This post may contain affiliate links. Purchasing through affiliate links help support this website.

Neiman Marcus Beauty Blogger Breakfast

This past Saturday the Beauty Bloggers of Central Florida went to a very special Beauty Blogger Breakfast hosted by Neiman Marcus. Steph from Imperfectly Painted organized this event with the lovely people from Neiman Marcus at the Mall at Millenia.

Here’s everyone gathered around with Steph in the center.

We all met outside the mall around 8:30 am.

When Pamela walked up, we all gasped over her shoes. They were so hot!

Neiman Marcus provided breakfast and mimosas for us for the event.

I just about died from excitement when I saw Leandra’s hair! Her hair is so gorgeous! She did a heart shape. She said she started out doing victory rolls.

The lovely people at Neiman Marcus broke us up into 4 groups and had us visit one of their four stations to learn about different companies and products.

My group started with Chantecaille. Chantecaille is cruelty-free and vegan. They’re a family owned company and their approach to cosmetics is very holistic. They use very few ingredients, no parabens, etc.

The main product that we were educated on was the Future Skin foundation. $72 for 1 oz. It comes in 13 shades. Its benefits are many:

  • Innovative oil-free gel foundation with refreshing, lightweight texture
  • Light-reflective circular pigment provides adjustable coverage
  • Contains 60% charged water and seaweed
  • Protective field prevents water evaporation, blocks environmental oxidation

They also have the beautiful coral reef palette for $79. More about the palette:

  • Palette helps to gain ongoing support and raise awareness for our oceans’ endangered reefs
  • Eyeshades in Pink Pearl, Reef, Driftwood and Cheek shade in Coral create a healthy, fresh and natural look
  • Five percent of the proceeds benefit the Marine Conservation Institute in an effort to protect 10% of the world’s oceans by 2020.
  • Paraben-Free

They’re really a very luxe line and I love that they give back.

Next we were shown Estee Lauder. Estee Lauder is not cruelty-free. They showed us their Perfectionist CP+R product, which is supposed to improve your skin in 4 weeks.

We also saw the Pure Color blush (retails for $28) and the new Pure Color gloss $22.50.

Next we saw Bobbi Brown products (not cruelty-free). She’s queen of the ‘My Face But Better’ looks.

The big sellers from Bobbi Brown are the gel eyeliners that sell for $22 and the shimmer bricks are typically $39. The bricks can be used as blush, highlighter or eyeshadow, making them very versatile.

Next we were shown the Kate Somerville line.

They’re fascinating because Kate works in paramedical esthetics (where medicine meets skincare) and started out by treating celebrities. She came up with a miracle product that’s basically a 4 day skin treatment in a bottle, the Dermal Quench Liquid Lift™ Advanced Wrinkle Treatment.

The MUA also raved about their acne line and said if you’ve tried everything and nothing has worked, to check out Kate’s line. Apparently everyone in Neiman Marcus comes to her counter for acne. Additionally Kate Somerville is a cruelty-free line.

The products for Kate Somerville are basically meant to treat busy people who can’t wait a few days in between deep treatments and have to be out and about, such as celebrities shooting films. Her treatments are strong and effective without putting the client’s skin at risk. I’d really love to learn more about her products.

Next we had Tom Ford. I really liked the MUA talking about Tom Ford because she is so passionate about the line! She was very sweet, too.

She discussed some of their best scents including Champaca Absolute, Tobacco Vanilla, Neroli Portofino and Black Orchid.

He also has a line of lipsticks out that have camomile in them. The lipsticks retail for $48. Tom Ford is a cruelty-free company.

Next we had Laura Mercier. The man talking about Laura Mercier was amazing. He was so knowledgeable and able to keep your attention as he discussed the products. Laura Mercier is cruelty-free.

He said Laura Mercier is all about the flawless face, so the products he chose to share with us were the Oil-Free primer, which is perfect for Florida summers, and is $30. He also told us that one LM tinted moisturizer is sold every 30 seconds, so it’s insanely popular. It comes in 15 different shades ranging from porcelain to mocha and retails for $42. It looks like porcelain might match me. He showed us another primer, their mineral primer, specifically for mineral makeup. It’s $30. Finally, he showed off the paraben free mascara.

We were whisked away to Chanel next.

Even before I got into makeup, I had a Chanel glossimer. The brand is so iconic. We were shown the Chanel summer line, which included a gorgeous gold nail polish called Delight, hydrating lip balm and Illusion D’ombre Long Wear Luminous eyeshadows. When asked, the MUA didn’t know if they were cruelty-free or not.

The white shade, Fantasme is the sparkliest of the bunch and is perfect for layering. These shadows are supposed to be crease free. $36.

