite of Victoria’s, this highlighter can be worn as an accent on the cheekbones and with or without bronzer to create a moist skin look. It's a beauty.

My swatch photos are pretty accurate. Charred Emerald blends black and green for an exquisite smoky green look. While we can't all look like the former Spice Girl, we can imagine this look on ourselves for a night out. To me, it's glamorous.

Modern Mercury is a rose gold on my skin - one of my favorite highlighter shades. The compact is huge, which means it will last a very long time. You can apply it very lightly for a subtle gleam or more intensely for a  high-wattage look.

The packaging of these products is lovely. It's a dark blue, accented with gold, and it's heavy. It looks its price, if you understand what I mean. The accents are gold. I guess the direct sun made them look silver in my photo below.

Beckham said, “I want to make women feel empowered, to feel sexy and confident. This makeup collection does that. I’m a girl’s girl, I love to make women feel like the best version of themselves.” I think she's done a great job on her first foray into makeup.

There were a few pieces available at Bergdorf Goodman the last time I looked, but you've got a better chance of finding the collection on October 1 when it launches "officially." I even got a note from Neiman Marcus Tysons Galleria saying that they will have the collection available there - the only source in my area. If you are interested in pre-ordering from Neiman Marcus, give Rahman Malik a call at (703) 861-4673.

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

Monday, September 26, 2016

YASOU Moisturizing Hand Cream

Days after the Fall Equinox, our weather is finally starting to cool off. Today, it is cloudy and cool at my house. It is predicted to be like this almost all week. We've gone from temperatures in the mid-90's to mid-70's, just like that.

As the weather changes, we all need to take a look at our body products and replace the moisture we lose to cool, dry air. I've started with YASOU Hand Cream ($25), which was sent to me for review. I have been using the Hand Cream for a month, and I'm impressed. Because I was originally unfamiliar with the company, I'll assume you may be too and give you a short summary YASOU.

“YASOU” (pronounced ya-su) natural skin care gets its name from a common Greek greeting meaning “to your health.” YASOU’s mission is to embrace the beauty traditions, natural ingredients, and rich culture of Greece with American technology, bringing you this luxurious natural skin-care line that makes you look and feel good.

YASOU skin care is inspired from the heart, heritage, and passion of creator Theodora Ntovas. Theodora grew up in Chicago and often traveled and lived in Greece as a child, where she spent time visiting her family and soaking up the rich Greek culture and local traditions. As an adult, Theodora felt a calling to return to the Greek village that she remembered so fondly from her childhood. That particular trip soon became a soul-searching and enlightening experience for her and changed the way she looked at the world and specifically beauty products.

While shopping a local farmer’s market, Theodora discovered the purist, most unique, organic skin-care products and was intrigued by the beautiful women who swore by them. These glorious products were made from olive oil, natural essential oils extracted from local flowers, and indigenous plants, plus organic beeswax.

Using what she learned from that small farmers market in Archia Feneos in the Peloponnese region near Corinth, Theodora educated herself in cosmetic chemistry, aromatherapy, and natural skin care solutions. Her research led her to partner with chemist/formulator Nestor Tomasi. Inspired by Greek beauty philosophy, together they developed the unique Calityl-O Complex, that became the foundation of a truly luxurious natural skin-care line. And so, YASOU was born.

This exclusive and completely natural, luxurious skin care nourishes the skin and is formulated with the highest quality natural and organic ingredients sourced from the best growers, producers, and suppliers in the United States. YASOU consists of face cream, a cellular firming and rejuvenating day cream that compliments YASOU’s anti-aging night cream with hyadisine, and the ultra hydrating body cream with essential oils and vitamin E. The ultra hydrating body cream is designed to nourish skin, help calm and relax your mind, and even help you fall asleep (I could use that). It is ideal for those special and precious “me time” moments when you want to pamper and reward your body, like having a spa experience, but at home.

YASOU Hand Cream is a vegan product made in the USA. Beautiful hands conceal our age and  sensitize our touch. We need to treat our hands with tender loving care, particularly as the weather changes and dries our skin. YASOU Vegan Hand Cream is formulated to moisturize, protect, repair, and soothe your hands. It is a natural hand cream that contains moisturizing certified organic extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, bacteria fighters, and soothing botanicals. The company's signature Calityl-O Complex nourishes all skin types. Packaged in a recyclable tube, YASOU Hand Cream protects the environment as well as your hands. In addition to its natural, certified organic, and vegan ingredients, it is gluten-free and Leaping Bunny certified. It does contain retinol, but so far I have had no adverse reactions to it.

You can use YASOU Hand Cream as many times per day as you feel you need, but the company recommends that you use it in the morning and before bed. I've been using it at bedtime because I wash my hands so frequently during the day. Charlie is not fond of scented products, but fortunately he has not objected to the natural ingredients that make the scent of YASOU Hand Cream unique. To me, it's an herbal scent.

