Lancome nail polish in Indigo Paris, Rouge Liberty and Golden Audacity

Photo: Keate

Winner's Circle
You're in luck: Just in time for the vibrant days of fall come three rich polishes from Lancôme, in Indigo Paris, Rouge Liberty, and Golden Audacity ($18 each; Wear them as you would any classic colors (we like them on short nails). They may not change your fortune, but they'll add a winning glamour to the season's new looks.
Kilian Back to Black: Aphrodisiac

Photo: Jeffrey Westbrook/Studio D

A Sensual Scent-sation
You can't imagine how many fragrances cross my desk in the course of a week. I smell them all, sometimes with great trepidation; I once spilled a perfume sample on my knees, and all day long its keen stink drifted up toward my face, annoying as an intrusive stranger.

Recently, I popped the top off a bottle, tentatively sprayed a little something into the air, and collapsed into a delicious swoon. I came to, lusting for more. I sprayed my wrists, my elbows; then I ran out of my office and into creative director Adam Glassman's, next door. "Smell this," I said, holding out my arm. Adam is not a fragrance lover, but he took a cautious sniff. "Oh my God," he said. "Sexy."

Exactly. Back to Black: Aphrodisiac ($225 for 1.7 ounces; is a new fragrance by Kilian, a French perfumer (who happens to be the grandson of a founder of the luxury goods company LVMH Group). And I think it is the sexiest scent I have ever smelled. I can tell you some of what's in it—bergamot, nutmeg, cedar, the amber-y labdanum, and a powdery vanilla—but I can't tell you how it casts its spell. For that, you'll have to try it yourself.

Valerie Monroe
Dove Body Wash with NutriumMoisture

Photo: Jeffrey Westbrook/Studio D

Classic Remake
Back when our new beauty assistant, Alessandra Foresto, was an allergy-ridden child, her dermatologist recommended Dove Beauty Bar for her sensitive skin. In the years since, though she's yearned to try a body wash, memories of uncomfortable itching and flaking have always put her off. So she was happy to find the new Dove Body Wash with NutriumMoisture ($6; drugstores) on her desk one recent morning. Now she's reveling in the lush liquid formula, which combines the beauty bar's gentle cleansers with moisturizers like soybean oil and glycerin. Alessandra says the long wait was worth it. We say, "How long could it have been, kiddo? You're only 22!"
Max Factor 2000 Calorie Extreme Lash Plumper

Photo: Jeffrey Westbrook/Studio D

Lash Chance
Max Factor celebrity makeup artist Jake Bailey recently stopped by the office to show us his favorite products, one of which was Max Factor 2000 Calorie Extreme Lash Plumper mascara ($10; Jake applied two thick coats to our lashes; for the rest of the day, coworkers kept asking if we were wearing false eyelashes. When we mentioned this to Max Factor representatives, they generously sent over a bag of the mascaras, which we distributed to eager colleagues with the mandate that they must let us know what they thought. (Very) early the next morning we received a text message: "Wow! This really works!" First thing at the office, we were stopped in the hall: "That mascara? It's incredible—look at my lashes!" The positive reviews kept rolling in. But here's the catch: All Max Factor products will be in stores only through January (the brand is being phased out in the United States), so stock up now.
Prive Concept Vert Shampoo

Photo: Jeffrey Westbrook/Studio D

Foam Sweet Foam
I haven't had this much fun with shampoo since I morphed my little sister's golden curls into a Mohawk during bath time. A press of the nozzle on Privé Concept Vert shampoo ($28; for salons) releases one perfect, fluffy dollop of foam; a little water and massaging creates copious suds. And it's not just frivolous fun: You need only a tiny bit for each shampoo, so one bottle lasts and lasts. Also, the aluminum canister is recyclable (or you can return empty bottles to be refilled). And the formulas contain no parabens (since the packaging is airtight, fewer preservatives are necessary). Most delightful of all: Every time I use Concept Vert, my hair is soft and easy to style. — Jenny Bailly
Temptu Airbrush Makeup

Brushed Up
Airbrush makeup has been a staple on television and movie sets for decades (MGM first used it in the 1920s, on hundreds of Ben-Hur extras). The technique infuses liquid makeup with air so that it can be sprayed on in a fine, even mist—and fast. But because it requires a large (and noisy) compressor, it hasn't been an option for civilians. Until now! Temptu, the company responsible for the Desperate Housewives' rosy cheeks and Brian Williams's poreless veneer, has shrunk its airbrush system into a sleek little unit (Temptu Airbrush Makeup System, $225; that easily fits on a countertop (though it does still hum rather loudly). But this is for serious makeup lovers: The machine isn't cheap, and before you can use it, you need to purchase "pods" of foundation, highlighter, or blush that snap into (and out of) the gun ($55 for two foundation pods; $35 for one highlighter pod; $30 for one blush pod).

Once you've picked your pods, it's time to pull the trigger—literally. (The compressor is attached to a spray gun that fits in the palm of your hand.) On my first go, I held the gun about six inches from my right cheek, said a couple of Hail Marys... and fired. I expected, frankly, a big old mess. But the mist was so fine, and so easily controlled, that I had no problem directing it where I wanted, leaving a sheer veil of color in some areas and moving in closer, and heavier, in spots that needed extra coverage. In about two minutes, my skin looked as smooth and even-toned as any anchorwoman's (or chariot racer's). The blush and highlighter didn't wow me—I get the job done just as well with my usual low-tech powder formulas—but I'm keeping a stockpile of those foundation pods on hand so I'll always be ready for my close-up. — Jenny Bailly
Karma Organic Nail Polish Remover

Photo: Ben Goldstein/Studio D

Easy Off
What we thought we knew for sure: An effective nail polish remover must be noxious enough to make our nostrils burn a little. So when we uncapped Karma Organic Nail Polish Remover ($10; and caught only a soft whiff of lavender, we doubted it could dissolve even the sheer beige on our fingers. But it did! And then it made a clean sweep of the chipped cherry red on our toes. The formula trades acetone (the hair-singeing ingredient in most polish removers) for an acid derived from corn and soy (sourced from farmers located near the company's New Jersey headquarters) and adds vitamin E for extra moisture. It smells lovely, works quickly, and leaves nails looking shiny, not stripped. — Jenny Bailly

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