We next took in the delights of Trish McEvoy.

We smelled Sexy #9 and #9 perfumes, and checked out their mascara.

Then we were ushered to Guerlain. Guerlain is well known for their bronzer. It contains vitamin E, which helps it to look more natural on the skin since it’s hydrating.

We also saw their kajal in Royal Purple. The cool thing was that the MUA said that it was because of beauty bloggers that Guerlain brought back more kajal, as it was originally an LE item.

Every year Guerlain releases an LE bronzer. This one is $75. They also released a refillable mascara.

It’s $49 but I like the idea of the reusable packaging. The MUA was unsure if Guerlain was cruelty-free.

Yves Saint Laurent was up next. I was in love with their promo shot.

We were shown their cult classic, the Touch Eclat concealer/highlighter ($40). We also saw their new glossy lip stains ($32) and nail polishes.

Kiehl’s was next in our tour and they were interesting. They’ve been around since 1851 and they have product lines for men, women, babies, dogs and horses, which is pretty extensive! Their products are dermatologist grade.

Their big seller is the dark spot solution that takes care of hyper pigmentation. They also have a great vitamin C serum and their Midnight Recovery serum ($44 to $68). I was assured that Kiehl’s is cruelty-free.

I like their old time packaging, reminiscent of an apothecary.

We did speak to Lancome very briefly about Youth Activating Concentrate ($60) and their lipsticks. These are their lovely lipsticks.

Then we went on to Giorgio Armani.

Once again, I was captivated by the advert. I love the bold red lips. We were shown the Luminous foundation ($59) and the lovely lip sheers.

We also saw the amazing brush that can be used to apply everything from foundation, blush, highlighter to eyeshadow for $49. Giorgio Armani does not test on animals.

We next went to see Le Métier de Beauté, whose name means the craft of beauty. Their tinted moisturizers are $125.

We also saw their black eyeliner pen ($42), which was compared to Mont Blanc pens. Their nail polishes looked nice and were $18 each.

Finally, we had their fragrance expert talk about fragrances.

He shared with us his favorites, including Prada Candy, Bottega Veneta, Balenciaga, and Nectarine Blossom and Honey. Candy is very sweet. Veneta and Balenciaga are spicy florals.

Last but not least, we saw Deborah Lippman Polishes. You may remember in April I met Deborah Lippman at HSN when I was there with Sinead and Beautisol.

You can see her neon line for summer.

She also has some multi-chrome polish colors.

And she has some colors that she calls holographic. They range in price from $16 to $19.

Oops, can’t believe I didn’t snap a pic of myself! At least I got one of me before the event.

See my look here.

I had a really fantastic time at the event. A big thanks to Neiman Marcus and Stephanie for organizing this for us. I really enjoyed learning a bit about each brand and what sets them apart from everyone else. I especially enjoyed learning about Chantecaille, Kate Somerville, Kiehl’s and Laura Mercier.

What did you like the best about the brands featured today? Have you tried any of these products? If so, are any of them favorites? Let me know what you think!



  • Tom Ford’s parent company is Estee Lauder, so I don’t know if they would still be considered cruelty-free.

  • I LOVE attending such blogger events, especially beauty events! It’s just a fantastic feeling being able to interact with people who like to talk about makeup, or just beauty in general, and appreciate it. =)

  • Chanel polishes are my favourite. I’ve never heard of Chantecaille before but that coral reef palette is gorgeous and it’s attached to a cause? I will definitely be researching that line, thank you so much for sharing! It looks like that breakfast was a blast.

  • So awesome that you guys were able to do this!! Looks like you had a great time! Those DL’s look amazing!! I’m not really a makeup girl, so the polishes intrigued me most ;0).

  • Wow, this looks like so much fun! 🙂 I am getting more and more interested in Chantecaille the more I hear/read about it, a bit expensive but I just might indulge sometime soon. The foundatoin sounds amazing! x

  • Whee Phyrra it looks like SO much fun! I’d DIE if I see that many great products in one go! I don’t think Chanel and Guerlain are cruelty-free, based on the simple fact that they do sell in China. Fatasme looks like the silver sister of Vision (it’s gold!!!), which has come out here in Europe with Les Expressions de Chanel collection. I don’t know if/when it will be released in the US though!

  • What a nice meet up, is also the first time a hear about Chantecaille brand (let me go and lurk their site…)
    But i am just wondering how much will it cost here in Switzerland that Chanel eyeshadow…here prizes are soooo high in comparison to the States.

