Jul 192015
 

Paris Beauty CrawlHave you ever heard of a “pub crawl”? Or a “food crawl”? If you haven’t, these are little excursions where one can go from place to place, enjoying just a little bit from each, whether it’s drinking, eating, or what have you. I thought it might be fun to put together one possible Parisian beauty crawl  in case that you find yourself in the City of Light with some spare time on your hands. This is one of several possibilities.

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Dec 302013
 

Bess black sea foundation comparison02

This review is an accompaniment to The Beauty Lookbook’s extensive look at Edward Bess Black Sea Mousse Foundation. This was sold in a set with a foundation brush exclusively on QVC.com, and sold out very quickly. I’m hoping that it will be offered again, either on QVC or in another venue. This foundation is unusual in a few respects, and so I thought it was worth posting a few words in case it becomes available again (I don’t have any formal word either way).

Bess black sea foundation comparison04

Because her review is so comprehensive, I won’t repeat everything that Sabrina at The Beauty Look Book has already said.  As Sabrina notes, she was gifted all three shades of the foundation. Kind soul that she is, and I mean that sincerely, she in turn gifted the lightest one in 01 Fair to me so that I could try it out. I’m so glad that she did because I’ve never encountered such a full coverage foundation before which feels like absolutely nothing on my skin.

Bess black sea foundation comparison10

This foundation is idea for imperfect skin, as it has anti-aging benefits. No concealers required with this formula. It covers absolutely everything, but aside from a refreshing feeling when it is first applied, it becomes quite weightless. It gave me a beautiful satin finish which lasted all day. I got a bit of breakthrough glow in the afternoon, but not nearly as much as some foundations. By the way, the included brush is a full-sized, synthetic fibre, gorgeous foundation brush that is right up there with Chanel and other premium brands.

Bess black sea foundation comparison07

Brush from the side, pictured below, to show you that this brush knows how to get into all of the contours of the face.

Bess black sea foundation comparison08

I applaud Edward Bess for including the brush. The first time I tried the foundation, I used my usual finger-application technique. Then out of the corner of my eye, I noticed this beautiful brush sitting on my counter saying “hint, hint, don’t you want to buff that in a bit more?” I found that using a brush to do so really gave me a much better, poreless textures. The brush was also useful for getting an invisible edge near my hairline.  So my advice is, use the brush if only to buff it in.  Ingredient list (click to enlarge):

Edward bess black sea ingredients Although Fair 01 looks a little dark in the pot, and a little deep in my arm swatch, it really seemed to color adjust to my actual skin tone when applied to my face.

Bess black sea foundation comparison1

Overall, I believe there are a lot of individuals who are looking for a very natural, very lightweight high coverage foundation. Most high coverage foundations look (and feel) like a mask. Edward Bess’ Black Sea Mousse foundation gives high coverage without the need to build up the product, and looked very skin like. The fact that it has skincare ingredients is a nice plus, although I’ll continue to use my regular routine. If applied carefully, this could go to medium and even light coverage if you use very very little because it spreads so nicely.  If this becomes available again, it’s worth checking out if these are the criteria which you have for a great, long wearing foundation. If you do get it, don’t follow my example–use your brush! 

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Jul 312013
 

Marc Jacobs Beauty31

A new major makeup line is always cause for excitement. Welcome to the beauty world, Marc Jacobs! He is an extraordinarily creative fashion designer (he has several of his own lines, and he is the lead designer for Louis Vuitton’s ready to wear line). I’ve registered for the website (you should too). I’ve been counting the days to see how the line stacks up.

Marc Jacobs Beauty21

I took advantage of the Sephora pre-sale a few days ago, and ordered some items. To be honest, it’s usually difficult for me to judge a line without getting a sense of their foundations (no foundations were sold at the pre-release). At present, this line will be sold exclusively at Sephora stores and Sephora.com. This is sort of interesting if you’re a beauty business watcher–this keeps all the players under the Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessey umbrella (LVMH owns Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs, and Sephora).

