Friday, October 21, 2016

The Friday Forum - October 21

As I write, a cold front is moving in. It will take away our glorious Indian Summer and bring cold, wind, and - from my perspective - the misery of late autumn. Within minutes, our day has gone from sunny and warm to a foreboding darkness. Plus, it's now raining - pouring actually - and the wind is wicked.

I had planned to write about Dustin Lujan today, but my day has not gone as planned (a reflection of my week). I promise I'll write about Dustin over the weekend. Please check back in Sunday. I want to do him justice, and at this point in the day, I won't have that luxury.

If last week was the "week from hell," this week was certainly the week from purgatory. It started Monday morning with the Verizon FiOS installer who actually showed up when he was supposed to arrive. He spent over five hours here, but did little to meet my expectations. I have to warn anyone being forced to convert from copper phone lines to FiOS. Verizon's sales people will tell you anything on the phone, anything they think you want to hear, but what they tell you seldom matches reality. If I describe all the details, I'll bore you to tears. Let's just say, it was installed Monday, re-installed (fixed) Tuesday, and I had to get my computer onto the network because they did NOTHING to help. That involves a Best Buy story that left me in something approaching a rage. It's all sorted out now, but at the cost of about five hours of my time with the computer and a total of 10 hours on the phone with Verizon. I am glad I sold my stock last year. Surely a little competition will bring them down.

I had a CT examination of my sinuses this morning. My follow-up exam with the ENT is Tuesday next week, so I'll find out then what I already know. I'm still not well. Sinus infections can leave you wiped out, and the fatigue that came with this one has been exhausting.

Mom's service was short and lovely, and the reception after was a nice opportunity to catch up with some of my relatives. I'm glad it was months after she passed. It made it easier for me to talk about her and listen to the stories others told. My friend Bara hosted it, and her beautiful home was the perfect setting to celebrate Mom's life. I'm very grateful to her for making my own preparations easier.

Tomorrow, Saks Fifth Avenue in Chevy Chase is having a by-invitation beauty event at 8:30 am! It's a good thing they have promised mimosas because something is going to have to give me a jolt to pay attention. I'll let you know what I learn. There are industry representatives coming to tell us about the latest trends.

I wasn't able to write this week; there were just too many things on my plate. I do hope to get back into the swing of things next week.  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 koko-stock

Friday, October 14, 2016

The Day Before

I had intended to write today, but I spent the entire day running last-minute errands before tomorrow's ceremony at Arlington Cemetery, where Mom's ashes will be united with my father's for eternity.

We are hosting a reception afterwards for friends and family, and although I have a caterer bringing the food, I had so many add-ons to pick up.

I have lots to tell you and show you, but I'm sure you understand that all of it will have to wait.

I have made the decision that I will continue the Friday Forum for the indefinite future. Today, I had planned to show you Dustin Lujan's artistry and give you a peek at his next makeup introductions. I'll do it next week.

Thanks for understanding.

Photo by Best Things in Beauty

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Tom Ford Shimmer Shot in Spin Spin Sugar

Tom Ford's anticipated Shimmer Shot ($45) launched last week. Available in two shades, Spin Spin Sugar and Lust for Life, it's a gorgeous liquid illuminator. Ordinarily, I would have purchased both shades, but in my new frugalality, I bought only Spin Spin Sugar.

From Tom Ford, slightly edited...
Polished radiance is essential to the Tom Ford face. The lightweight, liquid texture can be used on any skin tone to create ultimate luminosity. Pearlescent glow highlights and defines bone structure, creating perfectly balanced symmetry. Blends flawlessly onto the skin for instant glow. Blends perfectly into your foundation for a contoured look. Light is softened and diffused for a smooth finish. Packaged in an easy-to-use piston pump [which I like]. Apply on the bridge of the nose, highpoints of cheeks, on the chin, and under the eyebrow arch - really anywhere you want to draw light.

The other shade, Lust for Life, looked very tan, and I would need to see it before purchasing. It is expected to arrive at Neiman Marcus in days. I ordered from the Tom Ford Web site.

I took a few swatch photos in full, late-afternoon sunshine, selecting the best. I tried to apply a dot at the top of my arm, with a slightly blended swatch below, but it ran before I could get outside. So my swatch was finger blended, but heavier at the top than below.

The color of Spin Spin Sugar is going to be slightly different on different skin tones. On me, it's a pearly ivory with an ever-so-slight touch of pink. Is it revolutionary? No, but it sure is nice. It applies easily and dries quickly.