  • That looks like such a great time! I rarely make it to counters but when I do I always feel uncomfortable. (That’s why I do all my shopping online at Neiman Marcus and Zuneta!) It would have been so nice to be presented with the information in this manner. Love it!

    • I sometimes feel overwhelmed or like I’ll be shrugged off because of how I look (and it’s happened). In this environment, everyone was so welcoming, it was very comfortable! I think sometimes it’s easier if you can call ahead to schedule time with a person.

  • This looks like such a great event! And it sounds like you all had a great time. 🙂

    I hope it’s ok that I’m commenting on the cruelty-free (C-F) status of some of the companies mentioned. I know this is an issue that’s not necessarily important to everyone, so if someone doesn’t care about the C-F status of make-up, the rest of my comment here will be boring and you can just stop reading my comment now.
    🙂 But for those who do care, things are possibly trickier than they appear at first glance. I don’t know if the representatives were misinformed or if they are privy to information that is not posted publicly, but I found some information that conflicts with what you were told.

    C-F can mean different things to different companies. Sometimes they say they are C-F if they don’t test their product on animals, but this can mean that the ingredients may have been tested by the suppliers and/or the company could ask a third party to test either the finished product or the ingredients. So, if a company just says that they are cruelty-free, it’s not enough for me. I need to see a statement like, “We don’t test our finished products on animals, nor do we use ingredients that have been animal-tested, nor do we ask third parties to test on our behalf.” That leaves absolutely no wiggle room. Both PETA (I know, I know) and Leaping Bunny have lists of C-F companies, though LB’s criteria are stricter than those of PETA. For companies I use myself, I did a lot of research and emailed them for their official stances, but for the ones you listed, I just consulted both PETA and LB’s lists as well as the company’s website. I did not contact them, as I don’t use any products from these companies — if I did, that would be my next step. If anyone has any information different from or beyond what I give below, please mention it.

    Here’s what I found:

    Chantecaille — told you they are C-F; they are not on either C-F list, but their website states “All CHANTECAILLE products are not tested on animals. There are no animal derivatives, lanolin or mineral derivatives in the products.” This is promising. The only thing missing is a statement about ingredient testing and third party testing.

    Kate Somerville — told you they are C-F; they are not on either C-F list, but their website states “Although all of our products have been thoroughly tested, either in the Clinic or in the lab, we never have—and never will—test our products on animals.” Again, the only thing missing is a statement about ingredient testing and third party testing.

    Tom Ford — told you they were C-F, not on either C-F list, no info on company website

    Laura Mercier — told you they were C-F, not on either C-F list, no info on company website

    Chanel — told you they didn’t know if they were C-F, not on either C-F list, but their site says they do not test products on animals (though no mention of ingredients or 3rd party testing)

    Trish McEvoy — told you they didn’t know, but they are on PETA’s approved list, and they have a C-F statement on their site (but it doesn’t mention ingredient or 3rd party testing)

    Guerlain — told you they didn’t know, not on either C-F list, no info on company website

    YSL — you didn’t mention if you asked them, not on either C-F list, no info on company website

    Kiehl’s — they told you they were C-F; not on either C-F list; no info on company website, but they are owned by L’Oreal — L’Oreal does do animal-testing, so I’m not sure about Kiehl’s

    Lancome — you didn’t mention if you asked them; not on either C-F list; no info on company website, but they are also owned by L’Oreal — L’Oreal does do animal-testing, so again I’m not sure

    Giorgio Armani — told you they were C-F, not on either C-F list, but their site says “We do not test our products on animals, nor do we ask others to conduct animal testing on our behalf.” It’s great that they mention 3rd party testing (yay), but no mention of ingredient testing.

    Le Metier — you didn’t mention if you asked them; not on either C-F list; nothing on their company website

    Deborah Lippman — you didn’t mention if you asked them; not on either C-F list, but the company site says “no animal testing” (they don’t say anything about 3rd parties or ingredients testing)

    If someone is interested in a company that I couldn’t find the info for, I would encourage them to contact the company directly and read the company statement carefully. I hope this helps!

    • Thank you so much for this clarification! I really appreciate it!

      I know that I am of the (unpopular) opinion that I do consider a company CF even if their parent company is not. (example The Body Shop)

      I asked the representatives that I could, but not all knew.

      I sometimes find it frustrating trying to track down information, so I really really appreciate the help!

      Right now, i’m confused about Smashbox. All their packaging has the PETA bunny on it and says cruelty-free, but I thought that when MAC changed their policies, Smashbox’s policies changed too.

      On their site it says:
      market products that comply with applicable regulations in every country in which our products are sold.

      We do not conduct animal testing on our products or ingredients, nor ask others to test on our behalf, except when required by law. We evaluate our finished products in clinical tests on volunteer panels.