I have copied from YASOU the long list of ingredients so that you can see how much thought the company put into the moisturizing formula. 
  • Certified Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Jojoba Oil soothes and moisturizes. Olive oil’s antioxidants form a protective barrier, trapping moisture on your skin. Jojoba oil’s vitamins, mineral, and fatty acids promote elasticity and radiance.
  • Shea Butter is vitamin-rich and one of the best anti-aging moisturizers.
  • Glycerin is a good re-hydrant that helps moisturize the skin without
    making it oily. It attracts moisture and holds it within the skin making skin more supple.
  • Coconut Oil is a powerful moisturizer that helps restore dry or flaking skin. It helps to strengthen skin tissue more deeply and eliminates dead skin cells while absorbing quickly into your skin. Containing vitamin E, coconut oil helps delay wrinkles and can soothe skin conditions such as eczema, sunburn, and psoriasis.
  • Certified Organic Aloe Vera moisturizes and hydrates the skin.
  • Evening Primrose essential oil can help with age-related structural and functional changes in skin tissues such as redness, firmness, roughness, and fatigue resistance. It is also effective in relieving many symptoms of eczema.
  • Lemon Extract exfoliates, brightens, and diminishes acne for smoother skin. It naturally bleaches the skin and quickens the rate in which dark spots, scars, sunspots, acne scars, and age spots fade.
  • Grape Seed Extract boosts collagen development in your body. Collagen helps your skin stay firm, supple, and moisturized. It aids in the renewal of skin cells. Grape Seed Extract contains compounds called procyanidins, which bond with collagen, resulting in healthier and more elastic skin.
  • Tocopherol also known as vitamin E, is an antioxidant that protects and repairs your skin. It promotes cell regeneration, creating an anti-aging effect to make your skin look and feel younger.
  • Vitamin A/Retinyl Palmitate has great anti-aging, superb antioxidants, and moisturizing capabilities. It accelerates cell renewal and stimulates the fibroblast and collagen in the skin, thereby reducing wrinkles and fine lines. It helps promote softer, smoother skin.
  • Mastic essential oil contains antioxidants along with antibacterial and antifungal properties. It possesses therapeutic benefits for the skin due to its soothing, softening, and healing properties. Mastic oil is used in many personal hygiene products for its antiseptic assets.
  • YASOU Calityl-O Complex - The Unbeatable Combination of Nature and Science: Calityl-O is rich in important antioxidants which our skin craves. YASOU's Calityl-O Complex helps form a protective, nourishing barrier that keeps environmental damage and toxins out, while infusing and keeping the moisture of skin in, creating a perfect balance.
Natural body care starts with using the best natural and organic ingredients. YASOU Skin Care products contain no parabens, synthetic colors, or artificial fragrances. How good does it get?

Other YASOU products that might interest you include Cellular Day, Cell Renewal Night Cream, and Hydrating Body Cream - just in case the line intrigues you, but you've got a great stock of hand cream.

You can purchase the Hand Cream at YASOU's Web site, where you can also learn about the company's other products. There is a wonderful, educational section about ingredients used in YASOU products, a video, and a blog with a new feature about recognizing product ingredients. I like the Web site because it's educational and so transparent about the company and its excellent formulas. There is a store locator, but distributors are currently limited; it's easiest to buy it online.

Photos courtesy of YASOU    

Friday, September 23, 2016

The Friday Forum - September 23

Today, I spent the better part of my morning with Sarah Lavache, one of Bobbi Brown's best Makeup Artists, at an event at Nordstrom Pentagon City organized by Diron Carr, Bobbi Brown's manager there. Sarah spent about an hour working on my face, and I was enormously pleased with the results.

She used the Party to Go Lips & Eyes Kit ($42), a palette that I might not have selected before Sarah applied it to my eyes. After I saw the results, I came home with it! Unfortunately, even though Diron recorded all of the colors Sarah used on me, I accidentally left it behind. I'll have to call in a bit and ask him to save it for me.

If you ever get a chance to jump into Sarah's chair, do it! You will love the results. I was very happy with her handiwork on my eyes today.

I was invited to attend Victor dE Souza's fashion show during the just-concluded New York Fashion Week. I wasn't able to go because the show was in the evening, and there wasn't any way I could get a train back to DC on the same day.

Dustin Lujan, Victor's partner, kindly sent me a video so that I could see the show I missed. Just click on this link to see the show highlights. Besides the fashion - and the fabulous animals that adorned many of the pieces - Dustin's makeup was the star of the show for me. I have been talking to Dustin about the next pieces he will introduce now that his lipstick collection is established. The models were wearing the mascara and eye shadows that will be introduced next. I strained to look as closely as possible to try to discern the eye shadow shades. It was difficult see them in the video, but I know that with Dustin's master touch, they will be beautiful.

Please watch the video to experience the fashion show from the comfort of your home of office. Victor is on the cusp of worldwide fame. You'll be able to say, "I knew him when."

The Saks Fifth Avenue Beauty event started yesterday, and the tote GWP is really nice. I spent more than I should have, but the bonus was that gorgeous tote. Although the Neiman Marcus beauty event has officially ended, Michael Reinhardt is extending it at Mazza Gallerie for Le Métier de Beauté through Sunday. So if you missed it by accident, give Michael or Andy a call at that counter at (202) 966-9700.

I've been sorting beauty products for features here on the blog, and I must have about 50 pounds of gorgeous products to show you. Next week, I've got to get busy taking photos, and I may have to try to write more than one feature per day. Several generous companies have sent me their new collections, and I want you to see them as soon as possible.

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

Photos by Best Things in Beauty

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Edward Bess Threads of Silk Multi-Use Powder

Perhaps you missed it too. Edward Bess's Threads of Silk Multi-Use Powder ($45) was introduced when my mother was very ill. I was not on top of my game this spring. Fortunately, Edward Bess introduces makeup with staying power. If it's great, he doesn't leave it online for a month and then yank it, like some beauty companies do to give the illusion of exclusivity.

This skin-perfecting marvel is available in two shades, Bellissima (shown above) and Ciao (shown immediately below). I purchased Bellissima. It is a finely milled complexion enhancer, blush, or highlighter - however you want to use it - with silk fibers to infuse the skin with a luster, leaving it radiant and glowing.