Marc Jacobs Beauty1

My impression is that Marc Jacobs Beauty was unique in its design and formulation. It’s not trying to be a “me too” brand. Moreover, unlike the introduction of Burberry beauty some years ago now, which had a sort of “top shelf,” and “best in class” messaging, my sense is that the customer for Marc Jacobs Beauty will be a bit more niche.  Perhaps s/he’ll be a bit more of a minimalist, or drawn to the brand as a loyalist from the fashion side of things (pretty smart). Having said that, I think that everyone will find something to love within this line although one might have to do a bit of sorting to get there.

Marc Jacobs Style Eyecon 7 Starlet Palette01

One was the Marc Jacobs Style Eye-Con No. 7 / The Starlet Eyeshadow Palette ($59). The packaging of everything so far has been amazing. I love the slimness of this palette–it can slide easily in an out of almost any bag (even a clutch).

Marc Jacobs Style Eyecon 7 Starlet Palette02

It’s tiny but mighty mighty. Holding seven eyeshadows, this has a nice balanced weight, an excellent mechanism, and a minimalist beauty that makes it a pleasure to use. This particular palette comes in a fabric outer sleeve.

Marc Jacobs Style Eyecon 7 Starlet Palette03

The format reminds me of an ultra-sophisticated child’s watercolor palette. It’s sort of fun to dip a brush into the different colors. The material feels a bit like metal, although it could be a composite.

Marc Jacobs Style Eyecon 7 Starlet Palette04

The catch uses a smooth push in button. Inside, a Marc Jacobs slip cover in black gives a sort of infinity pool effect. Nice touch.

Marc Jacobs Style Eyecon 7 Starlet Palette06

Okay, so down to business–let’s look at these pressed powder colors. As the name implies, this Marc Jacobs The Starlet palette is made for glamour. These seven shades have high reflectivity, and if applied heavily can go to a foil-metallic finish. I’m assuming that the line will introduce a range of textures and finishes for the full release.

Marc Jacobs Style Eyecon 7 Starlet Palette17

Consistent with a fashion design aesthetic, Marc Jacobs The Starlet feels like a palette that’s going to be bought, used over the course of evenings and weekends for a few months, and then cycled through just as fashion lines do with clothing. There’s enough of the classic shimmer neutrals to keep everyone happy, and a few accent shades to add the “fashion” factor. Below, I numbered the wells so we can talk about them separately.

Marc Jacobs Style Eyecon 7 Starlet Palette07

 Shade 1 is easy–a shimmery brown-taupe with a bit of a pink tone. Who doesn’t love one?

Marc palette1

Shade 2 is a medium shimmery cool silver-brown. This is a great lid wash color, although there’s some fall out from the pan.

Marc Palette close up

Shade 3 is a well-pigmented shimmery crease color, a warm brown.

Marc Jacobs Style Eyecon 7 Starlet Palette12

Shade 4 is a highly metallic copper. It’s very smooth and pigmented. 

Marc Jacobs Style Eyecon 7 Starlet Palette11

Shade 5 is a highly metallic warm green gold. This one has to be used with care, I think. It kicks up a blizzard of fall-out in the pan (but went on smoothly on me using a MAC 217 brush). That’s that kind of detail that surprised me–the kicked-up glitter dust doesn’t belong in this elegant packaging. As for the color, it could be a genius eyeliner accent, I actually tried it this way near my upper lashline using the Shade 1 as a lid wash. It was unusual and striking, and brought out the green/blue color of my eyes. This one is tricky though–be careful not to over-do unless that’s your intent. It’s edgy.

Marc Jacobs Style Eyecon 7 Starlet Palette10

Shade 6 is a metallic blue-silver.  If you are looking for a silver that doesn’t go blue, keep looking–this leans blue in the pan. It becomes a metallic foil applied dry with a dense brush. It’s quite intense that way. As an alternative, we used shade 6 as a center-of-the-lid highlight on Liz’s neutral eye (see pictures below) and got glowy gorgeousness with just a very light touch with Edward Bess’ Luxury Eye Brush. I happen to love this shade.

Marc Jacobs Style Eyecon 7 Starlet Palette09

Shade 7 is a cool dark shimmery mauve taupe brown. This is a good all-purpose color to use in the crease, outer corner, or near the lashes. Used all over the eye, it could be an nice dark wash that emphasizes the eye’s natural color. I love this color.

