Beauty Obsessions and Confessions

With Marie Claire Beauty Director Ying Chu.

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SOLID GOLD

Chanel was inspired in snagging the posh, Pirate-loving actress Keira Knightley as the new face of Coco Mademoiselle perfume, but, personally, I covet the limited-edition Collection Cambon compacts filled with the solid scent ($120).

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DOUBLE DUTY

Once saved for luxury lotions, high-tech skincare ingredients are making cameos in the newest foundations. I adore the smooth texture of YVES SAINT LAURENT TEINT MAJEUR ($95), which boasts a Chinese "immortality mushroom" elixir said to regenerate skin cells; while the Parisian By Terry éclat Opulent ($125), brimming with antioxidants and skin-plumping hyaluronic acid, conceals blemishes without settling into fine lines.

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ST. BART's IN A BOTTLE

Since jetting off to a privé St. Bart's villa isn't in my holiday plans, I may seek solace in MANUEL CANOVAS ANSE TURQUOISE PERFUME ($95). Laced with sweet orange blossom and Caribbean magnolia, the scent is named for the fabric firm's only boutique, located in Gustavia, the French island's shopping mecca, long a destination for A-listers like Cate Blanchett and Uma Thurman.

INGREDIENT CLOSE-UP

WHAT IT IS: Idebenone, a potent antioxidant derived from coenzyme Q10.

WHAT IT DOES: Gently reduces wrinkles, lines, and sunspots. Avoid using it after a peel, when it could be irritating.

FOUND IN: Prevage Anti-Aging Night Cream ($125).

EXFOLIATION EXPRESS

My recent discovery of WEI EAST POMEGRANATE ANTI-OXIDANT EXFOLIATING GRAINS

($26 for 24 packets) has left my complexion its smoothest yet. Packed with finely ground pomegranate peel (used as an herbal eczema remedy in Chinese medicine), the single-serve doses can be conveniently mixed with any cleanser as often-or as seldom-as needed.

FASHION TIPS

If, like me, you really studied Phillip Lim's fall show, you would have seen two soon-to-be must-haves: his bejeweled hair bands and Creative Nail Design's opulent, raisin-tone DEEP VELVET polish ($6), which dotted the fingers and toes of all the models.

HOPE IN A SOAP

When skincare savant and BlissSpa founder Marcia Kilgore left her biz two years ago, industry wags thought she'd hung up her loofah. But faster than you can say "bull's-eye," she's back with Soap & Glory, a new line for Target. As we'd expect, it offers deluxe ingredients at democratic prices-and happily, Kilgore's tongue-in-cheek sensibility lives on. Scoop up some CALM ONE, CALM ALL BUBBLE BATH and Sexy Mother Pucker lip plumper ($9.99 each).

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