Exquisitely crafted in the northern region of Italy, this satiny-smooth powder is as soft and luxurious as silk, one of the finest fabrics we wear. Woven with actual silk fibers, this multitasking powder adds warmth and dimension to the face and eyes, allowing our features to exhibit a new vitality.

Optical light reflectors mimicking those found in silk threads deflect light to blur imperfections and bestow a silk-like luster on the skin.

I took my photos of Bellissima in full, early afternoon sunshine. I ran a sponge-tipped applicator across all of the patchwork shades, yielding a surprising golden, bronze sheen. Would you have anticipated that after looking at the pink, ivory, and taupe shades in the compact?

I think the blended shade is gorgeous, and I'm so happy I purchased it. Now, despite the fact that it's not brand new (only a few months old), I want Ciao! I'll bet the blended shade is nowhere near as peachy as what I expect from its photo. I saw swatch photos at The Beauty Look Book, but Sabrina's skin tone is so different from mine, I was startled by the difference in our swatches. She takes great photos.

You can wear these powders if you choose as eye shadows, either by blending the colors and applying them as a wash over the entire lid, or by individually selecting shades with a small brush and applying them individually.

I remember that you told me a few months ago that you wanted to see makeup that wasn't brand new as long as it is available. The good news is that you can find Edward's beautiful Threads of Silk Multi-Use Powders at the Edward Bess Web site, Bergdorf Goodman, and a few Neiman Marcus Stores. I have about 50 pounds of makeup I haven't featured yet, so I wanted to show you this beauty before I move on to holiday collections.

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

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Coming Attraction: The Guerlain Shalimar Holiday 2016 Makeup Collection by Natalia Vodianova

This coming holiday season, Guerlain invites you on a unique journey into the heart of the East with an eight-piece makeup collection developed in partnership with supermodel Natalia Vodianova. The collection includes a new Shalimar iridescent spray for Body and Hair powder, plus Guerlain's must-have’s for achieving the perfect holiday party looks.

The collection includes these eight future superstars.

SOUFFLE D’OR DE SHALIMAR ($98). The famous Shalimar bottle is revisited in deeper blue with the Guerlain signature and a blue atomizer with metallic blue thread. Inside is an extra-fine pearly loose powder subtly perfumed with Shalimar Souffle de Parfum notes: bergamot, orange blossom, and vanilla. Apply to face, hair, body, and décolleté for a subtle golden highlight.

TERRACOTTA TERRA INDIA in 00 ($55). Packaged in lacquered Shalimar blue, Terracotta Terra India – whose pattern has been inspired by Indian drawings - is Guerlain’s classic Terracotta powder in shade 00. The powder, decorated with golden shimmer, offers a healthy glow.

MÉTÉORITES Perles de Légende ($65). This cult color-correcting formula, housed in a beautiful gold and sapphire limited-edition case inspired by India, creates a perfect, fresh, and radiant complexion thanks to a new and unique harmony of pearls.

L’OR EYELINER ($34). A long-lasting intense gold eyeliner that creates a stunning highlighted eye look. It comes in a silky texture for an easy and flawless application.

PRECIOUS LIGHT ($52). A light, pearly, and blendable texture to apply on light zones for an instant and subtle glow to illuminate the complexion in wintertime.

DUO EYESHADOW SHALIMAR in GOLD AND SAPPHIRE($46). Two vibrant colors inspired by precious stones: gold and sapphire with a creamy, metallic finish that will enhance the eyes for the holiday season.

ROUGE G Exceptional Complete Lip Color in #821 Rouge Saphir ($56). As unique as a jewel, a collector's edition of Rouge G lipstick with a precious blue stone on the case. The lipstick itself is an intense ruby red shade (in keeping with the red "color of the season).

KISSKISS in ROSE INDIEN ($37). Guerlain’s beloved KISSKISS formula in an intense fuchsia inspired by Indian pigments.

I saw a photo of the MÉTÉORITES Perles de Légende in the catalog Saks Fifth Avenue produced for its beauty event, which starts tomorrow. I was immediately smitten. Out of the eight pieces in this collection, I know I want at least six. I'm wondering where I will get the money. I need a new job soon!

Here are some lovely tips for using these new pieces from Supermodel Natalia Vodianova.

“In addition to face and hair, I apply this powder on the back of my hands and on my wrists. So when I move them, a subtle scent emerges.”

MÉTÉORITES Perles de Légende
“I specifically chose these three colors of pearls because they remind me of the colors of the mosaics in the Indian palaces. The pink pearls revive the natural color of the cheeks and the freshness of the complexion; blue pearls correct irregularities of the skin and dark circles; and the gold pearls warm and illuminate cheekbones.”

“My application advice: use the three (3) gesture invented by Olivier Echaudemaison. Draw a three on each side of the face, from the forehead to the cheeks and then to the chin following the facial contour, and smoothing it down along the neck.”

“Do not hesitate to apply a fine line of the gold eyeliner over this collection’s eye shadows; it really makes my blue eyes stand out!”

“To illuminate your features, apply this color on your cheeks, on the outside corner of your eyes, the bridge of your nose, or on your Cupid's bow.”

I'll be very happy if I can emulate her application techniques and end up with even a fraction of her blonde beauty.

The Guerlain Shalimar Holiday 2016 Makeup Collection by Natalia Vodianova will be available on October 1, 2016 at Guerlain Boutiques and select store and online location at Nordstrom, Sephora, Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdales, Bergdorf Goodman, and Dillard’s. See anything you must have?

Photos courtesy of Guerlain

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Giorgio Armani Beauty Runway Fall/Winter 2016 Collection

Giorgio Armani is launching backstage makeup developed for his runway show - a look every woman can wear. Each new season for the past two years, the Armani Runway Lab has given Linda Cantello, Giorgio Armani International Makeup Artist, the tools to create the new colors imagined by Mr. Armani backstage. The following information came from the Armani press release.