Marc Shade 71

Here, Liz used The Starlet with the Edward Bess Luxury Eye Brush to apply:

First, Shade 2 as an all-over lid wash.

Second, Shade 3 in the crease.

Third, Shade 6 on the center of the lid very sheerly as a highlighter. Putting this silver-blue shade over the browns eliminated much of the blue.

Marc Jacobs eye palette10

 As you can see, this gave a beautiful shimmery fresh effect that can be used for daytime.

Marc Jacobs eye palette03

 Here, she is using The Starlet with:

Marc Jacobs eye palette01

Close up of this very easy, glowy eye look:

Marc Jacobs eye palette05 

 Swatches of the Marc Jacobs Starlet palette which shows some of the complexity of these colors:

 Marc Jacobs Starlet Swatches1a

Overall, I’m finding the new Marc Jacobs The Starlet palette an interesting entre into the new Marc Jacobs line. The packaging in beautifully designed–it’s chic, highly pack-able, compact, and beautifully balanced. The layout includes a mix of neutrals and edgy fashion-forward colors. This is a versatile choice that, because of the unique mix, is not duplicative of existing lines. Some are unique, statement-making shades. The question will be whether these colors are a statement that you wish to make.

I’ve been using the palette for the past few days. I like the format very much–the paintbox layout is fun, convenient, and intuitive. The shadows apply easily for me, so long as I use a soft brush (usually, the Edward Bess Luxury Eye Brush) so that it doesn’t become too metallic-foiled looking for everyday wear. It gets pretty intense with a dense brush. I get very minimal creasing after about 8-10 hours with no base in very warm 80-100 degree weather. That’s quite good, given that those conditions aren’t ideal. The fallout is puzzling.

Marc Jacobs Style Eyecon 7 Starlet Palette18

 The issue will be whether The Starlet fits within your personal aesthetic. As I said earlier, if you’d like to try the new Marc Jacobs line there will be something. I’m personally falling head over heels for the liquid liner and glosses (reviews to follow). I actually like The Starlet, but am looking forward to other choices. Also, I’m glad to see a true designer line coming to the beauty world, and I’m encouraged by what I see so far. Not completely won over yet, but very encouraged.

This post contains affiliate links (for more information, see About Cafe Makeup).  Nars Brow Gel and Nars Realm of the Senses blush were sent to Cafe Makeup without charge for consideration for review.

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Jan 052013
 

Edward Bess Eau La La

Lauren at the Edward Bess counter at Bergdorf Goodman, New York City, was kind enough to send me a small sample of the new Edward Bess fragrance, Eau La La ($125/0.25 oz.). The fragrance was inspired by Cafe Makeup’s favorite city in the world, Paris.

Screen Shot 2013-01-05 at 8.22.37 PM

Edward Bess Eau La La is infused with frankincense, fresh gardenia, and amber. The scent is complex and harmonious. I love incense notes in fragrances. What is unusual about Eau La La is that the incense is filled with light and florals. The amber grounds the scent, which keeps the impression very sophisticated. The inspiration (click to enlarge):

Edward Bess Eau La La 1

Other incense fragrances can be a bit dark, and not particularly fitting for a social event or romantic evening. Unlike those, there is something a tiny bit sweet about Eau La La that is optimistic, warm, and beautiful. The scent remained balanced throughout the day, without an overly aggressive silage. Overall, this was a beautiful first step into fragrancy by Edward Bess. This is well worth obtaining a sample, or a spritz at your nearest counter.

edward bess eau la la1

 It’s available at Bergdorf Goodman (Lauren is so helpful!), Edward Bess online, and Sephora online. The image on Sephora shows a set with a purse container, a large crystal bottle for your makeup table, and a funnel to transfer:

Edward Bess Eau La La set

Along with my little sample, Lauren sent the following description of the perfume: (click to enlarge):

Eau-La-La-The-Inspiration2a

Cafe Makeup reviewed Edward Bess Eau La La  from a sample sent free of charge from Bergdorfs

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Dec 172012
 

Edward Bess Eyeshadow Palettes

Edward Bess Eyeshadow Palette in Over the Moon ($68) is a soft combination of cool tones that create a soft, foolproof smokey eye. Like Edward Bess Cosmic Bliss and Sun and Stars that were also just released, the pigmentation is soft, wearable, and long-wearing over a base.