      Smashbox fully supports the development and global acceptance of non-animal testing alternatives. To this end, the Company works extensively with the industry at large and the global scientific community to research and fund these alternatives.

      The ‘except when required by law’ is what MAC added to sell in China, so I assumed the same of Smashbox, but when the packing still says cruelty-free, it’s confusing.

      • Glad it was helpful — sorry it ended up being so long! I don’t necessarily think that your approach of supporting C-F companies that are owned by non-C-F is unpopular — I know that some people believe that purchasing from such C-F companies sends a message to the parent company that C-F is an important consideration to consumers. I’m still figuring out my stance on that one, and that’s ok. So far, I have not found any products made by a C-F company that has a non-C-F parent company that I *have* to have. But if that ever happens & I couldn’t find a suitable substitute, I would probably buy the C-F product *and also* write to the non-C-F parent company to let them know that a major reason I purchased the product was because it was C-F, because how would they know otherwise? I could have fallen in love with the packaging, or it was on sale, or any one of a number of other reasons.

        Anyway, it’s totally frustrating tracking down the info, I agree. And time-consuming. Also, companies change their stances or formulations all the time, so it’s something that one has to kind of stay on top of. Boo, lack of consistency and transparency!

        As for Smashbox, it’s so confusing. I believe that PETA’s C-F designation is based purely on self-reporting by the companies, which is why some people prefer the Leaping Bunny designation (they have more extensive paperwork that needs to be filled out *and* they conduct random audits of the C-F status). So I kind of always take the PETA bunny with a grain of salt. It annoys me that their packaging says that they are C-F when that conflicts with the info on their website. Honestly, I would believe the company’s statement over anything they put on the packaging — and that ‘except when required by law’ phrase is exactly where the problem is. A friend of mine has a similar situation with Aveda — she emailed them, they vehemently said they were C-F, but then at the very end was the ‘except when required by law’ phrase.

      • Great post! I’m not a fanatic about this issue, but just for everyone’s information – Tom Ford Beauty is owned by Estee Lauder. So if EL and Bobbi Brown aren’t cruelty-free, neither is Tom Ford.

  • Phrrya,

    This is a very well-written and put-together post! (As usual, of course ;).
    What a way to spend a Saturday morning, with friends, great makeup, and breakfast. I drool over all these brands; I have used Kiehls and love that brand. I think it delivers quality for the price.

    I must tell you that I was overjoyed and impressed that you included what you knew (and were informed) about cruelty-free status. This has become a deal breaker for me in the last few years. There are too many cosmetics and skin care companies out there producing top quality lines without harming our fur kids for me (at least) to give my hard-earned $$ to companies who have no compassion and are unethical.

    Thanks again, Phyrra!

    • Thanks Sandy!

      I’m trying to do my best to put the information out there without being judgmental 🙂

      I really enjoyed learning about all these new brands and I loved how welcoming and kind the MUAs were for the event.

  • What an awesome post!

    You really conveyed the total experience. So cool to see your perspective on these high end brands. Very excited to try some of these.

    I’ve heard wonderful things about the Chanel cream eyes shadows. What did you think of the black one with the glitter? I saw it on someone at The Makeup Show LA and it was gorgeous. Looked like she’d used like 4 products to get the effect, but it was only one.

    Those Deborah Lipman multichrome shades make my thumbs itch to own them! How come some of my favorite polishes are so pricey? Sigh….

    Cheers, and thanks for a great post!


    • They’re amazingly gorgeous Margaret! I loved seeing the Chanel eyeshadows demonstrated on the hand. They’re so gorgeous.

      Yeah, the Deborah Lippman polishes are very expensive! Sometimes you can buy them on sale on HSN’s site (like right now).

      I’m so glad you liked the experience! I was happy to share it.

    • Thanks Janny! You should see if you can organize a meetup with bloggers in your area 🙂

  • That looks like it was so much fun! Lucky you, learning about all this fancy expensive makeup! Also, EGADS, $125 for a tinted moisturizer?!

  • Someone working for such a huge brand like Chanel….. doesn’t even know if their products are cruelty free or not -_-… what are the requirements to work there?? jeez!

    • A couple of the MUAs didn’t know if the brands were cruelty-free or not. Tom Ford, Laura Mercier and Chantecaille did know 🙂

  • I literally cried the whole way through this post LOL Such a fabulous time, you ladies are so lucky!

    Totally wishing we had an NM around here… we need some Tom Ford & LMdB counters!

    • Thanks! I thought they were because of their place in my camera, but the writing doesn’t match the name that I could tell.

Comments are closed.