I'd be glad to answer any questions. There's not much more I can tell you. I would purchase it again. I'm already fond of it, especially its pearly glow. If you'd like to order from Neiman Marcus, give Debbie O'Malley a call at The Tom Ford counter at (202) 966-9700. She's a great helper.

Photo at top courtesy of Tom Ford; swatch photo by Best Things in Beauty

Monday, October 10, 2016

Rouge Bunny Rouge Raw Garden Eye Shadow Palette in Caliche

Last month, I was able to give you a preview of Rouge Bunny Rouge's magnificent Autumn Beauty Look, Rose Garden Melody. Now, after days of rain, wind, and generally miserable weather, I have photos of Caliche (#092, 49 euros) that I am happy to share with you.

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 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.

The signature multi-dimensional quality of Rouge Bunny Rouge Eye Shadows is at its best here, with a 3D color effect, an extraordinary satin-matte finish, and the richest pigmentation with stunning color pay-off.

The Raw Garden high-tech formula delivers a sense of transparency despite the intense pigmentation and the pleasant silky, melting sensation during the effortless application. Having read that the Caliche combines wearable, muted shades of purple, I was a little afraid it might be too "red" for my eyes. Not!

The cream with slight pink undertones is a great base or highlighting color. Moving clockwise, the medium cool, dusky aubergine actually works on me, when blended over the cream. I love the soft rosewood laced with greige (so trendy!), and the soft, grey will work with any color scheme. The formula is free from parabens, D5, mineral oil, and nano-particles. You can always expect purity from Rouge Bunny Rouge.

There is a PDF brochure at this link if you'd like to take a look. It's on the European site. The U.S. site will follow shortly this month.

Rouge Bunny Rouge sent me the Autumn Collection over a week ago. I tried to take photos on a "mostly sunny" day, but I was unhappy with them. Finally, I have snapped photos that I believe accurately portray this beautiful palette. My photos were taken in full, early afternoon sun. I swatched with a sponge-tipped applicator. The sun added a bit of extra sheen to the shades.

The cream or ivory at the top of my arm is a radiant shade perfect for use with its sister shades or any other palette you have. The aubergine below it could be too red for some, but if you cleverly blend it with the other shades in the palette, it will give you the perfect fall look.

The taupe, which Rouge Bunny Rouge describes a a rosewood laced with greige, is absolutely gorgeous on the eyelids. I like to wear it alone, just swept over my lid below the crease. The grey is perfect for any look. You may want to try blending it in the outer corners with the taupe.

As always, the palette is presented in a black presentation box, safely nestled into a plastic insert. Although it takes up space, it's too elegant to discard.

Rouge Bunny Rouge has generously offered readers of Best Things in Beauty a discount code: RBR-BESTTHINGSINBEAUTY20. I believe you can use it on either their European or U.S. site. I haven't tried it, but if you have any trouble with it, please let me know.

As soon as I can, I will show you the other two beauties they sent me gratis: one of which is the new Skin Perfector. I think you're going to love it. For now, I must run off. I read The Girl on the Train all afternoon yesterday and finished it this morning. I'm a little behind on life management.

You can purchase Caliche right now at Rouge Bunny Rouge - or wait for the U.S. Web site to publish it. Either way, I think you'll be delighted with this unique palette.

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

Friday, October 7, 2016

The Friday Forum - October 7

This has been the week from hell. I shouldn't complain. The folks in Florida are endangered, and the only big problems I have are a sinus infection, Verizon, and getting my 2015 income tax numbers to my accountant, an annual issue for me because my monthly recordkeeping is useless.

Last week, I went to an ENT specialist, who did a sinus culture. Then Monday morning, I awakened to a jaw that would not close on the left side. Very painful! By Tuesday, it was not better, so I called my oral surgeon, and God bless that man, he got me in that afternoon and did a 180 X-ray. That picture showed nothing terribly abnormal with my jaw, but very "fuzzy" sinuses. It was worse on the right side, which may explain why I've been having right-sided headaches, which I attributed to migraines.

Yesterday, the ENT's nurse called me to tell me my sinuses were "just fine." I told her about the X-ray and asked that they consult with my oral surgeon. Obviously, he set them straight because the next thing I knew I was on an antiobiotic and a steroid, with instructions to go get a CT scan in 10 days. So much for "fine." Thank God my oral surgeon, one of the best, sweetest docs I have ever had, took care of me.