Edward Bess Over the Moon05

Over the Moon has an overall matte impression, although a closer look shows that there is a tiny bit of shimmer in some of the shades. This shimmer is beyond subtle, adding a touch of dimension but no obvious sparkle once the powder is applied.

Edward Bess Over the Moon04

These shades applied beautifully with the Edward Bess Luxury Eye Brush, or any with a similar shape. Certainly the shadows work well with more precise brushes, and blend beautifully. However, Liz and I found that it took very little time and care to give a polished appearance effortlessly.

The colors include the same matte cream base that appears in the other palettes. The 2nd color Swatches:

Edward Bess Over the Moon Swatches

Another set of swatches:

Edward Bess Over the Moon07

Liz did this very quick eye with the Edward Bess Luxury Eye Brush.  We found that the colors were quite dark and dramatic, yet not at all heavy or overbearing. Rather, Over the Moon gave a very flattering, soft smoke impression.

Edward Bess Over the Moon09

Liz used the three lightest shades only to get this soft and pretty look. 

As you can see, although Liz didn’t dig into the deepest mauve shade, the other colors give a very cool mauve-gray impression. Overall, this eye took less than a minute and gave a very easy, smokey look.

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Dec 152012
 

Edward Bess Eyeshadow Palettes

Edward Bess’ new four eyeshadow palettes (introduced here) includes the warm neutral Cosmic Bliss ($68). The minute that I opened the palette, I knew that this would be the one that I’d be reaching for most often.

Edward Bess Cosmic Bliss1a1

I realize that preferences between these palettes will vary by personal preference. For me, Cosmic Bliss is an ideal color palette for my warm-toned, NC15/20 skin tone. It’s an effortless look for me, particularly on those mornings when I’ve already put in a few hours of work before my morning 8 am commute. In a very busy life, Cosmic Bliss gives me a polished,  appropriate look for almost anything I might encounter.

Edward Bess Cosmic Bliss4

Just like Edward Bess Sun and Stars, the Cosmic Bliss palette has a light matte shade that nearly matches my skin tone. I use this in my inner corner (I’m using this over a Laura Mercier Eye Basic in Linen, so my lid color is already neutralized with this as the base shade). From the left, the second shade is a soft light shimmery brown with a very slight touch of khaki. The third shade is a neutral shimmery brown. The fourth shade (on the right) is a deep shimmery brown with a touch of red. Swatches:

Edward Bess Cosmic Bliss7

More swatches of Edward Bess Cosmic Bliss:

Edward Bess Cosmic Bliss6

Because you might be considering this for an online purchase, here are a few more pictures.  

In shade:

Edward Bess Cosmic Bliss2

One more:

Edward Bess Cosmic Bliss3

Liz did this simple eye, focusing on using the two middle colors:

Edward Bess Cosmic Bliss Eye

As with other items in Edward Bess’ line, Cosmic Bliss is a “use it all the way up” product. His line is full of products with stable, finely-milled products that I can always count on. The shades are beautiful, flattering, and look gorgeous on a wide range of skin tones. These are available at Bergdorf Goodman, select Neiman Marcus stores, and online at Sephora.com.

 

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Dec 132012
 

Edward Bess Eyeshadow Palettes

Edward Bess has recently released three new eyeshadow palettes, Over the Moon, Cosmic Bliss, and Sun and Stars ($68 each). Each offers a selection of lovely neutral shades with gorgeous pigmentation and very smooth blendability.

Edward Bess Es palette

These are slim glossy black mirrored palettes packed with tiny brushes (one end is a sponge, the other a brush). I found that these applied beautifully with Edward Bess’ Luxury Eye Brush (pictured here). This review is for Sun and Stars, a lovely selection of a matte neutral base shade, a coppery brown, a khaki-toned taupe, and a lovely soft black.

Edward Bess Sun and Stars 4

I’ve worn this over Laura Mercier’s Eye Basic in Linen and got all-day wear. I used the middle two shads side-by-side on my lid, with the black as a liner. The lightest shade, which is a soft neutral that nearly matches my skin tone, was placed in my inner corner. So easy, it’s perfect for those times when you want to look confident and effortlessly perfect.