An exclusive and limited makeup collection, directly inspired by the fashion show, is being made available to women so they can make the latest runway makeup their own. This season, every woman will be able to wear the look from the Armani Runway.

Bohemian Chic and Timeless Velvet
The Giorgio Armani Fall/Winter 2016 collection features black velvet heightened with floral prints. This soft, delicate and durable fabric, matte and iridescent at once, captures the light like none other and offers a multitude of highly inspiring facets. New shapes combine precise lines with the bohemian feel of fabrics swarming with jacquard brushstrokes, splashes of color, gradations of tone, and stylized flowers.

Makeup as seen on the catwalk is naturally soft and luminous. The pure complexion enhances mysterious eyes accentuated by lids that cast endless reflections of light. Lips are subtly tinged with an irresistible lavender nude that complements the perfectly elegant fleshy beige color of nails.
The Armani Runway Fall/Winter 2016 collection is composed of three products: 1) a palette with a sheer powder and a trio of eye shadows; 2) an Eye Tint liquid eye shadow; and 3) a Rouge d’Armani lipstick.

The Runway Palette ($120)
Featuring fabric hot off the runway, this season's eye and face palette is wrapped in silk muslin with floral prints stylized in nude, lavender, and black, as shown above.

This precious collector's palette has two tiers. The first tier reveals a silky and luminous universal sheer powder to mattify the complexion and highlight facial features. The second tier contains a trio of eye shadows in deep, delicate shades, ranging from matte velvet black to shimmering champagne and satiny mauve greige. Applied on the lids and below the eyes, they brighten and bring out the eyes.

Eye Tint – A Source of Light ($40)
Layered with the eye shadows from the Runway Palette, Eye Tint leaves an illuminating veil of iridescent champagne on the eyes. It can also be applied beneath the brow arch and in the inner corner of the eye for a heightened illuminating effect.

Inspired by MAESTRO Fusion Makeup, Eye Tint blends onto the skin smoothly for a "no-makeup" feel. Its pure, intense, and indefinable color guarantees long wear (16 hours), while retaining a light, fresh "bare lid" effect. Its extra-thin "Smart Eye Color Film" ensures flawless adherence to the eyelid. Its highly workable texture is easy to blend before drying and provides a cream-like sensation of comfort.

Rouge d'Armani ($40)
Lips are given a sensual touch of mauve beige to enhance their natural color. Rouge d'Armani lipstick deposits just the right subtly delectable tone of lavender nude on the lips.

Used every day by makeup artists around the world, this couture lipstick is now a must-have for even the most demanding women. Its gentle, lightweight formula promises exceptional color hold and comfort for six hours straight.

A Fashionable Case
Strengthening the unique ties between fashion and this exclusive makeup line, the Armani Runway products slip into a precious and elegant pouch made with the fabric of the Giorgio Armani Fall/Winter 2016 collection. It's really pretty! The pouch for the palette is the same as those shown above with the lipstick and Eye Tint.

Linda Cantello, Giorgio Armani International Makeup Artist, said, "For this collection, I took the fabric and was inspired by the colors; there is a blend of grey, lavender colors. The advantage of having the Runway Lab backstage is that we created a very shiny wet-looking Eye Tint that we didn’t have before."

The Runway Collection should have been available at Armani Beauty counters and online in mid-August. I've been checking every week because I want it. I'll let you know when I find it.

Update 9/21: The collection is in-store at Neiman Marcus Tysons Galleria and Saks Fifth Avenue, Chevy Chase.

Photos courtesy of Giorgio Armani Beauty

Monday, September 19, 2016

Coming Soon: Chanel Rouge Allure Ink Matte Liquid Lip Color

Months ago, the day I sat in the Neiman Marcus Café taking photos of the upcoming introductions, I snapped this photo of five of the eight Rouge Allure Ink Matte Lip Colors ($37). This is certainly the year of the lipstick!

The mark of your allure. Smooth gloss meets intense lipstick in an innovative new formula from Rouge Allure.

Chanel calls Rouge Allure Ink Matte Liquid Lip Color perfection in just one stroke. A long-lasting liquid lipstick that glides on like a gloss and dries with a luminous, velvet-like finish. Polymers, waxes, and plant oils smooth and nourish the lips, while jojoba oil and a unique antioxidant complex offer hydration and protective benefits. A sponge-tip applicator allows for comfortable and easy application.

The Rouge Allure Inks are available in a "provocative" range of shades, from tart pink to brown noir. They look intense to me.

I have read that they are starting to appear at Chanel counters. Officially, they are supposed to be on counter and at in October. Keep your eyes open. They are, apparently, arriving early.

Everywhere I turn, there are new lipsticks - full collections of new lipsticks. The Dior display of Rouge Dior is almost too full of new colors in a new formula. Matte lipsticks are everywhere. I was struck this weekend as I perused the Saks Beauty catalog (in advance of their Beauty Event) by the full-face photos of models, all wearing perfectly applied matte lips. Did they strike me as pretty? No. Alluring? No. I really hope Chanel "did it better." I'm looking forward to seeing and playing with these new Rouge Allure Inks.

Photo by Best Things in Beauty

Friday, September 16, 2016

The Friday Forum - September 16

Do you like leather fragrances? Tom Ford's new Ombré Leather 16 Eau de Parfum ($225) is a nice one. It smells like a soft leather, the kind you'd like to wear next to your skin. I wore it one day and found it to be soft, long-lasting, and inviting.