You probably know that sinus infections can make you very fatigued. I've been having trouble accomplishing everything I had to do this week to plan for Mom's "burial" and the following luncheon reception on the 15th. Plus I tried to look for a new job in the few moments I had left. Unfortunately, I, the procrastinator, had to get all my tax numbers to the accountant for 2015, due in a week. THAT was an ordeal.I am almost finished, but because I had refinanced that year, I had to go through some extra effort to get my home mortgage interest paid amounts. Because I had refinanced, those companies had not sent me year-end statements. I "think" I have almost everything I need for my accountant (who gets frustrated with me every year for my procrastination).

Wednesday, when Verizon was supposed to appear between 8:00 am and noon to install FIOS, they were a no-show. Long story short, I am rescheduled for October 17, but I have spent almost eight hours on the phone with their representatives while they tried to get their act together. What fun! I had to go to Best Buy to purchase a wireless "bungle" so that Verizon would not have to string coax cable two floors up to my computer. I got it yesterday, and while I was over at Tysons Corner, I stopped in quickly to Neiman Marcus. I got a picture with my phone of the new Clé de Peau Autumn/Winter Collection. It's shown at the top of this feature. Two palettes are for the lips, and one is for eyes. Pretty! Too bad I can't buy it. Those beautiful cases cost extra, so the total cost of the collection far exceeds my current "budget." Actually, as you know, my makeup budget has been cut to the bone until I can find a new consulting job. Even then, I have decided to cut back. I did allow myself to purchase the new Tom Ford Shimmer Shot, which literally just arrived. I'll play with it later.

I want to tell you how appreciative I was of all of your kind comments on the Chanel feature. You are a wonderful group of women, and I'm not going to let a few snarks (or even unintentional snarky comments) ruin my memories of our seven years together. It is disheartening to me to give up this blog before year-end, but I realize I have to do it.

You wouldn't believe an "other" message (from people who aren't friends) I received on Facebook from a certifiable sociopath. I read parts of it before I deleted it. I was astounded that anyone would send such an ugly message. I guess she's an ugly woman, but my Ph.D. in psychology told me to ignore her. You can't let sociopaths upset your life. Actually, one part of it was a laugh. She accused me of writing this blog to get attention because I'm old and ugly. Had that been the case, I would have stopped seven years ago [smile].

So, that's the quick synopsis of my week. I had gorgeous new Rouge Bunny Rouge makeup to show you, but I couldn't ever get enough sunshine for photos that satisfied me. There's always next week. By then, the taxes will be under control.

I could ramble on, but I won't. 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 by Best Things in Beauty

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Chanel Collection Libre Synthetic de Chanel for Holiday 2016

Chanel's Collection Libre is an unexpected holiday collection that celebrates the modern yet sophisticated elements of beauty. Chanel Global Creative Makeup and Colour Designer Lucia Pica experiments with striking contrasts - a clash of colors, textures, intensities, and light - to capture a contemporary edge and thrilling moment in time.

Here are the product highlights.

Les 5 Ombres Eyeshadow Palette ($80), a limited-edition palette called Architectonic inspired by urban architecture, a modern palette that gives structure to the eyes with mirror-like silver, concrete grey, and gunmetal blue eye shadows in matte to shimmery textures.

Joues Contraste Powder Blush ($45) is the staple blush in a bright pink shade called Hyperfresh that can be used lightly for a soft accent of color or built up to make a statement.

Calligraphie de Chanel Waterproof Intense Cream Eyeliner in Hyperblack ($35) is a modern way to line the eyes. This long-lasting gel liner creates a super-black, vinyl finish for a striking look. It has a a specially developed brush for precise application.

Rouge Allure Luminous Intense Lip Colour ($37) will impart fresh, bright shades of burgundy pink and strawberry red to the lips for the season. The shades are called Ultraberry and Ultrarose.

Rouge Allure Gloss Colour and Shine Lipgloss in One Click ($34) offers softer Super Nude and Super Coral tones to create the look of polished brilliance.

Rouge Double Intensité Ultra Wear Lip Colour ($37) is the best-loved, long-wearing lip color in a shocking Curious Orange that pops on the lips.

There are four featured nail shades: Les Vernis is Liquid Mirror (silver) and Hyperrose Glass (transparant pink), and Pink Rubber (a powdery pink). All are $28.00.

I took other photos of the holiday shades in the Neiman Marcus Café, but I cannot find them right now. If I can dig them up, I'll add them to this feature. I know there has been much conversation about this holiday collection, so I wanted to show you what I had as soon as possible.

The collection will be available in department stores, specialty stores, and at Chanel's Web site (now) in November 2016.

Photos by Best Things in Beauty (lip photos are from lab samples)

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