Edward Bess Sun and Stars 1b

The lightest shade is matte, and the other three have a touch of shimmer. This gives a touch of glow on the lid, without leaving any obvious sparkle.

Edward Bess Sun and Stars1

More swatches of Edward Bess’ Sun and Stars:

Edward Bess Sun and Stars2

So far, I love it. This price point is similar to Edward Bess’ Soft Smoke Palette (which I still use quite frequently). I found that the quality of Sun and Stars eyeshadows is remarkably similar to the Edward Bess eyeshadow singles. Here’s Liz’s eye look, using only the three lightest shades (blush is Tom Ford Wicked):

Liz Edward Bess Eye

One more:

Edward Bess

Bottom line:  Lovely, effortless and perfect. The colors of all three are so universal. The palettes are so easy to use, and give a gorgeous, polished and flattering eye.  These are finely milled and blended like a dream. Over my eyeshadow base, I had all-day beautiful wear.

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May 302012
 

Here are some speed reviews of some products that I’ve been considering lately:

1.Guerlain ‘Secret de Pureté’ Cleansing Cream ($66 /6.5 oz.). This is a remarkably gentle cleanser that manages to remove virtually everything while leaving baby skin behind.

Recently, I received a generous 1.0 oz. sample from a gift with purchase, which has lasted several weeks. I’ve used it with water alone, or on the brush head of my Clarisonic. Here’s my little sample:

This cleanser is remarkable. It takes off my Armani Eyes to Kill mascara, my Chanel sunblock, and my Nars Tinted Moisturizer without stripping the skin in the least. My skin feels moisturized and glows when I’m done. Gorgeous. Yes, it has a perfumed scent.

2.  Edward Bess Luxury Face Brush ($59)  This kabuki-styled brush is perfect for blush, bronzer, and highlighter. Lovingly packaged:

It has a dense compact of bristles, which might lead one to a heavy coverage, but the gently sloped head allows me to pick up just the right amount.

The handle is slightly longer than other face brushes, which makes it a pleasure to use.  It’s an investment, but one that I really do love.

3. Guerlain Shine Automatique in A La Parisienne #263 ($35)  I’m continuing to enjoy Guerlain Shine Automatique in Rose Pompon. I love the slide-up packaging, it’s gorgeous and functional.

Guerlain Shine Automatique A La Parisienne is pretty sheer coral that lets just a peek of your natural lip color through.

If you are shy about wearing this season’s bright oranges, this sheer rose-coral may be perfect.

Here is A La Parisienne on Megan:

 

As a sheer lipstick, A La Parisienne will look slightly different on everyone. Here are some other reviews:

  • Here at Mostly Sunny Bunny
  • Here at Sandra’s Closet
  • Here at Karlasugar

4. Replere Beauty Shooters($37 for 14 bottles) I’m a big believer that beauty comes from within. I cannot get enough of antioxidant rich foods, plenty of filtered water, and vitamin supplements. Dr. Debbie Palmer has made it easier to get a recommended daily dose of antioxidants, including vitamin C-packed fruits, goji & açai berries, and blueberries in a one ounce (1 oz.) Beauty Shooter.

Packed 14 to a carton, these are purse-sized, single serving little containers that you can take once a day to get your beauty in. One shakes, shoots, and done. I received three of these without charge for consideration for review, and found they had a pleasant, sweet grape cranberry-flavor with a slight touch of pulp. For those that don’t have time to get to a fresh source of fruits and vegetables every day, these provide a very easy alternative.

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Apr 282012
 

At our makeover by Edward Bess at Bergdorf’s last month, Liz and I fell in love with his Ultra Slick lipsticks.  Our purchases included Edward Bess Ultra Slick Lipstick in Demi Buff ($32), a creamy neutral with a pink-mauve kick.

Why did I wait so long to try these? When Liz and I lined up a row of numerous lip products to swatch, she immediately noticed a difference when we got to the Edward Bess. If I recall correctly, she said, “Wow! So luxurious!!” The creamy, moisturizing feel of this lipstick does feel like putting  on a cashmere sweater after you’ve worn some scratchy wool. The texture is noticeably better.