It's described as textured, sleek, and enveloping. Tom Ford has unveiled a private blend Eau de Parfum directly inspired by the fashion he just showed on the runway. Ombré Leather 16 invites you into his complete Autumn/Winter 2016 with a definitive statement.

I read somewhere that it has patchouli in the ingredients, but I've worn this fragrance and cannot smell that offending note (offensive to me). The other notes are leather, violet leaf, cardamom, jasmine sambac, and oakmoss. The fragrance is soft and inviting - perfect for the fall season. If you don't have a Tom Ford counter near you, give Debbie O'Malley a call at (202) 966-9700. She would be glad to help you. I hear this one is flying off the shelves.

The Neiman Marcus Beauty Event has been extended a few days, until September 21. Then, on the 22, the Saks event starts. I have not received a peek at their GWPs yet, but when I get one, I'll share it.

Le Métier de Beauté has finally released new colors! There are new lip crèmes. I just purchased two, and when the sun shines consistently, I'll get photos. There are also new matte lipsticks, but I can't recommend them. The color doesn't last.

I am supposed to receive the Victoria Beckham pieces I ordered tomorrow. I am beyond excited. I was conservative. I think I ordered four, including the vintage Modern Mercury. There was a mob scene in New York this week when she unveiled the collection. You can order at Bergdorf Goodman's Web site and Beckham's own site.

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.

Update: Ask and you shall receive. I asked the beautiful Anna Befanis if she had a photo of the Saks Beauty Event Bag. Here it is. I think it looks very nice.

Photos courtesy of Tom Ford and Saks Fifth Avenue/Anna

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Rose Garden Melody - Coming Attraction at Rouge Bunny Rouge for Fall 2016

Rouge Bunny Rouge has enticing Enchanted Garden news for you. Today their Autumn Beauty Look, Rose Garden Melody, launches and presents the two latest novelties, Skin Perfector and an Eye Shadow Palette called Caliche, for the new season.

Celebrating 10 years in the service of beauty, Rouge Bunny Rouge's Neo-Victorian Festival honors what customers love most about the company: individuality, excellent quality, and extraordinary results achieved with great ease.

The new looks, euphony of lace, summer night symphony, rose garden melody, and rebel princess, were designed to be expressions of modern beauty. Rose Garden Melody presents the lush abundance of pinks from the softest pearlescent cream-rose to sheer hot pink to dusty mauve and anything in between that creates the flattering harmony of Rouge Bunny Rouge's Autumn Beauty Look. There is a short video that presents the collection.

Skin Perfector looks like a must-have to me. I think I have one on the way. Weightless and velvety-soft, this lightly tinted primer dramatically enhances the appearance of your complexion with innovative particles called Diamond Core Powder. The formula transforms invisible UV light into blue and green light, an effect natural to young and healthy skin. Discoloration, hyperpigmentation, wrinkles, and imperfections nearly disappear.

Its delicate, rosy tint further flatters one's skin tone, making the skin look more radiant and fresh without any visible coverage. It is packed with antioxidents and plant-derived actives, and the combined ingredients contribute to protecting the skin.

The new Eye Shadow Palette Caliche is a nuanced harmony of muted silky purples (rosy ecru, dusky and earthy aubergine, rosewood, and mauve). This fall, you can step up your eye shadow game with this new Eye Shadow Palette color quartet. With encapsulated hyaluronic acid and argan oil added to the formula, the texture is even more silky and luxurious, while deeply hydrating to the skin. Argan oil nourishes and regenerates, too.

Rouge Bunny Rouge is quintessentially British. The company's makeup and skin care embody efficient and ground-breaking formulas, active ingredients, rich and complex colors, and unmatched signature textures with a lightweight second-skin feel. Rouge Bunny Rouge is constantly scouring the latest state-of-the-art solutions from the best international manufacturers. Rouge Bunny Rouge is also renowned (for good reason) for its fantastic world of storytelling. Elements of magic, whimsy, and mystery are playfully reflected in the names of their products, endearingly romantic or charming and mischievous.

As a counterbalance to massively trend-driven or conceptual, ritual-based cosmetics, Rouge Bunny Rouge stands for quality and effortless results - beauty that is quick and easy to achieve, with no complicated techniques that must be mastered. How perfect for modern, busy women!

Caliche will be available in the U.S. in October (you can purchase online or from Beautyhabit) and in Rouge Bunny Rouge's international and German Web Boutique at the end of this week. Check out the company's Web site.

Photos courtesy of Rouge Bunny Rouge

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Prevage City Smart Broad Spectrum SPF50 Hydrating Shield

Years ago, I started using Prevage MD, a product that is no longer on the market. I was stunned by how well it improved everything about my skin. Prevage MD was, as I understood it, the super version of regular Prevage, and who wouldn't want to use the best?

Then I was disappointed in 2009 to learn that the maker had decided to improve the formula. Unrelated story: I'll never forget a certain improvement that was made to a face cream I had used for a few years (Paula's Choice). It was for seriously dry and sensitive skin, and it worked really well. Paula decided to put retinol in it. I called the company and complained. "Don't you, the experts, know that retinol can do serious damage to sensitive skin?" The representative basically told me I was "misinformed." I guess that meant my dermatologist was misinformed about my skin too. After suffering through losing a skin treatment that had really worked for me, I was petrified when I learned that Prevage MD would be "improved," meaning replaced with regular Prevage with a lesser percentage of its active ingredient. I stopped using it. If you want to read about that story, go here.

Anyhow, Elizabeth Arden, the maker of Prevage (although not its original maker), has released a new version of Prevage that caught my eye: Prevage City Smart Broad Spectrum SPF50 Hydrating Shield ($68), a multipurpose product that really appealed to me. Before I tell you more about it, I'll share some of Elizabeth Arden's press about Prevage skin care.

