Film noir gifts for the holidays: Makeup and fragrance

Bulletproof notes include tea, woods and cedar.

With socializing and chic travel in full swing, you may be looking for a few new additions to your makeup bag or stand-out presents for your beauty-addict chums. Here are my suggestions.

Tailor-made for wicked women is Tokyo Milk’s Femme Fatale collection, eight new fragrances with names like Crushed, Excess, Arsenic and, my favorite, Bulletproof. Fragrance notes too are uncommon: smoked tea, coconut milk, crushed cedar and ebony woods define Bulletproof, for instance. And the design is divine!

A three-piece Femme Fatale set runs $65 and includes 2 ounces of eau de parfum, 3.4 ounces of shea-butter hand cream and one .70 ounce lip elixir/balm. You can also buy items individually. (The photo shows two versions of the hand cream.)

No-fuss drama by Hourglass.

Dior plays the blues.

Hourglass Film Noir Lash Lacquer, $28. Take your look up a notch for nighttime by creating high-drama eyes. Like gloss for the lashes, this Vitamin E-enriched lacquer can be worn alone or over mascara to add a little (or a lot of) shine. “The results are stunning, almost cinematic,” says Hourglass CEO and founder Carisa Janes.

OK, so frosty blue became a hideous icon of the ’70s. But midnight blue has always given inky black a run for its money. Look at the gorgeous color in Dior Blue Tie Essentials and you’ll see why. The gleaming chunky container also houses a square of pretty pink lip color. Regularly $70, this is selling online for $40, but is going fast! Try Bloomingdale’s.

Metallics, martinis. Life's good.

Lancome's lovely set.

Pressed for time? Add instant glitz with a quick metallic dusting on your brow bones and cheekbones with Bobbi Brown’s Martini Shimmer Brick, $40. Also makes a festive gift for a friend.

Hypnôse Drama mascara is the star of this four-piece set from Lancôme, selling at Nordstrom for $29.50 ($68 value). That said, the amazing eye-makeup remover very nearly steals the show and I’m so excited to find it in a travel size! The set includes:

Hypnôse Drama mascara in Excessive Black
– Travel-size Cils Booster XL mascara base
Le Crayon khol eyeliner in Black Ebony
– Travel-size Bi-Facil Double-Action eye-makeup remover (1.7 ounces).

L’Oréal Infallible gives a soft sheen and lasts several hours.

Chanel's coveted gloss.

Smoky eyes call for subtle lips and L’Oréal Infallible lip gloss, $12, does the trick. Designed to last for six hours, it’s also a lip plumper. For me, Infallible hasn’t quite lasted the full six hours but it’s easy to apply, feels good on, and comes in a bunch of cool colors. Shown here is Suede.

Chanel’s holiday 2011 collection is breathtaking! You’ll find there’s much to covet and, if struggling to decide, you can’t go wrong with Glossimer lip gloss in Sparkle D’Or, $28.50. On its own or over a red lipstick, Glossimer is sleek, smooth and vibrant.

Being good is so overrated.

Be red-carpet ready with Revlon's Silver Screen.

Want to inject more zest into your office holiday party? Mix it up a little with Good Girl Gone Bad nail polish by Deborah Lippmann, $16. Or choose from the new holiday shades, which are “dripping in glittery excess,” as noted on her company’s site. Gotta love that this time of year, no?

I also love Lippmann’s success: she started her own line of products in 1998 after her flair for nails and color caught on with celebrities and fashion houses (Versace, Valentino, Balenciaga, Donna Karan and Zac Posen).

A stunning red by Nails Inc.

Revlon Silver Screen polish, $6, is a versatile metallic that picks up tints of pewter, shiny gray and muted lavender depending on the light. I can’t find this shade on Revlon’s site, which I found plodding and cumbersome, so I would suggest buying it at your local drug store.

Need a gift for your mani-pedi buddy? Try Nails Inc. London polish in Charing Cross – an irresistible red that Santa’s elves must be scurrying to stock. Company founder Thea Green was honored in June with a MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) for her outstanding contribution to the beauty industry. This polish is $19.50 at Sephora.

Precious Oud is a perfect holiday splurge.

Fracas evokes vintage charm.

Tuberose, jasmine, jonquil, lily of the valley, white iris and pink geranium – must be Fracas, the classic fragrance by Robert Piguet, a legendary French designer who mentored Hubert de Givenchy and Christian Dior among others. Said Dior: “Robert Piguet taught me the virtues of simplicity through which true elegance must come.”

Neiman Marcus is selling Fracas sets (3.4-ounce eau de parfum spray and a 6.5-ounce body lotion) for $120. It’s a super deal because that’s the usually the price for the eau de parfum alone.

Such a pretty bottle and an uncommonly sophisticated, slightly exotic, scent (spicy florals with vetiver, wood and patchouli): Precious Oud eau de parfum by Van Cleef & Arpels, $185, at Neiman Marcus.

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SF noir fest: Who’s driving whom nuts?

Hallucinations, imaginary family members, gold diggers and good girls, cheating spouses, murder, fake death certificates, freaks, fiends and assorted psychopaths … there was much to love over the weekend at Noir City 9, the ninth annual San Francisco Film Noir Festival. This year’s theme is “Who’s Crazy Now?” and the madness continues at the Castro Theatre through Jan. 30.

Addressing the sold-out crowd on Saturday night, fest founder and czar of noir Eddie Muller commented on the fact that this year’s lineup of films, all of which touch on insanity, featured more female protagonists than ever before.

“But there’s no hidden message there,” he said. “Men are driving them crazy. And the idea that noir is a man’s world? This festival disproves that.”

Good answer, Eddie. 😉

I spent a whirlwind weekend in SF, watching movies, eating, shopping and enjoying this pretty city. Here are some highlights from the trip.

The view from a balcony overlooking Union Square.


The Castro Theatre hosts Noir City 9.


The poster shows Marilyn in a red bustier, great to wear when baby-sitting, of course.


The festival crowd at the Castro on Saturday night.


Lobster cappuccino at Chez Spencer.


Christian Louboutin's retro red gingham in the window at Neiman Marcus.

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