Lipsticks were the first product in Edward Bess’ line, and so it is no surprise that they are stars. The luxurious texture translates into a soft, moisturized glow on the lips. We found Demi Buff an excellent everyday color–perfect for brunch, office, or any everyday activity. It adds just enough color, staying quiet and sophisticated.

Here are comparisons with some of the neutrals. By comparison, Burberry Rosewood is more sheer (it takes a few swipes to build up this color with the Burberry, but only a single creamy swipe of Edward Bess layer down plenty of color).  Chanel Patchouli is lighter and more beige. Chanel Baroque is far deeper, and more brown.

Bottom line: Lovely. Really an amazing treat. Don’t be me–don’t wait so long to try these out. You’ll love them.

Edward Bess Demi Buff

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Mar 222012
 

Liz and I were so fortunate to meet Edward Bess in person at Bergdorf’s last week. As we were walking through the magical beauty floor, we found him standing near a counter of his beautifully formulated makeup line. Even more incredibly, he offered to do our makeup. I took some pictures for you to enjoy–and we hope that you do!

First of all, Edward Bess is even more charming and knowledgable in person than we had imagined–and we are some of his biggest fans. A prodigy, his taste level and expertise is incredible. Also, his personality is so pleasant and easy-going–he had us laughing along with him throughout. If you could choose anyone to do your makeover, Edward Bess would be a most delightful (and talented) choice.

Edward began with Liz’s eyes–he explained that cleanups are so much easier if the color product somehow migrates.  We were so lucky to try his new Edward Bess Eye Primer.   This product, which comes in three different shades, is distributed via a brush pen to the lid. Above, the product is coming out of the tube before it is smoothed out (with fingers or the built-in brush). It creates a blank canvas on the lid, drying to an opaque matte finish. I noticed that both Liz’s and my eye makeup lasted beautifully until we removed it much later that evening. The finish is amazing. I cannot wait until this product is available in the next 2-3 weeks. I need it.

With a few exceptions, nearly all of the color products used on both Liz and I were from the Edward Bess Back to Basics Palette ($75). Although I realized that this was a very versatile travel palette, I was stunned to see how easily Bess could use this palette to create our “you but more glamorous” looks. With just a few of his brushes and his fingers, Edward used some of his collection’s favorite colors. You can see Sabrina’s review and swatches of this palette here at The Beauty Look Book.

The eyeshadows were used to create a very natural eye, using the neutral colors on the lid, and the darker shade just above the crease. Edward used his Edward Bess Luxury Eye Brush ($40) (pictured with the palette, above, which I couldn’t resist buying).

A little Edward Bess Defining Eye Liner ($29)….

 More work on the eye area:

 And bringing some color under the eyes:

Edward gave Liz incredibly long, defined lashes with his Edward Bess Lash Designer Volumizing Mascara ($30):

Edward mixed his Edward Bess Platinum Concealer ($38) with a touch of his moisturizing Edward Bess Black Sea Deep Hydration Cream ($90) to do Liz’s under eye area. He also used a mix of this moisturizer with his Edward Bess Sheer Satin Cream Compact Foundation ($60), which he dabbed on Liz with fingers. Although I don’t own this foundation yet, it did provide a very lightweight, moisturizing feel. The finish was lovely. I do own at least three of the Platinum Concealers, which I keep at home, work, and in my purse.  It has amazing coverage and the quality is excellent. I’m discontinuing the use of the Cle de Peau stick concealer in favor of the Edward Bess.

He then began to dab on the blush and highlighter from the Back to Basics Palette to add subtle color to Liz’s cheeks:

He used very soft lipstick and pencil on lips:

Edward then used the South of France Quad Royale ($45) applied with his Luxury Face Brush ($56) to add a glow to Liz’s complexion.  This quad gave Liz a very natural sheen–really, we couldn’t leave the counter without picking one up for her.

The Beauty Look Book’s review and swatches of the South of France Quad Royale are here. If you love a soft, subtle, beautiful glow, this is a must have.

I hope you enjoyed this little essay–we certainly felt very fortunate to have met with Edward Bess. What an enormous talent–I cannot wait to see what else he will be releasing in the coming months.

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