Reverse the face of time, now! Scientists have proven that environmental threats are the leading cause of aging skin. Exposure to smoke, pollution, and sun can cause free radicals, leaving skin dry and uneven in tone, and increasing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. That's why the scientists at Elizabeth Arden developed Prevage, the leading solution to the #1 cause of signs of aging.

These groundbreaking treatments leverage the brand’s scientific research and over a decade of leading innovation within the environmental protection category. The power of Prevage comes from Idebenone, the single most powerful antioxidant. By protecting the skin from oxidative stress, Idebenone not only shields the skin from future environmental effects, but also helps support the skin’s natural repair process and restore a youthful appearance. The look of lines, wrinkles, age spots, and sun damage are diminished as the look of firmness is improved with continuous use of Prevage.

The brand’s exclusive Idebenone Ester Technology is an advanced delivery system that fuses Idebenone with a skin compatible ester to provide a time-release reservoir of Idebenone, targeted where and when it’s most needed. This delivery system allows for a more effective and gentle use of Idebenone, even on those with sensitive skin. Idebenone has been tested under the rigorous Environmental Protection Factor TM 3 protocol, which uses a multifaceted approach to measure the power of an ingredient’s topical antioxidant performance.

EPF assesses how much protection you'll get against environmental aggressors such as stress, pollution, and smoking (God forbid) — all of which accelerate the signs of aging. When tested, Idebenone scores an EPF rating of 95 out of 100. In fact, Idebenone was proven to be more effective than the six other leading antioxidants.

The Prevage portfolio of products is large. I don't have time here to tell you about all of them, and I don't have or use all of them. I'm smitten with the newest City Smart Broad Spectrum SPF50 Hydrating Shield. I purchased mine from Nordstrom.

City Smart provides all of the wonderful features of other Prevage products, but also protects the skin with an SPF of 50. It is lightweight; you'd never know that it's so laden with sunblock.

It offers superior anti-aging technology. It’s in our DNA. Every day, in cities all over the world, the environment - from UV rays to pollution and smoke - is visibly aging your skin; in fact, 80% of all signs of skin aging are due to the environment. I'd guess genetics comes in second.

City Smart is a DNA Enzyme Complex, an anti-ollution protective agent, and an antioxidant broad spectrum SPF 50 Hydrating Shield - all in one. It's the first-of-its-kind skin shield to combine pollution and UV protection with Arden's DNA Enzyme Complex to strengthen the skin. It provides sheer, hydrating, invisible protection to help the skin look younger, longer. Truth!
  • City Smart screens out skin-dulling pollutants and 98% of UVB rays.
  • It visibly improves the skin’s condition in many ways.
  • Plus it's formulated with a powerful antioxidant blend to maintain optimal skin health even in the most heavily polluted environments.
Although new, it has already won a "Best Face Sunscreen 2016 award from Health.

You can find the ingredients here. Key among them are Idebenone (When compared to antioxidants in face products, Idebenone in Prevage surpasses alpha lipoic acid, kinetin, vitamin C, vitamin E, and ubiquinone in environmental protection against oxidative stress), Green Tea, Thiotaine, Ferulic Acid, and L-Carnosine, all included to neutralize free radical damage.

Enough of that scientific stuff for now. City Smart is a lovely product. It is yellow, as its predecessors were, but it does not leave the skin yellow. I could swear, though, that the pigment in the product evens out my skin tone just a tad. That's a superb "side effect." It applies easily, quickly, and evenly, and it absorbs quickly, leaving my skin look radiant and even-toned. I really can't tell it's there after I apply it. As a rule, I apply my moisturizer over it, although I believe those with oily skin will not need additional moisture. I'm just so dry!

I love the fact that my skin treatment provides a high level of sun protection, without any of the usual effects of sunscreen: tackiness, whitewash, heaviness, and other undesirable qualities. It does this through zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. If you don't react well to those physical sunblocks, this may not be the sunscreen for you.

Otherwise, I highly recommend you try it. Give it a test of a few months, and I'll bet that your skin will improve in tone, texture, hydration, and appearance. One nice thing? It's relatively inexpensive. You won't have to lay out a fortune to find out whether it works for you.

I'm excited again about Prevage. It's nice to find skin care that meets its promises. You can find Prevage City Smart and its sister products at Elizabeth Arden's Web site and Elizabeth Arden counters. There's a special promotion this week at Elizabeth Arden counters (Macy's) and the Web site. Good time to try.

Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Arden

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Clé de Peau Radiant Liquid Rouge

Several of you have spoken in comments about Clé de Peau's Radiant Liquid Rouge ($48). I was dying to try it and gleeful when a gratis box arrived from Clé de Peau with three shades, #12, #14, and #17. There are seven shades in all. My photo above shows #12 at left, #14 at the top, and #17 at the lower right.

This luxurious, dermatologist-tested, glossy stain delivers long-wearing color that melts into the lips for a shiny, vinyl look. It provides these benefits.
  • Unique Tri-laminar technology separates color and shine into three layers for an unparalleled level of color saturation and captivating texture.
  • Brilliant Color Powder creates bright rich color that appears to melt into lips.
  • Crystal Coat Polymer reveals a jewel-like luster and radiance.
  • Illuminating Hydro-Wrap Complex and premium Argan Tree Oil deliver rich moisture that lasts for four hours.
On my lips, Radiant Liquid Rouge feels extremely creamy and hydrating. The colors pop with a shine and brilliance that I love. The color is extremely long lasting.

I took my photos in full, mid-afternoon sun. My arm shows them in numerical order, with #12 at the top, #14 in the middle, and the red #17 at the bottom.

You can probably guess that my favorite of the three is #12, the mauve rose. It's my kind of color. I'm wearing #14 now. It's a warm day, and it's a beautiful peachy-pink that's perfect for warm weather. The red #17 will have to be a night shade for me. I'm a bit of a red phobe. Nevertheless, the shade is magnificent.

I know some of you have been wearing these lip colors. I'd love to hear about your experiences.

You can purchase these fabulous lip colors at Clé de Peau's Web site and Clé de Peau counters. It would be a good time to go to the counter at Neiman Marcus, where there is a GWP.

Photos by Best Things in Beauty

Monday, September 12, 2016

Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Pur Couture Star Clash Edition Lipstick

YSL's beautiful, limited-edition Rouge Pur Couture Star Clash Edition Lipstick will dress you for the holidays, with gold and silver sparkles and a bullet embossed with stars. It's a fancy lipstick for those who want to look glitzy when they pull it out of their bags to refresh the color.

This collector’s edition of Rouge Pur Couture features six iconic shades for the season. When I examined them to select one, I decided it was time for me to purchase some new nude lip colors. Le Nu, #70, was my choice. All of the shades are intense, and I was afraid that several of them would be too bright for me.

In one stroke, you’ll achieve elegant, rich color that dresses the lips with intense hydration and antioxidant care, leaving lips soft, supple, and smooth. It delivers on that promise.

It looks like I accidentally drew on my background paper again - and I was so careful! Nevertheless, I hope you can see that the packaging and lipstick themselves will attract attention. I took my photos in full, mid-afternoon sun.

This is a good nude shade for me and others with light hair and fair skin. It has enough warm pink color to brighten our faces. I read in a recent StyleWatch that those with fair skin should look for nude lipsticks that carry a soft rose or baby pink to make the whole face glow. This one does that.

You can find this lipstick at YSL counters and at Sephora. It looks like the other available shades are bright. If you can handle bright colors on your lips, give them a try.

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

Friday, September 9, 2016

The Friday Forum - September 9

Have you noticed the beauty and fashion trends for fall? I'm not thrilled with some of them. Here's a short list.
  • Lips: Dark and matte. I'm really not excited about drab, matte lipstick.
  • Eyes: Either natural or glittery. I could leave the glittery to the under-21 set. There was also a fair showing of smoky eyes, but not as prominent as the other looks.
  • Complexion: Glowing. There's a trend I can get behind!
  • Hair: Curls, waves, and hair accessories. I can't do any of them with my straight bob. The humidity of late is killing my hair style.
  • Clothing: Jewel colors that are, in general, gorgeous. I would kill for the Ralph Lauren blue velvet coat I see every time I open a magazine. Click on the photo below to enlarge it and look at the ornamentation.

If I had to sum up my impression of the autumn season (to date), I'd say I'm only half-way onboard. That's OK, I'm too old to be a fashion victim and too poor to buy every trend. How do you feel about the season's showings?

Don't forget that Neiman Marcus' Beauty Event started yesterday and ends on September 18. The totes that are yours with a $125 purchase are available in silver and black and have a paltry number of samples inside. At least the totes are nice. As always, the GWPs are yours for a dear price. Most of them start with a purchase between $100 and $300, and many of them are tiny samples, rather than deluxe samples or full-sized products. The best I saw? Le Métier de Beauté has all new products in theirs, and they are really nice. The only two I merited were LMdB and Tom Ford. If you want help, please call my friends - given the salary cuts imposed on everyone in Beauty, they need the commissions! Michael Reinhardt and Debbie O'Malley at (202) 966-9700. Ask for their counters. Tell them I sent you and said they would send you a few extra samples.

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 Vogue and Ralph Lauren

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Tom Ford Autumn/Winter 2016 Runway Collection - Introduced Today

The mystery collection, used on all of the models at Tom Ford's runway show yesterday, became available for sale today. We couldn't even see it until after the show! I purchased my new pieces at Neiman Marcus from Debbie O'Malley. She had them ready for me this morning, and I came home quickly to take photos before any afternoon clouds rolled in.

Here is how Allure described the small collection...
The makeup look for the show was fresh and natural with an emphasis on shine. The foundation was kept as sheer as possible, and cheekbones were highlighted with a glossy mixture that was a blend of Tom Ford Illuminating Primer and foundation, and then tapped on with a finger to give skin a dewy, rather than shimmery, quality. The eyes, which appeared to be glossy and slightly shaded on the runway, were actually coated with a mixture of two shadows - one a shimmery golden-beige, the other a glittery chocolate brown - both of which come from the Eye Colour Duo in AW16 (short for Autumn/Winter 2016) that will go on sale September 8 at and Tom Ford counters. The lip shade (Tom Ford Lip Contour Duo in AW16) is also brand new, created just for the show. "It's a sheer nude with a bit of peach and a bit of pink, so it looks like your natural lip color, but with a beautiful texture," Tom Ford Beauty's Director of Product Development, Philippe Chansel, said backstage at the show. "And we formulated it so it can be used on every model at the show.

The Eye Color Duo in 04 AW16 ($60) is a beauty. It provides two beautifully neutral shades that can be used traditionally, layered, or blended. I am sure I'll get a lot of wear out of this duo. I took my photos in full, early afternoon sun. I swatched with a sponge-tipped applicator.

The Lip Contour Duo in 09 AW16 ($53) is a very light peachy nude. It is brand new, created just for the show. I am going to have to play with the shades to make sure they give me enough color. I can always put a more colorful gloss over them to brighten my face.

There is a photo of one of the models wearing these shades below. They look good on her.

My swatch photos were taken in full sun and show how the lip colors look without any lip pigment to enhance the colors.

The peachy nude is pretty. If I don't use it this fall, I'm sure I'll wear it in the spring.

The Cheek Color shown at the top of this feature is a re-promote, Love Lust.

What do you think? Tom Ford cleverly made us wait until his runway show had ended to see and purchase these colors. Was that a clever marketing trick? It worked for me!

You can purchase them at Tom Ford Beauty online and at Tom Ford counters. If you would like help, give Debbie O'Malley a call at Neiman Marcus Mazza Gallerie at (202) 966-9700. Ask for the Tom Ford counter.

Photos at top and of model courtesy of Allure; other photos by Best Things in Beauty

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Coming Attraction: Tom Ford Shimmer Shot for Fall 2016

I must apologize for the quality of the photos in this feature. I took them from a Tom Ford Training Manual. I must have been quite a sight, sitting outdoors on a staircase in the city, drawing attention as I snapped photos of each page.

Tom Ford's Shimmer Shot reminds me of Giorgio Armani's Fluid Sheer, and that's why I'm excited to get my hands on it. It is a lightweight liquid that can be used on any skin tone to create luminosity or a fine luster. Its pearlescent glow highlights and defines the bone structure, creating a perfectly balanced symmetry or strobing (that new term I find laughable).

Shimmer Shot blends flawlessly into the skin for an instant glow. It can also be mixed with your foundation to make your face glow - just like Fluid Sheer. On the skin, it softens and diffuses light for a smooth finish.

Unlike Fluid Sheer, which is available in many shades, it will be available in two shades this fall: Spin Spin Sugar and Lust for Life. Both of these glow on the skin - no sparkle, just a beautiful gleam.

It will be a limited edition, so don't waste time if you are interested in purchasing it. I'm sure Debbie O'Malley will put you on her waiting list. I'm on it. You can reach her at (202) 966-9700. Ask for her at Tom Ford Cosmetics.

Photos by Best Things in Beauty

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Night Oil

Not too long ago, Sephora offered a five-use sample of Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Night Oil ($105) for selection in a customer's three free samples. I was intrigued, but I saw that it contained "the next generation retinoid oil." That concerned me, given the terrible reactions I've had to retinol in the past. My dermatologist advised me to avoid it - forever.

Then, a couple of years ago, Le Métier de Beauté introduced retinol-based products that incorporated a unique, patented form of retinol encased in vitamin E to deliver the retinol into the skin and past my ultra-sensitive outer layer of skin. I could use them! It was a first. I figured that if they could do it, perhaps another company could too. Besides, my trial was free. I knew that I could withstand a day of redness if the first night went poorly.

Marketed as a next-generation retinoid oil that improves the skin's plumpness and helps fight the appearance of wrinkles, redness, and pores for visibly clearer, younger-looking skin, Luna certainly had appeal. Luna works throughout the night to deliver more visibly youthful, luminous, even-toned skin in the morning. "A trans-retinoic acid ester complex reduces the appearance of pores and wrinkles, while visibly improving the signs of premature aging: fine lines, uneven texture, age spots, dryness, and dullness."

The oil contains a complex high in azulene (blue tansy, German chamomile, and cape chamomile) helps to lower the irritation associated with retinol to leave the skin calm and soothed. Cold-pressed avocado, chia (source of Omega 3), and concord grape seed oils sink in deeply for quick absorption of actives while boosting radiance. It's rich in vitamins B, C, D, E, and A and has a high sterolin content. Advanced trans-retinoid acid ester mixed with potent botanicals produce the ultimate transformative sleeping night oil. It's true!

There is a warning on the box that the first use or two may produce redness and peeling for a few days. It's temporary. I was the perfect candidate for those side effects, and I experienced nothing except mild redness on the third day of use. I skipped a night, and my face returned to normal - only better.

The effects of the ingredients?
  • Helps fight the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, and loss of elasticity
  • Focuses on damage caused by the sun, time, pollution, lifestyle, and stress
  • Helps address the effects of skin damage with strong anti-inflammatory properties and helpful with eczema and dermatitis
  • Great for plumping fine lines
  • Believed to encourage a healthy inflammatory response and support the skin's ability to regulate sebum
Here are Sunday Riley's test results. I do not know their sample size.
After an independent consumer testing panel used Luna Sleeping Night Oil for four weeks...
  • 100% felt the product absorbed well into the skin
  • 96% of women felt their skin looked brighter and more radiant 
  • 96% of women felt their skin looked healthier and revitalized
  • 92% of women felt their skin tone looked more even, calmer, smoother
  • 92% would recommend Luna to a family member or friend
  • 88% felt their pores looked smaller
  • 85% felt their fine lines and wrinkles around the forehead were visibly improved
What did I experience? In only a few days, my skin was smoother; my small pores were even smaller; and I could swear my sun spots were lighter. My skin tone was even. I looked younger. Seriously!

Needless to say, I spent the $105 and bought Luna. It is a little tricky to use. I learned from the sample pack that you apply only a few drops each evening. It's hard for me to apply only a few drops. My skin is so dry, it slurps the oil before I can get it spread evenly over my entire face. So I probably use more than Sunday Riley intended. Given the fabulous effects, I can live with that.

I apply my moisturizer over it before bed. You don't have to. I've tried it both ways, with and without moisturizer, and I've found my skin to be equally improved.

I highly recommend Luna. From my perspective, it's a revolutionary product. Have you tried it yet? It's available at Sephora. By the way, it's cruelty-free and free of parabens, sulfates, and phthalate.

Photo courtesy of Sephora